For multiple decades, the SEC has dominated all of college football. From Alabama’s dynasty to the Florida years to the random improbable title runs by Auburn and LSU, many teams have won titles from the best conference in the sport.
Still, not every team lives up to the hype. The SEC is deep, but there are always disappointing teams. Whether a title contender fails to live up to the hype or a bottom team fails to win a single conference game, some teams carry the entire conference down. To be fair, not everyone can compete at the same level as the Alabamas and Georgias of the world.
Between the coaching turnover and the transfer portal, we’ve seen a shift in the powers of the SEC. Arkansas is on the rise, and Tennessee is about to fall. Still, anything can happen in a single season of college football.
Which SEC teams will defy the odds in 2021? Which ones will leave fans disappointed? Here are predictions for every SEC team’s win total with the best bets from BetOnline’s odds (visit our BetOnline Review).
Alabama: Under 11.5 (-125)
Alabama is always one of the toughest to predict. It essentially boils down to whether or not they will go undefeated in the regular season. The Tide went 13-0 last year, but their offense will be entirely different. They have to replace a Heisman finalist at quarterback, a Heisman winner at receiver, the best running back in college football and three offensive linemen. This doesn’t include Jaylen Waddle or the three starters on defense that the Tide lost.
Alabama has to play Auburn and Florida on the road, and they face off against Miami at a neutral site. They’ll be the favorite in every game this season, but there’s always a chance to lose one somewhere.
Arkansas: Over 3.5 (-160)
It feels odd predicting the Razorbacks to hit the over, but they surprised a lot of bettors last season. Arkansas beat plenty of quality teams in their first season under Sam Pittman.
The Razorbacks have three easy wins outside of the conference, so they essentially have to win either one SEC game or their game against Texas. With home games against Missouri, Auburn and Mississippi State, the Razorbacks should easily get to four wins. Don’t be surprised if they make it to a bowl game.
Auburn: Under 7 (-150)
Auburn lost two of their stars on offense. The defense hasn’t been the same since losing Derrick Brown on defense. To make things worse, the Tigers will have a new head coach.
Gus Malzahn was limited as a coach, but he gave the Tigers a respectable floor. Now, Auburn is in the middle of a massive rebuild with a relatively unproven coach. It’s a swing for the fences, and it’s more likely that they strike out.
Even if Auburn goes undefeated outside of the conference, there are easily 5 SEC losses on their schedule. If they can somehow go 8-4, they should be ecstatic.
Florida: Over 9 (-110)
The Gators are a tough team to predict. All of their productive players on offense are now on NFL rosters. Emory Jones is mostly unproven. Still, the Gators have a quality head coach with a proven track record with developing quarterbacks.
Florida should easily win all four of their non-conference games. Even if they lose to both Alabama and Georgia, the rest of their schedule is respectable. They should easily be the second-best team in the SEC East, and LSU should be a step behind them in 2021.
9-3 seems perfect for the Gators in 2021, but the line pushes me to take the over as opposed to the under.
Georgia: Under 10.5 (+105)
Once again, Georgia is receiving all sorts of hype heading into a new season as an early top 10. Some of that is merited, but the Bulldogs have yet to go undefeated in a regular season under Kirby Smart.
Also, Georgia has to play against Clemson to begin the college football season. Between that game and their rivalry match against the Gators, one loss feels certain. The Bulldogs also usually find themselves upset at some point in the regular season.
11-1 is entirely possible, but the value drives me to take the under with UGA.
Kentucky: Over 7 (-140)
You can find five wins on Kentucky’s schedule without blinking. That doesn’t include games against Mississippi State, South Carolina, Missouri or Tennessee. Grit alone should carry the Wildcats this year, and they should be near the top of the second tier in the SEC.
Kentucky has a low ceiling, but they always deliver. They might lose to Florida, LSU and Georgia, but not many other teams can compete with them.
LSU: Under 8.5 (-130)
For the Tigers, the path to nine wins is tough. Assuming they beat UCLA and every other team outside of their conference (which hasn’t been a given in the past), they’ll have to beat everyone except for Florida, Alabama and Texas A&M. That would mean beating Auburn, Ole Miss and Kentucky. That’s too rich for my blood.
Mississippi State: Under 6 (-110)
The Mike Leach experiment in Starkville isn’t working. SEC defenses are too smart to be beaten by his offensive gimmicks. It worked for one game in 2020, but the top dogs learned quickly how to stop the Bulldogs.
Mississippi State has a favorable schedule, but it still feels like too much to overcome this year. If they want to win, they need a better answer at quarterback.
Missouri: Under 7 (+110)
This is simply a value play. Missouri feels like a 7-5 team, and it’s more likely that they go over than under. Still, the value dictates the play here. The Tigers overperformed last year, and they need to have some upsets if they want to go 8-4 or better. That feels unlikely to me.
Ole Miss: Over 7.5 (-140)
While this has similar value to the Missouri line, Ole Miss is a better team with an easier schedule. They should go at least 3-1 outside of the conference, and they have a great chance of going undefeated. They’ll beat Tennessee and Vanderbilt, and they should be favored against Mississippi State. That could be their eight wins right there.
Kiffin is a great offensive mind, and he’ll have another year to work with Matt Corral. Coaches will learn how to stop Ole Miss sooner or later, but they should have at least one more successful season before that happens.
South Carolina: Over 3.5 wins (-160)
Honestly, I hate the value here. As a rule of thumb, I never recommend betting on abysmal teams to do the bare minimum. Still, it feels impossible for the Gamecocks to win three games or fewer. They should beat Vanderbilt. They will be favored in three games outside of the conference. Even if they lose to Troy, they could beat Tennessee.
Tennessee: Under 6 (-140)
The Vols are in the middle of a culture change, and it will take time for things to get better. Until then, dark days are ahead for the Volunteers. With recruiting restrictions and a new head coach, don’t expect any upset wins for Tennessee this year.
The Vols always have to play against Alabama, Florida and Georgia. With those losses, you’re simply running out of games to reach seven wins.
Texas A&M: Over 9.5 (-115)
Texas A&M has a deep roster, but they still have question marks at quarterback. That’s the only thing that can keep them from hitting the over. If they can’t get solid quarterback play, 9-3 is their ceiling.
The Aggies should be favored in 11 of their 12 games this season, and they are too experienced to get upset more than once. 10-2 feels like a solid number for Texas A&M as they bring one of the deepest rosters in the SEC back.
Vanderbilt: Under 3 (+120)
This is another value play. While the Commodores could beat a team like South Carolina or Tennessee, they haven’t proven that they can do so in the past. They are easily the worst team in the SEC, and it’s hard to win games when you’re obviously the inferior opponent.
Outside of the conference, they only have two guaranteed wins. There is no room for error here, but the Vanderbilt Commodores are always consistently bad.