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Kentucky vs. Tennessee opening odds

The Cats open as big underdogs in Knoxville.

Syndication: The Courier-Journal Scott Utterback/Courier Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Kentucky Wildcats are on bye this week, but the opening odds have already been released for their next matchup against the Tennessee Volunteers.

The bye week couldn't have come at a better time as the Cats get ready to take on the No. 3 ranked Volunteers in Knoxville. Will Levis has taken an absolute beating in the first half of the season, Jeremy Flax has been banged up, Jacquez Jones has missed the last two games, and Tayvion Robinson missed last week’s game against the Mississippi State Bulldogs.

Kentucky has dealt with a ton of injuries, but they’re slowly getting healthy. While Jones shouldn't be expected to play, the Cats finally get a chance to rest up. Levis, in particular, is the most important player after missing the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks and getting knocked out late in the game against the Bulldogs before eventually returning.

Flax also missed time after suffering a left hamstring injury against the Ole Miss Rebels. The senior left tackle sat out against the Gamecocks, but despite starting against the Bulldogs, he reaggravated the injury early on before missing the entire second half. Robinson also missed last week’s contest due to a leg injury, but both starters are expected back against Tennessee.

The Cats will seemingly need to be as close to full strength as possible as the red-hot Vols just knocked off the Alabama Crimson Tide last weekend. Tennessee also gets a bit of a bye week as they’ll face FCS opponent, the UT Martin Skyhawks this weekend.

According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kentucky has opened up as 14-point dogs to the rivaled Volunteers. While Levis has been Kentucky’s best player, Hendon Hooker has been Tennessee’s as the two will battle it out in Nashville—not only for the SEC standings but also NFL Draft positioning.

If it’s anything like last season’s game—a 45-42 Volunteer win in Lexington—we could be in for a show. Let’s hope Vegas has this one wrong.

Go Cats!