Week 13 sec picks and predictions
By: Grant Poarch
So far this week in the SEC I am 2-0 on the money line and 1-1 on the spread. That brings my overall record on the season to 84-20 on the money line and 45-44 on the spread. This week has a lot of large spread so the money lines should be easy pickings and the spreads might be tough. Take that how you will. With that said, fade me at your own risk and tail me at your benefit. The odds listed are provided by DraftKings.
Kentucky @ #10 Louisville (-8.5, O/U 49.5), 12:00PM EST, ABC
Even though Louisville is 10-1, they haven’t impressed me. They only have two games against ranked opponents. The Cardinals did win both of those games but they have looked weaker against inferior opponents in recent weeks.
On the other side, Kentucky is limping into this game. After starting the season 5-0, the Wildcats have lost five of the last six. In rivalry games, however, you throw the records out the door.
Whichever team controls the turnover battle will win this one. I know that is a very cliche thing to say. In this case, it applies more than ever. In the last two weeks, Kentucky has turned the ball over five times which contributed in major ways to both of those games being losses. The Wildcats have the advantage physically as they have played a much tougher schedule. Despite that, turnovers won’t help you when you try and flex your muscles against an ACC team. If Kentucky can control the ball and be the more physical team, they are capable of pulling off this upset.
All that said, I don’t trust Kentucky. While they could keep this close, they have found way after way of losing games as of late. I fully expect the same thing to happen here.
Prediction: Louisville wins, Kentucky covers +8.5
Texas A&M @ #14 LSU (-13, O/U 66.5), 12:00PM EST, ESPN
On paper, this Aggie defense might be the best one LSU has faced all season. Isn’t that always the story for Texas A&M? They are great on paper but can’t deliver when the time comes. In this series, though, the Aggies have won three out of the last five. That is puzzling considering the strength of some of those LSU teams and the mediocrity of Texas A&M in at least half of those matchups. For some reason, Texas A&M has woken up for this game as of late.
In the series, LSU has not lost two in a row. Don’t count on that to change in this one. Jayden Daniels is going to continue to solidify why he is this year’s Heisman with a massive performance here. This game will be a lot like the 2019 matchup where Joe Burrow did whatever he wanted against a what should have been very talented Aggie defense.
On the other side of the ball, Texas A&M will be starting Jaylen Henderson. He is going to be making his first ever road start in the SEC. While he did some good things against Mississippi State and Abilene Christian, LSU is a different beast. Look for the Tigers to roar loudly in this one.
Prediction: LSU wins, LSU covers -13
#8 Alabama (-13.5) @ Auburn, O/U 47.5, 3:30PM EST, CBS
The only reason the spread is as close as it is relates to how weird things get when the Iron Bowl is played in Auburn. If this was the spread in each Iron Bowl in Auburn since 2013, Alabama would have covered this number just once.
Even after Auburn lost to New Mexico State in a blowout fashion last week, I still have some questions about laying Alabama and the points. The only reason for that is the history of this rivalry.
At some point, talent is going to take over in this game. Auburn, while it does have magic in the stadium when the Tide rolls through, will find itself losing this one very early on into the game.
Look for Jalen Milroe to have a big day and for Alabama as a whole to appear to b more than ready to take on Georgia next week.
Prediction: Alabama wins, Alabama covers -13.5
Vanderbilt @ #21 Tennessee (-27, O/U 57.5), 3:30PM EST, CBS
The Vols are in serious trouble going forward if they either lose or struggle in this game. This year hasn’t gone the way the people on Rocky Top have wanted it to go but that is no reason to justify a loss to the Commodores.
Since starting 2-0, Vanderbilt has lost nine games in a row. That losing streak includes all seven of their previous SEC matchups. In their road SEC matchups, they have scored less than 15 points every time. Even if they do score more than that here, I don’t see how Joe Milton can’t outscore Vanderbilt at home on Senior Day.
This game will no doubt be a blowout. All I want to see is Nico Iamaleava get some playing time once the game is out of reach. Although, I doubt that is going to happen but I can hope.
Prediction: Tennessee wins, Tennessee covers -27
#5 Florida State (-6.5) @ Florida, O/U 49.5, 7:00PM EST, ESPN
Florida State controls its own destiny for all of its goals for the rest of the season. What they can’t control, though, is the injury bug. Last week, Jordan Travis suffered a severe left leg injury in the victory over North Alabama. Unfortunately for the Seminoles, this injury ends his season. Not all hope is lost if you have an interest in Florida State’s success. In 2014, Ohio State won the first national championship of the playoff era with their third string quarterback. The backup for the Seminoles, Tate Rodemaker, has a massive challenge in front of him. Playing in The Swamp is no easy task but it is especially hard in your first start of the season.
Although the Gators have not had the season they have wanted, they will no doubt be fired up for this game. Having this game at night along with the backup quarterback situation smells like an upset is brewing.
On the other hand, Florida also has to turn to their backup quarterback as Graham Mertz was injured on a run against Missouri a week ago. They will be forced to turn to Max Brown who is a freshman.
With both backup quarterbacks playing, this game is a bit tougher to predict. I see this one being close because it is in Gainesville. However, I don’t have much faith in Max Brown to pull through against a top five team.
Prediction: Florida State wins, Florida covers +6.5
#1 Georgia (-24) @ Georgia Tech, O/U 59.5, 7:30PM EST, ABC
UGA is going to sleepwalk through this one. Even if they are looking ahead to the SEC title game against Alabama, I don’t see how GT will hang around to make this one respectable.
The way Georgia was able to walk into Knoxville and dismantle the Vols should give you all the confidence in the world that they will be able to do the same in Bobby-Dodd Stadium.
As for the game itself, I see Georgia pushing around Tech on both sides of the ball with ease. Beyond that, who is going to cover Brock Bowers? As long as Georgia doesn’t turn the ball over four or five times, they will win this one comfortably.
Prediction: Georgia wins, Georgia covers -24
#24 Clemson (-7.5) @ South Carolina, O/U 49.5, 7:30PM EST, SECN
Both teams are coming into this one high off three game winning streaks. Even so, the season hasn’t gone the way that either team had hoped. Regardless, each team would love to knock down the other just a little bit more than they already are.
Last year, South Carolina won this game in upset fashion. After the game, as the road team, they stormed the field. Yes, you read that right. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw it.
No doubt this game will be chippy as a result of last year along with the hatred of this rivalry. The way I see it, South Carolina will give Clemson trouble. Will that be enough to win? I don’t think so. The revenge factor will be in full effect as Dabo will have his guys ready to ensure that their rivals don’t make it to a bowl game. Give me Clemson in a close one.
Prediction: Clemson wins, South Carolina covers +7.5