SEC Week 2 odds, picks: Look for Auburn to top Clemson, Georgia stunning Notre Dame

The second week of the SEC season brings us a platter of big nonconference games, as well as the first conference game of the season.

No. 13 Auburn will travel to No. 3 Clemson for a Saturday night tilt in the ACC's version of Death Valley; No. 15 Georgia will travel to South Bend, Indiana, to take on No. 24 Notre Dame; and South Carolina and Missouri will square off for the Columbia Cup. Let's break the action down with picks against the spread.

Record straight up: 11-3
Record against the spread: 7-4 (games without lines are not counted)

Main courses

No. 13 Auburn (+5) at No. 3 Clemson

Auburn was purposefully vanilla in a win over Georgia Southern last week, but against Clemson, the SEC's Tigers will serve up the full hot fudge sundae. With bruising running back Kamryn Pettway back from suspension to complement Kam Martin and Kerryon Johnson (if available), the full version of the running game will be at coordinator Chip Lindsey's disposal. Quarterback Jarrett Stidham will unleash more of the passing game deep downfield and over the middle to Kyle Davis -- who also is back from suspension. Defensively, Auburn showed last week that it's deep, versatile and talented along the defensive line. That line will light up new starter Kelly Bryant early, and the Auburn running game will put it away late. Pick: Auburn Tigers (+5)

No. 15 Georgia (+4.5) at No. 24 Notre Dame

True freshman quarterback Jake Fromm will make his first start for Georgia at Notre Dame after stepping in for Jacob Eason following Eason's injury in the first quarter of the opener. Fromm will be fine. The playbook will be slimmed down a bit because of Fromm's inexperience and the fact that he's significantly shorter than the 6-foot-5 like Eason, but with running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel present, it'll still click. The biggest reason is because the defense will lower the bar with what the offense will be asked to do, thanks to monsters up front like Trent Thompson and ultra-athletic linebackers like Roquan Smith and Lorenzo Carter. That defense will bring heat on Fighting Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush, force him into mistakes and set the offense up in good spots. Pick: Bulldogs (+4.5)

Strong cocktails

South Carolina (+2.5) at Missouri

Has anybody figured out why South Carolina is an underdog to Missouri? Nope? Well, me neither. The Gamecock offense led by quarterback Jake Bentley will light up a Missouri defense that's more of a myth than a real, actual unit. What got lost Saturday is that, even though the Gamecocks gave up 504 yards to NC State, they only allowed the Wolfpack to gain 5.09 yards per play. That'll play. South Carolina will force a shootout, make a few defensive plays and Gamecocks coach Will Muschamp will silence doubters for the second straight week: Pick: Gamecocks (+2.5)

No. 23 TCU at Arkansas (+3)

This is a revenge game for TCU coach Gary Patterson, and he'll get it in Fayetteville. The Jackson State game wasn't much of a test for the Horned Frogs, but giving up just 0.57 yards per carry is insanely good run defense. While they won't have that much success, they will have enough to force Austin Allen to throw to win. He'll take one too many chances, Kenny Hill will be smart with the football for TCU and the Horned Frogs will win a shootout. Pick: Horned Frogs (-3)

Appetizers

Fresno State at No. 1 Alabama (-43.5)

Alabama will roll, backup quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will replace Jalen Hurts in the second quarter and coach Nick Saban will take his foot of the gas in the third. This is a dial-a-score game, and Saban will choose not to push the cover button. Pick: Bulldogs (+43.5)

Mississippi State (-8) at Louisiana Tech

How about this stunning lack of respect for Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen. An eight-point favorite vs. Louisiana Tech? Please. That defense gave up a shanked lob wedge worth of offense last week, and Louisiana Tech will struggle in the same fashion. Pick: Mississippi State Bulldogs (-8)

Side dishes

There are no lines available for the games below.

Kentucky over Eastern Kentucky
Ole Miss over UT-Martin
Tennessee over Indiana State
Vanderbilt over Alabama A&M
Texas A&M over Nicholls State
LSU over UT-Chattanooga
Florida over Northern Colorado

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, while also hosting on ESPNU on SiriusXM Radio channel 84, the... Full Bio

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