Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 10:00 AM EST. Odds subject to change.
Kentucky +11 over Alabama
Kroger Field – Lexington, KY
12:00 PM EST. Charles Dickens wrote a “A Tale of Two Cities”; for these two teams it’s a “A Tale of Two Seasons – Heading in Opposite Directions”. If one were to recall after Texas marched into Tide-Town on an early-September eve and handed the Crimson Tide a 34-24 loss, one would also recall the many thinkers and analysts who called Alabama “a dying dynasty”. Fast forward a few weeks after that to an early October night in Athens, Georgia and the betting world was keen to back a 14.5-point undefeated and ranked Kentucky squad, who many perceived could knock off the two-time defending National Champion Georgia Bulldogs in their own stead. The Dawgs would whack the Wildcats and Kentucky would then lose two more contests thereafter. They lost to Missouri as a 1.5-point favorite and then curating hosting duties against Tennessee in a 33-27 defeat that saw UK narrowly miss a cover as a four-point pup. Any semblance of market credibility vanished into the abyss with the Wildcats. Though Big Blue most recently smashed Mississippi State 24-3 in Starkville last Saturday, the market will place no weight upon that result given how poorly Mississippi State has performed this season.
The Crimson Tide made a statement last week in Tuscaloosa when they scored 21 unanswered and virtually shut down LSU in the second-half to win 48-24. Previous to that victory, the Tide rallied from 13 down to defeat Tennessee in Tuscaloosa by a score of 34-20 in another high-profile win for Nick Saban and company. Overall, Alabama is 5-1 against the number in their previous six games. Alabama’s stock has been elevated once again to where it usually is this time of year and the time to sell could not be better. The narrative surrounding the Crimson Tide has shifted dramatically.
Alabama is a win away from going back to Atlanta to play for the SEC Championship and should they win out, the Tide may be back in the College Football Playoff. The market is buying high on the Crimson Tide and selling low on the Wildcats. That is not a prudent strategy to take. We could halt our analysis at that juncture but we would be remiss to highlight another key point: Kentucky has not defeated Alabama since 1997. This is also the lowest number that the Tide is spotting to the Wildcats in recent memory, as the Wildcats were taking back 15 points in Tuscaloosa in 2008 in Nick Saban’s second season at the helm. With all of the dynamics in play, why did oddsmakers price the Tide lower than it ever is against Kentucky? The price suggests that this is Kentucky’s best chance to get St. Nick and come in under the number. We’ll help ourselves to the points.
Kentucky +11 -110 (Risking 2.20 units - To Win: 2.00)