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SEC Rundown: No. 1 vs 2 Showdown

Four of Top 10 Teams in CFP Rankings Ready to Rumble

What a week this could be in the SEC.

The game garnering the most attention is the showdown between undefeated Tennessee and Georgia teams. However, don’t overlook the Alabama-LSU matchup.

SEC Rundown: No. 1 vs 2 Showdown
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Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi State, and South Carolina can all become bowl eligible with victories on Saturday.

Georgia remained first in the national polls. Tennessee moved up one spot to No. 2 in the Associated Press poll. Alabama comes in at No. 6 followed by No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 15 LSU. In the first College Football Playoff rankings of the year, Tennessee is first, Georgia third, Alabama sixth, LSU 10th, and Ole Miss 11th.

According to the college football playoff odds, Georgia (+185) is the favorite to win the national title. Alabama comes in third at +325 with Tennessee fourth at +850.

Georgia (even money) has the best odds of an SEC title in the sportsbook. Alabama (+150) and Tennessee (+400) is the next closest challengers.

Let’s check the latest NCAAF picks, stats, injury reports, and NCAAF predictions. We’ve plenty of NCAAF expert picks for you to consider.

Game of the Week

Tennessee vs Georgia

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
    • Line: Tennessee -8

What game were you expecting to be the game of the week?

Tennessee already owns a win over Alabama and that played a role in the Volunteers sitting atop the first College Football Playoff rankings of 2022. Defending national champion Georgia comes in at No. 3.

Georgia (8-0, 5-0 SEC) will be without one of its best defensive players as Nolan Smith will miss the rest of the season with a torn pectoral muscle. Smith has played a key role in Georgia allowing the fourth-fewest yards per game in the country.

Tennessee (8-0, 4-0), led by Heisman Trophy front-runner Hendon Hooker leads the nation with an average of 553 yards per game.

Hooker is completing 71.2% of his passes for 2,338 yards to go with 21 touchdowns and one interception. He was held to 244 yards in last year’s game against Georgia. Jalin Hyatt, Hooker’s favorite receiver, is fourth nationally and first among players from Power-5 conferences with 907 receiving yards. His 14 TD catches are the most in the nation.

Georgia has won 15 home games in a row.

Something to consider for those who bet online: The total has gone over in eight of Georgia’s last 10 games against Tennessee.

Rest of the Schedule

Kentucky vs Missouri

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, Noon ET (SEC Network)
    • Line: Kentucky -1½

Kentucky quarterback Will Levis finished with 98 passing yards and three interceptions in last week’s loss at Tennessee. Chris Rodriguez has rushed for 459 yards in just four games for the Wildcats (5-3, 2-2 SEC).

Missouri (4-4, 2-3) went from allowing 435 yards per game in 2021 to allowing just 311 yards this season.

The two teams are tied for 11th in the SEC with an average of 23.9 points per game. Both the Wildcats and Tigers have struggled to finish off drives. Missouri has 16 TDs on 31 drives into the red zone while Kentucky has 18 touchdowns on 32 red zone possessions.

Kentucky has covered against the college football betting lines in five of the last seven games against Missouri.

Florida vs Texas A&M

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, Noon ET (ESPN)
    • Line: Texas A&M -3

Don’t look for the teams to be racing up and down the field. Florida (4-4, 1-4 SEC) has run the fewest offensive plays in the SEC while Texas A&M (3-5, 1-4) is tied for the second-fewest.

Three different Texas A&M quarterbacks have completed 58.6% of their passes. The Aggies have just 10 passing plays of 30 yards or longer. On the other side of the ball, the Aggies have allowed five passes of at least 30 yards, the best mark in the conference.

Florida’s Anthony Richardson was a Heisman Trophy candidate when the season started. However, he is 11th among qualified players in the SEC with a passer rating of 125.94.

Four of Florida’s last six games went over the college football odds total.

Liberty vs Arkansas

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, 4 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
    • Line: Arkansas -13½

Liberty is coming off an impressive win over Brigham Young. Johnathan Bennett completed 24 of 29 passes (247 yards, two touchdowns) to go with 46 rushing yards.

The Liberty defense held BYU to 71 rushing yards.

Since missing the game against Mississippi St., Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson has 601 yards (six touchdowns, no interceptions, 57 rush yards) in the last two contests.

Raheim Sanders leads the SEC with 1,041 rushing yards for Arkansas (5-3).

Liberty has to slow down the Hogs’ duo of Drew Sanders and Jordan Domineck, as they have a combined dozen sacks.

Alabama vs LSU

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, 7 p.m. ET (ESPN)
    • Line: Alabama -13

In many weeks, this would be the game of the week in the SEC.

After losing to Tennessee, every game the rest of the way is a must-win affair if Alabama wants to have a chance to be among the four teams in the College Football Playoffs.

Alabama’s Jahmyr Gibbs ran the ball just 10 times in the last game against Mississippi State.

LSU’s top runner is quarterback Jayden Daniels. He had 121 yards and three TDs in an upset of nationally ranked Ole Miss.

Both Alabama (7-1, 4-1 SEC) and LSU (6-2, 4-1) are coming off bye weeks so there could be some wrinkles put in by head coaches Nick Saban of Alabama and Brian Kelly of LSU. Alabama and LSU are tied with Ole Miss for first place in the SEC West Division.

Alabama leads the SEC with an average of 4.25 yards allowed per play. LSU has allowed more than 400 yards in three of the last four games.

Alabama has won its last five road games against LSU. Eight of the last 12 games in the series went under the total.

SEC Rundown: No. 1 vs 2 Showdown
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Auburn vs Mississippi State

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET (ESPN2)
    • Line: Mississippi State -12½

This will be the first game since Auburn fired head coach Bryan Harsin.

The Tigers (3-5, 1-4 SEC) have lost four games in a row but, other than an Oct. 8 matchup with Georgia, Auburn was in all of those games.

Turnovers have been an issue with Auburn as the Tigers are -10 in turnover margin, the worst mark in the SEC.

Auburn has allowed just six passing touchdowns and will face Mississippi State’s Will Rogers. Rogers is the SEC leader with 2,555 passing yards and 23 TD passes. He threw for 455 yards and six touchdowns the last time Mississippi State (5-3, 2-3) faced Auburn.

Mississippi State is undefeated at home. The Bulldogs average 44 points at home and 19.5 points in the road contests.

Auburn has allowed 90 points in two true road games.

Auburn has covered in four of its last six games against Mississippi State.

South Carolina vs Vanderbilt

  • Date, time (TV): Saturday, Nov. 5, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
    • Line: South Carolina -7

The teams took different paths to address the quarterback position. South Carolina (5-3, 2-3 SEC) brought in Oklahoma transfer Spencer Rattler while Vanderbilt (3-5, 0-4) went with freshman A.J. Swann. The younger of the two players is the one with better ball security. Swann has one interception in 163 passing attempts while Rattler has been picked off nine times on 225 passes.

South Carolina ranks 12th and Vanderbilt 14th in total offense among SEC teams.

Vanderbilt’s Anfernee Orji is the SEC leader with 84 tackles.

South Carolina has won 13 straight games against Vanderbilt. However, three of the last six meetings ended as one-score games.

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