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

The last Saturday in September includes some glittering matchups in the SEC that are bound to have ramifications for the conference and division title along the way. In one of the headlining games of week 4, no. 20 Florida heads to the rocky summit to tackle the no. 11 Tennessee in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. The two rivals are looking to get back on the national scene 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 plays 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 choices for games with SEC teams in week 4.

Appetizer: the styles make quarrels

The rivalry between Gators and Volunteers will be decided by how you actually play. The volunteer attack is built to increase the pace, weaken a defense, and force every match into a shootout. Florida, on the other hand, are the second-best running team in the country in terms of yards per attempt (6.42), and have a quarterback in Anthony Richardson who has yet to pitch a touchdown pass this season. Richardson, however, scored three goals on the ground and averaged 5.58 yards per transport (including sack yardage).

What has flown under the radar is Tennessee’s defense work this season. Vol are in third place in the SEC for tackles lost per game (7.33) and sack per game (2.67). That success will be tested against a team of Gators who are second in the SEC in tackling allowed losses (8) and allowed sacks (2).

If Tennessee dictates the style, it’s hard to imagine a scenario where Richardson and Co. make this much of a struggle.

Main Course: Are the Aggies Back?

The answer is an emphatic “no”. Last Saturday’s victory over no. 25 Miami was good, but most of the problems that existed before the change of quarterback from Haynes King to Max Johnson still exist despite the victory over the Hurricanes. The Aggies are tied to the Navy for the fewest trips to the country’s red zone (3). That’s right, the Iowa attack – which was the punchline of endless jokes across the country – was in Texas A&M’s plus (4) red zone. If there’s one shred of good news embedded in that statistic it’s that the offense took all three of those touchdown hits.

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

Texas A&M took a win over a ranked team last weekend and Johnson didn’t turn the ball. Is fantastic. But all he did was prevent this season from turning into total disaster.

The Georgia quarterback is (+1200) on the Caesars Sportsbook to win college football’s most prestigious individual award, and this is, by far, the best bet on the scoreboard. Bennett has five touchdowns, zero interceptions, and has the SEC’s second-best passing score at 183.48. He is fifth nationally and no. 1 in the SEC for percentage completion on low passes (73.1%) and ranks eighth nationwide in yards per attempt (11.13) when Bulldogs are 7 or more yards away from first down .

The most important statistic for Bennett, however, is that he completed 0.0% of his steps in the fourth quarter, and that’s because he never tried one. He could throw one this week against Kent State, but that’s unlikely to mean much. Bennett is not a game manager. He is a difference maker. More importantly, though, that offensive coordinator Todd Monken made a concerted effort to manage the offense through his veteran quarterback.


Upward: 29-7 | against the spread: 14-16-1
* Previous choices have been made on Instagram since SEC Smothered & Covered starts in week 3

Kent State at no. 1 Georgia

Bennett’s tendency not to attempt a pass in the fourth quarter will continue in what will be an explosive victory over the Golden Flashes. Trainer Kirby Smart will be calling the dogs soon knowing that SEC program meat is just around the corner. He knows that championship-level depth is required to win a national title and he will use this opportunity to build even more depth. It 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 this past weekend, which played a major role in the outbreak of the Tigers. Missouri can’t really do that, and that will be a big factor in this bout. It’s no secret that Auburn’s quarterback position is a disaster. TJ Finley is slammed, Robby Ashford is inconsistent in passing and Zach Calzada can’t find the pitch. These issues, however, will force manager Bryan Harsin to bring running backs Tank Bigsby and Jarquez Hunter into the game plan in a wide variety of ways. It will be enough to get a win, and I will reluctantly pick Auburn to cover as well. Choice: Auburn (-7)

Just when I start buying Bulldogs stock, they go to Death Valley and fall into the underdog LSU. However, he will buy more against Bowling Green. Quarterback Will Rogers will fire up a passing defense that is last place in the MAC (345.7 yards per game) and allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 71.2% of his passes. The large spread scares me a little, but not enough to walk the axis of Mike Leach’s Bulldogs. Choice: State of Mississippi (-30)

no. 20 Florida at no. 11 Tennessee

Featured game | Tennessee Volunteers vs. Florida alligators

It’s impossible to trust Richardson in a shootout, and that’s exactly what the Tennessee bout, led by quarterback Hendon Hooker, will do on Saturday afternoon. The underestimated defense of the Volunteers will create enough devastating actions to keep the Gators out of schedule, which will spell disaster for a Gators offense that is by no means an airborne threat. The party on Rocky Top after beating Florida for the first time since 2016 will be legendary. Choice: Tennessee (-10.5)

Featured game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Tulsa’s Golden Hurricane

Are you already buying the Rebels? you should. Manager Lane Kiffin has proven in three games that the basis of the offense is his stellar running game led by Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins, and Tulsa’s porous rush defense (159 yards per game) will have an incredibly difficult time to play. slow down this freight train. This, coupled with wildly underestimated defense, will be more than enough for Kiffin’s crew cruise. Choose Ole Miss (-21)

Featured game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Northern Illinois Husky

This game screams “backdoor coverage”. Kentucky quarterback Will Levis has teamed up with freshman Dane Key to create one of the most explosive bouts in recent memory in Lexington, Kentucky, and manager Mark Stoops knows that will be key to his success in the future. For that reason, expect Stoops to put this into cruise control early in the second half. After all, he knows that an Ole Miss showdown is approaching next week and he will want his team to be 100% for next week’s big game. Choice: Northern Illinois (+25.5)

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

Featured game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. Arkansas Razorback

Arkansas ranks third in the SEC in third-down conversions (48.89%), which means it can replicate the same game plan that Appalachian State used against the Aggies two weeks ago and own the time of the battle for possession. However, he will be able to perform better with top SEC runner Raheim Sanders (146.67 yards per game) and double threat KJ Jefferson as quarterback. The Aggies won’t be able to cash in on the few scoring opportunities they get and the Razorbacks will win this one outright. Pick: Arkansas (+2.5)

The Crimson Tides haven’t figured out how to stretch the field in depth consistently and the Commodores will provide the perfect tuning before they hit the SEC program meat. The ‘Dores are giving up 274 yards per game in the air, so expect Young to come out and build a big lead. Vandy has enough offensive weapons to keep this within 40 points, even if we have to sweat potential backdoor cover. Pick: Vanderbilt (+40.5)

I’m still not fully convinced of LSU’s offensive line, but it sure looked better last week against the state of Mississippi. New Mexico averages 2.67 sack per game, and that will be enough to force LSU behind sticks and in points 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 be successful, but he will also drain time and prevent his team from covering. Choice: New Mexico (+31)

Featured game | South Carolina Gamecocks vs. Charlotte 49ers

Everything went wrong for the Gamecocks last week in the defeat to Georgia, but Charlotte will provide the perfect opportunity to do well before the rest of the SEC schedule is lifted. The defense of the 49ers pass is excruciating (320.5 yards per game) and manager Shane Beamer will try to put quarterback Spencer Rattler as comfortable as possible before changing the schedule in October. Choice: South Carolina (-22)

Which college football choices can you confidently make in week 4, and which Top 25 favorite will be tough? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread – all from a proven computer model that has returned more than $ 3,300 in profit over the past six seasons and more – and find out.

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