Kentucky football odds and prediction for the Tennessee game

Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez
Kentucky's Chris Rodriguez /

Rivalry week is here for the No. 19 Kentucky football team, yes technically that is Thanksgiving weekend with Louisville but this is a much bigger, nastier, and traditional rivalry that has much higher ramifications at stake playing at No. 3 Tennesee.

The Wildcats (5-2, 2-2) are coming off a bye week and a big 27-17 win over Mississippi State two weeks ago after faltering against Ole Miss and South Carolina while the host Vols are contending for the SEC East title still unbeaten after seven games.

Kentucky could have and should have won both of those games and each team should have been ranked in the top 10 slugging it out as the game of the week.

However, Tennesee could have easily also had two losses as well instead of all the praise for beating Alabama the Tide missed a winning field goal that would have resulted in a Vol loss. Then there is Pitt who also had Tennessee on the ropes and had a win within their grasp.

This game dates back to 1893 and the two teams have met 117 times. Tennesse leads 82-26-9  but Kentucky has won in 2011, 2017, and 2020. They also had last year’s game in Lexington won as well but fell 45-42 and another heartbreaking 17-13 loss in 2019.

Tennessee plays a high-octane fly-up and down-the-field style while Mark Stoops and his Kentucky teams play a much more controlled and methodical style of controlling the tempo and clock.

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops how important discipline will be in a hostile environment and a well-coached Vols team.

"“Well, it’s always important, I think when you’re playing the way we have, and not getting behind the chains, and not being able to make up first-and-15 an awful lot and things of that nature, it’s important. It was important when we went on the road and beat a very good Florida team. We were low in penalties in a very hostile environment. It’ll be an even bigger challenge this week with a team that’s playing this well, number three team in the country at their place, over 100,000, extremely loud, so we better have a great week and be very focused and try to cut down on the penalties as best we can.”"

Kentucky’s defense or any team will shut down this No. 1 offense in the nation but they can disrupt quarterback Hendon Hooker and harass him into making mistakes. Granted he has only thrown one interception this season, but then Kentucky doesn’t revolve its defense around blitzing and swarming the ball – they contain teams.

If the Wildcats can control much of the clock in the opening quarter and keep the orange-clad team and fans subdued they will be in this game till the end. Get behind early and it will be hard to catch up.

Kentucky Football vs. Tennessee Volunteers odds for Game 8:

The Wildcats travel to Rocky Top as a 12.5-point underdog on FanDuel. The spread line has Tennessee at -110 and Kentucky at -110.  So if you bet $100 on Kentucky to cover the spread, you’d win $90.91, or if you think Tennessee will cover, you will pocket $90.91.

Fan Duel’s money line odds for Kentucky and Tennessee right now is -480 for the Vols and +360 for Kentucky. If you drop $100 on the Cats for the money line you would win 360.00 and the same on the Vols you would claim $480.

The over/under is 62.5 points, with the under and over at -110. So if betting on the over/under is more to your liking, throwing down $100 on either would only result in a $90.91 ticket.

Kentucky Football vs. Tennessee Volunteers prediction for Game 8:

Betting this game I’d be afraid of taking the over or under it could easily go either way. I think Brad White’s defense can irritate the Tennessee offense and be disruptive. A pick or fumble recovery would do the trick here to knock that chip off their shoulder and look for the upset.

However, it’s the offense that MUST play mistake-free ball. Chris Rodriguez will need a 100-yard game but more importantly, move the chains in third-down situations.

Then there are special teams. We don’t need a horror show on Halloween weekend. Let’s keep those ghosts of losses past in the closet.

Taking down the Vols at Neyland Stadium on a Saturday night is no easy task but don’t count Kentucky out. They play better when the media and fans swoon over opposing quarterbacks but that only puts a chip on the Wildcats’ defense’s shoulders. Remember earlier this season when the talk was Anthony Richardson look what Kentucky did.

Wildcat Blue Nation Staff predictions:

I didn’t predict Kentucky would win this game before this season started despite picking them to be 7-0. This game will define this team for the season and show just how they fare on the big stage.

Solidifying their position in the SEC East will be clear after this contest for Kentucky football and I think they can cover the spread. Will Levis is ready for a spotlight game and Brad White has the defensive weapons.

Kentucky is 3-0 against the spread when listed as the underdog this season, and Tennessee is 3-1 when a double-digit favorite.

Kentucky can win this game but everything will have to go just right I don’t believe it will be a blowout.

Eric Thorne – Tennesee 41, Kentucky 35

Tyler Reed – Tennesse 31,, Kentucky 14

Delonte Smith – Tennesee 28, Kentucky 24

dark. Next. Kentucky hungry for win over rival Vols