Almost Perfect Picks Has Mixed Results

The Almost Perfect Picks Department would really, really, really like to drop the “Almost” from its title, but going 5-1 in last week’s slim slate of Southeastern Conference games is, well, just almost perfect.

The APP continues to do pretty well on the Alabama games. Last week the department had the Crimson Tide winning over Arkansas, but not by as much as the 16-point line and the 51-point over/under, and that's the way it came out.

The department also gets some extra credit for its prediction in recent weeks that the self-proclaimed Ball Coach was probably being driven closer and closer to retirement with the correct pick of South Carolina losing its fourth consecutive SEC game. True to the “Almost,” though, the APP really thought Steve Spurrier would wait until the end of the season to retire instead of doing so after the latest loss as the Gamecocks had the unfortunate task of playing its home game against LSU in Baton Rouge.

The APP seems also to have forgotten everything it learned about Georgia. Just a week after Alabama had put 38 on Jeremy Pruitt’s defense, so did Tennessee. That was the one game the APP missed in every aspect – missed the winner, missed the point spread, missed the over/under.

For the week, the APP was 5-1 in picking winners and 4-2 on the over/under, but only 2-4 against the spread. That continues a trend this season. For the year the APP is now 47-11 in picking SEC winners and 31-19 vs. the over/under, but only 22-28 vs. the line.

The APP is really grinding on this week’s games, and the results of its diligent study will be announced Thursday this week because of the Auburn game at Kentucky on Thursday night. Too bad, too, because the department really needs all time possible to come up with a prediction on Alabama’s game at Texas A&M (2:30 CDT Saturday on CBS) and on what to think about Florida playing without quarterback Will Grier.

The APP doesn’t have to think about Tennessee this week. The Vols have the week off before playing Alabama, as did Texas A&M and as will LSU as Bama continues in its tough stretch.

This seems as good a time as any to reiterate that the APP strongly suggests that its weekly picks be read for entertainment purposes only. And here’s a recap of what happened last week:

Alabama was favored by 16 points and the over/under (expected total points by both teams) was 51. The APP had Alabama winning by 31-17 and the actual final was Tide 27, Hogs 14, meaning our department was correct on the winner, against the line, and vs. the o/u.

The APP picked Ole Miss, a 43 ½ point favorite over New Mexico State, to win by 49-7, while the actual score was 52-3, still short of the 69-point over/under. So the APP was correct on the winner and o/u, but wrong on the line.

LSU was favored by 19 over South Carolina with an o/u of 50 and the pick was LSU winning 35-17. The Tigers took a 45-24 win, meaning the winner and o/u were picked correctly, but not the spread.

The APP was sure Mississippi State would defeat Troy and picked it 34-10. It turned out that the Bulldogs, who were favored by 30 ½, made our department right on the winner and the line, but the o/u was 55 ½ and that was a miss.

The APP thought Florida would continue its Cinderella season with a win at Missouri, but thought it would be closer than the final of 21-3. Our pick was 18-17 and the line was 5 ½, the o/u 39 ½, so, once again, correct on the winner and against the o/u, but a miss on the spread.

One thing known to the APP Department is that a team that plays Alabama often does poorly the following week, but somehow that fact was forgotten as the Bulldogs – favored by 3 with an o/u of 55 ½ -- were picked to win by 38-13. Obviously, no one could have predicted the unfortunate injury to Georgia tailback Nick Chubb on the first play of the game, but Chubb wasn’t charged with defense. Tennessee took a 38-31 win, meaning the APP was wrong on the winner, wrong on the spread, and wrong on the over/under. Wrong, wrong, wrong.

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