Let’s just say that your loyal prognosticator is ready for the month of November to end. Oh brother.
Once again we went 3-3 against the spread and simply could not catch a break.
For a number of reasons I picked Arkansas, a 2.5 point underdog at home, to beat LSU straight up. LSU won by three, 27-24.
I picked Florida to cover 31.5 at winless Vanderbilt but the Commodores played the Gators tough and lost by 21.
As poorly as Mississippi State was playing I thought Georgia would cover 25.5 in Athens. Instead Mississippi State, with only 49 players, lost by only seven 31-24.
But some things did go right:
Missouri was a 6.5-point favorite at South Carolina and won by seven. Alabama easily covered 30.5 in beating Kentucky 63-3. Auburn covered 11.5 in beating Tennessee 30-17.
So that leaves us at 33-33 OTS with four Saturdays left to play.
Here we go:
The game: Kentucky (3-5) (plus 21.5) at Florida (6-1), Noon, ESPN
The winner: Florida.
The score: Florida 38, Kentucky 14.
The skinny: Kentucky is hurting after a 63-3 beatdown by Alabama last week. Going to the Swamp and facing Kyle Trask (31 touchdown passes) is not a good way to get well. Florida was No. 6 in the first College Football Playoff rankings and has a clear path to the playoffs if the Gators can win their last four games with Kentucky, Tennessee, and LSU in the regular season and a likely date with Alabama in the SEC championship game. Here lately Kentucky has played Florida tough. Not this season. Gators cover the 21.5.
The game: Vanderbilt (0-7) (plus 14.5) at Missouri (3-3), Noon, SEC Network.
The winner: Vanderbilt.
The score: Missouri 28, Vanderbilt 17.
The skinny: Vanderbilt was originally supposed to play Tennessee at home on Saturday but some games were shuffled due to concerns about the coronavirus. After a rocky start, Vanderbilt is actually starting to play better. The Commodores played a seven-point game against Mississippi State, came back and lost a three-point game against Kentucky, and last week freshman quarterback Ken Seals threw for 319 yards against Florida. Missouri, which won at South Carolina (17-10) last week, wins the game but doesn’t cover the 14.5.
The game: Auburn (5-2) (plus 24.5) at Alabama (7-0), 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The winner: Auburn.
The score: Alabama 42, Auburn 20.
The skinny: Alabama will be without head coach Nick Saban, who tested positive for the coronavirus and will be watching the game from home. Auburn has won two of its past three games with Alabama and nobody else can say that. Without Saban, I don’t expect Alabama to cover the 24.5. But here is the X-factor. Tank Bigsby, Auburn’s splendid freshman running back, is questionable due to a hip injury. If Bigsby can’t go, it’s going to be tough for Auburn to get inside the 24.5.
The game: Mississippi State (2-5) (plus 9.5) at Ole Miss (3-4), 4 p.m., SEC Network.
The winner: Ole Miss.
The score: Ole Miss 45, Mississippi State 35
The skinny: This, like most Egg Bowls, is going to be a wild one. It starts with the Ole Miss offense, which has scored 50 or more points in back-to-back SEC games with Vanderbilt and South Carolina, a first in school history. Wide receiver Elijah Moore, whose unsportsman like penalty in last season’s game played a key role in a 21-20, has a shot at redemption. He leads the nation in receiving yards per game (159.3) and catches per game (10-6). I predict he’ll come up big. But keep this in mind: Ole Miss is dead last in the SEC in scoring defense (40.9 ppg).
The game: LSU (3-3) (plus 13.5) at Texas A&M (5-1), 7 p.m., ESPN.
The winner: Texas A&M.
The score: Texas A&M 41, LSU 27.
The skinny: Thanks to the randomness of the virus, Texas A&M has not played since a 48-3 win over South Carolina on Nov. 7. But Aggie fans should not be worried about a letdown because their team has a lot to play for down the stretch. Texas A&M was No. 5 in the first set of CFP rankings that were released Tuesday. If the Aggies can win their final four games with LSU, Auburn, Tennessee, and Ole Miss they have a good shot at an at-large berth in the playoffs. But look out for TJ Finley, LSU’s big freshman quarterback, who seems to get better with each outing. He won’t be able to keep pace with Kellen Mond of Texas A&M, but he could make this game closer than the experts think.
The game: Georgia (5-2) at South Carolina (2-6) (plus 21.5), 7:30 p.m.
The winner: Georgia.
The score: Georgia 42, South Carolina 20.
The skinny: There’s a lot going on in this game. First of all, it will be South Carolina’s second game with Mike Bobo as the interim head coach. Bobo and Georgia coach Kirby Smart were teammates together at Georgia and are the best of friends. Secondly, it will be interesting to see how Georgia quarterback JT Daniels follows up on his debut last Saturday, when the threw for 401 yards in a 31-24 over Mississippi State.
A factor: When Will Muschamp was fired at South Carolina two weeks ago, several players opted out of the rest of the season. That list included South Carolina’s best defensive back, Jaycee Horn.