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 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.

NICK SABAN, by Marvin Gentry/USA Today Sports

Tennessee at Alabama

Line: Alabama by 35
Total: 50.5
The play: Tennessee plus-35
Here’s why: Tennessee fans have been calling for Butch Jones’ head en masse on social media, but Tennessee athletic director John Currie has remained as silent as the Vols’ offense. No team in college football has as few yards or points the past 10 quarters as the Vols. Ball State has managed 16 points to the Vols 12, and the winless Miners of UTEP have amassed 484 yards to Tennessee’s 458. Since the start of the 2013 season, Nick Saban is 31-1 in Bryant Denny Stadium straight up and has the best home winning percentage in football. Beating the spread has been a different story for the Tide, though. In those 32 home games, Alabama is just 14-17-1 against the spread. The Tide boast an average margin of victory of almost 30 points in home games, so their +0.8 cover margin average shows us the average home spread for Alabama in that span has been almost 29 points. In SEC play, the Tide’s against-the-spread record improves to 23-16 (59 percent) with an average margin of victory of 21.6 points. With a win, Alabama would tie the longest streak in the series at 11. The average score in the Tide’s winning streak is 35.1-11.9, with five of the 10 meetings being won by at least 30. Butch Jones-led teams have been outscored 36.75-13.5 by Saban, but have covered in two of four meetings with the Vols being an average underdog of 18.8 points. The points are in Tennessee’s favor this week, as the Tide have covered only two of its past 12 games when favored by at least 30 at home. Look for Tennessee and Jarrett Guarantano to break the 10-quarter streak without a touchdown, but not coming close to ending the 10-year losing streak. Alabama will shut it down early on Tennessee, and coast into the bye week before a matchup with LSU on November 4.
Predicted score: Alabama 45, Tennessee 17

RELATED: Alabama offense on pace to have its best season of the Nick Saban era

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