This week’s SEC schedule includes the unofficial Bear Bryant Bowl between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the Kentucky Wildcats. The Crimson Tide are hoping not to get tripped up with the Iron Bowl next week, whereas the Wildcats are just hoping to do a little better than their last trip to Tuscaloosa in 2016 when they lost by 28 points.
There are some years that Alabama receives the No. 1 ranking based on reputation alone, but the Crimson Tide are earning their rank this season. Quarterback Mac Jones has played like a legitimate Heisman candidate, even after losing top receiver Jaylen Waddle to a season-ending injury. Running back Najee Harris also deserves a lot of the credit for helping take some pressure off Jones by giving the Tide a lethal rushing attack.
Meanwhile, the Alabama defense is back among the nation’s best after a down season in 2019. The Crimson Tide has allowed a total of 17 points in their last 10 quarters. That stretch includes shutting out Georgia in the second half of their win over the Bulldogs and a 60-minute shutout of Mississippi State. Despite some issues early in the season, Nick Saban has once again put together an elite defense.
A couple of weeks ago, the Wildcats would have felt confident about their chances of containing the Alabama offense. The Kentucky defense was outstanding in a loss to Georgia, conceding just 14 points.
Since then, the Wildcats were shredded by a winless Vanderbilt team. In fairness, the Wildcats found a way to win the game, but there’s no excuse for giving up 35 points that entered the game averaging less than 13 points per game.
It’s clear the Kentucky offense isn’t going to lead the ‘Cats to many wins. While the Wildcats have a strong rushing attack, the passing game leaves much to be desired.
Quarterback Terry Wilson is a great athlete. Opposing defenses have to respect his legs, which has helped create opportunities for Chris Rodriguez, who is averaging more than six yards per rush this season. However, Kentucky has no downfield passing attack with Wilson at quarterback, as he’s thrown for 110 yards or less in four straight games.
Kentucky at Alabama Betting Odds & Lines
MyBookie has Alabama favored by 30.5 points, with the over/under for the game set at 58 points. Alabama’s moneyline is an astronomical -5000 while the Kentucky moneyline is currently at +1550.
Free Betting Pick
Even with Alabama, there are no guarantees with a spread this large. The Crimson Tide has just two wins this season by more than 30 points. However, it’s a little easier to envision such a blowout because of how limited the Kentucky offense is.
The Crimson Tide will know that the Wildcats are going to run the ball, and if Alabama’s defense gets a handle on the running game, Kentucky doesn’t have a Plan B. Meanwhile, the Kentucky defense hasn’t looked so good this season outside of the Georgia game, so they may not be able to handle Alabama’s balanced attack for four quarters.
Spooky Express Free Pick: Alabama -30.5