Dogs Ready to Bite the Books: Missouri at Kentucky

The end of October marks the start of the real meat of the college football season. With half of their regular season schedule in the books, bettors know which teams have been the best moneymakers so far and which ones have been a major drain on the bankroll.

Major drains actually offer an excellent chance to fade when they are facing a strong team against the spread. Bet against the major drains at one of our trusted sportsbooks.

That leads us to this week’s top underdog bet. The SEC is filled with power teams such as No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 LSU, but moving down the list quite a bit, the Kentucky Wildcats caught my eye as 10-point home underdogs against the Missouri Tigers this Saturday night. Game time in Lexington on SEC Network is set for 7:30 p.m.


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The Tigers come into this game at 5-2 straight-up. They opened the season with a bad 37-31 road loss to Wyoming as 16.5-point favorites but quickly rebounded with a five-game winning streak. This led to a No. 22 national ranking in the AP Top 25.

That stay ended abruptly this past Saturday after Missouri posted another bad road loss in a 21-14 setback against Vanderbilt as a heavy 21.5-point favorite. It is now 4-3 against the spread on the year with the 0-2 ATS mark on the road.

 



 

It has been a mixed bag for Kentucky through its first seven games at 3-4 SU. It closed as a favorite in all three wins and it has covered as an underdog in its two toughest games to go 5-2 ATS.

You could count Saturday’s 21-0 road loss to Georgia as a moral victory since the Wildcats closed as 24-point underdogs against a nationally ranked team coming off a devastating loss. They also kept things close enough against Florida at home to cover as 10-point underdogs.

Top Underdog Bet- Take the Wildcats (+10) against Missouri

Kentucky comes into this year’s SEC East Division clash at 1-4 SU in conference play while the Tigers at 2-1 are still in contention with Florida and Georgia for the division title. However, the Wildcats hold the 4-1 SU edge in the last five meetings between the two teams. This could provide an added incentive for Missouri this Saturday or it could signal that the Wildcats have its number right now.

My lean is towards the latter with Kentucky possibly winning this game SU again, especially with Missouri’s struggles on the road this season against teams it was supposed to beat handedly.

Another key trend in this matchup is the Tigers’ current 2-6 record ATS in their last eight games played on the road. The Wildcats are actually 7-2 ATS in their last nine games overall.

 


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In that stunning loss to 2-5 Vanderbilt, Missouri’s offense struggled to move the ball through the air. Kelly Bryant completed just 13 of his 26 passing attempts for 140 yards with one touchdown throw and one interception. He was also the team’s leading rusher with 72 yards on 16 carries.

Kentucky will never be confused with Alabama as a SEC defensive powerhouse, but this unit is good enough to shutdown Kelly again this week on its home field. The Wildcats have given up an average of 23.8 points per game against some tough competition.

The concern for Saturday night could be a Wildcats’ offense coming off a shutout but that was against an angry Georgia defense. Kentucky will need some breaks to fall its way in this one, but I am banking on this home dog to cover with the 10 points.