Who you got?

Apparently, most people across this college football nation have got Auburn.

Mississippi State opened as a one-point favorite in Las Vegas. Since then, bettors have preferred Auburn to such an extent that the Tigers have moved to a three-point favorite.

Rick Cleveland
Rick Cleveland Credit: Melanie Thortis

Many people seem not to understand this concept. With money pouring in on Auburn, oddsmakers keep trying to move the betting line to entice more bets on Mississippi State. This line has moved four points, which is significant and means a whole bunch of folks think Auburn is better than I think Auburn is.

These are two evenly matched teams. I like State for two reasons: The homefield advantage and the open date preceding this game. State 26, Auburn 24.

At the same time State plays host to Auburn, Southern Miss plays UTSA (that’s Texas-San Antonio) in the Alamodome.

This one started off with USM a 14.5-point favorite and has moved to 16.5. UTSA has won one, lost three but had Arizona State on the ropes before losing at the end. Don’t quite understand why USM is such a big favorite here.

UTSA head coach Frank Wilson, a former USM assistant, is familiar with the Golden Eagles, as is defensive coordinator Pete Golding who coached safeties at USM last year. UTSA actively recruits Mississippi and Louisiana.

USM, if it can avoid turnovers, should win this game but I would stay away from that pointspread. Southern Miss 38, UTSA 30.


Alabama 31, Arkansas 14: Bama clearly is the class of the SEC.

Texas A&M 27, Tennessee 17: The SEC West is clearly better than the SEC East.

Vandy 21, Kentucky 20: My coin landed, tails, Vandy.

South Carolina 24, Georgia 23: I guess my feelings on Georgia are still largely affected by the beat-down they suffered at Ole Miss and the fact Georgia fired Mark Richt.

Oklahoma 31, Texas 14: The Sooners are getting even more love from gamblers than Auburn. Line has moved from 7 to 13. Oddsmakers can’t get it high enough.

Miami 30, Florida State 27: Mark Richt appears to have survived Georgia firing, quite nicely.

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Rick Cleveland, a native of Hattiesburg and resident of Jackson, has been Mississippi Today’s sports columnist since 2016. A graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a bachelor’s in journalism, Rick has worked for the Monroe (La.) News Star World, Jackson Daily News and Clarion Ledger. He was sports editor of Hattiesburg American, executive director of the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame. His work as a syndicated columnist and celebrated sports writer has appeared in numerous magazines, periodicals and newspapers.
Rick has been recognized 13 times as Mississippi Sports Writer of the Year, and is recipient of multiple awards and honors for his reporting and writing.