Best over/under bets: Phil Steele shares his picks from the SEC
College football expert Phil Steele has made it quite clear he’s a big believer in Florida heading into the 2017 season. In his annual preseason magazine, Steele went so far as to rank the Gators as his No. 1 surprise national title contender heading into the season — which means Steele considers Florida to be the No. 1 national title contender from outside the preseason Top 10.
Continuing that trend in an ESPN Insider column, Steele has picked Florida as his only best bet from the SEC to go over based on its current over/under win total projection from South Point sportsbook. The Gators currently have an over/under of 8, so Steele must really like the team’s chances of winning at least nine games in 2017.
What is the main rationale for Steele’s pick? He likes the Gator schedule which features only three true road games in conference play (Kentucky, Mizzou and South Carolina) this season.
On the other end of the spectrum, Steele doesn’t have much faith in Vanderbilt. The Commodores only have an over/under of 5.5, but Steele has selected Vandy as his best under bet from the SEC. While Derek Mason’s program made it to a bowl game for the first time in his tenure last season, Steele notes that the non-conference slate (Western Kentucky, at Middle Tennessee State, Kansas State) very well could prevent Vanderbilt from making a return trip to a bowl game in 2017.