Every National Championship game since 2015 has featured at least one SEC team, with the Alabama Crimson Tide being that representative four of the last five years. To say the conference has been the standard would be an understatement, despite loud opposition from Big Ten faithful. This page will serve as a one-stop shop guide for betting the SEC in 2020, complete with 2019’s results, a lookahead to 2020, past conference champions, and where to bet on college football conference champions.
A word of advice before diving headlong: shop around. Just because BetMGM offers Georgia (+210), doesn’t mean every outlet does; just a couple minutes of searching could prove to be beneficial come payout time. Another word of advice: do your due diligence when it comes to this coming season and its fluidity due to the global pandemic. With that said, let’s take a look at the 2020-21 SEC football season.
Best SEC betting sites
SEC odds 2020
SEC results 2019
Offseason hype was built around the usual suspect, Alabama. Superstar quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (+250) was the preseason favorite to win the Heisman Trophy and the Crimson Tide (+230) were just behind Clemson (+170) in odds to win the 2019 National Championship. That’s when LSU kicked it into sixth gear and lit the college football world on fire. Joe Burrow wasn’t even listed in the Heisman odds and the LSU Tigers (+1200) were a longshot to win the SEC, much less the National Championship; Georgia (+300) had vastly better odds to take the conference.
Ed Orgeron was in his third complete season with the Tigers and coming off a respectable 10-3 season capped off by a New Year’s Six bowl win over red-hot UCF. The headline going into 2019 was the transition from an archaic two-back, ground-and-pound offense into a sleek and modern spread offense built on the success of the passing game. To perfect this, Orgeron brought on Saints offensive assistant Joe Brady, who molded the offense into one of the most explosive and successful offenses in college football history. They set SEC records for passing yards and passing touchdowns and recorded just the second 15-0 season in college football history (2018 Clemson).
The Crimson Tide (11-2) missed the College Football Playoff for the first time in 2019 and their season came unraveled when Tua Tagovailoa went down with a major hip injury. Clinging to a playoff berth, Alabama was edged by arch-rival Auburn in the final regular season game. Though 11-2 is nothing to be ashamed of, Alabama fans couldn’t help but feel disappointed by their outcome. Georgia finished their season 12-2, an impressive mark, but missed the College Football Playoff after being thoroughly beaten by LSU in the SEC Championship game. A 5-1 record against ranked opponents wasn’t enough to overcome a brutal 20-17 loss at home against unranked South Carolina earlier in the year. Instead, the Bulldogs finished their year with a convincing win over #8 Baylor in the Sugar Bowl.
Other teams of note in 2019 included #6 Florida (11-2) and #14 Auburn (9-4). The Gators hung tight with LSU despite a 21/24 passing day from Joe Burrow and 134 yards on 13 carries from Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Dan Mullen improved his record to 21-5 (0.808) in two seasons at Florida and 2-0 in bowl games. Auburn managed a win against Alabama in the Iron Bowl– their second in three years– but was beaten by 2019’s darkhorse #10 Minnesota (11-2) in the Outback Bowl. It was one of the SEC’s deeper seasons, with Tennessee, Kentucky, and Texas A&M all also finishing with eight wins.
2020 SEC OUTLOOK AND PROJECTIONS
Alabama (-145) leads the way in odds to win this year’s SEC Championship, followed by Georgia (+210), who is projected to win the East division. Defending-champion LSU (+650) falls in third, followed by East division projected runner-up Florida (+1200), Texas A&M (+1400), and Auburn (+1600). After these teams, the odds drop off with Kentucky (+10000) and Tennessee (+10000) bringing up the middle of the pack.
After an incredible effort from LSU in 2019, many fans expect the Tigers to regress and the recent order to be established with Alabama leading the way in 2020. In the revised SEC schedule, Alabama handles #13 Texas A&M, #4 Georgia, and #11 Auburn at home, while visiting #25 Tennessee and #6 LSU; they also host Kentucky– a favorite for many to have an outstanding season. The question returns to quarterback after three seasons with Tua Tagovailoa. Projected starter Mac Jones has plenty of help around him, including human bulldozer Najee Harris and potentially the best receiving corps in the nation with speedster Jaylen Waddle and senior DeVonta Smith. Nick Saban and crew won’t take missing the Playoff sitting down, and have incredible depth on the roster. Should Mac Jones not work out, the Crimson Tide are sitting on rising freshman Bryce Young out of Los Angeles.
The pressure to repeat as 15-0 National Champions with a 5,000-yard Heisman winner is off for the LSU Tigers, who are just trying to prove they’re more than a quarterback and a play caller. Coach of the Year Ed Orgeron is looking at returning two All-Americans: sophomore corner Derek Stingley Jr. and Biletnikoff Award winner Ja’Marr Chase. If anyone in the SEC caught a scheduling break, it’s the LSU Tigers– they handle #3 Alabama at home off a bye week, and handle all of their other ranked opponents off softer games. LSU also faces the bottom four teams in the conference: Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Arkansas, and Ole Miss. 15-0 might be a bit bullish, but don’t expect LSU to disappear.
The SEC East title will be played November 7 in Jacksonville when Florida and Georgia are scheduled to play their annual rivalry game. Florida is led by returning senior Kyle Trask, who lit up the SEC over the back stretch of last season. Dan Mullen has proven to be more than capable as head coach of the Gators– turning the once-title contending team back into their former selves after years of dipping below 0.500. Kirby Smart has also had profound success with his team in Athens, leading the Bulldogs to a National Championship appearance and three straight 11+ win seasons and three straight SEC Championship appearances. It’s the story of two quarterbacks at Georgia, with two stellar transfers vying for the starting job. Jamie Newman, previously of Wake Forest, had a breakout campaign in 2019 and former five star JT Daniels came from USC. Whichever quarterback wins the starting job should work for the Bulldogs and continue a string of dominance in the SEC East.
Tennessee and Kentucky are the hot picks for breakout teams this coming year. Tennessee even managed to find their way in the preseason top 25 despite finishing 5-7 and 8-5 in the previous two seasons. Also despite a poor showing in 2019, Texas A&M has lofty expectations for the coming year, returning eight offensive starters, including senior quarterback Kellen Mond, and five of their front six players on defense. Auburn is the other team who finds themselves ranked in the preseason top 25, returning SEC Freshman of the Year Bo Nix.
With the fluid landscape of college football amid a global pandemic, it’s important to keep an eye on streaks and trends and not get too comfortable with preseason picks. If there’s any constant, it’s that college football is chaos.
PAST CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS
HOW TO BET ON CONFERENCE WINNERS
To reiterate advice given here, shop around before diving headlong into the first bet you see; different outlets offer different odds and a minute or two of your time could result in some more money coming your way.
Sites like FanDuel, DraftKings, and FoxBet offer ample ways to bet on college football conference winners– odds that will change drastically as the season progresses. Especially in a short, 10-game, conference-only schedule, this week’s odds could be totally different from odds offered next week. It’s important to keep a close eye on trends and be aware of players who may be inactive due to COVID-19.
The SEC is always a powerhouse full of ranked teams and New Year’s Six contenders. In 2020, it seems the conference has more questions than ever; What will Alabama, Georgia, and LSU’s quarterback situations look like? Can teams survive two more in-conference games this year? Will there be major upsets due to unexpected absent players? So, consider carefully before submitting Alabama as your sure-fire SEC winner and pay special attention to game lines and over/under win totals.