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Kentucky vs. Northern Illinois odds, betting trends, expert picks and prediction

Breaking down Wildcats - Huskies with a prediction.

NCAA Football: Youngstown State at Kentucky Jordan Prather-USA TODAY Sports

The Kentucky Wildcats are looking to make it back to back years with a 4-0 start to the regular season, and they’ll have Northern Illinois standing in their way on Saturday night.

The Wildcats will enter the game as the No. 8 team in the Associated Pres poll — their second week inside the top 10. The Huskies are the second team from the MAC to face Kentucky, as the Wildcats took down Miami (OH) by a 37-13 margin in Week 1. Kickoff is set for 7 PM EDT with television coverage scheduled on ESPN2.


According to DraftKings Sportsbook, Kentucky is currently a -26.5 point favorite over Northern Illinois with the game total set at 53 points. Kentucky’s team total for points is set at 39.5 with their first half total set at 21.5 and second half total set at 18.5.

Betting Trends


  • Kentucky is 7-0 SU in their last 7 games.
  • Kentucky is 10-1 SU in their last 11 games at home.
  • Kentucky is 5-0-1 ATS in their last 6 games.
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kentucky’s last 5 games.
  • Kentucky is 10-0 SU in their last 10 games vs. the MAC.

Northern Illinois

  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Northern Illinois’ last 7 games.
  • Northern Illinois is 2-4 SU in their last 6 games.
  • Northern Illinois is 1-7 SU in their last 8 games vs. the SEC.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of Northern Illinois’ last 6 games played in September.

Expert Picks


Some consider this to be the classic “look ahead” spot for Kentucky with a trip to Oxford looming next weekend. However, well-coached teams take their season one game at a time and Mark Stoops certainly qualifies as a top-tier coach in college football. Kentucky needs every snap they can get to work out kinks on their offensive line, build chemistry with wide receivers and blow out opponents to avoid moving back in the AP poll. The Huskies have a banged-up starting quarterback in Rocky Lombardi, and though their offense can put up points, their defense has also surrendered over 34 points per game early on this season. Look for Kentucky to build momentum on Saturday before a premier matchup next weekend with Ole Miss.

Final Score: Kentucky 41, Northern Illinois 16