What is the national media saying about tomorrow’s Kentucky vs. Ole Miss game? Kentucky over Auburn was a trendy upset pick last week, but obviously, that didn’t happen. As a result, opinions on the Cats are across the board. Here’s a rundown of predictions from across the interwebs.
ESPN’s Bill Connelly: Ole Miss +6.5
Last week’s games left us with a couple of key questions about these two teams: 1. Is Ole Miss’ defense really bad, or is Florida’s offense just really good? 2. Is Kentucky’s offense really bad, or is Auburn’s defense just really good?
The answer is almost always “something in between,” of course, but while SP+ mostly saw what it expected to from Ole Miss, it’s probably worth noting that it dropped UK considerably (from 24th to 43rd) after the Auburn loss. The Wildcats were able to hang in third-and-manageable and move the chains at times, but they also went three-and-out on nearly half their possessions. Red zone turnovers made a big difference in the game, but SP+ seems to think UK was lucky to be close enough for those turnovers to matter.
We might soon find out that Auburn is just that good, but I’m a lot more uncertain about the Wildcats than I was a week ago; meanwhile, I’m all but certain that Ole Miss has one of the best offenses in the conference. SP+ sees this as basically a toss-up (Kentucky by 1.7), and I think I agree.
Pick: Ole Miss +6.5
ESPN Football Power Index: Kentucky
CBS Sports’ Barrett Sallee: Ole Miss
Ole Miss at Kentucky (-6.5): Why doesn’t Ole Miss get any respect? The Rebels’ offense was dealing last week against Florida, and it’s not like Kentucky’s defense looked stellar in the loss at Auburn. Do you trust Wildcats’ quarterback Terry Wilson and that offensive line — which was just average last week — to keep up in a shootout? I don’t. Kiffin will get his first win as the coach of the Rebels’ in upset fashion. Pick: Ole Miss (+6.5)
Athlon Sports: Kentucky
Both teams played top-10 opponents last week and both had their bright spots, despite losing. Ole Miss was able to gain 613 yards and post 35 points against No. 5 Florida. And Kentucky played No. 8-ranked Auburn to a 15-13 game through three quarters before the Tigers pulled away.
Offense will be the calling card since the defenses will still be a work in progress for both. If you had to twist my arm, I’d say the Wildcats’ D is a little further along than the Rebels, but we all still hope that there are extra lightbulbs available for the scoreboards at Kroger Field.
Prediction: Kentucky 42, Ole Miss 34
Odds Shark: Kentucky (-6)
Predicted score: Kentucky 38.0, Ole Miss 24.6
Kentucky will win, cover the spread (-6) and the total will go over
Sports Illustrated: Split
Each week, the Tennessean asks a panel of SEC writers to pick league games against the spread. Eight of the 14 writers picked Kentucky to cover the -6.5 spread:
- Robbie Andreu, Gainesville Sun
- Eric Blum, Columbia Tribune
- Eric Boykin, Spartanburg Herald-Journal
- Glenn Guilbeau, Daily Advertiser
- Pat Dooley, Gainesville Sun
- Jon Hale, Courier Journal
- Nick Suss, The Clarion Ledger
- Marc Weiszer, Athens (Ga.) Banner-Herald
The remaining six went with Ole Miss (+6.5).