College Football SEC Betting Predictions: #1 Alabama Crimson Tide at Kentucky Wildcats
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide at Kentucky Wildcats
Commonwealth Stadium – Lexington, Kentucky
Saturday, October, 12, 2013, 7:00 pm Eastern, TV: ESPN2
Opening Line: Alabama -27
Current Line: Alabama -27
Opening Total: 54
Current Total: 51 1/2
Opening Money Line: Alabama -4000 / Kentucky +1600
Current Money Line: Alabama -4300 / Kentucky +1650
It isn’t surprising that the two time defending BCS Champion and #1 ranked 5-0 Alabama Crimsson Tide are 27 point road favorites at the 1-4 Kentucky Wildcats Saturday. What is surprising is 27 points is also the line for Sunday’s NFL game between the Denver Broncos and Jacksonville Jaguars.
Alabama is 2-0 in the SEC and Kentucky is 0-2. The Crimson Tide leads the series 35-2-1 against the Wildcats including the last meeting 38-20 in Lexington in 2009. Alabama has won 4 straight in the series dating back to 1997.
Alabama is coached by Nick Saban. The Crimson Tide have wins over Virginia Tech 35-10 in Atlanta, at Texas A&M 49-42, along with home wins over Colorado State 31-6, Ole Miss 25-0, and last week against Georgia State 45-3. Alabama is 2-3 ATS and the total was 58.5. The Crimson Tide were 54.5 point favorites against lowly Georgia State and the total was 58.5.
Alabama scored the first 38 points of the game and Georgia State didn’t score until they kicked a field goal in the third quarter. The Crimson Tide would add another touchdown to make it 45-3 but neither team would score again. Alabama held Georgia State to 175 total yards and 9 first downs. The Crimson Tide had 477 total yards including 181 rushing yards. Georgia State had the game’s only turnover and also had 10 penalties for 60 yards.
Alabama is outscoring teams 37-12 this season. The Crimson Tide are #4 in points allowed nationally. Alabama is averaging 404.6 yards per game on offense including 238.4 passing and 166.2 rushing yards. On defense, the Crimson Tide are allowing 299.8 yards per game including 214 passing and 85.8 rushing yards. Alabama is #12 in total defense and #6 against the rush. The Crimson Tide are +3 in turnovers with 7 takeaways. Alabama is averaging 45 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 43. The Crimson Tide is 26/61 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 21/71. Alabama has forced 7 sacks and allowed 6 this season. The Crimson Tide are 13/16 scoring in the red zone with 11 touchdowns and opponents are 7/10 with 5 touchdowns. Alabama has 5 defensive / special teams touchdowns.
Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron has completed 71.4% of his passes for 1,048 yards with 10 touchdowns and 3 interceptions. He is a Heisman contender. Running back T.J. Yeldon has 72 carries, 445 yards and 4 touchdowns along with 5 catches for 29 yards. Kenyan Drake has 27 catches, 192 yards and 3 touchdowns, along with 4 catches for 46 yards and a touchdown. Receiver Christion Jones has 20 catches, 232 yards and 2 touchdowns, along with both a punt and kick return for touchdowns. DeAndrew White has 15 catches for 212 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kevin Norwood has 12 catches, 145 yards and a touchdown. Chris black and Jalston Fowler each have two touchdown catches. Five Alabama defensive players including 3 linemen and 2 backs are listed as questionable or worse Saturday.
Kentucky is coached by Mark Stoops, younger brother of Oklahoma coach Bob. The Wildcats have played a brutal schedule so far with this being the fourth straight game against top 20 teams. The only win came at home against Miami-(OH) 41-7. The Wildcats have losses to Western Kentucky 35-26 in Nashville, plus home losses to Louisville 27-13 and Florida 24-7. Last week, Kentucky lost 35-28 at South Carolina. The Wildcats are 2-3 ATS and the total is also 2-3 this season. Kentucky was a 21.5 point underdog at South Carolina and the total was 54.
Kentucky is being outscored 26-23 this season. The Wildcats are #98 in points scored nationally out of 125 teams. Kentucky is averaging 388.8 total yards including 226.6 passing and 162.2 rushing yards. On defense, the Wildcats are allowing 391.2 yards per game including 195 passing and 196.2 rushing yards per game. The pass defense is #23 in the country but the rush defense is #99. Kentucky is +1 in turnovers with 7 takeaways. The Wildcats are averaging 51 penalty yards per game and opponents are averaging 36. Kentucky is 24/69 on third and fourth down conversions and opponents are 26/66. The Wildcats have forced 12 sacks and allowed 12 as well. Kentucky is 15/19 scoring in the red zone with 9 touchdowns and opponents are 15/19 with 12 touchdowns. The Wildcats have allowed one defensive touchdown this season.
Kentucky has used two quarterbacks this season. Maxwell Smith has completed 57.9% of his passes for 634 yards with 4 touchdowns and one interception. He played the first four games but didn’t play at all against South Carolina. Jalen Whitlow has completed 67.6% of his passes for 499 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception. Whitlow is also the leading rusher for the Wildcats with 46 carries for 238 yards and 3 touchdowns. He has played in all 5 games but was the only quarterback used against South Carolina. He will start against Alabama. Running back Jojo Kemp has 33 carries for 226 yards along with 2 catches. Raymond Sanders has 38 carries, 183 yards with 2 touchdowns, along with 8 catches for 47 yards. Receiver Javess Blue has 22 catches for 275 yards and a touchdown. Ryan Timmons has 19 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown. Alexander has 12 catches, 102 yards and a touchdown. Demarco Robinson has 7 catches for 86 yards with 2 touchdowns.
Alabama is 8-1 ATS in October, 10-4 after scoring 40 points or more, and in road games, 1-4 against teams with losing records, and after allowing less than 275 total yards, and 1-5 after gaining more than 450 total yards. The road time has covered the last 4 in this series.
Kentucky is 7-3 ATS against teams with winning road records, 4-9 on grass, 7-19 after allowing 450 total yards or more, 4-11 overall, 2-8 in SEC games, and 1-10 after a cover.
Here is the dirty little secret about Alabama this season. They are still great but they are not as good as they have been the last two seasons. The offense is average at best (unless they are playing Texas A&M) and the defense isn’t as dominant as it has been, especially against the pass. In fact, if Alabama wasn’t #1 in the preseason poll, Oregon or Clemson would have probably jumped them in the polls already. Now they face a Knetucky team that hung with Louisville and South Carolina. I still think Alabama has too much and wins easily on the road because Kentucky struggles on offense.