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 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.
Arkansas at LSU
Friday line: LSU minus 17 (opened -17.5)
Public (ATS): 63 percent LSU
Edwards’ analysis: “Arkansas is 9-1 against the spread in its last 10 as a road dog going back to that 2014 game in Starkville when Mississippi State was ranked No. 1 and had Dak Prescott. Arkansas could have won that game easily, but did cover. That was the start of this run. Arkansas is going to get Austin Allen back after he missed the last four games. They dominated LSU in 2015 and 2014. … But those guys are gone.
“LSU got revenge last year, 38-10, and you look at Arkansas. How many times have they lost by more than 17 this season? Four times. In fact, they’ve lost by 21 or more four times. … But I won’t lay a big number with LSU, which at times is offensively challenged and is coming off that big game with Bama.”
The Play: Pass
Louisiana-Lafayette at Ole Miss
Friday line: Ole Miss minus 19.5 (opened -17.5)
Public (ATS): 69 percent Ole Miss
Edwards’ analysis: “Ole Miss played really well last week, so they’ve got a little momentum going. Lafayette is 19-11-1 in 30 games against the spread as a road underdog under Mark Hudspeth. However, they got killed at Arkansas State. They lost by 24 at A&M and by 24 at Tulsa, so I just can’t get behind them. And Ole Miss doesn’t play enough defense to lay a big number.”
The Play: Pass
Florida at South Carolina
Friday line: South Carolina minus 5.5 (opened -7.5)
Public (ATS): 81 percent South Carolina
Edwards’ analysis: “I’m 5-1 when backing South Carolina this season and 6-1 if we count my season win total play to go “over” 5.5 wins. The Gamecocks have covered the spread in five consecutive games, while Florida has lost four in a row with the lone cover coming by one-half point in a 17-16 home loss to LSU.
“The Gators, already down nine suspended players, won’t have all of these key pieces this weekend due to injuries: WR/utility joystick play maker Kadarius Toney, senior leader and elite pass rusher Jordan Sherit, one of team’s best D-linemen in Jachai Polite, quarterback Luke Del Rio, starting linebacker Kyland Johnson, one of their top offensive linemen in Brett Heggie, last season’s leading tackler Marcell Harris and leading rusher Jabari Davis.
“In addition, starting senior safety Nick Washington and starting running back Lamical Perine are listed as questionable. So if we count Jordan Scarlett and Antonio Callaway, at least nine starters will be out against South Carolina. I made the Gamecocks 10-point favorites. If your number is 7.5, buy it down to -7. When the Gators went 4-8 in another injury-riddled campaign in 2013, they played really tough at Carolina and covered as double-digit ‘dogs.
“This time around, however, Florida doesn’t have its coach, and instead has a staff that’s going to be packing its bags (with maybe one or two exceptions) and getting out of Gainesville in the next month. Gamecocks win by double digits.”
The Play: Lay the points with South Carolina
No. 2 Georgia at No. 10 Auburn
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m.
Friday line: Auburn plus 2.5 (opened same)
Public (ATS): 69 percent Auburn
Edwards’ analysis: “Auburn has been a home underdog six times in Gus Malzahn’s tenure, and they are 4-2 against the spread with three outright wins. A big part of this handicap is the health of Auburn’s O-line. The injury reports haven’t updated for Casey Dunn, Darius James and Mike Horton. Those are three important offensive linemen and all three are questionable.
“If Auburn were to move up across the key number to 3.5, and two of these linemen were to play, then maybe I’d buy the half-point with Auburn and get up to four. I’m keeping an eye on the spread and the health of those three linemen. … Jordan-Hare is going to be rocking, and Auburn will be ready to play. I’m a slight lean to Auburn, but I’d like to get 3.5 or 4 here. And I’d like to know if a couple of those linemen were going to give it a go.”
The Play: Lean to Auburn (at 3.5 or 4, with good news on OL injuries)
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Kickoff: 4 p.m.
Friday line: Vanderbilt minus 2 (opened -3)
Public (ATS): 66 percent Kentucky
Edwards’ analysis: “This is such a tough one. Vandy had the bye week after that brutal stretch of games, and they finally got a ‘W’ last week. They’re feeling good about themselves. They’ve got four wins and three left — all winnable.
“That was a tough loss for Kentucky last week. I think Vandy has the advantage at quarterback, and maybe a slight edge in coaching, too.”
The Play: Slight lean to Vandy
No. 1 Alabama at No. 18 Mississippi State
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Friday line: Mississippi State plus 13.5 (opened +14.5)
Public (ATS): 80 percent Alabama
Edwards’ analysis: “Todd Grantham will have a good plan. Shaun Dion Hamilton is a big loss for Alabama. Senior leader goes down with a season-ending injury. This is going to be a tough one for Bama. I don’t see them just rolling in there and delivering a beating like they do to most teams.
“Now, Nick Fitzgerald can’t throw interceptions, and he’s a very mediocre passer. But, my goodness, he can really run it. He’s going to have to break a couple of big ones. And not only does Mississippi State need a big play out of its special teams, it needs to prevent Alabama from making a big special-teams play like it usually does.
“That’s a lot to ask. I think it’s a good spread. Alabama wins by 10-17, but it’s a tougher game than maybe that margin suggests. I just can’t pull the trigger either way.”
The Play: Pass
New Mexico at Texas A&M
Kickoff: 7 p.m.
Friday line: Texas A&M minus 17.5 (opened -18.5)
Public (ATS): 71 percent Texas A&M
Edwards’ analysis: “There are a lot of reasons to consider the under here. The under has hit four in a row for New Mexico, and is 8-1 overall. In their last four games, they’ve scored 0, 24, 3 and 10 points. The under had hit four in a row for Texas A&M until last week’s game with Auburn went over. A&M’s offense is not really playing that well. Last week was the first time the Aggies scored more than 24 in a month.”
The Play: Lean the under
Tennessee at Missouri
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m.
Friday line: Missouri minus 12.5 (opened -10)
Public (ATS): 74 percent Missouri
Edwards’ analysis: “I made Missouri just a 7-point favorite. I would normally be really interested in Tennessee here, but I made that number before realizing that they had a couple more injuries last week. So, they’re even more banged up. And I can’t bet on a team that has as many issues as it does.
“Drew Lock is on fire. In the last five games, he has a 21-to-3 TD-to-INT ratio. The number’s too rich. I just don’t like betting on teams with lame-duck coaches who are just playing out the string.”
The Play: Pass
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