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Your Guide to SEC Spreads and Hating FPI, Week 2

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There aren't many games that are supposed to be competitive, so you might as well pay attention to the spread.

As you may have noticed, and you probably wouldn't be reading this if you hadn't, the SEC looked very bad in the first week.  The projection systems weren't that great at the games I previewed either.

Overall Record 7+ against the spread
FPI 12-4 0-1
S&P 10-6 1-1

FPI was overconfident in Oklahoma.  In its defense, it is difficult to predict 109 yard punt returns.  However, FPI also thought USC would stay within 4 points of Alabama, and the spread was 10.  S&P was very confident in Southern Miss, which was apparently warranted, but was too overconfident in LSU.

The picks are below.  As usual, FCS games are not listed.

Louisville at Syracuse

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas UL 14.5
FPI UL 20
S&P UL 12

I added this one because it is on TV Friday night.

Penn State at Pittsburgh

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas PITT 5
FPI PITT 5
S&P PITT 1

I added this one because it is the most entertaining game on at 11 in the morning.

Kentucky at Florida

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas UF 16.5
FPI UF 15
S&P UF 15

Western Kentucky is supposed to be better than Kentucky.  That being said, Florida only got 24 points off of Massachusetts, so this one isn't necessarily a blowout.

Western Kentucky at Alabama

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas Alabama 29
FPI Alabama 24
S&P Alabama 24

Saban has a tendency to demolish teams in big opening games like Alabama did against USC in the opening week, then win but not cover the spread against a weaker opponent in week two.

Middle Tennessee State at Vanderbilt

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas VU 5
FPI VU 9
S&P VU 5

Vanderbilt looked as advertised last week, which means their defense was very good and their offense was very bad.  Middle Tennessee State should compete for a Conference USA championship this year.  This is actually one of the most entertaining SEC games of the week.

Arkansas at TCU

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas TCU 7.5
FPI TCU 7
S&P TCU 1

Arkansas, who is replacing most of last season's offense, is playing a defense that gave up 41 to South Dakota State last week.  Another interesting note is that former Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill is starting for TCU.

South Carolina at Mississippi State

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas MSU 7
FPI MSU 3
S&P MSU 11

FPI barely ranks MSU over South Carolina, and is basically favoring MSU only because it is a home game.  It also predicts MSU to finish the year at 5-7, while a supposedly slightly inferior South Carolina team will go 7-5.  The SEC East is bad.

Arkansas State at Auburn

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas Auburn 19
FPI Auburn 25
S&P Auburn 14

Auburn used three quarterbacks last week against a much better opponent, so they will probably do the same this week.

Eastern Michigan at Missouri

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas Missouri 25
FPI Missouri 21
S&P Missouri 21

The media has written several articles questioning the existence of football at Eastern Michigan, so they should not provide much competition for Missouri.

Virginia Tech at Tennessee at the Bristol Motor Speedway

Winner Margin of Victory
Vegas UT 11
FPI UT 15
S&P UT 6.3

This is the best game of the week, mostly because of the site of the game and the fact that most SEC teams are playing guarantee games this week.  It would be easy to criticize Tennessee for their near loss to Appalachian State, but for now, people are overreacting to that game.  Josh Dobbs had one of the worst games of his career, and should rebound this week.

There aren't any particularly bold picks from either projection system this week.  While Alabama wins easily, Western Kentucky will probably manage to cover the spread.