SEC Game of Interest (Week 4)

This photo was taken back when I still liked Butch Jones. - Jonathan Ernst

We haven't been terrible at picking conference games against the spread this season. That trend may continue, but Don't Bet On It!

I'm kind of steamed about last week's picks. We correctly predicted that Ole Miss would beat Texas, but neither Alabama's nor South Carolina's defenses showed up for the fourth quarter. Together Vanderbilt and aTm scored 36(!) fourth quarter points against what were supposed to be two of the toughest defenses in the conference. I actually stopped watching both games at the half figuring I had the picks in the bag. Lesson learned: watch every minute of every game. Oh well. Now we take a 3-2 conference ledger into the meat of conference play with this week's SEC Game of Interest: Tennessee at Florida (-14.5).

The pick: Tennessee +14.5

Why you should care: I really shouldn't have to explain this one.

The rationale: It's tempting to want to take the Gators here (ignoring our collective hatred of them, obviously). They've had a bye week to stew over getting embarassed by Miami, they're playing at home, and Tennessee just got shellacked by Oregon on the road. But here's the thing: Florida's offense is still terrible and one-dimensional. Miami proved that Florida can't beat you if you stop the run and force them to pass. And while it may appear from last weekend's performance that Tennessee's defense is a sieve, you have to remember two things: (1) Oregon's offense makes every defense look bad, and (2) the Vols actually did a decent job of stopping the run and forcing the Ducks to beat them through the air (which, unfortunately for the Vols, Mariota and Co. had no problems doing).

I doubt that the Volunteers can pull off an upset on the road this weekend, but I don't trust Florida to beat anyone by two touchdowns (other than Toledo). What do you think?

Bonus pick: I will take LSU (-16.5) at home over Auburn all day, every day. If you've watched either team play this season, I don't think I have to explain why.

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