Clemson vs. Kentucky Prediction, Odds, Trends and Key Players for Gator Bowl

College football bowl preview, prediction and best bets for the Gator Bowl between Clemson and Kentucky.

Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) passes against North Carolina during the first quarter of the
Clemson quarterback Cade Klubnik (2) passes against North Carolina during the first quarter of the / Ken Ruinard / staff / USA TODAY NETWORK

Clemson and Kentucky look to end its respective seasons on a high note in the Gator Bowl.

Both teams struggled on offense at times, but will look to lean on their respective defense in order to grab a bowl victory. While there are some opt outs in this game, there will be each teams starting quarterback under center in Clemson's Cade Klubnik and Kentucky's Devin Leary. Who will come out on top?

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Clemson vs. Kentucky Odds, Spread and Total

Kentucky vs. Clemson Betting Trends

  • Kentucky is 6-6 against the spread (ATS) this season
  • Clemson is 6-6 this season ATS
  • Clemson is 7-5 to the UNDER this season
  • Kentucky has gone OVER in eight of 12 games this season
  • Kentucky is 1-4 ATS as an underdog this season

Clemson vs. Kentucky How to Watch

  • Date: Friday, Dec. 29
  • Game Time: 12:00 PM EST
  • Venue: EverBank Stadium
  • How to Watch (TV): ESPN
  • Clemson Record: 8-4
  • Kentucky Record: 7-5

Clemson vs. Kentucky Key Players to Watch


Cade Klubnik: Klubnik has struggled to generate a vertical passing game with Clemson this season, completing 63% of his passes on an average yards per dropback of less than six yards. He has also been loose with the ball. While he has a 17-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio, he only has 11 big time throws to 17 turnover worthy plays, per Pro Football Focus.


Devin Leary: Leary recovered from season-ending shoulder surgery last season, but was far less effective than Big Blue Nation had hoped this season. He averaged only seven yards per pass attempt with a 17-21 BTT to TWP and the Kentucky passing game was poor, 91st in EPA/Pass.

Clemson vs. Kentucky Prediction and Pick

These have been two offenses that have struggled amidst lofty expectations, and I think we see each offense struggle yet again.

It's worth noting that Clemson's defense will be short-handed, fifth in EPA/Pass, but without safety Andrew Mukuba and future NFL stud cornerback Nate Wiggins. However, Kentucky's inability to stretch the field will leave the team punting the ball often. Leary is outside the top 100 in terms of completion percentage and the offensive line has struggled to get a push all season, outside the top 100 in line yards.

While the Wildcats have a dangerous running back in Ray Davis (1,063 yards on nearly six yards per carry), the Clemson defensive line is elite, eighth in tackles for loss and 35th in yards per carry allowed. Overall, the Tigers are fifth in terms of points per drive allowed, the team is elite at limiting scoring opportunities.

The rub with these two teams all season has been it's shaky passing game, Clemson in particularly is brutal with its nation's worst explosive pass rate, and I think that plays out yet again. I'll take the under in this game as each team plays incredibly conservative and plays in a rock fight style matchup.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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