CFB: Two big Saturday SEC games (3:30 PM ET, CBS)

CFB: Two big Saturday SEC games (3:30 PM ET, CBS)

The SEC offers two big contests for Saturday, in a double-header fashion. At 3:30 PM ET, Georgia travels to LSU


2008-10-24

The SEC offers two big contests for Saturday, in a double-header fashion. At 3:30 PM ET, Georgia travels to LSU, followed by Alabama and Tennessee at 7:45 PM ET. Both games will be broadcast nationally, and both should be filled with hard hitting action. Tradition runs wild in SEC football, and these are four of the most tradition-rich schools in the conference. d a quick look at both games.

Georgia (+1.5, 48.5) at LSU 3:30 CBS
LSU bounced back from 51-21 Florida debacle, defeating South Carolina 24-17, as it hopes to stay on course towards returning to SEC title game. The Tigers were exposed by a revenge-minded opponent, who had athletes just as good as they were. Georgia presents a similar conundrum for LSU (5-1, 2-3 ATS) having the same type of players. LSU coach Les Miles has a full understanding of what can happen against teams of similar ability. " …. You play quality teams, make mistakes, and you give up easy scores." One big difference for LSU is returning to the comforts of Tiger Stadium. This opens a five-game homestand, where they will try to build momentum heading down the stretch. Being at home has not been good for LSU backers, with Bayou Tigers just 11-24 ATS as home favorites the last 11 seasons. Even worse, they are 1-8 against the oddsmakers off back to back road contests.

Georgia (6-1, 2-2-2 ATS) needed the 24-14 win over Vanderbilt last week, since that was their last home game until they play Georgia Tech in the season finale. The Bulldogs have three true roads games and a neutral site adult beverage conflict (It is politically incorrect to call this contest The World's Largest Cocktail Party anymore, so I won't) with Florida. At last count, Georgia has lost nine offensive linemen and tight ends for all or large chunks of games. If it hadn't become so ludicrous, coach Mark Richt might actually wonder why this keeps happening to the same position. At least the Bulldogs have been relatively unscathed on the defensive front and have #3 run stop defense, holding opponents to under 62 yards per game. Georgia is 7-2 ATS as road underdog under coach Richt.

LSU is hellacious 2-11 ATS in home games versus offensive teams averaging 6.25 or more yards a play. Georgia needs to execute and finish drives unlike they have done lately. The Bulldogs are 8-1 ATS in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last three seasons. LSU rates a slight edge being better on both lines. The Tigers lead the all-time series 14-11-1, with the home team having won four of last six meetings (4-2 ATS).

StatFox Forecaster Georgia covers
StatFox Power Line LSU by 1
SF Outplay Factor Georgia by 8

Alabama (-6.5, 41) at Tennessee 7:45E ESPN
For Tennessee fans, this is not how football is supposed to be. The Volunteers are 3-4 and 4-3 against the spread after whipping Mississippi State 34-3 and only Wyoming looks like a sure bet to win the rest of the season. At first, Jonathan Crompton was thought to be the problem for offensive woes. Yet since being replaced by Nick Stephens as quarterback, defensive breakdowns have become more common, foolish penalties being enforced against the Vols and an overall look of disorganization has followed this team all year. For many, the solution is simple, dump the coach Philip Fulmer, now in his 17th season in Knoxville. What is apparent, the recruiting has not kept up with SEC standards and the changes in the coaching staff have broken continuity. With all that is wrong at Tennessee, having Alabama (7-0, 4-3 ATS) rolling into town, is not necessarily a good thing for a team that is 20-31-1 ATS at home since 2001.

Alabama's meteoric rise to current position in the polls has come one year ahead of schedule for most Crimson Tide fans. Nick Saban is a college coach tried and true and is intelligent in being a dictator as the leader of the team. Even with his incredible intensity, he earns the respect of the players by praising them behind close doors, to get the absolute most out of them. This will be another defining game for Alabama. They passed the Clemson and Georgia games with flying colors, thanks to commanding presence on both sides of the ball, dominating the opposition. With the Tennessee offensive line mediocre, this is another opportunity for the Tide to roll, being 8-0 ATS in road games off two non-covers when favored.

This is a Southern showdown, just like what football is all about in these parts. The fans don't like each other, nor do the players, just good old-fashioned hated with a side order of respect. The Vols have won 10 of the last 13 against Alabama, covering the spread seven times. Defensively, Tennessee can hold their own, with 11-ranked defense that holds offensive rushing attacks to less than two-thirds of normal production. The Fighting Fulmer's are 15-5 ATS in home games off a home win against SEC rival.
The key trend might be following the visitor. In this case, the visiting team is 14-2 ATS. The Volunteers are just 3-7 against the spread at Neyland Stadium taking on Top 10 teams. Four of the last five meetings have been decided by eight or less points.

StatFox Forecaster Alabama covers
StatFox Power Line Pick
SF Outplay Factor Alabama by 8

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