The Six Pack is picking itself and dusting itself off after a 2-4 performance last week. I will say, though, while it's never any fun to go 2-4, I much prefer the way it happened last week than to other ways. The doors were blown off in a hurry, as the LSU-Mississippi State under melted quickly, as did the Miami-Florida State under. Oh, and remember when I took NC State +6.5 because Virginia Tech coach Justin Fuente said he was worried his team wouldn't have enough players available?
Well, Virginia Tech was without 23 players and didn't have its defensive coordinator, but still managed to beat NC State 45-24. The 23 players the Hokies were missing must have been the bad ones.
Anyway, I'll bounce back this week, in what might be the biggest weekend of the season so far. Not only do we get a colossal showdown between No. 2 Alabama and No. 13 Texas A&M, but we've got a rivalry game between top 10 teams as well. The Deep South's Oldest Rivalry picks back up with No. 4 Georgia hosting No. 7 Auburn. Oh, and as if that's not enough, we also have two service academies playing, so you already know it's a great week to Trust The Process.
Games of the Week
No. 2 Alabama (-17.5) vs. No. 13 Texas A&M -- When it comes to betting Alabama games, the general rule to follow is to fade the Tide at home and take them on the road. In the College Football Playoff Era, Alabama is 19-22 ATS at home and 14-11 on the road (7-3 at neutral sites just to file away in your brain). However, when we look a bit deeper, we see that Alabama is 7-3 ATS at home when favored by 17 points or more, but fewer than 30. In other words, when they aren't playing an FCS team or 2017 Tennessee.
At home against Texas A&M, the Tide are only 2-2 ATS, but one of those losses came in the Johnny Manziel game in 2012. The other was in 2018 when Alabama won by 22, but the spread was 24. In the last two seasons, against Jimbo Fisher's A&M teams, Alabama has won both games by an average of 20.5 points per game. In fact, Alabama has only beaten A&M by fewer than 17 points once since 2014, and that was a 27-19 win in College Station in 2017. Alabama 38, Texas A&M 17
No. 4 Georgia (-6.5) vs. No. 7 Auburn -- I know there's a lot of concern about Georgia's offense after last week's performance against Arkansas, but J.T. Daniels has been cleared to play this week. I fully expect he'll do so, and he's an upgrade over what the Bulldogs currently have. So I expect the offense to perform better this week, but that's not what pushes me toward the Bulldogs here.
Auburn beat Kentucky 29-13 last week, but averaged only 5.7 yards per play and lacked explosiveness on offense. If not for three Kentucky turnovers, that game could have turned out differently. Also, the Auburn offensive line was a legit concern for the team coming into the season, and I didn't see a lot last week that alleviated those concerns. Now they'll be facing what might be the best defense in the country, and I fear that Bo Nix could find himself hurried to make decisions. With a young, still developing QB in a new offense, being rushed into decisions leads to the wrong decision a lot of the time. As long as this line stays under the touchdown mark, I'm on the Dawgs. Georgia 27, Auburn 20
Lock of the Week
Navy at Air Force (Under 47.5) -- Anyone reading this column the last few years already knew this game was going to be here. It is a principle play, and one The Six Pack does not take lightly. Here's all you need to know: in the last 15 years, there have been 45 games played between the service academies as they battle for the Commander-In-Chief Trophy. The under is 35-9-1 in those 45 games. That's not a freak accident. It's what happens when two option offenses who bleed a lot of clock on every possession square off with one another. There are limited possessions overall, and the game clock typically only stops because it needs to catch its breath. Navy 20, Air Force 17
Underdog of the Week
Iowa State (+7) vs. No. 18 Oklahoma -- A battle of two teams in desperate need of a win here. Oklahoma is coming off a loss to Kansas State and is probably one loss away from being eliminated from College Football Playoff consideration (although it's 2020, so who knows?). Iowa State is 1-1, having lost its opener to Louisiana, and just managing to squeak by against TCU last week. So, there's doubt surrounding both teams, but I love betting on Matt Campbell when nobody believes in his team. The man is a spread-covering monster as an underdog. In his time at Toledo, his Rockets teams went 10-6 as an underdog in the regular season. At Iowa State, they've gone 18-7, so he's 28-13 overall. Making this even better is Campbell is 21-7 ATS as a dog in conference games (16-5 in the Big 12), and he's 4-0 ATS against Oklahoma. Now, he's never been less than a 14-point dog in those games, but he's also never lost to Oklahoma by more than 10. The Cyclones will stick around this weekend too. Oklahoma 38, Iowa State 34
Bad Favorite of the Week
Southern Miss (+1.5) at North Texas -- I mean, Southern Miss has to cover at some point. The Golden Eagles are 0-3 ATS so far this season, but find themselves as short dogs here against North Texas. Now, I've got nothing against the Mean Green, but this is a team that is 1-1 and had trouble stopping Houston Baptist in its season opener. Then, it allowed SMU to put up 65 points and 710 yards of offense in its second game. Now, I don't know how you live your life and I'm not here to judge, but if you make a habit of trusting teams that allow 48 points and 640 yards of offense per game as favorites, maybe it's time we sit down and talk things through. And if that talk doesn't work, maybe I'll point out that North Texas is 4-9 ATS at home since the start of 2018, and you'll start to come around. Don't bet on Southern Miss because you think it's good; bet against North Texas because you know it isn't. Southern Miss 41, North Texas 37
Under of the Week
Texas Tech at Kansas State (Under 64.5) -- You're probably thinking I'm crazy for this one. Texas Tech's defense has been awful. It's allowing 48 points per game, and the average Red Raiders game has featured an average of 93.5 points through two weeks. Then there's Kansas State, which is undoubtedly better defensively than Tech but has played in two games that have broken the 66-point barrier. So what the hell am I doing here taking an under right now? It's a great question, and the answer is simply that I believe those early season performances have jacked up this total. I'm expecting a course correction here, as the under is 10-3 the last 13 times Kansas State has been favored. That doesn't happen by accident. When Kansas State is playing its game, it's lower-scoring, and I think the Wildcats will be able to dictate play against the Red Raiders. Kansas State 34, Texas Tech 24
SportsLine Pick of the Week
Ole Miss at Kentucky (-6.5, O/U 62) -- The Wildcats and Rebels are playing in Lexington, Kentucky, and while I ran out of room here -- it's not called The Seven Pack because that wouldn't make any sense -- lucky for you, I've put in a pick over at SportsLine.
Games of the Week
Lock of the Week
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