Time for weeks 5’s picks and predictions. Buckle in for another crazy week of SEC football.
This year has been a roller coaster of ATS picks. It’s my worst run in 3 years. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there is plenty of season left to get in the money. I’ve been much better in SEC match-ups than I have in the OOC games with those huge lines. Those have killed me this year. I currently sit at 17-19 ATS on the season going 4-4 last week.
Alcorn State at Arkansas (NL)
The Razorbacks had a tough loss last weekend where I don’t think the score (24-45) accurately depicts how competitive that game was. Austin Allen is still on fire and has not thrown an INT since his 2 in week 1. Rawleigh Williams continues his tear through the schedule up to 433 yards, 4.92 ypc, and 4 TDs. This is a bounce-back game for the Hogs before they travel to Bama next week.
My pick: Hogs 59-7
#23 Florida at Vandy (+10)
Despite blowing the big lead last week, I still think Florida is a really good team and a threat in the East, especially when they get Del Rio back. Although Del Rio returned to practice, it looks to be Appleby again. He didn’t play terrible in the UT game but the offense isn’t the same with him for whatever reason. Vandy escaped a potential terrible loss to WKU 31-30 but continued a bad trend of a lot of points vs bad teams. The Dores are giving up 26.3 ppg against an incredibly weak schedule thus far really calling in to play the reasoning for keeping Mason. He’s supposed to be a defense guy. I think Vandy’s lack of ability to stop anybody (452 ypg, 13th SEC) makes Florida the smart play.
My pick: Gators 28-7
#11 Tennessee at #25 Georgia (+3)
Last week’s huge victory for the Vols and absolute dismantling of the Dogs by Ole Miss sets up for the field’s last real shot at taking down Tennessee’s SEC East hopes. The good news is the dogs get this one at home. That’s about where the good news stops. The UGA offense has been average at best. They can’t seem to exploit their biggest strength, which is RB, due to an underperforming OL. Got to be careful there as the Vols defense is 4th in the league in TFLs and are giving up less than 4 yards per rush. Where this game gets dicey is the match-up of UT’s throwing offense vs the UGA passing defense which is 13th in the SEC in passer rating against (135.77). While Dobbs has not lit it up by any means, he’s 4th in the league in passer rating and runs well enough to make you want to keep a spy on him. Another bad match-up for UGA.
My pick: Vols 28-16
UL Monroe at Auburn (-32.5)
How in the world is Auburn who is only averaging 24.5 ppg favored by 33 you ask? Because the ULM defense is 104th in the nation in scoring and even gave up 21 points to a SWAC school. Auburn fared well against Arkansas State whose defense ranks very similar to that of ULM. For most coaches, this line is way too high. That said, most coaches aren’t Gus Malzahn and most coaches aren’t coaching for their job on a weekly basis. Gus knows he could lose both his game and his job next week at MSU. He will run this score up as much as possible to give his team confidence and give him more of a hot seat buffer (which I don’t think matters). This game is more of a gut call for me. Common sense says too many points but I’m going with a scared Gus with the pedal to the metal until the end of the game.
My pick: 52-16
#9 Texas A&M at South Carolina (+17.5)
On paper, the SC defense is pretty good. When you look closely at that paper you see they haven’t played a good offense yet. The best they’ve seen is MSU. The nations 74th ranked scoring offense MSU that got 485 yards of total offense and 27 points in week 2. I think the A&M offense and it’s athletes will be a rude awakening for the SC defense. Not to mention that the A&M defense finally looks like the type that could save Sumlin’s job and put him in contention with Bama for the West. A&M is putting up 43 ppg and I see that being about right in this one. SC isn’t keeping that within 3 TDs.
My pick: Aggies 45-10
Kentucky at #1 Alabama (-35)
This is what I’d like to call a “Lord have mercy” game. Kentucky has looked downright terrible allowing 35.5 ppg. Stoops is supposed to be a defense guy lol. Not a good spot for first year QB Stephen Johnson. Bama had what was essentially a week off with Kent State last week but the schedule makes a turn for the difficult the next few weeks with Arkansas, Tennessee, and A&M looming. I think this is a game Saban turns the heat back on and gets his guys humming on all cylinders. 35 points is a whole bunch but I could see the Tide having these points covered by half. That Wildcat offense doesn’t have a prayer against this defense. Keep the women and children locked away.
My pick: RTR 52-10
Memphis at #16 Ole Miss (-14)
This is a tricky line at 2 TDs when you have 2 offenses that are averaging 51.7 (Memphis) and 40 (Ole Miss). Granted, the Rebel competition has been in another stratosphere but the Tigers don’t score that many without doing some things right. What makes this 2 score line interesting is that the Rebs are giving up 30 ppg which is good for 80th in the country. You have to think the Tigers will move the ball and score some points. Normally, this is a line where I’d take the dog but since Memphis actually won this game last year, that should add a little extra juice to their effort. Memphis isn’t sneaking up on the Rebs again and they don’t have Paxton Lynch anymore. I see the Rebs taking this one seriously enough and taking care of business.
My pick: Rebs 48-30
Mizzou at LSU (-13)
This is easily the trickiest line of the week. Mizzou has seemed to find a passing game behind Drew Lock the last 3 weeks going for 450, 376, and 402 yards. Also 13 TDs over that stretch. That has Lock playing the most confident football of his young career. What we have to wonder is what kind of lift LSU gets from Coach O? Will a simple switch get some offense generated? I think it’s possible but they face a stiff opponent in the Mizzou DL. We’re talking about a group that spearheads the SEC’s 4th best yards per carry average against with only 3.34. I think Mizzou will put a crowd in the box and dare whoever the QB and the new system are to beat them through the air. I’m feeling frisky this weekend and the massive amount of flux we’re seeing at LSU paired with Mizzou finding it’s offense and I think we have all the right ingredients for an upset (or at least a losing cover).
My pick: Yankee Tigers 28-24
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