The last time we saw the Alabama Crimson Tide, they were sitting on the sideline of the national championship game with their heads slumped over in defeat. But the Tide keep rolling and they are expected to win the SEC once again in 2017 according to oddsmakers.
Bama hits the boards as a -150 fave to win the conference next season and it’s easy to see why. Jalen Hurts has legitimate Heisman potential at quarterback and will have an entire offseason as the No. 1 guy. The backfield has a stupid amount of talent with Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris. The defense is returning potential all-American talents in Da’Shawn Hand and Minkah Fitzpatrick. There are plenty of holes to fill, but Nick Saban faces those same issues every single offseason.
LSU comes in at a distant second with books pegging them at +500. You might expect a drop-off with Leonard Fournette playing on Sundays but backup Derrius Guice proved that he is plenty capable of being a workhorse last season. There may be questions about the offense as a whole, but the hiring of Matt Canada as the new offensive coordinator should make a big impact on that side of the ball. The defense has been basically gutted with eight defensive players off to greener pastures.
You’re going to want to keep an eye on Auburn (+500). They landed a huge transfer with Jarrett Stidham deciding to finish up his collegiate career with the Tigers. The quarterback will be the key for Auburn next season, as the offense has a great backfield duo and will be returning four of its top five receivers.
If you notice a specific absence, it is because Ole Miss finds itself taken off the board following the resignation of Hugh Freeze. With Matt Luke being promoted to coach, albeit on an interim basis, and question marks all over the roster, books are taking their time to gauge what to do with the Rebels.
Alabama has won the SEC championship in three of the past four seasons and will be looking for its third straight in the upcoming 2016 season. With a long track record of dominance, the Crimson Tide enter 2016 as the heavy favorites to win the SEC title once again.
Bama is the +175 favorite to claim the SEC crown – and with it the high likelihood of a berth in the College Football Playoffs. The Tide will have some holes to fill on the offense with their starting quarterback and their top two running backs from last season gone. However, Cooper Bateman – former four-star quarterback recruit – will have the luxury of throwing the ball to Calvin Ridley, who had one of the best freshman seasons in recent memory last year.
LSU is close behind Alabama, with the Tigers being posted at +375. The team’s offense is in good hands with Leonard Fournette in the backfield, but it will be interesting to see how the defense grows. LSU brought in Dave Aranda to be the defensive coordinator, which means the team will be transitioning to a 3-4 after running the 4-3 last season. The linebacking unit featured tons of speed last year, but they will be critical in this transition.
The most likely team to win the SEC championship from the East Division – according to the odds – is Tennessee. A lot of pressure is being put on quarterback Joshua Dobbs entering the season after he amassed 2932 yards and 26 touchdowns through the air and the ground as a junior.