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Kentucky vs. Mississippi State: Odds, betting trends, expert picks & prediction

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Can Kentucky finally get on track this weekend?

NCAA Football: Mississippi State at Kentucky Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports

Kentucky’s start to the season has obviously not gone the way most had hoped. After mostly outplaying the Auburn Tigers in an ugly loss, the Wildcats came home and gave up 42 points in a consecutive loss to the Ole Miss Rebels. Now, they’ll retake Kroger Field for a third chance at their first win of the season.

This time it will be against a Mississippi State Bulldog team that ran up 44 points in a season-opening win at LSU. They did put up a stinker at home last week vs. Arkansas, but will surely be prepared to bounce back under veteran head coach Mike Leach.

It’s no secret that Kentucky’s defense has struggled against the pass. Big play after big play has ultimately cost the Wildcats over these first two weeks. While there’s significant doubt that script will be entirely flipped in just seven days, Kentucky should be able to make some adjustments on the back end. Combine that with their rushing attack being one of the best in the country and the Wildcats should come out on top in this game, barring an abundance of penalties, several turnovers on offense and/or miscues on special teams.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 PM EDT on SEC Network.

Odds

According to Pregame.com, Kentucky opened as a 2.5-point favorite over Mississippi State with the over/under set at 55.5. Per ESPN’s Football Power Index, Kentucky has a 64.8% chance of victory. With these odds looking fairly similar to last week, one would hope the outcome is much different.

Betting Trends

Kentucky Wildcats

  • Kentucky are 12-5 ATS in their last 17 games.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Kentucky’s last 6 games.
  • Kentucky is 4-2 SU in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kentucky’s last 5 games against Mississippi State.
  • Kentucky is 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games at home.
  • Kentucky is 2-5 SU in their last 7 games when playing at home against Mississippi State.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 14 of Kentucky’s last 18 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 7 games played in October.
  • Kentucky is 3-15 SU in their last 18 games played in week 6.
  • Kentucky is 10-5 ATS in their last 15 games played on a Saturday.

Mississippi St. Bulldogs

  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Mississippi State’s last 6 games.
  • Mississippi State is 9-4 ATS in their last 13 games against Kentucky.
  • Mississippi State is 9-2 SU in their last 11 games against Kentucky.
  • Mississippi State is 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games on the road.
  • Mississippi State is 5-2 SU in their last 7 games when playing on the road against Kentucky.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 15 of Mississippi State’s last 20 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Mississippi State’s last 10 games played in October.
  • Mississippi State is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games played in week 6.

Expert Picks

CBS Sports Expert Barrett Sallee has Kentucky as one of his best picks of the week to win & cover the spread.

Kyle Kensing with Athlon Sports is in sync with Sallee, predicting a narrow 30-27 win by Kentucky.

Pete Fiutak of College Football News is predicting an upset, though, by a score of 34-30 Mississippi State.

Opposite of Sallee, Sports Book Wire’s Johnny Parlay claims Mississippi State to be a “best bet” and sees the Bulldogs taking advantage of a poor secondary for the Wildcats.

Prediction

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. Hopefully I don’t eat the following words, but Kentucky should win this game. While this team has a significant strength of running the football, they can’t seem to find any momentum through the air on play action. That’s indeed an issue. However, surely a quality head coach like Mark Stoops can make adjustments to the backend of his defense and realize his offense will need to control the clock to win this game. It could truly go either way, but Kentucky is due here.

Final Score: Kentucky 34, Mississippi State 29