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Kentucky vs. Alabama game glance, opening odds, and early prediction

A win over Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide would be monumental for the Kentucky Football program.

Texas A&M v Alabama Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Kentucky Wildcats ended their three-game skid Saturday night, hammering Mississippi State in Starkville by a 24-3 margin that frankly wasn’t even that close.

Now, the 6-3 Wildcats welcome the biggest show in college football to Lexington when the No. 8 Alabama Crimson Tide come to town for a noon kickoff with the game being televised on ESPN.

The early DraftKings Sportsbook spread has Alabama pegged as an 11-point favorite, with ESPN’s matchup predictor giving the Tide an 85.8% chance at victory.

The weather forecast looks clear and sunny, with chilly temperatures in the 40s to start, then likely rising to the mid-50s by the second half. Kroger Field should be rocking with a sold-out crowd enjoying some ideal football weather.

The Crimson Tide will travel to Lexington coming off a huge road win, beating No. 14 LSU 42-28 on Saturday night.

Sophomore quarterback Jalen Milroe went crazy rushing for 155 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries. The Katy, TX native has proven that he can hurt defenses with his arm and legs all season.

Through nine games, Milroe has tossed 13 touchdowns and ran in nine more.

Formulating a game plan to slow down Jalen Milroe will be priority number one for Brad White’s defense.

Speaking of UK’s defense, boy did they have a terrific bounce-back game in Starkville, holding the Bulldogs to just three total points and 219 total yards while recording five sacks, eight tackles for loss, and a pick-six.

Competing against a backup quarterback or not, the Kentucky defense needed the jolt of confidence that beating a team on the road for the first time since 2008 brings.

It may take replicating a play like D’Eryk Jackson’s first-half pick-six to stay in the game with a team like Alabama.

Offensively, the Cats are starting to play some of their best football of 2023. Before leaving with what was later labeled as a minor eye injury, Leary was dicing up the MSU defense, spreading the ball around to various targets. He’s now up to four touchdowns vs. no picks in his last two games while taking just two sacks.

It was encouraging to see Tayvion Robinson, Barion Brown, and Dane Key combine for 13 catches, 151 yards, and a touchdown. All three are big-play threats, and it’ll likely take a big play or two if the Cats are to hang in there as big underdogs.

Kentucky’s all-time record against Alabama is two wins, 38 losses, and one tie. So it’s safe to say that history won’t be on the Cats’ side, but anything is possible.

Game: Kentucky Wildcats (6-3, 3-3 SEC) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1, 6-0 SEC)

Time/Date: 12:00 pm ET on Saturday, November 11th, 2023

Location: Kroger Field in Lexington, Kentucky.

TV Channel: ESPN

Online Stream: WatchESPN or the ESPN app.

Radio: Tom Leach and Jeff Piecoro have the UK radio network call on the UK Sports Radio Network.

Satellite Radio: XM Channel 203, Sirius Channel 98, Internet Channel 966

Replay: WatchESPN and SEC Network (check local listings).

Odds: DraftKings has Alabama -11

Early Predictions: has Alabama winning 31-18.