Mississippi State vs. Kentucky: NCAAF Week 7 Betting Preview

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JuTahn McClain #17 of the Kentucky Wildcats runs with the ball while being chased by David Spaulding #29 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. Dylan Buell/Getty Images/AFP.

The Mississippi State Bulldogs keep winning, but the Kentucky Wildcats belong in your Week 7 college football picks.

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Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats

Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 07:30 PM EDT at Kroger Field

The Mississippi State Bulldogs did it to us again. We nailed two of our three Top NCAAF Picks for Week 6 here at the ranch, but our analytic models wanted us to fade the Bulldogs as 8-point home faves against the Arkansas Razorbacks. Final score: Arkansas 17, Mississippi State 40.

Naturally, top-rated sportsbooks want us to do the same thing this Saturday when the No. 16 Bulldogs (5-1 SU, 4-1-1 ATS) visit the No. 22 Kentucky Wildcats (4-2 SU and ATS).

It seems the sharps agree; the early BMR consensus reports show 100% support for Kentucky, even as the ‘Cats have moved from +5.5 to +7 on the college football odds board at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review). We’ll keep plucking that chicken, although Mississippi State haven’t disappointed the chalkeaters this year.

We’re going to stick with the point spread instead of recommending Kentucky as +220 home dogs on the moneyline at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review). That magic number 7 is just too good to pass up. Never mind that 46-point total, either. Our models don’t like either side of that over/under.

Who’s in Charge Here?

Before I proceed, a quick word about said models, since they’ve been performing so well, mostly at the NFL level, but we’ve been doing all right with our college football picks.

This isn’t big money we’re spending here, just a nominal monthly subscription fee. We can’t divulge who provided these models, but chances are you’re familiar with them. And we’re not citing their exact probabilities, since we don’t want to mishandle their proprietary information.

This is a small step up from using the free projections provided by Jeff Sagarin at The USA Today, or by Nate Silver’s crew at FiveThirtyEight.

Having said that, FiveThirtyEight do like the Bulldogs to win 56% of the time, for a fair moneyline of -127 using the delightful BMR Odds Converter; that’s the rough equivalent of MSU -2 according to Wizard of Odds. And Sagarin projects Mississippi State to win Saturday’s matchup by 4.59 points using his “Rating” formula.

How Hot Is Mississippi State Right Now?

Scorchio. The Bulldogs have won three straight at 2-0-1 ATS, and they won those games handily. Sagarin’s projected margin of victory for Saturday’s contest bumps up to 8.51 points using his “Recent” formula, which, as you may have already guessed, puts more weight on recent results.

There’s always a line in the sand to draw when you bet on sports: How far back in time do you go to collect data? Larger sample sizes are good, but the data gets noisier the older it is.

We’re not sure how our models are weighted, by the way. But we aren’t following them blindly; adjustments can and should be made where appropriate. For example, we’re going to recommend a smaller bet size here to account for the sizzling Bulldogs.

They may have been worth somewhere around 1.5 units according to our models, but we suggest you make it a classic one-unit bet instead, for your own protection.

Is Kentucky Any Good?

Well, they are coming off back-to-back losses to Ole Miss (covering as 6.5-point road dogs) and South Carolina (who were +4 away), so all the more reason to downsize your bets.

This is no longer a basketball-only school, though. Kentucky have one of the better defenses in college football, and the better defense in this matchup. The Wildcats' offense could use some help. Their O-line is shaky, and QB Will Levis hurt his throwing hand a little in that loss to Ole Miss.

There’s no question, the Bulldogs have the advantage here with QB Will Rogers putting up big numbers for head coach Mike Leach and his infamous Air Raid offense. You can see where Kentucky get their betting value.

Offense, The Main Bet

Casual fans put too much weight on offense; they’re less likely to appreciate what Mark Stoops (a former defensive back at Iowa) has done with the ‘Cats defense since donning the headset in 2013.

You have to like the opportunity to grab Kentucky with the full seven points. Will they make it to +7.5 before kick-off? Maybe, but it’s up to you if you want to take that gamble. We’ll lock them in at +7, thank you kindly, and may the prolate spheroid be with you.

NCAAF Pick: Kentucky +7 (-105) at Bookmaker

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Kentucky +7 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.