SEC Week 6 predictions (and bets)
Another crazy week in the SEC. Both Kevin and Michael went 100 percent on picking winners, but we get crushed when it comes to picking against the spread.
|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%)|
|W4||5/8 (63%)||3/8 (38%)||6/8 (75%)||5/8 (63%)|
|W5||7/7 (100%)||1/7 (14%)||7/7 (100%)||3/7 (43%)|
|TOTAL||37/46 (80%)||17/46 (37%)||36/46 (78%)||25/46 (54%)|
Alabama (-14) vs. Arkansas
Michael: Without question, Arkansas’ issues punching the ball in on the goal line against Texas A&M cost them the game in Arlington. Had the Hogs scored more than 3 points on three trips inside the 10-yard line, that game could have been much different, and the perception of the team would be much different heading into this game.
Despite Alabama’s stranglehold on the No. 1 ranking, the Tide still has several questions on offense heading into this game. Arkansas’ front seven will present Alabama its toughest challenge of the season to date. Will Jalen Hurts finally have an inconsistent performance in his second career true road game? The Tide’s receivers should have a clear advantage going up against the Arkansas defensive backs in this game, but if Hurts fails to accurately deliver the ball down the field, it won’t matter. Expect the Hogs to force Hurts to stay in the pocket and beat them with his arm this weekend.
For all the talk of a turnaround in Fayetteville under head coach Bret Bielema, Arkansas’ head coach has said it means nothing if the Razorbacks don’t beat Alabama. Clearly this is a game Bielema looks forward to every year after narrowly losing to the Tide last time the two played in Fayetteville. It’s going to take the performance of a lifetime from Austin Allen and company, but they have weapons on offense to not only make things interesting, but win this game outright. I’m going with the upset and 1,000 free pizzas for Arkansas students.
Arkansas 24, Alabama 21
Kevin: I think this game could look quite similarly to when Arkansas squared off against Texas A&M. The Hogs play gutsy and keep it close for a half, but Alabama pulls away late. The Alabama run defense is just too good, and while he’s tough as nails, Austin Allen is going to be on his back quite a bit during the game. I’ll take Alabama to win but missing the cover.
Alabama 28, Arkansas 21
Tennessee vs. Texas A&M (-7)
Michael: These two teams are strikingly similar. Both feature quarterbacks that have been inconsistent throwing the ball but are also capable of putting up huge numbers in the air and on the ground. Both teams have game-breaking running backs and a number of lengthy and physical receivers. The offensive lines of both teams were question marks at the beginning of the season, but both units have really come on in recent weeks. They both also have elite defensive linemen and excellent safeties capable of both run-stuffing and creating turnovers in the passing game.
The key to this game very well could be the Aggies’ running game. Kevin Sumlin’s record at A&M is a gaudy 37-4 when the Aggies rush for at least 150 yards. Filling in for the injured Darrin Kirkland (listed as day-to-day), Tennessee linebacker Colton Jumper has played the best two games of his career against Florida and Georgia. Expect the Aggies to attack the second level of the Vols’ defense yet again in this contest with Jalen Reeves-Maybin already declared out for the game. If Tennessee’s defense holds strong, the Vols should win, but getting down early in this one could finally put an end to Tennessee’s undefeated season.
One interesting note heading into this game: Kevin Sumlin is still seeking a signature conference win at home as the Aggies’ coach has a 6-9 home SEC record. Butch Jones on the other hand has a 6-7 SEC record on the road.
Tennessee 45, Texas A&M 38
Kevin: Can Tennessee get revved up again for a tough road game after the emotional win last week? I think it’s going to be difficult, especially with Alabama looming next. I’ve been impressed with the Aggies, namely their ability to run the ball and the ability to stop the run. I’m going with the Aggies at home.
This game has potential to be a wild one.
Texas A&M 41, Tennessee 38
Vanderbilt vs. Kentucky (-3)
Michael: Despite the fact he will be wearing a patch on his injured right eye, Vanderbilt is yet to rule out starting quarterback Kyle Shurmur. That’s pretty much all you need to know about the Derek Mason era in Nashville. I like Mark Stoops to quiet the hot seat talk for another week and turn up the heat on Mason’s seat this weekend.
Kentucky 27, Vanderbilt 17
Kevin: A one-eyed quarterback? Yeah, that’s not going to end well. I’ll go with the Cats in a game that pretty much nobody is going to watch.
Kentucky 24, Vanderbilt 12
Auburn (-2.5) vs. Mississippi State
Michael: All is well in Auburn after the Tigers smashed another non-competitive team on the field. However, the last time that happened, Auburn was favored against Texas A&M at home and the offense went consecutive games without reaching 20 points. While ditching the visor may seem like the perfect cure for fixing the offense on The Plains, going up against overmatched defenses had far more to do with it.
Mississippi State’s defensive unit is much tougher than it’s given credit for, particularly the front seven led by A.J. Jefferson. Given Sean White’s lack of mobility, MSU won’t have to worry about the full arsenal of Gus Malzahn’s offense coming at them this week. The running game has been what has propelled Auburn’s offense this season, but unfortunately for the Tigers, stopping the run just so happens to be MSU’s strength.
Dan Mullen has had Malzahn’s number in recent seasons, and the streak moves to three this week.
Mississippi State 24, Auburn 21
Kevin: Once again, Auburn put up big points against a cupcake last week and covered the spread. The game will look more like the Auburn-LSU game a few weeks ago in my opinion, but the Bulldogs just don’t have the firepower to win the game.
Auburn 20, Mississippi State 17
LSU (-3) vs. Florida
Michael: Heading into this game, LSU clearly looks like a team on the rise while Florida is dealing with a number of issues. Ed Orgeron has brought new life to the Tigers and miraculously rejuvenated the offense in a week’s time. Derrius Guice showed that he could be a featured back for the Tigers’ offense and could be even more potent this weekend against a banged up Florida defensive line.
The potential return of Luke Del Rio could be huge for the Gators as Austin Appleby has proven to be a bust after his strong start against Tennessee. At this point, his mouth has scored more points for the Gators than his arm. However, if Del Rio can’t go, the Gators could be in real trouble in this game.
It’s nice to see both defenses have been talking trash about the opposing team’s offenses leading up to this game. It’s clear neither defense respects the offenses in this game. Both defenses rank in the top three in the SEC in stopping the run, and considering the quarterbacks in this matchup, this game could get ugly.
Side note: Without a doubt, the weather looms large over this game, and considering the likely mismatches created by the two defenses combined with the potential for terrible weather, the under looks like a safe play.
LSU 20, Florida 10
Kevin: This game is a strange one to predict because the status of the game is so up in the air with Hurricane Matthew right off the coast of Florida. As of this writing, the game hasn’t been rescheduled, but it appears that at a minimum, the game might get moved to later in the day. With the schedule not set, there’s a good chance that the players are out of their usual routine.
LSU played with passion last week in the first game under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. Can they keep the momentum this week? These games are always close. I’m going with Florida getting 3 points at home.
Florida 21, LSU 20
Georgia (-7) vs. South Carolina
Michael: No matter how you look at this one, it could be ugly. Georgia has to pick itself up after one of the most heartbreaking losses in school history while South Carolina has hit the skids recently, dropping three of its last four after winning the opener.
The Gamecocks desperately want to keep this game in Columbia, and for good reason, as SC has not lost to the Bulldogs at home since 2008. In order to keep that streak alive, the Gamecocks badly need to get things going offensively — South Carolina currently ranks dead last in scoring offense with 14 points per game.
I would be picking against the Bulldogs if not for the expected return of Nick Chubb. No way his teammates fail to show up given all the hurdles Chubb has had to overcome to see the field this week. Regardless of where this game is played, Georgia should win it.
Georgia 24, South Carolina 20
Kevin: Coming off a heartbreaker against Tennessee, Georgia once again had good parts and bad parts to the game. The spread is a bit large considering the history between these teams, the fact that I don’t entirely trust Georgia and the looming hurricane off the coast that might change the venue of the game. Nonetheless, I’m going to bet against Will Muschamp here. I’m going with Georgia to win and cover.
Georgia 27, South Carolina 18