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Rejoice, SEC football is back this weekend.
And with it comes the return of the Outkick College Football Gambling Picks, a ten year tradition in these Internet parts.
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Because we’re going 11-0 this week, baby!
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With that in mind, here we go:
Georgia Tech at Syracuse +8.5
Long time readers of the college football gambling column know that I’ve long had an affinity for Dino Babers when it comes to betting football games.
I picture Babers checking the line on his phone just before he jogs out for the opening coin toss, nodding his head confidently and mouthing the words, “We got this, Clay.” (Note: I have never met Dino Babers and probably does not know I exist, so the fact that I have created a fake relationship between us in my head based entirely on gambling is, admittedly, a bit strange for a 41 year old man. But at least this is my job. You, on the other hand, voluntarily chose to read about my imaginary friend. What does that say about you, loser?)
And most certainly the Orange got this on Saturday. And not just because Syracuse alum Megyn Kelly will be on the Wins and Losses podcast next week, but because Georgia Tech hasn’t been very good offensively and neither has Syracuse. (In a bit of shamelessly dovetailing self promotion I’d encourage you to go subscribe to the Wins and Losses podcast here.)
That makes me think this game will be low scoring and Syracuse will stay well within a touchdown for the entire game. That’s especially the case because I think Tech is still overvalued coming off the Florida State win and it wouldn’t shock me if Syracuse won outright.
Dino, for the cover!
Bama -27 at Mizzou
It’s possible this game won’t be played because of positive covid test issues at Missouri. And, while I’ve diligently been working to ensure as many college football games are played as possible, I wouldn’t blame new Mizzou coach Eli Drinkwitz if he didn’t want to make his debut against Alabama after they’ve spent months putting up with Nick Saban and covid.
Can you imagine how angry this Crimson Tide team is?
I actually feel sorry for Missouri.
This is going to be a massacre, pure and simple.
The last SEC game we saw the Tide in was that collapse against Auburn — doesn’t it seem like a decade ago? — and now Mizzou is the chum in the Crimson Tide water.
Tide by ninety.
Kansas State at Oklahoma over 60.5
Here’s what we know about Oklahoma under Lincoln Riley — they’re good for 40+ every game. (Until they get in the playoff and score ten. I kid, I kid, sometimes they score 14).
That’s made even more the case when Kansas State gave up 35 points to Arkansas State.
Now they’re going on the road against Oklahoma?
There’s no way they don’t give up 45 to Oklahoma.
I’m not a math genius, but if you start with 45 that means all I need from Kansas State is 16 and I cover.
Which means the over is a cakewalk here.
Florida at Ole Miss +14.5
Truth be told, I was a little nervous about this game, but then covid hit and made it clear Lane Kiffin wasn’t going to be able to live in the Kappa Kappa Gamma house this fall.
Because here’s the deal, you keep Joey Freshwater out of the sorority houses for an entire offseason and he’s going to be like John Nash in “A Beautiful Mind.”
I have no idea what offensive schemes he’s going to have drawn up. There may be formations we haven’t even seen before in his playbook. This is gonna be like when the dude wrote the Kama Sutra and everyone else read it and was like, “You can do that?”
While I have a lot of faith in Florida’s Kyle Trask, I don’t have a ton of faith in this Gator team to go on the road and win by over two touchdowns.
Especially not since Ole Miss is honoring true heroes like Dr. Johnny Sins. And while the Rebels will be honoring Sins for his work as a doctor, it’s important to note that Sins has also been quite proficient as a plumber, fireman, and pizza delivery boy.
And you know where your dough — that’s a play on words, you dolt, verbal dynamicism like this doesn’t happen by accident — should be come Saturday?
On the Rebels, baby!
Hotty Toddy, indeed.
Georgia at Arkansas +26
Arkansas is going to go 0-10 this year. (Or they are going to go 1-9 and beat my Vols.)
Anyway, it’s a crime against SEC humanity that Vanderbilt and Arkansas weren’t scheduled to play each other to end the season. Because the SEC’s Toilet Bowl would be must see television.
But before Arkansas plays the most difficult season in college football history — #4 Georgia, at #8 Auburn, at #10 Texas A&M, #16 Tennessee, at #5 Florida, #6 LSU, and at #2 Alabama. Good god, man, they scheduled them to play six top 16 teams and THEN THEY LEFT ALABAMA FOR THE LAST GAME?!
That’s not even cruel and unusual punishment.
That’s a borderline illegal snuff film. Stuff like this, ironically, is only legal in Arkansas, which is why they got the schedule they did.
But I digress, the point here is Georgia has uncertainty at quarterback and Arkansas isn’t dead yet. I mean, they know they’re on death row, but they’ve got an appeal out and their lawyer says it might go really well and everyone knows lawyers never lie.
Maybe the DNA evidence was mislabeled after all, guys!
So there’s some reason for hope.
And by hope, I mean you lose by 21 or 24.
Which means, cha ching, we cover.
Texas at Texas Tech +18
When last we saw Texas Tech they were struggling to beat a school called Houston Baptist.
I am not a football expert, but when you have to stop a two point conversion against a team named Houston Baptist to win your home opener, it probably means your team isn’t very good at football.
So while many people are pouring dirt on Texas Tech’s grave, what I’d rather focus on is this — the entire team has pretty much already had covid. Sure, you thought herd immunity was only a strategy embraced by diabolically talented teams like Clemson and LSU, nope, you’re wrong, the entire Texas Tech team pretty much already had covid.
You know what that means?
And you know what practice makes? Bad teams that cover big spreads.
Kentucky +7.5 at Auburn
Kentucky’s had a rough go of it of late, and it’s not just because they spent tens of millions of dollars to turn their indoor football field into a covid hospital overflow unit and then took it all down without seeing a single patient nearly bankrupting the hospital in the process, it’s because the school faculty are now demanding they rename Rupp Arena because Adolf Rupp was allegedly racist.
Which is just really unfair.
I mean, when have you ever known a guy named Adolf to be racist?
Meanwhile, Auburn football is like the girl at the bar who might be hot, but you’re too drunk to know for sure. You’re squinting at her and you’re thinking, “This girl is hot, why is she talking to me?” But then she turns her head for a minute and you see her in a new light and think she might have leprosy. (For the young kids out there, leprosy was kind of like covid, except you could actually tell when someone had leprosy).
And that happens 12 times a year. Four times a game all season long. That is Auburn football, you just can’t trust them. They’re the used car salesmen of the SEC. You’ve got no idea what’s actually under the hood, you might drive for 100,000 miles and the engine might explode before you pass the first Chick fil A.
Which is why I’m taking Kentucky to cover this one on the Plains.
The Wildcats are the more reliable football team. (I can’t believe I actually wrote that.)
(By the way, is there any school more likely than Auburn to claim they only let 25% of the seats be filled, but when you watch on television they’re all filled with fans? I really wouldn’t put it past Auburn to sell every seat and then when people complain for Auburn to officially respond, “That’s just what people outside of the Auburn family think. Sure, you guys think the stadium is full, but everyone inside the family knows we only filled 25% of the seats. Typical SEC bias.”)
FIU at Liberty -6.5
I know, I know, some of you reading this right now are like, “Shut up, Clay, you don’t know anything about FIU,” and that’s not fair to me at all.
For instance, I know that FIU’s head coach is Butch Davis. And most of you thought Butch Davis was dead. Because if he was alive why would Butch Davis be coaching at FIU?
Last year Hugh Freeze coached from a hospital bed and that seemed weird, but this year a coach coaching in a hospital bed wouldn’t even feel strange. Hell, I halfway expect for the SEC to bring out a quarterback with an IV drip to avoid canceling a game.
There’s also a joke to be made here about how lucky Jerry Falwell, Jr. is this game is being played in Lynchburg and not Miami since his last several trips to Miami didn’t go that well, but I’m not the kind of guy to make those kind of jokes.
Anyway, this Liberty offense is rolling and Freeze’s Flames are covering.
Louisville at Pitt -2.5
I watched Louisville play against Miami and I’m not sure I can bet on Louisville for the rest of the season.
For several plays of this game — yes, I had Louisville, but I’m not bitter at all — it was as if the Louisville defense thought the purpose of football was to be as far from the person carrying the ball as possible.
Seriously, I’ve never seen anything like it.
On one touchdown Miami scored a fifty yard touchdown and there wasn’t even a defender in the television screen with him.
How is this even possible? Especially when everyone has flat screen TVs. I paused my television and stood up to make sure I wasn’t missing anything. I even walked up to the edge of the TV on pause and looked down to make sure there wasn’t a stray nipple I was missing like I used to do when I was a kid and there was a late night movie on. Nope, no defenders.
For a minute I thought the entire Louisville football team had died of covid, but I quickly realized that was impossible because Andrew Cuomo wasn’t their governor.
(Thanks, thanks, I’ll be here all night.)
In all seriousness, the Fighting Pat Narduzzi’s are impossible to beat at home. And by, “impossible to beat at home” I mean they beat UCF last year that one time.
Mississippi State +17 at LSU
I feel like we’re totally underrating the fact that Mike Leach is now coaching against Ed Orgeron in the SEC and this isn’t the fevered dreams of you and your buddies playing your jury-rigged version of the last NCAA Football game.
Mike Leach came on the Wins and Losses podcast this past March and we only talked about “The Tiger King.” That seems like it was twenty years ago now, but this is the kind of character we’re getting. And now he’s going to be coaching next door to an actual tiger.
Sidenote: did you know that one day Mike the Tiger got out of his cage and they didn’t know where he was and they found him just hanging out in Tiger Stadium?! Now imagine that happened on a gameday. Can you imagine the scene? A ton of drunk Cajuns running around convinced a tiger’s chasing them? (On second thought maybe it would look pretty much the same).
Anyway, I really think Leach should coach this game dressed entirely as a pirate. I even think he should have a multi-colored parrot on his shoulder. Why not sex things up a bit? Hike up the pants and show me a peg leg.
Just a suggestion.
This is the match up, by the way, of the two coaches I’m most intrigued to see whether they can keep their masks on. (I need to give an expert at wearing mask rating scale for Monday on Outkick. I totally expect Saban to have a new facecovering designed. Given the space station in Huntsville, I’m convinced Alabama could put a man on Mars in ten minutes if you told them it meant they were more likely to win a football game.) Anyway, you have to factor in mask miscommunication here. You can’t understand what Coach O is saying when he’s not wearing a mask and now we’re asking him to speak into a headset with a mask on? You might as well ask Joe Biden to say the pledge of allegiance without a teleprompter, it’s just not happening.
But what is happening is an easy winner — State is going to cover on a Louisiana Saturday night.
Tennessee at South Carolina under 43
I’ve watched every Will Muschamp vs. Tennessee football game over the past several years.
They have two things in common: 1. Almost all of them are defensive struggles. 2. My team always loses.
Until last year, anyway.
But this year I’m afraid we revert to form.
You’ve got two defensive head coaches who have had months to get ready for each other and they aren’t going to let the offenses shine.
Which is why you take the under.
It’s my blood bank guarantee.
Get rich, kids, we’re going 11-0!