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.

Dan Mullen

DAN MULLEN, by Matt Bush/USA Today Sports

Ole Miss at Mississippi State

Line: Mississippi State by 15.5
The play: Mississippi State minus-15.5
Here’s why: Big spreads in rivalry games can be tough to break down because of a number of factors, ranging from the trajectories of the programs in their current state to what’s at stake beyond the game. The Station’s Casino sportsbook had this game at 15.5 at writing, and we’ll be playing that number. Ole Miss has self-imposed a bowl ban, but getting to six wins will do the program a ton of good moving forward regardless of who’s coaching. That this team could get to six wins given the off-field distractions and the midseason injury to Shea Patterson says a lot about the makeup of this team. There may be some distractions for Mississippi State because of rumors regarding Dan Mullen’s viability as a coach elsewhere, and he has had to address this situation with media and players. Ole Miss interim coach Matt Luke is 2-4-1 against the spread in the SEC with a minus-11.9 scoring margin. In road games, the Rebels are 1-2-1 and have been outscored by an average of 23 points per game. As a road underdog, the Rebels are 1-1-1 against the spread and fall to a scoring margin of minus-27 points per game. The Bulldogs are a different story as a home favorite. Under Nick Fitzgerald’s leadership at quarterback, Mississippi State is 7-4 against the spread as a home favorite, winning these matchups by 25.3 points per game. Mullen’s team is 5-1 in its past six against the spread at home and are winning games by 24.3 points per game this season in Starkville. There’s still a chance that Fitzgerald returns for his senior season, but I’m anticipating both a coaching and quarterback change for the Bulldogs next season. Expect Fitzgerald and Mullen to shine in their last game together and give the cowbell-clanging fans an Egg Bowl to remember.
Predicted score: Mississippi State 45, Ole Miss 24

RELATED: Who wins the Egg Bowl? We make a case for each team

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