Vanderbilt can't lose this weekend. They also aren't playing, but when did we start becoming sticklers for details?
The Commodores earned their first week off of 2014 after hanging on to beat Charleston Southern last Saturday. They'll need all the prep time they can get before heading to Columbia for a showdown with Missouri. The Tigers will be looking for a rebound win after getting smoked by a Todd Gurley-less Georgia last week.
Without a Vandy game to predict, we expanded our scope to the rest of the SEC. Here's what our writers had to say about this weekend's conference showdowns. Every winner here is picked against the spread, so a bet on A&M doesn't necessarily mean we think they'll win - just that they'll be within 12 points of Alabama when the final whistle blows.
All odds are as of Oct. 13, 2014. While lines change, and are different depending on the book, these are the ones we used.
|------||Andrew VU'04||Christian D'Andrea||VandyImport||VandyNOVA||VandyTigerPhD|
12:00 ET (SECN)
#21 Texas A&M (+12)
15:30 ET (CBS)
16:00 ET (SECN)
19:00 ET (ESPN2)
19:30 ET (SECN)
19:00 ET (ESPN)
|All odds as of Oct. 13, 2014.|
Christian D'Andrea: Not a lot of controversy here, but I am firmly a Kentucky believer after they outscored South Carolina and managed to plant Wade Freebeck into the Commonwealth Stadium turf approximately 300 times three weeks ago. Missouri is an underdog at Florida, presumably because gamblers think that Tennessee's home field advantage must have been worth 30 points last week. I'll take the Tigers and the #FireMuschamp chants despite last week's loss.
With the exception of September's game against Oklahoma, Tennessee hasn't been losing by wide margins. 16.5 points seems like a lot to spot them, even if it pains me to pick them. A&M is a gut pick. Alabama has that Kiffin stink now, and I think that means that the Aggies will give them a tougher run than they bargained for.
Andrew VU '04: I'm not as confident as everyone else that Vandy will emerge from this week unscathed. During the bye week, I predict at least 5 players to contract pneumonia due to 6 weeks of near-continuous Het Wetting.
As for the rest of the conference, I think Ole Miss will blow the doors off the Chuggers' Chugwagon, Arkie will give UGA a run for their money, and aTm will beat Ramajama. Pawwwwwwl!
VandyTigerPhD: Ok, I don't even think the USC - Furman games needs an explanation. It's such a pathetic matchup, no oddsmaker is daring to touch it. Aggie +12 is the obvious pick over Alabama Why? Well, Bama literally beat Arkansas by an XP. Two weeks ago, they couldn't protect the ball at against Florida. Bama is a good team, but not better than Aggie. Arky (+3.5) is very likely benefiting from playing Bama (and several other teams) well this year. It's going to be a close one, but I'm going GUT PICK and taking Arky and the points! Florida (-5) is a bad team, but so is Missouri. The difference here is that Muschamp is very much playing for his career. I can't pick against that with only a 5 point spread.
Kentucky (+11) is not so much a pick against LSU as it is a pick against LSU being able to win by more than two scores if they do. Let's not forget LSU barely squeaked by Florida (which is worse than Kentucky) in what may be their only conference game of the season. I'm not picking a winner/loser here, I'm just doubtful of Les' ability to win this by anything significant. Finally, Mississippi (-16.5) challenges my general policy of laughing at huge spreads in SEC games (not involving Vandy). Let's face facts though, the Egg Bowl might as well be the national championship this year, and Tennessee is going to get blown out.