The SEC returned to college football this week, but while fans were happy to seem them return, bettors were less than thrilled. Sportsbooks reported big wins on Alabama and on defending National Champion LSU.

Mississippi State LSU SEC College Football Week 4
Mississippi State players celebrate their 44-34 upset victory over LSU in the SEC matchup. (Image: USA Today Sports)

The Crimson Tide was on the road at Missouri on Saturday, and was a 29-point favorite. William Hill said the money came pouring in on Alabama. Ninety percent of the tickets written on the game were on Nick Saban’s squad, while the Crimson Tide got 96% of the money.

Alabama looked like they would cover the spread easily in the first half. The Crimson Tide led at the half 28-3. Then, they let the Tigers back in the game, getting outscored in the second half 16-10. Alabama failed to cover, but did win, 38-19.

Jeff Stoneback, director of trading for the Mirage, told that the sharps were on Missouri early in the week, but the public hammered the game.

Where the sportsbooks got hurt was on the first half point spread. The Crimson Tide was at -16.5, but got bet up to 17.5. It didn’t matter, Alabama crushed the spread in the first two quarters.

SEC Shocker as LSU Upset

LSU not only failed to cover, but the defending National Champions were upset at home by Mississippi State. The Tigers came into the game as 14.5-point favorites, and watched former Washington State coach Mike Leach guide the Bulldogs to a 44-34 stunner. K.J. Costello had 623 passing yards, the most in a game in SEC history, and the 11th-most in a game in FBS history.

Mississippi State was a +490 on the moneyline. William Hill reported that 51% of the tickets were on LSU, along with 54% of the money.

The over/under hurt sportsbooks. One bettor at DraftKings put down a $261,652 wager on the over of 57 points and netted a profit of $238,103.

Oklahoma Befuddles Bettors

Oklahoma was No. 3 in the country, ready to beat up on a helpless opponent in Kansas State while covering the 28-point spread. Someone forgot to tell the Wildcats they were supposed to lay down. They won for the second straight year against Oklahoma.

This time it was on the road. Oklahoma, who had 57% of the tickets at William Hill, and 69% of the money, folded in the second half, losing 38-35. They were outscored 17-0 in the fourth quarter.

“It definitely killed some moneyline parlays,” Eric Osterman, Westgate’s executive manager race and sports operations told “That was a good result for us, for sure.”

This is Oklahoma’s sixth loss as a 20-point favorite since the start of the 2009 season. No other team has lost more than three times in that span when favored by 20 or more points.

Kansas State was as high as +1600 before the game, and got up to +2000 during in-game wagering.

The over scored for big for gamblers. DraftKings reported that 96% of the money was on the over, which cashed with 12:28 remaining in the game.

Stat of the Week

With LSU’s 44-34 loss to Mississippi State, the Tigers become the first defending national champion since Michigan in 1998 to lose their season opener. They are also just the fourth defending champion in the last 60 seasons to lose their season opener at home, and the first since Notre Dame in 1978.

Bad Beat of the Week

Iowa State opened as a -3.5 point favorite against TCU, but the number dropped to two at game time. TCU scored a touchdown as time expired to make the score, 37-34.

The Horned Frogs chose not to kick the PAT. Those who had the opening line and Iowa State lost, as did TCU ticket holders who had the two points.