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Kentucky opens as the favorite against NC State in Gator Bowl

South Carolina vs Kentucky Photo by Mark Cornelison/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Count me among those surprised on Sunday when the early lines were released and Vegas had Kentucky pegged as a three-point favorite against NC State. Seems like the SEC is getting a lot of credit here, doesn’t it? I mean, hey, maybe it’s warranted. Tougher to tell this year.

But the lines have already moved in NC State’s direction in some places and I won’t be surprised if that continues to be the case. And anyway, SP+ likes NC State by four points in this one, and I’ll take that as the best estimate of the matchup at this point.

Kentucky plays solid defense but that offense was pretty lifeless during the regular season, which makes it harder to understand any confidence in the Wildcats: they averaged 5.6 yards per passing attempt and threw only seven TD passes. Maybe they can run the ball well enough to sustain consistent offense in the bowl game, but I dunno, man.