The No. 22 Florida Gators head into Lexington for a game against the unranked Kentucky Wildcats this weekend, and the books expect it to be close. Every week, I’ll post my top college football picks by Monday and provide an update before each game — you can check out all of my college football Week 5 picks here. Let’s dig into today’s Florida-Kentucky odds as we make our predictions and pick the best college football Week 5 bet! If you’re a Kentucky resident, you can get your first bet back up to $1,500 — or $200 in bonus bets — when you sign up for BetMGM!
Florida-Kentucky Pick & Betting Prediction | College Football Week 5
Florida-Kentucky Betting Odds (Kentucky Sports Promo Codes)
Florida-Kentucky Pick & Prediction
The No. 22 Florida Gators will visit the unranked Kentucky Wildcats. They’re road underdogs despite their ranking, and Kentucky is a narrow 2.5-point favorite. Both teams are 1-0 in SEC play. Although the Gators have faced a much tougher schedule, I still expect the Wildcats to come away with the win. Kentucky enters Week 5 ranked eighth in yards per play (7.2), far ahead of 61st-ranked Florida (5.5), and second in yards allowed per play (3.9), far ahead of 38th-ranked Florida (5).
Both teams are starting new transfer quarterbacks. The Gators plucked Graham Mertz from Wisconsin. He currently ranks 29th in both passing efficiency (163.5) and yards per pass attempt (9). The Wildcats got Devin Leary from NC State, and he ranks a slightly worse 44th in passing efficiency (147.8) and 39th in yards per pass attempt (8.6). However, Leary is performing just slightly above his career average in the metric (140) while Mertz is vastly outperforming his average (132.2), which suggests some regression is in order.
The Gators just wrapped up a three-game homestand that saw them beat FCS McNeese State, Tennessee and Charlotte. The first two wins were impressive, but Florida scored only 22 points against Charlotte after the offense had to settle for five field goal attempts against a defense that ranks 126th in yards allowed per play (7.2). The Gators went a disastrous 1-for-9 on third down, bringing them to 126th (25%) in third-down conversion rate on the year. Meanwhile, the Wildcats rank an efficient 14th (50%).
After a disappointing 2022 season, Kentucky brought back offensive coordinator Liam Coen, and he should lead them to another SEC win on Saturday. The Coen-led Wildcats scored a win over the Gators in Lexington back in 2021. Kentucky’s offense ended that season ranked 14th in yards per play (6.3) and 16th in the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), largely because of an elite ground game that ranked 11th in yards per rush attempt (5.6). Kentucky lost star rusher Chris Rodriguez in the offseason but replaced him with Vanderbilt transfer Re’Mahn Davis, who scorched Florida for 131 yards from scrimmage on 4.3 yards per touch in Nashville last year.
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The Florida-Kentucky odds have moved against the Wildcats since the early week column went live, which I suspect is because of public steaming. Pregame reports that 72% of the handle has come in on Kentucky — and on only 47% of the tickets — so the early sharp money is on the Wildcats. Look for this number to shift back toward the opening number as kickoff approaches. The FEI has this one as a pick’em, but Parker Fleming’s model gives Kentucky a 72.6% chance of winning, and I’m comfortable buying the Cats at any number shorter than 60%.
The best price at the public books currently is the -115 (53.5%) at BetMGM. If you’re a Kentucky resident, you can get your first bet back up to $1,500 — or $200 in bonus bets — when you sign up for BetMGM! Oh, and new users at DraftKings can score $200 in bonus bets just by signing up — but all users in Kentucky can double their money if the Wildcats score a single point in Saturday’s game!
Florida-Kentucky Week 5 Pick: Kentucky ML -115 at BetMGM
OddsShopper College Football Tools & Tips
Looking for more 2023 college football predictions? OddsShopper’s experts are here to break down this college football season — make sure to check out the rest of our college football articles, including our best bets for Week 5. If you still need more picks, our market-based betting model might just be for you — you can even try it out now!