Alabama still favored to win SEC, but LSU is coming on strong

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October 22nd, 2019

Before the season started we talked about who in the SEC could possibly defeat Alabama. Based on the odds board, the SEC was a two-horse race between Alabama and Georgia, but now we have a few more contenders. Let's break down the SEC race into four categories—no chance, longshots, pretenders and contenders.

No chance

Arkansas Razorbacks (+50000)

Vanderbilt Commodores (+50000)

Ole Miss Rebels (+50000)

Tennessee Volunteers (+50000)

Kentucky Wildcats (+50000)

Mississippi State Bulldogs (+50000)

Longshots

South Carolina Gamecocks (+25000)

South Carolina picked up a major boost with its defeat of Georgia two weeks ago. However, after the Gamecocks' loss to Florida last week, their odds have dropped from +10000 (also their preseason odds). The Gamecocks will need a miracle to win the SEC East, which would require an undefeated finish for South Carolina (remaining games against Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Texas A&M) and tons of help from other teams ahead (Florida, Georgia, and Missouri).

Texas A&M Aggies (+25000)

The Aggies have disappointed this season, considering their preseason odds to win the conference were +3000. A menacing schedule has made its mark on this team, but it will only get tougher, with dates at Georgia and at LSU ahead. A&M will need some major help to win the West, even if it does manage to break through this extremely difficult schedule.

Pretenders

Missouri Tigers (off the board)

The Tigers finish the season with five SEC games, including the two against teams they need to defeat to win the East. However, after a loss to a Vanderbilt squad that fell to UNLV a week before, there is no trust this team can finish the season undefeated and win the SEC.

Auburn Tigers (+3300)

Auburn's odds remained the same after a domination of Arkansas last week. The Tigers' odds in the preseason were +2800, so they have fallen a little. The Tigers have a chance to remove themselves from the pretenders list and into contender territory Saturday against LSU. I don't have any confidence they can travel to the bayou and come out with a victory.

Contenders

Florida Gators (+1200)

The Gators were my preseason selection to compete with Alabama and win the SEC at +1400. Florida remained at +1200 after its victory at South Carolina last week and heads into a bye before what may be the SEC East title game November 2. If Florida can take down Georgia, the Gators will have the inside track to make the SEC Championship Game. I still like this team to upset the balance at these odds.

Georgia Bulldogs (+350)

The Bulldogs defense has been stellar this season and hasn't allowed more than 17 points in regulation. However, the offense has not looked good in two consecutive weeks. Georgia lost to South Carolina and was shut out until the middle of the third quarter against Kentucky. The Bulldogs looked so bad that their odds moved from +300 after a win. Before the season started they were +250 and the only team anyone considered in the SEC title hunt with Alabama. Now they need to finish the season with games against Florida, Missouri, Auburn and Texas A&M. They cannot afford another bad run.

LSU Tigers (+175)

The Tigers have been a pleasant surprise this season. They started at +1300 and continue to get closer to Alabama each week. After their impressive domination of Mississippi State, they moved from +250 to +175. In the next three weeks, LSU's season will come to a head, with key SEC West tilts against Auburn and Alabama. If the Tigers win both of these matchups, only a collapse would halt their a trip to Atlanta. The health of Alabama quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, may be a major factor, but if he were healthy, I would want better odds than this on the Tigers.

Alabama Crimson Tide (-110)

The Tide started the season as a huge -155 favorite. After the loss of Tagovailoa with an ankle injury against Tennessee last week, Alabama's odds moved from -140 to -110. This squad is good enough to win out without Tagovailoa, but the games against LSU and Auburn will be tough if he isn't back. The odds make sense, given the remaining schedule and the questions surrounding Tagovailoa's injury.

The Pick

I love the odds on Alabama, given what the odds have been since the season began. However, I am still on Florida and like its chances of winning the East. You will not get Florida at anywhere near +1200 in the SEC Championship Game, so jump on them now.




Just because we're looking forward to the SEC Championship Game doesn't mean you can't get down on SEC game action every week at BetAmerica!