College Football Picks: Alabama vs. Kentucky

Joe Freda

Wednesday, October 9, 2013 9:04 PM GMT

Free Week 7 college football picks for the battle between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Kentucky Wildcats. We examine the current betting lines, hoping to find a betting edge.

The Alabama Crimson Tide have held foes to nine points combined through their last three weeks of action, while ending up with a 1-2 spread record. Saturday’s NCAAF action has Nick Saban’s squad as hefty ‘chalk’ again, meeting the Kentucky Wildcats for the first time since 2009.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 6.

Tide smothers Georgia State

Alabama cruised in last Saturday’s fifth straight victory, notching a 45-3 triumph over the Georgia State Panthers. The Crimson Tide jumped out to a 38-0 halftime lead, calling the dogs off to fall short of cashing as a 58 ½-point home favorite. 

Tide quarterback A.J. McCarron threw four touchdowns, connecting strikes at a 15-for-16 clip. Alabama’s T.J. Yeldon dashed for a team-high 51 rushing yards on six carries, taking in his squad’s sole score through the ground. 

The Tide defense held Georgia State to 175 total yards, giving up just nine first downs in the Panthers’ 26 minutes with the ball. Alabama committed no turnovers, while the lopsided affair’s 48 points dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 58 ½.

Wildcats collect in late surge

Kentucky logged its third straight loss in  last weekend’s 35-28 defeat to the South Carolina Gamecocks, while cashing as a 21 ½-point road dog. The Wildcats drove for three touchdowns in the fourth quarter, including a pair of scoring strikes from quarterback Jalen Whitlow.

Whitlow guided the offense to 19 first downs, completing 17-of-24 passes for 178 yards through the air. The sophomore also led his side’s ground attack, reaching the end zone for one score as part of 69 rushing yards (4.1 YPR).

Kentucky’s defense gave up a 5-for-9 clip in South Carolina’s third-down conversions, allowing 453 total yards. The Wildcats were flagged for just two penalties, with the duel’s combined 63 points surging OVER the ‘total’ of 54.

[gameodds]6/246677/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Back the Tide as road ‘chalk’

College football odds first opened Alabama as a 26 ½-point road favorite, with early ‘steam’ quickly driving the number north to 27 ½. The weather forecast in Lexington calls for a clear day, with 69 degrees and calm winds.

I am laying the big number here as part of Saturday’s college football picks, looking for Alabama to hold off the Wildcats for a sizable triumph.

The Tide is 2-1 ATS in its three spots this year as a favorite of 39 points or less, putting up 44 PPG in the span’s pair of road spots. Alabama faces a Wildcats squad that opposes their fourth straight ranked foe, with Kentucky held to 16 PPG in its trio of tall orders.

The Wildcats have tended to have their octane decline quickly, logging a 1-10 spread record in their last 11 contests that came after cashing an ATS ticket. Kentucky ranks 13th out of the SEC’s 14 schools in total offense (375.2 YPG), while dead last against their rivals for third-down conversions (16-for-58).

Look for Alabama to turn in another stingy affair here, adding another cashed ticket to a 10-4 spread record over its last 14 road contests. 

College Football Pick:  Alabama Crimson Tide -27 ½ at The Greek