More SEC East Vegas Nuggets

The Golden Nugget sports book in Las Vegas has just issued the first lines of the year on 130 of this year's biggest college football games. After breaking down the five Florida matchups in part one, today we turn our attention to the rest of the SEC East.

A reminder: betting lines aren't predictions, but rather a device for a sports book to get roughly even amounts of money wagered on both sides of a game. They're interesting for discussion purposes, and a way to measure what the public perception is among people who put money behind their college football opinions.

As you'd expect with Georgia's astoundingly loaded schedule, lots of Bulldog games wound up on the Golden Nugget's big game list. Their opener against Oklahoma State is one of the two best games of the first week of the season, with UGA a three point point underdog. Two weeks later, they're 2.5 point favorites on the road at Arkansas. With Oklahoma State being billed as a possible top 10 team, it's interesting those two road games numbers are as close together as they are. Less surprising is Georgia being a 14 point favorite over Arizona State in Athens September 26.

LSU heads to Sanford Stadium October 3. The Bulldogs, who scored 52 in Baton Rouge last year, are a four point choice there. They're 3.5 point road favorites in Tennessee a week later. Georgia hosts Auburn November 14. With all the unanswered questions about the Tigers, who knows what the line will be by then but UGA opened as a 10.5 point favorite. The annual battle with Georgia Tech November 28 should be a lively affair after the Yellow Jackets stunned the Bulldogs last season. Tech opens as a one point favorite at home. All those close lines make it clear that despite having an untested QB in Joe Cox, UGA is a team currently perceived as being competitive in every game besides their UF tilt (16 point underdog).

Tennessee's tailspin last season began with their shocking upset loss to UCLA Labor Day evening. A year later, the Bruins visit Knoxville in week two of the Lane Kiffin era. Tennessee is a three point favorite in the matchup of teams who missed bowls last year. Auburn comes to Neyland Stadium October 3 for a matchup of two first year head coaches. Kiffin's guys are favored by six over Gene Chizik's crew. Kiffin's first trip to Tuscaloosa is October 24, with the Vols 14 point underdogs to Alabama in the rivalry game.

It's not the best year for Tennessee to draw the road schedule they have - visits to likely top 10 teams UF, Bama and Ole Miss. On November 14 they head to Oxford for what Ed Orgeron surely hopes will be his triumphant return. Vegas says the Rebels are a 13 point favorite. Kiffin's first regular season closes out in Lexington against a Kentucky team Tennessee has owned for years. The Vols are only a 1.5 point favorite in that one. There haven't been too many years where UT began the season as double digit underdogs against a quarter of their schedule. Kiffin's going to need to run the table at home if he wants to have anything close to the kind of performance fans in Knoxville are looking for.

No one knows quite what to make of South Carolina right now. If quarterback Stephen Garcia has learned Steve Spurrier's system after finally getting to experience spring practice and summer drills with his receivers, the Gamecocks could surprise. If he falters, it could be a very difficult year in Columbia. Only two Gamecock games besides their UF tilt (17 point home underdog) currently have lines. They're a seven point underdog for a national TV Thursday night home game against Ole Miss on September 24 despite having beaten the Rebels last season. The annual Palmetto state blood feud with Clemson is the season closer November 28, and is currently listed as a pick 'em game.

Kentucky has just one game not already mentioned that the Golden Nugget deemed worthy of an early line. They play Louisville in Lexington and are 3.5 point favorites in that matchup. As for Vanderbilt, Bobby Johnson's guys are off the national radar as usual. They're the only team in the conference with no games considered interesting enough to make the Golden Nuggest list of 130.


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