Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Best5Zach's Week 2 SEC Picks

The Auburn Realist: Overview
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This weekend was rough for Auburn fans, me included. But, it was rough for the entire SEC. Sure, they won a few games, but the conference was largely disappointing. What wasn't disappointing was my week 1 picks. I picked against the spread and with over/wunder on points. By week's end, I was 8 for 14 in those picks for 57%. I didn't zero out in any matchup, so I would have cashed a ticket in every game I called. Not bad.

Week two is a very, very bad week. Many of the SEC matchups aren't even featured by most betting services. 

Kentucky at Florida
Looks like Florida is a 16.5 point favorite with a 47.5 point over/under. They beat an over-matched UMASS team 24-7. This wasn't the Minutemen we have seen in the past and Florida beat them up on the line of scrimmage, limiting them to 1.3 yards per rush and a total of 141 yards through the air. The defense was solid, once again. The offense? Well, Luke Del Rio had to throw it 44 times for 256 yards and two TDs. The Gators welcomed WR Antonio Calloway back and he was a factor. The running game, however, was not. 

Meanwhile, Kentucky was beaten by Southern Miss. Make no mistake, Southern Miss is loaded on offense. While the 'Cats did manage get some turnovers, Southern Miss outgained Kentucky by over 100 yards. 

Kentucky has played Florida tough and I believe we will see yet another tight game. Look for Kentucky to keep it under 16.5 and take the under on points. 

Western Kentucky at Alabama
Bama is a 28.5 point favorite and the over/under sits at 58.5. This isn't a game I would get involved in, honestly. The game against USC is misleading. While I do think Alabama has one of, if not the best, defenses in the country, the thumping of the Trojans had more to do with preparation than gameplay. Western Kentucky is a dangerous team, despite losing Brandon Doughty to the NFL. 

Yet, the Hilltoppers are loaded on offense with another set of magnificent skill position players. Look for Mike White, Taywan Taylor, and Anthony Wales to get most of the attention. Alabama has struggled with putting teams like this away. I will take the over on points and for Western Kentucky to keep it just under the line. 

South Carolina at Mississippi State
State is a 6.5 point favorite with an over/under of 44.5 points. To me, USC doesn't get enough credit for pulling off a win against a very, very good Vandy team in Nashville. Meanwhile, State lost a head-scratcher to South Alabama. The only way this game goes over is because of multiple over times, which is possible. Still, I am taking South Carolina outright and the under. 

Arkansas State at Auburn
Auburn is a 19.5 point favorite and the over/under stands at 54.5. This is another game I would say far, far away from. Auburn's offense was laughable from a coaching standpoint against Clemson to the point that people have to wonder if Malzahn owes the mob money. Yet, it could turn on a dime against a pretty sad Arkansas State team devoid of the talent it once had. Who knows who will start under center, much less on a play-by-play basis. If the same Auburn defense shows up, Auburn will keep Arky State under 10 points and will likely cover the spread despite the offense. I believe that Auburn not only covers this but  goes over on points IF just one or maybe two QBs are used. 

This game is particularly worrisome because it is very similar to the situation against Jacksonville State last year. But, I have to pick something, so I will take the Tigers against the spread and over on the points. But, I don't like it. 

Virginia Tech vs Tennessee
This is easily the game of the week. UT was likely brought down to earth after their performance last Thursday night. VT comes in after a muddled game against Liberty. UT is an 11 point favorite and the over/under is 52 points. Many speculate that UT doesn't quite know what they are getting in VT in terms of both enthusiasm and gameplay. Truth is, no one knows what to expect out of the Vols. 

UT hasn't been able to win that marque game against and out of conference foe since Butch came to town. Now, Tech isn't Oregon nor is it Oklahoma. But, Tech is an unknown because it has a new and much improved coaching staff. 

Keep an eye out for Isiah Ford, the Tech wide reciever. He spreads the field on every defense. Additionally, Bucky Hodges is one of the better tight ends in the game. If the Vols roll coverage to Ford, Hodges is likely to make them pay dearly. 

I will take VT to keep it under the spread and I will take the over on points.