Louisville vs Kentucky Odds: 2023 Kentucky Governor’s Cup

Fact Checked by Shannon Lane

Key Takeaways:

  • 📅 The Louisville vs Kentucky game kickoff is scheduled for 12 p.m. ET on Nov. 25 in Louisville.
  • 📊 Louisville is favored to beat Kentucky by 7 points.
  • 💪 Kentucky has won four straight games in the series.
Louisville vs Kentucky

When Kentucky plays Louisville, stakes are high—the winner earns bragging rights, and a three-foot-tall trophy called the Governor’s Cup. With Kentucky sports betting now legal, the focus on this Bluegrass State showdown becomes bigger than ever before.

Louisville vs Kentucky Odds: Who Is Favored To Win?

Louisville is currently favored to win at DraftKings Sportsbook Kentucky. The point spread for the Governor’s Cup between Kentucky and Louisville has the Cardinals as 7-point favorites. All indications point to a single-digit spread holding steady until kickoff.

🏈 Spread:UK +7, UL -7
📊 Total:50.5
💰 Moneyline:UL -285, UK +230
✅ Last Verified:April 22, 2024

A single-digit spread for the Governor’s Cup indicates that sportsbooks expect a close game. The favorite would have to win by more points than the spread to cover, while the underdog would need to lose by fewer points than the spread (or win outright).

Kentucky betting apps also set a total projecting the combined number of points to be scored at 50.5, and bettors can wager on whether the final tally will fall over or under that figure.

The betting favorite will have a negative moneyline value (such as -330), meaning bettors have to wager that much to win $100; the underdog will carry a plus moneyline value (like +220), meaning bettors can win that much with every $100 bet.

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Louisville Cardinals’ Chances To Win vs Kentucky Wildcats

The 2023 Governor’s Cup will present a clash of opposites: Louisville likes to get up and down the field behind a potent passing offense, while Kentucky likes to establish the ground game and win with defense. What shapes up as a close game could come down to which team makes fewer mistakes.

How The Louisville Cardinals Win vs The Wildcats

Head coach Jeff Brohm has transformed an offense that by midseason was averaging over 36 points and 285 passing yards per game. The aerial attack led by quarterback Jack Plummer is complemented by a ground game that gives Louisville a potent 1-2 punch. 

Kentucky has proven vulnerable to explosive passing offenses, and the Cardinals win the game by getting the ball to playmakers and doing what they do best.

  • 📈 Strength: Louisville's offense is capable of winning either a low-scoring grinder or a shootout
  • 📉 Weakness: The Cardinals can be mistake-prone, and their offense isn’t built to milk the clock and keep Kentucky off the field

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Kentucky Wildcats’ Chances To Win vs Louisville Cardinals

There are no surprises when it comes to Kentucky coach Mark Stoops, who believes in defense and the running game.

How The Kentucky Wildcats Win vs The Cardinals

The Wildcats’ offense centers on running back Ray Davis, who by midseason led the SEC in rushing touchdowns and yards per game. The problem for Kentucky is on defense, and an inability to stop potent offenses like those it faced in Missouri and Georgia. The Wildcats beat Louisville by shoring up their defensive secondary and running the ball effectively enough to shorten the game.   

  • 📈 Strength: Kentucky's running game is one of the best in the nation, and can grind out yards against less physical opponents
  • 📉 Weakness: The Wildcats' defense has proven particularly vulnerable against opponents with elite passing attacks
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Louisville Cardinals vs Kentucky Wildcats Betting Odds

While odds for the Governor’s Cup won’t be released until the Sunday before the game at the earliest, indications point to the Cardinals opening as a slight home favorite. Check back for Kentucky-Louisville odds once they’re released.

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Governor’s Cup Odds: What The Spread Tells Us

Kentucky and Louisville have both been inconsistent against the spread, an at midseason trends were difficult to identify. The Cardinals upset Notre Dame at home as a 6.5-point underdog one week, and then lost at two-win Pittsburgh as a 7-point favorite the next. The Wildcats crushed Florida at home as a 1-point favorite, and two weeks later were blown out by 1.5-point underdog Missouri. The common thread is that both teams have played lots of games involving single-digit spreads.

Governor’s Cup Odds: What The Moneyline Tells Us

Louisville and Kentucky have played most of their games as favorites, diluting their value as a moneyline option. An exception for the Cards came against Notre Dame, when Louisville as a +195 underdog won outright to pay $195 for each $100 wager. Should the Cards be the odds favorite in the Governor’s Cup, Kentucky would offer superior moneyline value playing as an underdog on the road.

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Louisville Kentucky Prop Bets

Prop options for the Governor’s Cup begin with a rushing total on Ray Davis, who at midseason was averaging 111 yards per game. Also look for totals on passing yards and passing touchdowns by Jack Plummer, as well as rushing totals for Louisville running back Jawhar Jordan. Sports bettors should also consider anytime touchdown scoring props on Davis, Jordan, and Cardinals receiver Jamari Thrash.

📲 MORE: Best College Football Betting Apps for Louisville vs Kentucky

Howard Schnellenberger Award Favorites

Since 2010, the Howard Schnellenberger Award has been presented to the most valuable player in the Governor's Cup. It’s named for Schnellenberger, a former Kentucky assistant and Louisville head coach. Top candidates to win the award in 2023 include Ray Davis, Jack Plummer, Jawhar Jordan, Jamari Thrash, Kentucky quarterback Devin Leary and Cardinals defensive back Cam’Ron Kelly.

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History of The Governor’s Cup

The Governor’s Cup dates back to the first football meeting between Kentucky and Louisville in 1912, when the Wildcats won 41-0. After Kentucky won the first six games by a combined score of 210-0, the series was paused until Howard Schnellenberger helped revive it in 1994. Today the game features the only two major-conference football programs in Kentucky, and in the modern era Louisville holds a 15-13 edge in the series.

🏈 MORE: Louisville Bowl Projections for 2023-24

Louisville Record vs Kentucky

The modern incarnation of the Governor’s Cup has been a streaky affair. Kentucky has won the last four, but before that Louisville won six out of seven, and prior to that the Wildcats and Cardinals traded four-game winning streaks.

The longest winning streak by either team is five games, recorded by Louisville from 2011 through 2015 when the Cardinals were led by NFL-bound quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Lamar Jackson. The rivalry's biggest upset came in 2007, when a ninth-ranked Cardinals team featuring future NFL players Anthony Allen and Harry Douglas lost 40-34 to the Wildcats in Lexington.

Kentucky’s current streak of four wins, all been by double digits, ties its longest in the modern history of the series. That stretch includes a 56-10 victory by Kentucky at Louisville in 2018, a 46-point winning margin that’s the largest by any team since the series was resumed in 1994.

🏆 MORE: College Football Playoff Odds

How To Watch Louisville vs Kentucky

You can watch Louisville vs Kentucky on ABC on TV and online on ESPN.com or with the ESPN app. Kickoff is at 12 p.m. ET.

📲 MORE: Kentucky Sportsbook Apps

Louisville vs Kentucky Predictions

Kentucky is designed to run the ball and stop the run, and can do that as well as any team in the country. But with its explosive offense and playmakers all over the field, Louisville fits the mold of the kind of team that gives the Wildcats trouble. The Cardinals’ defense is also better than it gets credit for, so expect Louisville to pull away late and win 31-21 to snap its four-game skid in the series.

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Author

Veteran sports journalist David Caraviello has covered college football, college basketball, motorsports and golf, covering all three US golf majors, the Daytona 500, SEC football and more. He has reported from every SEC football stadium during his career.

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