The penultimate week of the regular season is typically the time for most SEC schools to schedule the softest opponent possible. Known colloquially as “SoCon Saturday,” it essentially gives SEC schools a bye week to prepare for their season-ending rivalry games. Even though there are still more FCS matchups than conference games, we still have three significant SEC contests on the slate. All games previewed are Saturday.
|Texas A&M Aggies||+12.5 (-109)||+390||O 44 (-110)|
|Georgia Bulldogs||-12.5 (-111)||-540||U 44 (-110)|
It feels like the Georgia Bulldogs have been in CBS’ featured SEC game of the week more times than not in 2019. Kirby Smart’s squad is 2-1 ATS in the featured CBS game this season and was only unable to cover the 16-point spread against Notre Dame.
Georgia is ranked fourth in the most recent College Football Playoff rankings, and Texas A&M is its final test before the Bulldogs get a chance to demolish Georgia Tech in their regular-season finale. The Aggies won’t catch Georgia sleeping. They probably won’t be able to run the ball, either. The Bulldogs finally surrendered a rushing touchdown against Auburn, the first scored on Smart’s defense all season.
THE GEORGIA DEFENSE GETS HOME pic.twitter.com/UJQWgrLA69
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) November 17, 2019
This game is less about what Jimbo Fisher will try to do to put up points, and more about how many Georgia can score. Even with Jake Fromm at quarterback, Georgia has kept almost every big game in the 20s, while A&M has turned almost every big game into a shootout. A low-scoring affair favors Georgia, but it can’t defeat LSU in the SEC Championship Game by scoring in the 20s. Smart should take the shackles off offensive coordinator James Coley to see what the Bulldogs can do before they travel to Atlanta. If he does their dominant defense will make sure A&M can’t keep up with Georgia.
Pick: Georgia -12.5
We were told Missouri is a different team at home, but that theory was proven incorrect last Saturday. Even with quarterback Kelly Bryant back in the lineup, the Tigers’ offensive woes continued, and they scored just six points in a loss to Florida. Since their lengthy, season-opening homestand ended, they’ve scored 14, six, zero and seven points in each game. Against a Tennessee defense that has turned things completely around, this is the complete opposite of a “get-right” game for the Missouri. I don’t even know how Missouri is a favorite.
Pick: Tennessee +3.5
The largest point spread between a pair of SEC foes in 40 years, logic dictates the Tigers would be incapable of covering such an enormous number, even at home. And they don’t want Joe Burrow on the field long Saturday night. The sad part is LSU could cover that number in a hurry and the backups could add to it. Bet Arkansas at your own risk.
Pick: LSU -43.5
Western Carolina at #5 Alabama, noon ET, SEC Network
Alabama is going to win and it is going to win big. However, this is the most significant FCS game Nick Saban has ever coached. Mac Jones, Tua Tagovailoa’s backup, will get one tuneup before the Crimson Tide makes its case to the CFP committee in the Iron Bowl.
Mac Jones with a dime to Ruggs. pic.twitter.com/GBH4BIv1I8
— Chicago Gump (@GriffinTSmith) November 16, 2019
Jones has taken plenty of snaps at various points in his career, but if he doesn’t look like the man right away, jumping into the top four is going to be a tough sell.