This week is another good week of action and we’ve been in the money of late so let’s get it going.
Last week was an average week for picks going 3-2 ATS. Hated the A&M line and Tennessee decided to implode. That was my week. Runs the season total to 34-29 ATS.
#4 Texas A&M at MSU (+13)
I didn’t expect the stats to be so close between 3-5 MSU and #4 A&M. The Aggies are 4 spots better in total offense in the SEC while MSU is 2 spots better in total defense. In the SEC, A&M is +6 in turnover and MSU is +3. Those are just a few that stood out but on paper, this game isn’t as glaring a mismatch as it seems on the surface. The only problem, this game isn’t played on paper. The Aggies bring in a team that has a 4-year composite recruiting ranking of 10.75. The talent gap is staggering and the injuries are piling up for MSU. A&M’s gameplan will be similar to that of Auburn’s, who throttled MSU in the 11am slot earlier this year, but th Aggies have much better WRs making them much more explosive. I don’t expect this one to be close at any juncture. MSU will not be able to block that DL, just like last year. [Since making my pick, the line has moved to 11.5. I’d double down again on this one.]
My pick: Aggies 42-20
Vandy at #9 Auburn (-26)
This is a line that I really don’t like. You have a Vandy team that is at the bottom of the SEC in scoring offense in conference games (11.5) but also 4th in rushing defense (137 ypg). What those 2 quick stats say is they are very capable of slowing down Auburn’s rushing attack but also may not score. Ugh. What this line boils down to is if you think Vandy can score twice with at least 1 of those scores being TDs. The Tigers are the best defense they’ve played and I think shutout is in the realm of possibility. I’m really iffy on this one but I’m going with the Tigers at home.
My pick: Auburn 35-6
Ga Southern at Ole Miss (-20.5)
To get these points you had to bite early as the line has already ballooned to 27.5. If it starts getting over 4 TDs it makes you wonder being that last week was an emotional game and then an early start. At less than 3 TDs, this is an easy pick. GSU is 1-4 in their last 5. GSU has not seen a passing offense anywhere close to what they’ll see with the Rebels and Chad Kelly. Here is the only thing that gives you half a second of pause: the Rebel defense is 118th in the nation against the run (236 ypg) and GSU is an option school who leads the Sun Belt in rushing. Well, this isn’t the Sun Belt and the Rebs have the speed on defense to shut down a triple option if they play their assignments.
My pick: Rebs 49-20
#11 Florida at Arkansas (+3.5)
This is a tale of 2 teams who play totally different at home vs on the road. The Hogs beat Ole Miss and scored 30 on Bama before going on the road and getting throttled at Auburn. The Gators lost at Tennessee and only score 13 at Vandy. In Gainesville or in a neutral site, this game would be an easy pick for the Gators but traveling to Arkansas is never easy for anyone. What’s really strange about this game is that the Hog’s strength, passing offense, matches up to the Gators strength, passing defense. The Hogs are actually the 2nd worst rushing team in conference play only averaging 104 ypg. I like this game to be really close. I see a one score game. I just can’t take this struggling Hog offense against that Florida D.
My pick: Gators 24-20
Mizzou at South Carolina (-5)
This line has grown to 7 on most books so you had to be early to get 5. No team is fading faster than Mizzou as they have lost 4 straight including 2 straight home losses to MTSU and Kentucky. On the flip-side, SC has found a QB and has won 2 straight game and is actually scoring some points. Over 2 games with freshman QB Jake Bentley, the Cocks have averaged 29 ppg, he has a 70% completion percentage, 4 TDs, and 0 INTs. Also, factor in that the Mizzzou offensive strength is passing the ball and the SC defense in #1 in league play against the pass only allowing 133 ypg. The smart play here is SC at home.
My pick: Cocks 24-14
Tenn Tech at Tennessee (NL)
No line here and who really cares. The only bright spot in this game is UT gets a chance to stop the implosion. Who am I kidding? This may not stop the implosion but at least it will be a week they can win and put of the meltdown until Kentucky.
My pick: Vols 38-7
Georgia at Kentucky (+2.5)
The Bulldogs have been fading fast while the Wildcats star has risen. In conference play, both defenses are giving up 26.8 ppg which is good for an 8th place tie in the league. In a game where both teams can move the ball, it will come down to which offense can be more efficient. Both QBs have been up and down and have good RBs behind them. Stephen Johnson has been a bit more steady but they don’t ask him to do too much. This game is essentially a toss-up that I’m torn on which way to go. I think Georgia and Kirby Smart have their back against the wall and this is almost a must-win. Even at this juncture, I still just cannot bring myself to trust Kentucky and Stoops. Might be foolish but we’ll see.
My pick: UGA 28-24
#1 Alabama at #13 LSU (+7)
This line has been all over the place. It started at 7, grew to 8.5 behind the public, and now the sharp money has brought it back down to 7. That is a little worrisome but I think it’s more indicative of them laying off some action. When I look at this game, it’s simple. LSU has the talent and players to beat Bama at every position on the field except QB. The Bama DL is the best I have ever seen from them led by Jonathan Allen who has been a terror. Bama is only giving up 2.18 ypc and 3 rushing TDs, both marks good for 1st in the nation. Now I don’t think it’s impossible to run the ball on them but it requires QB play they have to respect and I just can’t see Danny Etling taking the top off that defense. This also isn’t your same old Bama offense with Kiffin directing Jalen Hurts. They haven’t been great through the air but the threat of Hurts’ legs gives the offense a dimension they usually don’t have. The offense is so deliberate it’s easy to overlook that it’s the best scoring unit in the conference (44 ppg). The only reason this game gives me a little pause is because of Death Valley and the fact that it’s a huge emotional moment for Ed Orgeron. Stranger things have happened in Baton Rouge at night, I just can’t put my money on that at 7 points.
My pick: RTR 31-20