SEC college football picks, odds for Week 7: Georgia heads to Death Valley for LSU matchup

Here we are in mid-October, and the college football schedules-makers served us four exciting cross-division SEC matchups to dine on Saturday afternoon and evening. Those games include a top-15 battle between No. 2 Georgia and No. 13 LSU, No. 1 Alabama hosting Missouri's high-octane offense, No. 22 Texas A&M traveling to South Carolina and a matchup of scuffling teams on the Plains between No. 21 Auburn and Tennessee.

Is this the week the SEC East rises up and announces that it's back, or will the SEC West's domination of the conference continue?Let's breakdown a fun weekend with some picks for Week 7.

Record straight up: 50-12 (4-3 last week)
Record against the spread: 17-27-1 (2-5 last week)
*Games without lines are not counted in the ATS record

Main course

No. 2 Georgia at No. 13 LSU (+7.5)

  • Defense rules the day
  • Bulldogs QB rotation
  • Can Burrow win with his arm?

LSU got into a defensive slugfest last week in a loss to Florida, and should expect the same kind of challenge Saturday when the Bulldogs roll into Tiger Stadium. Burrow had a chance to tie it late in the fourth quarter last week, and will have to come through this week for Ed Orgeron's Tigers to get the win. Georgia has been fantastic at preventing big passing plays this season, so Burrow will have his work cut out for him. Georgia coach Kirby Smart will be smart with his quarterback rotation. Jake Fromm will make smart decisions through the air, and Justin Fields will stress the Tigers defense enough to keep defensive coordinator Dave Aranda on his toes all afternoon. Georgia will land a couple of haymakers late to get the win and cover. Pick: Georgia (-7.5)

Strong cocktails

Missouri at No. 1 Alabama (-28.5)

  • Tua vs. Lock
  • Mizzou's rush D critical
  • Can Alabama cover?

A massive slump has plagued the top-ranked Crimson Tide over the last three weeks: They haven't covered the spread. There, now that there's some negativity out of the way (you're welcome, Nick Saban), let's get down to what this game is really all about.  The QB matchup between Tide star Tua Tagovalia and Mizzou star Drew Lock will draw plenty of eyeballs. Tagovailoa has 25 incompletions and 18 touchdowns on the year, while Lock is second in the SEC with 297.4 passing yards per game. While that might draw attention, the real intrigue here is Alabama's multi-dimensional rushing attack squaring off against a Missouri run defense that is giving up just 3.31 rushing yards per attempt. The Tigers haven't seen anything like the Tide, though. Tagovailoa will stay hot, the rushing attack will pull away late and the Tide get cover for the first time since Sept. 15. Pick: Alabama (-28.5)

No. 22 Texas A&M at South Carolina (+2.5)

  • Bentley or Scarnecchia?
  • Elite Aggies run defense
  • Mond stays smart

South Carolina topped Missouri last week with QB Michael Scarnecchia in place of an injured Jake Bentley, but repeating that feat against the Texas A&M defense will be a different story. The Aggies lead the SEC in rush defense with 82.5 yards per game and 3.13 yards per carry. Bentley has been mistake prone, Scarnecchia lacks big-game experience and neither will have success against the Aggies when they shut down the run again. Quarterback Kellen Mond will play smart and the Aggies will get out of Columbia with a big win. Pick: Texas A&M (-2.5)

Appetizers

No. 14 Florida at Vanderbilt (+7)

  • Gators defense back?
  • Watch out, Kyle Shurmur
  • Franks can't make mistakes

The Gators defense has been devastating over the last four weeks, and now they get to go up against a Vanderbilt offensive line that has given up 33 tackles for loss this year. Commodores quarterback Kyle Shurmur will be under fire from the Gators defensive front that includes Jachai Polite, Jabari Zuniga and Vosean Joseph. That crew breaks everybody, and Shumur will be no different. As long as QB Feleipe Franks doesn't make mistakes, this should be a breeze for the Gators. Pick: Florida (-7)

Tennessee at No. 21 Auburn (-15.5)

  • Points at a premium
  • Which QB stays poised?
  • Home-field advantage?

If you're looking for a high-scoring affair, this game won't be for you. Auburn's defense is fantastic and Tennessee's isn't half-bad, but both of these offenses have struggled to find the end zone in 2018. Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano and Auburn's Jarrett Stidham will both be under immense pressure all afternoon, which will lead to plenty of punts, offensive ineptitude and an ultra-sloppy afternoon on The Plains. Who do you trust more, Stidham without a competent offensive line or Guarantano in a hostile atmosphere? Stidham will find a way to get the Tigers a win, but laying more than two touchdowns on Auburn at this point is just crazy. Pick: Tennessee (+15.5)

Side dish

Ole Miss at Arkansas (+6)

  • Slowing Ta'amu is tough
  • Arkansas found a spark
  • Shy away from road dogs

Rebels QB Jordan Ta'mu enters as the SEC's most prolific passer in terms of yards per game at 318.5, and will be squaring off against a Razorbacks pass defense that's giving up 271.3 yards per game through the air -- bad enough for 12th in the SEC. But the flip side of this is where things really get interesting. Arkansas coach Chad Morris had a pretty good offensive game plan last week against Alabama, as QB Ty Storey had 230 passing yards and two touchdowns. Storey will light up the putrid Ole Miss defense, point-per-minute football will break out and the Hogs spring the home upset. Pick: Arkansas (+6)

So what college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 7? And what title contender will go down hard? Visit SportsLine now to see which teams are winning more than 50 percent of simulations, all from a proven computer model that has returned over $4,000 in profit over the past three seasons.  

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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