Las Vegas sportsbook shares betting trends ahead of SEC's opening week, uncertainty about LSU in 2020
SEC fans aren’t the only ones excited that college football’s top conference returns on Saturday. The sportsbooks in Las Vegas are glad to have college football’s “big boys” back in action.
“The first couple of weeks didn’t have the best games, and we still had really good action,” said Nick Bogdanovich, Director of Trading for William Hill US. “So I’m excited to see it this week with the big boys out there like Alabama and LSU. We’ve got a full slate, so it should be quite interesting Saturday to see what kind of business we’ll do. I think it’ll be outstanding.”
No. 6 LSU will be hosting Mississippi State at 2:30 p.m. CT, as the No. 6 Tigers are 16.5-point favorites at William Hill. One William Hill Nevada bettor placed $2,200 on Mississippi State +17 (-110) for a total potential payout of $4,200, the biggest bet on any Week 4 SEC game thus far.
The numerous departures from LSU’s national championship squad have presented a challenge for even the folks in Vegas.
“It’s going to be a big learning situation for us with LSU given everyone who’s gone,” Bogdanovich said. “I’ve heard some people say they’re seven points less than last year, even 10 points, 14 points. But like most of these super programs, they just reload. It just depends how long it takes them to hit their stride.”
LSU is one of five SEC teams that is favored by at least two touchdowns in its opening matchup, along with No. 2 Alabama (-27.5 at Missouri), No. 4 Georgia (-26 at Arkansas), No. 5 Florida (-14.5 at Ole Miss) and No. 10 Texas A&M (-30.5 vs. Vanderbilt).
The two SEC contests with the tightest spreads are No. 16 Tennessee as a 3.5-point road favorite at South Carolina and No. 8 Auburn as 7.5-point chalk in a ranked showdown with No. 23 Kentucky.
“For the most part, SEC conference games have a bigger handle than the other conferences,” Bogdanovich said. “It also really depends on the quality of the game and the time of the day and the network it’s on. The 5:00 [p.m. PT] ESPN game every Saturday usually does the most business just because it’s the biggest game, it’s on national TV and it has more of a shelf life.”
The three biggest Week 4 wagers as of now, though, are all on games featuring other conferences outside of the SEC. NC State +7.5 at Virginia Tech, Texas -17 at Texas Tech and Troy +14.5 at BYU have each drawn $3,300 bets at William Hill.