SEC seeing more scoring so far

The SEC stands for the Southeastern Conference. Last weekend, it could have been renamed to the Scoring & Entertainment Conference.

SEC games went 6-1 to the Over on Saturday and we have seen a legitimate spike and increase in scoring for conference games in the SEC, which for decades has been thought of as the best defensive conference in the country.

I think there are a couple of factors that have led to this scoring surge. One key factor is the lack of a proper training camp and less time on the practice field, which doesn’t allow defensive players to practice the fundamentals of discipline, gap control and tackling as much as they would have during a normal preseason.

The other main factor is that a lot of teams are bringing in faster paced, up-tempo offenses with unique schemes and play calling, the likes of which many opposing SEC teams and defensive coaches haven’t seen much over the years.

Joe Brady’s offense at LSU last season with QB Joe Burrow was a very unique type of offense and the result was the Tigers putting up points in bunches on a weekly basis in their conference games. This season, Mississippi's Lane Kiffin and Mississippi State's Mike Leach are two new head coaches in the conference that have brought very complex and unique offenses to the SEC. The offense Kiffin installed for Ole Miss in the first few games of the conference season has been outstanding and it has led to difficulty for opposing SEC squads to game plan and prepare properly as well as execute defensively against a style that has rarely been seen before in the SEC.

I don’t expect the surge in SEC Overs to be indefinite as we will likely see totals adjust to the increase in scoring and defenses also get better after there is more video on what these offenses are bringing to the table on a weekly basis. 

However, it’s definitely something to monitor moving forward and worth noting that this ain’t your 17-14 final score SEC these days.

Wednesday

Coastal Carolina +7.5 at UL Lafayette: Coastal Carolina is one of the fastest improving teams in the nation and after a slew of close losses last season, they bring back a very good offense led by QB Grayson McCall and a very potent ground game to support him as well.

The Coastal Carolina defense this season is probably the best they've had since joining the FBS ranks and the Sun Belt with a senior-laden group that should be able to hold their own against a very balanced and explosive UL Lafayette offense with QB Levi Lewis at the controls. The Cajuns' offense has been inconsistent in each of their two Sun Belt games to this point.

Lafayette is 0-4 ATS in their last four games as favorites while Coastal Carolina is 6-1 ATS in their last seven tries as underdogs dating back to last season. COASTAL CAROLINA

Saturday

Boston College +12 at Virginia Tech: I prescribe to the theory don’t lay points with a bad defense and it’s starting to look like the Hokies have problems on that side of the football. Virginia Tech has allowed 37 points per game in their first three games and it finally caught up with them in their loss against North Carolina.

Boston College has played solid football on both sides of the line of scrimmage early on this season. I like what I’m seeing from the Eagles under new head coach Jeff Hafley. The defense has improved and Notre Dame transfer QB Phil Jurkovec has impressed.

The only loss for BC was a narrow four-point home loss to North Carolina and they’ve started the season a perfect 3-0 ATS when lined as underdogs. BOSTON COLLEGE

Kentucky +6 at Tennessee: Kentucky finally got their first win of the season 24-2 last week against Mississippi State (What happened to the offense, Mike Leach?) and I think there may be a buy sign now on the Wildcats.

Tennessee hung tough with Georgia for the first half last week in Athens but got blown out in the second half with the defense wearing down and the offense done in by multiple bad decisions and turnovers by QB Jarrett Guarantano. This was a four-point game last season between these two teams won by Tennessee and I expect another close and competitive contest here, making the points worth taking. KENTUCKY

Virginia at Wake Forest, Total 62.5: If you bet NC State-Virginia over last week at the closing line of 58.5, you cashed a ticket and that makes Virginia 9-0 to the over in their last nine games dating back to last season. The Cavaliers got inconsistent QB play last week. Their two QB’s who both played in the game committed multiple turnovers. They got stuffed on the goal line once and yet the game still found its way over the closing total.

I expect more of the same here. Wake Forest has a horrific defense that was bad last year and allowed 45 points in their one previous ACC game earlier this season against NC State. However, the Wake offense runs at an extreme tempo and are led by QB Sam Hartman and a bunch of great playmakers and they should put up plenty of points too after scoring 42 and 66 points in their first two games. OVER

Last week: 1-3

Season: 8-8-1