We dropped back to 3-3 ATS last week but with a break here or there we could have done better:
**--LSU was a double-digit underdog at home against Florida and, quite frankly, I doubted if the Tigers would at all be interested in this 11 a.m. CT start. Turned out they were, beating Florida 49-42. It wasn’t enough, however to save Ed Orgeron’s job.
**--After scoring 107 points in its last two games, I was convinced Tennessee would beat Ole Miss in Knoxville. But Ole Miss found a way to win 31-26 as quarterback Matt Carrol played one of the best games of his career.
**--I thought Arkansas over Auburn in Fayetteville was the double platinum lock of the year. But quarterback Bo Nix was brilliant and the Tigers got a big win on the road, 38-23.
So that puts us 23-19 overall against the spread.
There is a thin slate of games this Saturday as Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, and Missouri are taking the week off. So for this week we’ll step outside of the SEC for a couple of our picks. Enjoy.
The game: LSU (plus 9 ½) at Ole Miss, 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The winner: The over/under is 75 1/2. Take the under
The score: Ole Miss 34, LSU 20.
The skinny: This is a hard game to pick ATS because we don’t know the status of Ole Miss quarterback Matt Carrol, who took a pretty good beating last week against Tennessee. LSU is playing for lame-duck head coach Ed Orgeron, who is leaving at the end of the season. I just don’t see the two teams scoring more than 75 ½ points.
The game: Tennessee (plus 29 ½) at Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN.
The winner: Alabama.
The score: Alabama 42, Tennessee 10.
The skinny: Alabama is now awake, as it showed in last week’s 49-9 win over Mississippi State. The Crimson Tide has only one road to the College Football Playoff. They must win the rest of their regular-season games and then beat Georgia in the SEC championship game.
Tennessee is coming off a really difficult loss to Ole Miss.
The Tide rolls and covers.
The game: South Carolina (plus 19 ½) at Texas A&M, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network.
The winner: Texas A&M.
The score: Texas A&M 35, South Carolina 10.
The skinny: Remember that Texas A&M still has a chance to win the SEC West if the Aggies (2-2 in the SEC) can win out and if Alabama (3-1) and Mississippi State (2-2) lose again. So there is still a lot for Texas A&M to play for. Aggies win and cover the 19 ½
The game: Mississippi State at Vanderbilt (plus 23 ½), 4 p.m, SEC Network.
The winner: Mississippi State.
The score: Mississippi State 42, Vanderbilt 14.
The skinny: Mississippi State (3-3) is a better team than the one that lost to Alabama (49-9) last week. The Bulldogs have beaten Texas A&M and had a three-point loss to LSU. Vanderbilt is 0-3 in the SEC and has given up 125 points in those games. Mississippi State wins and covers easily.
The game: Clemson (plus 3 ½) at Pitt, 3:30 p.m. ESPN
The winner: Pitt
The score: Pitt 24, Clemson 20.
The skinny: Pitt has one of the most underrated quarterbacks in college football in Kenny Pickett, who has thrown for 21 touchdowns and only one interception this season. This is the first time Clemson has ever played at Pittsburgh. Clemson (4-2, 3-1 ACC) can still win the Atlantic Division if it wins out and N.C. State (5-1, 2-0) loses twice. In other words, Clemson cannot afford another loss.
The game: Oregon (plus 2 ½) at UCLA, 3:30 p.m., ABC.
The winner: UCLA.
The score: UCLA 34, Oregon 31.
The skinny: Oregon (5-1) is the No. 10 team in the nation with a road win over No. 5 Ohio State. But the Ducks a slight underdog against UCLA at the Rose Bowl. Oregon has been struggling on offense since losing running back CJ Verdell in a game against Stanford on Oct. 2. If Oregon loses it pretty much eliminates the Pac-12 from getting a spot in the CFP.