Good thing for me that I don’t have to pick games against the spread for a living. My old heart just couldn’t take it.
Last week I picked Auburn to cover 22 points against Ole Miss because of that great defense, which had not allowed over 14 points this season. Auburn is up 35-3 at halftime and I’m feeling pretty good. But then Ole Miss scores three touchdowns against the Auburn backups and the Tigers win by 21, 44-23. Ouch!
Kentucky, which had to cover 10 against struggling Missouri, is up 20-7 and in control of the game. But the Wildcats get beat on a deep touchdown pass with 40 seconds left in the first half and Missouri climbs back into the game, Kentucky wins 40-34 but the ‘Cats don’t cover.
After losing to Troy at home, LSU was a train wreck when it arrived at Florida last week. There was simply no way that the Gators weren’t going to win and cover the 3 points. But Florida scores to get within 17-16 and misses the extra point and lose straight up. Ouch!
So we went 2-4 last week against the spread. We are 16-20 on the season.
We’ll try to do better this week:
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VANDERBILT (PLUS 3) AT OLE MISS: The Commodores (3-3, 0-3 SEC) have played four straight ranked teams. They beat Kansas State but then got steamrolled by Alabama, Florida and Georgia which outscored them by 104 points. Things should get a little easier at Ole Miss (2-3, 0-2), which is giving up more than 37 points per game.
The winner: Vanderbilt
The score: Vanderbilt 31, Ole Miss 27.
ARKANSAS (PLUS 29) AT ALABAMA: That’s a big number but note that Arkansas (2-3, 0-2) has lost five straight games to FBS opponents. Also note that Arkansas has been outscored in the second half of those five games 134-34. Arkansas is a bad team, folks.
After Alabama had to work to win at Texas A&M (27-19) last Saturday, Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban wants his team to get back to dominating again. Remember that the first CFP rankings are coming out in a couple of weeks.
The winner: Alabama
The score: Alabama 45, Arkansas 7.
TEXAS A&M (PLUS 3) AT FLORIDA: The Aggies (4-2, 2-1) are feeling a little bit better about themselves after hanging in there with Alabama. Freshman quarterback Kellen Mond is starting to show some Manziel-esque qualities. Florida’s offense is ranked No. 103 nationally and the natives are really getting restless with all of the struggles. If Florida (3-2, 3-1) loses this game, then repeating as SEC East champs will be a pretty tall order.
The winner: Texas A&M.
The score: Texas A&M 20, Florida 14.
SOUTH CAROLINA (PLUS 3) AT TENNESSEE: South Carolina (4-2, 2-2) put together its most complete game of the season to beat Arkansas 48-22 last week in Columbia. Tennessee and coach Butch Jones are pulling a desperation move by starting redshirt freshmen quarterback Jarrett Guarantano for the first time this season. This game starts at noon and it could be that a lot of Tennessee’s fans are going to miss their wakeup call. If the Tennessee players also sleep in, it will be a clear sign that Jones is entering his final days as coach.
The winner: South Carolina
The score: South Carolina 20, Tennessee 14
AUBURN AT LSU (PLUS 7): It appears that Auburn is finally finding its groove under new offensive coordinator Matt Canada with 44 or more points in each of its last three games. Now Auburn goes on the road to LSU, where it hasn’t won since 1999. LSU got a new lease on life with a 17-16 win at Florida last Saturday. But the reality is that Auburn has the No. 6 scoring defense in the nation (13.0 ppg). It will be tough, but Auburn (5-1, 3-0) will survive and advance.
The winner: Auburn
The score: Auburn 21, LSU 10.
GEORGIA TECH (PLUS 5) AT MIAMI: Mark Richt recorded his first signature victory at Miami with a 24-20 victory over Florida State. It was a big stepping stone for the Hurricanes (4-0, 2-0 ACC) who are trying to win the ACC Coastal division for the first time ever. Georgia Tech’s (3-1, 2-0) only loss was to Tennessee 42-41 (double OT) on Sept. 4 in Atlanta. Richt was 13-2 against Georgia Tech as the head coach at Georgia. He has won seven of nine meetings against Georgia Tech’s Paul Johnson.
The winner: Miami
The score: Miami 28, Georgia Tech 17.