Last week was a good week for us here on the blog. I went 6-0 in straight up picks and 5-1 against the spread missing only the Mississippi State/Middle Tennessee game. Onto week nine and the World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party!
Kentucky (1-7, 0-5) at Missouri (3-4, 0-4), Noon, ESPNU
Line: Missouri by 13.5
Kentucky showed some life last week as they hung close at home against Georgia. Missouri is coming off of a bye week but their starting QB, James Franklin, is not expected to play. This one is being played at Missouri but that hasn't exactly been a good place for the Tigers in conference play as they are 0-3 at home. Don't expect a lot of points on the board as this game pits the 11th scoring offense in the SEC against the 13th. Take Missouri, but not with the points.
Missouri 28 Kentucky 17
Tennessee (3-4, 0-4) at South Carolina (6-2, 4-2), Noon, ESPN
Line: South Carolina by 13.5
South Carolina is banged up losing two consecutive road games at LSU and at Florida. The Gamecocks will be happy to be at home where their most recent memory of the destruction of Georgia. Tennessee is also limping into this game as losers of four out of five and their last three. If you just look at betting trends here, the Gamecocks are playing 4.2 points above the spread this year and the Vols are playing 5.6 below the spread. Take the Gamecocks.
South Carolina 35 Tennessee 17
Ole Miss (4-3, 1-2) at Arkansas (3-4, 2-2), 12:21 PM, SEC Network
Line: Arkansas by 6
This might be the most "fun" SEC game of the week. Why? Lots of offense. On the other hand, if you like defense you might want to stay away from this one. Ole Miss comes into this game on a one game winning streak after taking it to Auburn last week. This is just the third road game for the Rebels and so far they are 0-2. Arkansas comes into this game off of a bye week and two straight wins in which they have held their opponents (yes it was just Auburn and Kentucky) to a total of 14 points. Don't ask me why but I like Arkansas. I think they are still good enough offensively to beat this improved Ole Miss squad.
Arkansas 42 Ole Miss 31
Florida (7-0, 6-0) at Georgia (6-1, 4-1), 3:30 PM, CBS
Line: Florida by 7
Florida got some help from South Carolina last week and used the turnovers to run the Gamecocks out of the building. With the exception of that game and the Kentucky game, the Gators have been playing fairly close games this year with Florida generally dominating in the second halves of games. Florida also seems to be getting better as the season goes on. Georgia has been in a funk lately. They got steamrolled at South Carolina and then won a lackluster performance at Kentucky. The big question here is if Georgia can establish a run against the Gators and if they can keep Aaron Murray's jersey clean. If Georgia can do that then they can win this game even if they struggle to stop the Gators rushing attack. So far this year, Florida has shown a better ability to execute a gameplan and win battles at the line of scrimmage.
Florida 32 Georgia 21
Texas A&M (5-2, 2-2) at Auburn (1-6, 0-5), 7:00 PM, ESPNU
Line: Texas A&M by 15.5
If you were placing bets before the season it's possible, maybe even probable, that you took Auburn in this one. If you are taking Auburn now, then I will be like Nelson on the Simpson's and point and laugh at you. Auburn is one of four SEC teams that is winless in conference play and they are the only team from the SEC West yet to win a game. If we go back to the against the spread numbers, the Aggies are playing 8.4 point above the number (on average) and Auburn is playing 7.7 below. Take the Aggies, take the points.
Texas A&M 34 Auburn 17
UMass (0-7) at Vanderbilt (3-4), 7 PM
Line: Vanderbilt by 32.5
Do you trust Vanderbilt to beat somebody by 33 points? Somebody not named Presbyterian? It's possible. UMass is awful. They lost to UConn by 37, Indiana by 39, Michigan by 50 and Western Michigan by 28. So yeah, maybe they can do it. But then again, they only lost to Ohio (who is ranked) by three.
Vanderbilt 38 UMass 7
Mississippi State (7-0, 3-0) at Alabama (7-0, 4-0), 8:30 PM, ESPN
Line: Bama by 24
Take your hats off to Mississippi State. So far this year they have beaten everybody they are supposed to have beaten. The problem is that they really haven't played anybody. The Bulldogs currently have only two wins against winning teams and those are against Troy and Middle Tennessee. Alabama is twice as physical and twice as well coached as anybody Mississippi State has seen so far this season. Mississippi State will hang for a half but Bama will pull away in the second.
Alabama 35 Mississippi State 10