Category Archives: What’s Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

While we’re talking about the offense…

here’s a take at The Athletic ($$) about the home opener.

UAB at Georgia -24.5, 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday

This UAB defense didn’t just look good because they were playing Jacksonville State. It has played very well over the past few years. They have made things difficult on some of the more prolific offenses in the NCAA. They will not be intimidated by Georgia’s offense. They will welcome the challenge. The Dragons’ offense will be intimidated, or at least they should be. The Georgia defense is for real. The job of the UAB offense will be to not give up points to Georgia on that side of the ball. If they take care of the ball, the UAB defense will hang with this Georgia offense. They won’t shut them down, but this will not be a blowout.

Pick: UAB covers, 24-3 Georgia

“If they take care of the ball” is the magic phrase there.  UAB is certainly a respectable program and when I saw that spread, I did wonder about it.  But if Georgia winds up in positive turnover margin territory, I don’t see UAB covering.

Your thoughts?

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Stupid is as stupid does.

This is what you call a sucker bet.

Honestly, I’d love to know what goes into the thought process that leads to a “yeah, think I’ll lay almost a quarter of a million dollars on a Tennessee football team to do something right”.

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Three betting takes on the opener

Pat Forde:

Clemson vs. Georgia (21). When: Saturday at 7:30 p.m. ET. Where: Charlotte. Line: Clemson by three. How big is it: With the No. 3 and No. 5 teams in the AP poll, this is the highest-ranked opener since No. 1 Alabama beat No. 3 Florida State in 2017. That game turned out to be a bit of a dud, and the Seminoles’ season was doomed after a late injury to quarterback Deondre Francois. Let’s hope for better this time.

The overreaction if Clemson wins: Kirby Smart still can’t win the big one. He’s just a recruiter who is slightly better than Mark Richt but will never be Vince Dooley.

The overreaction if Georgia wins: Clemson’s run is done. Opponents have figured out the defensive signal stealing and it’s over.

Reality: Barring a 40–0 result, the loser of this game sustains no irreversible damage. The winner can start dreaming College Football Playoff dreams.

Stat: Dabo Swinney is 11–1 in season openers, with his only loss to Georgia. Smart is 5–0.

Matchup: How does Clemson’s good-not-great offensive line fare against a Georgia front seven that features half a dozen NFL prospects?

Dash pick: Georgia 24, Clemson 21.

If I recall correctly, the over/under is in the fifties, so Forde is really sold on both team’s defenses.

Adam Kramer:

But if I were a Georgia fan and not just a gambler sitting on an array of Bulldogs future tickets — and I’ll get to those — I would feel good about this team. Not overly confident. Good. History says feeling any other emotion might be unwise.

Now, things aren’t perfect. The injury bug has already impacted Georgia at tight end (Darnell Washington) and defensive back (Tykee Smith). Arik Gilbert, the team’s star offseason acquisition, is also currently not with the team for personal reasons.

These issues are real, but elite teams can overcome these types of issues. And to me, Georgia is not only an elite team but the best team in college football.

I bet Georgia to win the national title. The Bulldogs are currently + 700. I bet them to win the SEC (currently + 200). I have them over 10.5 (currently -130). And I have J.T. Daniels to win the Heisman (currently 12-1).

And yes, I like Georgia (+ 3) against Clemson this week in what could wind up being the best game of the college football season.

The talent across both sides of the ball at seemingly every position is spectacular. And while quarterback has always been a mixed bag, JT Daniels has the gifts to change that.

The narrative, of course, says otherwise. Unfair or not, Georgia has long been regarded as a resource-rich team incapable of conquering the sport despite so many advantages and close calls. Given the historic and absurd run of Alabama in the same conference, that feels a bit unfair.

From his lips…

And, finally, from The Athletic’s Austin Mock ($$):

Georgia under 10.5 +105 (projected for 9.9 wins)

Georgia opens up with the equivalent of a playoff game against Clemson where they’re an underdog, so 0-1 isn’t far-fetched. The offense did start to click when J.T. Daniels was inserted as the starter, but I’m not sure the opponents were of the quality where I’m giving the Georgia offense the benefit of the doubt. Add in Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs always dropping a game they have no business losing, and you can understand why Georgia under 10.5 at plus money has value.

And there’s your turd in the punch bowl.

Thoughts?

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Best SEC college football bets

Per ESPN ($$):

Georgia Bulldogs +750 to win national title

Connelly: I’ve joked all summer about how I’m confidently and boldly stepping on the Georgia rake once more, ignoring decades of Dawg underachievement because their quarterback looked good for four games last season. I think we’ve gone a little far with the underachievement talk, though. Georgia was one play from the national title in 2017 and one play from a repeat CFP appearance in 2018. And even though they HAVE underachieved the last two seasons, they’re also 20-1 against teams that didn’t have top-5 offenses. And before he shined late in 2020, JT Daniels was a five-star quarterback holding his own at USC. All this is a long way of saying that Georgia is one of the most talented teams in the country and basically needs to split two key games — vs. Clemson in the season opener and vs. Alabama (or Texas A&M, or whoever) in a potential SEC Championship matchup. And if they reach the CFP, they’ll either be the most talented overall team or very close to it. Seems to make +750 odds worth it.

Good thing I don’t have a ranch to bet.

Also, this is exactly how I feel about Auburn’s chances to win more than seven games this season.

QB Bo Nix returns and I expect his inconsistent play to follow suit. I suppose new offensive coordinator Mike Bobo could unlock him but I will continue to fade that until it actually happens.

Tank Bigsby averaged 13.8 carries per game last season under Gus.  Is there any chance, barring injury, he’ll be under that number in 2021?  Not if Nix and Bobo have anything to do with it.

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TFW the buildup is better than the punchline

Interesting, PFF.

We are exactly two months away from FBS football kicking off on a Saturday afternoon. And the release of PFF’s College Football Preview Magazine makes this the perfect time to highlight the best betting opportunities on FBS futures odds.

Let’s dive into the best bets to make based on PFF’s vast college database that powers our NCAA Greenline product and our latest season-long simulation. We will walk through every conference, highlighting the teams with the most value based on market expectation.

Tell me more.

Alabama and Georgia — the usual suspects leading the conference — are expected to finish atop the SEC, combining for 68% of the implied probability to win the conference title. Both blue-blood schools have over a 50% probability of winning their respective divisions.

Five of the top 10 teams with the best odds to win the national championship play in the SEC, making it once again the deepest conference in college football. Whichever team emerges from the conference title game will be the odds-on favorite to receive the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

Coolio.  So what’s the best bet for the Dawgs, given that lead in?  Winning the division?  Making the CFP?  What?

GEORGIA BULLDOGS

Win Total: 10.5 -134 | 105
Conference Odds: 28.6%
Playoff Chances: 25.0%
Championship Odds: 12.5%

Best bet: Georgia under 10.5 wins +105

The story of the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs will come down to the play of quarterback J.T. Daniels, who has yet to live up to his five-star recruit status. Daniels has put together only two games with an 80.0-plus PFF passing grade in 16 college starts. Georgia isn’t exactly easing into their 2021 schedule, either, with a neutral site contest to start the season against Clemson. Georgia is currently a four-point underdog and doesn’t look to have many one-sided matchup wins on paper.

From a betting perspective, one of the easiest ways to play the Bulldogs is on their under win total, which provides zero wiggle room in the event they lose in Week 1. The betting market seems set on Daniels playing closer to his recruitment status than his true performance over the past three years. If he once again fails to deliver on that promise, then the Bulldogs should fall well short of their win total. PFF’s simulation has them with a median win total of 9.5, which offers plenty of value given the +105 price on their under 10.5 betting line.

Gee, thanks.

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“Anything that works elsewhere works even better in Las Vegas…’’

What a time to be alive, people.

One of the most influential event organizers in Las Vegas hopes to match the Pac-12 against opponents from the SEC and Big Ten in early-season showcase games at Allegiant Stadium in coming years.

“That’s something we will pursue,” Steve Hill, the CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told the Hotline.

Hill “has a close working relationship with new Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff, the former president of MGM Sports and Entertainment.”

Well, that’s certainly convenient.  And I’m old enough to remember when Vegas and sports gambling were anathema to the folks running college sports.  Which is to say I’m at least seven years old.

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Another wins total projection

People crap on Barrett Sallee for this and that, but it sounds like he’s pretty much sold on Georgia’s 2021 chances:

Georgia

Over/under 10.5 wins

  • Wins: vs. Clemson, UAB, South Carolina, at Vanderbilt, Arkansas, at Auburn, Kentucky, vs. Florida, Missouri, at Tennessee, vs. Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech
  • Losses: None

Analysis: This is the year for Georgia. No, seriously, this is it. The Bulldogs are loaded on defense, have one of the best quarterbacks in the country, a loaded backfield and one of the best top-to-bottom rosters in the entire sport. Plus, they draw Arkansas as their rotating cross-division game and don’t exactly have a daunting road schedule. The experience should get them past Clemson in the opener. But even if they fall to the Tigers, an 11-win season still cashes. Pick: Over 10.5 (-130)

In case you were wondering where his biases may lay, he’s got Auburn going 7-5 overall and 4-4 in the conference.

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Moar win totals

Here’s a link to an ESPN article listing the regular-season win totals (not including conference championship games or bowl games) from Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill.

You can check out the whole thing, but I thought I’d show the numbers for the SEC:

  • Alabama 11.5
  • Georgia 10.5
  • TAMU 9.5
  • Florida 9
  • LSU 8.5
  • Ole Miss 7.5
  • Auburn 7
  • Kentucky 7
  • Missouri 7
  • Tennessee 6
  • Mississippi State 6
  • Arkansas 5.5
  • South Carolina 3.5
  • Vanderbilt 3

Can’t argue too much with what I see there.  I do sense that LSU is trending up slightly, which I think is right.  With all their personnel losses, I don’t get the Vols winning six, but maybe that offense is going to make up more ground than I think.

And I don’t think it’s gonna happen, but what do you suppose the reaction in Columbia would be if Vandy won more games than the ‘Cocks?

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Conference only over/under win totals

Via Brett McMurphy:

What looks like a better bet, Georgia and the over, or Vandy and the under?

Also, I don’t know how to break it to South Point, but their win totals add up to 56.5.  Since there are only 56 conference wins for the taking, somebody’s definitely hitting the under.

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SEC Football: Over/Under Predictions

Athlon takes a look at the O/U lines set by Draft Kings and calls ’em:

  • Florida:  9 Pass
  • Georgia:  10.5 Over
  • Kentucky:  7 Over
  • Missouri:  7 Pass
  • South Carolina:  3.5 Over
  • Tennessee:  6 Pass
  • Vanderbilt:  3 Pass
  • Alabama:  11.5 Over
  • Arkansas:  6 Pass
  • Auburn:  7 Pass
  • LSU:  8.5 Over
  • Mississippi State:  6.5 Pass
  • Ole Miss:  7.5 Over
  • Texas A&M:  9.5 Over

What jumps out at me there is Athlon doesn’t make a single call to take the under.  Either that’s a helluva case of optimism, or this year’s non-conference slate is abysmal.

In the East, I think between Tennessee and Vandy, one of those two will hit the under.  In the West, it’s hard for me to see Arkansas making a bowl game with that schedule.  Auburn, about which Athlon says “this team will only go as far as quarterbacks Bo Nix or T.J. Finley can develop and take it”, has a pretty rough schedule as well; six wins seems likely.  Unless that defense has improved more than I suspect, Ole Miss looks like it’ll be good for seven wins.

What do y’all say?

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