The SEC takes center stage in Week 4

Florida goes on the road to battle Star SEC plays this Saturday. The Gators 26 and they are only favored by 19.5 points.

That might sound like a lot of points to give on the road in conference play, but the Gators are 10-2 against the spread when favored in their last 12 road games and they were giving two touchdowns or more in six of those matchups.

The Gators, who have won the last 24 meetings against Kentucky, come into this contest at 3-0 on the season averaging 38 points per game. The Wildcats are averaging 19 ppg and they are 111th nationally in total offense, just barely ahead of UNLV and North Texas.

Kentucky brought back 10 starters from last year's defense but the unit allowed Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to complete 56% of his tosses last week. The true freshman also threw a pair of touchdowns in the seven- point win despite coming into the game with just three career college attempts!

Florida's defense will hold the Wildcats to 10 points or fewer, which means all the Gators have to do to cover is reach the 30-point mark, which they have accomplished in 11 of their last 16 games.

Take Florida minus the points.

South Carolina has escaped with three-point victories each of the last two weeks. First, the Gamecocks got past Georgia on the road 45-42 followed by a 24-21 win at home over Navy.

On the other side is a Vanderbilt team that is 3-0 and looking to go 4-0 for the first time since '08 - the team's only bowl campaign in the last 29 years. The Commodores have always played South Carolina tough, failing to cover only three times since 2002. Furthermore, they are 3-0-1 ATS the last four meetings in Columbia.

The Gamecocks might take Vanderbilt lightly since they have a revenge game the following week against Auburn. Moreover, the Commodores are coming into this matchup off their most impressive conference victory since knocking off South Carolina on the road back in 2007.

Take Vanderbilt plus the points.

The third of five Three-Star plays this week is a Sun Belt matchup between 3-0 FIU and 2-1 Louisiana.

The Golden Panthers have come out of the chute with one spectacular performance after another knocking off both Louisville and UCF after disposing of North Texas in week one. There is a chance for a letdown after the last two non-conference victories, especially if star wide receiver T.Y. Hilton is still hobbled by the hamstring injury he suffered against the Knights.

Louisiana has responded well to new head coach Mark Hudspeth, especially on defense. The unit has 12 sacks this year after recording just 17 in 12 games a year ago. It's true the offense has struggled without Ladarius Green at full strength, but the group won't need to score that many points since the defense will keep the Ragin' Cajuns in the game.

The spread is extremely high considering how well the Cajuns have fared against FIU in the past. Last season's matchup was the only time the Golden Panthers outscored Louisiana by more than three points and despite the 21- point victory, they still were outgained by 73 yards.

Take Louisiana plus the points.

USC hooks up with Arizona State in what looks to be a very pivotal game in the Pac-12 South. The Trojans are already 1-0 in the division with a victory over Utah, while the Sun Devils take part in their first conference game.

The Trojans are on the road for the first time this season but they were 5-2 away from the Memorial Coliseum in '10. They have also won 11 straight in this series. Arizona State, despite a 2-1 start, is not executing as well as head coach Dennis Erickson would have hoped. Penalties and turnovers have been a major problem and life won't get much easier with USC coming to town.

Take the Trojans plus the points.

The final play pits Michigan State against Central Michigan. The Spartans are coming off a loss at Notre Dame and have to go to Ohio State the following Saturday. In addition, their offensive line is a mess with multiple starters out due to injuries.

The Chippewas have only won two of their last 13 Football Bowl Subdivision games. They also are coming off a disastrous performance against Western Michigan, losing to the Broncos 44-14. That defeat should provide a spark going into East Lansing, a place they won two years ago as two-touchdown underdogs. This time, they are getting 22 points.

Take Central Michigan plus the points.


Go with Ole Miss (hosting Georgia), Miami-Ohio (against Bowling Green), Pittsburgh (versus Notre Dame), and Rice (at Baylor).


Take Buffalo (against Connecticut), ULM (at Iowa), and Colorado (at Ohio State).


The three-week total now stands at 11-27, good for 29%. My Five-Star plays are 2-3, the Three-Star selections are 3-5, the Two-Star plays are 3-12, and the One-Star picks are 3-7.

As a reminder, the Five-Star plays are when my Power Plays and Key Plays coincide. The Three-Star choices are my personal picks, the Two-Star plays are the "power number" picks (games with at least a five-point differential between my line and the actual line), and the One-Star plays are my personal secondary selections.


1) Stanford, 105; 2-T) Oklahoma, Alabama, and Boise State, 103; 5) Texas A&M, 101; 6-T) LSU and Oregon, 100.5; 8) Oklahoma State, 100; 9) Florida State, 97.5; 10) Florida, 97; 11-T) Nebraska and South Carolina, 95.5