While Kentucky is undefeated through four weeks of the season, it has not faced a challenging opponent. No. 22 Florida will be the first real test for Kentucky making it a possible option for the best NCAAF bets.
Both schools won last week, but Kentucky’s win was more impressive, beating an SEC opponent on the road. Florida played host to Charlotte at home, with a large spread set at 28 points, but did not come close to covering, as the offense struggled in the red zone.
Florida’s Terrorizing Defense
The Gators’ offense has been far from consistent early in the season, leading to them being 1-3 against the spread. The one spread they did cover was in an upset win over Tennessee, which was ranked 11th.
Florida’s defense has been the main reason the team is currently ranked and considered in best NCAAF picks. The Gators’ defense has allowed the fewest yards per game in the SEC, 245, ranking first in pass defense and second in run. In that big win over Tennessee, the Gators’ defense allowed only 16 points but did give up 387 yards.
In Last week’s win against Charlotte, a lesser opponent, Florida’s defense controlled the game, allowing 133 passing yards and 78 rushing. Kentucky’s offense has yet to face a defense like this, which could lean the advantage toward Florida.
However, the reason why College Football spreads are not favoring Florida, despite being the ranked team in this matchup, is its offense. While it was solid last week, with 395 yards, that only led to 22 points, going 1-fpr–9 on third downs. After an opening drive touchdown, the Gators settled for three field goals within 30 yards and two beyond that distance. What makes this a little more concerning is that Charlotte has one of the worst defenses in College Football.
Kentucky Is Untested
Kentucky has started its season with four straight wins and is the home team in this Week 5 matchup with Florida, leading to the Wildcats being favored in College Football lines. However, in those four games, two came against teams from the MAC, and one was a non-major conference opponent.
The Wildcats’ first “test” of the season was against Vanderbilt last week, winning 45-28. But even in that, Vanderbilt is not considered one of the top teams in the SEC, and the Wildcats were favored by 13 points. They are now 3-1 against the spread, with the only game that the Wildcats didn’t cover coming against the non-major school.
Kentucky still played a shaky game in last week’s win over Vanderbilt. Quarterback Devin Leary was solid with 205 yards and touchdowns but did throw two interceptions. Running back Ray Davis scored twice in his revenge game against Vanderbilt, having played for the Commodores last season, with 78 yards on 17 carries.
Not one, but TWO pick-6️⃣s for Maxwell Hairston 😤
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) September 23, 2023
However, the game’s two pick-6s by Maxwell Hairston were the real storyline. The game could have gone differently without those two big defensive plays. Florida’s quarterback Graham Mertz has only thrown one interception, being safe with the ball. If the Wildcats can’t force a turnover, it could affect College Football picks.
Florida vs Kentucky Betting Lines
Florida vs Kentucky Best Bet
Since this is the first real test for Kentucky, and Florida’s defense has played great, backing the Gators could be a solid option for NCAAF free picks and parlays. Florida’s defense has dominated and should continue to do so. It is up to the Gators’ offense to finish drives and score touchdowns, as they did when facing Tennessee.
With how inconsistent the Wildcats’ offense has been against lesser opponents, relying on turnovers, this could prove to be a tough matchup for them.
College Football Best Bet: Florida ML Ev
Florida vs Kentucky Game Information
- Game: Florida (3-1) vs Kentucky (4-0)
- Location: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
- Day/Time: Saturday, Sept. 30, 12 p.m. ET
- Florida vs Kentucky Live Stream: ESPN