Betting the SEC Week 2 Preview by Nick Hebenstreit, @NickHebenstreit

South Carolina @ Florida -18

South Carolina is coming off of a tough home loss to Tennessee. Florida is coming off an

offensive explosion against Ole Miss. Kyle Trask looked incredible last week, I said he was a top

three SEC quarterback in my Florida preview. I think he may be the best in the SEC. The defense

did not look good, but as I alluded to in my Ole Miss preview, I think Ole Miss is going to put up

a lot of points this year. South Carolina got off to a slow start vs Tennessee, only scoring seven

points in the first half. The Gamecocks fought back though. The game was 31-27 with 1:33 left

when South Carolina muffed a punt. Tennessee fell on it and the game was over. South

Carolina’s offense looked the way I expected one of these teams with a new head coach to look.

I think Florida will address some issues they had on defense last week as well. Florida was

favored by thirteen against Ole Miss. I don’t think Ole Miss is five points better than South

Carolina. The spread is too high for me to take right now, but I’m not betting against Florida’s

offense after what I saw last week. I’ll probably just try to learn from this game, if I had to make

a play I’d probably take the Florida team total over. Another thing to keep in mind, is that a

coach who is on the hot seat like Muschamp is much more likely to get those garbage scores

when the game is over. With a spread as big as eighteen, the backdoor could be open.

Missouri @ Tennessee -10

Both teams covered the spread last week. Tennessee as three and a half point favorites and

Mizzou as twenty seven point dogs. This is a rebuild year for Missouri, and it’s hard for me to

judge them off their game against Alabama. I thought Missouri’s defense looked fine considering

who they were playing. I thought Guarantano looked ok against South Carolina. I think

Guarantano is an ok quarterback, and really nothing more. I think that Tennessee has the

advantage in the trenches on both sides of the football. I think they’ll be able to handle a

Missouri team that is still finding its groove. I think Tennessee will win and cover, extending the

nation’s longest active win streak to eight games.

Texas A&M @ Alabama -17

Alabama looked the part last week. They looked crisp on offense, everything was clicking. They

were the only team in the SEC that I thought stood head and shoulders above the others last

week. In my Alabama preview I talked about how much I liked Mac Jones and how I thought

we’d be seeing less spread and a more run focused approach from Alabama this year. Alabama

ran the ball thirty six times against Mizzou and Najee Harris had three touchdowns. I don’t want

to get too excited, but I did say that Najee Harris was a good Heisman bet at thirty to one. I also

compared him to Derrick Henry in my Alabama preview. The Alabama defense looked good,

Dylan Moses and Patrick Surtain are going to have to play at an all american level this year, and

they both looked the part on Saturday. A&M was up 7-5 at halftime and was being outgained by

Vanderbilt. They ended up winning 17-12 in a very non impressive victory. I’ll give credit to the

A&M defense for stepping up when they had to. The A&M offense was less than impressive

though, and Kellen Mond was sailing throws again. The offense is so passive sometimes. Spiller

was able to rip off a couple of long runs in the second half to help ice the game. I like to bet on

teams when I think they have an advantage at head coach and quarterback. I don’t think that

A&M will have that advantage in many games. I’ll be making a bet on Alabama. I haven’t

decided if that’ll be the spread, the first half spread, or the team total.

Ole Miss @ Kentucky -6.5

I think myself and many others overestimated how detrimental the lack of spring practices would

be for some of these programs. Especially the programs with new head coaches. Lane Kiffin had

the Rebels rolling offensively. I like Matt Corrall a lot, and I’m glad Lane went with him over

Plumlee. Ole Miss does not have the same kind of talent on defense though. This was apparent as

they gave up 52 points to Florida. Kentucky lost to Auburn last week 29-13. Kentucky looked

good out of the gate, stringing together a couple of long drives. Penalties and turnovers kept

them out of the end zone several times though. They outgained Auburn by fifty yards. I was

never too high on Mark Stoops. This was a big game for the Kentucky program, and an

opportunity to take another big step forward for the program. They had all offseason to prepare

and played pretty sloppy. Auburn didn’t play great either. They only rushed for ninety one yards,

3.5 ypc. I think Kentucky will be more efficient on offense this week, limiting turnovers and

penalties. They should be able to run on this Ole Miss team and control the tempo of the game. I

think Kentucky gets back on track this week.

Auburn @ Georgia -6.5

I just touched on Auburn. They beat Kentucky, but they didn’t look great on offense. Bo Nix

completed fifty nine percent of his passes for 233 yards and three touchdowns. He ran for thirty

four yards 6.8 ypc. Nix was enough for Auburn to get the win. He did not look as good as I

expected. I said in my Auburn preview that I like Nix’s rushing ability and I expect him to

improve this year. The Auburn defense played really well last week. The defensive line that lost

Derrick Brown and Marlin Davidson held up very well against a Kentucky offensive line that

was very highly touted all offseason. Kenny Christian Tutt made multiple big plays in the

secondary, as well as K.J. Britt at linebacker.

Georgia defeated Arkansas 37-10. Arkansas was leading 7-5 at halftime. After making the switch

from Mathis to Bennett the dogs started rolling. Zamir White looked like he’s ready to take over

the RB1 role for Georgia. The defense was stout, they didn’t give up much after the early

Arkansas Touchdown. They had three interceptions also, one for a pick six, and two by Richard

Lecounte. Don’t overreact to the dogs slow start, I think they’ll be ready for Auburn. I think

points are going to be hard to come by in this game, both defenses are going to be ready to show

out. I’m on the under in this game, you couldn’t set it low enough in my opinion.

You can follow Nick on Twitter @NickHebenstreit

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