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SEC Football: Can Anyone Knock Off Alabama?

Odds to win the 2019 SEC Title

The Alabama Crimson Tide have been synonymous with winning for the better part of a decade, winning six SEC championships since 2009, and for that reason, they are a -165 favorite to capture a second straight SEC title in 2019. That being said, there were four other SEC teams last year that finished with double-digit wins so could there be more value on a team primed to take the next step?

Online sportsbook Bovada has the Alabama Crimson Tide as the favorite at -165 followed by the Georgia Bulldogs at +280, the Florida Gators at +1200, the LSU Tigers at +1400, the Auburn Tigers at +2500, the Kentucky Wildcats, Mississippi State Bulldogs and Texas A&M Aggies at +3300, the South Carolina Gamecocks and Tennessee Volunteers at +6600, the Ole Miss Rebels and Vanderbilt Commodores at +15000 and the Arkansas Razorbacks at +20000 to round out the SEC oddsboard.

The Crimson Tide are the Cream of the Crop

Under head coach Nick Saban, Alabama has a ridiculous record of 146-21, including an 80-13 conference record – only in his inaugural season did the team finish with a losing conference record and fewer than double-digit wins. The Crimson Tide have won five national titles over that span, so quite simply, betting on Alabama to win the SEC is never a bad play.

In 2019, Alabama should have a fairly easy path to the SEC title game, as the Tide have the luxury of hosting LSU this year instead of going into Death Valley. However, they do have to play at Auburn for the Iron Bowl in the season finale. Offensively, the team returns 2018 Heisman Trophy finalist Tua Tagovailoa, No. 1 receiver Jerry Jeudy and running back Najee Harris. On the defensive side of the ball, ‘Bama did lose some elite talent, as is always the case, but returns some help in the secondary and linebackers Dylan Moses and Anfernee Jennings.

Georgia May be the Play to Make

Much like Nick Saban’s dominance at Alabama, Kirby Smart has found early success in his short tenure with Georgia as he heads into his fourth season as the head coach. The Bulldogs have a record of 32-10, including 18-6 in conference play, since 2016 and they head into 2019 coming off back-to-back seasons with double-digit wins, 7-1 conference records and conference championship game appearances.

The path to a third straight SEC championship game isn’t as smooth as Alabama’s as there are a few games that could cause some trouble. I’m looking at the non-conference game in Week 4 hosting Notre Dame, and the Dawgs also play at Florida in Week 9 and at Auburn in Week 11. Georgia is returning veteran quarterback Jake Fromm and star running back D’Andre Swift along with many defensive players. If the Bulldogs can get through some of those tough games, then I think they will be poised and ready to collide with Alabama.

Any Other Teams With Value?

Quite simply, not really. The only team that I could make a case for to make some waves in the SEC this year, barring injuries, is the Florida Gators. The team is buoyed by a veteran presence both offensively and defensively and is coming off its first 10-win season since 2015.

Florida flexed its offensive muscles late in the season, piling up 41 points over in-state rival Florida State and another 41 points against Michigan in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. Was this just a flash in the pan or did the team figure something out that will make it an offensive powerhouse in 2019? I wouldn’t be running to the bank to get a loan to wager on the Gators, but it’s a team I will be watching closely early on.

2019 SEC College Football Conference Betting Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide-165
Georgia Bulldogs+280
Florida Gators+1200
LSU Tigers+1400
Auburn Tigers+2500
Kentucky Wildcats+3300
Mississippi State Bulldogs+3300
Texas A&M Aggies+3300
South Carolina Gamecocks+6600
Tennessee Volunteers+6600
Ole Miss Rebels+15000
Vanderbilt Commodores+15000
Arkansas Razorbacks+20000

Odds as of July 18 at Bovada

Understanding SEC Championship Odds

When it comes to college football, the SEC is a powerhouse with some of the top schools in the Division 1 landscape. When you check out your NCAAF sportsbook of choice, you’ll see futures odds laid out like so:

Alabama Crimson Tide -160

LSU Tigers +150

Georgia Bulldogs +500

Texas A&M Aggies +1000

The Crimson Tide are the favorite. You can tell this by the minus sign (-). The other teams are underdogs. You can see this because of the plus sign (+). When there is no clear fave (lack of minus sign), the squad with the lowest odds would be it.

Let’s pretend you love LSU’s odds and place a $50 bet on them. You’d get a payout of $125 – your original $50 is returned coupled with your winnings of $75. If you think Texas A&M has a better shot at the championship, that same $50 would give you $550 – your original money is returned along with your prize of $500. A bet on the Aggies is riskier which is why it comes with a bigger reward. But, you shouldn’t bet dogs blindly. Do your research before making a bet to ensure that your bet isn’t a long shot.

What is a Futures bet on SEC Championship Odds?

If you were to bet on a school’s odds to win the SEC championship, you’d be making a futures bet. This a bet made on events that have yet to happen. Sure, all sports betting is on stuff that hasn’t happened yet; however, with futures you can bet weeks or even months in advance. As soon as the odds are announced you can bet. If you see odds you like in July, take them because oddsmakers’ adjust the lines as college football season unfolds.