With the Alabama Crimson Tide, the SEC has the favorite to win the national title – click here for updated college football national championship odds – and the most teams in the bowls with 12, but if oddsmakers are right, the conference is in for a so-so postseason.
Seven of the SEC’s 12 teams are favored in their bowl games, including both contests against Big Ten opponents. Of note, though, is that SEC teams are underdogs in three of their four games against ACC foes. Remember that the ACC was 3-1 on “rivalry weekend” against SEC schools, with two of the games (FSU over Florida and Clemson over South Carolina) one-sided affairs.
Other leagues whose teams are favored over SEC teams are the AAC and the Big 12 with one each.
Two other leagues, the ACC and Big Ten, also have double-digit teams in the postseason. But oddsmakers have ACC teams as underdogs in six of 11 bowls and have Big Ten teams as underdogs in six of 10 bowls.
Here’s a complete breakdown of the SEC postseason lines.
Mississippi State by 14 over Miami (Ohio) in the St. Petersburg Bowl on December 26. The Bulldogs enter the game on an emotional high having beaten rival Ole Miss in their regular-season finale.
North Carolina State by 5.5 over Vanderbilt in the Independence Bowl on December 26. If you’re looking for betting value, having beaten Ole Miss and Tennessee in their final two games, could the Commodores be a “play” here?
Texas A&M by 2.5 over Kansas State in the Texas Bowl on December 28. Both teams have 8-4 records, but A&M underachieved and K-State overachieved.
USF by 10.5 over South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl on December 29. Could the Gamecocks be at an advantage with USF coach Willie Taggart having left for Oregon?
Virginia Tech by 7 over Arkansas in the Belk Bowl on December 29. Just call this the “Turkey vs. Ham Bowl.”
Georgia by 1 over TCU in the Liberty Bowl December 30. The last time the Bulldogs were in the Liberty Bowl was one of the low points of Mark Richt’s tenure in Athens.
Tennessee by 4 over Nebraska in the Music City Bowl on December 30. Another potential spot to pick an underdog. The Vols were expected to play for the SEC championship but instead are ending the season in Nashville.
Georgia Tech by 3.5 over Kentucky in the TaxSlayer Bowl on December 31. This is one of four ACC-SEC matchups in the posteason and one of two on New Year’s Eve.
LSU by 3.5 over Louisville in the Citrus Bowl on December 31. This is one of the saucier non-New Year’s Six bowl games. Can Heisman winner Lamar Jackson have sucess against LSU’s aggressive defense.
Alabama by 15 over Washington in the Peach Bowl on December 31. The winner advances to the national title game on January 9 in Tampa.
Florida by 3 over Iowa in the Outback Bowl on January 2. The Gators are 115th in the nation in total offense — but the Hawkeyes are even worse at 120th.
Oklahoma by 3 over Auburn in the Sugar Bowl on January 2. Oklahoma has the better offense, Auburn the better defense.
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