Alabama leapfrogged rival Auburn as the best SEC betting team after its 51-3 rout against Mississippi State last Saturday. The Crimson Tide covered the spread by 18 points, increasing their average margin over the number to 7.6 points per game. Auburn, which held the top spot since Week 5, saw its differential slip to 6.8 after losing outright 13-7 at Georgia as 10-point chalk.
After dates with FCS opponents this week, the annual Iron Bowl likely will decide which school takes the crown as the conference’s best performer in the betting market. Alabama and Auburn are tied with 7 wins apiece against the spread; no other program has more than 5. The Crimson Tide, in fact, are sporting a 5-game covers streak, the longest of any SEC team this season.
LSU is playing a third-best 2.3 points per game better than the number, covering 4 of its last 5 contests. After a dismal start, the Tigers are playing 12.1 points above the betting market’s expectations since Week 5. LSU hosts Florida in a rescheduled clash this weekend, spotting 2 touchdowns at some sports books on Wednesday. The originally planned contest at The Swamp in early October opened as pick ’em before SEC officials postponed the game because of Hurricane Matthew.
Vanderbilt ranks fourth in the SEC with a 1.3 average margin above the number. The stingy defense, which is holding conference foes to 18.5 points per game, keeps many betting slips in play weekly. The unit, in fact, has held all 6 of its SEC opponents below their projected team total this season. The Commodores host Ole Miss as 10-point underdogs this Saturday, offshore oddsmakers opening with a 49.5 game total. Vanderbilt has lost 1 game all season by more than 10 points, a 38-7 defeat at Georgia Tech in Week 3.
Georgia maintains its place as the conference’s most underwhelming betting team with a -7.4 average differential, despite topping the number in its last 2 games. The Bulldogs have not strung together 3 covers in a row since 2014, but they get the chance this week as 23-point favorites against Louisiana Lafayette.
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|
|5. Texas A&M||1.2||-12.9||4-5-1|
|6. South Carolina||0.8||3.9||5-4-1|
|10. Ole Miss||-2.9||-6.8||4-6|
|13. Mississippi St.||-5.7||-1.9||4-6|
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 11:
|TEAM||AVERAGE O/U MARGIN||AVERAGE TOTAL||O/U RESULTS|
|1. Mississippi St.||5.6||54.5||4-5-1|
|2. Ole Miss||5.5||61.4||5-5|
|8. Texas A&M||-0.6||59.0||3-6-1|
|T13. South Carolina||-8.8||47.9||1-8-1|
The totals market finally caught up to LSU — just barely — as it eclipsed the number for the first time all season in a 38-10 win last Saturday at Arkansas. The game closed at 46.5 points at most betting outlets. Nonetheless, the Tigers are tied with South Carolina with the lowest over-under margin (-8.8) in the SEC. Oddsmakers are dealing 38 for the game total between LSU and Florida, the fewest in any SEC game this season.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi State catapulted rival Ole Miss as most likely to play above the total with a 5.6 average margin. The midseason blossoming of quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has helped the offense become more productive, but the defense is causing the most stir in the game-totals market. The unit has allowed 160 points over its last 4 games, nearly 8.2 per game more than expected.