SEC teams favored in all but one bowl game

SEC teams are favored in eight of nine bowl matchups, starting at the top with No. 1 LSU.

Joe Burrow, LSU
LSU QB Joe Burrow. (Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports)

The Tigers were quickly installed Sunday as a double-digit favorite over No. 4 Oklahoma in a College Football Playoff semifinal on Dec. 28, with the number settling at 12.5 on Monday, according to BetAmerica.com.

The rest of the board is favorable for the SEC, which qualified nine teams for the postseason — and would have had a 10th if 6-6 Missouri hadn’t been banned from a bowl due to NCAA sanctions.

SEC East champion Georgia and Florida are part of the New Year’s Six bowl lineup, with the Gators favored by 13.5 points in the Orange Bowl over Virginia on Dec. 30. The Cavaliers are ranked only 24th in the College Football Playoffs rankings, but they were the highest-ranked team in the ACC after playoff-bound Clemson, thereby earning the Orange Bowl tie-in with the conference.

Related content:

Georgia is a 7.5-point favorite for the Sugar Bowl against Baylor on New Year’s Day. Both teams are coming off losses in conference title games, with the Bulldogs falling to LSU, while the Bears dropped an overtime decision to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game.

The two other “big” bowls are the Dec. 28 Cotton (Penn State -7 over Memphis) and Rose (Wisconsin -2.5 over Oregon) on Jan. 1.

The sportsbooks like almost all the other matchups for the six other SEC teams, with the spotlight on a brand-name Citrus Bowl between Alabama and Michigan on New Year’s Day. The Crimson Tide get the nod by 7 points at BetAmerica.com.

Elsewhere:

  • Jimbo Fisher
    Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher. (Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports)

    Texas A&M is -6 against Oklahoma State in the Texas Bowl, Dec. 27

  • Mississippi State is -3 vs. Louisville in the Music City Bowl, Dec. 30
  • Auburn is -7.5 vs. Minnesota in the Outback Bowl, Jan. 1
  • Tennessee is -1.5 against Indiana in the Gator Bowl, Jan. 2

The only SEC underdog is Kentucky, which is getting three points in its Belk Bowl matchup against Virginia Tech on Dec. 31.

Recent history might suggest plays on the underdogs.

The SEC posted a losing postseason record in 2016 and 2017 and sent 11 teams into the postseason last season, when its teams went 6-6, including two games from Alabama in the playoff.

–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)