Games in the middle of October don’t get much bigger than the showdown between Alabama and Tennessee on Saturday afternoon.
In a conference where the success of Georgia and Alabama casts a shadow on the other teams, Tennessee is trying to prove that it can compete for the SEC title this season.
The Mississippi State-Kentucky is another matchup between ranked teams while Georgia and Ole Miss look to keep on rolling.
For those who bet online and love big-play offenses, Tennessee leads the SEC with 20 offensive plays of at least 30 yards, while Alabama is tied for second with 14.
Georgia (+200) is tied with Ohio State for the best odds to win the national title, followed by Alabama (+250) and Tennessee (+4000), according to the sportsbook.
Alabama’s Bryce Young (+1400), Jahmyr Gibbs (+2000), and Will Anderson (+5000), Georgia’s Stetson Bennett (+1600), Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker (+1200), and Mississippi State’s Will Rogers (+5000) are among the top 15 contenders for the Heisman Trophy.
Georgia moved atop the Associated Press poll and received 32 of the 63 first-place votes, while Alabama stayed at No. 1 in the American Football Coaches Association poll. Tennessee jumped from eighth to sixth in the AP poll, while Ole Miss is ninth in both rankings.
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
Alabama Crimson Tide vs Tennessee Volunteers
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (CBS)
- Line: Alabama -7
Tennessee (5-0, 2-0 in the SEC) leads the SEC with an average of 547.8 yards per game. Quarterback Hendon Hooker continues to move up in the odds to win the Heisman Trophy, completing 70% of his passes for 1,432 yards with 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. He had three TD passes in last year’s game against Alabama.
Plenty of eyes will be on the other quarterback. Reigning Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young missed last week’s game against Texas A&M after he suffered a shoulder injury in the win over Arkansas for the Crimson Tide (6-0, 3-0).
If Young can’t go or is limited, the Crimson Tide will need to rely on the top-rated defense in the SEC as well as dynamic running back Jahmyr Gibbs. Gibbs has 393 yards from scrimmage over the last two games.
RB/WR/KOR ➕ @hornungaward 👍@Jahmyr_Gibbs1 #BamaFactor #RollTide pic.twitter.com/etmY4Nk2cd
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) October 11, 2022
Alabama has won 15 games in a row against Tennessee, with only two of those games decided by seven points or less.
The Crimson Tide have covered against the college football odds in five of the last six meetings.
Tennessee’s last win against Alabama came in 2006.
Other Games to Watch
Auburn Tigers vs Ole Miss Rebels
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 12:00 noon ET (ESPN)
- Line: Ole Miss -15½
Ole Miss (6-0, 2-0) has been relying on its running game as the Rebels lead the SEC with 21 touchdown runs. However, former USC quarterback Jaxson Dart is off to a bit of a slow start with eight TD passes and five interceptions.
Wide receiver Jonathan Mingo is the SEC leader with 507 receiving yards on just 22 catches.
Auburn’s defense has only allowed two touchdown passes this season. Derick Hall leads the defense with seven tackles for loss.
The Tigers’ passing offense needs to step it up as Auburn (3-3, 1-2) is completing 52.2% of its passes with eight interceptions and just five touchdown passes.
Auburn has won the last six games against Ole Miss, although the margin of victory in the last three matchups is just eight points.
Each of the last four contests between the Rebels and Tigers finished under the college football odds total.
Vanderbilt Commodores vs Georgia Bulldogs
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
- Line: Georgia -38
There are some pretty intriguing games in the SEC this week. However, this one has the potential to be over pretty quickly.
Vanderbilt (3-3, 0-2) is allowing 479.5 yards per game, the most in the SEC. It will be a challenge for the Commodores to slow down Georgia quarterback Stetson Bennett, who is second in the conference with 1,744 passing yards.
For Vanderbilt, De’Rickey Wright is tied for second in the SEC with three interceptions, while Anfernee Orji is the conference leader with 61 tackles.
Georgia (6-0, 3-0) is led on defense by Nolan Smith, who has a tackle for loss in each of the last five games.
Georgia has defeated Vanderbilt four times in a row and covered against the college football picks in each of those contests.
Arkansas Razorbacks vs Brigham Young Cougars
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Line: Arkansas/BYU PK -110
Arkansas quarterback K.J. Jefferson could return to action after missing last week’s loss to Mississippi State.
The defense will continue to be led by linebacker Drew Sanders, the SEC leader with 6½ sacks, and defensive lineman Jordan Domineck, who has 4½ sacks. They will pressure BYU quarterback Jaren Hall, one of the top quarterback prospects in the 2023 NFL Draft.
Keep an eye on sophomore running back Raheim Sanders, the leading rusher in the SEC with 695 yards for Arkansas (3-3).
Louisiana State Tigers vs Florida Gators
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 7:00 p.m. ET (ESPN)
- Line: Florida -2½
A pair of first-year coaches are trying to navigate through life in the SEC. Both LSU (4-2, 2-1) and Florida (4-2, 1-2) have spent time ranked in the national polls, but this is a showdown of unranked teams.
Florida is one of three SEC teams with more passes intercepted than touchdown passes. The Gators are second in the conference, with an average of 6.4 rushing yards per game. LSU’s running game has been a bit on the inconsistent side.
Six of the last eight games between the Tigers and Gators finished over the total.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Kentucky Wildcats
- Date, time (TV): Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET (SEC Network)
- Line: Mississippi State -4
Two of the best quarterbacks in the SEC will be headliners in this game. Will Rogers has led the Bulldogs to back-to-back wins over Texas A&M and Arkansas. He has 12 touchdown passes and no interceptions over the last three games for the Bulldogs (5-1, 2-1).
QB Will Levis missed last week’s loss to South Carolina and has just 422 yards in two games against SEC foes this season. He is listed as probable for Saturday’s game.
Kentucky (4-2, 1-2) is third in the SEC in passing defense, allowing 174.2 yards per game and an opposing passer rating of 106.5. The defense will try to slow down receiver Rara Thomas, who averages 17.5 yards per catch.
The teams have split the last six meetings, with the home team winning each time. The winning team has also covered each of this series’s last seven games.