By: Travis Pulver
SEC Championship Odds Revisited: Has Anything Really Changed?
With the Big Ten and PAC-12 potentially rethinking their stance on the 2020 college football season, it is hard to say what the national title picture could look like. However, at the conference level, that is not the case. Schedules include more conference games than usual, like in the SEC, but fans will not mind.
However, the question most are wondering about is this: how will the additional conference games impact the SEC Championship picture?
The SEC had a chance to make the schedule more competitive, but instead, it looks like they tried to ensure Alabama returns to the top, LSU remains competitive, and the bottom-feeders remain on the bottom.
But just because Alabama got handed the golden ticket does not mean they will get the chance to cash it in. Maybe Florida ascends to the top like LSU did last season, or perhaps the investment in Jimbo Fisher pays off, and the Aggies do.
Or maybe a team no one is paying attention to emerges out of nowhere and shocks the world…
SEC Championship Odds Revisited: Still Alabama’s Conference to Lose?
After last season’s 11-2 downer of a season, Nick Saban will be looking to get his Alabama Crimson Tide (-143) back on top. The oddsmakers at DraftKings expected them to back when the early odds were released, which have only gotten better as the season draws near.
With their roster of talent and the losses other teams have suffered, it is not hard to see why.
LSU (+1000) had pretty good odds early on to repeat as champions despite losing a ton of starters to graduation and the NFL. But with several of the remaining starters opting out due to the coronavirus, the Tigers will only have five returning starters.
If they still had three non-conference games to work the kinks out, they might still have been competitive. But without them, it is going to be a lot harder to get the offense or defense clicking on track. However, since expectations are low or their two additional opponents (Missouri, Vanderbilt), they may be just fine.
Even though Jamie Newman, who was expected to start at quarterback this year, opted out, the Georgia Bulldogs have seen their odds improve. They now have the second-best odds in the conference at +300. That is despite the late change at quarterback and other changes on the offensive side of the ball.
Yes, their defense is going to be one of the best in the nation. But, for now, they have a ton of questions surrounding the offense.
NCAA Football Betting: Is it Worth Taking a Chomp at the Gators SEC Odds?
Florida (+400) has seen their odds take a nice jump from earlier in the year. However, while they were fortunate with the teams added to their schedule (Arkansas, Texas A&M), the Aggies may be good enough to derail their title hopes.
When it comes to Texas A&M (+1400), reviews about them are mixed. Some see the potential for great things, but many more do not. Before they had two additional SEC teams added to their schedule, they were a dark horse candidate at best. But with Florida and Tennessee added, well—the schedule makers didn’t do them any favors.
After ending the season last year with six wins, Tennessee has some buzz (+2500). But with the holes in their roster and the two games that got added (Texas A&M, Auburn), they have a tough road ahead.
Auburn (+3300) could be the best dark horse candidate in the conference. Last year’s 9-4 should see better production out of quarterback Bo Nix now that he has some experience. But while he has some good skill position guys coming back, he only has one starting offensive lineman returning. The defense will miss linebacker Chandler Wooten (coronavirus opt-out).
As for the rest of the conference, Kentucky (+10000) will be better this season. But it may be asking too much to think they will improve enough to compete with Alabama. Will Muschamp will have his hands full at South Carolina (+12500) looking for new starters.
Mike Leach will make Mississippi State (+15000) better as will Lane Kiffin for Ole Miss (+15000), but both will need more than one recruiting class to get the job done. Missouri (+15000) had a tough road before LSU and Alabama were added to their schedule.
If you really want to bet on Vanderbilt (+30000) or Arkansas (+50000), but there are better ways to waste your money.
Who should you bet for? This is the SEC we are talking about. We all know who will likely be in the race, but we don’t know who could be this year’s LSU and come out of nowhere.