SEC Week 11 predictions (and bets)
This weekend’s schedule can’t touch last weekend when it comes to anticipation for big games but there’s an outstanding chance this weekend features more drama than what we got in Week 10. Looking ahead to the Saturday slate, here’s our weekly predictions and bets for the upcoming SEC action.
Michael went 3-2-1 against the spread last weekend. His against the spread record for the season is 43-27-1. Chris went 2-3-1 last weekend, giving him a season total of 33-37-1.
Here’s how the guys predict the Week 11 games in the SEC:
Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-12)
Michael: The Rebels started the season hot but they appear to be shooting nothing but blanks during crucial situations at this point. Look for that to continue in College Station. Yes, the Aggies blew a game last weekend at Auburn but Jimbo Fisher didn’t seem to lose his cool following the game, noting that’s part of the growing pains of taking over a new program and establishing the culture necessary to succeed in this league. I doubt there are any panic buttons being hit in College Station at the moment and predict this game will show that. For all the negatives that came out of last weekend’s game, Trayveon Williams continues to assert himself as the leader of this Aggie offense. The Texas A&M back nearly carried this team to success against Auburn and very well could do the same in this matchup, if need be. I doubt that level of brilliance will be needed against a defense of Ole Miss’ caliber but Fisher has got to rest easy knowing his star tailback can take over an SEC game when called upon.
Texas A&M 38 Ole Miss 20
Chris: The only thing weaker than Ole Miss’ defense is UCF’s strength of schedule. However, it was the offense that may have been most disappointing last week as they only gained 16 yards in the 4th quarter after racking up 600 in the first 3. Texas A&M also comes off a bad loss blowing a 10 point 4th quarter lead to Auburn. Trayveon Williams might rush for 300 yards on this defense, and we all know the Aggie rush defense is one of the best in the conference. However, that secondary has been terrible.
Texas A&M’s defense is allowing 243.6 passing yards per game, which ranks 11th in the SEC and 83rd nationally. Ole Miss is ranked 1st in the SEC and 4th nationally in pass offense at 352.8 ypg. This seems like a lot of points to cover for a team that hasn’t finished above .500 in November since 2012 or scored over 30 points since Week 4.
Texas A&M 34 Ole Miss 24
Kentucky (-6.5) at Tennessee
Michael: Tennessee isn’t as bad of a team as it looked against Charlotte. While that’s true, Kentucky isn’t as bad as it looked against Georgia, either. This game on Saturday will likely come down to which team wants it more in Neyland Stadium and if the Wildcats don’t come in deflated after losing the SEC East last weekend, they could run the Vols out of their own building. For any Tennessee fans that aren’t buying into the Kentucky hype, be prepared to be introduced to a man named Josh Allen this weekend. Based on the Vols’ issues blocking all season long, not just the offensive line but the team’s tight ends and running backs, too, Jeremy Pruitt’s team will have no answers for a player that has been unstoppable all season. The only hope for Tennessee is if Jarrett Guarantano can connect on some deep balls in this game. That being said, Kentucky has the SEC’s passing defense on throws 10 yards or longer beyond the line of scrimmage.
Kentucky 24 Tennessee 10
Chris: I was shocked when this line opened at 4.5. I mean sure, Kentucky is coming off a tough loss against UGA, and sure, they only have 5 wins in the month of November since 2013 which is last in the SEC.
Jarrett Guarantano has been great at QB throwing only 2 INTs all season which is the fewest in the SEC. However, what I saw/ was subjected to last week in that Tennessee game vs. Charlotte was jaw-droppingly bad. Tennessee averaged .8 yards per carry rushing the football. They ran 26 times for 20 yards vs. Charlotte. CHARLOTTE! And, I don’t care if Charlotte had “the 6th best rush defense in the country.” They also had played the 126th ranked schedule in the country to achieve that stat. This is a good spot for Tennessee at home, but honestly, the Vols offense scores less than someone rocking a turtleneck and adult braces.
Kentucky 27 Tennessee 17
Auburn at Georgia (-14.5)
Michael: I’ve been down on Auburn all season and wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M still haven’t sold me that this team is anywhere near Georgia’s caliber and that’s even considering the Bulldogs aren’t quite as elite as I figured they would be entering the season. That being said, the Bulldogs — even before the started peaking — are so beyond Auburn at this point, this one could be over at the half. Don’t be surprised if Justin Fields gets more run in this game than in any other since the Tennessee game. My only concern is how young the Bulldogs are and considering the East has already been won, there is a slight chance of a trap game here for Kirby Smart’s squad. With Georgia very much in the thick of the College Football Playoff run, I’m not too concerned. The Dawgs win this one running away.
Georgia 35 Auburn 13
Chris: This is by far my favorite rivalry in college football. I said when UGA lost to LSU that it was not a bad loss and couldn’t have come at a better time. The Dawgs have looked much more like the 2017 version of themselves and posted back-to-back double-digit wins vs. Top 10 opponents.
Auburn’s offense thrives on misdirection and inefficiency. Last week they managed only 19 yards rushing which was the fewest rushing yards in a game they won since 1967. They’re going to have to stretch the defense with the passing game in order to have a chance at winning this game. UGA’s O-Line is beaten up and will face a really good front seven. I think UGA wins, but not by two TDs.
Georgia 30 Auburn 20
Mississippi State at Alabama (-24)
Michael: I nearly predicted Alabama’s points dead-on last week, just missed LSU’s by only four touchdowns. This week, I’m feeling even better picking against Alabama but I won’t be picking the Tide to lose outright, just to fail to cover. We’ve started to see signs of life from Mississippi State’s offense and if Joe Moorhead’s offense has begun to click, it could threaten this Alabama defense. Nick Fitzgerald has had some real success in recent weeks and if he continues to maintain consistency through the air, MSU’s offense looks night and day different. Now on the other side of the ball, Bob Shoop loves to bring the heat and Hail State has the personnel to get pressure on Tua Tagovailoa and not give him all day to throw the ball. The issue for Mississippi State is its defensive backs don’t match up well at all with the Tide receivers. Alabama’s receivers will have a ton of success if Tua can put the ball on them in this game. MSU could make things interesting in this game for about a half but the Tide will hit them with enough big pass plays to pull away in the end.
Alabama 33 Mississippi State 17
Chris: Mississippi State’s defense has been dominant this season. It may be the first time since Saban has been at Alabama that he comes into this game without the best defense on the field. The Bulldogs ranks in the top 10 nationally in scoring defense, pass defense, and total defense. They’ve only given up nine TDs all season and their opponent’s TD percentage in the red zone is only 21.7% which also is best in the country. That could have a huge impact if they force Alabama into FG attempts which, outside of Democrats, is the biggest nightmare for Alabamians in 2018.
All that being said I don’t see this game being very close. Nick Fitzgerald and this offense have put up 10 total points in conference road games this season, and Mississippi State doesn’t have the playmakers at WR to challenge Bama’s defense. Also, how do they stop Tua for four quarters? They don’t.
Alabama 41 Mississippi State 13
Vanderbilt at Missouri (-16.5)
Michael: This line appears to be a wild overreaction to Mizzou’s big win over Florida. Keep in mind, this is still a team that’s won only one SEC game one week into November. Vanderbilt is coming off a big win of its own at Arkansas and has had two weeks to prepare for this matchup. Ke’Shawn Vaughn may be the most underrated running back in the league and now that’s he’s healthy, I like Vanderbilt to score enough points with the balance he helps bring to the offense to keep this game interesting. Something to keep in mind, Missouri’s All-SEC tight end Albert O was hurt last week and may miss this game. Without him, the Tigers are down their biggest red zone threat. The Tigers get the win but not by 17 or more.
Missouri 36 Vanderbilt 27
Chris: Death. Taxes. And, Barry Odom in November baby! Is that a thing? Probably not, but the man is 5-0 in last 5 November games. The only person excited about an 11 AM Vandy & Mizzou game is my fiancé because it means we’ll probably just watch a Fixer Upper marathon with Chip and Jo instead. This is a weird line for this game. Granted Mizzou did beat the brakes off Florida and earn their first road win against a ranked team since 2014, but 17 seems high especially since Vandy is 3-1 ATS on the road this season. The impact players for this game are Emanuel Hall and Kyle Shurmur. Shurmur has thrown 5 INTs over the last 2 seasons vs. Mizzou. And, Hall is a huge difference maker for this Tiger offense when he’s healthy.
Missouri 38 Vanderbilt 20
South Carolina at Florida (-6.5)
Michael: Turmoil in the locker and uncertainty at the QB position sure do make for easy selections when picking against the spread. When it comes down to comparing a team that’s won back-to-back league games in the fourth quarter, with the latest one coming on the road in a hostile environment, or a team that’s looked worse each week and has little to play for with speculation of fights in the locker room, these picks basically make themselves. Jake Bentley has also hit his stride at the worst time for the Gators, as Florida’s defensive backs have been really struggling in recent weeks. Unless the Gators dominate this game on the ground, I like South Carolina to not only cover but get the win in this matchup.
South Carolina 35 Florida 28
Chris: Last week is a perfect example of why Florida can’t have nice things. We give you sunshine and beaches and what do you do Florida man? You invent bath salts and denim leisure wear. As bad as they looked last week I still like Florida’s secondary in their matchup vs. Jake Bentley. And, who knows what to expect from Florida at the QB position. My gut says Florida, but I’m worried they’ll roll over if they get off to another bad start like last week. Florida is only averaging 2.9 points in the 1st quarter of games this year which ranks 123rd nationally. I want to pick Florida to cover because they’re the better team and have won 9 of their past 11 at home vs. Carolina. However, that press conference from Dan Mullen trying to dismiss locker room dissension worries me.
South Carolina 26 Florida 24
LSU (-14) at Arkansas
Michael: If Arkansas doesn’t show up for this game, they might as well call it a wrap on the season. In what will be the only true night game at home this season, the Razorbacks have an opportunity to shock the SEC by getting an LSU team that could that just suffered a loss that knocked them out of contention for the SEC Championship. While LSU should have a huge advantage on the defensive side of the ball in this game, the Razorbacks have been finding ways to manufacture points on every league opponent since the Auburn game back in late September. The danger in this matchup for the Razorbacks will be the running game of LSU, if the Tigers are humming in that aspect, they will be tough to beat. Ed Orgeron is undefeated in his LSU coaching career coming off a loss, I like that streak to continue but I don’t expect it to be easy.
LSU 27 Arkansas 23
Chris: This is honestly the only game I feel confident in picking. LSU is coming off a demoralizing loss at home to Alabama. Arkansas is coming off a demoralizing 2018 season so far. Arkansas leads the SEC in turnovers with 19, and LSU leads the SEC in turnovers forced with 20. To be fair, LSU’s offense has a lot of issues. They rank last in the conference and 112th nationally in yards per play at 5.13. It won’t matter. LSU is 7-0 under Coach O when coming off a loss. They’ll roll in Fayetteville.
LSU 38 Arkansas 13