Vegas sharp breaks down Week 8 SEC games
Here’s a look at up-to-date betting information for each SEC contest, complete with analysis and picks from Brian Edwards.
Edwards, a longtime VegasInsider.com handicapper with an emphasis on SEC football, will provide his thoughts and insights on the line moves throughout the 2017 season. He is a University of Florida graduate and a weekly radio guest in Las Vegas, Omaha and Memphis.
Note: All times for Saturday games Eastern. Lines and over/under totals are courtesy of Westgate Superbook.
Idaho at Missouri
Friday line: Missouri minus-14 (opened same)
Public (ATS): 59 percent Missouri
Edwards’ analysis: “Idaho is 2-0 against the spread as a road dog with an outright win at South Alabama. As an away dog, they’re 16-3 against the spread in their last 19 games. I think Appalachian State is the best team in the Sun Belt, and they had to rally in the fourth quarter just to get out of Idaho with a win [last week].
“[Idaho quarterback] Matt Linehan is a four-year starter and threw for more than 3,100 yards last season. He’s the son of a former NFL head coach, so he’s a heady quarterback. The Vandals have only lost by more than 14 points once this season, so they’ve played in a lot of close games. Missouri is 0-3 against the spread as a home favorite.”
The Play: Lean to Idaho
Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
Friday line: Alabama minus-36 (opened -34.5)
Public (ATS): 65 percent Alabama
Edwards’ analysis: “The richest underdog spot in the history of the Tennessee program. The other two biggest spots for Butch Jones were plus-28 at Oregon, and they lost 59-14. They were plus-28 at Alabama in 2013 and lost 45-10. I don’t see Tennessee mustering much offense in this game. This is going to be a complete embarrassment and a blowout.
“Alabama is going to score as many as they want. That said, Alabama has some bad numbers laying this many points. Alabama can cover this, but Nick Saban might be feeling sorry for Butch. If I had to pick it, I’d probably pick ‘Bama, but I’m on the sidelines for this one.”
The Play: Pass
Kentucky at Mississippi State
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Friday line: Mississippi State minus-13 (opened -10.5)
Public (ATS): 68 percent Kentucky
Edwards’ analysis: “I made this total 46.5 points. The under is 4-2 overall for Mississippi State, 3-0 in its home games that have resulted in combined scores of 45, 44 and 49. The under is also 4-2 overall for Kentucky, 2-0 in a pair of road assignments that have seen combined scores of 36 and 41.
“Kentucky is getting back its best defensive player and last season’s leading tackler, linebacker Jordan Jones, after he missed the last four games with a shoulder injury. This will be a big boost for the Kentucky defense, one that’s ranked 10th in the nation at defending the run. The Wildcats are an abysmal No. 107 out of 130 FBS teams in total offense.
“As for Mississippi State’s defense, led by elite/veteran coordinator Todd Grantham, it is ranked eighth in the country in total defense, fourth versus the pass, and gives up only 19.7 points per game. Mississippi State’s offense is without starting receiver Malik Dear, and one of its best linemen, Martinas Rankin, is questionable with an injury. Finally, Kentucky’s six games have produced average combined scores of 48.8. All about the under here.”
The Play: Take the under and lean to Kentucky
No. 24 LSU at Ole Miss
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m.
Friday line: Ole Miss plus-7 (opened +6.5)
Public (ATS): 53 percent Ole Miss
Edwards’ analysis: “Ole Miss’ offense really scares me. LSU has gotten two big wins to right the ship, but the Tigers are still winning pretty ugly. I wonder if there is a letdown scenario here. You know Ole Miss will be gunning for this one.
“If I’m LSU, I just want to get that ‘W’, get back on the airplane and get out of there. I don’t quite have enough confidence in Ole Miss’ defense to take them. I can see Derrius Guice and that LSU running game having its way. Ole Miss is going to score points, for sure. I just have to sit this one out.”
The Play: Pass
No. 21 Auburn at Arkansas
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Friday line: Arkansas plus-15.5 (opened +14.5)
Public (ATS): 82 percent Auburn
Edwards’ analysis: “To me, it’s Arkansas or pass. This is the biggest home underdog situation of Bret Bielema’s tenure. The Razorbacks have been a double-digit home dog just twice, and they went 1-1 against the spread. As a road favorite under Gus Malzahn, Auburn is 6-4 against the spread. The Tigers have only been a double-digit road favorite twice, and they’re 1-1 against the spread.
“This is a huge revenge spot for Arkansas. They were coming off a nice win at Ole Miss last season and getting double digits [at Auburn] and they pulled a complete no-show and got humiliated, 56-3. But they don’t have Austin Allen, and they don’t have Jared Cornelius. They’re just not playing good football right now. It feels like they left their season on the field at Jerry World in that heartbreaker to Texas A&M.
“I can’t lay points with Auburn. They’ve gone from playoff contender to maybe having a coach on the hot seat in the span of 30 minutes of football. If you can flip it to a positive, they still control their own destiny in the SEC West. If they can win out, they’ll have a head-to-head tiebreaker if they beat Alabama. I don’t know where their mindset is, so I can’t lay a huge number on the road.
The Play: Pass