Missouri Betting Odds Preview
It hasn't taken long for the two newest members of the SEC to make some noise. Two years ago Texas A&M made big waves with Johnny Football, and last year Missouri topped the Aggies by unexpectedly winning the East Division.
But A&M took a step back the year after its magical campaign, and now the Tigers will try to avoid a similar fate. Unfortunately for Mizzou, that might be tough, after losing 14 starters, including most of the offensive skill set. The stated goal for the Tigers this season might be to repeat as East champions, but just making another bowl might be a little more realistic.
Most experts picked Missouri to finish in the lower regions of the SEC's East Division last season, but instead the Tigers used experience gained during an injury-plagued 2012 season to win seven SEC games and the East title. Mizzou opened 7-0, with wins over Vandy, Georgia and Florida, but then blew a lead and lost at home to South Carolina. The Tigers then won four more in a row, beating Texas A&M to clinch the East. Missouri ran into a buzzsaw in losing the SEC championship game to Auburn, but bounced back to defeat former conference rival Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl. The Tigers finished 12-2 for the second time under head coach Gary Pinkel, and as one of the best teams in the country to bet on at 11-3 ATS.
This year Mizzou returns just eight starters, second fewest in the nation. Just four starters return on offense, after the departures of QB James Franklin, last year's leading rusher and top three receivers. And the defense must replace six of last year's top nine tacklers. So there is definitely some rebuilding to be done this fall, on both sides of the ball.
Fortunately, this year's schedule is relatively kind. The Tigers open with four winnable non-conference games, then play at South Carolina, host Georgia and visit Florida. But after that their toughest game is at Texas A&M, and they somehow miss Alabama, LSU and Auburn, thank you very much.
Still, with so many holes to fill, Missouri will have to work hard to top this year's win 'over/under.'
SEC Championship Odds at Bovada as of August 5
South Carolina 5/1
Ole Miss 14/1
Texas A&M 25/1
Mississippi State 40/1
Missouri's first season in the SEC didn't go too well. The Tigers won just two conference games and missed a bowl for the first time in eight seasons. Injuries played a part, especially on offense, and Mizzou lost three SEC games in which it out-gained its opponents. But the Tigers have a chance to be better this season, and while not always the case, that improvement should show up in the win/loss columns.
Odds to Win SEC: +6000 at 5Dimes
Regular Season Win Total: 6 at 5Dimes
With just 10 starters back from an 8-5 team of two seasons ago last year might not have been the best time for Missouri to join the SEC. That line of thought was proven valid, as the Tigers struggled in their new conference. Mizzou opened SEC play by getting bounced by Georgia, had the same thing happen a couple weeks later against South Carolina, fell in a close game to Vandy and a blowout against Alabama, then finally picked up its first SEC victory with a 33-10 decision over lowly Kentucky.
The Tigers then lost a tough one to Florida, beat Tennessee in Knoxville in overtime, but in the season finale gave up 59 points in falling to Johnny Football and Texas A&M. Missouri went 3-1 in non-conference play but it wasn't enough to earn an eighth straight trip to a bowl. The Tigers managed to go 6-6 ATS last year, but only 3-5 ATS in SEC play. This year Mizzou returns 14 starters, eight on offense, including senior QB James Franklin, three of last year's top four receivers and four along the offensive line, and six on defense, led by three of the big boys up front. But they lose 1,000-yard rusher Kendial Lawrence and five of last year's top eight tacklers. While last year's schedule was a bit on the brutal side for Missouri, this year's slate lightens up.
The Tigers get three winnable road games at Vandy, Kentucky, and Ole Miss, while Florida, South Carolina, Tennessee, and A&M all have to come to Columbia. Most importantly, Mizzou misses Alabama and LSU.
SEC Championship Odds at 5Dimes as of July 29
South Carolina +500
Texas A&M +850
Mississippi State +10000