Ball State Cardinals vs. Kentucky Wildcats Prediction: Odds, Spread, DFS Picks, and More

    Both Ball State and Kentucky added playmakers in the transfer portal as College Football Network gives its Kentucky vs. Ball State prediction

    The Ball State Cardinals have one of the hardest non-conference schedules in the country, starting with the Kentucky Wildcats and then playing Georgia in Week 2. Conversely, the Wildcats have high expectations and a schedule that sets up nicely in September. We give a breakdown and a full Kentucky vs. Ball State prediction.

    Ball State vs. Kentucky Betting and DFS Preview

    • Spread
      Kentucky (-26.5)
    • Moneyline
      Kentucky (-6500); Ball State (+1200)
    • Over/Under
      49 Total Points
    • Game Time
      12 p.m. ET
    • Location
      Kroger Field, Lexington, KY
    • Predicted Weather at Kick
      81 degrees, clear, 3-5 mph winds
    • How to Watch:
      FuboTV, SEC Network

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    Top DFS and Fantasy Plays

    All values below come from DraftKing’s multi-team entries for the weekend. For each team’s depth chart. Looking to sign up for DraftKings? New customers bet $5 and get $200 in bonus bets instantly.  Click here for more details

    Looking for each team’s depth chart? Click the appropriate link to view.
    Ball State Depth Chart | Kentucky Depth Chart

    • QB Devin Leary, Kentucky ($8,100)
    • QB Layne Hatcher, Ball State ($5,400)
    • RB Marquez Cooper, Ball State ($7,400)
    • RB Ray Davis, Kentucky ($7,100)
    • RB Demie Sumo-Karngbaye, Kentucky ($5,500)
    • RB Jamarion Wilcox, Kentucky ($5,300)
    • RB JuTahn McClain, Kentucky ($4,700)
    • RB La’Vell Wright, Kentucky ($3,700)
    • RB Vaughn Pemberton, Ball State ($1,900)
    • WR Barion Brown, Kentucky ($5,500)
    • WR Dane Key, Kentucky ($5,200)
    • WR Tayvion Robinson, Kentucky ($5,000)
    • WR Dekel Crowdus, Kentucky ($4,900)
    • WR Brady Hunt, Ball State ($3,000)
    • TE Jordan Dingle, Kentucky ($3,400)

    The pricing on DraftKings for this one is quite interesting, listing a few guys who are great values. Devin Leary should have a huge game for the Wildcats, but he is the 12th-most expensive quarterback on the slate at $8,100.

    If you’re considering playing Leary to save some money for a few top guys, it may help pair him with one of his top receivers. Reports out of Lexington are that the sophomore receiving pair of Brown and Key is pretty much uncoverable in camp. Playing one of those guys gives you home run upside, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see one of them have a 125-yard-plus outing.

    Leary brings an element of quarterback play that benefits fellow transfer Ray Davis. Davis caught 29 passes at Vanderbilt, and Leary loves to hit him running backs in space. Davis is the clear No. 1 in Lexington, so he should expect to see at least 15-20 touches in this one, with a few receptions thrown in.

    Marquez Cooper is a high-profile transfer from Kent State, but he’s listed as a co-starter with Vaughn Pemberton. Cooper is probably the guy, but Pemberton should see some playing time if the depth chart is correct. If you’re in a money pinch, Pemberton is an intriguing play, though Cooper is the one that guarantees you the touches and big-play ability.

    Ball State vs. Kentucky Prediction

    The biggest storyline in this one is Devin Leary paired with new offensive coordinator Liam Cohen at NC State. Leary’s Talent was obvious, but it seems like he was often held back by conservative play calling and inconsistent play on the offensive line and at the skill positions. 

    Leary has an excellent young core with which to work at Kentucky, Led by Brown and key at receiver positions and Davis and fellow Wolfpack transfer Sumo-Karngbaye running back.

    Kentucky’s offensive line has to be better than last season, and that’s something to pay attention to in the first few weeks of the season.

    Ball State’s passing game was an issue last season despite the fact that the Cardinals threw the ball at one of the highest rates in the country. The receiving corps isn’t the flashiest, and the Cardinals will likely rely on Cooper to move the ball on the ground this season.

    Kentucky’s defense will be strong as usual, but the (re)addition of Cohen and the influx of transfers on offense should make that side of the ball more dangerous. It may take a few drives to click, but the Wildcats should have some big play threats that can put up points in a hurry.

    The over/under isn’t a good bet here, but a late touchdown or two could send this one over the total. The Wildcats should cover behind strong games from Leary, Davis, and Key.

    Kentucky 41, Ball State 10

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