Another week, another cover for Texas A&M. Coach Kevin Sumlin’s squad is the only SEC team to start the season with a 4-0 record against the point spread. It’s the school’s best run against the number since stringing 6 victories together in 2010, a surprising 9-win season following a 6-7 campaign the previous year.
The betting market is struggling to adjust to Sumlin’s improvements. The program is performing 11.6 points per game better than the spread, also tops in the conference. This might be the week bettors catch up.
The Aggies are 17.5-point favorites against South Carolina in a tough test Saturday at Williams-Brice Stadium. It’s the most points they have laid away from home in a conference clash since joining the SEC in 2012. The Gamecocks are 2-2 against the spread, playing a half point below expectations. They’re kicking off as 2.5-point underdogs on average this season, favored in only their 20-15 win against East Carolina (+4.5).
Missouri is playing 11.1 points per game better than the spread, second best in the SEC. New offensive coordinator Josh Heupel has reinvigorated the unit, and quarterback Drew Lock is competing like a pro prospect. Since a sluggish start in their 26-11 road loss to West Virginia, the Tigers have erupted for 167 points in their last three games, 46 more than the betting market predicted.
Missouri is 3-1 against the spread and is a 13-point pup against the aimless LSU Tigers this weekend. LSU is the only SEC team yet to cover a spread this season and is 2-7 versus the number in its last nine. The writing was on the wall for Les Miles’ firing this week.
Georgia has dropped three in a row against the spread (1-3). It’s underperforming by 18.6 points per game, last in the conference. The team’s 45-14 beatdown by Ole Miss (-7) fell short of the number by 24 points. Factor in the 26-24 scare against Nicholls State as 50.5-point chalk and the 1-point win against Mizzou, and the Bulldogs are playing 80 points below the number in their last three games. Only Bowling Green (-87) has sunk lower this year. It’s the lowest three-game stretch for Georgia since tallying a 58-point deficit midway through the 1994 season.
Alabama’s -23.8 average betting line tops the conference. It will see that number climb after its game against Kentucky on Saturday. The Crimson Tide are 35.5-point chalk, the most ever given in the matchup. Alabama is 3-0 ATS when gifting 20 or more to the Wildcats since 1980.
Here’s a look at where all the SEC teams rank in average margin against the spread. 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|
|1. Texas A&M||11.6||-15.4||4-0|
|5. Ole Miss||1.3||-8.8||2-2|
|7. South Carolina||-0.5||+2.5||2-2|
|11. Mississippi St.||-6||-11.2||2-2|
Below is another table showing how SEC teams fared against game totals, including average over-under margins and records. Here’s the tally through Week 4:
|TEAM||AVERAGE O/U MARGIN||AVERAGE TOTAL||O/U RESULTS|
|1. Ole Miss||12.8||57.2||2-2|
|7. Mississippi St.||2.4||49.4||1-3|
|8. Texas A&M||1.9||57.1||1-2-1|
|14. South Carolina||-17.6||49.1||0-4|
Ole Miss leads the SEC in margin over the total, averaging 12.8 points per game better than the number. The offense is surprising the most. Since a 53-52 overtime loss to Arkansas last season, the Chad Kelly-led unit has scored more than projected in seven of its last eight games. Despite this, the Rebels sport a 2-2 O/U record in 2016.
LSU and South Carolina are 4-0 to the under. Quarterback issues and conservative play-calling is holding the Tigers back on offense. They are scoring 21.0 points per game, despite the market projecting 30.9 on average through four contests. The Gamecocks’ 14.2 points per game, meanwhile, rank 122nd in the FBS. Only Kansas (14.0) and Boston College (13.3) have scored less out of Power 5 programs.