Is SEC Overrated Again

With handicapping legend Tony Salinas


The media loves the SEC. The public loves the SEC. And, since the guys handing out championship trophies keep giving to teams from the SEC, you can see why that conference may get so much respect.

But, does the WHOLE conference deserve a lot of respect just because it's best team has been best in the country the past few seasons?

That's an important question, because the SEC is about to become prominent on your TV dials Friday and Saturday.

  • Georgia of the SEC plays Central Florida Friday afternoon in the Liberty Bowl.
  • South Carolina of the SEC plays Florida State Friday night in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl.
  • Florida of the SEC plays Penn State Saturday in the Outback Bowl.
  • Alabama of the SEC plays Michigan State Saturday in the Capital One Bowl.
  • Mississippi State of the SEC plays Michigan Saturday in the Gator Bowl.

If the conference is overrated, you'll GET THE BEST OF IT simply by betting against them and hoping to win three of the five games. If the league is legit, the LAST thing you want to do is bet against them. They'll break your hearts just like Florida, LSU, and Alabama did to backers of Ohio State, Oklahoma, and Texas did the past few seasons.

I think the SEC was pretty badly overrated last year in the postseason. Let's go game by game through the same bowls that I just listed.

  • It was Arkansas instead of Georgia in the Liberty Bowl. They had to go overtime to beat East Carolina as 8-point favorites. They were lucky to win the game.
  • It was Tennessee instead of South Carolina in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. They were routed 37-14 by Virginia Tech as 4-point underdogs. Clearly outclassed.
  • It was Auburn instead of Florida in the Outback Bowl. They had to go overtime to beat Northwestern as 9-point favorites. This was a great game. Auburn was obviously overpriced.
  • It was LSU instead of Alabama in the Capital One Bowl. They lost to Penn State 19-17 as small favorites. You probably remember that game being played in the mud. Penn State toughed it out and got the win.

That's four SEC teams, and four non-covers! Not even a result they could be pleased with, unless you think beating Northwestern and East Carolina in overtime is something to write home about. There wasn't an SEC squad in the Gator Bowl last year. But, Florida did play on New Year's Night and drilled Cincinnati. The conference was 1-4 ATS on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day last year.

That's even better than winning three of five...that's 80% success just by fading a public conference last year right around the holiday.

This doesn't mean I'll automatically be going against all five SEC teams playing Friday and Saturday. But, I'll be paying a lot of attention to public sentiment in all ten games scheduled over that two day period. The public can fall in love with the wrong teams (or the wrong conferences) at the wrong times. They took a bad hit last year with their bets on the SEC. It's up to handicappers to determine on their own if an edge still exists, or if oddsmakers have adjusted (note that the SEC teams are mostly smaller favorites this year than they were last year).

I'm looking forward to closing out 2010 with a big day...then ringing in the New Year with a few January 1st blockbusters. You can always purchase the exact same games I'm betting the biggest myself right here at the website. Log in a few hours before kickoff of the first game. Or, to sign up for the rest of football (including the NFL playoffs), call me in the office at 1-888-536-8880.

I hope some day you can experience New Year's Eve out here in Las Vegas. I've been doing that for DECADES. I can't imagine being anywhere else in the world. Have a great time Friday Night. Be safe. And, HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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