The Alabama Crimson Tide are rolling and looking to stay within striking distance of the College Football Playoff. They’ll travel to Kroger Field for a battle with the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Noon ET on ESPN. The Wildcats have lost three of their last four but still present an interesting challenge for Alabama thanks to their explosive offensive capabilities. With kickoff of the SEC battle quickly approaching, we’re taking a look at the odds for the game and some of the best sports betting promos on the market to get in on the action with.
Best Kentucky Sportsbook Bonuses for Kentucky vs. Alabama
Online sports betting in the Bluegrass State has been live for a while now, and there is still nearly $5,000 in bonuses up for grabs for players in the area. New users in the state can pick between the cream of the crop from the top Kentucky sportsbooks or claim multiple to get in on Week 11 college football action. Keep in mind that you only have to be in the state when you sign up, not a full-time resident, so if you’re going to be in Kentucky for the game or just passing through, these offers are available to you, too.
Kentucky vs. Alabama Preview
Alabama is 10.5-point favorites on most sportsbooks, but the Wildcats do have one thing going in their favor that could make the game much closer.
Kentucky Wildcats: Run Defense Among the Best in the Country
The Wildcats are just outside of the top 20 in rushing yards allowed in the country, one of three SEC schools ranked as high. Texas A&M and Tennessee are two of the other schools from the conference in the top 20, both of which have already played Alabama. Both led Alabama entering the half but fell short in the second half. The Aggies lost by six points. The Vols were within striking distance late in the game as well until Alabama returned a fumble in the latter portion of the fourth quarter to put it out of reach.
Both teams performed well against the rush, which helped keep the game close. Kentucky has only allowed one 100-yard rushing performance from a single rusher all season long. Alabama’s entire offense is predicated on the success of the running game. Starting QB Jalen Milroe has done well managing games for the Crimson Tide, but his shortcomings are well documented this year, having been benched for a short stint due to his inability to move the ball down the field through the air.
He is coming off a 155-yard and four rushing touchdowns performance against LSU. If Kentucky can limit both he and Jase McClellan’s day on the ground, they’ll be around late in the game, which puts the pressure on their offense to be productive when it matters most. Devin Leary has had much success with that this year.
Alabama Crimson Tide: Jalen Milroe Doing Just Enough
Since Milroe’s short benching after the loss to Texas, he has found a way to help win games, albeit not in the prettiest fashion. The Crimson Tide committed to forcing the run game, ranking 119th in the nation in passing percentage at 40%. The combination of Milroe and McCellan on the ground has drawn in defenses just enough for Alabama coach Nick Saban to set up timely attacks down the field. The attention opposing defenses pay to Alabama’s rushing attack is a big part of the reason why Milroe is completing 65% of his passes.
The efficiency he has exhibited in his limited passing attempts mixed with Alabama’s relentless ground game has worn on opponents until they are able to pull away late in games. Whether or not that’s a championship formula is yet to be determined, but it is working for now, and Milroe is at the center of that success.
Kentucky vs. Alabama Prediction
Although the Wildcats’ offense can be explosive, there still isn’t much needed from Milroe in this one, which is a good place for him to be. The Crimson Tide has looked much different this season, but their defense has remained consistent, which should make things incredibly challenging for Kentucky QB Leary.
Leary hasn’t performed great this season as well, owning a completion percentage of just 57% and throwing seven interceptions. What he does have going for him is that he has tossed at least two touchdowns in four consecutive games and no interceptions in the last two against Tennessee and Mississippi State. If he can replicate that success, the Wildcats will be in a good position to cover the spread. However, that’s likely where their success ends. Final Score: Alabama 35 – Kentucky 24.