SEC Week 6 predictions (and bets)
Time for your weekly dose of SDS gambling action as the Week 6 SEC predictions against the spread are here.
If you missed it this column the first few weeks of the season, SDS news desk editor Michael Bratton (@MichaelWBratton) and SDS Podcast co-host Chris Marler (@VerneFUNquist) make their weekly predictions for every game involving SEC teams.
Chris pulled off a miracle and won the head-to-head battle between the two during Week 5 with a 3-2 record. Mike went 2-3. For the season, Mike is still ahead in the against the spread picks with a record of 20-20-1 while Chris is starting to catch up with a 15–24-2 record.
Here is how the guys predict the Week 6 action to play out:
Utah State at LSU (-27.5)
Michael: It’s hard to bet the game with the largest spread in the league this weekend but if we gotta do it, I’m going with the team that’s had two weeks to prepare and is averaging nearly 60 points per game this season. An underrated aspect of this game? Utah State is likely facing a temperature swing of over 40 degrees this weekend, leaving Logan, Utah for Baton Rouge. Are we really expected to believe this team won’t fold under the heat? The Joe Burrow Heisman march rolls on for another week, look for him to toss another six touchdowns in this one, setting up a huge home showdown with the Gators looking ahead to Week 7.
LSU 63 Utah State 20
Chris: Having an 11 am kickoff in Death Valley is a lot like hanging a chandelier in a haunted house. It just don’t look right. I’m excited for this game. Not because of the challenges that will happen on the field but because of the challenges that will happen in the parking lot before the game as LSU fans will have to be drunk before breakfast for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. PREPARE YOUR BODIES TIGAH FANS. LSU is coming off a bye and Utah State is coming into the humidity after practicing in temperatures in the 50’s all week. I look for LSU’s defense to improve after hearing they’ve been the weak link for this team throughout the first month of the season. LSU to cover. Big.
LSU 57 Utah State 17
Troy at Missouri (-25)
Michael: This is a tough matchup to call as Missouri has had two weeks to prepare and has yet to be held to under 31 points in a single game. That streak should continue for another week with the real question surrounding the Tigers’ defense entering this matchup. While it has come against a weak schedule, Troy is averaging over 40 points per game thus far this season. I don’t anticipate this being much of a game but Chip Lindsey does have experience of success facing Barry Odom’s defense and the Missouri coach is 0-7 in his career when having two weeks or more to prepare for an opponent. Considering those factors, I’ll take the points here.
Missouri 48 Troy 21
Chris: Am I the only one confused as to why Mizzou is favored by almost 4 TDs against anyone? Maybe part of it has to do with them having the #1 defense in the SEC so far after only giving up 230 ypg. They’re also coming off a bye week and Troy gives up over 300 ypg through the air. I don’t care. I’m taking Troy to cover. They’ve lost 2 games this season by a combined 12 points and scored 40+ in each. Mizzou fans will say this is a different team than the one that lost to Wyoming. But, is it though?
Missouri 37 Troy 17
Vanderbilt at Ole Miss (-7)
Michael: This is could prove to be one of the more entertaining games in the league this weekend with a potential back-and-forth shootout coming in Oxford on Saturday. We’ve seen enough in two appearances from John Rhys Plumlee to know what an impact player he can be and the young Ole Miss offense has begun to find its footing in Rich Rodriguez’s system. The Rebel defense started the season strong but small cracks have quickly turned into gaping holes in recent weeks. Vanderbilt is loaded with talent on offense and with Riley Neal gaining confidence each week, look for the Commodores to exploit an injured Ole Miss defense. Vandy has yet to cover a spread this season and I like that trend to continue this weekend.
Ole Miss 40 Vanderbilt 32
Chris: I refuse to breakdown this game solely on the grounds of bitterness that: A) Vandy allowed that BS backdoor cover last weekend vs Northern Illinois and B) this game should ALWAYS be played at 12:30 on Jefferson Pilot. Also, Vandy is giving up over 500 ypg and looks like hot garbage. Ole Miss by a thousand. Or at least whatever the spread is.
Ole Miss 31 Vanderbilt 21
Georgia (-25) at Tennessee
Michael: The last time Georgia came to Neyland Stadium, the Dawgs walked out with a 41-point shutout victory. That result was the unofficial beginning of the end for Butch Jones on Rocky Top but as humiliating as the result may have been, some Georgia fans are attempting to pull off a Red & Black checkering of the stadium on Saturday. Things have been bad on Rocky Top but if the Dawgs pull that off, they may as well cancel the Tennessee football program.
Pushing the thoughts of doom and gloom to the side, I expect a closer game between these two East foes. Notre Dame successfully managed to attack the Georgia defense with its tight end and it just so happens one of Tennessee’s best players is tight end Dom Wood-Anderson. Tennessee also has some weapons on the outside that could manage to win their fair share of battles against a banged-up Georgia secondary. Don’t be surprised if the Vols make a change at QB as Brian Maurer is threatening to take Jarrett Guaratano’s starting job following the bye week. Keep in mind Georgia has yet to play a true road test this season.
Georgia 28 Tennessee 14
Chris: Usually when a line between rivals is this high it would be a cause for concern, but this line isn’t even close. I cant imagine a team that wanted to get to the bye week more than Tennessee, and I can’t imagine a team that wanted to play after the bye week less than Tennessee. They’re ranked 11th in rushing defense, and UGA is ranked 1st in rushing offense. Lopsided mismatches and spreads like this usually make me wonder if the better team scores 40 can the inferior team score 10? In this case, I don’t know if Tennessee can score at all.
Georgia 41 Tennessee 3
Auburn (-2.5) at Florida
Michael: This line didn’t add up at opening (pick ’em) but I still love it following the quick shift in favor of the Tigers. If not for preseason bias, Auburn would be ranked as the No. 1 team in the nation as they’ve looked like the best team in the SEC to date when you factor in the quality of competition each team has played. Florida, on the other hand, has barely resembled a ranked team at times. The homefield advantage of The Swamp has been talked about at length this week but Dan Mullen has already suffered two double-digit losses at home in the five league games he’s played in Gainesville. Look for the Gators’ inability to run the ball to finally catch up with them this weekend as a one-dimensional attack won’t have much success against this Auburn defense. Looking at the key coaching matchups in this game, Gus Malzahn is 3-1 when going against Todd Grantham with his offenses averaging 37 points per game in those contests while Kevin Steele is 3-0 as a defensive coordinator going up against Dan Mullen. Steele’s units have allowed just 14.3 points per game in those matchups.
Auburn 31 Florida 20
Chris: Everything in me says to pick Auburn here. That D-Line vs Florida’s O-Line is gonna be a problem. I mean if Towson got 3 sacks vs Florida then how many can Auburn get. I love how this team is playing, and I love how they’ve managed to prove every doubter wrong week in and week out by not only being undefeated but also being undefeated against the spread as well. That being said, I have rarely been right with my picks this season. So, I’m gonna do what all of you should do and not trust my instincts. Go Gators.
Florida 21 Auburn 20