Missouri to Cover Short Line vs. Kentucky: College Football Pick

Ross Benjamin

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 12:44 PM GMT

Wednesday, Sep. 23, 2015 12:44 PM GMT

Our college football handicapping professional breaks down Saturday’s SEC contest between Missouri and Kentucky. Join us to read this revealing betting preview article which concludes with a point spread pick.

Triple SEC Revenge for Wildcats against Tigers
Kentucky (2-1) hosts #25 Missouri (3-0) on Saturday in a SEC clash at Commonwealth Stadium in Lexington. According to college football betting odds at the time of this writing (9/22), Kentucky is a 3.0 point favorite, and the total ranges from 43.5 to 44.0. Since joining the SEC in 2012, Missouri has gone 3-0 SU&ATS against Kentucky, and won those contests by an average of 21.3 points per game.


Tigers less than Awe Inspiring
Missouri hasn’t wowed anybody despite their 3-0 start to the season. They opened with an uneventful 31-7 win against a FCS opponent. Then they barely escaped with narrow wins of 27-20 at Arkansas State, and 9-6 at home versus Connecticut last Saturday. They were held to less than 300 yards of total offense in each of their last two games. On a positive note, their defense has been sensational, holding all three opponents this year to 233 yards or less, and have allowed an average of 11.0 points per game. One big concern has been the erratic play of redshirt junior starting quarterback Maty Mauk. He’s completed just 52.5% of his pass attempts thus far, and has been intercepted four times. If Missouri wants to once again be a serious SEC contender, their experienced quarterback must be exponentially better.

 

Looking to progress to the Next Level
Let me put Kentucky’s recent woes in SEC action into perspective. They’ve gone 6-36 straight up and 13-29 ATS in their last forty-two SEC games. This will be just the third time during that stretch in which they were installed as a conference favorite. They have shown signs of progress in the early going of the 2015 season. Two weeks ago they were able to upset South Carolina 26-22 on the road. That win snapped a 20 game SEC road losing streak for the Wildcats. Last week they gave Florida all they can handle before falling 14-9 at home. A huge key on Saturday will be play of starting quarterback Patrick Towles who had a horrible game against Florida last week. If he doesn’t drastically improve against a stout Missouri defense, Kentucky will have a very difficult time coming away with a win.

 

Final Analysis
Kentucky as a favorite in an SEC game, what’s the college football world coming to? I know Missouri appears to be overrated at this juncture, but I’ve seen and read this book before. By the way, Missouri has won and covered in each of their previous eight SEC away contests. Their average margin of victory in those road tilts was an impressive 16.0 points per game

Give credit to Kentucky for their win at South Carolina. However, that may be the worst team Steve Spurrier has fielded during his tenure at South Carolina. Maty Mauk is much better than he’s shown thus far, and Kentucky’s offense will struggle mightily to move the ball with any type of consistency against Missouri’s stellar stop unit. I’ll take the points as one of my college football picks this week.

Free College Football Pick: Play Missouri +3.0 (-115) at BetOnline.

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