Time: 11 AM CST
Spread: LOU -13
Betting odds c/o Bovada
Louisville is coming off an impressive 31-28 victory over Independent Notre Dame last week that drives the Cardinals into its regular season finale against the Kentucky Wildcats. In typical fashion, Louisville played a very soft schedule this year, losing two games, to Virginia and then- No. 2 Florida State.
The Cardinals will be 13-point favorites on the road in Lexington this week according to college football odds listed on Bovada.
The Cardinals handed Notre Dame its third straight loss by virtue of amassing 409 yards, in a balanced attack split between 229 rushing yards and 180 passing. The Cardinals fully controlled the clock, limiting the Fighting Irish to just 24 minutes of possession and allowing just 4-of-11 to be converted on third-down.
Brandon Radcliffe came through big for the Cardinals with 136 yards on 17 attempts while also rushing for a TD. QB Reggie Bonnafon struggled, however, throwing just 8-of-21 for completion and throwing a pick. He’s completing just 52.2 percent of his passes this year, and would likely be worse if not for the strong efforts of his backfield. Radcliffe has rushed for nine TDs and averages 5.6 yards per carry, while No. 2 back Michael Dyer also is strong this season with 4.6 yards per carry on 103 attempts.
The Cardinals sustained a big loss when Will Gardner went down, to be sure, but he wasn’t exactly setting the football on fire, either. While the team may not have taken much of a fall in prominence following the NFL-departure of Teddy Bridgewater, the caliber of play certainly has in some respects.
The offense is far more mediocre this season, averaging 31.5 points per game, with middling effectiveness both on the ground (155.5 yds per game) and in the air (233.9 per game).
Kentucky is still a perennial doormat and is just 2-6 in SEC play this season, though the Cats were a perfect 3-0 in non-conference play (Though, in fairness, this was against UT-Martin, Ohio and UL-Monroe, not exactly powerhouses). The Wildcats have lost five straight since the UL-Monroe win, and Kentucky gave up 41 points or more in four of those five contests. Improbably, the Cats held Mizzou to 20 points, but still only mustered 10 itself.
Last week, against Tennessee, Kentucky allowed 511 yards and 28 first downs in an embarrassing loss that saw the Volunteers score all 50 of its points through the first three quarters.