It’s not like anyone needed the recent United States Supreme Court ruling to feel liberated to bet on college football. According to Mobile’s Danny Sheridan, a recognized expert on such things, Alabama has for years led the country in per capita wagering on college football.
But now that every state has the right to decide if it wants to allow legalized sports gambling, the topic is a little more out in the open. It may be a decade before Alabama agrees to allow legalized sports betting, but Mississippi is already preparing to accept the action and revenue that thousands of Alabamians will undoubtedly take across the state line.
So, it is with that in mind that I offer you the 14 SEC teams and their win totals for the year, as posted by BetDSI, one of the many sites that list such totals.
The premise is easy: The group making the line sets a number for how many games a team is going to win during the 12-game regular season. You simply say if that number is too high or too low.
Let’s begin at the top, with the teams projected to win the most games.
Alabama 10.5; OVER
If you think Alabama is going to win fewer than 11 games, it’s because you believe the Tide has begun to decline under Nick Saban. Winning 12 games in the regular season is very tough. But winning 11 is standard procedure for Alabama. Last year the Tide reached that number even before the Iron Bowl.
Georgia 10.5; OVER
Georgia is not going to be as strong as last year. I believe Kirby Smart is going to have long-term success in Athens, but the depth of talent is not there yet to replace all the great departing players. Having said that, the Bulldogs’ schedule is laughable. Their toughest non-conference game is against Georgia Tech at home. A loss to Auburn at home is certainly possible. But there just isn’t enough competition there to think a two-loss regular season is realistic.
Auburn 9; OVER
The key game is the opening against Washington. This will be the Tigers’ third straight game in the new dome in Atlanta. The first two resulted in painful losses. The Tigers are a slight favorite to reverse that trend against Washington and I think they will. Playing at Georgia and at Alabama to end the season isn’t even fair. But Auburn should have nine wins before going to Tuscaloosa.
Mississippi State 8; UNDER
On paper the Bulldogs should go exactly 8-4. One of those eight wins is supposed to be over Florida in Starkville. I think one is more likely to produce an upset than any of the games the Bulldogs have a chance to win as an underdog.
LSU 7.5; UNDER
I don’t believe in LSU. I also don’t like the fact that the Tigers’ two opponents from the SEC East are Georgia and Florida. Throw in a tough season-opening game against Miami in Dallas and it looks like 7-5 is being optimistic.
Texas A&M 7; UNDER
A first-year coach at a struggling program? Sure, let’s schedule Clemson in Week 2. I believe Jimbo Fisher will win big in Aggieland. But not in his first year.
South Carolina 7; OVER
Will Muschamp has worked miracles with a roster that has been far from dominant. With Jake Bentley back as maybe the best quarterback in the SEC, 8-4 looks likely this season.
Florida 7; OVER
Because of such mighty struggles at quarterback in recent years, fans tend to forget how good the Gators have been in every other area. With QB Whisperer Dan Mullen now in Gainesville, some of that talent will be better showcased.
Missouri 6.5; OVER
I still don’t know why Missouri is in the SEC. Still, the Tigers should be improved this season. Picking up Alabama hurts, but a weak non-conference schedule is likely to produce four wins. In the SEC East a 3-5 record should be obtainable for seven overall wins.
Ole Miss 6; OVER
I love the offense. I hate the defense. This one will come down to the Egg Bowl to determine if the Rebels win six or seven games.
Kentucky 6; UNDER
Even another win over Tennessee won’t be enough to get the Wildcats to a winning record.
Tennessee 5.5; UNDER
If this roster and coaching staff were suiting up for Vanderbilt the win total would probably be 3.5. But because the Tennessee name still carries some clout, 5.5 is the number. That’s ridiculously high. Tennessee went 4-8 last year with a roster that was better than this one.
Arkansas 5.5; UNDER
A new coaching staff means an entirely new philosophy. That’s bad news for a team that isn’t very talented.
Vanderbilt 5; OVER
A game at Notre Dame is almost certainly a loss. But playing Ole Miss and Arkansas from the West give the Commodores a chance to get to six wins.
All of this is for entertainment purposes only. But you will likely be more entertained if you take my advice instead of ignoring it.
Randy Kennedy writes a weekly column for Lagniappe and is co-host of “Sports Drive” every weekday, 3-6 p.m. on WNSP 105.5 FM, the country’s first all-sports FM station.