Mark Edwards’ picks: Tide, AU, JSU will win, and yes, Tigers will score more than 18 points

October 12, 2018

Auburn gets a break and should get back to winning Saturday. Alabama will roll past Missouri.

Jacksonville State hosts an awful Eastern Illinois team. That should make it a 3-0 weekend for the three schools most important to Calhoun County.

Tennessee (2-3) at No. 21 Auburn (4-2): The Tigers are struggling to move the ball, and they’re ranked 99th nationally in total offense. Good news: Tennessee is even worse at 101.

Auburn still has a good defense, even though the Tigers had their problems getting off the field against a humdrum Mississippi State attack last week.

The Tigers were favored by 18.5 points at the beginning of the week but that line has dropped, as bettors apparently don’t think Auburn can score 18 points. It’s down to 15.5 now. … Auburn 27, Tennessee 10.

Missouri (3-2) at No. 1 Alabama (6-0): One of these days, Alabama is going to face a defense that’s a good match for the Tide’s explosive offense. This isn’t the day, however. Missouri gave up 80 points combined in the last two games, which were losses to Georgia and South Carolina.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa has 18 touchdown passes and only 25 incomplete passes. … Alabama 52, Missouri 21.

Eastern Illinois (1-5) at Jacksonville State (4-1): Eastern Illinois isn’t the worst team in the Ohio Valley Conference. For now, that honor belongs to Tennessee Tech, but EIU is close.

The Panthers scored at least 41 points in each of their last four games, but their defense is so weak that they lost three of those four games. … Jacksonville State 51, Eastern Illinois 29.

No. 2 Georgia (6-0) at No. 13 LSU (5-1): The Bengal Tigers have a weakness at quarterback in Joe Burrow, who is 89th nationally in passing efficiency. In the loss to Florida, he completed 19 of 34 passes but was intercepted twice. Georgia is 13th nationally in total defense. ... Georgia 27, LSU 17.

Pittsburgh (3-3) at Notre Dame (6-0): Notre Dame might have a better chance to go undefeated than anyone in the country, even Alabama and Central Florida.

The remaining schedule includes Pitt, Navy, Florida State and Syracuse at home and Northwestern and Southern California on the road. None of those teams has turned out to be that good. ... Notre Dame 38, Pittsburgh 17.

No. 14 Florida (5-1) at Vanderbilt (3-3): That earlier loss to Kentucky isn’t as embarrassing for Florida as it was at the time. The Wildcats could be Georgia’s biggest challenger to the East Division crown. The Gators’ offense is inconsistent, but their defense is allowing fewer than 15 points a game. ... Florida 22, Vanderbilt 13.

No. 7 Washington (5-1) at No. 17 Oregon (4-1): Washington and Colorado are the only Pac-12 teams unbeaten in league play. Oregon’s only loss was an overtime defeat at home to Stanford. … Washington 31, Oregon 24.

No. 10 Central Florida (5-0) at Memphis (4-2): Central Florida had to beat Memphis twice to win the American Athletic Conference last year. The Tigers enter this one already having lost to Tulane and Navy, but they’re still better than anyone the Knights have played this year. … Central Florida 31, Memphis 27.

No. 22 Texas A&M (4-2) at South Carolina (3-2): Texas A&M’s only losses have come to No. 1 Alabama and No. 2 Clemson, and the Aggies played both closer than expected. … Texas A&M 38, South Carolina 31.

No. 15 Wisconsin (4-1) at No. 12 Michigan (5-1): Michigan ranks No. 1 nationally in total defense. Wisconsin has won three of the last four between these two teams. … Michigan 20, Wisconsin 13.

Last week: Missed on Mississippi State’s win over Auburn, Texas’ win over Oklahoma and Florida’s win over LSU. I’m 0-3 when I try to pick Texas’ games this year.

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