SEC Releases Its College Football Schedule, Oddsmakers See Big Mismatches in First Week

Posted on: August 19, 2020, 01:35h. 

Last updated on: August 19, 2020, 02:32h.

On Monday, the SEC announced its revamped schedule for the upcoming college football season, and a day later, bettors were able to start placing wagers on their favorite teams.

SEC Football
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano drops back to pass in January’s TaxSlayer Bowl against Indiana. The redshirt senior is slated to lead the Volunteers against South Carolina when the 2020 SEC season is set to kickoff on Sept. 26. (Image:

The conference, regularly considered to be the strongest in all of college football, plans to kick off its season on Sept. 26. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SEC is switching from its normal 12-game season to a 10-game version that will start on Sept. 26. That’s three weeks later than what was planned to be the first weekend of the 2020 campaign.

In addition, it’s a conference-only schedule, meaning traditional SEC-ACC rivalries like Florida-Florida State, Georgia-Georgia Tech, and Kentucky-Louisville will not be played this season.

Based on the spreads FanDuel and DraftKings oddsmakers put on the first week of SEC games, there appear to be several mismatches among the slate. Four of the seven games have spreads of at least 17.5 points.

Week 1 SEC Football Odds
Sept. 26

Alabama @ Missouri (DraftKings +22.5, FanDuel +21.5)
Florida @ Ole Miss (DK +11.5, FD +10.5)
Georgia @ Arkansas (DK +24.5, FD +24)
Kentucky @ Auburn (DK -7.5, FD -9)
Mississippi State @ LSU (DK -17.5, FD -18.5)
Tennessee @ South Carolina (DK +2.5, FD +1)
Vanderbilt @ Texas A&M (DK -29.5, FD -28.5)

Times and broadcast information for the season openers has not been announced.

The SEC, along with the ACC, Big 12, American Athletic, Conference USA (minus Old Dominion), and Sun Belt, are still planning to play college football in the fall, even after the Big Ten, PAC-12, Mid-American and Mountain West conferences have opted to try for the spring. Some independents are also holding out until the spring as well.

SEC Futures an Opportunity to Odds Shop

FanDuel and DraftKings agree on the favorite for the SEC Championship, but their odds do vary in some cases.

Alabama is at the top of the oddsboard for both. But DraftKings lists the Crimson Tide at -143, meaning a bettor would need to wager $143 to win $100. At FanDuel, Bama’s at +110, meaning a $100 bet wins $110.

Some of the more notable differences between the two books right now involve Florida, where DraftKings offers the Gators at +1200 to +700 at FanDuel. Auburn, which is listed at +1600 at DraftKings and at +3000 at FanDuel. Tennessee, which is +10000 at DraftKings and +2500 at FanDuel, and South Carolina, +12500 at DraftKings and +5000 at FanDuel.

Both agree that Arkansas and Vanderbilt are the longest shots. Both teams at the books currently fetch odds of +25000.

Preview: Tennessee-South Carolina

The game oddsmakers expect to be the closest is Tennessee at South Carolina. The two SEC East foes ended 2019 going in opposite directions. Tennessee reeled off six straight wins to finish with an 8-5 record, while the Gamecocks saw their season end with three straight losses. The 4-8 campaign was just the second time since 2008 that South Carolina missed out on a bowl game.

While the Volunteers return more starters this year than South Carolina, the Gamecocks do have some talent. That includes sophomore quarterback Ryan Hilinski, who threw for 2,357 yards as a freshman last year.

With more than a month before kickoff, Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt told reporters his team’s not focusing on the Gamecocks just yet.

It’s a long time until we play South Carolina. We have lots of things that we need to fix here at Tennessee and we have 24 more practices to help develop our team, and we have to work hard to do that. We’ll start focusing on South Carolina as we get closer to that time… I know that they have a talented roster, but right now we need to focus on us.”

Tennessee will be led by its quarterback as well. Redshirt senior Jarrett Guarantano guided the Vols on their season-ending winning streak. He threw for 2,158 yards despite starting only seven games last year.

However, Pruitt said that the Vols need to be more consistent at quarterback this year. Only two schools had lower completion percentages than Tennessee’s 55.5 percent last season, and the 11 interceptions thrown were the second-most in the SEC.