SEC college football picks, odds in week 4: Tennessee and Arkansas coverage extends in crucial rivalry games

The last Saturday of September features some dazzling SEC matchups that are sure to have ramifications for the conference and division title down the line. In one of the main games of Week 4, No. 20 Florida heads to Rocky Top to take on No. 11 Tennessee in the SEC in CBS’ Game of the Week. The two rivals are looking to return to the national stage, and there’s no better place to make a statement than in front of more than 100,000 fans inside Neyland Stadium in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Elsewhere, No. 10 Arkansas and No. 23 Texas A&M meet at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, in an old Southwest Conference rivalry game that was rekindled in the SEC when the Aggies joined the conference in 2012.

Let’s take a tour of the conference and make some picks for games with SEC teams in Week 4.

Appetizer: Styles Make Fights

The rivalry between the Gators and Volunteers will be decided by how the game is actually played. The Volunteers’ offense is designed to pick up the pace, wear down a defense and force every game into a shootout. Florida, on the other hand, is the second-best rushing team in the country in terms of yards per attempt (6.42), and has a quarterback in Anthony Richardson who has yet to throw a touchdown pass this season. However, Richardson has scored three times on the ground and is averaging 5.58 yards per carry (including yards per catch).

What has gone unnoticed is the work of Tennessee’s defense this season. The Vols rank third in the SEC in tackles for loss per game (7.33) and sacks per game (2.67). That success will be tested against a Gators team that ranks second in the SEC in tackles for loss allowed (8) and sacks allowed (2).

If Tennessee dictates the style, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Richardson and company put on a great fight.

Entrée: Are the Aggies Back?

The answer is a resounding no.” Last Saturday’s win over No. 25 Miami was good, but most of the problems that existed before the QB switch from Haynes King to Max Johnson still exist despite the win. on the Hurricanes. The Aggies are tied with the Navy for the fewest trips to the red zone in the country (3). That’s right, the Iowa offense, which has been the butt of endless jokes across the country, he’s been in the red zone more (4) than Texas A & M. If there’s any good news in that stat, it’s that the offense has turned those three visits into touchdowns.

The obvious rebuttal from Aggie’s defenders is that he has scored from outside the red zone. That’s true. He has a total of five touchdowns from outside the end zone, bringing his grand total to…wait for it…eight. That’s good enough to rank last in the SEC and No. 102 in the country, tied with several teams including standout offensive giant UConn.

Texas A&M got a win over a ranked team last weekend and Johnson didn’t turn the ball over. That’s great. But all he did was prevent this season from becoming a total disaster.

The Georgia quarterback is (+1200) at Caesars Sportsbook to win the most prestigious individual award in college football and that’s by far the best value bet on the board. Bennett has five touchdowns, zero interceptions and has the second-best passer rating in the SEC at 183.48. He is fifth nationally and No. 1 in the SEC in completion percentage on passes (73.1%), and ranks eighth nationally in yards per attempt (11.13) when the Bulldogs are 7 or more yards away. from a first try.

The most important stat for Bennett, though, is that he completed 0.0% of his passes in the fourth quarter, and that’s because he hasn’t attempted any. He could throw one this week against Kent State, but it’s unlikely to mean much. Bennett is not a game manager. He is a difference maker. More importantly, though, offensive coordinator Todd Monken has made a concerted effort to run the offense through his veteran quarterback.

selections

directly: 29-7 | Against the spread: 14-16-1
*Above picks were made on Instagram since SEC Smothered & Covered begins in Week 3

Kent State at No. #1 Georgia

The trend of Bennett not attempting a pass in the fourth quarter will continue in what will be a big win over the Golden Flashes. Trainer Kirby Smart will cancel the dogs early knowing the meat of the SEC schedule is right around the corner. He knows that championship-level depth is required to win a national title, and he will take this opportunity to build even more depth. That will be enough to keep the game within 45 points. Pick: Kent State (+46)

featured game | Auburn Tigers vs. Missouri Tigers

Penn State’s defensive front dominated Auburn’s offensive line last weekend, which played a big part in the blowout of the Tigers. Missouri really can’t do that, and that’s going to be a big factor in this matchup. It’s no secret that Auburn’s quarterback position is a mess. TJ Finley is injured, Robby Ashford isn’t consistent in the passing game and Zach Calzada can’t seem to find the field. Those issues, however, will force coach Bryan Harsin to include running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter on the game plan in a wide variety of ways. That will be enough for a win, and I’ll begrudgingly pick Auburn to cover for that as well. Pick: Auburn (-7)

Just as I start buying Bulldogs stock, they go to Death Valley and fall to LSU. I’m going to buy more against Bowling Green though. Quarterback Will Rogers will light up a pass defense that ranks last in the MAC (345.7 yards per game) and has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 71.2% of their passes. The sheer variety scares me a bit, but not enough to walk all over Mike Leach’s Bulldogs. Pick: Mississippi State (-30)

No. 20 Florida at No. 11 Tennessee

featured game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida Gators

It’s impossible to trust Richardson in a shootout, and that’s exactly what Tennessee’s offense, led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, will do on Saturday afternoon. The Volunteers’ underrated defense will create enough chaos plays to keep the Gators off schedule, spelling disaster for a Gators offense that isn’t a threat in the air at all. The party at Rocky Top after beating Florida for the first time since 2016 is going to be legendary. Pick: Tennessee (-10.5)

featured game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Are you already buying from the rebels? Should. Coach Lane Kiffin has shown through three games that the foundation of the offense is his stellar running game led by Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins, and Tulsa’s porous defense (159 yards per game) will have a hard time stopping this train. load. That, coupled with some wildly underrated defense, will be more than enough to get Kiffin’s crew sailing. Pick Ole Miss (-21)

featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Northern Illinois Huskies

This game screams “back cover.” Kentucky quarterback Will Levis has combined with freshman Dane Key to create one of the most explosive offenses in recent memory in Lexington, Kentucky, and coach Mark Stoops knows he will be the key to their success in the future. So he expects Stoops to put this one on cruise control early in the second half. After all, he knows he’s got a matchup coming up at Ole Miss next week and he’ll want his team to be 100% ready for next week’s big game. Pick Up: Northern Illinois (+25.5)

No. 10 Arkansas at No. 23 Texas A&M

featured game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

Arkansas ranks third in the SEC in third-down conversions (48.89%), meaning it can replicate the same game plan Appalachian State used against the Aggies two weeks ago and own the battle for time. of possession. However, he will be able to execute better with leading SEC running back Raheim Sanders (146.67 yards per game) and dual-threat puncher KJ Jefferson at quarterback. The Aggies won’t be able to take advantage of what few scoring opportunities they have, and the Razorbacks will win this one outright. Collect: Arkansas (+2.5)

The Crimson Tide hasn’t figured out how to consistently expand the field, and the Commodores will provide the perfect set-up before they get to the meat of the SEC schedule. The ‘Dores are giving up 274 yards per game through the air, so expect Young to come out strong and build a big lead. However, Vandy has enough offensive weapons to keep this one within 40 points, even if we have to sweat a potential rear cap. Pick: Vanderbilt (+40.5)

I’m still not completely sold on LSU’s offensive line, but it certainly looked better last week against Mississippi State. New Mexico is averaging 2.67 sacks per game, and that will be enough to force LSU behind the sticks and in punting situations more than expected. Also, expect more from Tigers running back John Emery Jr. after his first game in nearly two years last week. He will succeed but will also run out the clock and prevent his team from covering. Pick up: New Mexico (+31)

featured game | South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Charlotte 49ers

It all went wrong for the Gamecocks last week in a loss to Georgia, but Charlotte will provide the perfect opportunity to get it right before the rest of the SEC schedule gets underway. The 49ers’ pass defense is atrocious (320.5 yards per game), and coach Shane Beamer will be looking to get quarterback Spencer Rattler as comfortable as possible before we move the schedule to October. Pick: South Carolina (-22)

Which college football picks can you confidently make in Week 4, and which top 25 favorite will drop hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread, all from a proven computer model that has generated over $3,300 in earnings over the last six seasons and find out.

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