Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 9:52 AM

SEC Betting Notebook - Week 5

SEC Video Picks - Week 5

South Carolina at Florida

  • Odds: Florida -16.5, Total 57.5
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Ben Hill Griffin Stadium
  • Location: Gainesville, FL

-- As of Friday, most books had Florida (1-0 straight up, 1-0 against the spread) installed as a 17.5-point favorite with a total of 57.5. The Gamecocks were +700 on the money line.

-- South Carolina (0-1, SU, 0-0-1 ATS) has compiled a 7-2 spread record in its last nine games as a road underdog. The Gamecocks are 7-6 ATS with a pair of outright victories in 13 games as double-digit underdogs during Will Muschamp’s tenure.

-- South Carolina dropped a 31-27 decision in Saturday’s season opener vs. Tennessee. The Gamecocks pushed as four-point home underdogs, while the 58 combined points soared ‘over’ the 45-point total. Making his USC debut, QB Collin Hill completed 25-of-39 passes for 290 yards and one TD with one interception. The grad transfer from Colorado St. connected with Shi Smith ten times for 140 yards and one TD, while RB Kevin Harris had 55 rushing yards and one TD on 13 carries.

-- Muschamp is 1-3 SU and 2-2 ATS against UF, his former team, since arriving in Columbia. The Gators rallied from a fourth-quarter deficit to win 38-27 over the Gamecocks as five-point road favorites last year. The 65 combined points soared ‘over’ the 44.5-point total. UF got the benefit of two extremely controversial calls in the fourth quarter. Kyle Trask threw four TD passes for the Gators, who trailed 20-17 with 10:00 minutes left.

-- Dan Mullen’s team improved to 6-1 ATS as a road favorite on his watch by capturing a 51-35 win over Ole Miss as a 14-point road ‘chalk’ in this past Saturday’s season opener. Trask completed 30-of-42 throws for 416 yards and six TDs without an interception. TE Kyle Pitts had eight receptions for 170 yards and four TDs, while WR Kadarius Toney turned 12 touches into 154 yards and one TD.

-- When Florida senior safety Shawn Davis was flagged for targeting early in the first quarter, he became the fourth defensive starter that wasn’t on the field last week in Oxford. Senior DT Kyree Campbell, senior safety Brad Stewart and senior DE Jeremiah Moon didn’t make the trip for undisclosed reasons. All four are expected to play Saturday vs. USC, but we’ll point that Mullen also said last week that Campbell, Stewart and Moon would “all be available” at Ole Miss. In a media scrum this week, he added that wasn’t going to comment on injuries for the rest of the season.

-- Florida junior LB Ventrell Miller earned SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors at Ole Miss. Miller recorded 15 tackles (13 solo), one sack and one tackle for loss.

-- UF owns a 7-4 ATS record in 11 games as a home favorite during Mullen’s tenure. As a double-digit home ‘chalk’ since Mullen took over in 2018, the Gators are 7-2 ATS.

-- South Carolina senior LB Sherrod Greene is out 4-6 weeks with a fractured hip. Greene has started 25 career games for the Gamecocks, recording 131 tackles, nine tackles for loss, three QB hurries, two passes broken up, one pick-six, one fumble recovery and 0.5 sacks.

-- Trailing 31-14 in the second half at The Swamp vs. USC in 2018, Feleipe Franks sparked UF to 21 unanswered points in a 35-31 win as a six-point home ‘chalk.’ The Gamecocks still covered the spread, though.

Missouri at Tennessee

  • Odds: Tennessee -12, Total 48.5
  • TV-Time: SEC, 12:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Neyland Stadium
  • Location: Knoxville, TN

-- As of Friday, most books had Tennessee (1-0 SU, 0-0-1 ATS) listed as a 12.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 48.5. The Tigers had +350 odds to pull the outright upset.

-- Jeremy Pruitt’s squad has won seven straight games dating back to last season, although we should note that all seven victories have come over non-ranked foes. Senior QB Jarrett Guarantano connected on 19-of-31 throws for 259 yards and one TD without an interception in last week’s 31-27 win at South Carolina. He also had a rushing score. Ty Chandler had 86 rushing yards on 13 attempts, while Josh Palmer had six receptions for 85 yards and one TD. Deandre Johnson led the defense with five tackles, 2.5 sacks and one forced fumble.

-- Tennessee is 3-5 ATS in eight games as a home favorite on Pruitt’s watch. Since 2012, the Vols have limped to a 15-26 spread record in 41 games as home favorites.

-- Missouri posted a backdoor cover in last week’s 38-19 loss to Alabama as a 29-point home underdog. It was a misleading final score, however, as the Tigers trailed 35-3 until they got a 37-yard field goal from Harrison Mevis with 1:09 left in the third quarter. Nick Saban mostly played reserves for in the entire fourth quarter. Eli Drinkwitz’s club got a 54-yard TD pass from QB Shawn Robinson to Tyler Badie with 8:28 remaining to get ahead of the number. Backup QB Connor Mazelak scored on the game’s final play with a seven-yard TD dash.

-- Robinson, a transfer from TCU, completed 19-of-25 passes for 185 yards and one TD without an interception. Jalen Knox had five catches for 63 yards, while senior RB Larry Rountree ran for 67 yards on 14 carries.

-- Missouri has a 4-9 spread record in its last 13 games as a road underdog since 2015.

-- Tennessee went into Columbia last year and won 24-20 as a four-point road underdog. Guarantano hit 23-of-40 throws for 415 yards and two TDs without an interception. Palmer had six receptions for 124 yards.

Texas A&M at Alabama

  • Odds: Alabama -18, Total 53.5
  • TV-Time: CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium
  • Location: Tuscaloosa, AL

-- During his tenure at Alabama, Nick Saban had gone 12-1 ATS in season openers going into last week’s showdown at Missouri. Despite racing out to a 35-3 lead as a 29-point road favorite, the Crimson Tide failed to cover the number when the Tigers outscored the Crimson Tide 13-3 in the final stanza. However, Alabama did cover the number for first-quarter wagers (-7 or -7.5) and first-half bets (-17 or -17.5).

-- Before being relieved late in the third quarter, junior QB Mac Jones completed 18-of-24 passes for 249 yards and two TDs without an interception. Najee Harris had 98 rushing yards and three TDs on 17 carries, while Jaylen Waddle hauled in eight receptions for 134 yards and two TDs. DeVonta Smith had eight catches for 89 yards.

-- As of Friday, most spots had Alabama (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) installed as an 18-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 52.5.

-- Jimbo Fisher has seen five starters opt out of the 2020 season due to COVID concerns, including star WR Jhamon Ausbon, who had 66 catches for 872 yards and five TDs last year. Also, LB Anthony Hines opted out after finishing second for the Aggies in tackles (73) in '19 and posting a team-best 10.5 TFL's.

-- Texas A&M owns a 4-2 spread record in six games as a road underdog during Fisher’s tenure.

-- Texas A&M looked horrible in last week’s 17-12 win over Vanderbilt as a 31-point home favorite. The Aggies never led by more than nine points even though the Commodores were missing four starters on defense, including star LB Dimitri Moore, who was last year’s leading tackler with 99 stops and 5.5 TFL’s. Vandy was starting a true freshman at QB and only trailed 14-12 going into the fourth quarter.

-- Texas A&M senior QB Kellen Mond completed 17-of-28 passes for 189 yards and one TD without an interception. Sophomore RB Isaiah Spiller produced 117 rushing yards on merely eight totes.

-- When these SEC West adversaries squared off in College Station last year, Alabama won a 47-28 decision and took the cash as a 17-point road favorite. Harris ran for 114 yards on 20 carries and had three catches for 19 yards and one TD. Smith had seven receptions for 99 yards. Mond had an outstanding performance, throwing for 264 yards and two TDs without a pick, in addition to rushing for 90 yards and one TD on 16 attempts.

Ole Miss at Kentucky

  • Odds: Kentucky -6, Total 61.5
  • TV-Time: SEC, 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Kroger Field
  • Location: Lexington, KY

-- -- Kentucky outplayed Auburn for the most part in last week’s 29-13 loss on The Plains. The Wildcats enjoyed a 384-324 advantage in total offense, had a 21-16 edge in first downs and dominated time of possession (36:29-23:31). However, the Tigers were plus three in turnover margin and set up a short TD drive by stopping a fake punt in the second half. UK got hosed on a first-and-goal play in the final minute of the first half, when Chris Rodriguez clearly appeared to run for a two-yard TD only for the officials to inexplicably rule him shy of the end zone. Two plays later after replay officials upheld the call, Terry Wilson was intercepted by Roger McCreary, who returned the pick 100 yards for a TD. However, what initially looked like an outstanding crack-back block that took out two Kentucky players, was ruled targeting to negate the defensive score.

-- Wilson could be on a short leash Saturday in Lexington. That’s because Auburn transfer QB Joey Gatewood was granted a waiver by the NCAA and received SEC approval to play right away for UK. Wilson, who was playing for the first time since sustaining a season-ending injury in Week 2 of last season, completed 24-of-37 throws for 239 yards and one TD with one interception. He also had 42 rushing yards on 13 attempts. However, he had a costly fumble early in the fourth quarter with his team trailing 15-13 that set up Auburn up for a short TD drive.

-- UK senior WR Josh Ali had nine catches for 98 yards at Auburn. Sophomore RB Kavosiey Smoke had 62 rushing yards on seven attempts, including a 35-yard TD scamper that allowed the Wildcats to draw first blood in the opening quarter.

-- As of Friday, most spots had Kentucky (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) listed as a six-point favorite with at total of 62. The Rebels were +185 on the money line.

-- Lane Kiffin’s debut wasn’t a winning one as he would’ve hoped, but he certainly created excitement with creative play calling and plenty of offensive production. The Rebels produced 613 yards of total offense and nearly notched a backdoor cover before two throws into the end zone fell incomplete in the final seconds. QB Matt Corral connected on 22-of-31 attempts for 395 yards and three TDs. A batted ball at the line of scrimmage resulted in his only interception down in the red zone in the first half. Sophomore RB Jerrion Ealy had 79 rushing yards and one TD on 16 attempts, while Corral rushed for 50 yards on 13 carries.

-- Ole Miss junior WR Elijah Moore might have been an unpopular figure after his imitation of a dog urinating in the end zone resulted in a 15-yard penalty in last year’s Egg Bowl. The potential tying TD ended up being a missed PAT and Mississippi St. beat the Rebels 21-20. However, in the long run, Moore’s actions might end up being one of the best things that’s ever happened for football in the state of Mississippi. It set off a chain reaction of events that led Kiffin to Oxford and, after an MSU bowl-game loss, brought Mike Leach to the SEC. Whatever the case, Moore had a big performance vs. UF last Saturday. He had 10 catches for 227 yards. TE Kenny Yeboah had five grabs for 91 yards and one TD, while Dontario Drummond had two receptions for 60 yards and two TDs. Drummond also completed a 45-yard pass on a trick play.

-- Ole Miss is 14-8 ATS in 22 games as a road underdog since 2012.

-- UK is 12-3 SU and its last 15 home games and it went 6-2 ATS in eight home games last year.

Auburn at Georgia

  • Odds: Georgia -7.5, Total 44.5
  • TV-Time: ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Sanford Stadium
  • Location: Athens, GA

-- As of Friday, most spots had Georgia (1-0 SU, 0-1 ATS) listed as a seven-point favorite with a total of 44.5. The Tigers were +210 on the money line.

-- When these teams met at Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2019, UGA took a 21-0 lead into the final stanza. However, Auburn mounted a furious comeback to trim the deficit to 21-14. With the ball near midfield on a potential tying drive, Bo Nix threw behind his target on a fourth-and-three play that would’ve been an easy first-down gainer. The Bulldogs held on for the 21-14 triumph, taking the cash as three-point road favorites.

-- Nix threw three second-half TDs to spark Auburn (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) to a 29-13 win over Kentucky last Saturday as a 6.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The 42 combined points dipped ‘under’ the 46-point total. Seth Williams caught a pair of TD passes, including a dart from Nix on third and goal. Nix has gone 218 consecutive throws without be intercepted to set a school record.

-- Auburn is 6-8 ATS as a road underdog during Gus Malzahn’s tenure, 8-15 in 23 such spots since 2011.

-- Georgia trailed 7-5 at halftime in this past Saturday’s season opener at Arkansas as a 28-point road favorite. The Razorbacks extended their lead to 10-5 early in the third quarter, and UGA didn’t take its first lead of the game until Stetson Bennett found WR George Pickens for a 19-yard scoring strike with 6:00 left in the third. After another Bennett TD pass, UGA junior CB Eric Stokes intercepted Feleipe Franks and returned the pick 30 yards for a TD and a 25-10 lead. The Bulldogs added a TD and field goal in the final stanza to win by a 37-10 count, but the Hogs took the money nonetheless.

-- Bennett, who replaced redshirt freshman D’Wan Mathis after he was extremely ineffective in the early going, completed 20-of-29 passes for 211 yards and two TDs without an interception. Zamir White ran for a team-best 71 yards and one TD on 13 carries.

-- Georgia QB JT Daniels was finally cleared to play by UGA’s medical team earlier this week. Daniels, a transfer from USC, has been practicing with the Bulldogs but had not been full clearance for contact. As a freshman for the Trojans in 2018, Daniels completed 59.5 percent of his passes for 2,672 yards with a 14/10 TD-INT ratio. However, he tore his ACL in a Week 1 home win over Fresno St. last year. With USC’s Kedon Slovis enjoying a breakout year in 2019, Daniels opted to transfer and was granted a waiver to play right away. UGA head coach Kirby Smart had not announced a starting QB yet, as of Friday afternoon.

-- UGA has limped to a 9-15 spread record in 24 games as a home favorite during Smart’s tenure.

Arkansas at Mississippi State

  • Odds: Miss State -17, Total 69
  • TV-Time: SEC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Davis Wade Stadium
  • Location: Starkville, MS

-- As loyal readers know, I’ve been suggesting for SEC schools to hire Mike Leach for more than a decade. I was stunned when Arkansas and Missouri passed on the offensive guru last December. The loss for the Razorbacks and the Tigers turned out to be Mississippi St.’s gain. Leach’s debut couldn’t have gone any better. Even with LSU’s roster depleted by opt outs and the loss of 14 players to the 2020 NFL Draft, it’s a helluva statement to start your SEC resume with a win by double digits over the defending national champions as a 14.5-point road underdog. Not only that, but KJ Costello set an SEC-record with 623 passing yards in a 44-34 win.

-- Costello connected on 36-of-60 throws for five TDs, although he was intercepted twice, including one pick-six. Osirius Mitchell had seven receptions for 183 yards and two TDs, while RB Kylin Hill had eight catches for 158 yards and one TD. JaVonta Payton had six grabs for 122 yards, and Austin Williams brought down seven catches for 57 yards and one TD.

-- As of Friday, most books had Mississippi St. (1-0 SU, 1-0 ATS) installed as a 17-point favorite with a total of 69.

-- MSU has thrived as a home favorite since 2010, compiling a 30-18 ATS record.

-- Arkansas (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) had to be pleased with its defensive effort last week, especially in the first three quarters. The offense struggled, though. Franks, the QB transfer from Florida, hit Treylon Burks for a 49-yard TD pass in the first quarter, but he didn’t do much afterward. Franks finished the day with 19 completions on 36 attempts for 200 yards with one TD and two interceptions. Burks had seven receptions for 102 yards and one TD, but Rakeem Boyd could only muster 21 rushing yards on 11 carries.

-- Arkansas is hoping to end a 20-game losing streak against SEC foes.

-- Mississippi St. has won three in a row over the Razorbacks and is 2-1 ATS in those meetings, including a 54-24 win in Fayetteville last year.

LSU at Vanderbilt

  • Odds: LSU -21, Total 50.5
  • TV-Time: SEC, 7:30 p.m. ET
  • Venue: Vanderbilt Stadium
  • Location: Nashville, TN

-- These teams met in Nashville last season with LSU winning by a 66-38 count as a 24-point road ‘chalk.’

-- As of Friday, most books had LSU (0-1 SU, 0-1 ATS) listed as a 21-point favorite with a total of 50.5.

-- In his first career start as a fourth-year junior, LSU QB Myles Brennan completed 27-of-46 passes for 345 yards and three TDs, but he was intercepted twice. Terrace Marshall had eight receptions for 122 yards and two TDs.

-- LSU sophomore CB Derek Stingley, who was a second-team All-American as true freshman in 2019 when he had 38 tackles, 15 passes broken up and six interceptions, did not play in last week’s 44-34 home loss vs. MSU after getting sick on Friday night. The illness was not COVID related, but it did require hospitalization. LSU head coach Ed Orgeron told the media that Stingley looked good at Thursday’s practice and expects him to play at Vandy.

-- LSU was also without senior DE Neil Farrell and senior DT Glen Logan vs. MSU. Farrell had initially opted out of the 2020 season, only to reverse course and opt back in less than two weeks before the opener. His conditioning wasn’t quite there yet, though, but Orgeron has said he’ll play in Nashville. Farrell had 46 tackles, four TFL’s, three sacks and four QB hurries in 2019. Logan is ‘out’ again at Vandy for undisclosed reasons. Logan had 20 tackles, 1.5 sacks, one TFL, two PBU and two QB hurries last season.

-- LSU owns a 7-4 spread record in 11 games as a road favorite during Orgeron’s tenure.

-- Vanderbilt (0-1 SU, 1-0 ATS) hooked up its backers and had to feel good for the most part about last week’s 17-12 loss in College Station. True freshman QB Ken Seals completed 20-of-29 throws for 150 yards and one TD, but he was intercepted twice. Ja’Veon Marlow ran for a team-high 65 yards on 16 carries. Sophomore WR Amir Abdur-Rahman had five catches for 72 yards and one TD.

-- Pro Football Focus gave Vandy’s defensive line the highest grade of any Power Five team in the country in last week’s game at Texas A&M.

-- Moore, Vandy’s stalwart on defense last year, has been practicing this week and is expected to play. Two other defensive starters – CB BJ Anderson and safety Brendon Harris – are listed as ‘questionable’ after missing last week’s game. LB Elijah McAllister, who had 2.5 sacks as a freshman in 2019, remains ‘out.’

-- During Derek Mason’s seven-year tenure, the Commodores are 10-11 ATS as home underdogs. However, they’re mired in a 1-8 ATS slump in their last nine such spots since beating Kansas St. outright early in 2017.

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