The SEC went 7-7 straight up in Week 1, equaling its lowest winning percentage (.500) to start a season since 1995 (6-6). The conference did not live up to the betting market’s expectations either, going 5-9 ATS. Although it recorded more covers than a 4-7 ATS start in 2007, a combined -5.4 average margin versus the number is the lowest to kick off a season in the last 25 years.
Alabama did its part to appease bettors. Going off 12.5-point chalk against No. 20 USC at AT&T Stadium, the Tide rolled to a 52-6 victory, bettering the spread by 33.5 points. It not only topped the SEC this week, but was the greatest difference against the number for the program since routing Ole Miss 45-7 as a 4.5-point favorite at Bryant-Denny Stadium in 2000.
On the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi State fell well flat of Vegas’ number, losing to South Alabama 21-20 as 28.5-point chalk. The colossal upset marks the fifth year in a row an SEC team has dropped a game favored by 20-plus points (2015-Toledo 16, Arkansas (-21.5) 14; 2014-Texas A&M 41, Auburn (-22.5) 38; 2013-Georgia Southern 26, Florida (-28) 20; 2012-Louisiana Monroe 34, Arkansas (-30.5) 31). It was the Bulldogs’ first straight-up loss as 20-plus-point chalk or more since Troy knocked them off 21-9 as a 24-point pup back in 2001.
Below is a table tracking how each SEC team performed against the spread in Week 1. We’ll keep a running tally of each team’s average margin against the number, average line and ATS record throughout the season.
|TEAM||AVERAGE ATS MARGIN||AVERAGE LINE||ATS RECORD|
|2. South Carolina||+7.5||+4.5||1-0|
|4. Texas A&M||+3||-4||1-0|
|7. Ole Miss||-6||+5||0-1|
|14. Mississippi State||-29.5||-28.5||0-1|
In 2015, Alabama topped the SEC during the regular season with a -16.5 average line. Ole Miss, which went 9-3 straight up but faced a bit of an easier schedule than some of its peers, laid the second-most points per game (-15.1). Vanderbilt (+5.2) and South Carolina (+4.2) were the only two programs to average out as dogs for the year.
We’ll also present a chart each week showing how SEC teams fared against game totals, including average over-under margins and records. Here’s a look through Week 1:
|TEAM||AVERAGE O/U MARGIN||AVERAGE TOTAL||O/U RESULTS|
|1. Ole Miss||+21||58||1-0|
|T4. Texas A&M||0||55||0-0-1|
|7. Mississippi State||-13||54||0-1|
|11. South Carolina||-19||42||0-1|
Southern Mississippi’s 44-35 win over Kentucky saw the highest-posted total in Vegas, closing at 63.5 points. Both teams return a bevy of offensive starters and run at a lighting-quick pace, so the number was expected. Although the Wildcats’ new offensive coordinator Eddie Gran moved away from the “Air Raid” scheme and into a more “pro-style” system, the unit is still extremely up-tempo, shooting for 90 plays a game.
The Ole Miss-Florida State matchup (45-34) sailed the highest over the number, eclipsing a 58-point total by 21. Clemson’s 19-13 victory over Auburn, meanwhile, stayed well below the closing 61.5 game total, with both teams struggling to generate much offense. Six of the Tigers’ last seven games have stayed below the total — the team averaging 24.4 points and allowing a measly 21.3 per game in this span.
Overall, the under went 9-3-2 in SEC play this week. Alabama was the only other team outside of Kentucky and Ole Miss to go over the total. The over is now 18-4-1 in the Tide’s last 23 games on neutral soil.