SEC Week 13 predictions (and bets)
We’ve arrived at the final weekend of the 2018 regular season. It’s a bittersweet moment as the end of the season is near but the games sure are great this weekend.
Michael went 5-3 against the spread last weekend, improving his season record to 53-32-1. Chris won the week, after going 6-2 last weekend. His season total jumps up to a respectable 41-44-1.
Here is how the guys predict the Week 13 action to play out:
Mississippi State (-13.5) at Ole Miss
Michael: This may be a surprise but I don’t think Mississippi State runs away with this one. Hail State has yet to win a single conference game on the road and Ole Miss is capable of explosive plays on offense that could keep them in this game. The Rebels may not be able to run the ball on Mississippi State but they should have the advantages in the passing game, potentially on both sides of the ball. Mississippi State will be out for revenge in this game but nothing saves a poor season faster in the state of Mississippi than winning the Egg Bowl. Mississippi State wins this one in the end but I’ll take the Rebels to cover.
Mississippi State 27 Ole Miss 20
Chris: Outside of their postal abbreviations and love of gas station fried chicken there aren’t many similarities between these two teams or fanbases. We all know Ole Miss’ struggles on defense, but they’re also a dismal 0-7 ATS this season in conference games. Mississippi State hasn’t been great on the road this season with 3 of their 4 losses coming away from StarkVegas. However, that defense has given up over 20 points just twice this season, and I think Nick Fitzgerald will go off against this defense. Especially after what happened last year.
Mississippi State 38 Ole Miss 20
Arkansas at Missouri (-23)
Michael: Arkansas laid over and died last week and this game likely won’t be much better for Chad Morris and company on a short week of preparation. Not only is this a bad matchup for the Razorbacks but they suspended two of the team’s best and most experienced defensive backs heading into a game against Drew Lock. Good luck with that. You have Razorbacks announcing their transfers midweek, you have other members of the team coming out and defending the actions of the suspended players, this is truly a trainwreck of epic proportions that can’t come to an end soon enough. This one won’t be fun to watch for anyone from the Natural State.
Missouri 45 Arkansas 13
Chris: There’s no part of me that thinks Arkansas will be able to win this game. Missouri is coming off a huge win at Tennessee and has won their last 8 games in the month of November. Arkansas, on the other hand, is 2-9 and had to suspend 2 players because they were more focused on spitting game at MSU dancers than the game itself. Side note, if Kamren Curl doesn’t give himself the nickname “Mr. Steal Yo Curl” after that incident then I will be very disappointed.
Anyways, Arkansas has been pesky enough to cover the spread in 5 of their last 7. And, 23 seems like a lot of points considering this game has been decided by a total of 7 points over the last 2 seasons. Even though I assume the Hogs could easily mail this one in I’m gonna say they cover the big spread in CoMo.
Missouri 38 Arkansas 17
Kentucky (-17.5) at Louisville
Michael: That’s a lot of points to give a Kentucky team on the road but Louisville is such a mess on defense that it won’t be enough to cover in this one. Kentucky’s senior classes (throwing Benny Snell in there for good measure) will want to go out on a high note against a Louisville team that’s really had the Wildcats’ number in recent seasons. Look for the ACC’s worst run defense to get a heavy dose of Snell Yeah in this one.
Kentucky 45 Louisville 14
Chris: The only thing more humiliating than the state of Louisville’s athletic department is this Cardinal defense. Sure, Pitino, Petrino, and the Papa John’s guy were embarrassing, but maybe not as embarrassing as giving up an average of 43 ppg. UK hasn’t looked as impressive over the last month of the season, but in a rivalry game against a god awful team they will take care of business. Honestly, they could put Kash Daniel at QB with that huge cast and they’d still cover.
Kentucky 34 Louisville 10
South Carolina at Clemson (-26.5)
Michael: The gap between these teams remains large and Gamecock injuries on defense aren’t helping matters but I expect South Carolina to come out and have their best outing to date under Will Muschamp against Clemson. South Carolina is heading into this game with some late-season momentum and if Jake Bentley doesn’t turn the ball over, the Gamecocks could keep things interesting for at least a half. How will Trevor Lawrence handle playing in his first Palmetto Bowl? Don’t be surprised if he comes out and struggles, having never played in this rivalry.
Clemson 35 South Carolina 21
Chris: I’m just going to go ahead and say this…Clemson is the best team in the country. Their defense has given up a total of 3 TDs in their last 6 games (5 total including special teams). Not only that, but they haven’t given up a TD in that span while being up by less than 31 points. I love Columbia, South Carolina. It’s where my family lives, and it’s where my little sister is enrolled. The offense is averaging over 32 ppg and Jake Bentley has played really well over the last month of the season. I think they cover, but Clemson will still win big behind Travis Etienne.
Clemson 38 South Carolina 13
Georgia Tech at Georgia (-17)
Michael: The main reason many are suggesting this could be a close game comes back to the fact the Yellow Jackets run the triple option. Many fans saw what The Citadel just did to Alabama and realized how difficult it is for some teams to defend that system. While that’s a fair statement, the Bulldogs see it every year and certainly didn’t have a problem last year against it. Of course, Georgia was upset by Tech in Athens last time these two teams met, that should do wonders for the Bulldogs’ focus all week long. These two are miles apart when it comes to talent. Georgia rolls on to Atlanta.
Georgia 48 Georgia Tech 17
Chris: The nerds from North Avenue head to Athens to play in a game that is less of a rivalry and more of a public bullying. Granted, Tech has actually won their last 2 games in Athens. They’ve also won 4 in a row and lead the nation in rushing offense at 358 ypg. I think this line is partially due to the assumption that UGA will have similar issues that Alabama had in stopping The Citadel’s triple option attack last week. They won’t. Usually this game is 4th or 5th on UGA’s list of rivals. But, after losing 2 in a row at home to GT the Dawgs will make a statement. They’ve won 9 of their 10 games this season by 17 points or more, and they’ll make it 10 on Saturday.
Georgia 41 Georgia Tech 17
Tennessee at Vanderbilt (-3.5)
Michael: Tennessee is going to a bowl game, as I predict the SEC’s most consistently inconsistent team will show up on Saturday and put an end to Vanderbilt’s two-game winning streak in this in-state rivalry. For whatever reason, Tennessee has performed better on the road under Jeremy Pruitt this season and should manage to do so once again in a “road” environment that may feel more like a home game for the Vols come Saturday. Jarrett Guarantano and Marquez Callaway are both on track to play in this game which will be big for the Vols but with Vanderbilt having the league’s 13th ranked rush defense in league play, Tennessee’s struggling offensive line should manage to open enough holes for Ty Chandler to have a big day in his hometown in the season finale. Coming out strong will be key to Tennessee in this one: In Tennessee’s six losses, Vols have been outscored 68-7 in the first quarter. In the team’s five wins, Vols have outscored the opponent 33-10 in the first quarter.
Tennessee 33 Vanderbilt 21
Chris: A sudden death playoff between Vandy and Tennessee for a bowl berth and Tennessee is the underdog? What world are we living in?! Statistically, Tennessee does nothing to impress you, yet they’ve beaten 2 ranked teams this season. Losing to Tennessee is a lot like losing the fight to stay awake during a Planet Earth marathon. They just kind of lull you to sleep with boredom (and Marquez Callaway). Vandy is a better football team than Tennessee this year. And, they’re coming off an emotional high as opposed to the emotional low that the Vols are facing. However, Vandy hasn’t beaten UT 3 years in a row since 1926, and I can’t imagine a world where vaping, the yodeling Wal-Mart kid and Vanderbilt are trending. I’ll take the Vols.
Tennessee 23 Vanderbilt 21
Florida (-6.5) at Florida State
Michael: I couldn’t figure out this line at opening and I still can’t figure it out after a slight shift in Florida’s favor. Everything I’ve seen from FSU, they are a terrible team while Florida has been mostly consistent in their approach and execution since the Kentucky game in the second week of the season. Unless Feleipe Franks completely melts down, which seems unlikely following his strong performance against South Carolina with his back against the wall, I like Florida to win this game by a comfortable margin.
Florida 27 Florida State 10
Chris: Every now and then Vegas gives you a gift, and this is that gift y’all. Florida -6.5 seems like free money. Sure, FSU has won 5 in a row by an average of 18.8 points. And sure, they have a 36-year bowl streak on the line. They also have a defense that’s allowed an average of 42 ppg over their last 4 games and an offensive line that is one of the worst in the Power 5. How do you have Cam Akers in your backfield and rank 126th in the country in total rushing yards? I’m not saying the Gators have been world beaters this season, but I think they will end this streak and do so emphatically.
Also, the real bet is how many unsportsmanlike conduct penalties Feleipe Franks will get. I’d say 2 minimum with the amount of trash talk that will be going on in this one.
Florida 30 Florida State 14
LSU at Texas A&M (-1.5)
Michael: This is the year Texas A&M’s skid against LSU finally comes to an end. Time for Jimbo Fisher to show why the Aggies invested so much to bring him to College Station by clearing this hurdle as well as slaying the program’s November woes once and for all. A&M will accomplish this by stuffing LSU on the ground and forcing Joe Burrow to beat them from the pocket, which is something LSU’s first-year starter has yet to do against SEC competition. With Breiden Fehoko out for the Tigers, Trayveon Williams will prove to be the difference and put up some big numbers in what will likely be his final game at Kyle Field.
Texas A&M 24 LSU 20
Chris: LSU has won seven in a row against A&M, yet somehow they’re a 3 point underdog to the Aggies. A&M has been one of the best teams against the spread all season at 8-3, and I love that Jimbo Fisher is 29-6 in November games during his career. What I love more than all of that is Coach O as an underdog. This game would mean a lot for both teams, but I think it means a lot more for this LSU team who has been an underdog for most of the year. Getting a 10th win and securing a New Year’s Six bowl bid would be huge for this team and program. And, no one is a better motivator than Coach O.
LSU 24 Texas A&M 17
Auburn at Alabama (-25.5)
Michael: If there’s one team on the Tide’s schedule that has no fear of Alabama, it’s Auburn. I feel strongly that separates them from many of the team’s Alabama regularly compete against and it played a part in why Ole Miss under Hugh Freeze often found success against Nick Saban’s program. Far too often, Alabama games are decided before the teams hit the field, due to the psychology of the game. That won’t be a problem for the Tigers come Saturday. No, their program is actually something entirely different, rushing the ball. Look for another lackluster performance from the Tigers on the ground in this one, which will prove to be the difference in the game. Auburn’s front line could make things interesting for a while, but the Tigers third down defense has been trending in the wrong direction for weeks. I’ll take Auburn to cover but not much else.
Alabama 42 Auburn 17
Chris: Let me be blunt, Auburn’s offense has been about as consistent and efficient as Comcast customer service this season. Bama has finally started to show some flaws now that they’ve played 2 ranked teams and an FCS wishbone juggernaut (haha). Auburn’s defense is still very talented, and can create problems up front and getting after Tua. I guarantee you that Gus will throw every trick in the book at Bama on Saturday: onside kicks, fake punts, actually utilizing Jarrett Stidham’s skillset by throwing downfield consistently, etc. It won’t matter. Bama is looking to prove a point, and in one of the most uncharacteristically Saban moves ever Bama actually rolled out a Heisman campaign for Tua. Thoughts and prayers Auburn.
Alabama 41 Auburn 10