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I’m cranking the picks out early this morning because as soon as I click publish I’m running over to my fourth grader’s elementary school to take him out of school so he can watch the Braves play in their postseason opener against the Reds.
After watching at least parts of all sixty regular season games, he’s so excited to watch the Braves in the postseason.
What could possibly go wrong with that?
Last week we took some bad beats in the Arkansas +26, Ole Miss +15, and Alabama resting most of their starters after going up 35-3, which means we finished 5-6. On the positive side, we’ve been white hot on the Outkick NFL Six Pack, going 10-2 in our past 12 picks there.
So hopefully we can get both rolling in a positive direction now.
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Because we’re going 10-0 this week, baby!
It’s time to get rich, kids and as always #respectthepicks.
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With that in mind, here we go:
Texas Tech at Kansas State -2
Last week Kansas State shocked the world by winning outright as a 16-1 money line underdog and becoming the first team to beat a top five opponent after being down by 21 points or more in over 500 games.
Meanwhile Texas Tech choked away a 15 point lead in the final three minutes against Texas before losing 63-56 in overtime.
So what do both teams do for an encore this week after incredibly emotionally draining games last Saturday?
I think Texas Tech is way more drained here than Kansas State and the Wildcats come out and take control early, never relinquishing the lead throughout this game.
Kansas State moves to 2-0 in the Big 12.
Ole Miss +6.5 at Kentucky over 62
Ole Miss has absolutely no defense, but they’re going to be able to score on pretty much anyone all season long.
That was the story against Florida and I believe it will be the story against Kentucky as well.
This is a massive game for both teams because if you fall to 0-2 in conference you’re staring at a really difficult final eight games for both teams, particularly Kentucky, which had a bit higher expectations than Ole Miss.
It got lost in the attention given to Mississippi State and Florida’s offensive prowess, but last week Ole Miss posted 613 yards against Florida. Meanwhile Kentucky actually outgained Auburn and, as we’ve discussed a ton on Outkick, they got screwed out of a touchdown late in the first half that may well have changed the outcome against Auburn entirely.
So what happens this week? I think Kiffin comes out gunning and this game turns into a shootout. Kentucky wins 35-31, but you get the cover and the over.
Boom, a double win in the bluegrass.
Auburn +7 at Georgia
Georgia has won three in a row in the South’s oldest rivalry and, remarkably 12 out of the last 15 in this series overall.
I say remarkably because I feel like Georgia’s dominance in this series isn’t talked about that often.
Indeed, the last three times Auburn has won this game they have played for the SEC title and two of those three times they’ve also played for the national title.
While we focus on the Alabama game for Auburn, the Georgia game has actually been their real jumping off point to excellence.
So what do we expect this year from Auburn?
I actually think Auburn is the more stable offensive team thanks to Bo Nix because of Georgia’s quarterback issues. If the Bulldogs has been playing anyone other than Arkansas they may well have lost last week — the Razorbacks led 10-5 with eight minutes to go in the third quarter before Georgia’s talent differential finally exerted itself.
It’s possible Georgia plays as many as three quarterbacks in this game and I just don’t like their ability to sustain offensive rhythm as a result.
So with some trepidation give me the Tigers +7.
LSU at Vanderbilt +21
LSU is still recovering from the most shocking home opening loss for a defending national champion in a very long time. In fact, I think Mississippi State still has open receivers running through Death Valley.
So rest assured LSU is going to arrive in Nashville in an awful mood.
But this is a night game and there will be just a handful of Vanderbilt students in the crowd, meaning the stadium is going to have an eerie, empty feel.
This game will truly feel like no game LSU has ever played in before.
I think that works to Vanderbilt’s favor, especially since the Commodores played well on the road against Texas A&M, and are somewhat used to playing games with empty stadiums.
Give me the Dores to keep it under three touchdowns.
South Carolina +18 at Florida
The Gamecocks had a chance to drive the length of the field and get the win against Tennessee until they allowed a punt to run into one of their upfield blockers.
Just like that the Gamecocks had a home opening loss and now face a daunting next several games.
So what happens in this one?
The Gators win, but Will Muschamp’s team stays within two touchdowns of the Gators as Kyle Trask continues to burnish his Heisman credentials.
The last seven games between these two teams have been decided by 11 or less.
Make it the last eight, Cocks cover.
Mizzou +11.5 at Tennessee
Mizzou covered against Alabama after Nick Saban inexplicably called off the dogs and Tennessee found a way to win on the road against South Carolina, notching a narrow cover as well.
The most interesting stat to come out of the South Carolina game to me was that Tennessee went 1-12 on third downs all game long.
And still found a way to win.
Why did they go 1-12 on third down?
Last year Guarantano played the best game of his career, probably, on the road against Missouri. This year the Vols just need him to avoid disaster as a double digit home favorite.
But here’s the problem.
I’m not betting on Jarrett Guarantano as a double digit favorite in any SEC game this year. Could he come out and play great and Tennessee win big? Sure. But I think it’s far more likely that he’s consistently inconsistent and this is a close game in the fourth quarter.
The Vols win, but Mizzou covers.
Oklahoma at Iowa State over 62
You want to talk about a lopsided series history: Oklahoma has beaten Iowa State 76 times. Iowa State has beaten Oklahoma six times.
Included in that six is a win three years ago in Norman. Last year Iowa State almost pulled off the upset again losing 42-41.
So the series has become far more competitive over the past several years than it has been historically.
What’s more five of the past six in this series have gone over 62 and the only one to go under was a 58 point total in 2016.
So far Iowa State has given up 31 to Louisiana and 34 to TCU.
You telling me Oklahoma isn’t scoring forty on them?
Meanwhile this Oklahoma defense is always going to Oklahoma defense.
The over is the easy play here, which is why, tap the veins boys, it’s our blood bank guarantee this week.
Texas A&M +17 at Alabama
You want to feel old?
It has now been eight years since Johnny Manziel took the Aggies into Tuscaloosa as a 17 point underdog and made himself a college football legend.
And Alabama has won every one of the games since that memorable battle.
Jimbo Fisher is rolling into Tuscaloosa in his third year at College Station. So far he’s just been okay. And when you are paying someone $7.5 million a year, just okay isn’t great. Especially when the SEC record so far is just 10-7.
At some point Jimbo needs to show some strong signs of improvement.
Could that happen this week?
Nick Saban did the unthinkable last week, he called the dogs off against Missouri. Up 35-3 the Crimson Tide were poised to deliver when Bama allowed Mizzou to outscore them 16-3 in the final 25 minutes of the game.
This just doesn’t happen very often to Alabama, where the back ups battle so hard to get on the field that there aren’t many garbage points allowed.
You’d think that would work against the Aggies in this game, but A&M is coming off their own poor performance, barely squeaking past a 30 point underdog at home against Vanderbilt.
So who is more motivated to dominate after mediocre opening games?
I think Bama wins, but this number feels too steep.
Beat the hell of Alabama? Not hardly. But cover? Yep.
Arkansas at Mississippi State -18
All hail the new Tiger King, Mike Leach.
Coming off one of the biggest wins in school history, it would be easy to bet against State retaining the same offensive swagger they had on the bayou, but I think Arkansas just doesn’t have the horses to run with these State receivers for four quarters.
Plus, I think the Razorbacks took a physical beating in the second half against Georgia and I just don’t believe in Feleipe Franks at all, who I feel like you can pencil in for multiple turnovers in every game.
Mississippi State wins big over Arkansas.
The pirate covers, again.
Okay, we’re headed for 10-0 and I’m off right now to go pick up my fourth grader to watch the Braves playoff debut.