The Kentucky Wildcats visit Knoxville to face the No. 18 Tennessee Volunteers on Saturday afternoon. After an impressive win over Mississippi State last week, the Wildcats will look to build on their 1-2 record in 2020. On the other side, Tennessee enters at 2-1, but the Volunteers slipped up in Athens against Georgia last week. This is a series Tennessee has dominated historically. The Vols hold an 81-25-9 all-time edge and have won 33 of the last 35. The Wildcats are looking for their first win in Knoxville since 1984.
Kickoff is set for noon ET at Neyland Stadium. William Hill lists the Volunteers as 6.5-point favorites in the Tennessee vs. Kentucky odds, up half a point from the opening line. The over-under for total points expected is down to 45.5 after opening at 49. Before making any Kentucky vs. Tennessee picks, check out the college football predictions from the SportsLine Projection Model.
The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every FBS college football game 10,000 times. Over the past four-plus years, the proprietary computer model has generated a stunning profit of over $4,200 for $100 players on its top-rated college football picks against the spread. It is a sizzling 23-6 on top-rated picks through six weeks of the 2020 college football season, returning almost $1,300 in profit already. Anyone who has followed it has seen huge returns.
- Tennessee vs. Kentucky spread: Tennessee -6.5
- Tennessee vs. Kentucky over-under: 45.5 points
- Tennessee vs. Kentucky money line: Tennessee -245, Kentucky +205
- TN: The Volunteers are 1-1-1 against the spread this season
- KY: The Wildcats are 1-2 against the spread in 2020
Why Tennessee can cover
The Volunteers boast a few advantages defensively against Kentucky. Through three contests, Tennessee ranks as a top-five SEC team in defending the pass, giving up 248.7 yards per game, and Kentucky is second-worst at generating offense through the air at only 154.3 yards per game. Tennessee also ranks third in the conference in completion percentage allowed (60.4 percent) and Kentucky is second-worst in the same category offensively, completing only 59.7 percent of their passes.
The Wildcats are also dead-last in the SEC in passing yards per attempt (6.0) and, while Kentucky is much better on the ground, Tennessee is a top-five team in the league in limiting opponents to only 3.3 yards per carry. Offensively, the Volunteers haven't been elite to this point, but they have a talented offensive line and a strong running back tandem in Ty Chandler and Eric Gray, to go along with a big-time pass-catcher in senior wide receiver Josh Palmer. Palmer has at least 70 yards receiving in every game this season, and he has three touchdown receptions already in 2020.
Why Kentucky can cover
Kentucky is a strong defensive team in 2020, with results that should provide confidence against the Tennessee offense. The Wildcats rank third in the SEC in scoring defense, allowing only 24.3 points per game, and Kentucky is coming off a thoroughly dominant performance in holding a high-powered Mississippi State offense to just two points last week. In addition, Kentucky ranks as a top-four defense in total yards allowed (343.3 per game) and rushing yards allowed (83.3 per game) so far this season.
Third down could also be pivotal in this matchup and, on paper, Kentucky holds the edge. The Wildcats are a top-five team in the SEC in third-down efficiency, converting 48.9 percent of the time, with Tennessee ranking second-worst in the conference at just 26.2 percent.
How to make Tennessee vs. Kentucky picks
SportsLine's model is leaning under on the total, with Kentucky projected for fewer than 160 passing yards and Tennessee projected to record fewer than 4.0 yards per carry. The model also says one side of the spread hits in well over 70 percent of simulations. You can only get the pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Kentucky vs. Tennessee? And which side of the spread hits well over 70 percent of the time? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of the Tennessee vs. Kentucky spread to back, all from the advanced model that is up over $4,200 on its top-rated college football spread picks, and find out.