Kentucky Wildcats 2023 Win Total


Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops

Oct 29, 2022; Knoxville, Tennessee, USA; Kentucky Wildcats head coach Mark Stoops reacts during the first half against the Tennessee Volunteers at Neyland Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

  • Kentucky looks to take a step forward after underperforming in 2022, when injuries and a suspension hampered key offensive contributors
  • The Wildcats’ over/under win total for the 2023 season opened at 6.5
  • Read below for Kentucky football analysis and win total prediction

Kentucky began the 2022 season 4-0 and reached No. 7 in the AP Top 25 before losing six of its last nine games, the finale a 21-0 blanking by Iowa in the Music City Bowl. The Wildcats look to bounce back while replacing quarterback Will Levis and halfback Chris Rodriguez, both NFL draftees.

North Carolina State transfer quarterback Devin Leary and Vanderbilt transfer running back Re’Mahn Davis should provide ample reinforcements for the offense, which also used the transfer portal to revamp an offensive line that gave up 47 sacks a year ago. The Wildcats have made seven straight bowl appearances.

The table below displays Kentucky’s college football win total for the 2023-24 season.

Kentucky 2023 Win Total

Team Total Over Odds Under Odds
Kentucky Wildcats 6.5 -176 +142

The Wildcats have a 63.8 percent implied probability to exceed their listed win total of 6.5 based on the -176 line on the over. The Wildcats have won at least seven games in four of the last five seasons.


Odds from FanDuel Sportsbook on Aug. 4. With Kentucky sports betting launching in September, bettors in the Bluegrass State should check out FanDuel Kentucky. 

The King Is Dead. Long Live the King

Former Penn State transfer Will Levis won 17 games for Mark Stoops in the last two seasons and passed for 5,232 yards and 43 touchdowns, but a toe injury compromised his 2022 season and his penchant for throwing into traffic (23 picks the last two years) hurt him in the NFL draft, when he was taken in the second round (33rd pick overall) after being projected to be a high first-rounder.

Stoops will look to NC State transfer Devin Leary to fill that spot, and Leary’s track record indicates he can more than handle the job. Leary was healthy in spring practice after suffering a season-ending pectoral muscle injury in the third quarter of a 19-17 victory over Florida State last Oct. 8 that limited him to six games.

A pocket passer, Leary wins with accuracy. He completed 65.7 percent of his passes for 3,433 yards with 35 touchdowns against five interceptions in 2021 to help the Wolfpack to a 9-3 record. The offensive line redo plus the addition of Vandy transfer Davis, a 5’10, 216-pounder who rushed for 1,042 yards a year ago, will help an offense that was last in the SEC in points (22.1) and yards (336.3) per game. Liam Coen returns as offensive coordinator after one year with the Los Angeles Rams.

Schedule Made for a Strong Start

A 5-0 start is certainly doable. The Wildcats will be favored in their first five — the first three at home against Mid-American bottom-feeders Ball State and Akron around a date with Eastern Kentucky, which treats this as a rivalry game but does not have the weapons to compete. Kentucky opens SEC play at Vanderbilt and at home to Florida, and the former provides an opportunity for revenge after Vandy won 24-21 at Lexington a year ago.

The Wildcats meet Georgia, Mississippi State, South Carolina and Louisville on road and are at home to Missouri, Tennessee and Alabama. Kentucky has the 11th-most difficult schedule based on opponents’ 2022 records (93-61), but that is based on the past, not the present. Every road game other than in Athens is winnable. The Wildcats lost to South Carolina without Levis a year ago, and that is another revenge play.

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Defense Steps Up

Kentucky has ranked in the top five in NCAA Division I in total defense in four of the last five seasons and returns freshman All-American Deone Waker, a 348-pound load tackle.

Outside linebacker J.J. Weaver opted to stay in school after considering the NFL draft. It would help if they can ease the pressure on a secondary that is expected to include two new starting cornerbacks.

Kentucky 2023 Win Total Prediction

The Wildcats won seven games a year ago with a sometimes-hobbled Levis, a running back (Rodriguez) who missed four games while under suspension for an off-field incident and an offensive line that gave up 47 sacks, third-most in Division I. Those areas have been addressed, and while Leary may not have projectiles that NFL scouts look for, he fits well in the college game with his strike-throwing ability.

Coen had a high-powered offense here in 2021, and his return cannot hurt. Stoops relishes the underdog role, and he is in his element this season after all the hype surrounding Levis a year ago. Take the over on Kentucky’s win total in the CFB win totals.

Pick: Kentucky Over 6.5 Wins (-176)


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Jack Magruder

Sports Writer


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