The Vanderbilt Commodores hit the road for a conference showdown with the No. 24 Kentucky Wildcats. While the Wildcats are ranked and heading to a bowl game, Vandy has losses in five straight weeks. They haven’t beaten an SEC team in years, and Kentucky poses a bigger threat than most.
Rivals love nothing more than playing spoiler to their opponents, which is what Vanderbilt could do on Saturday. Except that they can’t because the Commodores don’t have the offense or defense to hand with the Wildcats.
Vanderbilt has not won an SEC game since 2019, and we don’t see the Commodores breaking that streak against the newly ranked Wildcats. The Commodores rank 80th in offense and 122nd in defense regarding scoring. The defense allows over 470 yards per game and is particularly bad on the ground. This is where Kentucky does most of its damage. If Vandy doesn’t play properly, they risk getting destroyed by Kentucky’s stable of backs.
After a crushing loss to Tennessee, the Wildcats got back on track with a victory over Missouri 21-17. Kentucky is 2-1 against ranked teams this season, and Vanderbilt will be outgunned here.
One major issue for the Wildcats down the stretch and into Bowl Season is injuries to their offense. This week, the Wildcats may be without one of their seven running backs, JuTahn McClain. There are 11 players to take a handoff for Kentucky this year, but McClain will be missed.
Will Levs leads the offense under center with 1,903 passing yards, 16 touchdowns, and a QBR of 60.4. He also leads the team in negative rushing yards with -107 on 56 “attempts.” (Sacks in college football count against a QB’s rushing yardage) If only there were 10 other guys who could handle running the ball for Kentucky. Levis has been plagued by injuries to his foot and shoulder that have limited his mobility. So, any pressure on him is a bigger issue than with most QBs.
Defense is where this team shines, and they rank 29th in opponents scoring (22.0 PPG) and 13th in yards allowed (316.3). This is terrible news for a Vanderbilt offense that struggles to rack up yards, keep drives going, and, ultimately, score points.
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Game Injuries
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Head-to-Head
Kentucky and Vanderbilt play annually, with the Wildcats riding a convincing six-game winning streak dating back to 2015. Vanderbilt hasn’t won at Kentucky since 2012.
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Game Information
- Game: Vanderbilt vs Kentucky
- Location: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
- Day/Time: Saturday, Nov. 12th, 12:00 p.m. ET
- Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Live Stream: ESPN
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Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Betting Lines
Vanderbilt vs Kentucky Picks & Prediction
There is not much to like about the system at Vanderbilt. They haven’t beaten an SEC rival in years, are 1-4 against the spread against conference opponents, and 0-4 ATS against ranked opponents. Expect the Wildcats to pound the Commodores into submission with a talented rushing attack.
The Kentucky Wildcats are listed at -1000 in our Vegas NCAAF lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Kentucky, you have a chance to win $10. The Vanderbilt Commodores are +650, offering a chance to win $650 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Kentucky a 90.91% chance to win, with Vanderbilt at 13.33%.