Kentucky is still integrating in new quarterback Devin Leary, but the team has remained undefeated through non conference play, 3-0 on the year and now looking to start SEC play with a win on Saturday at Vanderbilt.
The Wildcats have been rock solid on the defensive front and are starting to see the returns of landing former Vanderbilt running back Ray Davis in the transfer portal. Can Davis’ play a role in covering a two possession spread on the road in UK’s conference opener?
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Now, let’s get you ready for the SEC opener:
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Odds, Spread and Total
Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky Betting Trends
- Vanderbilt hasn’t covered against the spread (ATS) this season
- Kentucky is 2-1 ATS, all as a favorite
- Vanderbilt has gone OVER in all four games this season
- Kentucky went OVER in Week 1, but UNDER in two straight
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt How to Watch
Date: Saturday, September 22nd
Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
Venue: FirstBank Stadium
How to Watch (TV): SEC Network
Kentucky Record: 3-0
Vanderbilt Record: 2-2
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Key Players to Watch
Ray Davis: Davis transferred to Lexington after a strong career at Vanderbilt, hoping to compete at a higher level. The RB is showing out so far this season, averaging more than seven yards per carry and has been a factor in the passing game as well (with an incredible play from Leary)
Will Sheppard: It’s unclear if AJ Swann will be able to play at quarterback after getting hurt in the UNLV loss, but Sheppard will need to have a big game either way. The wide receiver has hauled in five touchdowns already this season on 23 catches. If Swann can’t go, it’ll be on Ken Seals to work with Sheppard to keep the Commodores inside the number.
Kentucky vs. Vanderbilt Prediction and Pick
Vanderbilt’s defense is going to struggle to slow down this new-look Kentucky offense. While the unit hasn’t been as explosive as Big Blue Nation would’ve hoped heading into the season, the offense grades out as the 35th best group according to EPA/Play, per gameonpaper.com.
This should be a matchup nightmare for Vanderbilt, who has needed to score to keep up with opponents due to its lackluster defense. Despite facing three Group of Five teams and Wake Forest, the Commodores are 91st in EPA/Play on defense and are particularly struggling against the run (96th in EPA/Rush). With Davis’ ability to rip off chunk plays, the UK offense should stay ahead of schedule as Leary continues to master this offense under offensive coordinator Liam Coen.
I don’t believe Vandy can hold off the Kentucky offense and with questions around Swann’s availability, this should be a blowout start to the Wildcats’ 2023 SEC campaign.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.
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