Mr. CFB Pick Six: LSU beats Auburn at Death Valley, but do they cover?

Tony Barnhart

Well, I came close to getting out of that .500 rut. last week.

**--Auburn easily covered the 18 ½ against a bad, bad Arkansas team, 51-10.

**--Florida took care of business and beat South Carolina by 11, but Gamecock Coach Will Muschamp might argue that the guys wearing stripes were less than accurate in their enforcement of the rules.

**--LSU continues to be an offensive machine and easily covered the 18 ½ against Mississippi State, 36-13.

But who knew?

**--Alabama couldn’t cover 34 because quarterback Tua Tagovailoa got hurt.

**--Missouri didn’t even show up for its game with Vanderbilt, who had been embarrassed by UNLV the week before. The Tigers, 20 ½-point favorites, got beat straight up 21-14.

**--Kentucky, a 25-point underdog on the road at Georgia, played in a monsoon, leaving the Bulldogs content with a 21-0 win. Obviously, those who took Georgia and gave the points were less than happy.

So that’s another 3-3 record that leaves us at 26-21-1 against the spread this season.

Try these picks on for size:

The game: Auburn (plus 10 ½) at LSU, 3:30 p.m., CBS.

The pick: Auburn.

The score: LSU 31, Auburn 21.

The skinny: Auburn (6-1, 3-1 SEC) bounced back from its only loss (24-13 at Florida) to dominate Arkansas 51-10. But the only way Auburn wins this game against No. 2 LSU (7-0, 3-0) is to play its best defensive game of the season against a quarterback (Joe Burrow) who leads the nation’s No. 2 scoring team (50.1 ppg). I don’t see Auburn winning the game but I do think that 10 ½ points is kind of rich. LSU wins but it doesn’t cover.

The game: South Carolina at Tennessee (plus 4 1/2), 4 p.m., SEC Network

The pick: South Carolina.

The score: South Carolina 28, Tennessee 20.

The skinny: That line looks about right because each of the last seven meetings between these two schools has been decided by six points or fewer and by a total of 23 points. South Carolina (3-4, 2-3) is coming off a frustrating 38-27 loss to No. 9 Florida and two weeks ago upset No. 10 Georgia. Tennessee (2-5, 1-3) lost to No. 1 Alabama (35-13) last week in a game that should have been closer. It’s a gut feeling but I like South Carolina to come into Knoxville and cover the 4 1/2.

The game: Mississippi State (plus 10 ½) at Texas A&M, 4 p.m., SEC Network.

The pick: Texas A&M

The score: Texas A&M 31, Mississippi State 17.

The skinny: This is a critical game for both teams. Texas A&M (4-3, 2-2), whose losses are to No. 1 Alabama, No. 4 Clemson, and No. 9 Auburn, still have games remaining with No. 10 Georgia ad No. 2 LSU, both on the road. So the Aggies have to win games like Mississippi State (3-4, 1-3) to salvage a respectable season. Mississippi State will be playing on the road for the third time in four games. Coach Joe Moorhead is starting to feel the heat. Aggies win and cover the 10 ½.

The game: Arkansas (plus 31) at Alabama, 7 p.m., ESPN

The pick: Alabama

The score: Alabama 45, Arkansas 7.

The skinny: This game will be about who’s NOT playing. No. 1 Alabama (7-0, 4-0) will be without quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who suffered an ankle injury against Tennessee. In his place will be Mac Jones, who has seen very limited playing time in his career. Truth be told, this will be an important game in the sense that Alabama has to get Jones ready in case Tua cannot go or is less than 100 percent on Nov. 9 against LSU. That’s a huge number but, truth be told, Arkansas (2-5, 0-4) is a really bad football team. Alabama wins and covers.

The game: Missouri at Kentucky (plus 10 ½), 7:30 p.m., SEC Network.

The pick: Missouri.

The score: Missouri 21, Kentucky 10.

The skinny: Missouri (5-2, 2-1) is in bounce-back mode after basically not showing up last week in an inexplicable 21-14 loss to struggling Vanderbilt. The Tigers’ schedule is still set up to have a nice season but they have to win these 50-50 games. Because of injuries Kentucky has had to go with wide receiver Lynn Bowden at quarterback the past two weeks. It worked against lowly Arkansas (24-20) but against No. 10 Georgia it didn’t (21-0). Can it work against a pretty good defense from Missouri? Don’t think so. Missouri gets a late touchdown and covers.

The game: Notre Dame (plus 1) at Michigan, 7:30 p.m., ABC.

The pick: Notre Dame.

The score: Notre Dame 24, Michigan 20.

The skinny: I certainly don’t know what the boys in Vegas know, but I can’t believe Notre Dame is a close underdog in this game. The Irish have a seasoned quarterback in Ian Book and the Wolverines seem to have no clue of what they want to be on offense. I’ll give Michigan this: The Wolverines fought back at Penn State and lost a very respectable game (28-21). Rumors abound that Michigan Coach Jim Harbaugh is looking for an escape route out of Ann Arbor. Maybe this is a game where the Michigan troops rally behind their leader.

Nah.

Notre Dame wins (and covers) with a late touchdown.

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Tony Barnhart

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