Louisville owns bragging rights in the recent football rivalry with Kentucky, winning the last five meetings outright and going 4-1 against the spread. Coming off a disheartening loss, the Cardinals will look to bounce back when they host the Wildcats on Saturday afternoon at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
Point spread: The Cardinals opened as 26-point favorites, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).
College football pick, via Odds Shark computer: 49.8-20.8, Cardinals (College football picks on every game)
Why Kentucky can cover the spread
Kentucky reached bowl eligibility for the first time in six seasons with a 49-13 victory over Austin Peay last week. The Wildcats spotted the Governors the first 13 points of the game but then scored the last 49, although they came up a bit short in trying to cover a huge 46-point spread.
UK outgained Austin Peay 410-284, racking up 281 yards on the ground, with freshman running back Benjamin Snell Jr. hitting the 100-yard mark for the fifth time this season. The Wildcats have now outrushed three of their last four opponents and six of their last nine.
Kentucky is also 6-2 ATS over its last eight games.
Why Louisville can cover the spread
Louisville had a five-game winning streak snapped by a 36-10 loss at Houston last Thursday, ending any hope of making the College Football Playoff. The Cardinals ran into one of those nights when nothing goes right, fumbling away the opening kickoff, giving up a touchdown on the first play from scrimmage and never recovering.
On the evening, Louisville got outgained by 50 yards, lost the turnover battle 3-0, gave up 11 sacks and committed 15 penalties. In all, it was an evening to forget for the Cardinals.
Instead, they should remember happier times—like when they scored 41 second-half points in a 44-12 win over Wake Forest two weeks ago. Or when they put up 38 in the first half of a 52-7 romp over Boston College before that.
Louisville may be out of the running for a spot in the CFP, but it can still take home a consolation prize in the Heisman Trophy. The Cardinals will probably give quarterback Lamar Jackson every chance to pad his impressive numbers. But if Kentucky can get its running game going and keep the Louisville offense off the field for good portions of time, it could keep this one interesting. The smart money here likes the points with the Wildcats.
Kentucky is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Louisville.
The total has gone over in three of Kentucky's last four games against Louisville.
Louisville is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 games after a loss.
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