5 Best SEC Football Bets to Consider Backing in Week 9

5 Best SEC Football Bets to Consider Backing in Week 9

We are in the calm before the storm, the lightest week of the SEC regular season leading into the league’s biggest game.

It’s an off week for No. 1 Alabama and No. 4 LSU, the two highest-rated teams in the conference, who are set to clash on the night of Nov. 3 in Baton Rouge. Until then, think of the five games on this week’s slate as hearty appetizers.

That’s not to say nothing is at stake — contests in Jacksonville, Fla., and Columbia, Mo., could go a long way toward determining which team represents the East in the SEC Championship Game, and a few other programs still need victories to inch toward bowl eligibility.

So as we all bide our time until next Saturday night, here are college football betting fans best bets for the five conference games this week.

  1. Florida vs. Georgia

    Over/under total: 52 with 888Sport

    The Bulldogs were completely exposed by LSU, which made them look like a squad that fattened up against the easier half of their schedule. This is a make-or-break stretch for No. 7 Georgia, facing the second of three consecutive ranked opponents, with the SEC East on the line.

    Can No. 9 Florida do what LSU did two weeks ago, and make the Bulldogs look punchless? Georgia catches its rival at a time when the Gators have found an offensive rhythm to go along with a stout defense.

    A seven-point underdog Saturday in Jacksonville, Florida has won five straight against the spread, with three of its last four games going over the total. With a 52-point over/under, the Gators may double up again. Bet the Gators and the over with 888Sport.

  2. Kentucky at Missouri

    The line: Missouri -7 with SugarHouse

    The 12th-ranked Wildcats are having issues at quarterback, ranking last in the conference (and 124th of 130 nationally) in passing yards per game. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told reporters that while Terry Wilson will start at Missouri, his other quarterbacks — all of them — need to be prepared to play.

    And yet, this issue isn’t exactly new, and it doesn’t impact the team’s primary strength: a power running game behind Benny Snell, the top rusher in the conference.

    The Tigers still have all kinds of shortcomings on defense, the reason they’re 0-3 in the SEC. Kentucky’s great defense and run game are enough to either harass Missouri QB Drew Lock or keep him off the field.

    Bet Kentucky to cover that touchdown spread with SugarHouse — if not win outright as appealing +210 underdogs.

  3. Texas A&M at Mississippi State

    The moneyline: Texas A&M +110 with 888Sport

    Speaking of passing woes, meet Mississippi State, which hasn’t overcome them nearly as effectively as their neighbors to the north.

    The Bulldogs averaged 2.4 passing yards per attempt in a loss to LSU that dropped them to 1-3 in the conference, and Nick Fitzgerald has fallen from a fringe Heisman candidate to a quarterback in danger of losing his job.

    Coach Joe Moorhead told reporters that he might let backup Keytaon Thompson start some drives this week against Texas A&M. So, how exactly do the 16th-ranked Aggies enter as : a 2.5-point underdog?

    Must be the cowbells. Texas A&M boasts the best rushing defense in the conference, tailor-made to shut down a Mississippi State offense that’s becoming more one-dimensional by the week, and making it easy to like the Aggies not just to cover in Starkville, but win outright.

    Take the Aggies at +100 with 888Sport.

  4. Tennessee at South Carolina

    The line: South Carolina -7.5 with SugarHouse

    An off week came at the perfect time for the Gamecocks, whose lack of a running game over the first half of the season has placed tremendous pressure on quarterback Jake Bentley and the rest of the offense, and turned mistakes like penalties and turnovers into absolute killers.

    Will Muschamp’s offense needs to find some answers in order for the Gamecocks to ensure bowl eligibility. Tennessee is no offensive juggernaut, either, but they’re coming off an efficient performance against a very good defense two weeks ago at Auburn.

    South Carolina is a better team with superior skill-position players, but Tennessee and the Gamecocks have a history of playing low-scoring grinders. Expect another Saturday, and bet on the Vols, taking the 7.5 points at sugarHouse.

  5. Vanderbilt at Arkansas

    The line: Vanderbilt -1.5 with 888Sport

    Next week, it’s the battle of the best teams in the SEC; this week, it’s a battle of the worst. Neither Vanderbilt nor Arkansas has won an SEC game. Neither stands out statistically on either side of the field. Both have had key players derailed by injuries.

    But someone has to win Saturday, and for all of Vanderbilt’s struggles, the Commodores haven’t been nearly as inept as the Razorbacks.

    A few things break differently, and Vandy has wins over a pair of highly-ranked teams Notre Dame and Kentucky. Arkansas hasn’t been nearly that close.

    Commodores running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn has missed two straight games with an injury, and having him back would be a boost to a Vandy team that should cover the 1.5-point spread. Take Vanderbilt -1.5 with 888Sport.

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