Auburn is the SEC’s regular-season betting champion. Coach Gus Malzahn’s squad covered an 18.5-point spread in its 30-12 loss to Alabama in the Iron Bowl, making it the only one in conference to beat the number 8 times this season. The in-state rivals entered the annual matchup tied with 7 covers apiece. The Tigers also topped the SEC in average margin against the spread, playing 5.7 points per game more than the oddsboard’s final tally.
Vanderbilt slipped its way into second place with a 5.2 differential after winning its final two games outright as an underdog. It beat Ole Miss 38-17 as a 9.5-point pup and toppled Tennessee 45-34 in the regular-season finale spotted 7.5 points. The Commodores kicked off favorites 3 times all season, only once against an SEC opponent (South Carolina). Their 4.2 average line ranked highest in the conference.
Along with Vandy, Alabama is the only other team to cover the spread 7 times this season. The Crimson Tide finished with a 4.6 average margin above the spread but had a much steeper number to chase. Their -23.4 average line nearly doubled the next closest held by Texas A&M (-12.4). As of Wednesday at the Wynn Las Vegas, Alabama is a 24-point favorite against Florida in the SEC championship game.
Ole Miss finished the season in a free fall, outscored 93-37 by Vanderbilt and Mississippi State in its final two games. Favorites in each, the Rebels failed to cover the number by 74 points overall. The collapse dropped Ole Miss to the bottom of the conference in average margin against the spread, losing out to the market by 8.6 points per game. The team’s 8 losses against the spread were the most of any in the SEC as well.
Below is a chart detailing where each SEC team ranked in average margin against the spread for 2016. Included is each team’s average betting line for the season, as well as record against the number.
|TEAM||AVERAGE ATS MARGIN||AVERAGE LINE||ATS RECORD|
|7. Texas A&M||-0.8||-12.4||4-7-1|
|9. Mississippi St.||-2.5||-1.0||5-7|
|10. South Carolina||-2.6||3.0||5-6-1|
|14. Ole Miss||-8.6||-7.2||4-8|
Here’s another table showing how SEC teams fared against game totals this season, including average over-under margins and records.
|TEAM||AVERAGE O/U MARGIN||AVERAGE TOTAL||O/U RESULTS|
|2. Mississippi St.||8.4||56.2||6-5-1|
|3. Ole Miss||5.4||61.2||7-5|
|7. Texas A&M||1.3||58.0||4-7-1|
|11. South Carolina||-3.5||47.5||3-8-1|
Tennessee played 8.9 points above the total per game, due in large part to its final three contests against Kentucky, Missouri and Vanderbilt that saw combined scores of 85, 100 and 79 points. Overall, the Volunteers were 80.5 points more than the market expected. Tennessee was the only team to go over the total in 8 games this season.
LSU, which cashed 2 over tickets all season, needed 38 and 54 points in its last two road tests to do so. The Tigers defense held all but one opponent below 21 points this season; Texas A&M put up 39 in the final regular-season game.
SEC East champion Florida chased the lowest total all season at 45.2 points. It closed the regular season with 5 straight unders, due in large part to an anemic offense. The Gators averaged 16.6 points per game during the stretch.
Auburn played the lowest of all SEC teams under the total at 7.2 points per game. The defense held 10 of 12 opponents below the market’s projected team total.