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

Your (non-Dawg) game day post

We’ve got three after the Peach Bowl:

Screenshot_2021-01-01 FBS (I-A) Conference Schedule - 2020 - NCAAF - ESPN

And here are the current spreads, per ESPN:

Screenshot_2021-01-01 College Football Daily Lines ESPN

And brief thoughts on each:

  • No idea what to make of the Citrus, given the coaching change and all that typically ensues from something like that.  Both teams play better defense than offense, so the four-point spread in the abstract doesn’t bother me.  Northwestern gave Ohio State a decent fight in the championship game, but ran out of gas and had a disastrous time defending the run in the second half.  Cox is Cox Nix is Nix, damn it, but Auburn can run the ball and Tank Bigsby is out for the game.  Your guess is as good as mine, but I’d probably go with the Wildcats.
  • Alabama by 19.5?  And people think expanding the playoffs is going to make for better football?  Sure, man.  Take the Tide and the points.
  • The CFP meteor game ought to be a real hoot.  No matter who wins, I’m going to cringe.  Given I think Ohio State’s defense has shown some weakness defending the pass and Fields has looked just a little bit shaky at times recently, I think Clemson covers.  On the bright side, that ought to be good for at least one more comment from Dabo to chew on.

And you?

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Bill Connelly lacks Kirby Smart’s confidence.

Before you go running off confidently predicting a sizeable margin in Georgia’s favor in the Peach Bowl, consider a couple of things Bill tweeted this morning.

Screenshot_2020-12-21 Bill Connelly on Twitter

Screenshot_2020-12-21 Bill Connelly on Twitter(1)

It may be close to heretical to suggest this, but maybe the SEC ain’t quite all that this season.  Certainly the advanced stats aren’t as enamored over Georgia’s chances in the bowl game as Vegas is.  The spread in the Fabris Pool pick ’em has the Dawgs as a 6.5-point favorite; Bill’s SP+ has Cincinnati favored by just over a point, while Brian Fremeau’s FEI has Georgia listed as about a half-point favorite.

Something to watch play out, anyway.

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Filed under Georgia Football, SEC Football, Stats Geek!, What's Bet In Vegas Stays In Vegas

“Who bet on this game?”

Me:  2020 is no time to start betting on college football games.

Somebody:  Eh, what could go wrong?

Me:

************************************************************************

UPDATE:  Holy crap.

Can you imagine what the players in the huddle were saying about the call?

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This week’s SEC slate

Games and the Fabris Pool lines:

  • LSU at Auburn +3.5.  It’s the battle of the Bos!  Auburn’s at home and Gus’ rabbit’s foot has been en fuego.  Take Nix over Pelini.  Auburn wins outright.
  • Ole Miss at Vanderbilt +18.5.  Yeah, Junior’s gonna have his team fired up over being screwed by the refs.  They’ll win, but that defense is still awful and Corral is something of a turnover machine of late.  Vandy covers.  Barely.
  • Mississippi State at Alabama -30.5.  That line is huge.  MSU’s defense isn’t bad and as exploitable areas go, neither is the Air Raid against Alabama’s pass defense over the middle.  I think ‘Bama would cover with Waddle, but without, not quite.
  • Missouri at Florida -14.5.  Gators win, but rust from being off for the better part of two weeks makes for a closer game than the spread.
  • Arkansas at Texas A&M -10.5.  They’ve been a great story so far, but I don’t see the Hogs covering the line this week.

Your thoughts?

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Unpredictable You

Did anybody tell you Georgia Tech is like a box of chocolates this season?

Georgia Tech is the runaway most unpredictable team so far.

The Yellow Jackets were blown out 73-7 over the weekend by Clemson. That’s just slightly more than the spread of 26 points. But this team has been completely unpredictable. In fact, it is just one point away from having been three scores outside the Vegas spread in each of its games. Georgia Tech has had one blowout victory against the spread (beating Louisville by 19 as an underdog of 5 points) and two blowout spread losses (UCF and Syracuse). Such is life with a freshman quarterback like Jeff Sims and an inconsistent defense. The only game in which Georgia Tech stayed within two scores of the spread was the opener at Florida State, in which it won by a field goal as a 13-point favorite.

This weekend the Yellow Jackets are field goal underdogs at Boston College. Would it really surprise anyone if that game was won by 20 in either direction? It shouldn’t.

You never know what you’re gonna get.

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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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