College football betting: Kentucky, Arkansas are popular SEC underdogs this weekend

Week 5 of the college football season is here. Conference play takes front and center as we leave the month of September in the dust. A lot of teams treat their out-of-conference early season schedule like a preseason, but things should now pick up on a consistent basis as we get more meaningful games and rivalry games on a weekly basis. Let's take a look at this week's most popular bets at BetMGM ahead of kickoff.

Kentucky is a popular underdog

No team on Saturday's schedule has received more love from bettors than Kentucky. In terms of pure quantity of bets placed, the Wildcats have more than any other team. Currently, Kentucky is a 7-point road underdog in Oxford against Ole Miss.

At BetMGM, 74% of bets and 74% of the money is backing Kentucky to cover the touchdown spread. On the moneyline, 93% of bets are on Kentucky as a +200 underdog. Despite all of the action coming in on Kentucky, the line has moved from 5.5-points to 7 throughout the week.

Kentucky is 4-0 on the season, and they already have won outright victory as a road underdog against an SEC opponent this season. In Week 2, Kentucky was a near-touchdown underdog against Florida but ended up winning by a score of 26-16. Bettors are hoping for a similar storyline in Oxford this weekend.

LEXINGTON, KENTUCKY - SEPTEMBER 17: Will Levis #7 of the Kentucky Wildcats against the Youngstown Penguins at Kroger Field on September 17, 2022 in Lexington, Kentucky. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Can Will Levis lead Kentucky to another road upset in Week 5 of the college football season? (Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

Bettors fading Alabama?

Alabama opened as a 15.5-point road favorite against Arkansas. That number has moved to 17 at BetMGM. It even got as high as 17.5-points earlier this week.

However, that line movement also doesn't reflect how bettors are betting this game. Currently at BetMGM, 75% of bets and 83% of the money is backing Arkansas to cover as a 17-point home underdog. It's a rare occurence where the betting public is fading Nick Saban and Alabama.

Alabama is 3-1 against the spread this season, covering in blow out victories against Utah State, UL-Monroe and Vanderbilt. However, in their lone road game, Alabama struggled. They won by just one point as a three touchdown favorite in Austin against the Texas Longhorns.

This continues a trend from last season where Alabama struggled on the road. They lost at Texas A&M and beat Florida and Auburn by just two points each. Overall, Alabama is 1-4 against the spread on the road in their last five games over the past two seasons.

Arkansas could easily be 4-0 to open the season. Quarterback K.J. Jefferson had a costly fumble that turned the momentum against Texas A&M last week. Arkansas still had a chance to win, but doinked a late field goal attempt. Bettors are hoping they can at least keep it close against Alabama this week.

Other popular bets

Which other games have seen a lopsided bet count ahead of this weekend?

  • 75% of the money is backing Michigan to cover as a 10.5-point favorite on the road against Iowa. Additionally, 85% of the money is on that game to go under 42-points.

  • Bettors expect Oklahoma to bounce back after their outright loss as a 13.5-point favorite against Kansas State last weekend. Currently, 76% of bets and 75% of money is on Oklahoma to cover a 6.5-point spread against TCU. On top of that, 85% of the money is on this game to go over 68.5-points.

  • In the Big Ten West, 68% of bets and 75% of the money is backing Minnesota to cover as a 12.5-point favorite against Purdue.

  • Bettors expect Georgia to roll MissourI. Currently at BetMGM, 89% of bets and 96% of the money is on Georgia to cover 28.5-points as a road favorite.