A third straight 1-1 week brings my season total to 3-5 and has the general public clamoring for better results.

Only 12 SEC teams are in action in Week 5 with Tennessee and Vanderbilt on bye. The week starts earlier than usual: the South Carolina State vs South Carolina game was moved to Thursday, Sep. 29, due to Hurricane Ian.

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The table below shows the odds (moneyline, spread, and total) for all Week 5 games involving SEC teams (odds from DraftKings Sportsbook Tennessee). Under the table, find my two best bets for the week.

Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
South Carolina State
OFF
OFF
OFF
Sep. 29
South Carolina
OFF
OFF
OFF
7:00 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
#7 Kentucky
+200
+6.5 (-105)
O 54.5 (-110)
Oct. 1
#14 Ole Miss
-240
-6.5 (-115)
U 54.5 (-110)
12:00 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
E. Washington
OFF
OFF
OFF
Oct. 2
Florida
OFF
OFF
OFF
12 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
#2 Alabama
-850
-17.5 (-110)
O 60.5 (-110)
Oct. 1
#20 Arkansas
+600
+17.5 (-110)
U 60.5 (-110)
3:30 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
#17 Texas A&M
+160
+3.5 (-110)
O 45 (-110)
Oct. 1
Mississippi State
-190
-3.5 (-110)
U 45 (-110)
4:00 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
LSU
-325
-8.5 (-110)
O 45.5(-110)
Oct. 1
Auburn
+270
+8.5 (-110)
U 45.5 (-110)
7:00 pm ET
Team
Moneyline
Spread
Total
Date/Time
#1 Georgia
-8000
-28 (-110)
O 54 (-110)
Oct. 1
Missouri
+2000
+28 (-110)
U 54 (-110)
7:30 pm ET

Pick 1: Arkansas +17.5 (-110) vs. Alabama

I understand the thinking behind this lopsided spread. Arkansas, a run-first offense, is going up against one of the best front sevens in the country. Bama’s defense is limiting opponents to just 62.5 rushing yards per game and 1.84 yards per carry.

But this will be the strongest and most-varied ground game Alabama has seen this year, and Arkansas is not a “run-only” offense. The Tide will have to devote considerable resources to combatting the Hogs’ ground attack. If they do, Kendal Briles has enough balance that Arkansas should be able to move the ball as effectively as Texas did against Alabama in Week 2.

Mind you, Alabama’s 20-19 win at Texas was closer than it should have been. Alabama shot itself in the foot repeatedly with penalties (15 for 100 total yards). But, at the same time, the Longhorns certainly looked like they belonged on the same field. In the friendly confines of Razorback Stadium, Arkansas will as well.

By all rights, Arkansas should be 4-0. Not only did they miss a late field goal in last Saturday’s heartbreaking 23-21 loss at Texas A&M, a goal-line fumble just before halftime caused a 14-point swing in a game they had been dominating.

Don’t forget, the Razorbacks held their own at Bryant-Denny Stadium last season, falling 42-35 but easily covering as 20.5-point underdogs. Arkansas is a better team this year and it’s highly debatable whether you can say the same about Alabama.

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Pick 2: Kentucky vs. Ole Miss — First-Half Under 27 (-110)

This game should be a tight, defensive slugfest. The points total is sitting at 54.5 in the Week 5 college football odds and the Wildcats have yet to see a total go over 54 this season. Their first 4 games averaged just 44.3 PPG (25.3 in first halves). The under is also 3-1 in those games. Last week’s 31-23 win over Northern Illinois squeaked over the 52.5-point total.

Ole Miss’ first quartet of games have been higher scoring but are still only averaging 51.0 PPG. The Rebels are also 3-1 to the under this year; their 59-3 Week 2 win over Central Arkansas went over the 61-point total by a single point.

Both teams bring top-30 defenses in terms of FEI (Kentucky is 21st; Ole Miss is 28th). While the Ole Miss offense sits 7th in Offensive FEI, its ground-centric attack will eat the clock a little quicker. Kentucky’s offense is down at 42nd after 4 weeks.

Last week’s shootout with Tulsa causes some concern for the Ole Miss defense. But the Rebels looked considerably more susceptible against the rush in that one and, unlike past seasons, this Kentucky offense is considerably more air-based with Will Levis under center. The Wildcats have 1,185 passing yards on the year compared to just 326 yards on the ground through 4 games. (Though look for that to change with RB Chris Rodriguez back from a 4-game suspension.)

I tend to shy away from full-game unders in games that I expect to be close down the stretch. I have been burned by OT too many times. So I’m going with first-half under 27.