No. 11 Auburn’s 12.5-point average margin against the spread through Week 9 is one of the highest recorded in modern SEC history. Only the 2002 LSU Tigers (13.4), 2002 Kentucky Wildcats (13.4) and 1996 Florida Gators (12.7) have recorded a better differential at this point in the season.
Coach Gus Malzahn’s squad also tops the conference with a 7-1 ATS record, winning its last five straight. The Tigers have strung together six covers in a row just twice in the last 35 years (1982, 2013). They closed out the 2013 season with a program-best 10-game streak, beating the number in a 34-31 loss to Florida State in the BCS National Championship Game in the Rose Bowl as 10.5-point underdogs.
Does the betting market catch up to Auburn this week? It opened a 24-point favorite against Vanderbilt at the Wynn Las Vegas on Sunday, the line adjusting to -25.5 by Wednesday. It’s the fifth time the Tigers are 20-point-plus chalk in the matchup since 1980. They’ve gone 3-0-1 against the spread in the others, winning by a 41.5-to-9.0 average score.
No. 1 Alabama, which owns the highest average scoring margin (29.0) in the SEC, is playing 6.9 points per game better than the number. The difference in point differential against the spread with its in-state rivals is a product of the betting line. The Crimson Tide kick off a conference-high -22.1 chalk per contest, while Auburn goes off at -7.8 on average.
Missouri is the coldest team in the betting market, dropping its last four against the spread by an average of 17.4 points per game. It is the longest losing streak of any SEC team this season. The Tigers are touchdown underdogs versus South Carolina this weekend, the first time the Gamecocks are favorites in a conference clash since a Week 7 meeting against Vanderbilt (-3) in 2015.
Georgia continues to disappoint backers, dropping its fifth against the spread in a 24-10 loss to East rival No. 10 Florida last Saturday. Coach Kirby Smart’s men have only covered three games this season, none by 6 points or more. Overvaluing Georgia in the betting market early in the season is a trend of late. Three of the last four years have seen the Bulldogs post their worst differentials against the spread as a program in more than three decades: -11.3 in 2016, -9.8 in 2015 and -6.9 in 2013.
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|
|3. Texas A&M||4.7||-13.9||4-3-1|
|6. South Carolina||0.5||4.0||4-4|
|9. Ole Miss||-2.5||-6.0||3-5|
|11. Mississippi St.||-7.1||-7.4||3-5|
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 9:
|TEAM||AVERAGE O/U MARGIN||AVERAGE TOTAL||O/U RESULTS|
|1. Ole Miss||7.4||61.1||4-4|
|2. Mississippi St.||6.8||53.6||3-5|
|8. Texas A&M||-0.2||58.3||2-5-1|
|14. South Carolina||-9.1||48.1||1-6-1|
No. 15 LSU is the only team in the nation to play seven games and not eclipse a game total in 2016. Trends suggest the Tigers may tread below the number again this weekend against Alabama. The over-under record is 3-5-2 in the matchup since coach Nick Saban took control of the Crimson Tide. Outside of a 41-34 victory against Alabama in Saban’s first season, the Tigers only average 14.7 points per game. The game total opened at 45.5 points at offshore locations but has not hit the board in Vegas as of publication.