Last week: 0-1 ATS, 1-0 totals
Yep, split last week’s game with Vanderbilt, uh, not coming through on the spread but letting Hawaii score enough points for the over to hit, so at least there was that.
For this week, six SEC teams are playing FCS opponents, because it’s Week 1 and that’s just how we roll. (Some, of course, reserve the FCS beatdown for November, to the eternal chagrin of the Big Ten.) No lines are available for those games, so I’m not picking them, though they are noted in this post.
As for everyone else...
Florida at Utah (7:00 PM CT Thursday, ESPN): You’re seeing a stray 3-9 pick for Florida this season, which... well, that’s not exactly believing in Billy Napier, now is it? Utah will be without starting quarterback Cam Rising for this one. That might be advantage Florida, but it also won’t affect the Gators’ ability to score points.
Score prediction: Utah 24, Florida 16
Picks: Utah -4.5, Under 44
South Dakota at Missouri (7:00 PM CT Thursday, SEC Network): No line
Virginia vs. Tennessee (11:00 AM CT, ABC, in Nashville): It sure seems like people are way too eager to jump on Tennessee being back after a single 11-2 season — which I suspect was the result of a Josh Heupel offense being paired with what was still a Jeremy Pruitt defense. The good news for Tennessee is that Virginia sucks, especially on the offensive side of the ball, but this is a big line to cover and unless you really trust Tennessee to completely shut them down (I don’t)...
Score prediction: Tennessee 45, Virginia 21
Picks: Virginia +27.5, Over 55.5
Ball State at Kentucky (11:00 AM CT, SEC Network): Another year, another light Kentucky nonconference schedule. They’ll open with Ball State, who is... a middling MAC team, I guess? I don’t really know. We’ll find out whether a new offensive coordinator and a new quarterback will make the difference for Kentucky. No, we really won’t, at least not this week, but they’ll probably win this. It will probably be a stupidly low-scoring game, though, which usually leans in favor of the team that’s getting points.
Score prediction: Kentucky 31, Ball State 7
Picks: Ball State +26.5, Under 49.5
Arkansas State at Oklahoma (11:00 AM CT, ESPN): Arkansas State is coached by Butch Jones, you say?
Score prediction: Oklahoma 52, Arkansas State 14
Picks: Oklahoma -36, Over 58
Western Carolina at Arkansas (12:00 PM CT, SEC Network+): No line
Mercer at Ole Miss (1:00 PM CT, SEC Network+): No line
Rice at Texas (2:30 PM CT, FOX): Quinn Ewers held onto the starting quarterback job at Texas in the face of... well, no, he didn’t really get a challenge from Arch Manning, although technically he could have been bad enough to lose it to him. Meantime, Rice is quarterbacked by J.T. Daniels, formerly of Georgia, who I am surprised to learn is still in college. You all joked about Stetson Bennett Kia but really, J.T. Daniels is probably going to be the one who owns a car dealership in the future.
Score prediction: Texas 45, Rice 14
Picks: Rice +35, Over 58.5
UMass at Auburn (2:30 PM CT, ESPN): UMass actually won its season opener against New Mexico State in Week Zero. I chose UMass in the weekly pick ‘em contest, but the line has moved enough that the pick is now Auburn.
Score prediction: Auburn 41, UMass 3
Picks: Auburn -35, Under 52
SE Louisiana at Mississippi State (3:00 PM CT, SEC Network): No line
UT-Martin at Georgia (5:00 PM CT, SEC Network+): No line
New Mexico at Texas A&M (6:00 PM CT, ESPN): ...this game is on ESPN? Anyway, at least against a bad New Mexico team, Bobby Petrino’s offense should hum.
Score prediction: Texas A&M 49, New Mexico 7
Picks: Texas A&M -38, Over 49.5
Alabama A&M at Vanderbilt (6:00 PM CT, SEC Network+): No line
Middle Tennessee at Alabama (6:30 PM CT, SEC Network): Alabama still doesn’t seem to know who its starting quarterback is, which is never a good sign. As for MTSU, I can only assume Brent Stockstill is still their quarterback.
Score prediction: Alabama 45, Middle Tennessee 7
Picks: Middle Tennessee +39, Over 51.5
North Carolina vs. South Carolina (6:30 PM CT, ABC, in Charlotte): While I normally disagree with neutral-site season openers, having South Carolina and UNC play in Charlotte is admittedly a good idea. As for the game, Spencer Rattler against the North Carolina defense? Yeah, that’s probably not gonna go well for the Tar Heels.
Score prediction: South Carolina 42, North Carolina 35
Picks: South Carolina +2.5, Over 64.5
Score prediction: Florida State 28, LSU 24
Picks: Florida State +2.5, Under 56.5