Week 7 was a pretty good week for our bettors and the race for first place has tightened slightly. We were excited to get a full slate of SEC games this week, but four games have been postponed due to some positive COVID cases. With only three games on the schedule for week 8 now, this is the best chance yet for someone to get our first undefeated betting week of the season.
COVID cancellations give us just three games, with each game seeing big home favorites. The last betting picks installment saw our first board sweep, finishing 4-0 and bringing the total to a satisfactory 23-14 on the year. Hopefully the lightened three game week will provide us again with sharp insights and betting information to potentially capitalize on. I’d also like to take this time to give a shoutout to all the other experts for an overwhelmingly successful week as well as we almost certainly posted our overall cumulative highest one-week percentage to date. With that said, let’s jump in.
Vanderbilt at Kentucky (UK -17.0, O/U 42.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Vanderbilt came their closest on the season yet to beating a team, losing to Mississippi State 24-17. Kentucky is coming off a bye week.
I don’t know how closely coaches pay attention to betting lines, but if I were in the Kentucky locker room, I’d absolutely use this line as a reason to hype my team up as much as possible. Giving them 17 points is simply criminally underselling this program. Vanderbilt’s run defense is the worst in the SEC, and to teams not named Mississippi State they’ve allowed teams to rush for 6.8, 5.0, 7.4, and 4.7 yards per rush against them this season. Additionally, for as well as they matched up defensively against the Bulldogs, they were still beaten by seven against the second worst team in the SEC. Speaking of bad teams, The Commodores have played the easiest schedule in the conference to date and are still winless. I’d also argue Kentucky’s offense to date has played the toughest onslaught of games, so you’ll need to take their shoddy numbers with a grain of salt. My bold prediction is Kentucky rushes for 250+ yards and gets to at least 30 points.
I believe Kentucky’s offense matches up well against the Vanderbilt’s defense. I also feel Kentucky’s defense matches up well against the Vanderbilt offense. This is the same defense who will be coming off a bye and hasn’t allowed more than 20 points in four straight outings. Vanderbilt’s offense is likely riding high after their two easiest games of the year, but it will all end this game as they’ll be going against the top ranked SEC passing yards defense. Vanderbilt’s first three games of the season saw them average just over 250 yards per game (YPG) and Kentucky’s defense is better or on par with all three of those teams. I don’t trust a quarterback whose best outing was against Ole Miss and still only threw for 7.8 yards per throw. This is a game where Kentucky will dominate time of possession (TOP) and field position, so Vanderbilt’s limited time on the field will result in relatively few yards and even fewer points against a defense poised to bully around an inferior opponent.
This game has served as a big brother game for Kentucky the last few years and it’s a tune-up matchup where they build their confidence up. This year will be no different and Kentucky should roll. My guess is 35-7. Kentucky -17 is the play and is the best bet on the board.
Arkansas at #6 Florida (FLA -17.5, O/U 60.0)
Last Week’s Recap: Arkansas and Florida overcame early deficits to defeat Tennessee and Georgia, 24-13 and 44-28, respectively.
Arkansas will be without Sam Pittman in this matchup due to COVID so Barry Odom will take the helm. Arkansas has covered every game this season and it might continue here or it might not, but that doesn’t concern us since we’re eyeing the total in this one. We’ll have perfect weather for a night game in Gainesville, for two offenses exceeding preseason expectations. And for as exceptional a job as Odom has done getting the Razorbacks defense in check, him running the show this week only takes his attention away from a Florida offense I don’t believe will score less than 38 all year (the only downside is the lack of Kyle Pitts this week). Florida scores 40 here no matter what, guaranteed. All we need is 20 from the Razorbacks.
Spoiler: they do. Florida’s defense just allowed 28 to a floundering Georgia offense, gave up 41 to A&M, and are giving up just over 400 YPG. Arkansas’ offense, meanwhile, has topped the 20-point mark in every game but their first one this year. Feleipe Franks, for as much as I dislike him, has captained the previously dreadful offense to be comparatively successful and competitive this year. I fully expect this game to reach 70+ while we sit back and watch the points roll in.
To provide just a few more data points backing up my side, Florida hasn’t allowed fewer than 17 all season (and even that was after two weeks off).
South Carolina at Ole Miss (MISS -11.0, O/U 70.0)
Last Week’s Recap: SC got obliterated 48-3 by A&M. Ole Miss had a bye week.
Oxford’s weather forecast is predicting showers and heavy winds. I also feel that although many people will likely be backing Ole Miss this week (mostly due to SC’s performance last week and Muschamp’s hot seat), the Gamecocks’ locker room is still very much behind their coach, with one player even stating they’d take a bullet for Muschamp. Most people like to try and assign motivations and apply reactionary positions to games, but there’s just no statistical reason to give the Rebels an 11-point edge. To this point in the season, Ole Miss hasn’t shown an advantage at home in the win/loss column nor advanced statistics measurements.
I’d pick the over if not for Ole Miss coming off a bye and the inclement weather, but I still believe the line provides us better value. Mississippi’s defense has allowed almost every team they’ve played to post season highs in either points or yards, and there’s just no way to trust them regardless of who SC starts at QB. They both also give up a significant amount of points in the red zone, and their defensive lines don’t have as great of a presence as other SEC teams. I believe that South Carolina will be more than capable of matching Mississippi blow for blow and stay within the 11-point threshold for the cover.
Expect South Carolina to move the ball fluently through their playmakers with the help of the Rebel’s porous secondary and even worse run defense. Ole Miss should still be able to post a respectable number of points here as well, but this one’s more of a toss-up in my book. Gamecocks +11 is our position.
Written by Nick Swatson and Alex Hill