Kentucky Longshot for 2024 Title, But Do Cats Have Playoff Path?

Kentucky Longshot for 2024 Title, But Do Cats Have Playoff Path?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

The road to a national title in college football has always been daunting for Kentucky, and unfortunately for the Wildcats, it looks to get rockier from this point forward.

With Texas and Oklahoma joining the SEC this fall, UK now must contend with two more traditional powers on top of the likes of Georgia, Alabama and LSU. How difficult has it been for Kentucky? Well, the Cats are one of three teams that have been in the conference since the SEC established divisions and a championship game in 1992 and not played for a title. Ole Miss and Vanderbilt are the others. Texas A&M also has yet to reach Atlanta, but the Aggies didn’t become a member until 2012.

Considering Kentucky’s 2024 SEC schedule includes games against Georgia, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas — all teams that will likely be highly ranked and high in Kentucky sports betting circles — it does not appear the upcoming season will be the one for UK to end the drought.

That’s not to say, though, that the program hasn’t improved. Coach Mark Stoops has made UK more competitive since taking over a decade ago. The past eight campaigns have ended with bowl appearances, and the Wildcats have knocked off at least one ranked opponent in seven of the past nine seasons.

College football title odds for the 2024 season are already available at most Kentucky betting apps operators, and Kentucky finds itself looking up to most of its SEC rivals on the futures boards.

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Kentucky Preseason Odds History

SeasonPreseason Title Odds
2024+30000
2023+25000
2022+15000
2021+25000
2020+100000
2019+200000
2018+200000
2017+100000
2016+100000
2015+100000

ESPN BET Kentucky lists Georgia as the current national championship favorite at +375. Ohio State is second at +600.

SportsOddsHistory.com only has preseason title odds for UK dating back to 2008, and that’s with no odds posted on the Wildcats between 2010 and 2014. But the work Stoops has put into the program has led to oddsmakers shortening odds some in recent years. They’re still astronomical, but it’s a noticeable change.

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Expanded Conference Could Help UK

Fans across the Bluegrass State hope this fall might be the season UK defies the oddsmakers. Stoops has had some success in the transfer portal to help build the program, and he did it again this past month, landing a top 15 class according to On3.com.

While a 16-team SEC will be harder to win, the new College Football Playoff format at least will increase UK’s chances of making the playoff. No longer will they be eliminated midway through the season. If UK can battle its way into the top four or five in the conference — divisions are going away starting in 2024 — it will likely find itself up for a spot in the 12-team tournament. Since 2018, UK has twice finished in second in the SEC East, so it’s not inconceivable.

Kentucky’s 2024 season starts on Aug. 31 when the Cats host Southern Miss. Big Blue Nation, be sure to bookmark BetKentucky.com today and make it your source for news and analysis on UK sports and the latest Kentucky sportsbook promo codes.

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Author

Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.

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