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Kentucky opens as favorite vs. NC State

Despite not having an OC, the Cats are favored to win their bowl vs. an 8-3, top 25 Wolfpack squad.

NCAA Football: South Carolina at Kentucky Arden Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats are heading back to the sunshine state for their bowl game, as they will face the NC State Wolfpack in the TaxSlayer Gator Bowl.

Despite the Wolfpack being ranked No. 23, the Cats opened as a three-point favorite and the over/under for the game was set at 52.5.

Kentucky is 5-5 against the spread this season, but they have covered as the favorites just twice, which came when they beat Mississippi State and South Carolina. The Cats managed to cover the spread in their last two games, the 34-10 loss to Florida and 41-18 win over South Carolina.

Against teams ranked in the final College Football Playoff poll, the Cats are 2-1 against the spread, as they covered vs. Georgia and Florida but did not in the loss at Alabama. Kentucky is 0-3 straight up vs. teams in the final poll, so beating the Wolfpack would be their first and only one of the 2020 season.

Kentucky also has one outright win as an underdog which came against Tennessee, who was ranked 18th at the time but finished the season unranked.

For the over/under, it being set at 52.5 is a bit surprising considering Kentucky’s stout defense and subpar offense this season. Kentucky games have only hit the over 4 times all season.

As for the Wolfpack, they’re 7-4 against the spread but 0-2 straight up vs. teams in the final CFP poll, though they did notch a 15-14 win at home vs. Liberty, who was unbeaten and ranked 21st at the time.

NC State is an opponent that Kentucky can beat, but it will be interesting to see who is calling the plays for the offense and who is taking the snaps once the team gets to Jacksonville.

The Cats and the Wolfpack will kickoff on January 2nd at noon, and it will be aired on ESPN.