Division races in the SEC have wrapped up, but that doesn’t mean the intrigue has disappeared with the cold temperatures arriving. No. 24 Auburn will look to spoil No. 5 Georgia’s College Football Playoff chances, No. 16 Mississippi State will travel to Tuscaloosa to take on No. 1 Alabama and several other games have major bowl implications. 

Let’s break down Week 11 in the SEC and make some picks.

Record straight up: 65-21 (4-3 last week)
Record against the spread: 28-38-2 (2-4-1 last week)
*Games without lines are not counted in the ATS record

Main courses

No. 16 Mississippi State at No. 1 Alabama (-24)

  • Make Fitz pass
  • Protect Tua
  • Another shutout

The Crimson Tide are fresh off the shutout at LSU, and will come close to another goose egg against the Bulldogs. Quinnen Williams and the Tide front seven were nasty last week, and will be even better against the Bulldogs as they force quarterback Nick Fitzgerald into some very bad decisions. If the Tide offensive line can keep quarterback Tua Tagovailoa clean, this will be another runaway — and likely a shutout. Pick: Alabama (-24)

No. 24 Auburn at No. 5 Georgia (-14)

  • Bulldogs stop the run
  • Keep Fromm comfy
  • Avoid mistakes

The Tigers have been unable to run the ball all season long, topped the 150-yard mark only twice this season and amassed a whopping 19 yards (sarcasm intended) last week vs. Texas A&M. The Bulldogs run defense has been spotty, but slowing down the Tigers won’t be an issue. As long as the offensive line — which is banged up — can keep quarterback Jake Fromm from being pressured, Kirby Smart’s crew should be able to avoid an upset. But because Auburn’s defensive front has kept them in every game, Fromm will need a fourth-quarter drive to lock it up. Dawgs win, but Tigers cover in a sloppy, sloppy affair. Pick: Auburn (+14)

Strong cocktail

No. 7 LSU at Arkansas (+13.5)

  • Hangover?
  • Defense travels
  • Burrow back?

Last week’s loss to Alabama was demoralizing and embarrassing, but could that hangover linger into Saturday’s matchup with the Razorbacks? Nope. Defense travels, and the Tigers defense — led by linebacker Devin White, safety Grant Delpit and cornerback Greedy Williams — will shut down an Arkansas offense that has been hit-and-miss (mostly miss) all season. The question will then become: Can the Hogs score enough to cover against a one-dimensional LSU team? Nope. Tigers win by 20. Pick: LSU (-13.5)

No. 11 Kentucky at Tennessee (+6)

  • Leaders step up
  • Vols need it
  • Run away Cats

Kentucky has never been in this situation before, competing in a game after losing the de facto SEC East championship game. Leaders like linebacker Josh Allen, running back Benny Snell and the rest of the veteran Wildcats have to make sure the entire roster knows that the first New Year’s Six Bowl in program history is staring them straight in the face. Meanwhile, the Vols sit at 4-5 and would love to notch this one to make a bowl game in coach Jeremy Pruitt’s first year more attainable. The running game will get going, Allen will have a big game against a fragile Tennessee offensive line and Kentucky will ugly its way to a double-digit win. Pick: Kentucky (-6)

Appetizers

South Carolina at No. 15 Florida (-6)

  • Gator QB issues
  • Bentley hot
  • Mullen keep it together?

Stop me if you’ve heard this before … Florida has quarterback issues. Kyle Trask replaced an ineffective Feleipe Franks in the loss to Missouri last week, but Trask is out with a foot injury which leaves Franks and true freshman Emory Jones as the two options. If Franks struggles, will coach Dan Mullen use Jones for the third time this season and leave only one more game for Jones to play to keep his redshirt? Gamecocks quarterback Jake Bentley will light up a Gators defense that was just torched by the Tigers, Mullen will have his worst game yet as the Gators head coach and the Gamecocks will add to Florida’s woes. Pick: South Carolina (+6)

Ole Miss at Texas A&M (-11.5)

  • Hold it together, Jimbo
  • Secondary vs. secondary
  • Running game wins it late

The Aggies have lost two straight, but that shouldn’t take away from the progress Fisher has made in Year 1 at Texas A&M. The offense looks good and the defensive front has been solid, but the secondary is a major problem. Rebels quarterback Jordan Ta’amu will light up the Aggies, but Kellen Mond will do the same to the putrid Rebels secondary. In the end, Mond and running back Trayveon Williams will take advantage of a worn down Ole Miss defense to pull away late. Take the over and take the Aggies. Pick: Texas A&M (-11.5)

Side Dish

Vanderbilt at Missouri (-17)

  • Locked and ready to rock
  • Tigers complete
  • Sorry, Vandy

The Commodores have had two weeks to enjoy their first SEC win, but they won’t get a second this week. Missouri quarterback Drew Lock lit up Florida last week, and will have an even bigger day against a defense that has given up 15 touchdown passes this year. Lock will make this a shootout, and the combination of a lethal offense and an improving defense will allow the Tigers to win and cover late. Pick: Missouri (-17)

So which teams should you back in Week 11 of the college football season? And what playoff contender will get a huge scare? Visit SportsLine now to see the projected score for every single FBS matchup, all from the model that has returned over $4,000 in profit to $100 bettors over the last three seasons.


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