Vegas sharp handicaps Week 11 SEC games
SEC football resumes Saturday at noon ET. There are a total of eight games with at least one conference member on the day.
Brian Edwards, a long-time Las Vegas handicapper with an emphasis on SEC football, will provide his thoughts and insights on the line moves throughout the 2015 season. Edwards, a University of Florida graduate, is a weekly radio guest in Las Vegas, Omaha and Memphis and makes regular appearances on Chad Millman’s betting podcast on ESPN.com.
Georgia at Auburn
Kickoff: noon ET
Friday Line: Auburn -1.5 (opened pick ’em)
Over/Under: 53 (opened 51)
Public: 63 percent Tigers
Analysis: “I think Auburn is clearly playing better football right now. I don’t think a fairly sloppy win over Kentucky at home does a whole lot for Georgia.
“Whether the situation with coach Mark Richt impacts the way Georgia will play, I don’t know. They didn’t play inspired against Florida.
“I think the reality is Georgia is just not that good. It has major quarterback issues. It just isn’t a good football team without Nick Chubb. The defense is OK. And I say OK, as in decent. But their offense is just a mess right now.
“One of the reasons I was ignorantly bullish on Auburn was I thought the JUCO transfer running back Jovon Robinson was going to have a breakout year and be a big factor. He had a little injury issue and maybe needed time to learn the offense. I don’t know what it was. But he hasn’t gotten many touches until last week, and he broke out with 27 catches for 159 yards.
“Now that Carl Lawson is back, that does so much for Will Muschamp and that defense. Stellar effort last week. Any time you hold Texas A&M to 10 points in College Station, that’s good stuff. Jeremy Johnson was efficient. No mistakes. No turnovers. So that had to be a huge confidence boost for him. It’s a big revenge game for Auburn as well. They got smashed in Auburn last year. Georgia is in the midst of an abysmal 1-5 against the spread slump. I like Auburn here and I like them a lot.”
The Play: Auburn.
Florida at South Carolina
Kickoff: noon ET
Friday Line: Florida -7.5 (opened -7.5)
Over/Under: 46.5 (opened 46.5)
Public: 61 percent Gators
Analysis: “I like South Carolina here. Florida’s defensive line is banged up. Joey Ivie, who has 4 sacks this year, is out. Thomas Holley is out. Jonathan Bullard was still very questionable as of yesterday, and he’s a first-team All-American. Florida’s defensive line is really banged up right now.
“South Carolina’s playing good football. The Gamecocks could’ve easily won that game last week. Perry Orth is seemingly growing with each start. He threw three touchdown passes last week with no interceptions. South Carolina is 3-0 against the spread since Steve Spurrier stepped down. I think South Carolina is the play. As a Florida alumnus and fan, I just want to win by one point, get to the airport and get out of town.”
The Play: South Carolina.
North Texas at Tennessee
Kickoff: noon ET
Friday Line: Tennessee -41.5 (opened -41)
Over/Under: 67 (opened 66.5)
Public: 76 percent Vols
Analysis: “It’s too many points for me to lay. North Texas fired their coach. They’re just kind of playing out the string. I can see Butch Jones trying to rest a lot of guys. It’s just a sketchy game against the spread for me.
“Tennessee could be out to a 38-0 lead and put all the scrubs in, go conservative and who knows what happens at that point? It’s just a game I want nothing to do with.”
The Play: Pass.
Alabama at Mississippi State
Kickoff: 3:30 p.m. ET
Friday Line: Alabama -8 (opened -7)
Over/Under: 51 (opened 52)
Public: 69 percent Crimson Tide
Analysis: “The game sets up perfectly for Mississippi State. They got the extra rest after playing last Thursday. They were on their couches chilling last Saturday night 48 hours removed from their victory and watching every play of Alabama’s game. Mississippi State’s at home. The Bulldogs have won four in a row. They’re brimming with confidence.
“Alabama has had trouble with dual-threat quarterbacks. That’s a little exaggerated, because Alabama has only lost a handful of games in the last couple years. Dak Prescott is special. I get the sense that he’s going to have a special performance. I get the sense that he’s going to have a special performance. He has an 18-to-1 TD to INT ratio this season with seven rushing touchdowns.
“It wasn’t the 60-minute war last week that we’re used to with LSU-Bama, but it was certainly a game they were gunning for. It’s just a natural tendency for a little bit of a letdown here. If Mississippi State plays well, I think they’re going to be right in it the whole way. Looking at Mississippi State as a home dog, they are 4-1 in their last five games.
“I’m a little hesitant to play against Alabama, but I definitely lean to Mississippi State. If the line were to go up to 9.5 and you could buy it to 10, I may make a small play on Mississippi State.”
The Play: Lean to Mississippi State.
Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Kickoff: 4 p.m. ET
Friday Line: Vanderbilt -3.5 (opened -3)
Over/Under: 40.5 (0pened 39)
Public: 60 percent Wildcats
Analysis: “I like Vandy here. I wish it were at 3 rather than 3.5. The Commodores defense is playing dynamite. Obviously they’ve got immense struggles on offense, but they’re playing Kentucky’s defense. They’re not playing Florida’s defense. They’re not playing Missouri’s defense.
“Kentucky’s season has just gone in the toilet. At least Vandy beat Missouri a couple of weeks ago. Certainly the team led for the entire second half at Florida last week. Derek Mason has done a hell of a job with this defense. It’s just too bad they don’t have any offense. Ralph Webb could have a big game.
“UK had chances against Florida and Auburn and they just couldn’t get it done. That Auburn game, that close loss just took the wind out of their sails. I don’t think Kentucky will get blown out this week, but I think Vandy will win.”
The Play: Vanderbilt.
Western Carolina at Texas A&M
Kickoff: 7 p.m. ET
Friday Line: Texas A&M -36 (opened -35.5)
Analysis: “The number is low because you’ve got a team in disarray. You’ve got a guy in Kevin Sumlin whose stock has got to be going down. As recently as last year, this guy has been mentioned for a lot of NFL jobs. He’s just not getting the job done right now. This quarterback shuffle deal obviously is not good for team chemistry. We thought early in the year that John Chavis might have had this defense turned around, but not so much.
“It’s not a game I want to get involved with. Texas A&M is going to get beat at Vanderbilt if they don’t tighten up. Vanderbilt will force turnovers against them. Texas A&M’s got to get it together. They could lose at Vandy next week and they’re going to lose at LSU. That would be an immensely disappointing season. I’m not implying Sumlin is on the hot seat, but they need to get it going.”
The Play: Pass.
Arkansas at LSU
Kickoff: 7:15 p.m. ET
Friday Line: LSU -7.5 (opened -8)
Over/Under: 53.5 (opened 54)
Public: 62 percent Tigers
Analysis: “LSU better buckle its chin straps and be ready. Arkansas is playing its best football here in November. What an underrated season Brandon Allen has had. He lost his best receiver, Keon Hatcher, in Week 2. Lost two other quality receivers in the first three weeks of the season. In the last five games, he’s got a 14-to-2 TD-INT ratio. For the season, 21-5. You go back to the start of last year, he’s got a 41-to-10 TD-INT ratio.
“Arkansas is hot right now. It has gone 23 consecutive possessions without a three-and-out. And the Razorbacks aren’t bad against the run, and that’s obviously what LSU wants to do. Arkansas is 27th in the nation in run defense. Just like last week at Ole Miss, I think Arkansas is going to be right there in the fourth quarter with a chance to win this game. I like the Hogs plus the points.”
The Play: Arkansas.
BYU vs. Missouri
Kickoff: 7:30 p.m. ET
Friday Line: BYU -6.5 (opened -6.5)
Public: 58 percent Cougars
Analysis: “In my mind, the events of this last week at Missouri don’t change the number because it feels like something that could be inspiring. By the same token, maybe it’s been a distraction away from football. It could work either way. We’ll just have to see. It’s a game I don’t want anything to do with.
“Missouri’s offense is worse than Vandy’s and that is saying something. They are not a very good offense. Russell Hansbrough has just not been able to get it going this year. I’m staying away from the game. BYU didn’t play very well last week either. It did play on a Friday night, so BYU got an extra day of rest.”
The Play: Pass.