The Availability of Kentucky’s Starting Quarterback Leary Is Up In the Air
Alabama is closing in on a record 15th appearance in the SEC title game after not getting to the championship game a season ago. When looking at the Alabama vs Kentucky bets, list the visiting Crimson Tide as double-digit favorites.
Alabama has won seven straight games against Kentucky, with each of the last four matchups being decided by at least 18 points. The last time the teams met was in the 2020 season, with Alabama winning 63-3 as a 31.5-point favorite.
The college football betting lines have Alabama favored by 10.5 points. It could be the sixth straight time that Kentucky has been a double-digit underdog versus the Crimson Tide.
Receiver Ja’Corey Brooks, defensive back Jaylen Key (46 tackles, one interception) and linebacker Deontae Lawson (52 tackles, two sacks) are all questionable for Alabama.
For Kentucky, quarterback Devin Leary and running back JuTahn McClain (138 rushing yards) are questionable while offensive lineman Ben Christman will miss the rest of the NCAAF season.
Alabama (+700) is tied for fourth in the odds to win the national title.
The Crimson Tide come in at No. 8 in both the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association polls.
Alabama trails only Georgia with +220 odds to win the SEC title. Kentucky is three games in back of Georgia in the SEC East Division race with two conference games remaining and is out of the running for a spot in the SEC title game.
Date/Time: Saturday, Nov. 11, 12 noon ET
Location: Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
TV & Live Stream: ESPN
Line: Alabama -11 | Total: 49
Hitting the Ground Running
After finishing with -47 rushing yards over the last three games, Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe displayed a different aspect to his game with 155 rushing yards and four touchdowns in the 42-28 win.
Keep that in mind when it comes time to make Alabama vs Kentucky bets.
Milroe has three games this college football season with more than one rushing touchdown. He will face a Kentucky team that is fifth in the SEC in rushing defense. Milroe is tied for seventh with +4000 odds to win the Heisman Trophy.
Alabama’s leading rusher, Jase McClellan ran for 99 yards and a touchdown in the 2020 win against Kentucky.
Alabama has covered against the NCAAF scores and odds in five of its last six games.
Questions at QB for Wildcats
Leary is 10th among SEC starting quarterbacks with a 136.7 passing efficiency mark. His 57.4 completion percentage is the lowest among SEC starting QBs. He has completed just 56.5% of his passes in three games against ranked teams this season. Now, he is dealing with an eye injury that forced him out of last week’s win over Mississippi State.
Kaiya Sheron, who has attempted 33 passes in seven career games, would get the start if Leary cannot play. His status could impact the Alabama vs Kentucky bets.
When looking at the betting odds calculator, the total has gone over in five of Kentucky’s six games.
DeVonta Smith, now a member of the NFL’s Philadelphia Eagles, had 144 receiving yards and two touchdowns as Alabama outscored Kentucky 56-0 in the final three quarters en route to the 63-3 win.
Alabama, a 31.5-point favorite, led by 32 points after scoring on its first possession of the second half. The game headed over the 57.5-point total with 9:15 left to play.
The last time the teams met in Lexington, Alabama, won 34-6 in 2016, with Kentucky covering as 37-point underdogs. The game finished well under the 55-point total.
Alabama vs Kentucky Betting Preview
Alabama and Kentucky do not play every year, so many of the key NCAAF players on both sides will participate in their first Alabama-Kentucky matchup.
Three of the last four games between the Crimson Tide and Wildcats finished over the total. The total is set at 49 in this matchup.
Alabama is 2-5-1 against the college football betting lines in its last eight games as a double-digit favorite. Kentucky has lost its previous nine contests as an underdog of 10 points or more. The Wildcats are 5-3-1 against the spread in those matchups.
Alabama has covered two of the three games this season when listed as the road favorite. Kentucky failed to cover in its lone game in 2023 as the underdog at home.
Alabama ranks in the top 20 regarding the fewest points allowed in the third and fourth quarters. The Crimson Tide are eighth in sacks and 18th in scoring defense. Kentucky has allowed the second-fewest sacks in the SEC.
Keep an eye on the updates on Leary and Lawson and Key, the No. 2 and 3 tacklers for Alabama, because their availability or absence could cause the line to move.