by Zack Lambert (@bigbird8224)
November 25th, 2020
Kentucky at #6 Florida
Spread: Florida -25.5
Moneyline: Kentucky +900; Florida -1900
Time and Location: 12:00 ET, Gainesville, Florida
Analysis and Pick
It feels to me as though Kentucky is continually getting worse as this season progresses. They were respectable at the beginning, seemingly an unlucky, slow starting team, but now it’s confirmed that they’re just bad. They almost lost to Vanderbilt in a memorial game and were taken to the woodshed by Alabama 63-3. This week they’re already down 14 players and are dangerously close to needing to call the game. The offense is an embarrassment and that’s really saying something.
Florida are making strides this season and have found themselves just behind Texas A&M in the College Football Playoff conversation after the idiot committee put out their first rankings. The Gators have proven the only way to beat them is to outscore them and there’s absolutely no way that’s happening this week. Kyle Trask should probably be the Heisman favorite right now and with the defense starting to play better I would really like to see them make an example of this Wildcat team.
The spread is a pretty intimidating one, but let’s look at the past few games for Kentucky. A 60 point loss to Bama, a three point win over Vandy to whom they allowed 35 points, and a three point performance against Georgia, who Florida beat. Florida is behind in the CFP rankings and need points to catch up, so expect to see them here. Take Florida to cover the spread.
Vanderbilt at Missouri
Spread: Missouri -14
Moneyline: Vanderbilt +400; Missouri -600
Time and Location: 12:00 ET, Columbia, Missouri
Analysis and Pick
If you want to know just how bad Vanderbilt’s football program is handling Covid, then look no further than their testing of women’s soccer team goalie Sarah Fuller’s ability to kick field goals. I mentioned that Kentucky’s offense is embarrassing earlier, but the carelessness displayed by Vanderbilt for their player’s safety is flatly reckless. They’re a terrible football team and even worse program that probably needs to be kicked out of the SEC for a better program.
Missouri are quietly putting together a respectable season after disappointing last year with Kelly Bryant. The Tigers have won four of their last five and put up some respectable offensive numbers on offense in their loss to Florida. The defense has worked against bad teams and even though the offense is hit or miss, it’s never going to really explode on the field.
This should obviously be a win for Missouri considering just how bad of a football team Vanderbilt is, but Missouri hasn’t blown anyone out this season. Vandy has played halfway decently the past two weeks as well, which makes things even more convoluted. Regardless, I have to go with what we know and that’s that Vandy is just a miserable mash unit who can hardly stay on the field. My best bet is to take the under in this game, though if you want to put money on the Mizzou spread (especially if it drops to 13.5 or lower) then I have no issue with that.
#22 Auburn at #1 Alabama
Spread: Alabama -24.5
Moneyline: Auburn +950; Alabama -2000
Time and Location: 3:30 ET, Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Analysis and Pick
Auburn got off to a poor start to the season and there’s a very real world where (Auburn) Jesus doesn’t exist and the Tigers are 2-5 instead of 5-2. Auburn has looked good in recent weeks with a blowout of LSU and wins over Mississippi and Tennessee for good measure. Bo Nix might be as good as he’ll get but that’s certainly not bad and the defense is getting better as the season rolls on as well. It’s going to be a tough game this week but Auburn has the tools to keep it close.
Alabama will be without Nick Saban as he’s contracted Covid-19 and is quarantining at the moment. I’m not sure how much of a factor that will be on the Tide but I can’t imagine it’s going to bump their production. Alabama deserves to be the best team in the country and are operating the most dangerous offense in the country alongside one of the most airtight defenses as well.
We all remember what happened last season, right? Mac Jones and Bama will want revenge for that, but with the way Auburn have been playing and Saban quarantining, I don’t think it’s going to be a biblical blowout. I like the offense to put up big numbers and win the football game, but I don’t like it to become grotesque. Take Auburn to cover the spread and take the over 62.5 points.
Mississippi State at Mississippi
Spread: Mississippi -9.5
Moneyline: Mississippi State +265; Mississippi -330
Time and Location: 4:00 ET, Oxford, Mississippi
Analysis and Pick
The 2019 Egg Bowl was one of the most entertaining events of all time. Hands down, human history, great. It was a close game that was decided by a player celebrating like a peeing dog. Great things. That player, Elijah Moore, is still on the team and looks like one of the best pass catchers in football. Ole Miss’s offense has looked great all season and has posted serious numbers all season, even against Alabama. The defense is a real issue that needs to be addressed in the offseason, but the offense is usually able to keep pace.
Mike Leach was supposed to head one of the other best offenses in the SEC this season with K.J. Costello, but instead he’s in charge of a team that is mutinying. Mississippi State is playing football games with around 40 players on its roster and actually pushed Georgia in that state last weekend. The defense has played pretty well for Mike Leach this season and while they will begin to suffer with so few players to fill positions, they’re not going to dematerialize.
There’s a lot at play here. Mississippi needs a win to ensure they’re capable of getting a decent bowl, Lane Kiffin needs to make sure his impact is felt, plus this is the freaking Egg Bowl. This game matters a lot and the Ole Miss fans are desperate for a win. Kiffin is going to open up the offense and look to win over everyone with a dominant win and I think he’ll get the job done easily. Take Ole Miss to cover the -9.5.
LSU at #5 Texas A&M
Spread: Texas A&M -15
Moneyline: LSU +400; Texas A&M -600
Time and Location: 7:00 ET, College Station, Texas
Analysis and Pick
LSU’s season has been full of ups and downs. Things started down with a blowout from Mississippi State, but then things looked up with a blowout of Vandy, but back down with a loss to Missouri, but back up and down and… you get the point. This team can’t find continuity anywhere, even at quarterback, and it’s killing them. They’re just 3-3 but have looked really bad coming into their losses and can’t be excited to play A&M with the defense in the state it’s in.
A&M hasn’t played in quite some time and that might affect how they play, but it’s more likely that they’ve built up some bulletin board material with people like me proclaiming that BYU, Cincy, and Florida are all far better than them (it’s true). That being said, Kellen Mond has improved over the course of this season, Isaiah Spiller looks like a really productive college back, and the run stop is really, really good. If the turnovers are limited the schedule is going to provide a very good route to the Playoff, even though it’s undeserved.
So what are we thinking for this game? 15 is an ugly number for a spread and one usually might avoid it if they’re favoring the projected winners, which I am, but think of the implications here. Florida and Cincy are knocking on the door as A&M are next in line for the Playoff, so they need to keep that position. They do that with blowouts and points. LSU has a really bad defense and a big win over the reigning national champs will be good for business. Take Texas A&M to cover the spread.
#13 Georgia at South Carolina
Spread: South Carolina +21.5
Moneyline: Georgia -1400; South Carolina +750
Time and Location: 7:30 ET, Columbia, South Carolina
Analysis and Pick
Hoo, boy has Georgia figured it out at quarterback with JT Daniels. Stetson Bennet and D’Wan Mathis were both limiting factors but Daniels first performance, a 401 yard, four touchdown game with a win over a tough Mississippi State defense is a big deal in my eyes. He makes this team way, way, way better on offense and finally adds a layer of diversity to the offense that’s been needed for a long time. The defense struggled last week with some injuries but ought to turn things around this week against the Gamecocks.
Speaking of South Carolina, they’re just done with this season. Will Muschamp has been fired, players are opting out left and right, and there’s nothing to play for. The offense has been bad all season, the defense has been even worse, blowouts are regularities now to be expected, and there’s no upside anywhere. I’m not sure what this program could do to put out a winning product in the next few seasons.
I don’t really like either line here. 21.5 is a bad number with a hook going the wrong way for Georgia and I’m not even sure Georgia can put up those numbers. On the other hand, South Carolina could easily lay an egg here. I’m staying away from the spread. I suppose I like the under. It’s pretty low and Daniels looked really good, but Georgia lost this game last season and Kirby will enjoy putting the finishing touches on this awful season for the Gamecocks. Take the under 49 points.
Other Best Bets
Iowa State -1
Georgia Southern -1.5
NC State/Syracuse U51
Boston College -1
Zack is 45-33-0 on College Football picks this season.