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

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 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.

WILL MUSCHAMP, by Jim Brown/USA Today Sports

South Carolina at Tennessee

Line: Tennessee by 3
Total: 48
The play: Tennessee minus-3, over
Here’s why: There is only one team in college football with a more bipolar defense than the Vols. Air Force owns the No. 1 pass defense in the nation – but also the No. 125 rush defense. The Vols rank third and 124th, respectively. These stats are somewhat skewed because Georgia needed only 84 yards from Jake Fromm to go with the 294 rushing yards to leave Knoxville with the win, and the Volunteers opened with a Georgia Tech team that averages just 8.5 pass attempts per game. Is Tennessee’s rush defense that bad? No. Is the Vols’ pass defense that good? No. South Carolina QB Jake Bentley has been solid since losing WR Deebo Samuel for the season. Bentley has averaged 250 yards per game, with six TDs and one pick, in the past three games. The Gamecocks have relied on a defense that can force turnovers as well as anyone. Will Muschamp’s squad is tied with Alabama, Kentucky and Texas A&M for most forced turnovers in the conference with 13, a total that is tied for 11th-most nationally. The Vols have a minus-four turnover margin. There also is the mental edge Will Muschamp seems to have over Butch Jones. Muschamp is 5-0 against Tennessee as a head coach. But Jones has lost only three of 22 games as a favorite in Neyland Stadium. Muschamp is 5-11 as a road underdog in his coaching career, and 3-3-1 against the spread with the Gamecocks. South Carolina ends the season with Georgia, Florida, an undefeated FCS team in Wofford and national title contender Clemson. Tennessee travels to Tuscaloosa and Lexington in consecutive weeks, so both teams need this win. Look for Vols RB John Kelly to rebound from being held under 100 total yards for the first time and Jones’ hot-seat talk to linger into the third week of October.
Predicted score: Tennessee 35, South Carolina 24

RELATED: The 3 SEC players most on the spot this week, including John Kelly

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