Wanna bet? A look at this week’s SEC games, from the handicapping side

Betting on conference title games

Tyler Wyatt has been gambling his entire life. From playing penny-a-point gin rummy with his grandmother in kindergarten to running parlays in middle school to being groomed by Jimmy Vaccaro, Billy Walters and some of the world’s best hustlers, gambling has been a centerpiece in his life.

Tyler hosts “Three for the Money,” a gambling sports talk show in Knoxville, Tenn., on Sports Radio 1180AM WVLZ.

For those of you who take an interest in the outcome beyond who simply won and lost, we hope you’ll enjoy his perspective on Saturday’s SEC games from a handicapping point of view. He had a 5-1 record last week and now is 32-19 (62.75 percent) ATS.

BUTCH JONES, by Jeff Blake/USA Today Sports

Southern Miss at Tennessee

Line: Tennessee by 6.5
The play: Southern Miss plus-6.5
Here’s why: Southern Miss upset Kentucky last season and played with the Wildcats for four quarters in this season’s opener despite a fumble return for a touchdown in the second half and three turnovers overall. In his second season, coach Jay Hopson has Southern Miss playing solid football, and with a win over Tennessee, the Golden Eagles (5-3) would equal the number of regular-season wins from last season with a realistic chance to get to eight with games against Rice (1-7) and Charlotte (1-7) in the next two weeks. Southern Miss lost to UAB last week, and under Hopson, it is 5-3 straight up coming off a loss and 5-2-1 against the spread. As an away underdog, the Golden Eagles are 2-1 both straight up and against the spread. Southern Miss is 5-3 outside of Conference USA under Hopson and aren’t going to be intimidated by an SEC venue (three SEC opponents in their past 21 games). Tennessee has played five times under Butch Jones at home after back-to-back road games. In those five games, the Vols are 2-3 with those two wins coming by an average of 5 points. After a loss, Jones is 13-12 against the spread with an average margin of victory of 1.4 points. The Vols are 19-3 non-conference under Jones, with those three losses coming to Oregon and Oklahoma (twice). John Kelly will return to the field and split carries with Ty Chandler, Jarrett Guarantano will do enough to get the Vols a victory and Butch Jones will be the Vols’ coach at Missouri next week.
Predicted score: Tennessee 31, Southern Miss 28

RELATED: This week’s SEC Power Rankings

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