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SEC Odds Preview

The Missouri Tigers and the Texas A&M Aggies join the fold in the SEC this season to bring the total number of teams in college football’s toughest conference to 14.

Editors Note: For 2013 conference preview, click here

The Tigers will compete in the East Division while the Aggies will battle it out in the West, but do not look for either of these programs to make too many headlines this season considering the high level of competition that already exists in either division race.

* Editor Note: Looking for SEC basketball odds? Click here to see our story on it.

The following is a betting preview for the top contenders in both the East and West Divisions along with each team’s current odds to win the SEC as provided by Bovada.

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SEC East Division

The East Division may not have as many heavy hitters as the SEC’s other division, but the team at the top of the list heading into this season is the Georgia Bulldogs. They have been opened as 5/4 favorites to win the division and are listed as 5/1 third-favorites to win the conference title.

The Bulldogs went 7-1 in conference play last season but return just six starters on offense. The good news is that All-Conference quarterback Aaron Murray is one of the six.

The other good news is that Georgia returns nine starters on defense including a pair of All-Americans in linebacker Jarvis Jones and free safety Bacarri Rambo.

The South Carolina Gamecocks are the second-favorites to win the division at 11/4 and are listed at 11/1 to win the SEC. The old ball coach Steve Spurrier led this team to an 11-2 record overall (6-2 in the SEC) in 2011 and continues to shape this program as one of the best in the country.

There will be some of holes to fill with only return 14 starters back from last year’s squad, but the anticipated return of running back Marcus Lattimore from knee surgery should add a significant boost to the offense if he can return to form.

The odds to win the SEC title for the rest of the teams in the East Division are Florida at 12/1, Tennessee at 35/1, Missouri at 40/1, Vanderbilt at 100/1, and Kentucky at 200/1.

SEC West Division

Up until a week or so ago you could have taken your pick between the Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU as the top dog in the West, but the loss of Tigers’ All-American cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, due to drug issues, clearly tips the scales in the Tide’s direction.

The amended odds have Alabama as 7/5 favorites to win the division and 2/1 favorites to win the conference. There are just 12 starters back from the 2011 BCS Champions’ roster but head coach Nick Saban remains confident that there is more than enough talent on this team to quickly reload.

One of the more interesting sub-plots will be running back Eddie Lacy’s ability to replace the void left by Trent Richardson on an offense that relies heavily on the run.

The LSU Tigers will undoubtedly miss the presence of Mathieu in the defensive secondary, but much like Alabama, this team remains loaded with talent on both sides of the ball.

All-Conference running back Spencer Ware is back to help lead the Tigers’ rushing attack and the defense still has defensive end Sam Montgomery and linebacker Kevin Minter in the starting lineup.

The odds to win the conference for the rest of the teams in the West Division are Arkansas at 8/1, Auburn at 25/1, Mississippi State at 35/1, Texas A&M at 50/1, and Mississippi at 200/1.