College football really feels like it is back now as the SEC kicks off their 2020 season this upcoming weekend. Things get started with a bang as the #23 Kentucky Wildcats visit the #8 Auburn Tigers on Saturday, September 26, 2020. Kentucky is one of the main challengers to Georgia in the SEC East, while Auburn is one of three contenders to upend Alabama in the SEC West. This game will air live on the SEC Network at 12:00 p.m. EST.
Kentucky dealt with an incredible amount of key injuries last season, particularly at quarterback where they started a wide receiver most of the season, but still managed to finish at 8-5 overall. The Wildcats did finish 3-5 in SEC play and fourth in SEC East, which was two spots ahead of their preseason expectations. Kentucky ended their season their season with a nice 37-30 win over Virginia Tech in the Belk Bowl.
The Auburn Tigers finished the 2019 season with an 9-4 overall record, a 5-3 SEC record, third in the SEC West, and ranked 14th in the final AP and Coaches polls. Auburn had nice wins over ranked Oregon, Texas A&M, and Alabama, but all four losses came to ranked teams, including three to top 10 teams. The Tigers lost 31-24 to Minnesota in the Outback Bowl.
Below is my pick for the #23 Kentucky Wildcats at #8 Auburn Tigers. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
#23 Kentucky Wildcats at #8 Auburn Tigers (-8): O/U 47.5 (-110/-110)
A strong offensive line is going to be the strength of Kentucky this season and they will be led by center Drake Jackson and tackle Landon Young. QB Terry Wilson will look to return after missing all last season due to injury, but Auburn transfer Joey Gatewood will be challenging for the starting role all season. Runnings backs Asim Rose and Kavosiey Smoke will be a reliable duo coming out of the back field. On defense Kentucky have three studs in linebacker Jamar Watson, corner Brandin Echols, and defensive tackle Quinton Bohanna. Safety Yusef Corker will also be a key player in the secondary.
Auburn should be electric all season, especially if QB Bo Nix takes the next step, and future first round draft pick Seth Williams will be the catalyst at wide receiver. WR Anthony Schwartz and RB Cartavious Bigsby will also provide some offensive fire power. The Auburn defense is a bit of a question mark this season, but they do have players at all levels who can make an impact. LB KJ Britt, safety Christian Tutt, and defensive end Big Kat Bryant should lead the Tigers in 2020.
Series History: Auburn has won the last two meetings and now leads the all-time series 26-6-1.
CFB Predictions: I am going to back Auburn -8 Saturday afternoon.
2020 CFB Picks Results: 4-3