LSU Tigers Brian Kelly Already Among Best SEC Coaches ATS

LSU Tigers Brian Kelly Already Among Best SEC Coaches ATS
Fact Checked by Nate Hamilton

It’s been a whirlwind start to the Brian Kelly era in Baton Rouge, with the longtime Notre Dame and Cincinnati coach bringing instantaneous success to LSU during his first year on the Bayou.  

After posting a 10-4 record that saw the Tigers included in eight straight AP polls between Oct. 23 and the end of the year, Kelly has already emerged as one of the SEC’s best coaches against Louisiana sportsbooks spreads.  

To get a greater sense of where Kelly stacks up against his SEC coaching peers, broke down where each stands against the spread during their time with their current school.  

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SEC Coaches Against the Spread

We utilized records from to determine which SEC football coaches have the best record ATS.  

TeamCoachATS RecordCover Percentage
ArkansasSam Pittman22-13-162.9%
TennesseeJosh Heupel15-1157.7%
GeorgiaKirby Smart55-4157.3%
LSUBrian Kelly8-657.1%
Texas A&MJimbo Fisher33-26-155.9%
AlabamaNick Saban119-98-354.8%
FloridaBilly Napier7-653.9%
South CarolinaShane Beamer13-12-152%
KentuckyMark Stoops61-63-149.2%
Ole MissLane Kiffin16-18-247.1%
VanderbiltClark Lea11-1345.8%
MissouriEli Drinkwitz16-2044.4%

For this list, only games from the coach’s current stint were included. Teams with new coaches entering the 2023 season were not included. 

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Kelly Off to a Fast Start ATS at LSU

Kelly’s ATS record on Louisiana sports betting apps during the 2022 LSU football season, while lagging slightly behind his straight-up W-L record, was still enough to put him among the SEC’s best by that metric.  

That’s because Kelly finished last year with a .571 cover percentage, going 8-6 ATS in 2022, placing him fourth among the 12 returning head coaches in the conference.  

Overall, Kelly ranked between Georgia’s Kirby Smart (.573 ATS) and Jimbo Fisher of Texas A&M (.559 ATS) — while Sam Pittman of Arkansas (.629 ATS) and Josh Heupel of Tennessee (.577 ATS) were the SEC’s ATS leaders.  

Kelly finished ahead of the SEC’s marquee names, like Alabama’s Nick Saban (.548 ATS), while other well-known coaches like Lane Kiffin of Ole Miss (.471 ATS) and Kentucky’s Mark Stoops (.492) finished well behind LSU’s leader.  

As for the 2023 season, BetMGM Louisiana sportsbook gives LSU a win total over/under of 9.5 and +450 odds of winning the SEC (ranking third, behind Georgia’s -110 and Alabama’s +260 futures).  

The New York-based operator also gives the Tigers the fifth-best CFP title odds (at +1100), ranking LSU behind Georgia (+220), Alabama (+600), Ohio State (+700) and Michigan (+900).



Christopher Boan writes for and has been covering sports and sports betting for more than seven years, with experience at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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