Pickings Weren’t Too Good Last Week

Our Almost Perfect Picks Department has a pretty easy life, a full week for the group of so-called experts to make predictions on a handful of Southeastern Conference football games. Cushy, most would agree.

They do pretty well on Alabama games, at least insofar as picking the winner. After all, Coach Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide almost always wins. This should be another easy week for the APP on Alabama’s game against Charleston Southern. Even non-experts can probably pick the winner in that one. Bama hosts Charleston Southern at 3 p.m. CST Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium, a game that will be televised by the SEC Network.

Sitting in the press box in Starkville last Saturday, we had an idea that it was going to be a poor week for the APP. The nerds had picked Kentucky wrong as seems to be the case every week. Arkansas had upset LSU and Georgia ditto vs. Auburn, the road team winning in both cases.

When the smoke had cleared, the APP had managed only a 4-4 record just in picking the Southeastern Conference winners. Against the betting line (number of points by which a team is favored) the APP had its usual struggles, finishing 3-4. As has been the case most of the year, the over/under (predicted total points by both teams) was a strong point, 5-1.

For the year, the APP now is 70-22 in picking SEC winners and 52-29 against the over/under, but only 37-45 vs. the spread.

Last week’s results:

North Texas at Tennessee (Tennessee favored by 41 1/2 points, over/under 65) – PREDICTION: Tennessee 49, North Texas 10. ACTUAL: Tennessee 24, North Texas 0. Correct on winner, correct against the spread, correct on o/u.

Georgia at Auburn (Auburn favored by 2, o/u 50 1/2) – PREDICTION: Auburn 24, Georgia 17. ACTUAL: Georgia 20, Auburn 13. Incorrect on winner and against the line, correct regarding o/u.

Florida at South Carolina (Florida favored by 8, o/u 46 1/2) – PREDICTION: Florida 28, South Carolina 13. ACTUAL: Florida 24, South Carolina 14. Correct, correct, correct.

Kentucky at Vanderbilt (Vandy favored by 3, o/u 39) – PREDICTION: Kentucky 20, Vanderbilt 17. ACTUAL: Vandy 21, Kentucky 17. Incorrect on both winner and against the line, right on the o/u.

Western Carolina at Texas A&M (no line) – PREDICTION: A&M 49, Western Carolina 21. ACTUAL: Aggies 41, WC 17. Got it.

Arkansas at LSU ((LSU favored by 8, o/u 56) – PREDICTION: LSU 27, Arkansas 17. ACTUAL: Arkansas 31, LSU 14. Wrong on the winner and against the line, right vs. the o/u.

BYU vs. Missouri (BYU favored by 4 1/2, no o/u listed) – PREDICTION: BYU 31, Missouri 10. ACTUAL: Mizzou 20, BYU 16 (and hats off to the Tigers for getting it together in such a bizarre week in Columbia). Wrong on the winner and against the spread. We later found that the o/u was 43, which would have been a correct, but even though the APP begged and whined, we are not allowing them to claim it.

Alabama at Mississippi State (Alabama favored by 7 1/2, o/u 50) – PREDICTION: Alabama 35, Mississippi State 24. ACTUAL: Tide 31, State 6. Correct on the winner and against the spread, wrong on the o/u.

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