Week 11 sec picks and predictions
By: Grant Poarch
Last week wasn’t as good as week nine but nonetheless it was still a good week. Overall, I went 6-2 on the money line and 4-4 on the spread. That brings my overall season record to 68-17 on the money line and 37-35 on the spread.
As for the games this week, we are in for some good ones. The SEC Championship matchup could be decided this weekend but if Georgia loses to Ole Miss then chaos could ensue. While that would be hard to do considering Georgia hasn’t lost in the regular season since 2020, anything can happen and I would love to see some chaos.
With that said, let’s get into the predictions. Fade me at your own risk and tail me at your inevitable benefit.
#8 Alabama (-11) @ Kentucky, O/U 47, 12:00PM EST, ESPN
There is no doubt in my mind that the Tide will roll in Lexington. After struggling quite a few times earlier this season, Alabama looks like Alabama again. Any struggles that Jalen Milroe had earlier in the season are more than an afterthought now. The Tide control their own destiny and will show that once again in dominant fashion.
I was at Kroger Field a few weeks ago when the Vols went up to play there. I can say firsthand that it is in no way anywhere close to a top tier SEC stadium. Alabama will have no trouble getting their signals in and will be able to keep the crowd quiet early and often.
The line being as close as it is makes me curious as to what Vegas knows that I don’t know. It is normally a bad idea to question Vegas but that’s what I’m going to do. Nick Saban will not allow his team to be competing with Kentucky. This will be a domination.
Prediction: Alabama wins, Alabama covers -11
Vanderbilt @ South Carolina (-14, O/U 57.5), 12:00PM EST, SECN
Maybe after this game South Carolina will have their first winning streak of the season. What would that winning streak be? Two. Just two. That in and of itself goes to show how bad the Gamecocks have been this year. Lucky for Carolina, playing against Vanderbilt normally makes you forget how bad you are.
Last week, Vanderbilt kept it respectable against Auburn so it is reasonable to think they could do the same with South Carolina. One of the reasons South Carolina is going to embarrass themselves with how close this game will be is Spencer Rattler. Even against Jacksonville State, despite having a lot of passing yards, Rattler did not play the way he should have against a much inferior opponent as he only threw for two touchdowns and had one interception to match it.
Above all, I would be stunned if Vanderbilt wins this game. You could really say that about them any game. That being said, we are cheering for the Commodores.
Prediction: South Carolina wins, Vanderbilt covers +14
#13 Tennessee (-3) @ #14 Missouri, O/U 59, 3:30PM EST, CBS
This might just be the most interesting game of the week. These teams seem to be very evenly matched. Both teams have lost games recently that were circled on the calendar and if they had won their expectations would be wildly different now.
As for this matchup, Josh Heupel is 3-0 against Missouri and has lead the Vols to over 60 points scored in both of the last two matchups. While I don’t see another 60-bomb coming from the Tennessee offense, the Vols have more to play for and it will show here. Even if Missouri wins out, they cannot make the SEC title game. If Tennessee wins and Georgia loses they will have a shot at Atlanta. That seems like a lot but it really isn’t. Only two outcomes have to occur for that to be a possibility.
On the field, I see Tennessee having their way in the running game. I’m sure Missouri is beat up from playing Georgia a week ago. On top of that, it was an emotional game in which Mizzou had a chance to be the big dogs in the East again.
When push comes to shove, I trust Josh Heupel in a game like this. This environment should be good but it is nowhere near the Alabama or Florida environment that the Vols had to face earlier this season.
Prediction: Tennessee wins, Tennessee covers -3
Auburn @ Arkansas (-2.5, O/U 48.5), 4:00PM EST, SECN
Although this one might be close, it will more than likely be a snooze fest. Arkansas got a rather fluky win against Florida and Auburn is trying to build on its wins against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt.
Arkansas as a favorite in any game is wild to me considering they are 3-6. This team is just not good. This game will come down to coaching. Auburn has a solid coach in Hugh Freeze while Arkansas has Sam Pittman.
In this one, I see a Pittman disaster class incoming. Auburn, while nowhere near the level they want to be, is more than capable of beating a team like this. Beyond that, Payton Thorne has shown signs of improvement as the Tigers have played against lower level SEC teams. That will continue here as Arkansas will be pushed closer and closer to firing Sam Pittman.
Prediction: Auburn wins, Auburn covers +2.5
#9 Ole Miss @ #2 Georgia (-10, O/U 58), 7:00PM EST, ESPN
If the upset happens here, the college football world will be shaken. One can only hope, especially if you are Tennessee, that Ole Miss wins. A Georgia loss and a Tennessee win sets up for a winner takes the East matchup in Knoxville next weekend.
Let’s not kid ourselves. Georgia isn’t going to drop this one. Ole Miss is a quality team, but they crumble under the competition of playing a top tier team more times than not. An example of that this year is when they played Alabama.
While Ole Miss did play a solid second half by being up 7-6 at halftime, they got destroyed in the second half. All of this was while Alabama hadn’t found their identity yet. Georgia had similar problems as Alabama at the beginning of the year, but they have more than fixed them.
To make things worse for Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin is just 1-10 all time against top five teams. Ole Miss might keep it close for a while since Georgia is 2-6-1 this year against the spread. That being said, the Dawgs will never be in real trouble of losing even if the score indicates otherwise.
Prediction: Georgia wins, Ole Miss covers +10
Mississippi State @ Texas A&M (-17.5, O/U 43), 7:30PM EST, ESPN2
Big spreads for A&M usually mean one thing. That usually means the other side will cover. However, this is Mississippi State. They have been atrociously bad this season. In SEC action, they have put up an average of 14 points per game. I fully expect that trend to continue as Texas A&M has a better than average defense.
On top of a bad offense, the defense will have to carry the load against a much more physical Texas A&M team. This is especially true because as of yesterday Mississippi State is undecided on who the quarterback will be in this matchup.
Those things combined with the game being in College Station at night is setting up for a big Aggie victory. I never feel too confident in picking that outcome but it just feels right this time.
Prediction: Texas A&M wins, Texas A&M covers -17.5
Florida @ #19 LSU (-15, O/U 67), 7:30PM EST, SECN
After Florida’s upset victory over Tennessee earlier this season, you figured Florida just might have turned things around. Since then, and especially after a home loss against Arkansas, things are spiraling out of control yet again in Gainesville.
To make things worse for the Gators, they have to travel to Death Valley. They haven’t won in Baton Rouge since 2016 and all signs are pointing to the Gators becoming tiger bait once again.
One thing that could make this one interesting is the health of Jayden Daniels. He had to exit last week’s game against Alabama after taking a rough shot which likely gave him a concussion. While he is likely to play against the Gators, his absence would certainly take a toll on LSU.
All that said, LSU is going to win this game. They are a much better team and are by far better coached. Both of those things combined with one of, if not the best, home field advantages in the country will be the reasons why LSU comes out on top.
Prediction: LSU wins, LSU covers -15