The SEC is back in action this week, and they bring with them arguably the best game of this coming weekend, with #23 Kentucky travelilng to take on #8 Auburn. Today, we’re taking a look at some of the best bets you could make on SEC games this weekend. For our purposes, we’re making the odds no better than -200 – I’m not going to waste your time by saying that picking Georgia (-2800) against Arkansas is a safe bet. Whether you’re putting big money on it, or you’re a broke college kid like myself who might make a $5 dollar wager with a friend, here are some of my favorite picks.
Kentucky-Auburn, Under 49.5
Neither of these offenses excite me, but I think they offer pretty solid defense. 5 of Auburn’s 8 SEC contests in 2019 went under 49.5, and the same can be said for six of Kentucky’s conference clashes. I don’t see either team putting up 30 points in this one, so I like the odds of this game hitting the under.
Spreads and Moneylines
Ole Miss (+14.5) vs. Florida
I’m higher than most on Ole Miss’s chances as an underdog this season. I think John Rhys Plumlee is a very good quarterback, particularly as a runner, and playing at home against a top-10 opponent, I think that he and the Rebels come to play in the opener. I’m intrigued by the payout of the +420 moneyline, but to me, picking Ole Miss to lose by less than two touchdowns is a solid pick for the SEC’s opening weekend.
South Carolina (+145) vs. Tennessee
I like the odds on this one. South Carolina enters as slight underdogs to the Vols, who are 1-3 against the Gamecocks since Will Muschamp took over as coach. South Carolina needs a win here to make a bowl game feasible, with a brutal SEC schedule ahead, and I think Tennessee is wildly overrated at #16. As far as underdog moneylines in Week 1 of SEC play, this one is pretty enticing.
Alabama (-27) vs. Missouri
I would rarely pick a spread so large in a conference opener, but I believe the stability of Mac Jones and Najee Harris leading the Alabama offense will allow the Crimson Tide to put up 40+ points, and I don’t see them allowing more than 10-14 to a lackluster Missouri team with a new quarterback. A four-touchdown victory seems pretty plausible here.
Games to Avoid
- Georgia (-26) vs. Arkansas
This is a large spread I like to avoid, and there’s a lot up in the air about the Georgia offense, which lost their top two running backs and will be led under center by J.T. Daniels, who was injured early last season with USC. I might take under 52.5 mark here, due to the stout nature of Georgia’s defense, but it’s not something I’m willing to say too confidently. If Georgia comes out firing on all cylinders, and Daniels proves to be a stud in replacing Jake Fromm, than the Bulldogs could definitely put up 40+ on Arkansas, putting that over/under mark in jeopardy.
- LSU (-16) vs. Misissippi State
There’s far too many unknowns here. I think LSU will definitely win, although their -800 moneyline odds are hardly worth looking at. Their offense should be decent with Myles Brennan and a plethora of receivers, but they’ve lost so many weapons, and with the weird and wild time that has been the COVID-plagued offseason, expecting this unit to gel right away may not be realistic. If K.J. Costello can get this offense moving, this spread seems too tight to call for my comfort.
- Texas A&M (-30.5) vs. Vanderbilt
Texas A&M is a little unpredictable. They should be a decent team in the SEC West, challenging for a top-two or top-three finish, depending on how the rest of the schedule shakes out. However, betting on Kellen Mond to beat this 30.5 point spread doesn’t feel right, but betting on Vanderbilt to exceed expectations anywhere on the gridiron also feels wrong. There’s no moneyline and the over/under set at 46.5. That may seem like a low mark, but Vanderbilt’s offense looks like a wilted plant, and they simply might not score points, which leaves it up to Mond and Co. to exceed that mark, which I won’t bet on.
My Favorite Parlay
Who doesn’t love a good parlay? My favorite parlays combine a couple of realistic bets with a few gimmes to make the odds reasonable but with only a few games in doubt. Here I do include some big moneylines, as they are being combined with smaller bets. With that being said, here’s a little four-leg parlay play to start off the SEC season, using none of bets I already listed as my favorites. I may throw those in a parlay, but I like to keep my top bets separate of my parlay.
- Georgia-Arkansas, UNDER 52.5
- LSU vs. Mississippi State, UNDER 56.0
- Auburn (-300) vs. Kentucky
- Florida vs. Ole Miss, OVER 57.0
Payoff: +828 ($10 bet = $82.80 profit)