It's week two of the college football season and for many of the SEC teams that means it's time to schedule down. Six SEC schools are favored by over 30 points! The key match-ups this week are Georgia/South Carolina and Florida/Miami with a few intriguing secondary match-ups featuring Auburn, Tennessee and Missouri.
Last week, I went 10-3 with straight up picks and 9-4 against the spread. Here are this weeks SEC picks....
Miami, OH (0-1) at Kentucky (0-1)
Noon EST, ESPN3
Line: Kentucky by 17
Last week, Kentucky got beat (35-26) by Bobby Petrino in Mark Stoops debut. But, that's still better than getting rolled by Marshall 52-14. If I was a betting man, I would probably stay away from this game but I'm going to take the Cats. I think they bounce back from last week against a much weaker team and I think they cover.
Prediction: Kentucky 37-17
Florida (1-0) at Miami, FL (1-0)
Noon EST, ESPN
Line: Florida by 3
The more I look at this game the more I am tempted to lean Miami. But, Florida has the better defense and they are also getting some key players back from last week. I think the Gators win and they win ugly.
Check out my Early Analysis of this game that I did for Crystal Ball Run: here.
Prediction: Florida 24 Miami 16
12:21 PM EST, ESPN3
Line: Tennessee by 13.5
Can Bobby Petrino make it 2-0 to start the year against the SEC? The Vols are sky-high after demolishing lowly Austin Peay last week. How will the Vols respond if they get punched in the mouth early? I went again Petrino last week and he beat me, but I'm going to the well again. I think the Vols struggle early but expand the lead late and win going away.
Prediction: Tennessee 38 WKU 24
3:30 PM EST, ESPNU
Line: Missouri by 10
Florida was favored over Toledo last week by 23.5 but they only won by 12. This line is much closer and Mizzou has more ability to score points in bunches than Florida does so this is a much tougher bet than last week. The last couple of years, Mizzou has struggled with mid-major teams beating UCF in 2012 by 5, Miami (OH) in 2011 by 11 and SDSU by 3 in 2010. Missouri genrally plays pretty close games, especially when they win. I would stay away from this one but I took Toledo last week and they covered so let's go for it again.
Predicton: Missouri 28 Toledo 20
Alcorn St (1-0) at Mississippi State (0-1)
3:30 PM EST, ESPN3
Line: Mississippi State by 42.5
Ah, Alcorn State against Mississppi State. If you are looking for analysis about Alcorn State, you came to the wrong place. When there are this many points on the board and a team that struggles offensively like Miss State is favored I lean to taking the underdog.
Prediction: Mississippi State 45 Alcorn State 6
South Carolina (1-0) at Georgia (0-1)
4:30 PM EST, ESPN
Line: Georgia by 3.5
Georgia had a lot of things go wrong last week and still lost by just three points to a very good Clemson team. South Carolina started out on fire, then plateaued but still rolled over UNC and kept a high-powered offense in check. Last years blowout by South Carolina was an anamoly in this rivarly but I don't think you can ignore the trend of the Gamecocks winning recently. South Carolina has won three straight in this rivalry and I think you have to pick them until the Bulldogs step up and beat them.
Prediction: South Carolina 31 Georgia 30
Samford (1-0) at Arkansas (1-0)
in Little Rock, Arkansas
7 PM, ESPN3
Line: Arkansas by 32.5
Last week, Arkansas beat a solid Louisiana team by 20 and this week they get a significantly easy target in Samford. Can the Hogs bring the same fire that they brought last week in Bielema's debut? Let's go with the Hogs and see what happens.
Prediction: Arkansas 45 Samford 10
UAB (0-1) at LSU (1-0)
7 PM, ESPNU
Line: LSU by 34.5
LSU is coming off of a big win against TCU in one of the feature match-ups last week so there is a let down factor in this game as they face a UAB team that hasn't been very good lately. UAB is coming off of a 34-31 OT loss to Troy so they don't come in with much momentum. In games against teams with comparative stature last year, UAB lost to South Carolina by 43 and Ohio State by 14. LSU won two games by more than 30 points last year- Washington and Idaho but against Towson and North Texas they won by less than 30. Stay away from high point spreads like this but if you must I would go with the dog in this one.
Prediction: LSU 41 UAB 9
SE Missouri St (0-1) at Ole Miss (1-0)
7 PM, ESPN3
Line: Ole Miss by 50
Ole Miss is favored by 50! Ole Miss was very impressive at times in their opener against Vandy but at times they also fell asleep at the wheel. Maybe more importantly is that they lost the best player off of last years defense, Denzel Nkemdiche, to a season ending injury so that weakens a very young defense. Ole Miss is yet to put 50 on the board under Hugh Freeze so that's a number that I would again go with the underdog.
Prediction: Ole Miss 52 SE Missouri State 14
Sam Houston St (1-0) at Texas A&M (1-0)
7 PM, ESPN3
Line: A&M by 38.5
This is an interesting one as Sam Houston State is a very good FCS team. They made it to the FCS Championship game last year before falling to NDSU. Of course, A&M is a very good FBS team. Like the Rice game, A&M will give up some points. Expect A&M to win going away but I'm not crazy about them covering 38.5. When these teams played last year, A&M won by 21. That was the week after Bama so there might have been a letdown but this is the week before Bama so A&M could be looking ahead.
Prediction: A&M 51 Sam Houston State 24
Arkansas State (1-0) at Auburn (1-0)
7:30 PM EST, ESPN 3
Line: Auburn by 6
Gus Malzahn against the team he coached for one year. This is actually one of the top three or four games of the week and there is a chance for the upset. Auburn won last week against Wazzu 31-24. Are the Red Wolves as good as Wazzu? That's a good question as the Wolves were not tested last week as they rolled against Arkansas Pine-Bluff. I think Malzahn and the Tigers cover here and get Auburn off to a 2-0 start.
Prediction: Auburn 35 Arkansas State 27
Austin Peay (0-1) at Vanderbilt (0-1)
7:30 PM, ESPN3
Line: Vandy by 47.5
The last we saw Austin Peay get taken to the woodshed by Tennessee 45-0. 45-0! In like games last year, the Dores ripped Presbyterian by 58 and beat UMass by 42 so they definitely have the ability to cover the spread but I think they will come up just short.
Prediction: Vanderbilt 45 Austin Peay 10
Looking for more picks? Head over to Crystal Ball Run and check out the Dirty Dozen picks that I made with the rest of the team.