It’s that time again, time to make our predictions and bets for the upcoming weekend of action in the SEC.
Michael went 4-3 against the spread last week, marking his sixth consecutive winning week to open the season. His against the spread record for the season is 30-18. Chris went 2-5 last weekend, which puts his season total at 23-25 on the season.
Here’s how the guys predict the Week 7 games in the SEC:
Florida (-7) at Vanderbilt
Michael: I can’t figure out what to make of this line. It made sense to me when it opened as Florida as a double-digit favorite but even that appeared to factor in for the classic road letdown following the huge win over LSU last weekend. Had this line hovered around the double-digit mark, I would have considered taking the Commodores but I just can’t pick against the Gators giving only a touchdown on the “road” at Vanderbilt. Don’t be surprised if Florida has more fans show up for this game than the home team.
Florida 24 Vanderbilt 15
Chris: This line opened at 10 and has somehow been bet down in Vandy’s favor. Huh? It’s a tough spot for Florida from a betting standpoint because they’re coming off two emotional games in a row, and nothing screams hangover like following those wins with an 11 am CST kick in Nashville. Vandy hasn’t looked good ever since their loss at Notre Dame. I bet Florida will come out unfocused in the first half, but with the way their defense is playing, I don’t see Vandy hanging around for four quarters. The real play is the under.
Florida 27 Vanderbilt 14
Tennessee at Auburn (-15.5)
Michael: Auburn appears to be one step away from a dumpster fire and the defense may be on the brink of a mutiny if the offense can’t get things going. The segment of the fanbase that didn’t want Gus Malzahn extended has become vocal once again and the questions regarding the offensive playcalling and the decline of production from Jarrett Stidham has been alarming. Meanwhile, Tennessee continues to make steady improvements on both sides of the ball, is coming off a bye week and get the benefit of facing the Tigers at 11 a.m. local time on The Plains. That should make for a less than stellar homefield advantage for the Tigers, particularly coming off the disappointing loss to Mississippi State, which essentially ends all hope for Auburn’s SEC hopes this season. All that makes for good talking points but the reality is Tennessee won’t be able to matchup up against Auburn in the line of scrimmage. If Auburn fans think their offensive line has played poorly, they should study some Tennessee games to feel better about their team. I would have picked Tennessee and the points when this line debuted, but it’s come down enough for me to roll with the Tigers in a game they have to win and get the offense back on track.
Auburn 28 Tennessee 10
Chris: Let me be blunt, Gus Malzahn’s contract extension last year is the dumbest investment anyone has made since Bernie Madoff or the Thighmaster. Auburn looks bad. Plain and simple. Their offense can’t score or stretch the field. Their special teams have missed almost as many FG’s through 6 games as they did all of last year. And, last week their Defense gave up 349 yards rushing. Yikes. Tennessee showed a lot of heart and fire in their loss at UGA and should be well rested coming off a bye week. Plus, Jeremy Pruitt has faced Malzahn several times over their careers and should know what to expect from the Tigers on offense.
Against my better judgment, I keep thinking Auburn will right the ship because they are too talented to be this mediocre. Also, their biggest opponent so far this season seems to have been themselves and SEC officiating.
Auburn 30 Tennessee 13
Georgia (-7.5) at LSU
Michael: Here’s my upset special of the week, LSU puts itself back into contention in the SEC by upsetting Georgia at home. This Georgia team may have a slight edge in talent over LSU but this is a very young team that doesn’t feature a single player that’s been to Baton Rouge. How will this young roster, which features a beat up offensive line, handle the tough environment in a game against the toughest competition it has faced is my biggest question mark entering this game. LSU suffered its only loss of the season last week to Florida due to three factors: turnovers, an offensive line that was able to protect Joe Burrow and rushing yards allowed. I don’t expect the first two factors to come into play this weekend, as LSU has protected the ball all season leading up to that Florida game and Georgia does not feature a pass rusher capable of exposing LSU’s offensive line — the Bulldogs ranked dead last in the SEC in sacks, despite the fact they have faced the ninth most passing attempts. Look for Dave Aranda’s defense to bounce back this week and lead LSU to its biggest win of the season.
LSU 27 Georgia 24
Chris: In his short time as the UGA starting QB Jake Fromm has won some big games and shown the crowd/moment aren’t too big for him. Notre Dame, The Rose Bowl, The SEC & National Title games. None of that will prepare him for what he’s going to Saturday in Baton Rouge. Death Valley is a different animal. LSU should be angry after that Florida loss, and Orgeron will have them fired up knowing they’re a 7 point underdog at home. UGA has played undisciplined as of late averaging almost 9 penalties per game.
I’ve loved LSU for most of the year, and I hate betting against them in Death Valley. That crowd will be louder and more obnoxious than a Steve Harvey suit by game time. But, I think UGA is better all around right now and will win a close one.
Georgia 26 LSU 20
Texas A&M (-2.5) at South Carolina
Michael: South Carolina plans to hand the keys to the offense back to Jake Bentley after he missed the Missouri win and this is a storyline that isn’t being talked about outside of Columbia. Bentley has never lived up to the hype, giving way to plenty of criticism from Gamecock Nation in recent weeks. I hate to see the reaction should he cough up the ball a few more times against the Aggies. The way Mike Elko’s unit is playing right now, that’s entirely possible. For the Aggies to go on the road and win this one, Kellen Mond has to play a cleaner game than he has in recent weeks. While his play has been steady, the Aggie signal caller has given away the ball too many times to consistently win on the road. I like Trayveon Williams to be the difference in this game, as the Aggie back isn’t getting enough recognition for having one of the better seasons of all the backs in the SEC for 2018. Look for his big season to continue this weekend in Columbia.
Texas A&M 30 South Carolina 20
Chris: Will Muschamp said this week that if Jake Bentley is healthy then he’s the starter for the A&M game. Last week, backup QB Michael Scarnecchia threw for 200+ yards, 3 TD’s, and 0 INT’s against a Power 5 school. Guess how many times Jake Bentley has done that? Zero. A&M is coming off a big, emotional win in overtime against Kentucky, and having to travel 1,040 miles for this “rivalry” game. This game being an SEC “rivalry” game is the biggest disservice to the South since Nic Cage’s accent in the movie Con-Air. Carolina should’ve lost last week, and A&M is 6-1 ATS. So, “put the bunny back in the box” and let’s move on to another game.
Texas A&M 31 South Carolina 24
Missouri at Alabama (-28.5)
Michael: If Emanuel Hall was able to go, I would have picked Missouri in this one — with the spread, of course. Missouri’s speed receiver is that important to the offense and his continued absence is a big development this week. Not only can he take the top off a defense, but his presence also keeps them honest when he’s on the field. The Tigers are also sneaky good on the ground but much of that has to do with the fact opposing defenses are keeping boxes light in order to prevent getting burned by Drew Lock and the passing game. Lock hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in a month’s time and while that streak will likely end this weekend, even if Alabama goes light up front, the Tide’s defense should be able to limit the ground game. If South Carolina backup quarterback Michael Scarneccia can carve up Missouri’s secondary, I fear for what Tua Tagovailoa will do to them in the three quarters he plans to play in this one.
Alabama 56 Missouri 20
Chris: Missouri gave that game away to South Carolina last week. And, they did so SEVERAL times. Drew Lock has continued to underwhelm against Power 5 defenses. However, he had several dropped passes in the red zone and end zone. If Mizzou expects to keep this close then they’ll need a healthy Emmanuel Hall at WR. Bama’s defense gave up 31 points last weekend to Arkansas. They didn’t give up 30 points in a single game last year. Plus, starting CB Stephon Diggs broke his foot this week and will be out in what is already a suspect secondary. The good news for Bama? Mizzou’s Pass D is ranked 115th in the country, and Bama has Tua.
PS – If you’re headed to the game this weekend hit me up on social media, and you can yell at me in person about how awful my picks are and how much money I’ve cost you haha.
Alabama 48 Missouri 20
Ole Miss (-6.5) at Arkansas
Michael: Arkansas continues to improve on a weekly basis on the offensive side of the ball and special teams but the issues on defense were concerning last weekend. Is that a product of simply playing the offensive juggernaut that is Alabama right now or an issue with the overall talent of John Chavis’ unit? Perhaps if this game was played in Fayetteville I would have more faith in the Razorbacks but War Memorial Stadium hasn’t been kind to Arkansas in recent seasons and I look for that to continue against an Ole Miss team has the fireworks on offense to rout Chad Morris’ squad if they finally play to the level that they are capable of in a conference game. In the end, the Razorbacks won’t have an answer for the receiving corps of Ole Miss as I see the Rebels pulling away in a game Ole Miss really needs to win if they are going to have a strong close to the season.
Ole Miss 41 Arkansas 30
Chris: I haven’t been right a lot this year, but last week I said that Ole Miss -21.5 was easily the best play of the entire weekend. Ole Miss heads to Little Rock to play Arkansas in a stadium I don’t fully understand the history or benefit of since it holds almost 20,000 fewer people. These two defenses are about as strong as an arm amputee in a game of Red Rover. Ole Miss ranks 103rd or worse in all 4 major defensive categories. And, Arkansas is coming off an impressive game against Alabama where they were able to score 31 points and 405 yards of offense. However, they also gave up almost 400 yards passing on just 14 completions. Jordan Ta’amu and NWO should win another game despite their defense, but don’t be surprised if the Hogs get Chad Morris’ 1st signature win because of said defense.
Ole Miss 48 Arkansas 38
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