Last week: 3-3 ATS, 4-2 totals
Season to date: 32-46 ATS, 44-32-2 totals
Last week wasn’t great, but it wasn’t terrible either. That comes on the heels of going 5-1 ATS the week before, which means we’re due for a really bad week. Bad Gambling Advice always comes around eventually. Let’s get to the picks.
Kentucky at Missouri (11:00 AM CT, SEC Network): Here we have two teams that are really hard to get a read on. I thought Kentucky would be competitive with Tennessee, only... they weren’t, like, not at all. In the meantime, Missouri has covered in four of its last five, and they’ve managed to pull out wins that they probably shouldn’t have two weeks in a row. The really strong play here is the under, which is 7-1 this season for both Kentucky and Missouri.
Score prediction: Missouri 17, Kentucky 14
Picks: Missouri +1, Under 40
Florida at Texas A&M (11:00 AM CT, ESPN): I go back to my rule from last week with Texas A&M, which is “don’t bet on teams that appear to be falling apart.” That’s true even after the Aggies showed some life on the offensive side of the ball after switching to true freshman, five-star quarterback Connor Weigman. They still couldn’t pull off a winnable game against Ole Miss at home, and even better, the line here is 3.5 — meaning Florida losing by a field goal still covers. I think they’ll win, though.
Score prediction: Florida 34, Texas A&M 31
Picks: Florida +3.5, Over 56
Baylor at Oklahoma (2:00 PM CT, ESPN+): LOL at Oklahoma getting a game on ESPN+. That’s the approximate state of the Sooners’ football program in 2022 and a thing that will not happen (at least, not for a conference game) once they move to the SEC. Still, it seems like they’ve righted the ship a bit over the past couple of weeks and I like them in this spot.
Score prediction: Oklahoma 31, Baylor 27
Picks: Oklahoma -3, Under 61.5
Tennessee at Georgia (2:30 PM CT, CBS): This is what I call a “respect the oddsmakers” line. Look: the people making these lines are not morons. In fact, they are very much smarter than you. They know damn well that the public loves Tennessee, they’re ranked #1 in the College Football Playoff rankings, reportedly 94% of the public money is coming in on the Vols, and yet not only are they willing to set the line this high, that line isn’t budging. In other words: Vegas is not giving you free money by letting you take Tennessee and nine points. They know what they are doing, and you do not.
Score prediction: Georgia 38, Tennessee 24
Picks: Georgia -9, Under 67
Liberty at Arkansas (3:00 PM CT, SEC Network): Arkansas has had back-to-back get-right games against a fading BYU and a dumpster fire of an Auburn team (more on them in a minute), and now they get a visit from 7-1 Liberty. Before you get too too impressed by that record, here’s who they’ve beaten: Southern Miss, UAB, Akron, Old Dominion, UMass, Gardner-Webb (by, uh, one point), and BYU. Arkansas might be the best team they’ve played all season and yes, that includes Wake Forest. Much like Tennessee-Georgia, there’s a reason Arkansas is favored by two touchdowns here.
Score prediction: Arkansas 48, Liberty 28
Picks: Arkansas -14, Over 61.5
Alabama at LSU (6:00 PM CT, ESPN): First of all, it’s pretty wild that this game is not being picked up by CBS, as this has usually been a go-to game for them. Second, while Alabama’s defense had a get-right game against Mississippi State after getting completely and utterly pantsed by Tennessee, I still don’t trust them. Certainly not to cover a 13.5-point line against what’s turned into a pretty good LSU team, particularly on the defensive side of the ball.
Score prediction: Alabama 28, LSU 24
Picks: LSU +13.5, Under 56.5
Texas at Kansas State (6:00 PM CT, FS1): Oh, I know better than to pick Texas to go into Manhattan and win.
Score prediction: Kansas State 38, Texas 31
Picks: Kansas State +2.5, Over 54.5
Auburn at Mississippi State (6:30 PM CT, ESPN2): So, you know the “don’t bet on teams that appear to be falling apart” rule? Here’s why I’m violating it this week. First of all, Auburn fired Bryan Harsin on Monday, meaning that the main reason they were falling apart appears to be gone. Cadillac Williams is the interim coach, and while he’s probably not a guy who has a realistic chance of getting the job permanently, he’s a guy who the players can rally around. Second, unlike last week’s game against Arkansas, this is a pretty fair line given the current state of the Auburn football program. So: I’m betting on them to cover.
Score prediction: Mississippi State 35, Auburn 24
Picks: Auburn +12.5, Over 50.5
South Carolina at Vanderbilt (6:30 PM CT, SEC Network): Weirdly, while South Carolina is 5-3, after this game they play Tennessee, Florida (on the road), and Clemson. In other words — this might actually be their last chance to secure bowl eligibility. Vanderbilt got past its most difficult stretch and had a bye week last week to get healthy. I BELIEVE.
Score prediction: (see Saturday Predictions later this afternoon)
Picks: Vanderbilt +7, Over 47.5