Picking winners and losers is all good and well. But for you bettors looking for more action during what’s been dubbed the best opening weekend ever, take a stab at this collection of SEC prop bets.
South Alabama at Mississippi State
To what extend will Dak Prescott be mentioned/shown during the broadcast?
Shown on the sidelines +100
Graphic comparing him to virtual body-double and current Mississippi State QB Damian Williams +200
Shown on sidelines and compared to Williams +300
Merely mentioned as a Bulldog alum +100
If Prescott makes the trip to Starkville, you best believe the cameras will find him, considering his rising NFL star with the Dallas Cowboys. However, his presence isn’t a certainty, so take the +200 on the Williams comparison that’s simply too easy to make.
No. 18 Georgia vs. No. 22 North Carolina
Total carries — Georgia running back Nick Chubb
Georgia coach Kirby Smart said Chubb won’t be on a pitch count against the Tar Heels, but Chubb only carried the ball 21 times or more once in five complete games in 2015. Still, the absence of Sony Michel and Smart’s desire to win his first game at UGA will compel him to give his best player the ball consistently against a bad North Carolina run defense.
Missouri at West Virginia
Offensive plays — Missouri
New Missouri offensive coordinator Josh Heupel was brought in to inject life into a sluggish Tigers offense that averaged just 66.5 plays per game in 2015 — down from 70.5 in 2014. A 10-play jump seems drastic, but West Virginia is consistently in the top 10 in plays per game (83.5 in 2015), so we should see an uptempo game with plenty of snaps.
No. 16 UCLA at Texas A&M
More total yards — UCLA QB Josh Rosen or Texas A&M QB Trevor Knight
Rosen seems like the obvious choice here with his arm talent. But Knight, if you think back to 2013 and 2014, has plenty of ability with his arm and legs. Knight is in a new offense and hasn’t seen live action is a quite awhile, but the atmosphere at Kyle Field should provide plenty of adrenaline for the new Aggies QB.
No. 5 LSU vs. Wisconsin
Rushing yards — Leonard Fournette
Seriously? That’s it? Fournette only had two games in 2015 where he rushed for fewer than 115 yards, but he’s only recently taken off a walking boot worn to protect a sprained ankle suffered earlier this month. Don’t forget that while he has his sights on the Heisman Trophy, the NFL Draft could play a factor. The most important factor may end up being the Wisconsin defense that ranked fourth in the nation last year allowing only 95.4 yards per game.
Total Lambeau Leaps — Wisconsin and LSU
Les Miles warned his players against leaping into the stands at Lambeau Field and Wisconsin players claim to have no interest in making that particular memory. But come game time you best believe that urge will be tough to ignore, 15-yard penalty and all.
Louisiana Tech at Arkansas
How deep will the comparisons go between Arkansas QB Austin Allen and former Razorbacks QB and brother Brandon Allen?
Video comparison +110
Both video and graphic +250
It’s not often you see a QB take over for his brother after he graduates, but here we are. It will be mentioned and a side-by-side of measurable is a near certainty. Will the crew wait to get a few series of Austin on tape before putting together a video comparison after halftime? My money says yes.
Southern Mississippi at Kentucky
How many viewers will watch this game?
Kentucky has a brutal time slot with a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff. The Wildcats have to fight for eyeballs against USC/Alabama at 8 p.m. and Clemson/Auburn at 9 p.m. Last year, Kentucky lost out to Notre Dame/Texas and Wisconsin/Alabama on opening weekend and got just only 310,000 fans to watch the win over UL-Lafayette. This year’s other games are better, so expect television sets to be tuned elsewhere.
Massachusetts at No. 25 Florida
Where will Steve Spurrier watch the game?
In a suite -200
On the field +250
In the stands +1000
Spurrier is back with the Gators as an ambassador and now has the field named after him in Gainesville. The question is whether he’ll peel himself from that sideline after kickoff. It makes sense for him to remove himself from the action to the comforts of a suite, but remember he spent all day Tuesday touring media networks to promote his new biography. Does being on the sideline get him more airtime?
No. 20 Southern California vs. No. 1 Alabama
More receptions — Alabama WR Calvin Ridley or TE O.J. Howard
Ridley caught considerably more balls a season ago as a freshman (89 vs. Howard’s 38), but the country saw the type of threat Howard poses in the College Football Playoffs. Add a duo of young quarterbacks that could use an underneath safety valve and you have a recipe for Howard to pick up where he left off.
Where will Nick Saban direct his first meltdown?
One of his QBs +200
Lane Kiffin +300
Saban will blow his top. Start the countdown now and wait to see if he aims his dragon breath toward a zebra or one of his own? Putting money on the referee seems like the no-doubt call, but Alabama will have two young quarterbacks on the field and Kiffin’s smug face nearby on the sideline.
No. 2 Clemson at Auburn
How many times will the broadcast show Auburn QB John Franklin III and reference Last Chance U?
Franklin will be shown and connected to the Netflix show at least once, easily. But if Auburn starter Sean White plays well, that may be the last we hear about Franklin. However, if White falters, Franklin will be on the end of at least one camera the rest of the night, whether he’s on the field or not. The connection to Last Chance U is the wild card on this bet.
Who will Brent Musburger hit on first?
Auburn coeds -200
Kaylee Hartung +110
Jesse Palmer +300
You hope Musburger keeps his wandering eyes on the Auburn student section, but Bill the Kentucky fan knows how charming Hartung’s mile-wide smile can be. However, my money is on Palmer. He’s too dreamy and too close to Musburger the entire game to avoid an awkward pass from everyone’s favorite play-by-play voice.
No. 11 Ole Miss at No. 4 Florida State
Total yards – Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly
Chad Kelly is very talented, but the Florida State defense is stout. What’s more, Kelly isn’t the dual threat some may think. Kelly rushed for more than 40 yards in a game in just the last four games of the season. He can still get it done through the air with weapons such as Evan Engram and Damore’ea Stringfellow, but Laquon Treadwell isn’t trotting out of the tunnel this season.