It’s time to dig in to this week’s picks and predictions. It’s been a rough year so far but this could be the week to gain some traction.
Last week I went 5-5 ATS which runs the season total up to 13-15 on the season. I did go 9-1 SU last week and if it wasn’t for multiple INTs inside the 10, ECU would have brought that one home for me. Oh well. That’s what I get for trusting a directional school.
Kent State at #1 Bama (-44)
What am I supposed to do with this nonsense? Bama could name their school in this one. There is no breakdown of stats or analysis that can help with this pick. What I’m left thinking is that Nick Saban is not going to grind his alma mater in to dust. There could be a touch of a hangover from last week too.
My pick: RTR 42-3
#12 Georgia at #23 Ole Miss (-7.5)
The rankings don’t match the teams in this one. When you look at this game, all the match-ups favor the Rebs. UGA struggles on the OL and in the secondary. The Rebs have an insanely quick DL and the most dangerous passing game in the SEC. Even though the Rebs have those big advantages, I think UGA is able to make this a game for a few reasons. First, freshman QB Jacob Eason had his “coming of age” game last week on the road where he led a game winning drive where his pass on 4th down sealed the deal. He has huge arm talent and has 2 elite RBs behind him. They’re dangerous enough to score some points against a Rebel defense that is currently 109th in the country in points allowed. The second part of this is what you’re asking the kids at Ole Miss to do emotionally. These guys have had to get up for 2 monster games, FSU and Bama, and had 2 agonizing collapses. Factor in that this is an early kickoff and the Grove won’t have a chance to build up that big energy by kickoff and you have a recipe for disaster. Classic trap game. All that said, the Rebs are too dangerous through the air and that DL won’t give Eason much time to throw. I like Ole Miss in a barn-burner.
My pick: Rebs 31-28
#19 Florida at #14 Tennessee (-7)
For 3 weeks I’ve planned how I was going to pick the Gators for the road win and clear path to the SEC Championship. Then Luke Del Rio, who has played lights out, goes down with a knee and the Gators are traveling an unexperienced QB to Knoxville for the game of the year in the East. Not good. That leaves us with the Gator’s #1 passing, rushing, and scoring defense against a Tennessee offense that is bottom half in scoring in the league. You know what? The more I look at this game, QB or no QB, I still don’t like the Vols in this match-up. They are dealing with their own injuries on defense that will help out a wide-eyed QB. This game is going to come down to 3 things: coaching, defense, and special teams. I’ll take the Gators in all 3 of those facets as they continue their domination of the Vols.
My pick: Gators 21-20
MSU at UMass (+21)
Fun fact: UMass is the worst scoring offense in college football only averaging 11.7 ppg. They’re averaging 1.34 yards per rush. They are averaging 188 passing yards a game. They are only averaging 234 yards of offense a game. If MSU does not win and cover in convincing fashion, MSU fans should burn all their maroon and find a new team. The Minutemen are about the same defending the run or the pass so MSU doesn’t have one facet of the game to pick on. I’m looking for the same offense we saw in the first half of the South Carolina game for 4 quarters. MSU is the first team they’ve played who has a rushing threat at the QB. I like Nick Fitzgerald to have a big game and that MSU defense to be stifling.
My pick: Bulldogs 38-7
Delaware State at Mizzou (NL)
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve been really hard on Mizzou and Drew Lock. The last 2 games we’ve seen that offense show signs of life with Lock finally giving us glimpses of what that recruiting hype was all about. DSU is a FCS school so this one will be a snoozer. What is worth watching is if that offense keeps on ticking, especially the passing game. This game is a warm-up before Mizzou goes on the road to play LSU, a game that doesn’t look as daunting as it once did.
My pick: Mizzou 49-10
Vandy at Western Kentucky (-8)
Warning betters, this is a trick line and let me tell you why. WKU is getting way too much love for not getting blown out by Bama but if you read my picks from that week, anybody with half a brain saw that coming. Saban kept that game close on purpose. Now let’s look at WKU’s 2 wins: both against 0-3 teams who have zero offense (Rice & Miami OH). Let’s get one thing straight: Vandy is not a good football team but neither is WKU. Vandy’s front 7 will eat that OL alive making things really tough for them. The Dores aren’t going to light the scoreboard up but they’ll move the ball some. This will be a close game with Mason’s job on the line. I like Vandy in the upset.
My pick: Dores 20-16
#18 LSU at Auburn (+3.5)
This game has a lot of intrigue with both teams starting off in a disappointing fashion. This game is Russell Crowe’s Gladiator of the SEC this week. This is 2 desperate men, Miles and Malzahn, fighting for their coaching lives. The Plains will be the coliseum and there will be blood. Someone is leaving this game still alive for the moment, while the other will be making funeral arrangements. This game matches up the 100th (LSU) vs 85th (Auburn) scoring offenses in college football. The under might be the smart play. You’ll see a lot of 8 man boxes and a lot of running. At this point, I’m picking a healthy Leonard Fournette to be the difference. If this turns in to a pass happy game, say your prayers because the world is about to end.
My pick: Tigahs 23-21
South Carolina at Kentucky (-2)
This is a game that only a degenerate could love. And I don’t mean that in a funny, light-hearted way. I’m talking about a guy sitting at a dingy dive bar, sipping 2-4-1 cutty sark, who lost the title to his car on a bad beat earlier in the day. If this is a dog race, it’s a 3-legged bulldog vs an overweight dachshund. Since I have to pick someone, I’m going with Kentucky for the life that QB Stephen Johnson breathed in to that offense last week. He had a huge game through the air and showed he can get away from trouble with his feet.
My pick: Wildcats 24-20
#17 Arkansas at #10 Texas A&M (-6)
Things have shaken out for this being a huge game. The winner gets the honor of being the SEC’s hope of dethroning Bama. It finally looks as if the Aggies have that defense figured out with the 2nd best scoring defense in the SEC so far this year. While Trevor Knight hasn’t been a world-beater by any means, he been a calming force on that offense. That may be all they needed this year. On the other side you have Austin Allen who has been unreal so far. He’s currently 2nd in the SEC in passer rating. This is a game the last few years that you would have given a big toughness and physicality edge to the Hogs but not this year. John Chavis is finally rubbing off on the program and it’s going to save Kevin Sumlin. I like the Aggies slowing down that Hog offense and really getting that crowd in to the game. Atmosphere could be a big part of this game. I think this is the year the Aggies are for real.
My pick: Aggies 31-20
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