The action around the league is heating up with this weekend featuring several conference games. With that in mind, here’s how we see predict several teams starting their 2018 conference schedule in Week 4.

Once again, this season it’s news desk editor Michael Bratton (@MichaelWBratton) and SDS Podcast co-host Chris Marler (@CMarlerSDS) making the weekly SEC picks against the spread.

Michael had his third consecutive winning week to open the season with a 6-4 record for Week 3, bringing his season total to 17-9 against the spread. Chris went 5-5 in Week 3, bringing his season total to 14-12.

Here’s how the guys predict the Week 4 games in the SEC:

Georgia (-14.5) at Missouri

Michael: My main concern going into this one would be the potential for a backdoor cover by Missouri and Drew Lock. The Tiger offense has the capability of putting up a ton of yards against any opponent, even one as talented as Georgia but Mizzou is only converting red zone opportunities into touchdowns 56.25 percent of the time. That number is good for 11th in the SEC after playing UT Martin, Wyoming and Purdue. I like UGA to limit the Tigers in the red zone and control the line of scrimmage on the way to another big SEC win.

Georgia 38 Missouri 17

Chris: Last year Missouri went into Athens and for almost a half of football proceeded to shock the world and put up 21 points. UGA fans have been loud all week on social media about how they’re not on upset alert, and they’re “not worried about a team that should’ve lost to Purdue.” Guess what, they didn’t lose to Purdue. So stop acting like they’re not 3-0 and that y’all didn’t beat them by a single point (28-27) last time Kirby brought the Dawgs to CoMo.

UGA is elite, and they are really talented, and so is Drew Lock. He leads the SEC in TD’s, completions, attempts, and Passing yards. However, his numbers against teams with winning records is not that impressive, and who am I kidding UGA is probably going to run away with this one. UGA leads the country in completion percentage at QB (80.6%) and Mizzou gave up 574 yards through the air last week while 3 Purdue WR’s had over 100 yards. Uh oh.

Georgia 41 Missouri 24

Kent State at Ole Miss (-29)

Michael: I’m a believer in Alabama being able to break the will of the teams it has just defeated and there are legit concerns that the Rebels could be the next body on the trash heap left to stumble after being dismantled by the Crimson Tide in this game. As much as I want to pick Ole Miss to win but not cover, I’m going with the Rebels based on the fact Kent State is one of the worst team in college football this season. Besides, coming off a 53-point loss at Penn State, Kent State has got some wounds of its own to lick heading into the weekend.

Ole Miss 52 Kent State 20

Chris: Instead of breaking down this game I’m just going to give you a list of things that have more holes than Ole Miss’ defense: Swiss cheese, Urban Meyer’s alibi, OJ’s alibi, spaghetti strainers, Dennis Rodman’s ears, nose, and lips, a hammock, a cemetery, and Spaghettio’s.

Ole Miss has a lot to work on with their defense, but my God is that offense talented.

Ole Miss 59 Kent State 28

Texas A&M at Alabama (-27)

Michael: No point spread appears to be big enough when Alabama is involved. The Crimson Tide have covered every single game this season and look unstoppable on offense and the conventional wisdom says Alabama will score another 50-60 points and march on to victory. I’m not buying it this week. Alabama hasn’t matched up with anything resembling a defense and Texas A&M has already proven it can punch up at an opponent that rivals Alabama in terms of talent. This will be a game where Alabama’s lack of elite coaches around Nick Saban this season first rears its ugly head, I have the Aggies with a big coaching advantage at both coordinator spots and Jimbo Fisher may prove to be the SEC’s second-best coach by the end of the season. Alabama will win but the Aggies cover.

Alabama 35 Texas A&M 23

Chris: Who cares about the rankings? Who cares about Saban vs. one of his former assistants? Who cares about any of that crap? The real storyline is, will we finally get to see Tua play a full 60 minutes of football?

All I want for Christmas/ the 2018 season is to see what that would look like. I thought it would happen at Ole Miss, but thank God it didn’t because the Tide would’ve hung 100 on them. That’s not a joke. That probably would’ve happened.

This week Saban tries to extend his winning streak vs. former assistants to 12. A&M has been the pleasant surprise of the SEC this season after barely losing to #2 Clemson a few weeks ago. Kellen Mond is the only QB in the country to throw for more than 800 yards and not have an interception. Can he continue that vs a Tide D that gave up 238 total yards to Ole Miss last week? In short, no.

Alabama 45 Texas A&M 17

South Carolina (-2.5) at Vanderbilt

Michael: This line continues to baffle me as the gap between Georgia and South Carolina is similar to the gap between the Gamecocks and the rest of the SEC East in my opinion. That doesn’t mean SC is going to roll into Nashville and destroy Vanderbilt but that result wouldn’t shock me, either. Vanderbilt deserves credit for nearly winning at Notre Dame but the Irish don’t deserve top 10 status they currently have, thus the narrative that Vandy hung with a nationally elite team is misleading. When you also factor in the fact there will likely be more South Carolina fans at this game than Commodore fans — trust me, I live in Nashville and have experienced the migration of Gamecock fans to town for this game — Vandy won’t even have much, if any, homefield advantage in this one.

South Carolina 27 Vanderbilt 16

Chris: Welcome to my weekly “I’m Gonna Overthink the Crap Out of This” Game. Carolina heads to Vandy after a week off from Hurricane Florence. Vandy returns to Smashville after one of their patented “bless their heart” efforts against Notre Dame. Vandy’s D is good, and there were several incidents in that game where if things go Vandy’s way they win the game. But, they didn’t and seemingly never do with Vandy.

South Carolina came into the season with big expectations, but were destroyed in Week 2 against UGA. I haven’t been that underwhelmed since the Fergie national anthem at last year’s NBA All-Star game. Carolina’s offense hasn’t performed well yet this season. But, they’re way more talented than Vanderbilt and still capable of being a very good unit. Usually when Vegas puts out a line like this they’re begging for suckers to bet on the “obvious” pick. Fine. Take my money. Spurs Up!

South Carolina 24 Vanderbilt 20

Louisiana Tech at LSU (-21.5)

Michael: Three games into the season, LSU has yet to turn the ball over in 2018. If that changes on Saturday, look for Louisiana Tech to cover in this one. The line in this one is inflated due to LSU’s big win over Auburn on the national stage and there will be a natural let down factor in this one after winning the physical matchup on the road at Auburn. Tech is also coming off a bye in this game and Skip Holtz team is no strangers to playing SEC teams and playing them well. I’ll take three touchdowns and a half point in this one.

LSU 35 Louisiana Tech 20

Chris: LSU is in a bad spot here with the line. They’re coming off a huge emotional victory at Auburn, and they are one of the more flawed 3-0 teams in the country. Regardless, they’re 3-0 and 2018 continues to be the Year of the O! I don’t think LSU will have any trouble with La Tech, but it worries me that the line is so low and payout odds are more in favor of taking La Tech (-115) than they are taking LSU (-105).

Joe Burrow won offensive player of the week after only completing roughly 43% of his passes. He’s last in the league in completion percentage. But, if you think I’m gonna say Neaux to Jeaux you are wrong.

LSU 34 Louisiana Tech 10

Mississippi State (-10) at Kentucky

Michael: It’s hard not to be impressed with Kentucky this season. The Wildcats are knocking at the door of a ranking and deserve that honor following a great start to the season. The only problem? Mississippi State is worthy of a top 10 ranking and should dominate this game on the line of scrimmage. With Nick Fitzgerald finding his groove in the passing game, look for Joe Moorhead’s offense to continue to progress for the Bulldogs, as the entire playbook has yet to be opened up for Hail State. Benny Snell is my favorite player in the SEC this year but he can’t do everything by himself against an opponent of this caliber. It’s going to take a Herculean effort by Terry Wilson just to keep this one close.

Mississippi State 45 Kentucky 20 

Chris: I think this may be the best conference game of the week. Mississippi St heads to Lexington to face an undefeated Kentucky team that is on the cusp of turning the corner. Again. Mississippi St is in an interesting spot here, and I wonder if the Bulldogs will overlook UK since their former coach Dan Mullen comes to town next week.

I like Kentucky. I think they’re better than people are giving them credit for, and I think Benny Snell may be the star in the making that he keeps telling himself, and everyone else, he is. However, Mississippi St is averaging over 8.5 ypp on offense, and that D-Line will be tough to run against. I think Kentucky keeps it close but Miss St heads into the Mullen Bowl at 4-0.

Mississippi State 28 Kentucky 20

Florida (-4.5) at Tennessee

Michael: This could be one ugly football game. If both teams play up to their full potential, this could be a slightly watchable game. That’s about all we can expect based on what we’ve seen during the first three weeks of the season. Both sides have obvious flaws and questionable strengths, with both being exposed once already this season. The good news for both teams? Neither team is likely capable of exposing the other’s weaknesses, so they got that going for them. Neyland Stadium should be rocking come Saturday night but that’s been the case several times in recent memory and it hasn’t been enough to propel the Vols to victory against many SEC foes. For all of Dan Mullen’s goofiness, he’s still proven to be a better head coach than Jeremy Pruitt, that’s basically the only logical reason I can point to for making this pick.

Florida 26 Tennessee 13

Chris: Just like boy bands and a thriving economy this rivalry also peaked in the 90’s. Florida heads to Tennessee in a game that used to be a heavyweight title fight. Now, it feels like we’re watching two former WWE champs in their 60’s fight at whatever municipal complex that will pay them $15 in rural East Tennessee.

This game has lost its luster. Just don’t tell that to the fans of either school. These offenses are impish, and the defenses have plenty of holes. However, and I’m gonna regret saying this I’m sure, I think Tennessee is more talented than Florida. They definitely have the better QB, and for that reason, I’m picking the Vols. Feel free to yell at me in the comment section. Just remember that you’re not mad at me. You’re mad at the fact that Vandy and Carolina are playing a more impactful divisional game than this one…

Tennessee 23 Florida 19

Arkansas at Auburn (-29.5)

Michael: We’ve seen nothing to suggest this Razorback team is going to win an SEC game this season. Auburn may be able to pick its margin of victory in this one and with what has been rumored as a player revolt in the locker room in Fayetteville, Chad Morris’ statement that players shouldn’t make the trip to Auburn if they don’t believe they can win seems to suggest that may indeed be the case. The only way I could imagine Arkansas covering in this one is if they rally away from home and take an “us against the world” mentality and come out swinging. With questions regarding the buy-in factor under Morris, that seems doubtful at this point.

Auburn 58 Arkansas 10

Chris: Let’s just keep this short and sweet. Arkansas is a dumpster fire inside of a s*** storm. I thought North Texas would keep it close with Arkansas, but I didn’t think they would necessarily win outright. And, I definitely didn’t think they would embarrass the Hogs at home.

Auburn should dominate Arkansas from start to finish. It should never be close. But, don’t expect Auburn to run it up on them since Gus Malzahn and Chad Morris are great friends, and refer to each other as the “BROzark Boys.” I made that last part up…

Auburn 44 Arkansas 13