Kentucky Wildcats vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Preview, Prediction, Free Pick, 1-1-2019




Kentucky Wildcats (9-3) vs Penn State Nittany Lions (9-3)

Date : 01/01/2019
Time : 1:00 PM
Location : Camping World Stadium

Pick, Prediction, & Preview:

Kentucky Wildcats vs Penn State Nittany Lions

The Penn State Nittany Lions and Kentucky Wildcats are set to meet in the VRBO Citrus Bowl at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida, the opening kickoff is slated for 1:00 PM. Kentucky is coming off one of their best seasons in program history as they won 9 games and finished 2nd in the SEC East while Penn State had a down year to James Franklin standards as they finished 3rd in the Big Ten East.

Kentucky Wildcats's Latest Performance :

The Kentucky Wildcats were in bowl games the last 2 seasons but this one is a monumental one as they will be playing in a New Years Six Bowl for the 1st time since 1993. The Wildcats were able to end their season on a positive note as they steamrolled their in-state rivals in the Louisville Cardinals 56-10. QB Terry Wilson has elevated this offense to another level this season and he showed why he won the starting job as he threw for 261 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception while also adding in 79 rushing yards and a TD. Wilson enters this bowl game with 1768 yards, 11 TDs, and 8 interceptions while also contributing 518 rushing yards and 4 TDs. The ground game is what truly allows the Kentucky offense to operate as Benny Snell is one of the top backs in the nation. Snell was able to run for 100 yards and 2 TDs against Louisville which pushes the one-time Heisman candidate to 1330 rushing yards and 14 TDs on the season. Backup RB Asim Rose was also able to have a solid outing against Louisville as he ran for 112 yards and a TD. Kentucky has an electric WR in Lynn Bowden and he had a huge game against Louisville with 6 receptions for 86 yards and 2 TDs which gives him 661 yards and 5 TDs on the season. Josh Ali and C.J. Conrad were the other 2 Kentucky pass catchers to record a TD in this game. The Kentucky defense was a huge reason behind their success this season as they kept some of the top SEC teams in check. LB Josh Allen is a potential top 5 pick and he played well against Louisville with 4 tackles and a sack while fellow LB Kash Daniel led the way with 8 tackles.

Penn State Nittany Lions's Latest Performance :

The Penn State Nittany Lions were supposed to contend for the Big Ten championship this season but they struggled to find consistency as they went 6-3 in Big Ten play which put this team at 3rd in the Big Ten East. Penn State was able to end their season off with a bang as they beat a solid Maryland Terrapins team 38-3. QB Trae McSorley has been one of the top dual-threats ever since he came to Penn State and he showed us why he has that label with 3 total TDs against the Terps. McSorley was able to connect on 12 of 22 pass attempts for a total of 230 yards and 1 TD while also adding in 64 rushing yards and 2 TDs. McSorley enters the final game of the season with 2285 yards, 16 TDs, and 6 interceptions while he has contributed 723 rushing yards and 11 TDs. The ground game took a hit when they lost Saquon Barkley to the draft but they may have found their replacement in Miles Sanders. Sanders had a solid outing against Maryland as he was able to run for 128 yards on 14 carries while backup Ricky Slade ran for 64 yards and 2 TDs. Sanders had a big season in his audition in the spotlight as he ran for 1223 yards and 9 TDs.The Nittany Lions only have one WR over 500 yards this season and we saw him have a solid game against Maryland as KJ Hamler had a team-high 90 yards on 3 receptions which pushes his season total to 714 yards and 5 TDs. The Penn State defense has been an underrated group this season and they stepped up against Maryland by keeping them to only 3 points. Kevin Givens had a productive day for the Nittany Lions with 4 tackles and 2 sacks while Cameron Brown and Robert Windsor ha 1 sack apiece.

How Kentucky Wildcats & Penn State Nittany Lions Matchup.

Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:

Kentucky is 5-7 ATS

Penn State is 7-5 ATS

In-Depth Analysis of each team:

Penn State ranks 29th in the nation in team scoring as they score an average of 34.6 PPG while Kentucky ranks 86th as they score an average of 26.6 PPG.

Kentucky ranks 8th in the nation in team defense as they hold opponents to an average of 16.3 PPG while Penn State ranks 20th as they hold opponents to an average of 20 PPG.

Against The Spread Selection: Kentucky Wildcats +6.5

My reason for the pick :

These two teams have a similar identity as they have dual-threat QBs, a deadly ground attack, and great defenses which is why I will take the points in this matchup. Benny Snell is one of the top RBs in the nation and he played well against some of the top defenses in the country this season and I trust him to match that output in this game. Penn State has the better QB in McSorley but he hasn’t been as effective on the ground this season due to a knee injury and I think Josh Allen will eat him up in the backfield. The Kentucky defense is deadly and I think they continue to show why they are one of the top in the nation as they will keep Penn State under 20 points.

Betting trends for Kentucky Wildcats:

  • Kentucky is 3-2 ATS as an underdog this season.

Betting trends for Penn State Nittany Lions:

  • Penn State is 6-2 ATS after a win this season.

Anthony

I am a sports enthusiast and watch every sport from the NFL to the NHL with everything in between. I have followed sports since I was a young kid and have studied deep into statistics for teams, and players. I am always looking for transactions within sports and find in an interest in every game. Playing every sport growing up has led me to understand every game and look for certain trends and stats.