SEC Week 4 predictions (and bets)
Week 3 was an exciting week with some interesting spreads. How about that Alabama-Ole Miss back door cover. I’d like to say I didn’t see that coming, but wait, I did!
In our predictions, Kevin had a good week 3 (finally) to at least make it interesting between he and Michael moving forward. Kevin is slightly ahead on winners while Michael remains in the lead on against-the-spread (ATS) picks.
|W1||8/13 (62%)||4/13 (31%)||9/13 (69%)||5/13 (38%)|
|W2||7/8 (88%)||2/8 (25%)||8/8 (100%)||4/8 (50%)|
|W3||10/10 (100%)||7/10 (70%)||6/10 (60%)||8/10 (80%)|
|TOTAL||25/31 (81%)||13/31 (42%)||23/31 (74%)||17/31 (55%)|
Kent State vs. Alabama (-44)
Michael: This game represents the last chance Alabama has to rest up before hitting a six game SEC stretch, expect to see many younger players getting on the field for the Tide this weekend. With that being said, the ground game is beginning to take shape on offense and this one could get out of hand early in Tuscaloosa. Kent State lost to North Carolina A&T last weekend.
Alabama 55, Kent State 6
Kevin: You’ve got a significant mismatch here in terms of talent, so really the only question is how hard does Saban and Kiffin put the pedal down? Saban doesn’t like to embarrass cupcake opponents especially his alma matter, but I think Alabama still covers this spread.
Alabama 49, Kent State 0
Georgia vs. Ole Miss (-7)
Michael: The Bulldogs are riding high after escaping Mizzou with a narrow victory. Of the many troubling signs from the Mizzou game, the one that concerns me the most is the fact Georgia won the turnover battle by four and still only managed to win the game by one in the closing minutes and needed to drive the length of the field to make it happen. If you win the turnover battle by that large of a margin to a vastly inferior talented team, the score should not even be close. Ole Miss has its back against the wall and realistically could miss a bowl game with another home SEC loss here to Georgia. Considering the UGA’s offensive line is a mess and the defense cannot generate much pass rush at all, the Rebels have the pieces in place to pick apart this Georgia team. This one could get ugly early.
Ole Miss 38, Georgia 17
Kevin: I’m in agreement here with Michael. Ole Miss is going to roll here. Let’s not forget how difficult both Florida State and Alabama are in terms of opponents. Ole Miss is still a good team, and they’re going to put it on Georgia. If we’re wrong and Ole Miss loses another, things will start to get interesting down in Oxford.
Ole Miss 31, Georgia 21
Florida vs Tennessee (-6.5)
Michael: Had Luke Del Rio suited up for this game, my pick would have been for the Gators, but unfortunately for Florida, the offense is now in the hands of Austin Appleby. While not to discredit the performance of Florida’s defense to this point, the gaudy statistics have come at the expense of some of the worst team’s in the nation and in part due to Florida’s own ineffective offense failing to convert in the red zone on fourth downs – which has helped pin opposing defenses against their own goal line on multiple occasions. While the Tennessee offensive line has looked atrocious at times, Chance Hall should return to the lineup in time for this game giving the Vols a physical presence at RT. The Gator pass rush won’t mean much if Tennessee continually pounds away at the Gators and shy away from the passing game Saturday. I can’t remember the last time an opposing quarterback disrespected a rapid fan base and that actually worked out for him – not to mention someone with little to no meaningful experience in the SEC. The Vols historically play well when little is expected of them and this game will be no exception.
Tennessee 28, Florida 20
Kevin: I’ve been pretty unimpressed overall with the Vols after three weeks and that includes the Battle at Bristol (I think Virginia Tech is very average). Florida’s been average at times too, but at least they have an identity with a dominant defense. Tennessee’s defense has been disappointing for me. With that said, I think this is the year that the streak ends. Dobbs makes enough plays in the second half running the ball, and the Vols win a close one against the Gators.
Tennessee 17, Florida 16
Mississippi State (-22) vs. UMass
Michael: Surprisingly, Mississippi State is another team that just can’t get the quarterback position settled this season. Despite Dan Mullen’s strong track record of strong quarterback play, both Nick Fitzgerald and Damien Williams have flashed in moments but neither possesses the tools to put together a complete game so far into this season. Outside of Fitzgerald, MSU has lacked much of a ground game and really needs to get something going on the ground in this game. With the defense continuing to adjust to the transition under coordinator Peter Sirmon, don’t be surprised if UMass has some success in this game. Don’t forget, this UMass team played Florida tough in Week 1.
Mississippi State 35, UMass 17
Kevin: Mississippi State is not going to be a good football team this season, but as we saw against South Carolina, they’re not going to be terrible either. Despite traveling up to the forsaken lands of the north, I think Mullen gets his team to rally after the loss to LSU last week.
Mississippi State 31, UMass 6
Vanderbilt vs Western Kentucky (-7.5)
Michael: The Commodores could not slow down the option attack last weekend and now must turn around and attempt to stop pass-happy WKU as Vanderbilt travels to Bowling Green this weekend. WKU’s Mike White has quietly put together a great start to his career and has two high level targets in NFL prospect Taywan Taylor and Nicholas Norris. Vandy running back Ralph Webb can’t do it all by himself and sophomore quarterback Kyle Shurmur has yet to prove he can do his share on offense. As if Derek Mason’s seat could get any hotter, dropping this one sets up the Commodores for a brutal seven SEC game stretch in the remaining eight weeks of the season.
Western Kentucky 35, Vanderbilt 21
Kevin: How can you trust Vandy right now after that debacle against Georgia Tech? At this point, I’m probably going against Vanderbilt from here on out.
Western Kentucky 27, Vanderbilt 13
LSU (-3.5) vs Auburn
Michael: Danny Etling is by no means a great quarterback but he’s steady and he understands how to take advantage of what the defense gives him – something Brandon Harris never learned to do. Leonard Fournette still looks to be battling through his injury but No. 7 at 80 percent is still better than nearly every player in the nation. It’s understandable why so many are questioning Auburn’s offensive game plans after three games but the truth is the team is severely lacking in playmakers. Sean White is clearly the best option for Auburn at QB but with him under center, the Tigers lack explosiveness and cannot fully utilize Malzahn’s Run-Pass-Option plays. In a game that should be a low-scoring affair, LSU has far more explosive play potential and may only need a handful of big plays to leave Auburn with a win. It’s been two seasons since Auburn has won a home SEC game.
LSU 20, Auburn 14
Kevin: Is it just me, or is this game going to be really ugly? I think Fournette has a disappointing outing as Auburn’s stout defensive front just loads the box and keys on No. 7. To me, this game will be a coin flip result decided by fewer than three points. I’ll take LSU since Etling looks like he can complete some passes. Auburn goes down again, but not by much.
LSU 17, Auburn 14
South Carolina vs Kentucky (-2.5)
Michael: While South Carolina is currently a work in progress on offense, Kentucky more closely resembles a burning train wreck on defense. Freshman quarterback Brandon McIlwain showed real signs of progress last week against ECU but has yet to firmly establish himself as a bonafide SEC caliber quarterback. While his progression will likely continue this week in Lexington the quarterback I’ll be more interested in seeing is Kentucky junior Stephen Johnson. The JUCO transfer arrived this offseason and sparked the Wildcats’ offense last weekend against New Mexico State. As poor as the Wildcats have played to this point, they still have significantly more talent than the Gamecocks heading into this game and could right the ship after a devastating first two weeks of the season.
Kentucky 24, South Carolina 21
Kevin: I think the wheels are coming off in Lexington, and while I’m seriously skeptical of Muschamp, the wheels won’t fall off in Columbia for at least another couple weeks (I kid, I kid). Kentucky’s defense is horrendous, and as such, I’m going with the Cocks to get the upset!
Kentucky 17, South Carolina 27
Arkansas vs TAMU (-6)
Michael: This should be the best game of the weekend in the SEC. Thanks to balanced play on both sides of the ball, each team is likely to factor into the SEC West race by season’s end. The key to the game could come down to the Aggies defensive ends making a play or two that defines the game, as Myles Garrett and Daeshon Hall are matchup nightmares for an Arkansas team will searching for the best five offensive linemen up front – as good as Dan Skipper has been so far this season, Garrett’s speed could be an issue Saturday. The A&M receivers should have an advantage over the Hogs defensive backs in this matchup, as well. Believe it or not, Texas A&M has not consistently been run on this season. That could change if the Hogs get a good push up front as Rawleigh Williams certainly looks the part of a No. 1 back in Bret Bielema’s offense. If Arkansas can grind this game out and methodically work the clock, the Hogs could pull this one out. Both teams have excellent coordinators, making the chess game this weekend all the more exciting to watch. If the game comes down to either quarterback making a key play, I have more faith in Austin Allen to make it happen than Trevor Knight. Expect a wild game that goes down to the wire.
Texas A&M 33, Arkansas 30
Kevin: This line quickly moved up to 6 points as the public bet on Texas A&M. I’ve been high on the Aggies all year, and took them to upset Auburn last week on the road, but I think they run into a difficult matchup this week. In my first iteration here, I picked Arkansas to get a close win and upset the Aggies, but I’ve changed my mind. Aggies still win, but don’t cover the spread. 4-0 Aggies!
Texas A&M 28, Arkansas 27
Note: Missouri game not being picked because at time of publishing, there was not a spread for this game (this happens with cupcake games from time to time)