SEC college football picks, odds for Week 6: LSU and Florida meet in critical SEC rivalry game

The calendar got flipped to October prior to Week 6, which means things will heat up around the SEC as the temperatures begin to drop. No. 22 Florida will host No. 5 LSU, No. 8 Auburn will travel to Mississippi State and No. 1 Alabama hits the road to take on reeling Arkansas this Saturday.

What will go down this week? Let's make some picks and try to post a solid record against the spread for the second straight week.

Record straight up: 46-9 (7-1 last week)
Record against the spread: 15-22-1 (5-2 last week)
*Games without lines are not counted in the ATS record

Main course

No. 5 LSU at No. 22 Florida (+2.5)

  • Points at a premium
  • It all depends on quarterbacks
  • Old-school

The Tigers and Gators feature fierce defenses that spend plenty of time in opposing backfields disrupting plays. So I'm going to go with the Occam's razor approach and pick this game based on the simple explanation: this one comes down to quarterbacks. Tigers signal-caller Joe Burrow and Gators quarterback Feleipe Franks will be under fire all afternoon. Who do you trust to win a big game? Franks hasn't done it with his arm in one year-plus as the starter, while Burrow did it in Game 3 at Auburn when he led the march down the field that resulted in the game-winning field goal. Burrow wasn't rattled then, and he won't be rattled in The Swamp. Pick: LSU (-2.5)

Strong cocktails

No. 8 Auburn at Mississippi State (+3.5)

  • OL play is critical
  • QB's have to stay composed
  • Who runs better?

The Tigers and Bulldogs have looked very similar over the last two weeks. Rushing yards have been at a premium, offensive line play has been sluggish and quarterbacks Jarrett Stidham and Nick Fitzgerald, respectively, have been less-than-stellar. Both have been under fire throughout the season, but Stidham has still found ways to make it work. It'll be ugly, but Auburn will do enough on the ground to keep Mississippi State's defense honest, and Stidham will make enough clutch passes to lead his Tigers to victory in the land of the cowbells. Pick: Auburn (-3.5)

No. 13 Kentucky at Texas A&M (-5.5)

  • Cats stay hot?
  • Aggies run defense is sneaky-good
  • Kyle Field factor

It's crazy to see a top-15 team as such a big underdog, but that's where Kentucky is at the moment. The Wildcats are white hot on the heels of running back Benny Snell and superstar linebacker Josh Allen. But they've done their damage the last two weeks at home, not the hostile Kyle Field crowd. The dirty little secret is that Texas A&M's defense isn't just good, it's really good. The Aggies lead the SEC in run defense (85 YPG) and defensive third-down conversions (24.56 percent), and that's after playing Clemson and Alabama. The Aggies will shut down Snell enough to make Terry Wilson win a game with his arm on the road, and he won't come through. Pick: Texas A&M (-5.5)

No. 1 Alabama at Arkansas (+35)

  • Reps on the road
  • Hogs offensive struggles
  • Foot stays on gas

This isn't a "strong cocktail" in the sense of it being an overwhelmingly compelling game. But every Alabama game is compelling to Las Vegas. Razorbacks quarterback Ty Storey will be under fire all afternoon, and there's nothing to suggest that he can muster up anything close to enough to have success against the Alabama defense. Alabama will win and cover, because coach Nick Saban will keep his foot on the gas longer than normal in order to get his first- and second-team quality experience on the road. Pick: Alabama (-35)

Appetizers

Vanderbilt at No. 2 Georgia (-26.5)

  • Dawgs work out some issues
  • Vandy won't be able to move the ball
  • The Fields factor

Georgia looked pretty sloppy in the middle of last week's win over Tennessee, and a big reason was the inability to get things going on the ground early in the second half. Because of that, expect coach Kirby Smart and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney to experiment with a bunch of different options -- some of which will include second-string quarterback Justin Fields. When they find what works, they'll stick with it enough to win and cover vs. the Commodores -- partly because the 'Dores will struggle to get past the 50-yard-line. Pick: Georgia (-26.5)

Missouri at South Carolina (-1)

  • Tigers with time
  • Gamecocks hungover
  • Big plays are the key

Missouri has had two weeks to prepare for a South Carolina team that's down after losing at Kentucky last weekend. During that time, expect offensive coordinator Derek Dooley to dial up some new looks for quarterback Drew Lock -- who's third in the SEC in passing plays of 30 or more yards despite having one fewer game than Tua Tagovailoa and Jordan Ta'amu, who are above him. For perspective, South Carolina has four plays -- running and passing combined -- of 30 or more yards in as many games. Mizzou will make this a shootout, and there's no way the Gamecocks will be able to keep up. Pick: Missouri (+1)

Side Dish

UL-Monroe at Ole Miss (-23)

  • Shootout?
  • Will Ole Miss play defense?
  • Does Ole Miss even have a defense?

UL-Monroe has averaging a 402 yards per game and 5.76 yards per play, and is going up against a Rebels defense that is giving up 518.8 yards per game and 6.19 yards per play. Ole Miss will find a way to win, but the absence of a competitive defense coupled with its track record of struggling against lesser competition (Southern Illinois, Kent State) is more than enough to think that the Warhawks can hang (but not win). Pick: UL-Monroe (+23)

Which teams should you back in Week 6 of the college football season? And which national title contender will get a massive scare on the road? Visit SportsLine right 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 and is 49-36 on its top-rated picks this season.

College Football Writer

Barrett Sallee has been a member of the sports media in various aspects since 2001. He is currently a college football writer for CBS Sports, analyst for CBS Sports HQ and host for the SiriusXM college... Full Bio

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