SEC Football 2012: 5 Best Over/Under Bets
One of the increasingly popular future proposition bets is football over/under win totals. They allow bettors to analyze a team's chances over the course of its entire 12-game schedule, as opposed to simply one week, where the element of chance factoring into the game's result is much more likely.
With college football set to commence in less than a week, bettors have only a few days remaining to lock in win total wagers. Because the SEC has won the past six national titles and is the most recognizable conference in college football, most sportsbooks offer win totals for every team in the league.
If you're looking to have some fun and take some risks this season, here are the five best bets for over/under win totals among SEC teams.
Auburn: UNDER 8.5
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
The 2010 national champions slid back to 8-5 last season, but it could have been worse. The Tigers needed a goal-line stand to defeat Mississippi State, and survived an ugly, turnover-filled game at South Carolina.
Despite winning six fewer gamer than in 2010, lady luck was fairly kind to Auburn last season.
This season, Auburn could be underdogs in as many as six games (Clemson, at Mississippi State, LSU, Arkansas, Georgia and at Alabama). That means to get to nine wins, Gene Chizik's team would have to pull off at least three outright upsets.
With a new quarterback and two new coordinators, that won't be easy.
Eight regular-season wins is likely the ceiling for the 2012 Tigers.
Kentucky: UNDER 4.5
Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Despite ending the season on a high note with its first win in 26 years over rival Tennessee, Kentucky missed a bowl game for the first time in six years in 2011. They don't appear very close to getting back to one this season, with a lack of offensive talent and the loss of defensive stars Danny Trevathan and Winston Guy.
There's no Ole Miss on the schedule this year either, as the Wildcats draw Mississippi State and Arkansas from the West.
The non-conference slate has a difficult trip to Big East favorite Louisville as well as a visit from Western Kentucky, which gave the 'Cats all they could handle last season in Nashville. Kentucky has slipped from seven wins in 2009 to six in 2010 to five in 2011, and the trend will continue this fall.
Take solace, UK fans. The basketball season tips off on Nov. 9.
LSU: UNDER 10.5
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
LSU was one win away from completing one of the most dominant seasons in the history of college football, but was shutout by Alabama in last year's BCS Championship Game.
The Bayou Bengals will again possess a dominant defense under coordinator John Chavis, and should receive an upgrade in quarterback play from Zach Mettenberger.
The schedule is not as rigorous as in 2011, but still includes tough road trips to Auburn, Florida and Arkansas, as well as SEC newcomer Texas A&M (ask Bob Stoops what it's like to take a top-ranked team to Kyle Field).
In addition, top 10 teams Alabama and South Carolina both come to Death Valley.
The Tigers remain a national title contender, but are due to slip back just a bit in 2012. You might have to sweat this one out right down to Black Friday when LSU goes to Arkansas, but take the under here.
Mississippi State: OVER 7.5
Butch Dill/Getty Images
A sexy pick to contend in the SEC West last year, the Bulldogs found themselves chasing their tails for much of the season, finishing 7-6 with their only SEC wins coming against Ole Miss and Kentucky.
The schedule flips back in Mississippi State's favor this year, with most of its toss-up games in Starkville.
New starter Tyler Russell is a stronger passer than the departed Chris Relf, and redshirt freshman Joe Morrow is the tall, physical receiver that the team has lacked since head coach Dan Mullen arrived in 2009.
Fellow SEC middleweights Auburn, Tennessee and Texas A&M all must come to cowbell-filled Davis Wade Stadium. The Bulldogs aren't beating Alabama or LSU anywhere, so those games might as well be on the road.
It should be a nice bounce-back year for Mississippi State, who as usual has four easy wins in non-conference play to help pad its win total.
Ole Miss: UNDER 4.5
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
After a winless season in SEC play, the Rebels now must face one of the most difficult schedules in the country in head coach Hugh Freeze's first season. The quarterback position remains a mess, with junior college transfer Bo Wallace appearing to have a slight edge over Barry Brunetti.
There are some talented players on the roster, but not nearly enough to make the team competitive in the SEC West.
The Rebels face four top 10 teams, all on the road, and also play Auburn, Mississippi State, Texas, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt. Winning more than one of those games would be a minor miracle. Ole Miss should win three of its non-conference games, but there is no guaranteed win on the schedule with such a young team.
It's a long road back for Freeze and the Rebels, but even significant progress won't be enough to get the team to five wins after dropping its last 14 SEC games.