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We’re back with another round of predictions in anticipation of Week 9 of the SEC season, minus the Ole Miss-Texas A&M as the Aggies did not have enough scholarship players to compete this weekend.

SDS news desk editor Michael Bratton (@MichaelWBratton) and SDS Podcast co-host Chris Marler (@VerneFUNquist) are back again to share their predictions picking SEC games and making picks against the spread.

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Chris is 21-21-1 against the spread for the season while Michael is 14-29 on the season.

Here is how the guys predict the Week 9 action to play out:

Mississippi State at Georgia (-25)

Michael: Kirby Smart is expected to finally reach into his bullpen and allow JT Daniels to see the field in Athens. That’s the good news, the bad news is it’s too late for it to make much of a difference as the Bulldogs have already played the two games that are going to define their season. If you haven’t been paying close attention to Mississippi State this year, they have one of the league’s best defenses. It’s a shame that Mike Leach’s offense only showed up for one game because Mississippi State had some real potential considering what the Bulldog defense has shown. The best bet in this game looks to be the under as it’s hard to tell how motivated Georgia will be for this game.

Georgia 33 Mississippi State 6

Chris: THANK YOU KIRBY. IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME. LET ME EXPRESS MY HAPPINESS AND GRATITUDE OF YOU FINALLY MAKING A CHANGE AT QUARTERBACK AND PLAYING SOMEONE WITH ACTUAL TALENT BY WRITING IN CAPS LOCK.

Perfect situation for UGA to be honest. The bar could literally not be lower for quarterback play or offensive ineptitude than Mississippi State this year. It should not be hard for the Dawgs to look good this weekend. Thankfully, JT Daniels will also help.

Georgia 34 Mississippi State 3

Missouri (-6.5) at South Carolina

Michael: This is the toughest matchup to call of the week as there’s no telling what each of these teams bring to the field this weekend. Missouri hasn’t played since Oct. 31 and the Tigers were blown out in that game. In fact, Mizzou has only played twice since Oct. 11. Meanwhile, given Will Muschamp’s firing this week in the other Columbia, who knows how the Gamecocks will respond to turning around and playing in a game. Adding to all the issues facing these two teams, they are both close to the 53 scholarship limit needed to play this weekend. I’m going with Missouri to win based purely on the fact they are the rested team but they likely have the thinnest roster in this matchup.

Missouri 30 South Carolina 28

Chris: South Carolina begins a new era Saturday. But, most likely the same disappointment. I’m excited to see the new direction the program goes in with a new head coach. And, to be honest I liked their chances of playing inspired football under an interim coach. That was until their two star corners Horn and Mukuamu declared for the Draft. Connor Bazelak should have a field day, and don’t forget that despite being a first year head coach in the SEC, Eli Drinkwitz has already won in Williams-Brice.

Missouri 31 South Carolina 20

LSU (-2.5) at Arkansas

Michael: I was leaning LSU heavily early in the week when Arkansas opened as the favorite but now that the line has completely swung, I’m not as confident in this pick but I still like the Tigers to win outright in Fayetteville on Saturday. What the Razorbacks have accomplished this season has been incredible but as the season marches on and Sam Pittman’s team loses more players to injury, they simply won’t have the bodies to match up against teams like LSU. The best shot Arkansas has in this one is to get after freshman QB TJ Finley and hope Bo Pelini still doesn’t know how to coach defense after having three weeks to prepare for this game. Feleipe Franks’ status also worries me as the injuries continue to mount for the Razorback signal-caller.

LSU 33 Arkansas 23

Chris: Last week LSU head coach Ed Orgeron admitted that they had been practicing for Arkansas since Monday despite being scheduled to play Alabama that Saturday. The Tigers have quit on the season. The program has proved this season that they don’t have the integrity or mental fortitude to do the right thing with COVID protocol AND sexual assault cases. We’re a far cry from that “we comin’ and we ain’t backin down” b******t from a year ago huh? Hogs by 90.

Arkansas 40 LSU 0

Kentucky at Alabama (-30)

Michael: If you missed it this week, Mark Stoops lashed out at his defense for their performance in recent games. Heading into the toughest test they’ll face all season, it felt like Stoops was desperate to energize his team to play some inspired football this weekend in Tuscaloosa. Given how much time off Alabama has had off to prepare for this game, the Crimson Tide should be feeling good heading into this matchup but this game should feature plenty of running from both teams. Alabama should win easily but I’ll take the Cats to cover.

Alabama 48 Kentucky 20

Chris: This is a terrible matchup for Kentucky. They may break off some big runs on a Bama defense that is absolutely vulnerable at times. But, the Cats have shown no sense of offensive consistency at any point this season. I’m not sure they score. My biggest question is how Mac Jones’ Heisman odds look against a UK secondary that has been dominant at times this year.

Alabama 41 Kentucky 7

Florida (-31.5) at Vanderbilt

Michael: That’s a ton of points to give up on the road but we all know playing in Vanderbilt Stadium isn’t the same as hitting the road in any other SEC venue. Vanderbilt has quietly put together some good halves of football in recent weeks but that may be more of a reflection of the competition (vs. Mississippi State and Kentucky) than anything else. The biggest danger for the Gators will be avoiding a slow start (11 a.m. local time kick) and playing in an empty stadium that can suck energy from a game. I’ve had faith in Vanderbilt to show up once this season but I’m not doing that again.

Florida 55 Vanderbilt 14

Chris: Two years ago Florida got into a fight with Vandy thanks to Todd Grantham and the Gators. It was disappointing, immature, poor sportsmanship, etc. Why do I bring that up? Because a sequel to the fight is the only thing that would make this game watchable. The Trask & TDs Heisman train keeps rolling in Nashville.

Florida 48 Vanderbilt 10

Tennessee at Auburn (-10.5)

Michael: Auburn’s record may lead some to believe they are one of the better teams in the SEC but I’m not seeing that from the Tigers, who outside of Tank Bigsby and Seth Williams, have been largely inconsistent this season. For every great play Bo Nix makes, he makes one just as bad to even things out. Chad Morris is helping about as much as you’d expect he would (as in not much). However, all that being said, Tennessee may be playing the worst football of any team in the league and while I don’t think Jeremy Pruitt should be on the hot seat at this time, if he continues to give Jarrett Guarantano every opportunity to disappoint Vol Nation, the Vol coach may soon find himself in the same spot as Will Muschamp.

Auburn 33 Tennessee 12

Chris: A few weeks ago after Auburn was gifted their second undeserving win of the season at Ole Miss, I said that we’re gonna look up in late November or December and somehow Auburn would be ranked and primed for a late season run or upset. Welcome to the nightmare Bama fans. Gus has been really good at home, and has covered in 5 of his last 6 at home when favored by double digits. I can’t see JG and this Vols offense doing anything against Kevin Steele’s defense. Especially not for 4 quarters.

Auburn 31 Tennessee 13