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

The SEC’s Week 3

Here’s what’s happening:

  • South Carolina at Vanderbilt +12.5.  Sure, I’d love to see Boom struggle again, but we’re talking Vanderbilt here.  The ‘Dores are… um, not good.  ‘Cocks cover.
  • Florida at Texas A&M +6.5.  This is one of those lines that make you scratch your head and wonder what Vegas knows and you don’t.  That being said, taking the Gators sure looks like easy money to me.
  • Arkansas at Auburn -16.5.    What’s funny here is that both teams have a common opponent prism through which to gaze.  I don’t think Arky is as good as Georgia made them look in the first half and I don’t think Auburn is as bad as Georgia made them look for an entire game.  However, the Tigers losing Britt for the season in time for what looks to be a fairly low scoring game is just enough to sway me to pick the Hogs to lose, but cover the spread.
  • Alabama at Ole Miss +24.5.  That’s a big number, driven by how bad Ole Miss’ defense is.  But the offense is good enough — and Junior’s the kind of guy who won’t stop — to make me think this game screams back door cover.  OM isn’t in the game from early on, but scores enough late to cover.
  • Mississippi State at Kentucky -3.5.  I know the instinct here is to assume MSU blew its wad in the opener, but did you know that, with a whopping 195.63, Kentucky is last in D-1 in defensive passer rating?  Bulldogs not only cover, but win outright.
  • LSU at Missouri +20.5.  They changed the site of the game, but they didn’t change Missouri’s roster.  LSU covers.

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“If you’re starting to wonder how Georgia can compete with Auburn at all…”

This betting piece on Saturday’s game isn’t quite the Georgia slam the quote in the header sounds like.  At least not completely.

Whether the Tigers face Daniels, Bennett IV or Mathis on Saturday probably is immaterial. The Bulldogs have suffered significant losses on the offensive line in recent seasons and ran for just 2.9 yards per carry against Arkansas.

Outside of one-time Auburn commit George Pickens, it’s fair to wonder whether Georgia has any receivers that will threaten the Tigers downfield. Not that Kirby Smart will want Monken and the offense taking too many chances with a lesser offensive line and a lack of comfort at quarterback.

The defense gets some praise.

… consider the Bulldogs defense. Georgia features eight former five-star players on that side of the ball, the most of any team, and ranks No. 1 in SP+ defense.

The Bulldogs defense is surprisingly passive. It doesn’t generate much havoc in the form of sacks, tackles for loss, passes defensed and interceptions. Georgia plays disciplined, scheme-first football designed to prevent big plays. You may get a few first downs, but you’re rarely going to gash it.

The Bulldogs allowed just 11 plays of 30+ yards in 2019, second-best nationally.

Basically, he thinks both defenses are going to have the upper hand Saturday, which makes taking the under (the over/under started at 38.5 points and moved to 45) the smart pick.

Unders are 8-2 in the last 10 meetings between these teams, cashing by an average of 11 points per game. Auburn-Georgia has produced 35, 37 and 35 total points in the last three years.

Here’s a chart of the team’s last 10 games:

Screenshot_2020-10-01 Auburn a smart bet as an underdog at Georgia

Kentucky-Auburn and Georgia-Arkansas cashed for under bettors on Saturday, producing 42 and 47 points, respectively.

The Auburn-Georgia total sits at 45. All due respect to the Razorbacks and Wildcats, but the Tigers and Bulldogs offenses face much bigger challenges this week.

Take under 45 as well.

You know what else is 8-2 over those ten games?  Georgia is.  That’s why I assume he’s only betting on Auburn to cover the spread, rather than win outright.

For the latter, I leave you in Barrett Sallee’s hands.

No. 7 Auburn at No. 4 Georgia (-6.5): The wrong team is favored here. I don’t buy that JT Daniels is 100% following his knee injury last season or that he has the same ceiling as he did prior to it. Whether it’s Daniels or Stetson Bennett IV, Auburn’s defense won’t be threatened by an offense that struggled to find its sea legs. Auburn has its work cut out for it on offense, though. Quarterback Bo Nix looked better after some halftime adjustments last week, and there’s no doubt that coach Gus Malzahn and offensive coordinator Chad Morris held back much of the offense against Kentucky. Take those points, but you won’t need them. Auburn will win this game outright. Pick: Auburn (+6.5)

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CFP odds update

Not much change at the top, really.

But FSU at 300/1?  Surely you jest.  Based on what I saw Saturday, I’m not sure I’d take those odds for the Seminoles to turn a plus-.500 record this season.

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Odds are.

And here are the lines for the SEC’s opening week of games:

  • Alabama is a 22.5-point favorite at Missouri.
  • Florida is an 11.5-point favorite at Ole Miss.
  • Georgia is -24.5 at Arkansas.
  • Auburn is a 7.5-point home favorite vs. Kentucky.
  • LSU is a 17.5-point home favorite vs. Mississippi State.
  • Tennessee is a 2.5-point road ‘chalk’ at South Carolina.
  • Texas A&M is a 29.5-point favorite vs. Vanderbilt.

Thoughts?

Personally, betting on college football this season gives me the willies.  That being said, if we do actually get a season, I will open up another episode of the Fabris Pool, assuming you guys are interested.

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“When weird stuff happens, like all of this, you can’t plan for it.”

Funny timing yesterday — I got a notice from the folks that host the Fabris Pool that it will be open for business next week and no more than five minutes later saw this:

Sportsbooks around the United States have halted betting on college football, as bookmakers try to determine the best approach to a season in flux.

All of which is to say I guess we’ll be playing this by ear.

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Today, in you can bet on anything

Jeebus, that was fast.

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Lay your money down.

If you had to guess which SEC team did best in postseason play covering the spread since 2012, which program would you pick?

screen-shot-2020-06-11-at-11.26.15-pm

I don’t know if that says more about the Dawgs, or about bettors’ expectations, but in any event, I didn’t guess Georgia.

One other betting comment of note from the linked piece:

Bronco Mendenhall won a pair of Mountain West titles and the ACC Coastal division last fall by hitching his wagon to good quarterbacks. When he doesn’t have a difference-maker as his QB1, his team’s ceilings come way down. Which brings us to Virginia’s opener against UGA in Atlanta. Mississippi State transfer Keytaon Thompson, a former Gatorade state player of the year in Louisiana, might ultimately be the man for UVA, but he’ll be embroiled in a quarterback battle throughout August.

Offensive coordinator Robert Anae went out of his way to avoid naming a starter when asked in April, and with zero reps since then, it’s hard to feel confident going up against a consensus top-5 defense in Georgia. Toss in UGA’s hiring of Todd Monken, a man who once turned Brandon Weeden into a first-round NFL draft choice, and I think this has the making of a Red and Black rout. The line is currently sitting at 17/17.5 and I would be comfortable playing this one up to 20.5 as the Dawgs look to make a statement 2 weeks ahead of their colossal crossover matchup with Alabama in T-Town.

That no spring practice stuff cuts both ways, sometimes.

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You can take the boy out of Gainesville, but you can’t take Gainesville out of the boy.

Brian Edwards is something of a college football tout.  He’s also something of a Florida fan.

This list is what you get when you do a mashup of the two.

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Another early top-25

PFF’s preseason power poll is based on a combination of “recruiting rankings, returning players and market information” on top of their proprietary metric.

Georgia sits fifth, one spot ahead of Florida and behind number three Alabama and number four LSU.

I do find it interesting that two fairly highly ranked SEC teams have some shoring up to do at an important position.

10. AUBURN (+3300)

Bo Nix was only the 70th-highest-graded quarterback in college football a season ago, failing to complete 57 percent of his passes or earn more than seven yards per pass attempt.

14. TEXAS A&M (+2500)

Kellen Mond, while relatively highly regarded, struggled a bit last season, earning our 48th-highest passing grade and failing to eclipse seven yards per pass attempt in 2019.

Some upper-tier SEC team is going to have a quarterback take the next step and that’ll likely be the team that makes the big jump this season.  The question is, which quarterback and which team?

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Moar bets

BetMGM has posted new spreads on a bunch of college football games.  Georgia has five games among those:

Sept. 7: Georgia 17.5 over Virginia (Atlanta)

Sept. 19 Alabama 7.5 over Georgia (Tuscaloosa)

Oct. 10 Georgia 7.5 over Auburn (Athens)

Oct. 31 Georgia 3.5 over Florida (Jacksonville)

Nov. 7 Georgia 12.5 over South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)

Nov. 28 Georgia 24.5 over Georgia Tech (Athens)

The general impression there is that the spreads appear to be tightening.  Well, except for the game in Tuscaloosa.

Some other games of note, at least to my puzzled mind:

Clemson plays at Georgia Tech and is a 23.5-point favorite, which is fairly close to the spread in the Georgia game.  Similarly, Virginia travels to Clemson, which is favored by 26.5; not really sure how that explains the spread in the Georgia-Virginia game.  Even weirder, South Carolina is a 23.5-point underdog at Clemson.

The World’s Greatest Meteor Game lands in Knoxville this year.  Florida is a 6.5-point favorite.  Alabama also travels to Tennessee and the Tide is favored by 14.5.

LSU travels to Florida, where it is a 2.5-point underdog.  LSU is also a 2.5-point underdog at home when it faces Alabama.

Mississippi hosts the Egg Bowl; it is favored by 3.5 points.  The Iron Bowl is in Tuscaloosa.  ‘Bama is a 13.5-point favorite.

Thoughts?

(h/t)

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