It’s another week in the SEC, with the conference schedule facing some limitations. Because of a series of Covdd-19 postponements this past weekend, more SEC games are going to be scheduled for Dec. 19, the same day as the SEC Championship Game. However, if more postponements occur in the coming weeks, the SEC will not be able to play all 10 previously scheduled regular-season games for all of its 14 teams.
In Week 12, the Ole Miss-Texas A&M game originally scheduled for this Saturday has been postponed. Stay tuned for other possible postponements, but as of Monday night, only Ole Miss versus A&M had been officially postponed. The lack of a normal rhythm for some of these teams could continue to create irregularities in how they perform. That said, you will notice a lot of large online betting point spreads in this weekend’s upcoming games.
Florida Gators at Vanderbilt Commodores
College Football Odds: Florida -31.5
The Florida Gators might have the best player in college football. Quarterback Kyle Trask has a real chance to win the Heisman Trophy. He threw six more touchdown passes against the Arkansas Razorbacks. He has thrown almost 30 touchdown passes in six games. He is leading a lethal Florida offense which has been mowing down nearly every defense. Vanderbilt, meanwhile, is at the bottom of the SEC. It actually managed to score in the 30s at Kentucky but gave up more points to the Wildcats. Vanderbilt has been significantly outclassed in a number of games. Florida is probably the second-best team in the SEC, so the large point spread is hardly unreasonable. The only thing which might enable Vanderbilt to cover is that Florida might get bored, which is certainly something to consider with young college athletes playing in a pandemic.
LSU Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks
College Football Odds: LSU -1
This is a fascinating game. LSU is the defending national champion, but the Tigers have struggled through a miserable season in which some top players have been injured, other top players have opted out due to Covid-19, and in which the exodus of quality players to the NFL (combined with a few coaching departures) has hollowed the Tigers’ reserves. LSU has in many ways started over. Meanwhile, Arkansas – which was in last place in the SEC West in 2019 – has improved to a considerable degree. Head coach Sam Pittman has quickly changed the culture in Fayetteville, creating a largely effective defense and a competent, albeit unspectacular, offense. Arkansas was ripped by Florida this past weekend,. Don’t read too much into that game in terms of Arkansas’ ability. The Hogs are a decent team. LSU, meanwhile, lost in a blowout to Auburn a few weeks ago before this past weekend’s game against Alabama was postponed due to Covid-19. LSU might be well-served by the week off in which it gained extra time to regroup, but Arkansas has made significant strides. Arkansas probably isn’t getting enough credit here, in what is legitimately a toss-up in the sportsbook.
Tennessee Volunteers at Auburn Tigers
College Football Odds: Auburn -10
Tennessee is capable of playing well. The Vols led Georgia by one point at halftime. They led Arkansas by 13 points on the road. They show that they are capable of being a good team. However, they can’t hold leads and they can’t play well in second halves. Tennessee was roasted by Georgia and Arkansas after establishing an advantage. It’s all about being able to turn 30 good minutes into 60 for the Vols.
Auburn has been wildly inconsistent but its most recent game against LSU was by far its best performance. Auburn didn’t play this past weekend because Covid-19 postponed its game against Mississippi State, but the LSU effort should put Auburn in good shape against Tennessee. Auburn is definitely the more in-form team right now.
Kentucky Wildcats at Alabama Crimson Tide
College Football Odds: Alabama -30
The Alabama Crimson Tide have their offense exactly where they want it to be … and this is without star receiver Jaylen Waddle, who is out for the season with an ankle injury suffered a few weeks ago. Quarterback Mac Jones is battling Florida’s Kyle Trask for the Heisman Trophy. They are two of the three best quarterbacks in the country. Kentucky gave up 35 points to a Vanderbilt offense that had been averaging under 20 points per game. Imagine what Alabama is going to do to Kentucky. Florida scored over 60 against Arkansas this past weekend. Alabama can score over 60 on Kentucky if it wants to. The Tide certainly has the horses. One wonders if the Crimson Tide will try to limit their playbook and save better plays for tougher opponents down the line. Alabama might try to coast a little bit, but if the Tide play close to the ceiling of their capability, they should bludgeon Kentucky.
Mississippi State Bulldogs at Georgia Bulldogs
College Football Odds: Georgia -25
The Mississippi State Bulldogs threw for more than 600 yards and scored 44 points in their season opener against LSU. Since they have struggled to throw the ball and score. MSU has encountered a severe and prolonged drought. The Bulldogs did not play this past Saturday, and neither did the other Bulldogs from Georgia. Both teams will have had extra rest due to Covid-19.
Georgia has a quarterback controversy after Stetson Bennett faltered against Florida a week and a half ago. Bennett could play against Mississippi State. D’Wan Mathis, who filled in for Bennett midway through the Florida game, might also start. People are wondering why USC transfer J.T. Daniels has not been given a chance to play by head coach Kirby Smart. There are legitimate questions about Georgia’s offense, but Mississippi State might not score 10 points.
Missouri Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks
College Football Odds: Missouri -6
The South Carolina Gamecocks fired head coach Will Muschamp after another embarrassing defensive display against Ole Miss. The Gamecocks have given up more than 50 points multiple times this season and have shown no ability to get better. However, the firing of Muschamp might finally inspire South Carolina to play better against a Missouri team that didn’t play this past weekend due to Covid-19.