Led by Head Coach Kirby Smart, the Georgia Bulldogs are expected to have another strong season and could very well repeat as SEC champions after a 15-0 season last year.
The Bulldogs are two-time defending National Champions but will have a different look on offense with a new offensive coordinator and a new QB at the helm. Their receiving corps looks extremely deep and their defense should be strong once again, resulting in their preseason odds of -115 to win the SEC and +215 odds to win the National Championship, the shortest odds of any team on DraftKings Sportsbook.
With a team so dominant, bettors often find it hard to make money by betting these teams on the moneyline as they are often favored by too much. BetGeorgia, living in the Georgia sports betting mindset, decided to see how well coach Kirby Smart has been covering the spread by comparing him to his counterparts in the SEC.
SEC Coaches Against the Spread
We utilized records from TeamRankings.com to determine which SEC Coaches have the best record against the spread. This is the type of information that would benefit Georgia sportsbook apps bettors once it's legalized.
For this list, only games from the coach’s current stint were included. Teams with new coaches entering the 2023 season were not included.
Smart Covers Spread at Over a 50% Rate
Despite being the heavy favorite in most games, Smart not only gets wins but he covers spreads at a 57.3% rate, ranking him third in the SEC behind Arkansas coach Sam Pittman and Tennessee coach Josh Heupel, who are at 62.9% and 57.5%. Alabama coach Nick Saban has the largest sample size in the group with an ATS record of 119-98-3, good enough for sixth on the list. Saban’s Crimson Tide will likely give Smart and the Bulldogs their biggest test of the season as they are currently expected to finish second in the conference.
Smart has actually coached under Saban on more than one occasion, once in the NCAA with LSU and once in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins. After their short NFL stint, Smart followed Saban to Alabama in 2007 as their assistant coach, and he was the defensive coordinator for Saban until 2015 before leaving to take the head coaching job at Georgia in 2016. They won four National Championships together in Alabama and Smart has since added two to his name as a head coach.
Coming in at the top of the list is Arkansas’s Pittman. The Razorbacks finished 7-6 last year, good for fifth in the SEC West, and aren’t expected to be a threat to the Bulldogs with odds of +10000 to win the conference. This will give Pittman plenty of chances to cover spreads as an underdog, something he has become proficient at in recent years.
While the SEC race seems likely to come down to Alabama vs Georgia again this year, there are many more storylines to follow, especially for ATS bettors who would rather make money on Arkansas to cover the spread than trying to profit on Georgia winning as a big favorite.