SEC Week 3 odds, picks: Tennessee upsets Florida, LSU holds off Mississippi State

Week 3 is upon us, and that means the SEC schedule cranks up into another gear following last week's one-game opening act involving South Carolina Gamecocks and Missouri Tigers .

Tennessee Volunteers will travel to Gainesville looking to make it two in a row over the Gators, LSU Tigers will hit the road to Starkville to take on Mississippi State Bulldogs and Kentucky Wildcats  will visit South Carolina.

What should you expect in Week 3?

Record straight up: 22-4 (11-1 last week)
Record against the spread: 12-5 (5-1 last week)
*Games without lines are not counted in the ATS record

Main courses

No. 23 Tennessee at No. 24 Florida Gators  (-5.5)

  • SportsLine game forecaster
  • Tennessee's defensive line will show up
  • Florida won't get much done through the air
  • John Kelly tops the century mark

After a classic in Knoxville to break an 11-year drought, Tennessee hopes to make it two in a row over rival Florida in Gainesville in a game that will define the direction of each team this season. Florida's offensive line will struggle to protect Feleipe Franks and Malik Zaire , the offense will sputter yet again and Tennessee running back John Kelly will go north of 100 yards. This line moved from eight to 5.5 about as quickly as a Florida offensive tackle watching a rusher whiz by, and for a very good reason. Butch Jones' crew wins it outright. Pick: Volunteers (+5.5)

No. 12 LSU at Mississippi State (+7)

A strong 2-0 start has LSU thinking about the SEC Championship Game again. Standing in their way is a stout Mississippi State team that suddenly combined its dynamic offense with a solid defense under first-year coordinator Todd Grantham. The Bulldog offense, led by quarterback Nick Fitzgerald , will force some mistakes from a relatively young Tigers defense and force Etling into some uncomfortable situations. It'll be close into the fourth quarter, and Tigers running back Derrius Guice will shut the door late. Take the Bulldogs and the points, but LSU to win a wild one in Starkvegas. Pick: Bulldogs (+7)

Strong cocktails

No. 18 Kansas State Wildcats  at Vanderbilt Commodores  (+4)

Very quietly, Vanderbilt has turned into a force. The defense has allowed just two third-down conversions in 26 attempts (7.69 percent) -- the best mark in the nation. They've allowed just two trips to the red zone in two games, and neither resulted in points -- not even a field goal. Good luck, Kansas State. Coach Derek Mason's stingy defense combined with a suddenly balanced offense under quarterback Kyle Shurmur (seven touchdowns, zero interceptions) makes the Commodores the easy play to not only cover, but win comfortably. Pick: Commodores (+4)

Kentucky at South Carolina (-6)

Have you paid attention to South Carolina yet? No? Well, you should. The offense is in good hands with second-year starting quarterback Jake Bentley and a plethora of young weapons. The defense hasn't been great statistically, but has been effective enough in the two wins with a 55.6 percent defensive red zone scoring percentage. The offense will light up Kentucky's defense, hunker down defensively and win by double digits over the visiting Wildcats. Pick: Gamecocks (-6)

Appetizers

Colorado State Rams  at No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide  (-28.5)

After feasting on a cupcake last week in a win over Fresno State Bulldogs , top-ranked Alabama gets a slightly bigger challenge this week in coach Mike Bobo's Rams. Expect more of the same from Alabama, though. Quarterback Jalen Hurts will be given more of the playbook, backups will get plenty of reps and the Crimson Tide will take its foot off the gas before it gets to cover-town. Pick: Rams (+28.5)

Ole Miss Rebels  at Cal (+3.5)

Ole Miss and Cal are here for your late night, #Pac12AfterDark viewing pleasure. It's guaranteed to get weird. Both offenses average more than 6.5 yards per play, with the Rebels ranking third in the nation at 8.59. Not many people on the planet can cover A.J. Brown, and certainly nobody on Cal's roster. Ole Miss wins, covers and the two teams annihilate the over-under of 71. Pick: Rebels (-3.5)

Purdue Boilermakers  at Missouri (-7)

Missouri's defense is a mess, and coach Barry Odom just dismissed former coordinator DeMontie Cross while Purdue's offense is surprisingly fun this year under first-year coach Jeff Brohm. This game won't draw many eyeballs, but it might be one of the more enjoyable Week 3 college football games. Tigers quarterback Drew Lock will make a play late to give his team the win, but not the cover. Pick: Boilermakers (+7)

Louisiana-Lafayette at Texas A&M Aggies  (-24)

After struggling with Nicholls State last week, Texas A&M feels like Arkansas Razorbacks under John L. Smith and Auburn Tigers under Gene Chizik early in 2012: On the brink of disaster. The quarterback play is in flux and the wheels have come flying off before the leaves have changed color. It's impossible to trust the Aggies. They'll win ugly. Pick: Ragin' Cajuns (+24)

Side dishes

There are no lines available for the games below.

Auburn over Mercer
Georgia Bulldogs over Samford

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 SiriusXM College Sports Nation and the... Full Bio

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