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Gator Bowl Betting Preview: Clemson Tigers vs. Kentucky Wildcats

December 29, 2023


The 22nd-ranked Clemson Tigers will play the Kentucky Wildcats in Jacksonville, Florida at EverBank Stadium in the 2023 Gator Bowl with the game scheduled for 12:00 PM ET on Friday afternoon and will air on ESPN.

 

Clemson enters this game ranked 22nd in the College Football Playoff rankings with a record of 8-4 and is on a four-game winning streak following a 16-7 win on the road against the South Carolina Gamecocks in their season finale. The defense for the Tigers was one of the best scoring defenses in college football as they enter this game allowing an average of 19.92 points per game which ranks 24th in college football.

 

Clemson was one of the better-rushing teams in college football as they enter this game averaging 180.25 rushing yards per game while also being an above-average scoring team as they enter this game averaging 29.17 points per game. Phil Mafah and Will Shipley played pivotal roles in the success of the rushing offense as they combined for 1,692 rushing yards and 14 touchdowns. The Clemson Tigers will look to extend their winning streak to five games when they face the Kentucky Wildcats.

 

The Kentucky Wildcats finished the regular season with a record of 7-5 which led to a 4th place finish in the East Division of the SEC, however, the Wildcats lost five of their final seven games to end the regular season, however, they defeated the Louisville Cardinals by a score of 38-31 in the regular season finale.

 

Kentucky was an above-average scoring team as they enter this game averaging 29.17 points per game, however, they were a below-average rushing and passing team as they averaged 130.92 rushing yards and 211.17 passing yards per game this season. Kentucky also had an above-average scoring defense as they enter this game allowing an average of 24.83 points per game. The Kentucky Wildcats will look to build off the momentum following the win against the Louisville Cardinals when they play the Clemson Tigers in the 2023 Gator Bowl.

 

BookMaker has the Clemson Tigers listed as 5-point favorites against the Kentucky Wildcats in the 2023 Gator Bowl on Friday afternoon. The teams are 1-1 and 1-1 ATS all-time in the series with the most recent game having occurred in the 2009 college football season and resulting in a 21-13 win for the Clemson Tigers while covering the 6.5-point spread as a favorite.

 

The Clemson Tigers are 6-6 ATS overall and 5-5 ATS as a favorite this season while the Kentucky Wildcats are 6-6 ATS as a favorite and 1-4 ATS as an underdog on the year.

 

Clemson enters this game with a better record and enters this game on a four-game winning streak while Kentucky has lost five of their last seven matchups. The Wildcats have also been one of the worst teams at covering the spread as an underdog this season as they are 1-4 ATS as an underdog.

 

Clemson is going to struggle with their secondary and even though Kentucky does not have a strong passing game it will be the difference in the game.  Take the points

 

Spooky Express Pick: Kentucky Wildcats +5