Well, we’re back!
In the midst of all the nonsense that 2020 has brought us all, SEC football will be returning to us on Saturday. With it comes an abbreviated 10-game, all-conference slate. For the Auburn Tigers and Kentucky Wildcats, they will begin anew against each other to kick things off.
The Tigers and Wildcats each had successful seasons a year ago. Auburn defeated their archrivals, the Alabama Crimson Tide, and celebrated a nine-win season. Kentucky went 8-5 and went to a bowl game yet again, as they continue to go on an upward trend. Both teams are pretty intriguing heading into this season for many different reasons, so this will be a nice test for each side to open the year.
Auburn has a loaded offense, especially at wide receiver. Bo Nix will have plenty of talented wideouts to throw to, as Seth Williams, Anthony Schwartz, Eli Stove and Shedrick Jackson represent one of the best receiving corps in the entire conference. Their running backs ain’t half bad either, as Shaun Shivers and DJ Williams return after stout 2019 campaigns.
Meanwhile, UK has an assembly of talented runners. Asim Rose, Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Kavosiey Smoke combined for nearly 2,000 yards on the ground last year, and all are back and good to go this year. They would have former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood, but alas, the SEC is dragging their tail with his transfer appeal. So, they will instead likely have to put it in the hands of Terry Wilson. Look for Josh Ali to be Wilson’s primary pass catcher once they open up the passing game.
Auburn and Kentucky were each in the Top 20 in scoring defense a season ago and each do return a decent amount of their talent from 2019. Auburn’s absent Derrick Brown, who is now of course starring in the NFL. It will be intriguing to see though if each compensated for their ‘weakness’ from a season ago. Kentucky was oftentimes cut up on the ground, while Auburn let up over 213 passing yards per game.
Granted, both lean more towards average than abhorrent, but we’ll see if those spots can be taken advantage of. If I were to hazard, Auburn probably has a much likelier chance of attacking Kentucky’s run defense versus UK’s ability to throw the football against Auburn’s pass D. But I’ve been wrong before.
(via Action Network)
Spread: Auburn -6.5 (FanDuel)
Total: 49.5 (FanDuel)
Moneyline: Auburn -265 | Kentucky +210
I would lean Auburn -6.5 if I were to make a pick on this game. The game is in Auburn and while 6.5 is a decent amount of points, the Tigers have a lot of weaponry. Bo Nix’s enigmatic play may make it a little nightmarish though, and these two teams will probably be shaking off a hell of a lot of cobwebs much like many others around the conference. For that reason, by the way, I would lean the under 49.5. That’s a LOT of points.
How to Watch
Time: Noon ET/11 a.m. CT
TV: SEC Network
Watch Online: WatchESPN