We got off to a good start on our picks last week when Auburn, thanks in no small part to a controversial non-call, beat Ole Miss 35-28.
Then Alabama easily covered 21 points in beating Tennessee 48-17.
But then it was one long stretch of bad, bad road for your humble scribe. When the shouting was over, we were 2-4. That puts me at a less than satisfying 21-21 ATS after seven weeks.
Maybe I’ll get some help from The Great Pumpkin as we close out the month of October.
The game: Georgia (3-1) at Kentucky (2-3) (plus 15.5), Noon, SEC Network.
The winner: Georgia.
The score: Georgia 27, Kentucky 10.
The skinny: I was really tempted to take Kentucky and lay the points. I expect the Wildcats to bounce back after a truly awful performance against Missouri last week.
But this is Georgia’s final tune-up before playing Florida in Jacksonville next week and there are some things the Bulldogs need to iron out before meeting the Gators.
Here’s the X-factor. Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood will be making his first college start at quarterback for Kentucky. Starting QB Terry Wilson has a wrist injury.
Here’s another X-factor. These noon starts can be a little crazy.
The game: LSU (2-2) at Auburn (3-2) (plus 3), 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The winner: Auburn.
The score: Auburn 35, LSU 31.
The skinny: One of these teams is going to walk away from this game with its third loss. Not good.
History says it will be close. The last four meetings have all been decided by five points or fewer. LSU comes in with a three-game winning streak against Auburn.
This will be LSU’s second game with quarterback TJ Finley as quarterback. He was pretty impressive last week against South Carolina.
Still, I like Auburn to win at home straight up.
The game: Ole Miss (1-4) at Vanderbilt (0-3) (plus 16.5), 4 p.m., SEC Network.
The winner: Ole Miss.
The score: Ole Miss 42, Vanderbilt 24.
The skinny: Lane Kiffin has not been a happy camper this week. He is convinced that he got hosed by the officials in last week’s loss to Auburn. The SEC admitted the mistake but Coach Kiffin still had to write a $25,000 check for criticizing the guys in the stripes on social media. Simply put: Somebody is going to have to pay for what happened to Kiffin. And that somebody turns out to be Vanderbilt.
The game: Mississippi State (1-3) (plus 31.5) at Alabama (5-0), 7 p.m. ESPN.
The winner: Alabama.
The score: Alabama 52, Miss. State 17.
The skinny: It is so tempting to take Mississippi State and all those points, especially with Alabama looking ahead to an off week. But players in Starkville are bailing on Mike Leach. Among those leaving are running back Kylin Hill, the Bulldogs’ best weapon. This one is going to be really ugly. Alabama tacks on a late touchdown to cover.
The game: Arkansas (2-2) (plus 12.5) at Texas A&M (3-1), 7:30 p.m., SEC Network.
The winner: Arkansas.
The score: Texas A&M 24, Arkansas 17.
The skinny: The Hogs have been the surprise team in the SEC thus far and with the way their defense has been playing, I would pick them to win straight up if this game was being played in Fayetteville. But right now Aggie quarterback Kellen Mond is playing some of the best football of his career and they now will rely on a much improved running game. So I like the Aggies to win at Kyle Field but not to cover the 12 and a hook.
The game: Missouri (2-2) (plus 13.5) at Florida (2-1), 7:30 p.m., SEC Network Alternate.
The winner: Missouri.
The score: Florida 31, Missouri 21.
The skinny: I like the Gators to win but I don’t like them to cover the 13.5. Two reasons:
1—Because the Gators have not played since Oct. 10 (COVID-19) they are bound to be a bit flat.
2—And if there is ever a good time to play the Gators, it’s a week before they play Georgia in Jacksonville.
Missouri looked really impressive last week in beating Kentucky and Florida has had some issues on defense.
Florida wins, but it’s closer than the experts think.