Kelly Nash CFP Picks For This Week

Every Friday morning I join Teddy Heffner host of "Talking Sports" on Fox Sports 1400. Teddy gives away tailgate package from Mathias Sandwich shop to someone who can beat our picks. The picks include point spreads so for example if a team is a 10 point underdog and they lose by 9 then they have won. If you'd like to text your picks to enter get them in before Saturday noon on the Talking Sports Text Line at 803-315-3292. Now here's this weeks games and my picks.

Florida at South Carolina -2

Gamecocks had a bye week to heal up, and get right! Gators have lost 5 straight on the road. Last week at home TE Arlis Boardingham became the No. 1 target in the offense against Vanderbilt. He finished with seven catches for 99 yards and two touchdowns. He should be a handful this week. As will their run game with Trevor Etienne and Montrell Johnson Jr. The bigger question is can Florida D take away Xavier? Legette leads the team with 32 catches for 606 yards and three touchdowns. No other South Carolina receiver has more than 200 yards receiving. Home has been very kind to the Gamecocks as well last losing to Mizzou in 2022. I’m hopeful that the Mario Anderson growth continues. He’s averaging over 5 YPC but that went up significantly due to the long TD against TN. But even without that was averaging over 3 and averaged 4.5 per carry against GA. You just need him to keep em honest and Rattler has proven he can get the ball to Legette. I’ll take the Cocks to cover.

A&M at TN -3.5

TN also had a bye week so they should be feeling fresh for A&M who just played Bama! Last year A&M almost beat Bama then lost their next 4. I’m not a Jimbo fan and believe they will be ill prepared for a very good TN team who will beat them by at least a TD.

Mizzou at Kentucky -2.5

Both teams fighting to not lose 2 in a row after perfect starts Kentucky was blown out by GA and Mizzou dropped a pretty competitive game at home to LSU. Mizzou can score. 22nd in the nation in offense QB Brady Cook is 3rd in the conference and generational WR talent Luther Burden has 8 more receptions than the 2nd best receiver in the SEC. BTW Legette is 3rd and 22 receptions from Burden along with almost 200 yards fewer. Kentucky I guess is a defense team? They’re not an offensive team being ranked 85th.  On D they’re ranked 46th and surrender 350 YPG. A lot of that came against GA who had over 600 yards last week. But they still gave up 330 to Vandy. Despite the home field advantage I think Cook/Burden will eat them alive and Mizzou heads home with an impressive SEC road win.

Miami at UNC -3.5

No way Mack Brown doesn’t beat Mario Cristobal.

USC at Notre Dame -3

#10 visits #21 at 7:30. Notre Dame isn’t just ranked 21st they lost last week to Louisville and have lost 2 of their last 3. They also scored with 30 seconds to beat Duke. It’s not hard to imagine them limping in at 4-3 against an undefeated Southern Cal. I do find it amazing that the Irish are 3 point favorites. Bettors love to remember when the Irish were elite. Southern Cal hasn’t played a ranked team since last Cotton bowl when they beat Tulane. And after jumping out to a 34-7 lead on Colorado almost allowed Coach Prime to steal one from them. So they may be over ranked as well. But I know they have an elite RB in Marshawn Lloyd who is averaging over 7 YPC so I’ll take the road dogs to cover.

Auburn at LSU -11

LSU is very hard to beat. Even harder to beat at home. And almost impossible to beat at night in Death Valley! Since 2000 they are 134-24 record at home. Auburn comes in after a bye week trying to rebound after letting #1 Georgia off the hook the week previous. Normally I’d say trap game here but next week LSU has Army so the Tigers should be super focused on this in conference game. LSU has 2 receivers who are both over 600 yards halfway through the season. Auburn will be in a lot of blitz calls because when Daniels has more than 4 seconds he is almost 100% on completions. Overall LSU is 7th in the nation in both Pass YPG at 337 and YPP at 14.5. This game is a mismatch and LSU should cover.

W Forest at VA Tech -1

Wake Forest held Clemson to 130 yards in the air last week. Virginia Tech only had 104 last week against FSU. It would appear the key here is run game. Tech has the advantage there averaging 140 YPG and did put up 209 on FSU. A lot of that comes from the QB. Wake also has problems inside the red zone only getting 8 TD out of their last 23 trips inside the 20. Wake also hasn’t won in Blacksburg since 1983, so I have to take Tech!

Tie Breaker First Downs plus total rushing yards in FL-Scar game.

FL has 133 first downs on the year while the Gamecock only have 92. The difference of 41 may in part be explained by S Carolina having more explosive plays than Florida. So if you score on a 75 yard TD like Mario Anderson did against TN, there’s 7 potential first downs you didn’t get. Also Florida has not had their bye week so they have a whole other game in there. In total offense they’re about tied at 400 YPG. In their 3 SEC games they put 183 on TN, 69 on Kentucky and 215 on Vandy. Gamecocks put 53 on GA, 132 on TN and 144 on Miss State. All of this to say I’ll put total first downs at 40 for the game and total rushing at 280.   

South Carolina v Georgia

ATHENS, GEORGIA - SEPTEMBER 16: Head coach Shane Beamer of the South Carolina Gamecocks reacts during the first quarter against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 16, 2023 in Athens, Georgia. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)Photo: Todd Kirkland / Getty Images Sport / Getty Images

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