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SEC Week 5 picks: Auburn vs. Georgia & 4 more

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October 1st, 2020

The delayed start to the SEC’s conference-only season was well worth the wait.

In Week 4, defending national champion LSU fell to Mississippi State, South Carolina botched a punt return for a chance to upset No. 21 Tennessee, and No. 13 Texas A&M needed an interception late in the fourth to hold off unranked Vanderbilt.

Expect more surprises and perplexing Mike Leach memes in Week 5. Here are our picks for Auburn at Georgia, plus four other SEC games on the slate.

#7 Auburn vs. #4 Georgia

Sat, October 3 2020, 11:30 PM

Georgia Bulldogs

Spread

-7

Moneyline

-260

Total

O 45

Auburn Tigers

Spread

+7

Moneyline

+205

Total

U 45

After a slow start in the first half against Arkansas last weekend, Georgia got the ball moving behind quarterback Stetson Bennett, who stepped in for starter D’Wan Mathis.

Bennett completed 20 of his 29 passes for 211 yards and two scores, after Mathis went 8-of-17 for 55 yards and an interception. Bennett also added 20 yards on five carries.

Georgia’s top-rated defense helped put the game out of reach in the third, when defensive back Eric Stokes returned an interception 30 yards for a touchdown.

The Bulldogs extended the lead to 34-10 on a Zamir White run, then hit a 38-yard field goal to seal a 37-10 victory.

Auburn took some time to put up points on Kentucky, as well. Sophomore quarterback Bo Nix went 16-of-27, for 233 yards and three touchdowns — two of which came in the fourth quarter — and led the Tigers with 34 yards rushing.

Auburn finished the day with just 91 rushing yards in the 29-13 home win and allowed Kentucky to run for 145.

That type of performance won’t work against Georgia, who held Arkansas to 77 yards rushing and 203 passing.

Even more concerning for Auburn, is that USC transfer JT Daniels has been cleared to play Saturday in Athens.

His first action in a Bulldogs uniform might come with some hiccups, but he is still an upgrade for the Georgia offense.

The Bulldogs are favored by a touchdown at home and have won six of the last seven in this series, including three straight.  

The favorite is 9-2 against the spread in the last 11 matchups, while the home team is 10-4 ATS. 

Pick: Georgia -7


Missouri vs. #21 Tennessee

Sat, October 3 2020, 4:00 PM

Tennessee Volunteers

Spread

-13

Moneyline

-475

Total

O 48.5

Missouri Tigers

Spread

+13

Moneyline

+355

Total

U 48.5

New-look Missouri had no time to ease into the 2020 season, with a home opener against No. 2 Alabama.

In the first half, the Tide built a 28-3 lead, as the Tigers failed to convert on third down and could hardly move the ball on the ground.

Tennessee had similar trouble on third down (1-for-12) against a much weaker South Carolina squad. However, the Volunteers were successful running the ball. Ty Chandler rushed for 86 yards on 13 carries, while Eric Gray and quarterback Jarrett Guarantano each rushed for a score.

Tennessee is the better team, but Missouri will show more fight than it did last week.

Pick: Missouri +13


#13 Texas A&M vs. #2 Alabama

Sat, October 3 2020, 7:30 PM

Alabama Crimson Tide

Spread

-17.5

Moneyline

-895

Total

O 51.5

Texas A&M Aggies

Spread

+17.5

Moneyline

+575

Total

U 51.5

Alabama looked predictably dominant in yet another opening-season win for coach Nick Saban. Nonetheless, the Tide failed to cover the 27-point spread against Missouri — but only because the second string gave up 13 points in the fourth quarter.

No. 13 Texas A&M barely edged Vanderbilt, 17-12, at home. The Aggies went 4-for-10 on third down, fumbled five times, lost three, and committed eight penalties.

Running back Isaiah Spiller (117 yards on eight carries) was the bright spot for A&M, but he won’t find the same open lanes against Alabama’s defense.

Pick: Alabama -17.5


Arkansas vs. #16 Mississippi State

Sat, October 3 2020, 11:30 PM

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Spread

-16.5

Moneyline

-735

Total

O 69

Arkansas Razorbacks

Spread

+16.5

Moneyline

+500

Total

U 69

New coach Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are in for a wild ride in 2020.

State not only covered as a 16.5-point underdog at defending national champion LSU, but it handed the Tigers a 10-point defeat.

Now the Bulldogs are 16.5-point favorites against an Arkansas team that kept it close with Georgia, until late in the third quarter.

Stanford transfer quarterback K.J. Costello set an SEC record with 623 yards passing against LSU and scored five touchdowns against two interceptions.

Florida graduate transfer Feleipe Franks had a less favorable debut for the Razorbacks. He went 19-of-36 for 200 yards, one touchdown, and was picked off twice.

The Bulldogs will force Arkansas to match them in the passing game, but the Razorbacks D won’t keep up.

Pick: Mississippi State -16.5


#20 LSU vs. Vanderbilt

Sat, October 3 2020, 11:30 PM

Vanderbilt Commodores

Spread

+21

Moneyline

+700

Total

O 51

LSU Tigers

Spread

-21

Moneyline

-1250

Total

U 51

LSU not only lost 14 players from last year's championship team to the NFL, but lost its passing game coordinator and defensive coordinator in the offseason. The Tigers also opened the season without star cornerback Derek Stingley Jr.

Out with an illness, Stingley should be back against Vanderbilt and will give the Tigers defense a leg up, after it gave up 632 yards and 44 points to Mississippi State.

Vanderbilt will need to score a lot more than 12 points to keep up with LSU.

The Tigers won't get embarrassed for a second straight week, but Vanderbilt's defense will keep LSU in check.

Pick: Vanderbilt +21


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