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Kentucky vs. Louisville game glance, odds and early prediction

While the Cats have dominated recently, this is shaping up to be a thriller that comes down to the final moments of regular-season play for both programs.

Louisville Drew Brown - Sea of Blue

The Kentucky Wildcats are coming off a narrow defeat against the Georgia Bulldogs as they lost 16-6 in what turned out to be a defensive battle.

Now, the Cats turn their attention to the in-state rival Louisville Cardinals who will be coming to town on Saturday.

Per DraftKings Sportsbook, the Cats opened as a 2.5-point favorite in the matchup that has been dominated by Kentucky in recent seasons.

The Cats are currently on a three-game winning streak against the Cardinals winning 56-10 in 2018, 45-13 in 2019, and 52-21 in 2021 (the two teams didn’t play in 2020).

The Cardinals are entering Saturday with a 7-4 overall record and are coming off a 25-10 win over the NC State Wolfpack.

They also hold a 48-21 win over Wake Forest, who was ranked No. 10 at the time but have since lost three of four, including to the Cardinals.

One thing that the Cats have struggled with this season is protecting Will Levis in the pocket. The Cats have given up 40 sacks this season which has cost them 271-yards. On average, they are allowing 3.64 sacks per game.

That is significant heading into this week as the Cardinals’ defense leads the nation in sacks, racking up 41 total sacks for 269 yards. That’s an average of 3.73 sacks per game.

Kentucky’s protection held up very well against the Bulldogs last week, and they are going to need another performance like that against the Cardinals in the regular season finale.

One key thing to keep an eye on is the availability of Louisville quarterback Malik Cunningham and running back Tiyon Evans.

Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield said that Cunningham is still “day-to-day” but there is a much better chance he plays this week than last week.

As for Evans. Satterfield believes the standout running back will be good to go.

Kentucky is coming off a stout defensive performance against the No. 1 team in the country. They’ll now look to get back in the win column and continue their recent domination of the Cardinals while ending regular-season play on a high note.

Game: Louisville Cardinals at Kentucky Wildcats

Date/Time: Saturday, November 26th at 3:00 pm ET

Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky

TV: SEC Network

Odds: Kentucky opened as a 2.5-point favorite on DraftKings Sportsbook. ESPN’s matchup predictor gives Kentucky a 44.0% chance of winning.

Early Prediction: TeamRankings has Kentucky winning a 23-21 thriller.