The Wildcats ended their regular season on a winning note, handing the South Carolina Gamecocks a 41-18 defeat. Heading into the bowl game, Kentucky will now look to officially end the year with a second-straight victory, which would also be their third-straight win in a bowl game.
Check out the latest odds, betting trends, expert picks and my prediction for the big game in Jacksonville.
According to Pregame.com, Kentucky opened as a 3-point favorite over NC State with that line narrowly fading to 2.5. The over/under opened at 51.5 and has also fell a tad, currently sitting at 50. “Sharp” money appears to be on the wildcats, as just 27% of the tickets placed are generating 76% of the cash. ESPN’s Football Power Index is giving Kentucky the edge in this one, predicting a victory by 56.5%.
- Kentucky is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of Kentucky’s last 8 games against an opponent in the Atlantic Coast conference.
- Kentucky is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games played on a Saturday.
- Kentucky is 15-4 SU in their last 19 games when playing as the favorite.
- Kentucky is 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games played on a Saturday when playing at home.
- North Carolina State is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games.
- The total has gone OVER in 10 of North Carolina State’s last 15 games.
- North Carolina State is 4-1 SU in their last 5 games.
- North Carolina State is 7-2 SU in their last 9 games this season.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of North Carolina State’s last 6 games against an opponent in the Southeastern conference.
- North Carolina State is 7-1 SU in their last 8 games played on a Saturday.
- The total has gone OVER in 6 of North Carolina State’s last 6 games when playing as the underdog.
- North Carolina State is 2-7 ATS in their last 9 games played on a Saturday when playing on the road.
- ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg is going with as 27-17 win for NC State.
- Chris Ruffolo of Sports Chat Place is siding with the points in this matchup, taking NC State +2.5.
- Bill Bender with Sporting News is also picking NC State, this time straight-up in a 28-24 upset.
- Antwan Staley of Athlon Sports projects the Wolfpack to win 35-27.
- Justin Rowland, Travis Graf and Jeff Drummond of Cats Illustrated have Kentucky winning 27-23, 24-21 and 26-23 respectively.
- Adam Burke of Bang The Book has the Cats covering the 2.5-point spread.
- Josh Moore of the Herald-Leader went with a 27-20 win for Kentucky.
- Skip Snow of Sports Wire has NC State winning 31-24.
- 247 Sports’ Hale McGranahan, John Del Bianco and John Whittle all three picked NC State to upset Kentucky by an average of eight points.
- TeamRankings has the Cats winning 26-24, while numberFire projects a 21-20 victory for Kentucky.
Kentucky’s dominance on the offensive line has been a tremendous problem for a teams that aren’t used to facing such physical units. NC State hasn’t played an offensive line like Kentucky’s all season. Combining their force in the trenches with a superior will to win, there’s just something about this game that screams Kentucky should pull out a late win. Kentucky runs the football and plays with a sense of urgency to end a year they’ll be glad is over.
Final Score: Kentucky 31, NC State 23