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Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Week 9 Betting Predictions & Preview

Kentucky vs Mississippi St. NCAA Football Handicapping

Both the Mississippi State Bulldogs and the Kentucky Wildcats will be coming off a bye when they meet up under the lights on Thursday night. Mississippi State has won each of the last four meetings between the teams, including double-digit victories in each of the last two seasons.

Kentucky Wildcats (1-5) at Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-3)
Date: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Time: 7:30 PM ET
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium
City: Starkville, Mississippi
O/U Odds: 56
Spread: Mississippi State -10
Money Line: Mississippi State -400, Kentucky +330

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Mississippi State has alternated wins and losses this season, and with an 0-2 record in the SEC this season, that would indicate that the Bulldogs would be in for a loss in this one.

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The Bulldogs held on to beat Bowling Green by the skin of their teeth in their last outing, winning 21-20. Quarterback Dak Prescott led the way for the offense, rushing for 139 yards and two scores on 15 totes. Running back LaDarius Perkins added 83 yards and a score on 16 carries. That offense was necessary as the team didn’t accomplish much through the air.

Quarterback Tyler Russell split time with Prescott and led the team in passing with 102 yards. Prescott completed seven of 11 passes for 75 yards. 245 of the team’s 422 yards of offense came on the ground.

The ground game did let the team down in a crucial moment though, failing to convert on a fourth-and-1 at the Bowling Green six yard line with less than five minutes left in the game.

The Mississippi State defense played well, holding Bowling Green scoreless in the decisive fourth quarter. The low point of the day for the unit came in the second quarter when they allowed a 96-yard scoring drive. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

Kentucky’s last game was an embarassing loss as they were absolutely throttled by Alabama, 48-7. To add injury to insult, the team also lost quarterback Jalen Whitlow in to a sprained ankle in the first quarter of that game, and he is expected to be out again this week despite having the bye week off.

Whitlow was replaced by Maxwell Smith in the game against Alabama. He completed just seven of 16 passes for 76 yards, although he did help produce Kentucky’s lone bright spot in the game, connecting on a 30-yard touchdown pass with receiver Javess Blue. The team’s run game wasn’t any better, generating just 94 yards.

Senior running back Raymond Sanders did the majority of the heavy lifting, rushing for 72 yards on 14 totes. In total, the Wildcats compiled just 170 yards of offense.

The Wildcat defense had a very forgettable night, surrendering an unreal 668 yards of offense to the Crimson Tide. Alabama quarterback AJ McCarron did what he wanted, throwing for 359 yards and a score. T.J. Yeldon and Kenyan Drake each ran for over 100 yards, with two scores apiece.

Mississippi State is simply in better form right now, and have dominated this series in recent years, covering the spread against Kentucky in each of the last four meetings, all Bulldogs wins.

The Wildcats are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 road games.

The play: Mississippi State -10

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