This had all the ingredients to be one of the week’s electric games, the first time both are ranked in a series that dates back to 1915.
Nobody in the country has thrown for more yardage than Mississippi State’s Will Rogers, who has accumulated 2,110 yards through the air.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats’ Will Levis (10.0) is one of only five collegiate hurlers to have averaged double-digit yards per pass attempt. But there are concerns about his left foot, an undisclosed tweak that caused him to miss last week’s game against South Carolina.
So, here’s a look at Mississippi State vs. Kentucky odds and a pick in Week 7 of the NCAAF season.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Betting Lines: Point Spread, Total, Moneyline
Here are live odds from around the betting market for Mississippi State vs. Kentucky at Kroger Field.
NCAAF · Sat (10/15) @ 7:30pm ET
|Kroger Field, Lexington, Kentucky|
No. 16 Mississippi State Bulldogs (5-1, 4-2 Against the Spread)
Rogers, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound sophomore from Brandon, Mississippi (about 100 miles southeast of Starkville on Route 25), is on course to obliterate the Dogs’ passing records.
He has 8,825 career yards through the air, so he’s about two games away from eclipsing Dak Prescott’s school mark of 9,376. Rogers has thrown for 69 touchdowns and with two more, he’ll pass Prescott in that category.
(Dak also ran for an impressive 41 TDs, five shy of QB Nick Fitzgerald’s career standard.)
Rogers has 22 passing TDs this season and only three of his 282 throws have been intercepted. Against his toughest passing defense, at home against Texas A&M, he went 31-for-45 for 329 yards, three TDs, and no picks.
He had six TDs and zero interceptions against Bowling Green, five and one versus Memphis, and four and one at Arizona in Tucson.
In short, he was made for third-year coach Mike Leach’s wide-open Air Raid schemes.
Caleb Ducking has connected with Rogers. A 6-5, 205-pound senior out of the JUCO ranks, Ducking is tied with four others, at fourth nationally, with seven TD receptions.
Five other Bulldogs, however, have also nabbed at least 20 passes from Rogers, so he spreads it around. And two of those are out of the backfield in Dillon Johnson (6-yard average on 67 runs, three TDs) and Jo’quavious Marks (4.7 average on 52 rushes, five TDs).
And receivers Rara Thomas and Simeon Price both average more than 17 yards per catch.
Sophomore cornerback Emmanuel Forbes wears No. 13, a jersey number whoever is calling the signals for Kentucky will want to avoid. Forbes has four interceptions, one off the national leaders. Forbes is everywhere, does everything, and earned second-team all-SEC honors as a rookie as proof of his sterling abilities.
Four of the Dogs’ six games have gone Over, so they’re accustomed to keeping scoreboard operators busy.
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No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats (4-2, 4-2 ATS)
Levis began his career at Penn State, landed at Kentucky last year for his junior campaign and started, throwing for 2,826 yards, 24 TDs, and 13 interceptions. The Wildcats went 10-3, capping the season by beating Iowa in the Citrus Bowl.
He missed last week’s game with that undisclosed left-foot injury, which he had protected by wearing a walking boot, and the Cats lost at home to South Carolina.
However, he told the SEC Network that he’ll be “good” to go for Mississippi State. Coach Mark Stoops, while being conservative in calling Levis “day-to-day,” has him listed at QB1 on this week’s depth chart.
Kaiya Sheron, a 6-3 redshirt freshman, went 15-for-27 for 178 yards, two TDs, and a pick in his collegiate debut against the Gamecocks.
While we admire Levis’s gutsiness, there are too many questions here to count on him not only playing but playing well and excelling against the toughest pass defense — by far — the Wildcats will have faced this season.
The Dogs are top-20 nationally at allowing foes a mere 6.2 yards per pass attempt. Plus, Levis had his worst game last season against Mississippi State, getting three passes picked off and accumulating only 150 aerial yards.
Should Levis play, it’s unlikely he’ll be 100%. And our confidence in Sheron is nil against this pass defense. Tailbacks Kavosiey Smoke and Christopher Rodriguez Jr. combine to average fewer than 100 yards per game.
Mississippi State vs. Kentucky Sports Betting Recommendation & Pick
Kentucky has an above-average pass defense, too, and is playing at home. But none of that helped the Cats last week against South Carolina.
We see Will Rogers and his talented Bulldogs shining in this situation, just as long as this spread doesn’t creep into double digits.
Our Pick: Bulldogs -7 (-110)