Time: Noon ET
Venue: Vaught-Hemingway Stadium, Oxford, MS
Where to watch: ESPN
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Ole Miss -6.5
FanDuel: Ole Miss -6.5
BetMGM: Ole Miss -6.5
Caesars: Ole Miss -6.5
No. 7 Kentucky: 4-0 (1-0 SEC)
No. 14 Ole Miss: 4-0
What a big week and some fun shake up in the top 25, as we enter Week 5 of the college football campaign. And what a week it was for our own Wayne Root with a 7-1-0 stint to continue what has been a strong start for our champion handicappers through the early stages of this college football season. But now things are going to get interesting with conference play underway and some big-time matchups in the coming weeks. You're going to want to follow our top-notch handicappers if you want to get on this action. Make sure you visit our Best Bets page to find out more.
Team X - Team Y preview, analysis and prediction
Kentucky: won 31-23 vs. Northern Illinois
Ole Miss: won 35-27 vs. Tulsa
It’s very difficult to gauge where the Kentucky Wildcats are right now. Yeah, they’re 4-0 and one of the top teams in the country. Ranked No. 7, the Wildcats might be seen as a darkhorse in the SEC if something happens with Georgia or Alabama. But the last couple of weeks have had me scared over UK’s offense that I don’t know what to think right now. Since that win in Gainesville on Sept. 10 against the Florida Gators, the Wildcats have responded with two straight games of scoring 31 points. Normally, that’s not a problem. But against a school like Youngstown State is not a good barometer to put up 31 points on. The defense probably took the game to heart and let the offense have a day off. Only the next week, against a normally tough Northern Illinois team, the Huskies cut it to an 8-point game late before Kentucky held on. Will Levis was tremendous with 303 yards and four touchdowns, but Kentucky had to escape given it was a tie game at the half.
“Overall, just a sluggish game," Kentucky coach Mark Stoops said. "Good to get it behind us. We know that’s a good football team that’s tough, they're gonna play hard and compete for their conference championship. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy and I thought we did some good things.”
Levis was sacked five times in what was a pesky game from Northern Illinois. Even though they were 1-3, the Huskies found a way to get to the quarterback as they always have. Levis barely had any time to make any plays.
“Two of the three (touchdowns), I had time,” he said. “The first one was soft protection, after that they brought pressure. Tayvion had the ability to make moves and Barion has next-level speed.”
Safe to say, he’s going to need time to get a win here.
The Ole Miss Rebels are another weird team to get a read on, as well. Sure, Ole Miss is 4-0 and is 14th in the nation. That should be applauded. But look at who the Rebels have beaten: Troy, Central Arkansas, Georgia Tech (who just fired its coach) and Tulsa. Nothing about that resume screams consistency. The Rebels fell behind 14-7 after the first quarter before relying on a 28-point second quarter to pull away. Ole Miss running back Quinshon Judkins had 140 yards and two touchdowns, while quarterback Jaxson Dart threw for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The USC transfer is winning games, and really, that’s all that matters.
“We’re a talented team but we’ve got to make the next step in consistency because in the second half, we shot ourselves in the foot,” Dart said.
There’s plenty of time for coach Lane Kiffin to get something out of that group after a strong season last year, but so far, it hasn’t looked pretty.
“The bottom line is we are 4-0 and that’s the best you can be,” Kiffin said. “It’s a lot better than being 2-2 which is what a lot of people around the country are right now.”
This is the game that’s going to show how real either team is. But honestly, I can’t look at Ole Miss and find no surefire reason why they should be favored by a touchdown. Dart hasn’t looked great, and the quarterback battle will go to Levis. I trust Kentucky slightly more, but not a lot. Kentucky by 10
Kentucky is 6-5 ATS in its last 11 as an underdog.
Kentucky is 7-4 ATS off a home win in its last 11 instances.
The under is 18-3 in the last 21 instances where Kentucky is a road underdog of 3.5 to 7 points.
Ole Miss is 11-6 ATS as a favorite in its last 17.
Ole Miss is 1-5 ATS following three or more consecutive straight-up wins in its last six.
Passing: Will Levis -- 1,185 yards, 10 TD, 4 INT
Rushing: Kavosiey Smoke -- 263 yards, 1 TD
Receiving: Tayvion Robinson -- 349 yards, 2 TD
Passing: Jaxson Dart -- 697 yards, 5 TD, 2 INT
Rushing: Quinshon Judkins -- 429 yards, 5 TD
Receiving: Jonathan Mingo -- 257 yards, 1 TD
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