Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky - 9/4/21 College Football Picks and Prediction

Louisiana-Monroe at Kentucky - 9/4/21 College Football Picks and Prediction Photo by Alton Strupp/Courier Journal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Kentucky Wildcats (0-0) vs Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (0-0)

Game Info: Saturday, September 4, 2021 at 12:00 pm (Kroger Field)

Betting Odds: Kentucky Wildcats -27.5 -- Over/Under: 52.5 Click Here for the Latest Odds

The Kentucky Wildcats will host the UL Monroe Warhawks in week one of the NCAA football season. This will be the first time they have faced since 2014, with Kentucky winning their three all-time matchups.

UL Monroe heads into this season with low expectations after going 0-10 in 2020. That could bode well for them as a large portion of their roster has been retained. With minimal pressure and another year of the same core, they have a chance to take a step forward under new coach Terry Bowden. Sophomore QB Colby Suits will look to improve upon a 2020 season that saw him complete 61 percent of his passes for 1,541 yards with eight touchdowns and seven interceptions. Top option Perry Carter Jr. returns for another year, but they will be featuring some new starters on the offensive line. Defensively they are hoping a new scheme will rejuvenate a defense that allowed 42 points per game in 2020.

Kentucky will open the year with a new quarterback, naming Penn State transfer Will Levis the starter. The dual threat threw for 421 yards and rushed for 260 in minimal action during the 2020 season. Top wideout Josh Ali will be returning for another season; he led the team with 54 catches for 473 yards last year. Junior running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. is also back after averaging 6.6 yards per carry totaling 785 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2020. Defensively they lost a few contributors up front, and the secondary must prove they can improve upon a rough 2020. How much their defense can improve will determine how far this team goes in 2021.  

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UL Monroe is 3-7 ATS in their last 10 games, 0-10 on the money line, and the over is 5-5.

Kentucky is 4-5-1 ATS in their last 10 games, 4-6 on the money line, and the under is 6-4.

The Warhawks have very little chance of winning this game, so the question is can they cover. There is no reason to think that they can based on last year’s production. Although they have the potential to take a step forward in a new scheme, it is not realistic to expect that in game one against the Wildcats. Kentucky’s offense has a chance to be one of the best in the FBS and should be able to run the ball consistently against this porous UL Monroe front seven. Take the Wildcats to cover.

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Joe’s Pick Kentucky Wildcats -27.5

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a PickDawgz site consensus.

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