4. Hendon Hooker under 40.5 rushing yards (-114 on FanDuel)
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change
He’s gone over 50 rushing yards in every SEC game this year, so it would seem a bit odd to suggest that Hendon Hooker won’t do it against Kentucky. However, this isn’t to say Hooker won’t have an elite and highly efficient performance in this game. Torching Kentucky with his legs, though, isn’t how he’ll go about doing it.
Kentucky is probably the team most committed in the SEC to keeping the quarterback from running the ball. They play containment and force quarterbacks to beat them through the air, trusting their elite secondary to then come through and make the necessary plays.
As a result, Tennessee football will need Hooker to beat them from the pocket. With Cedric Tillman back, that should be very possible, but it’s the type of game that’ll test what Hooker can do against an elite secondary. One thing that’ll help is UK won’t sack him a lot, as they aren’t good at getting to the quarterback.
Again, though, that’s by design. Their commitment is to not letting the quarterback beat them running the ball. Only Jaxson Dart of the Ole Miss Rebels hit the 40-yard mark. He was right at it, and he has more rushing yards than Hooker on the year. Even Anthony Richardson of the Florida Gators only had four yards, so Hooker won’t hit it.