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Kentucky vs. Arkansas: Analysis, betting trends, expert picks & prediction

Breaking down Kentucky’s home matchup against Arkansas.

NCAA Football: Kentucky at South Carolina Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday evening at Kroger Field will be filled with emotion.

As the Kentucky Wildcats return from their two weeks off, the university will honor late, great Kentucky quarterback Jared Lorenzen who passed away this summer. After the ceremony, the Wildcats will host the Arkansas Razorbacks for a Saturday night showdown.

Analysis

With Kentucky currently a seven-point home favorite, ESPN’s Football Power Index is giving the Wildcats an 80.2% chance of victory. Oddsmakers expect the offense to click in this matchup, too, setting the over/under at 53.5 points.

Kentucky quarterback Sawyer Smith is expected to return from being banged up over his last couple of starts, but a sprinkle of Lynn Bowden at quarterback shouldn’t come as a surprise. Though Kavosiey Smoke looked to be the premiere running back for Kentucky over the first month of action, AJ Rose has also impressed with his production over recent weeks.

On the defensive side of the football, head coach Mark Stoops will shift his players’ focus to Razorbacks quarterback Nick Starkel and running back Rakeem Boyd. Starkel, while throwing seven interceptions this season, has cashed in on taking risks downfield by also tossing seven touchdown passes and throwing for over one thousand yards. Boyd has complimented the Razorbacks’ air attack, carrying the football 91 times for 483 yards and three scores.

Betting Trends

Arkansas

  • Arkansas is 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Arkansas’ last 6 games.
  • Arkansas is 3-13 SU in their last 16 games.
  • Arkansas is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games against Kentucky.
  • Arkansas is 0-6 ATS in their last 6 games on the road.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arkansas’ last 5 games this season.
  • Arkansas is 0-13 SU in their last 13 games against an opponent in the Southeast conference.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Arkansas’ last 6 games played in October.
  • Arkansas is 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games played in week 7.

Kentucky

  • Kentucky is 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 8 games.
  • Kentucky is 12-6 SU in their last 18 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 5 games at home.
  • Kentucky is 0-5 SU in their last 5 games against an opponent in the Southeast conference.
  • Kentucky is 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games played in October.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 5 games played in week 7.
  • Kentucky is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games played on a Saturday.

Expert Picks

Trey Biddy of 247 Sports is predicting an Arkansas upset, by a score of 31-24. His co-worker, Danny West, is also going with the Razorbacks in an upset finish of 27-24.

Barrett Sallee of CBS Sports is calling for an upset, too, picking the Razorbacks to cover the spread and win outright.

Pete Fiutak of College Football News, though, is siding with the home team to win the outing by the score of 30-23.

Ryan Wright of Athlon Sports projects a 24-21 win for Kentucky.

Bosun Akinpelu of Winners and Whiners predicts Arkans to win.

TeamRankings projects a 30-23 win for Kentucky, while numberFire went with a 32-20 Wildcats victory.

S&P projects a 30-24 win for Kentucky.

Mark Story of the Herald-Leader predicts a 28-20 win for Arkansas.

Prediction

Kentucky’s coaching staff has had two weeks to prepare for a sub-par opponent. While the Wildcats haven’t played their most promising football in recent weeks, an emotional home crowd and two weeks of rest should do more than get the job done. Kentucky’s offense will start to click as they did in their first few games while the defense plays well enough to win.

Final Score: Kentucky 29, Arkansas 20