If you read my ACC preview you've heard this preamble before: Ok ok ok, I know that this is very long, but if I'm diving into college football, I'm going to do it right. I divided up my break down of the games to help the read go quicker or to help you navigate to specific areas. I expect bettors or fans to come in and look at specific games they are interested in. If you read the full thing, bless your soul, and thank you. Last week I put these up on my twitter, so least being on the blog it will hopefully be more accessible. (Eventually, these will just be on Barstool Bets so get used to checking over there when Friday rolls around) Someone DMed me recommending that I put these on OnlyFans and charge for them, but my parents will read this and I wanted to spare them the heart attack. But regardless, I'm here, you're here; let's talk some football.
#11 Texas A&M @ Mississippi State, 4pm, opened Texas A&M -7, 55.5.
Questions to think about: What do you think the mentality of the Mississippi State team is right now? Has the SEC figured out the air raid? Which KJ Costello is going to show up? Did Leach “purge” his team yet? Was last week’s game a one time showing for TAMU, or can they build on that? How badly, if at all, is TAMU going to miss WR Caleb Chapman?
Matchup: 2019: Texas A&M won 49-30 at home. 2018: Miss St. won 28-13 at home. The momentum is entirely on TAMU right now, they’re off of an upset win when many were writing them off this year. Whereas Mississippi State is off of back to back losses, and they only scored 2 points last week
Texas A&M (2-1) coming off of an upset win over Florida 41-38, and a loss to Alabama 52-24 the week before. No WR Caleb Chapman, average 16.8 yards/r, and had 2 TDs vs. Florida. Games are averaging 62 total points per game with TAMU scoring 28 of those. Can run and throw the ball, but are pass-heavy. Jimbo Fisher was hung out to dry before the Florida game, and has now shown signs of life, will he keep his foot on the gas, or has he exhausted himself?
Spread: Under Fisher are 4-2 ATS on the road after a win. Covered the 2 times they were a road favorite. Are 6-3 ATS on the road. After allowing 30+ points and winning, are on a 0-4 ATS streak. Are 12-7 ATS as favorite. Are 10-6 ATS after a win.
Total: Under Fisher are 2-4 for the over on the road after a win. Went under the 2 times they’ve been a road favorite. Are 7-12 for the over as the favorite.
SU: Under Fisher, are 1-5 on the road after a win. Won the 2 times they were a road favorite. Are 2-7 SU on the road. After allowing 30+ points in a win, are 1-4 SU in the next game. Are 18-1 SU as the favorite.
Mississippi State (1-2) coming off of a loss to Kentucky 24-2, and a 21-14 loss to Arkansas the week before. They held Kentucky to 157 total yards, yet only scored 2 points themselves, and had 6 interceptions. Costello continues the downhill spiral since his record-breaking performance vs. LSU. SEC QBs have thrown 20 interceptions this season, Costello has thrown 9 of them, yet he still leads the nation in 389.3 yards per game. Has the WR duo Osirus Mitchell and Kylin Hill who are averaging 161.3 yards per game. Games are averaging 46.3 total points per game, with Miss State scoring 20 of those. Air raid offense, and will not run the ball if they don't need to, are averaging 38.7 rushing yards per game.
For this year are 1-2 ATS and 1-2 for the over. It is hard to take stats from prior years since this is a new coach, a new system, and a lot of player turnover. So take the following into perspective:
Spread: Last year were 0-3 ATS vs. ranked teams, 1-2 ATS as a home underdog, 1-4 ATS as the underdog, and all games 5-8 ATS.
Total: Last year were 0-3 for the over as home underdog, 2-4 for the over after a loss, and 2-5 for the over at home.
Opinion: My biggest concern here is who is going to be driving home after this game. I think Texas A&M to cover is the safe bet. Their highs and lows seem to not be as drastic as those of Mississippi's state. Texas A&M is the rollercoaster at Six Flags that has working safety bars, and while has fun moments, but you know you'll get through fine. Mississippi State is the rickety rollercoaster at the county fair that is hanging together by 2 loose screws; you could die or have a wild ride. Like I said last week, you just don't know what Mississippi State team will show up, is it the 623 passing yards Costello, or the 6 interceptions Costello? I'm not fully versed in Mike Leach's history but it seems that this wild ride is customary to him as a head coach and that we might be due for another LSU like outing. I think that Texas A&M figured out some offense against Florida, but also think that it mainly exposed Florida's lack of defense. After that upset win, and first under Fisher, A&M has by far the better momentum in this matchup. Leach was talking about how he had to purge his team last week, and did I mention that they only scored 2 points? TWO POINTS. TWO. Leach will have a game soon where they return to LSU form, I don't think they're going to stink this much for the rest of the year. If the LSU Mississippi State team shows up, then they will very likely cover if not win. But play this game ten times, Texas A&M wins at least eight.
Kentucky @ #18 Tennessee, 12pm, opened Tennessee -5.5, 49.5.
Questions to think about: Do you think Kentucky would have still won last week if it was not for Mississippi State’s 6 turnovers? Is Tennessee scoring 21 on Georgia’s defense under or overachieving? Who needs this win more?
Matchup: Under Mark Stoops, Kentucky is 1-6 vs. Tennessee. Jeremy Pruitt is 2-0 vs. Kentucky. 2019: Tennessee won 17-13 at Kentucky. 2018: Tennessee won 24-7 at home. 2017: Kentucky won 29-26 at home. Tennessee has covered the last 3.
Kentucky (1-2) off of a win over Mississippi State 24-2 and a loss in OT to Ole Miss 42-41 in the week before. Games have been averaging 50.3 total points per game, with Kentucky scoring 26 of them. A very rush heavy team with good rush defense as well; are averaging only allowing 83.3 rushing yards. Somehow were held to 157 total yards but still managed to outscore Mississippi State last week 24-2; granted 6 turnovers from Mississippi State helped. Seems to again be without RB Kavosiey Smoke. QB Terry Wilson leads the team in passing (463) and rushing (221). Has 2 other good options rushing, and seeming only one passing.
Spead: since 2019 are 1-3 ATS as away underdog, 6-1 ATS after a win. Since 2018 are 5-2 ATS vs. ranked teams. Haven’t covered the last 4 times as an away underdog.
Total: 7 straight unders when away underdog, are 4-15 for unders in SEC games. 4 straight unders as a road underdog. Under is 5-1 in L6 as an underdog.
SU: are 2-5 as an away underdog since 2018.
Tennessee (2-1) off of a 44-21 loss to Georgia and a win over Mizzou 35-12 the week before. Games have been averaging 56.7 total points per game with Tennessee scoring 29 of those. Prefer to throw the ball than run it. Were held scoreless in the second half while Georgia went on a 27 point run. Did Tennessee run out of gas or did Georgia figure them out? QB Jarrett Guarantano is not a running QB, had negative 40 yards vs. Georgia, and less than 15 yards in the two games before.
Spread: Under Pruitt (2018) are 7-4 ATS after a loss.
Total: Under Pruitt are 11-17 for the over for all games, and 3-6 for over as home favorite. The last four home games as the favorites were all unders.
SU: Under Pruitt are 7-2 as home favorites, and has won the last 4. Has won the last 5 home games.
Opinion: Kentucky keeps having really weird games. Mississippi State all but gave them the last game with those 6 interceptions. Ole Miss was gifted their game with the early celebration which resulted in a fumble a few plays later and a missed XP. And then for the Auburn game, good lord that ball was in the end zone, with no doubt. So I'm not really sure where they stand, yes they're 1-2 but I don't think they're as bad as everyone thinks they are. That said, I think Tennessee is still a better team. Pruitt has figured out Kentucky the past two years. I'm not in awe of Tennessee, I think they're a team that when properly preparing for a team that is equal or less than them they'll be fine; which is the case here. If Tennessee comes out swinging and kills Kentucky, talking a 40-7 score, then we might need to reevaluate them.
#3 Georgia @ #2 Alabama, 8pm, opened Alabama -5, 56.5
Questions to think about: Does Alabama letting up 48 points vs. Ole Miss make you worry about Alabama’s defense this season? Do you think Stetson Bennett is the quarterback to carry Georgia to an SEC title? Which is more important for a team to have: a good defense or a good offense? Can Saban clean up that defense in one week? Which has more questions: Alabama’s defense or Georgia’s offense?
Matchup: Nick Saban hasn’t lost to Georgia since 2007 (5 meetings). 2018: Alabama won the SEC Championship game 35-28 in Atlanta. 2018 (January): Alabama won the CFP 26-23OT in Atlanta. Kirby is 0-2 SU vs. Alabama but 2-0ATS. Has the lesser college gameday show at the game. The two biggest questions here are Alabama’s defense and Stetson Bennett. A battle between Georgia’s defense and Alabama’s offense.
Georgia (3-0) is off of a 44-21 win over #14 Tennessee, and a 27-6 win over #7 Auburn. Games have been averaging 48.3 total points per game with Georgia scoring 36 of them. Stetson Bennett is averaging 63.1% and averaging 229.7 yards per game. Will we finally see JT Daniels? Has the #2 defense in only allowing 236.7 yards per game. Georgia went on a 24-0 run in the second half vs. Tennessee last week.
Spread: Under Smart (2016) has only been the away underdog twice. 2017 vs. Notre Dame, 5 point dog, and won 20-19. In 2016, vs. Ole Miss, were 7 point dogs and lost 45-14. Since 2018 are 6-3 ATS as an away team, 9-5 ATS vs. ranked teams, and 13-8 ATS vs. SEC teams. Kirby is 9-3 ATS against top 10 teams.
Total: As an away underdog, the under is 2-0. Since 2018, unders are 13-7-1 vs. SEC teams, unders are 13-11after a win, and overs are 6-3 as the away team. 8/L10 games have gone under.
Alabama (3-0) is off of a shootout win over Ole Miss 63-48, and a win over #13 Texas A&M, 52-24. Games have been averaging 81.3 points per game, with Alabama scoring 51 of them. Mac Jones is averaging 79.5% and 367.0 yards per game. Has the #1 scoring offense with 51 points per game. The defense was near non-existent against Ole Miss, with allowing 48 points, but do you credit that to Alabama’s defense or Ole Miss’ offense? Can Saban get his defense turned around to stop Georgia?
Spread: Have covered the last 4 games. Under Saban, when favored at home by a TD or less, have lost the last 4 SU and haven’t covered L5. Since 2019, are 4-7 ATS vs. SEC teams.
Total: All games this year have gone over. Since 2019, are 8-3 for the over vs. SEC teams, 4-1 for over vs. ranked teams.
Opinion: Good lord I hope that this is a good game and not a blowout one way or another. I really want Georgia to win just to avoid an Alabama Clemson national title game (yes I know that likely Georgia and Alabama will have to play again in the SEC championship game but humor me). The big question here is if you trust Stetson Bennett to lead this team to an SEC championship or a national title. From what I've seen, that is a big no. Bennett could find his stride this game and go from a doing just what he needs to do quarterback, to an excelling quarterback, but that'd be a big step. Georgia's offensive line is going to have to give him all the time in the world to make good decisions and then throw accurately. Odds are, if you ask 10 head coaches, 10 out of 10 are going to pick Mac Jones over Bennett. I'm not too worried about Alabama's lack of defense vs. Ole Miss; that was Kiffin's super bowl and Georgia's offense is not as good as Ole Miss' offense. If, and big IF, this game shows that the lack of Alabama's defense wasn't a one time showing, then we can start worrying about Alabama's title chances. But I think that they will rebound well. Alabama's offense and Georgia's defense rank 1, 2, or 3 in basically every category in SEC rankings. Absolutely insane. And now no Saban on the sideline due to his COVID diagnosis, here's hoping he has a speedy recovery. I don't think that this will have much of an effect on the outcome, except that if Kirby wins, people will likely not count this as a former Saban assistant beating him since he wasn't even technically at the game. I hate to say this but I think Alabama wins this as they have for the last 5.
Ole Miss @ Arkansas, 3:30pm, opened Ole Miss -3.5, 76.5.
Matchup: Ole Miss has won the last two matchups, 31-17 at home, and 37-33 at Arkansas. Arkansas won the 4 before that.
Ole Miss (1-2) coming off of a shootout loss to Alabama 63-48, and an OT 42-41 win over Kentucky the week before. Games are averaging 93.4 total points per game with Ole Miss scoring 41.7 of them.
With a new staff and small sample size, don’t feel great about looking at past numbers, so far are 2-1 ATS this year, and has hit the over in all 3 games this season by +27.5. Just put up 647 yards against Alabama, the most they’ve ever allowed.
Arkansas (1-2) coming off of a loss (that should have won) to Auburn 30-28. Games are averaging 46.7 total points with Arkansas scoring 19.7 of them. Seems they will have All-SEC RB Rakeem Boyd back.
Again, with new staff and quarterback, don’t feel great about looking at past numbers, are so far 3-0ATS this year 1-2 for the over.
Opinion: Don't tell Brandon, but I might be starting to like Lane Kiffin. His offense is insanely good but his defense is insanely bad. Clearly, this was not one of the games I was asked to prep for any of the shows this week. Additionally, with new coaches and staff, it is hard to compare these two teams to their past years. Ole Miss is going to score when they want to. I think Arkansas is going to score 8 out of 10 times they try to do so. Yes, Ole Miss let up all but 41, I think, yards to Alabama, but that is Alabama. Arkansas' offense is nowhere near that level. Arkansas' defense is going to put up even less of a fight than Alabama's did. I think Ole Miss wins this, and handily.
#15 Auburn @ South Carolina, 12pm, opened Auburn -3, 50.5.
Matchup: Auburn won last in 2014, 42-35 at home. The last time South Carolina won was in 1933, granted there have only been 8 games since.
Auburn (2-1) off of a 30-28 win squeaked out (bad call by refs) over Arkansas, and lost to Georgia 27-6 the week before. Games have been averaging 44.4 total points per game with Auburn scoring 21.7 of them. Can run the ball but prefer to throw it.
Spread: Are 1-2 ATS this year. Since 2019 have are 7-4 ATS as the favorite.
Total: Since 2018, as an away favorite are 1-3 for the under, in regular season games are 9-18 for the under, and SEC games are 7-12 for the under.
South Carolina (1-2) off of a win over Vanderbilt 41-7, and loss to Florida 38-24 the week before. Games have been averaging 56 total points per game with South Carolina scoring 30.7 of them. Can run the ball but prefer to throw it; are holding teams to 96.3 rushing yards.
Spread: Since 2018, as a home underdog are 2-4-1 ATS.
Total: Have gone over in all 3 games this year. Since 2019 are 3-1 for over as home underdog, and 4-2 for over vs. ranked teams.
Opinion: This is really a test to see how bad Auburn really is. How bad both teams are really. Both teams are fighting for their dignity. Muschamp is fighting for his job. Neither team has done anything impressive, just been meh. They have done what they're supposed to do. If anything Auburn let Arkansas stay in the game, but otherwise nothing eye raising. Still think Auburn will win this, but won't be pretty. This is a check the box score the next day type of game. There are better games to be watching live.
If you chose to gamble on any of these games, please do so responsibly. Don't put 26.3 units on a player prop.