The Kentucky Wildcats are no stranger to being the underdogs in several of their games. According to one of the sports books, the 2020 season will not be any different for the Cats.
BetMGM released their opening lines for over 160 games this fall, and the Wildcats were included in four of those lines.
In 2018, the Wildcats had an outstanding 10-win season that ended with a Citrus Bowl win over Penn State. Going into 2019, the national media and betting sites had doubts about the capabilities of the Cats due to losing Benny Snell and Josh Allen.
However, the 2019 season once again proved many wrong as the Cats rushed their way to an 8-5 season capped off with a 31-30 victory over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
Now going into the 2020 season, once again, the national media and betting sites are still doubting what the Cats are capable of despite returning most of its personnel on both sides of the ball, mainly because they believe Kentucky can’t overcome losing Lynn Bowden.
Of the four games that are included on BetMGM, the Cats are a double-digit underdog in two of them and are a touchdown or less underdog in the other two.
The first game listed is the road trip to Florida, where the Cats opened as a 15.5-point underdog. Florida is receiving a ton of preseason hype after an 11-2 season in 2019 and they will be returning starting QB Kyle Trask, one of the nation’s top tight ends in Kyle Pitts, as well as a stud receiver in Trevon Grimes.
Still, regardless of the players returning, replacing Freddie Swain, Van Jefferson, Tyrie Cleveland and other top options won’t be easy, and the defense will have to replace David Reese, CJ Henderson, and Jonathan Greenard.
Next, the Cats are a 17.5-point underdog on the road against Auburn. It will be the first meeting with the Tigers since the Thursday night matchup in Kroger Field back in 2015, and it is the first time Kentucky is going to Auburn since 2009.
Auburn is returning SEC Freshman of the Year QB Bo Nix, who led the Tigers to a 9-4 season with an Iron Bowl win over Alabama in 2019. If new Kentucky QB Joey Gatewood is granted immediate eligibility, then he would be facing his former team in just the fifth game of the season.
Later in the season, the Cats will travel to Knoxville where they are win-less since 1984. The Volunteers are opening as a 7.5-point favorite over Kentucky, according to BetMGM, which isn’t surprising considering the struggles Kentucky has had there. However, Tennessee will have a lot of questions going into the season, especially at the QB position.
The final game that a line was set for just happens to be the final game of the regular season for the Cats when they make a short trip to face rival Louisville. Kentucky has won three of the last four meetings against the Cards, which included a 56-10 win in 2018 and a 45-13 win in 2019.
Nonetheless, Kentucky is a 4.5-point underdog, according to BetMGM. Kentucky should have a huge advantage in the trenches when these two face off, which has led to the dominating victories the past two seasons.
Kentucky is set to start the 2020 season on September 5th against Eastern Michigan in what we hope is the start of a huge season for the Cats and QB Terry Wilson, who is looking to return from his knee injury that forced him to miss the final 11 games of 2019.