Last week's Halloween games were highly anticipated, but ended up being blowouts in most cases. Our scoreboard, however, got just a little bit tighter at the same time. We'll get only four games to watch in week 7, but the slate is highlighted by a top 10 matchup in Jacksonville between Georgia and Florida. The other three games are relatively pretty unanticipated matchups, but any SEC affair will have most football fans glued to the television regardless.
Last week was an unsatisfactory 2-4 week as we just missed on a few bets. All of the bizarre byes and extra time certainly made it harder to decipher which bets had good value, but I believe I’m improving on analyzing these games as the season progresses. That said, we now sit at a disappointing 19-14 on the year… The great thing about disappointments though is the bounce-back the following week. We’re looking for our first board sweep in another week where we just have four games being played.
#8 Florida at #5 Georgia (UGA -3.5, O/U 52.5)
Last Week’s Recap: Florida came off the COVID break with a dominating 41-17 victory over Missouri while it’s rumored Kentucky is still trying to score a touchdown against Georgia to this day (Georgia won 14-3).
I originally leaned the over in this game, but this rivalry has seen just 41.4 points per game (PPG) in the last five contests and 44.3 PPG in the last 10. It seems like this one certainly has a chance to reach 53 points, but in Jacksonville (where the game will be played) there’s supposed to be chances of showers and guaranteed high winds from Friday morning through next Tuesday. Here’s the thing about Georgia’s offense: Bennett can’t see over relatively tall defensive fronts and they’ve been unable to this point to find a way around this to score substantial points. Florida’s defense isn’t as talented or consistent as last year’s team, but they’re improving. Additionally, allow me to list to you the heights of some of their front seven on defense. Cox: 6’3, Moon: 6’5, Bogle: 6’4, Carter: 6’4, Elam: 6’2, Diabete: 6’3, and last but not least, Slayton: 6’5… You get my point.
I think Dan Mullen, regardless of what you think about him, always has his team ready to fight (erm, I mean play) against anybody. Georgia is coming off an ugly 14-3 win against Kentucky. If Georgia had better, more consistent QB play I’d be all over them, but as it is now, I can’t trust them to score points against the upper tier teams. I think Florida scores enough in this game to get the cover and potentially the win.
Even though I hate both these teams I’ll be looking forward to this matchup on Saturday. Florida +3.5. My bold prediction for Saturday is a Florida victory, 28-24.
Vanderbilt at Mississippi State (MSU -19.0, O/U 46.5)
Last Week’s Recap: Vanderbilt lost 54-21 against Ole Miss, while State got whipped 41-0 in Tuscaloosa.
If your book provides team total lines, Vanderbilt under 13.5 might be the best play available. And if you aren’t comfortable with that then buy the half point to 14 for a guaranteed push at worst, because there’s almost no way Vanderbilt gets there. However, since we’re only betting normal lines, I’ll settle for the under 46.5 in this matchup.
Vanderbilt has still yet to carry for more than 3.6 yards per carry (YPC) in a single game this year. Mississippi State, meanwhile, is giving up just 3.4 YPC for the year. Vanderbilt will find themselves in third and long situations all game, so the real question is whether or not you trust them to convert on those enough times per drive to actually get to the red zone and score. Nope, not happening. Additionally, they only amassed 21 points against the worst defense in the conference and I don’t believe they’ll even reach 10 points this weekend.
Conversely, Mississippi State has seen players leaving like wildfire so I don’t believe they’ll be too motivated to go out and stomp on a lesser team this week. They should definitely still win, but they’d need to accumulate 37 of their own points to hit the over in this matchup and that’s highly improbable. Vanderbilt’s defense is not good, but in State’s last four matchups combined they haven’t reached 37 points and I don’t see it happening this week either. Their offense is only as good as their quarterback, and unfortunately for them, their quarterbacks have certainly combined for the worst outputs this season.
Luckily for us, the Commodores only have one defensive interception on the year, and they don’t apply pressure to opposing teams’ quarterbacks often. Which means we shouldn’t see many interceptions or pick sixes thrown by the Bulldogs here. Under 46.5 is the play.
#7 Texas A&M at South Carolina (A&M -10.0, O/U 59.0)
Last Week’s Recap: A&M won a high scoring contest against Arkansas, 42-31. South Carolina heads into this matchup off a bye.
Okay, South Carolina will be off a bye in a chance to regroup and figure out what went wrong against LSU. They made it seem like LSU’s freshman QB in his first was a Heisman contender and allowed LSU their best rushing day by far on the season. That provides great trouble against one of the best rushing offenses in the SEC and a Kellen Mond led passing attack that’s looked stellar in their last three outings.
On the other hand, Collin Hill is averaging just 6.9 yards per throw with just five touchdowns and three picks on the year. They’re also averaging just 3.7 yards per carry against teams not named Vanderbilt, so I’d expect A&M to do a well-enough job to slow the South Carolina offense down and make them earn their points.
I believe this is a highly probable win and cover for A&M regardless of the extra rest for South Carolina. I could be wrong, but it feels like a game where the Aggies might dominate South Carolina to keep themselves rolling and building their resume. A&M -10 is the play here.
Tennessee at Arkansas (TEN -2.0, O/U 52.5)
Last Week’s Recap: Tennessee lost to- oh wait, no, they didn’t lose! They had a bye week. Arkansas lost 42-31 against A&M where they played decently but never had a shot to win.
Jarrett Guarantano has been said to be the starting quarterback for Tennessee. Arkansas +2, next…
Although Tennessee will be coming off a bye this week, they took a few days off as well as had to allow some players to take off due to COVID tracing. Also, they’re still starting Guarantano. I’d be willing to wager a large sum of money that for a poll of Tennessee fans, 98% or more would say they’d rather see a different quarterback this week.
Arkansas has covered in every game this year and I believe that will continue, as they’ve also excelled coming off losses. I’m not even worried about the Razorbacks’ piss poor pass defense last week, because the holes in the secondary wouldn’t even be taken advantage of this week. Feleipe Franks, meanwhile, has played surprisingly decent to this point averaging 7.5 yards per attempt (YPA) and surpassing the 200-yard passing mark in every outing so far. I’m not expecting many gamebreaking plays in this contest which gives Arkansas another edge as they’re able to keep drives alive semi-respectfully whereas Tennessee is almost dead last in the nation in third down conversions. If Tennessee wants to win this game, they’d run the ball every single play to wear out Arkansas’ defense while actually moving the ball. But they won’t.
Arkansas moves to 6-0 against the spread and gets the win at home in a contest that I’d predict to be close and relatively low scoring.
Written by Nick Swatson and Alex Hill