Two nonconference Power 5 matchups highlight Week 2 of the SEC schedule. Arkansas travels to Fort Worth, Texas, to take on No. 13 TCU, and No. 9 Tennessee squares off against Virginia Tech under the lights in the long-awaited Pilot Flying J Battle at Bristol.
Oddsmakers open TCU as a 9.5-point favorite in the Razorbacks’ first trip to Amon G. Carter Stadium since 1991, when they edged the home team 22-21 as 8-point underdogs. Arkansas has fared well against the number vs. Big 12 opponents, going 12-5 against the spread (ATS) and 11-6 overall in its last 17 games.
Books, meanwhile, posted the Volunteers as 10-point favorites vs. the Hokies. The contest is expected to be played in front of the largest college football crowd in history. Tennessee narrowly escaped an upset against Appalachian State in its opener, winning 20-13 in overtime. The Vols enter the anticipated spectacle 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 against ACC competition.
There are only two conference clashes scheduled, with Florida installed as a 16-point favorite against Kentucky and Mississippi State spotting 8.5 to South Carolina. This is the 13th consecutive meeting the Gators have been favored by 2 touchdowns or more versus the Wildcats at “The Swamp.”
It was an inauspicious start for a handful of SEC programs this weekend, none more so than the Dak Prescott-less Bulldogs. South Alabama shocked Mississippi State 21-20 at Davis Wade Stadium. Coach Dan Mullen’s squad kicked off as a 28.5-point favorite. It was the school’s first outright defeat as double-digit chalk since falling to Tulane 32-29 as an 11-point favorite in 2006; it went 34-0 straight up prior. The Bulldogs will look to gather themselves against a rebuilding South Carolina program owning a seven-game win streak vs. Mississippi State, going 6-1 against the spread.
Alabama is riding high after routing Southern Cal 52-6 on neutral soil at AT&T Stadium. The defending national champion opens play at Bryant-Denny Stadium as a 26.5-point favorite against Western Kentucky. The high-flying Hilltoppers put up 46 points in their win versus Rice, but they may not fare so well against arguably the best defense in the nation. Alabama allows 6.4 points per game when favored by 20 points or more at home in the Nick Saban era.
As is the norm now, four SEC teams host FCS programs next weekend. The extreme mismatches cause books to delay lines until later in the week. But keep your eye out. These games aren’t freebies. Jacksonville State’s near upset against Auburn last season is proof of that.
Here’s a look at the Week 2 opening lines as set at the Wynn Las Vegas featuring all the SEC programs:
|Nicholls State at Georgia||noon||Off|
|Prairie View A&M at Texas A&M||noon||Off|
|Kentucky at Florida||3:30 p.m.||Gators -16.5|
|Western Kentucky at Alabama||3:30 p.m.||Tide -26.5|
|Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt||4 p.m.||Commodores -3|
|Wofford at Ole Miss||4 p.m.||Off|
|Arkansas at TCU||7 p.m.||Horned Frogs -9.5|
|South Carolina at Miss St.||7 p.m.||Bulldogs -8.5|
|Arkansas State at Auburn||7:30 p.m.||Tigers -17.5|
|Eastern Michigan at Missouri||7:30 p.m.||Tigers -26.5|
|Jacksonville State at LSU||7:30 p.m.||Off|
|Va. Tech vs. Tennessee (Bristol)||8 p.m.||Vols -10|
*Based on Eastern Time Zone
#Based on Wynn LV lines as of 6:15 p.m. ET Sunday
With No. 11 Ole Miss and No. 4 Florida State yet to play in the Camping World Kickoff set for Monday night (8 p.m. ET), the SEC is 5-8 against the spread, guaranteed to tie the lowest mark against the number in the opening weekend since covering only four in 2007.