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2021 Gator Bowl Betting: NC State vs. Kentucky Predictions & Expert Picks

2021 Gator Bowl Betting: NC State vs. Kentucky Odds and Picks
  • by Anthony Carpenter
  • December 31st, 2020
  • Category:

Betting sites favor Kentucky by 2.5 points over NC State when the Wildcats and the Wolfpack play in the 2021 Gator Bowl.

Kentucky vs. NC State NCAAF Odds by CashBet.ag

Kentucky-2½ (-110)50½ (-110)-135
NC State+2½ (-110)50½ (-110)+115
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Betting Kentucky Wildcats

The Cats are slight favorites at the best online sportsbooks. “It’s been a very trying year for all of us and our team is ready to move forward with a fifth straight bowl game,” Mark Stoops said. He is the first Kentucky head coach to lead the program to five bowl appearances in a row. Despite holding half as many wins as NCSU, Kentucky is listed as betting sites’ early faves.

Four of Kentucky’s losses were to nationally ranked schools. Both teams finished their regular seasons with wins on December 5. NC State topped Georgia Tech; Kentucky bested South Carolina. “We’re at 100 percent so the guys are all back and out there practicing and working hard and having some fun,” Stoops said of early bowl preparations. “The energy is high,” Kentucky defensive end Josh Paschal said. “We’re just ready to get to the bowl game and get ready to play.”

Kentucky lost to Georgia Tech four years ago in its single Gator Bowl appearance. “We hope to play better this go around,” Stoops said. The Wildcats beat Virginia Tech in last year’s Belk Bowl. In Charlotte, N.C.

Kentucky is 2-4 SU in their last six games. 2-4 SU in their last six games played on a Saturday. 15-4 SU in their last 19 games when playing as the favorite. And 10-2 ATS in their last 12 games played on a Saturday when playing at home.

Betting NCSU Wolfpack

“We’ve invested a lot to this point,” NC State head coach Dave Doeren said. His team’s late-season rally resulted in a national ranking. “It’s the last time this group will get to play together, and we wanted to have one more ride.”

NC State finished 2-3 against nationally-ranked opponents. The Wolfpack didn’t play Atlantic Coast Conference championship game participants, Clemson or Notre Dame. The Wolfpack finished the regular season with four straight wins. That is the team’s best streak to close a regular season since 2008.

NC State’s most recent bowl appearance came two years ago in the Gator Bowl. They were blown out by Texas A&M. The Wolfpack is 1-3 all-time in the Gator Bowl. “We’re a different team this year,” NC State safety Tyler Baker-Williams said. He remarked that he wasn’t happy with the team sitting out the 2019 postseason.

“We have a bigger chip on our shoulder. We’re just ready to show out.”
Although they played 10 conference games, as opposed to the usual eight, NC State established a school record, winning seven ACC games. In 2019, it was 1-7 in conference play.

“I think the record speaks for itself on what we accomplished this year and the way we accomplished it,” Doeren said. Linebacker Payton Wilson leads the ACC with 10.8 tackles per game. Wilson and defensive lineman Alim McNeill are All-ACC first-team selections. Kentucky’s only All-SEC first-team selection was senior center Drake Jackson.

North Carolina State is 6-3 ATS in their last nine games. 4-1 SU in their last five games. 7-2 SU in their last nine games this season. 7-1 SU in their last eight games played on a Saturday. And 2-7 ATS in their last nine games played on a Saturday on the road.

Kentucky vs. NC State NCAAF Pick

The Kentucky-NC State series is tied 1-1. NC State won in 1909 at home and Kentucky won in 1970 at home. According to betting sites, North Carolina State will win and cover the spread. The total will go over.