Last week we were 3-3 ATS and came close—ever so close—to having a winning week.
I flat missed on Auburn-LSU, but so did a lot of people.
I was especially proud of my pick that Notre Dame would win but not cover the 13.5 against Vanderbilt. And the Commodores came close to winning straight up.
In what looks like a trend, Alabama easily covered the 21 against Ole Miss (62-7) by scoring 62 unanswered points in Oxford.
And in one of the most surprising results of the weekend, I thought Boise State would beat Oklahoma State straight up. Nope. The Cowboys rolled 44-21.
So after three weeks we are 9-1 ATS. But hey, it’s a long season. We’ll try to do better this week. Here goes:
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The game: Texas A&M (plus 25.5) at Alabama, 3:30 p.m., CBS.
The Pick: Alabama.
The Score: Alabama 52, Texas A&M 21
The Skinny: Alabama (3-0, 1-0 SEC) is now the first team in SEC history to open the season with 50 or more points in each of its first three games. Texas A&M (2-1, 0-0) held Clemson to 28 points on Sept. 8 but there is no sign that anybody can slow down this Alabama offense. The Crimson Tide covers and they make it look easy.
The game: South Carolina at Vanderbilt (plus 2), 4 p.m., SEC Network
The Pick: South Carolina.
The Score: South Carolina 21, Vanderbilt 17.
The Skinny: The Gamecocks (1-1, 0-1) had last week off because of Hurricane Florence while Vanderbilt (2-1, 0-0) lost a 22-17 heart-breaker at Notre Dame. For teams like Kentucky and Vanderbit, this is one of those 50-50 games that go a long way in defining your season. I like South Carolina’s Deebo Samuel to come up big in this game. The Gamecocks win and cover the 2.
The game: Miss. State at Kentucky (plus 9.5), 7 p.m., ESPN2
The Pick: Kentucky
The Score: Mississippi State 31, Kentucky 24
The Skinny: Last season Kentucky’s Benny Snell had one of the worst games of his career against Mississippi State as he was held to only 18 yards on seven carries. Look for him to improve on that number but it won’t be easy as Mississippi State (3-0, 0-0) has two pros (Montez Sweat, Jeffery Simmons) on their defensive line. Look at the battle of the quarterbacks—Mississippi State’s Nick Fitzgerald and Kentucky’s Terry Wilson. Mississippi State wins but the Bulldogs don’t cover the 9.5 points.
The game: Florida at Tennessee (plus 4.5), 7 p.m., ESPN
The Pick: Tennessee
The Score: Tennessee 24, Florida 21.
The Skinny: This will be Tennessee’s first SEC home game under new coach Jeremy Pruitt and the atmosphere should be pretty electric at Neyland Stadium. The game will come down to one thing: Which quarterback makes the most mistakes?
Neither Tennessee’s Jarrett Guarantano nor Florida’s Feleipe Franks is setting the world on fire right now. Both can make plays but both can make crushing mistakes.
Florida has won 12 of the last 13 meetings between these two teams.
Tennessee wins straight up and the Gators under Dan Mullen drop to 0-2 in the SEC.
The game: Arkansas (plus 29) at Auburn, 7:30 p.m., SEC Network
The Pick: Auburn
The Score: Auburn 45, Arkansas 10.
The Skinny: Auburn has no margin for error after a gut-wrenching 22-21 loss at home against LSU last Saturday. Arkansas, in its first year under Chad Morris, is a team in disarray. If Arkansas can’t move the ball against North Texas State, it will be quite problematic to face the Auburn defense, one of the best in the country. This line started out at 27.5 and has only grown. Look for Auburn to put this one away early.
The game: Georgia at Missouri (plus 14), Noon, ESPN.
The Pick: Georgia.
The Score: Georgia 45, Missouri 21.
The Skinny: Through three games No. 2 Georgia (3-0, 1-0) looks like one of the most complete teams in college football. Look for Missouri to move the ball early behind quarterback Drew Lock, the SEC’s leading passer. But over the course of 60 minutes expect the Bulldogs to wear Mizzou down with the power running game and pull away in the fourth quarter.