Betting the SEC Week 3 Preview by Nick Hebenstreit, @NickHebenstreit

LSU @ Missouri +14 o/u54.5

This game opened at +20 because the game was originally going to be played at LSU. Right off

the bat, I don’t see the need for a six point swing, now that the game is being played at Mizzou.

I’m not giving much value for home field advantage this season, so I like LSU as a strict number

play. Myles Brennan looked much more settled in last week, throwing for over 300 yards,

including a pair of touchdowns to Terrance Marshall. I don’t know how much Missouri can do to

stop LSU. Missouri gave up 232 rushing yards to Tennessee last week. I think Larry Roundtree

is a really nice talent at running back for Missouri, but this team still lacks an identity on offense.

South Carolina @ Vanderbilt +13 o/u41.5

The total in this game opened at 48.5 and has been bet all the way down to 41.5. I think that’s a

pretty insane move, but I can see why. Vanderbilt ran the ball forty-three times last week in a

game they lost 41-7. Vanderbilt also beat LSU in time of possession in this game! I might have

to take back all those nice things I said about Derek Mason. South Carolina also led in time of

possession in their loss to Florida, but penalties and sacks really hurt them. South Carolina lost to

two good teams, Florida and Tennessee, this could be a get right game for them. South Carolina

should be able to handle this team. I expect South Carolina to win the games they’re favored in

and lose the games that they’re dogs in this year. They’re kind of right in the middle of the pack

in the SEC, and I don’t really see them rising or falling much. The big move in the point total

probably has to do with the weather as well. I’ll be keeping a close eye on the forecast into

Saturday morning.

Florida @ Texas A&M +6.5 o/u57

I think this line should be a little bit higher. It’s not the fact that A&M got blown out by Alabama

last week. It’s the fact that they beat Vanderbilt by five at home, and then got blown out by

Alabama. Alabama went up 14-0 in the first quarter. Bama turns the ball over and A&M scores,

then A&M gets the ball back and ties it up 14-14, sixteen seconds into the second quarter.

Alabama led 35-14 at half. I don’t know what the vibe in the A&M locker room is, but from the

top down this just does not look like a confident team. Kellen Mond has still not taken that next

step; he might just always be an unfinished product. In his defense, the offense is very

conservative at times, and they are thin at wide receiver. You might as well cut Mond loose,

what do you have to lose? I am very close to being all out on Jimbo Fisher. I think Florida’s

defense played better in the second half of that South Carolina game. While they don’t have a

great defense overall, they are capable of putting pressure on the quarterback. Also, I don’t think

A&M has better receivers than Ole Miss or South Carolina. I think Florida will be up for the

challenge this week, I took them on the spread. If you don’t want to lay the points, you can tease

Florida down to -.5 with something else you like.

Tennessee @ Georgia -12.5 o/u43

Unlike South Carolina, Tennessee has been one of those middle of the pack teams that I see

trending up. I love what Jeremy Pruitt has done with this team, and I think the guys in the locker

room really respect him. Something that the program may have been missing in years past.

Tennessee looked great against Missouri last week. Guarantano looked much improved from

week one, he was going through his progressions and just looked more settled in. I mentioned

earlier they ran the ball for 232 yards. They have some hogs on that offensive line and one of the

best running back tandems in the SEC. How about Georgia’s offensive line last week against

Auburn? That unit was a question mark for me going into the season, but they absolutely bullied

the Auburn defense. I think this line is right on the money. I think Tennessee is going to get

someone this season as a big underdog, but it’s hard for me to fade Georgia after that win. The

Georgia defense is so dang good, and the offense looked good last week too. They’re not going

to be a run only team. They have athletes on the perimeter as well, including George Pickens,

who is as good as anyone at creating separation. My only concern was how Georgia took their

foot off the gas offensively against Auburn last week. I played the under in this game. I think

both teams are going to sit on the ball, and try to string together long drives.

Arkansas @ Auburn -14 o/u48

I thought this would be a good opportunity to bet Auburn after an embarrassing primetime loss

and a big upset for Arkansas. I thought the number would be lower though. I’m not buying into

this Arkansas defense under Barry Odom like some are. I think that Mississippi State’s offense is

the kind of offense that will score forty-four points one week and fourteen the next. Which is

what just happened. I was really disappointed by the Auburn defense last week. Seemed that

there was nothing they could do to stop the run, and that was after they really held their own

against a highly touted Kentucky offensive line. Even the big names on the Auburn defense like

Tutt and Britt were getting pushed around. I think their defense is going to show up this week,

and get that bad taste out of their mouth. I don’t trust the Auburn offense as much though. Bo

Nix looked like a freshman quarterback last week, and this team isn’t beating Georgia, Alabama,

or Florida if that’s how he’s going to play. I’m staying off of this game as of right now, but I’d

lean towards Auburn. I like Malzahn coming off a loss. Some interesting trends: Auburn is 6-1

ATS as a home favorite since November 17, 2018 and 9-3 ATS as a favorite.

Alabama @ Ole Miss +24 o/u70

Lane Kiffin pulls off his first upset as the Rebel’s head coach last week at Kentucky as six point

underdogs. This is a big line for an Ole Miss team that I think the public is pretty high on. I do

think they’ll put up points on Alabama, and I think Lane Kiffin is a coach who knows what the

spread is. I don’t like leaving the backdoor open against him. Matt Corrall continues to impress

me. Alabama should be able to name their score against this Ole Miss defense. Alabama’s

offense has been totally balanced with run/pass plays. I was expecting more of a sixty/forty or

even seventy/thirty split, but Mac Jones has shown that he’s more than capable at quarterback. I

don’t feel comfortable laying the points here, and I could see this game going a couple different

ways. I could see Alabama being up by thirty in the second half, and putting their backups in. If

this happens I’d expect Kiffin to keep taking shots, and therefore the game going over the total. I

could also see Alabama slowing it down on offense and chewing up the clock. Guys on the

Bama defense said that they were disappointed by how they played last week; I think they’re

looking forward to this challenge. This is the best defense Ole Miss is going to face this season. I

am going to play the Alabama first half team total to go over in this one, because I don’t want to

be in a situation in the second half where Alabama is trying to kill the clock or when their

backups are in.

Mississippi State @ Kentucky -2 o/u58

I am definitely staying away from this game. You have Mississippi State who upset LSU week

one and lost to Arkansas last week. This was supposed to be the year for Kentucky, as their

whole offensive line returned and they were set at QB going into the season. Turnovers have

been a problem for Kentucky this year, and their defense has underachieved. I question the

motivation of this team, and I don’t really know if they have that voice in the locker room like

they’ve had in years past. Mike Leach usually gets off to a rocky start when implementing his

offense, but I kind of threw that out the window when they beat LSU. I lean towards Mississippi

State from a matchup perspective, but with Kentucky 0-2 and at home, this could be an all in

game for them.


Miami @ Clemson -14 o/u63

Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Don’t think about it. Trevor Lawrence, Dabo Swinney,

Travis Etienne, that’s all you need to know. Clemson usually doesn’t have any big games to look

forward to on their ACC schedule. Miami is 3-0 and they’ve got some hype around the program.

I imagine Clemson is more dialed in than they usually are at practice. They’re going to show that

they are the big dogs in the ACC. This spread should be 21. Clemson rolls.

Texas - Oklahoma -2.5 o/u72

I could make the argument that this game is between the two most overrated coaches in the

country. I know everyone loves Lincoln Riley and probably wants their NFL team to hire him,

but this guy is total fool’s gold. Oklahoma is the best team out of all the losers every year. They

make the playoffs, and they get blown out because they don’t play defense. They put up a lot of

points and that makes everyone ooh and ahh, but they don’t even run the table in the Big 12.

Lincoln Riley has lost a conference game every year as a significant favorite. I think both these

teams got caught looking ahead last week. Here are some interesting trends about this heated

rivalry. In the last eight games, the over is 7-1, the underdog is 7-1 ATS, and the Longhorns are

7-1 ATS. The over in this game has been an auto bet in the past, but I haven’t made up my mind

yet. Right now, I’m leaning towards Texas. Tom Herman has a great record as an underdog, and

this Oklahoma team is not as talented as years past. I’m going to be up looking at lines early on

Saturday morning to see if the sharps come in on Texas. If this line gets to -3, I’m also going to

look to put a half a unit on the Texas moneyline.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NickHebenstreit

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