We have six more games on the schedule this week, so it'll be another nearly full weekend for the second time in a row. You know what that means: it's time to get some more wins and make some more money.
Last week saw us post a 3-3 record in another hard to predict week. That said, we could’ve easily posted a 4-2 week if not for the controversial (although they weren’t really all that contentious) calls against Arkansas. Even through that, we now sit at 27-19 on the year. Let’s sweep the board again this week and take Vegas’ money.
Kentucky at #6 Florida (FLA -25.5, O/U 61.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Florida had a ho-hum 38-17 victory at Vanderbilt. Kentucky got absolutely pummeled 63-3 against Alabama.
Last week, Florida continued the tradition of allowing at least 17 in every outing this year. This is a matchup Florida typically dominates but has only just squeaked by the past few years. In fact, since Kentucky has become a competitive SEC team (the past 3 years), Florida has only won by an average of less than 1 point per game (PPG). Furthermore, while Kentucky hasn’t looked up to par the past few weeks, I’d argue it’s mostly due to unfavorable mismatches (as well as 3 of the past 4 opponents have had at least a week to prepare). Additionally, they’ve allowed just a single 300-yard passer on the year, and we all know how Florida loves to throw. And I’m not saying Florida won’t score decently in this one, just that there’s no way Kentucky gets embarrassed again similarly to last week.
I think this game boils down to recent history and matchups. Since the Wildcats have been able to put out respectable teams, they’ve kept this game close. They’re also first in the SEC in passing defense. And they clearly prefer to run, which could be seen as Florida’s worse defensive aspect. They’ve faced off against three teams who prefer the run game, and those three teams averaged 5.4, 5.7, and 6.5 yards per rush (YPR) against this Florida defense.
This feels like a Florida win, 45-28 or 41-24. Either way, Kentucky should cover the spread. Kentucky +25.5 is the play.
Vanderbilt at Missouri (MIZ -15.5, O/U 51.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Vanderbilt lost at home to Florida, 38-17. Missouri won a hard-fought game against South Carolina, 17-10.
This season, Vanderbilt has clearly been the worst team in the SEC (though teams like UT and SC are seemingly vying for that crown as of late). But what they’ve slowly done is turn around their season on the offensive end. They’ve done this through the progression of their freshman QB, who’s slowly but surely learning to read defenses and make smart decisions and accurate throws. Meanwhile, their defense has been very consistent… Consistently bad. On the other hand, Missouri’s defense has given up almost 40 PPG on weeks where they haven’t had extra time to prepare. This is due to their excellent ample game planning and lack of playmakers on that end.
Missouri will win this game. And though I’m not sure of the score, I am sure of enough points between the two teams to reach the over. Vanderbilt owns one of the worst run defenses in the nation, which will lead to a standout game for running back Larry Rountree and open up the game for Connor Bazelak. Additionally, Missouri will be scoring efficiently enough to allow Ken Seals and company plentiful opportunities to score and get this game total to go over.
In the matchup of two freshman quarterbacks facing off against inconsistent, suspect defenses, I’m a fan of the over. My prediction here is 35-21 in favor of Missouri. But over 51 is the play.
#22 Auburn at #1 Alabama (ALA -24.5, O/U 62.5)
Last Week’s Recap: Auburn beat Tennessee 30-17. Meanwhile, Bama absolutely dominated Kentucky 63-3.
Over 62.5. In their last three meetings, they’ve combined for an average of 68 PPG. Additionally, since the Georgia game, Auburn has scored at least 22 in every outing while Alabama has yet to score under 38 on the year. This game should hit 70. Alabama’s offense is top 5 in the SEC in almost every category, while Auburn’s defense has allowed an average of 30 PPG on the road. There’s also a decent probability I would’ve taken the Auburn spread if not for Saban’s positive COVID test, but there’s not too much to be done about that now.
The Tigers’ defense has also been rather fortunate to this point in the season points wise seeing as they’re giving up over 400 yards per game (YPG) and not allowing a 40-point scorer, but that stops here. They’ve shown to be more than vulnerable at times, especially to decent passing programs. On the other hand, the Tide have faced off against two of the worst offenses in the conference the past two games, leading to a false sense of security on that end of the field for them. They’re still more than capable of being scored against, though, and we should expect Auburn to move the ball relatively well here.
I’m expecting the Saban-less Crimson Tide to be vulnerable at times under Pete Golding, but Steve Sarkisian will be more than able to keep the offense going. Auburn’s offense keeps this game somewhat respectable, but Alabama easily gets the job done. Over 62.5.
Mississippi State at Ole Miss (MISS -9.5, O/U 69.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Mississippi State lost a surprisingly close game to Georgia, 31-24. Ole Miss didn’t play due to COVID.
I’ll just open this up by saying Mississippi -9.5 is the play here. This is a big rivalry game. They have Lane Kiffin as their coach (who will be especially keen on winning this game, big). They have the better athletes. And they’re off a bye. The Rebels defense is one of the worst in the SEC, specifically in the run game. But State rarely runs the ball, and when they do, they’re the worst in the country.
Expect to see the playbooks completely open and unpredictable for both teams here. This is also a contest against some of the more successful third down offenses and defensives going against two of the more abysmal third down offenses and third down defenses. It also seems like the public is riding high on the MSU team who had extra time to prepare for Georgia and gave everything they had defensively.
I don’t think MSU’s offense will be capable of keeping up with Ole Miss’s offense here in a game I’ll be more than looking forward to watching every year while both of these coaches are at these schools. I’m expecting an Ole Miss win by 2-3 touchdowns here.
LSU at #5 Texas A&M (A&M -14.5, O/U 64.0)
Last Week’s Recap: LSU got extremely lucky officiating wise in a 27-24 win over Arkansas. Texas A&M will be off a bye.
Texas A&M -14.5. LSU’s run defense is bad, their pass defense is inconsistent at best, and they’re also on the road. All of those factors coupled with the facts of A&M being at home and off an essential bye gives me more than enough confidence to bet on the Aggies. Oh, and did I mention LSU will still be starting a freshman at QB? Okay, aside from all those subjective opinions/facts in favor of A&M, we have stats to back this one up, too. LSU is still allowing over 10 yards per pass attempt on the season, against 6 teams who do not possess great quarterbacks. Their run defense also doesn’t do well against offenses competent in that area, either. A&M should have their way.
Also, regardless of statistics, A&M is fighting for their first CFP experience and are coming off a bye. They’re going to come out geared and ready to dominate and destroy an LSU defense that’s been more than porous at times this year. A&M has averaged over 5 yards per carry in every outing except for one this year, going against a bottom tier rushing defense in the SEC. Not to mention the Aggies will be led by one of the most experienced and reliable quarterbacks in the conference at home.
I’d buy this down to 14 points and bet up to 1,000,000,000 units here. I could eat my words but I fully expect a blowout win in favor of Texas A&M where I expect them to win by at least three touchdowns. A&M -14.5 is the play.
#9 Georgia at South Carolina (UGA -21.5, O/U 49.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Georgia beat Mississippi State 31-24. South Carolina lost 17-10 to Missouri.
Over 49.5. And there’s honestly a chance Georgia gets to this number on their own. SC is allowing over 34 per game and have been especially susceptible to decent offensive teams. And now that Georgia isn’t starting a fourth string quarterback, they must be considered as probably better than decent. To assist in providing basis in my claim, in J.T. Daniels’ first start, he posted the most yards Mississippi State has allowed all year. Conversely, Georgia is allowing just under 27 PPG in their last five. I’m seeing a push worst case scenario in this matchup.
Coming into the season I was extremely high on Georgia’s defense, but they’ve proven to be very pedestrian in the pass game while being just above average against the run. The Bulldogs have also been surprisingly average in red zone defense, while SC has been proven to be able to score so long as they don’t turn the ball over. I’m expecting Kirby Smart to have this Georgia offense fired up to come out strong against a weaker South Carolina team that upset them last year.
Over 49 in a game where I expect the score to at least reach the mid-50s. J.T. Daniels continues his recent successes and South Carolina does enough to secure us the over. Over 49.
Written by Nick Swatson and Alex Hill