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SEC Rivalry Week picks: #5 Alabama vs. #15 Auburn & 7 more

Profile Picture: Nick Roush

November 28th, 2019

Alabama Crimson Tide
-3.5 (-110)
O 49.5 (-110)
Auburn Tigers
+3.5 (-110)
U 49.5 (-110)
All of the analytics give Alabama an advantage but none of the analytics factor in Tua Tagovailoa’s absence. Mac Jones is better than most backup quarterbacks, completing more than 70 percent of his passes and throwing for almost 1,000 yards in a handful of appearances. Jones has command of the Crimson Tide offense, but he does not have the wheels to escape Auburn’s pass rush.

The Tigers’ defensive line and Alabama’s wide receivers are the X-factors in this matchup. Each team wants to control the clock and posses the ball. When Alabama airs it out will Jerry Jeudy & Co. create big plays, or will the Auburn defense force turnovers? I tend to think the latter in a rivalry match played at home against a backup quarterback. This spot feels right for Auburn.

NCAAF free pick: Auburn +3.5

Egg Bowl: Ole Miss at Miss. State (-1.5), Thursday, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)

To be frank, even though they are at home I do not understand why Mississippi State is the favorite. The line opened with the Bulldogs as home dogs until public money flipped the line. The public can be stupid. Mississippi State is one win away from a bowl berth, but it feels like this team lost its way a long time ago as Joe Moorhead appears to have one foot out the door. Rich Rod’s offense has finally figured out its identity with John Rhys Plumlee running and gunning. All Rebels everything Thanksgiving night.

NCAAF free pick: Ole Miss +1.5 

Battle Line Rivalry: Missouri vs. Arkansas (+13) in Little Rock, Friday, 2:30 p.m. ET (CBS)

The game should be renamed the “Battle for Nothing Rivalry.” In search of their sixth win, the Tigers cannot parlay that into a bowl appearance after they were notified Tuesday their appeal had been denied by the NCAA. Serving a one-year bowl ban, they face a team without a coach. Maybe they’ll “win one for the Gipper” and smash Arkansas, or they’ll just come out flat. I would avoid this game, but if you need to scratch the itch, it’s probably wise to stay away from an Arkansas team that’s 3-9 ATS in 2019.

NCAAF free pick: Missouri -13

#3 Clemson at South Carolina (+26.5), Saturday, Noon ET (ESPN)

Clemson will be able to choose their score. South Carolina’s president and AD have stated that Will Muschamp will retain his position as head coach, but Dabo Swinney might be able to make it ugly enough for them to reconsider.

NCAAF free pick: Clemson -26.5

Governor’s Cup: Louisville at Kentucky (-3.5), Noon ET, Saturday (SEC Network)

The Cardinals’ big-play offense vs. Kentucky’s top 25 scoring defense is a battle of strength vs. strength. The two will neutralize one another, while on the other side UK’s offensive line has a significant advantage in the run game vs. Louisville’s defense. Kentucky’s offense will limit Louisville’s possessions and methodically march down the field in a wet game at Kroger Field to beat Louisville at home for the first time since 2009.

NCAAF free pick: Kentucky -3.5

Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-21.5), 4 p.m. ET, Saturday (SEC Network)

The Commodores have won three in a row, but don’t fall into that trap. Vandy stinks and the Vols have all the momentum in the world. They’ll roll to win six of their last seven, making them a hot commodity in a barren SEC bowl market.

NCAAF free pick: Tennessee -21.5

Texas A&M at #1 LSU (-16.5), 7 p.m. ET, Saturday (ESPN)

In a matchup that pits big plays vs. ball control, I tend to side with the latter, even if it is the road team. The Tigers have a conference championship game to worry about. Their foot will not be on the gas to decimate A&M in the season finale.

NCAAF free pick: A&M -16.5

Florida State at #11 Florida (-18.5), 7:30 p.m. ET, Saturday (SEC Network)

This feels like a dangerous spot for Florida. Odell Haggins has the Seminoles playing well since he took over for Willie Taggart. This big rivalry will not be decided by a big margin. Take the Seminoles and sprinkle some on the moneyline. The players appear to really enjoy playing for Haggins. A big win on the road over the Gators could give the interim the job for good, a la Coach O at LSU.

NCAAF free pick: FSU +18.5

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