College Football Picks: Louisville vs. Kentucky

Jeff Grant

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 3:08 PM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2013 3:08 PM GMT

The Louisville Cardinals are focused on a potential run to the national championship game despite a weak schedule, but they may feel a bit of pressure against the Kentucky Wildcats Saturday.

Let’s take a closer look at the College Football odds for this in-state rivalry at Commonwealth Stadium, with the opening kickoff scheduled for 12:00 p.m. ET.

Take a look at my College Football Picks: Opening Odds Report for Week 3.

Off to an impressive start

The Louisville Cardinals will hit the road for the first time in 2013, as they picked up impressive home victories against Eastern Kentucky (44-7) and Ohio (49-7), while going UNDER the betting total in each of those contests.  

The Cardinals are 2-0 SU and 0-2 ATS as road favorites of 10.5 to 14 points the last two-plus seasons. 

Balanced attack

Kentucky has been incredibly balanced on the offensive end under first-year head coach Mark Stoops, as it has gained over 200 yards passing and 200 yards rushing in back-to-back games for the first time since 2010. 

The Wildcats are 1-1 SUATS through two games—picking up a 41-7 victory over Miami Ohio as 17.5-point home favorites last Saturday.

Strike a pose 

College football handicappers will have an interest in backing the Cardinals in this spot, as they possess Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who is averaging 376 passing yards and thrown for nine total touchdown passes.

Louisville has outgained its first two opponents by a combined 611 yards, but it’ll need to win the rushing battle to come away with a victory in Week 3. 

In the last 17 meetings in this series, the team that has gained more yards on the ground has proven victorious. 

Terrible situation 

Wildcats first-year head coach Mark Stoops sent out 11 first-time starters in the season opener, which set a school record in that particular category since records have been kept since 1993. 

It’s still important to point out that Kentucky is 0-9 SUATS as underdogs of 10.5 to 21 points since 2011.

[gameodds]6/241535/?r3=43-19-349/dec&r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Wildcats in the first half with their college football picks, as the Cardinals haven’t performed very well as double-digit road favorites in the opening 30 minutes the last couple years. 

Kentucky will likely be sent out as seven-point or higher home underdogs in the first half when the line is established in the market. 

College Football Pick: Kentucky Wildcats First Half 

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