SEC Football Season Coverage: College Football Betting

Willie Bee

Friday, July 12, 2013 6:51 PM GMT

Friday, Jul. 12, 2013 6:51 PM GMT

Join us as we continue our look at the SEC for this upcoming college football betting season, our focus this time on potential upset spots with kickoff just a month away.

29th July
Upset Update

By: Willie Bee

 

We know they're coming. Upsets will once again be a big part of the college football landscape in 2013, and that's just as true for the Southeastern Conference as it is for any other league and conference.

When we first looked at the SEC a couple of weeks back, our focus was primarily on the top six teams, three from the East Division (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina) and three from the West Division (Alabama, LSU and Texas A&M). Each of that half-dozen experienced double-digit win totals a year ago, and are forecast for the same this time around. It figures then that any major upset on this year's SEC betting schedule would come from the other eight SEC schools.

The team that threatened to make it seven 10+ win squads in 2012 was Vanderbilt. The Commodores began the season 2-4 before winning their final seven games to go 9-4 straight up and 9-4 against the spread, including a 38-24 triumph and cover in the Music City Bowl over North Carolina State. One of the four defeats was a 17-13 setback at home against South Carolina in the season opener for both teams.

Vandy lost several key players, including quarterback Jordan Rodgers, but head coach James Franklin will have 13 returning starters, including the bulk of what could be the conference's best secondary...or will he? A cloud hangs over the team right now after four still-unnamed players were suspended in June for what could be some serious charges coming from Nashville's sex crimes division. Until those players are known, it's tough to predict anything for the 'Dores.

Ole Miss Could Break Through In 2013

It might not look like a critical game on the schedule, but Vanderbilt's opener against Ole Miss on Aug. 29 is indeed a big game that most of the country should get to see in prime-time on ESPN. The Rebels are going to be looking for revenge after the Commodores scored the winning TD with less than a minute left in Oxford last November for a 27-26 upset. Ole Miss was favored by three in the matchup which came between two road losses to top 10 teams Georgia and LSU, another game the Rebels blew a late lead.

This year's Rebels-Commodores contest is in Nashville where Ole Miss is once again favored, this time by four points. Those NCAA odds could see major adjustment once the Nashville sex scandal is cleared up, but assuming the suspended players aren't 1st-stringers, I still think the Rebels are the right play.

In fact, I like Ole Miss to have a solid season and perhaps push its way into the SEC's 'top 6' this time around. Hugh Freeze made an impact last year in his first season at the helm, and the Rebels have 18 returning starters plus snared the nation's top high school recruit, Robert Nkemdiche, which should give them one of the country's most talented defensive lines.

Freeze has an incredibly tough schedule to begin the season; playing four of your first five on the road is never an easy thing, but when three trips are conference opponents and the other is in Austin against Texas, it's especially difficult.

One of those early games is in Tuscaloosa where 'Bama is currently a 17-point favorite. I don't see an outright upset there, but if Ole Miss' defense is as good as advertised, those points are inviting. I do see an outright upset two weeks after that game when Texas A&M comes to Oxford on Oct. 12. The Aggies are presently 4-point road favorites.

Bulldogs Face Letdown & Look-Ahead Spots In October

We can't seem to get away from talking about Vanderbilt. In this case, our upset alert involves the Georgia Bulldogs who travel into the Great State of Tennessee twice for potential dangerous confrontations.

The first trip will be to Knoxville on Oct. 5 to battle the Vols, which is seven days after the 'Dogs host the LSU Tigers. Georgia is presently 6-point chalk for that contest which figures to be a tough game, and it will be Mark Richt's job to keep the Bulldogs from a letdown at Tennessee. Let's not forget the Volunteers came to Athens last year ready to play and scored the ATS victory in a 51-44 loss as a 14-point underdog.

Two weeks after visiting Tennessee, Georgia is in Nashville to meet Vanderbilt. The Bulldogs rolled the Commodores last year, 48-3, before Vandy started to get its act together. Georgia is a 10-point early pick to beat Vanderbilt again, and it's a look-ahead spot for the Bulldogs with the World's Largest Cocktail Party next on their slate vs. Florida.

Make sure to check back regularly the rest of the summer for college football betting updates at SBR; next week we'll take a look at potential upset spots on the Big 12 schedule.

Join the discussion on SEC college football on our NCAA FB message boards!

 

12th July
Early Preview

By: Willie Bee

 

Alabama is once again the cream of college football and the SEC. Join us in a summer look at the conference with free college football picks and predictions along the way.

Stop me if you've heard this one before. The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored to win the Southeastern Conference gridiron title.

Well, that was quick. Let's see how good you are at this one. True or false, everyone wants to beat Alabama, but another team in the SEC has a bigger bull's eye on its back entering the 2013 college football betting season.

True. Texas A&M is wearing the biggest target in the SEC, and No. 2 for the Aggies is right in the middle of every team's crosshairs.

Alabama going for a three-peat, the SEC aiming for an eighth consecutive BCS champ, Johnny Football, the World's Largest Cocktail Party, Death Valley in Baton Rouge, The Grove in Oxford, Gator-chomping and the Ol' Ball Coach. Somebody stop me! It's SEC football and it figures to be at the epicenter of college football once again.

(Editor's Note: The author is a maroon-bleedin' Aggie

from way-south Texas, and cranky old cynic to boot.) 

That's a mighty timely note there, Mister Editor, since I was about to say that I think Johnny Manziel is going to be lucky to avoid the injury list this year and the Texas Aggies will be lucky to sit better than 3-3 when they begin a nice 4-game stretch at home in late-October. More on the SEC schedule later.

'Bama Enjoying Focus On Manziel

Six teams in the SEC have a legitimate shot at the title, led by the Crimson Tide at 3/1 to top all BCS Championship futures odds. 'Bama naturally ranks as the favorite to win the conference crown (4/5), and even thicker chalk (2/5) to represent the SEC West Division in the conference championship slated for Dec. 7 at the Georgia Dome.

This attention is normal for the Tide, however, and Nick Saban has to be enjoying the tweets, call-in topics, et al, directed at returning Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel specifically, and the Aggies in general. Texas A&M is a 12/1 pick to win the whole enchilada, 13/2 in the SEC, 7/2 in the SEC West.

Best part is we get to see the Crimson & Maroon go at it pretty early in the 2013 college football campaign. Manziel, aka The Spoiled Brat according to DallasNews.com scribe David Climer, will try to repeat some of his magic from last year's Texas A&M upset in Tuscaloosa, this time in front of the 12th Man at Kyle Field on Sept. 14. Call it something of a BCS play-in game for all intents and purposes. 'Bama was an early 6-point favorite at some college football betting outlets taking early action on that game, and right now I'm giving up the 6. 

Can Gators Upset 'Cocks & Dawgs in SEC East?

A 3-team scrap in the East Division of the Southeastern Conference is expected, Georgia and South Carolina the early division favorites at 3/2 each followed by Will Muschamp's Florida Gators (3/1). It would, of course, be sacrilegious to suggest anyone but Alabama to have the best defense in the SEC, but just in case the Tide ain't No. 1 this time, the units at Florida, Georgia and South Carolina could possibly push 'Bama to fourth on the conference list.

One reason to like Florida (8/1 to win SEC) is neither Alabama nor Texas A&M appearing on the Gators' regular season slate.They'll get the Bulldogs at home on Nov. 2 as early 4-point home underdogs and travel to meet the Gamecocks two weeks later as 5-point road 'dogs.

The biggest game on the SEC East schedule might be the Sept. 7 clash between Georgia and USC in Athens. The Bulldogs, early 4-point faves in that collision, are a 3/1 pick to win the SEC while South Carolina comes is currently a 5/1 wager in the conference

Oh Yeah, Let's Not Forget About That Bunch In Baton Rouge

Hard to believe we've come this far in an SEC overview without mentioning Les Miles and the LSU Tigers. Not as much is expected from the Bayou Bengals this time as in previous years, but that's due in part to preseason pub being spread more on Alabama, deservedly, and Texas A&M, perhaps too much there. But before writing LSU off, let's not forget its role in the SEC, indeed the BCS, last season.

The Tigers were just one defensive hold away from taking down No. 1 Alabama during a 5-game stretch that saw them face five ranked SEC clubs. They rose to the occasion to stun then-No. 3 South Carolina, handing the Gamecocks their first defeat of 2012, and then showed no letdown the following week at Kyle Field where LSU harassed Manziel and the Aggies into committing five turnovers. That win kept Texas A&M out of the SEC Championship and a potential BCS appearance instead of 'Bama. 

The Tigers meet the Tide and Aggies with an off-week between the games this November, first going to Tuscaloosa on Nov. 9 where early college football odds have Alabama 11½-point chalk. Johnny Football and the Ags come to Baton Rouge two weeks later when LSU was initially installed as a 1-point favorite. Miles' Tigers have some big games before those two, but the late clashes with Alabama and Texas A&M will go a long way to determining if LSU cashes at 3/1 in the SEC West and 13/2 for the conference title. The Tigers are also 15/1 to win the 2013 BCS Championship.

And that is just the upper echelon of the SEC; there are still eight more teams that we need to discuss, and we'll get to some of those in our next installment. Between now and late-August, we'll try and find some potential key upset spots on the conference schedule, rank defenses and offenses, how certain critical players may be rehabbing from offseason injuries and make a few picks for how it all should play out. So keep checking back each week for the latest SEC college football betting reports. 

* Odds listed as of July 10, 2013

TEAM

DIV ODDS

SEC ODDS

BCS ODDS

Alabama

West 2/5

4/5

3/1

Arkansas

West 20/1

50/1

175/1

Auburn

West 20/1

75/1

200/1

Florida

East 3/1

8/1

25/1

Georgia

East 3/2

3/1

20/1

Kentucky

East 15/0

10/1

Field

LSU

West 3/1

13/2

15/1

Mississippi

West 10/1

50/1

125/1

Mississippi St.

West 15/1

50/1

125/1

Missouri

East 8/1

50/1

250/1

South Carolina

East 3/2

5/1

20/1

Tennessee

East 10/0

25/1

100/1

Texas A&M

West 7/2

13/2

12/1

Vanderbilt

East 12/1

100/1

Field

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