SEC College Football Picks, Week 13 Odds: Alabama cruises past Auburn in Iron Bowl, Tennessee rebounds

Rivalry week is upon us, which means bragging rights in the SEC are at stake, even as No. 7 Alabama plays Iron Bowl rival Auburn in the SEC on CBS Game of the Week. The Crimson Tide are out of SEC West competition, but a state championship is on the cards after last season’s four-overtime thriller. Auburn had a rough season, but a Crimson Tide flurry with interim coach and legendary Tigers running back Carnell Williams at the helm would send the program into the offseason with a much-needed pinnacle.

Elsewhere, the No. 1 Georgia meets Georgia Tech as the Bulldogs try to wrap up another perfect regular season, the No. 5 LSU tries to keep their faint college football playoff hopes alive at Texas A&M, and South Carolina will try to get its second installment upset with No. 8 Clemson.

Let’s break down each game and hit picks straight and against the spread.

Appetizer: Style points for the Tigers

Don’t be surprised if LSU coach Brian Kelly steps on the gas against Texas A&M if his Tigers can take the lead. He knows that making a great last impression can go a long way these days. No, Texas A&M isn’t exactly a juggernaut this year. In fact, it’s a disaster.

Let’s play a game for a second. Suppose LSU blasts Georgia doors in the SEC championship game. Would the CFP selection committee give the two-loss Tigers a spot in the four-team playoffs? They’d have two quality wins over Georgia and Alabama, but the loss to Tennessee doesn’t look as good as it did before Tennessee lost to South Carolina, and the season-opening loss to No. 16 Florida State is inexcusable for a title-worthy team.

LSU led UAB 41-10 last week despite being just a two-touchdown favorite. A thumping win over Texas A&M combined with a potential upset over Georgia would show the committee it’s timely peaking while also sparking some interesting conversations in this boardroom.

Main course: Revenge?

Auburn is a 22-point underdog to Alabama, suggesting this edition of the Iron Bowl is poised to be a blowout. Not so fast. It was a 20.5-point margin last season, and Alabama needed four overtimes to beat an Auburn team led by quarterback TJ Finley, who was hampered throughout the game by a leg injury.

This one is in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and there’s no doubt the crimson and white crowd will give the Tigers a hard time. However, Auburn’s pass defense has been significantly better in the last three games – two of which have come against passing Mississippi and western Kentucky. The Crimson Tide Wide Receiving Corps was inconsistent throughout the year. If Auburn can shut down the deep threats and force Alabama to be one-dimensional, it has a chance.

Assuming Carnell Williams doesn’t get the full-time job at Auburn, sending him out on a three-game winning streak and beating a team he had 204 rushing yards against in 2003 would be a picture book ending a wild season on the Plains.

Dessert: Return of the Ratter

South Carolina quarterback Spencer Rattler was once a Heisman Trophy favorite in Oklahoma. He didn’t live up to that hype, but he looked the part last Saturday when he rushed for 438 yards and six touchdowns in the 63-38 win over Tennessee. Could he repeat the feat and shut down Clemson’s CFP hopes? It will require an even greater effort than what we’ve seen against the volunteers.

The Tigers are giving up just 214.5 yards per game and, more importantly, 6.2 yards per attempt. Big plays in the passing game were exactly what made Rattler successful on Saturday as he averaged 11.8 yards per attempt. Rattler ruined Tennessee’s CFP chances last weekend, and he has a chance to do the same with his team’s archrival this weekend. However, it will require a lot more magic than last week.


Straight: 75-25 | Against the spread: 46-44-2
*Previous selections have been made on Instagram since SEC Smothered & Covered begins Week 3

State of Mississippi at No. 20 Ole Miss

Featured Game | Ole Miss Rebels vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs

The Rebels have lost back-to-back and their defense is down enough that even a 703-yard offensive can earn a win. Also, rumors are circulating that Rebels coach Lane Kiffin may be eyeing other jobs within the SEC. Ole Miss’s pass defense gives up 216.1 yards per game through the air (10th in the SEC), and Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers will stay hot in an upset win over the tumbling Rebs. Choice: State of Mississippi (+2.5)

Featured Game | Missouri Tigers vs. Arkansas Razorbacks

The Tigers’ offense has struggled for most of the season, and that doesn’t bode well considering Arkansas just beat an Ole Miss team built specifically for shooting. Razorbacks quarterback KJ Jefferson is back, and it’s almost impossible to anticipate how he’ll act as a runner and passer between tackles. Jefferson and star running back Raheim Sanders will run away from the Tigers in the second half. Choice: Arkansas (-3)

Florida in the state of Florida No. 16

Featured Game | Florida State Seminoles vs. Florida Gators

The Seminoles have surpassed 38 points in each of their last four games, including a 38-3 win over Syracuse two games ago. That will force Gators quarterback Anthony Richardson to become a bigger threat with his arm, and that’s not his forte. Yes, he threw for 400 yards in the loss to Vanderbilt last weekend, but he had to do it so his team had a chance after a slow start. I take the Seminoles to win and cover, especially since a 10-point win is money. Choice: State of Florida (-9.5)

Georgia Tech at #1 Georgia

The Yellow Jackets have actually been playing some really good defense lately, including last week when they held North Carolina’s powerful offense to 365 yards in a 21-17 road win at Chapel Hill. You’ll be able to force enough stops to keep this one within five touchdowns. Don’t get me wrong, Georgia will win and control it consistently, but the Bulldogs have bigger fish to fry and will draw their starters early in the fourth quarter. Choice: Georgia Tech (+35.5)

South Carolina at No. 8 Clemson

Featured Game | Clemson Tigers vs. South Carolina Gamecocks

The Gamecocks will crash back to earth at Clemson as Rattler fails to recapture last week’s magic against a much better pass defense. Tigers quarterback DJ Uiagalelei will avoid mistakes, they’ll make long drives to ensure Rattler stays on the sidelines, and his strong defensive front seven will force enough mistakes to give them late cover. Choice: Clemson (-14.5)

Featured Game | Kentucky Wildcats vs. Louisville Cardinals

The Cardinals could do without star quarterback Malik Cunningham, but even if he does play, he’s unlikely to be at 100%. The Wildcats shut down Georgia’s offense for most of last week’s loss and are not intimidated by anything the Cardinals do with or without Cunningham. Wildcats coach Mark Stoops will get a balanced performance from running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. and quarterback Will Levis, which will be enough to win it by a touchdown or more. Choice: Kentucky (-3)

Maroon at No. 7 Alabama

Featured Game | Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Auburn Tigers

The “Cadillac factor” under caretaker coach Carnell Williams made a big difference at the Auburn Tigers, but that’s a different beast. This is the Iron Bowl against an Alabama team that is far more talented and has a quarterback in Bryce Young who is likely to make his last home start before moving to the NFL. I fully expect this to be close for two and a half quarters, but things will come sideways late and Young will go out with a bang. Choice: Alabama (-22)

#5 LSU at Texas A&M

Featured Game | Texas A&M Aggies vs. LSU Tigers

Honestly, I have no idea why LSU is just a 10-point favorite over an Aggies team exhausted by injuries and with the end of a miserable season on the horizon. LSU finished a punitive rushing attack with John Emery Jr. and Noah Cain in the backfield and quarterback Jayden Daniels taking the snaps. The last thing Texas A&M wants to do is get into a fistfight when nothing is at stake. This one is getting very, very ugly. Choice: LSU (-10)

No. 10 Tennessee at Vanderbilt

Featured Game | Vanderbilt Commodores vs. Tennessee Volunteers

Let’s go back in time a month ago and think how crazy it would be to say that Tennessee is only favored by two touchdowns over Vanderbilt in the regular-season finals. But here we are with the staggering Volunteers taking on a Commodores crew that’s on a two-game winning streak. Volunteers quarterback Joe Milton fills in for Hendon Hooker and fires up the ‘Dores pass defense to make this a shootout. Vandy won’t be able to keep up and the Vols head into bowl season with some momentum. Select Tennessee (-14)

What college football picks can you hit with confidence in Week 13, and which top 25 teams will go down hard? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the range – all from a proven computer model that has brought in nearly $3,000 in profits over the last 6+ seasons – and find out.