SEC NCAAF Free Pick

Mississippi at #2 Alabama, Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS

TeamSpreadMoneylineTotal
Mississippi+37.5 (-110)N/AO 60.5 (-110)
Alabama-37.5 (-110)N/AU 60.5 (-110)

In the Hugh Freeze era, Ole Miss consistently put Alabama on upset alert. The Rebels won by six in back-to-back seasons before Nick Saban’s squad finally outscored Ole Miss 48-43 in 2016. Outscoring Ole Miss should be exponentially easier in 2019.

Ole Miss will head to Tuscaloosa after a heartbreaking loss in the final seconds to Cal in Oxford. Elijah Moore caught a pass that appeared to be in the end zone with less than 20 seconds to play, but the official ruled the ball did not cross the goal line. The Rebels rushed to the line of scrimmage and got off a snap, only for the potential game-tying quarterback sneak to be denied at the line of scrimmage. The close call was never officially reviewed.

Through four games Alabama has averaged 50 points and 550 yards per game. Only once was Alabama remotely threatened, when South Carolina coach Will Muschamp scrambled with freshman quarterback Ryan Hilinski for the backdoor cover in Columbia. Alabama’s offense is operating at such a high level, its wide receivers are playing rock, paper, scissors on the sideline.

The old Ole Miss could have made this game fun. This season’s Ole Miss squad does not score enough to make this a shootout. The Rebels’ 25.3 points per game ranks 13th in the SEC. Starting quarterback Matt Corral left their last game early with an injury, and John Rhys Plumlee was 7-for-7 in limited reps, but I pity any true freshman who has to make his first start at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

With all that said, this line has moved too muchfrom 32.5 to 38to touch. You can either zig while everyone else zags, or cheer for points and roll with the over.

Pick: Over 60.5

Mississippi State at #7 Auburn (-10.5), Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN

The Bulldogs were kept afloat by Garrett Shrader against Kentucky. Even with Tommy Stevens returning to action, Mississippi State will not be able to slow down the Tigers’ powerful rushing attack that ranks 16th in the nation (259.5 yards per game).

Pick: Auburn -10.5

#23 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (+23.5), Saturday, noon ET, ESPN

Nick Starkel will not be able to get revenge against his former school. The Texas A&M transfer threw five interceptions against San Jose State last week. Even after he ditched his Justin Bieber shirt, it won’t get much prettier for Starkel, as the Aggies will shake off a bad home loss to Auburn.

Pick: Texas A&M -23.5

Kentucky at South Carolina (-3), Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network

The Wildcats have won five straight against the Gamecocks. They’ve also lost two straight games to backup quarterbacks. Ryan Hilinski is the best of the bunch. The blue-chip freshman will be able to nickel and dime the ‘Cats to their third straight SEC loss.

Pick: South Carolina -3

Towson at #9 Florida (-36.5), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET, SEC Network

The Gators cruised against Tennessee, which might as well be an FCS program. They will not be able to name their score against a Towson team that is one of the five best in the FCS, according to ESPN’s SP+ rankings.

Pick: Towson +36.5

Northern Illinois at Vanderbilt (-6.5), Saturday, noon ET, SEC Network

The Huskies have been beaten up by Power Five opponents. Against Utah and Nebraska they allowed an average of 466 yards and 39.5 points. Vanderbilt’s defense has been abysmal, but the Commodores put up points against Purdue (24) and LSU (38). They will cover in their first win of the season.

Pick: Vanderbilt -6.5


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