The main question when it comes to the SEC is pretty much the same as it has been the past couple of years – how big is the gap between Alabama and everyone else. It looks like the Crimson Tide may get pushed by Georgia, who added a boatload of talent in the transfer portal. In the SEC West, Texas A&M could be ready to finally go toe-to-toe with the champs and Florida can't be forgotten. And is there a surprise team to keep an eye on in 2021? Let's take a look at the win totals for every SEC and see if there's any value out there. Spoiler alert: the oddsmakers did very well with their numbers in this conference.
Note: Win total numbers courtesy of DraftKings.
Florida (Over 9 EVEN...Under 9 -125)
Non-Conference Games: FAU, at USF, Samford, Florida State
Schedule Notes: The Gators get two layups early on before hosting Alabama on Sept. 18. They also get LSU on the road as well as a tough matchup with Florida State in the Swamp to close things out.
QB: Emory Jones
Roster Notes: The offense has to rebuild with Kyle Trask, Kyle Pitts, Kadarius Toney and Trevon Grimes all gone. Jones has the tools to run the offense, but he'll need some players to step up outside as Jacob Copeland is the leading returning receiver. There's a bunch of RB options including Clemson transfer Demarkcus Bowman and Lorenzo Lingard, who started his career at Miami. The defense has just four starters back, but their linebackers will be strong with Ventrell Miller, Mohamoud Diabate and Amari Burney.
Prediction: Eight or nine wins here so lean to the under with the possibility of a push.
Related: SEC Football 2021 Predictions
Georgia (Over 10.5 -134...Under 10.5 +105)
Non-Conference Games: Clemson (in Charlotte, N.C.), UAB, Charleston Southern, at Georgia Tech
Schedule Notes: The Bulldogs dive into the season with Clemson down in Charlotte. After that, they've got four of six at home before their yearly contest in Jacksonville with Florida. The Bulldogs do not have two road games in a row on their schedule.
QB: JT Daniels
Roster Notes: The loss of wide receiver George Pickens is a big one after he tore his ACL in spring drills. Georgia will lean on Kearis Jackson and Jermaine Burton along with LSU transfer Arik Gilbert, who was arguably the best player in the transfer portal. The run game should be tremendous with Zamir White and James Cook leading the way behind what should be one of the top offensive lines in the country. The defense adding Clemson transfer Derion Kendrick at cornerback is unfair. The unit did lose Tyson Campbell, Eric Stokes and Azeez Ojulari to the NFL, but there's a ton of talent on every level back.
Prediction: There are not a ton of games on the slate that Georgia should lose so I don't find much value in either direction here.
Kentucky (Over 7 -139...Under 7 +110)
Non-Conference Games: ULM, Chattanooga, New Mexico State, at Louisville
Schedule Notes: The Wildcats open up with five of their first six at home including matchups against LSU and Florida. They do close with four of their final six on the road including trips to Louisville and Georgia. All in all, not a bad schedule.
QB Battle: Penn State transfer Will Levis vs. Joey Gatewood vs. Beau Allen
Roster Notes: The quarterback battle will be something to watch develop. Whoever wins will have Josh Ali (54 rec. in 2020) to throw to, along with Nebraska transfer Wan'Dale Robinson. The offensive line returns three starters but the two not coming back (C Drake Jackson and LT Landon Young) will be hard to replace. Chris Rodriguez Jr. and Kavosiey Smoke should give UK a potent backfield. The defense has to replace a lot from last year with only four starters back. DeAndre Square is solid at linebacker, but the secondary is relatively experienced, particularly at cornerback.
Prediction: Sevens wins make for a solid number so no value.
Missouri (Over 7 -139...Under 7 +110)
Non-Conference Games: Central Michigan, SE Missouri State, at Boston College, North Texas
Schedule Notes: Missouri has a nice schedule with five of its first seven at home. The Tigers travel to Georgia in early November and host Florida towards the end of the slate.
QB: Connor Bazelak
Roster Notes: Bazelak flashed some solid play last year despite having just seven touchdown passes vs. six interceptions. Two of his top three receivers are gone with Damon Hazleton graduating and Jalen Knox transferring so Keke Chism needs to step up his production with Tauskie Dove and Ohio State transfer Mookie Cooper providing support. The offensive line returns four starters but right tackle Larry Borom will be missed. If everyone stays healthy, the defense should have plenty of depth but more big plays are needed after recording just four interceptions last season.
Prediction: Slight lean to the over, but not enough to play it at -139.
South Carolina (Over 3.5 -182...Under 3.5 +140)
Non-Conference Games: Eastern Illinois, ECU, Troy, Clemson
Schedule Notes: The Gamecocks have three of their first five at home to start with the road games being at East Carolina and Georgia. South Carolina hosts Florida, Auburn and Clemson in November with a road contest against Missouri mixed in.
QB Battle: Luke Doty vs. Jason Brown vs. Colten Gauthier
Roster Notes: Get the ball to running back Kevin Harris and get out of his way on offense. This side of the ball has immense question marks especially at QB and WR with Shi Smith going to the NFL. The offensive line should be solid with four starters back. The defense returns seven starters but cornerback Jaycee Horn and linebacker Earnest Jones are two big holes to fill.
Prediction: I tried to find only three wins so I could play the under, but unfortunately four or five is what I came up with. Not playing it at that price though.
Tennessee (Over 6 +110...Under 6 -139)
Non-Conference Games: Bowling Green, Pittsburgh, Tennessee Tech, South Alabama
Schedule Notes: Good opportunity to gather some momentum early with three home games, but the contest against Pittsburgh is no guarantee. The Vols have to travel to Florida and Alabama but
have their final three games at home.
QB Battle: Harrison Bailey vs. Michigan transfer Joe Milton vs. Virginia Tech transfer Hendon Hooker vs. Brian Maurer
Roster Notes: The QB battle will be fascinating to watch leading into the season opener. Each signal-caller brings something different and Milton and Hooker didn't transfer to not start. The offense figures to be better with head coach Josh Heupel now in charge, but a lot of skill-position talent has to be replaced with wide receiver Josh Palmer in the NFL and running backs Ty Chandler and Eric Gray transferring. The defense saw three linebackers go to other schools but Texas transfer Juwan Mitchell should help that position group. The secondary is experienced but also is coming off of a rough 2020 that saw the Vols give up 266 passing yards per game and record a total of five interceptions.
Prediction: Six is the number I come up with too. Tennessee will bookend solid winning stretches but the middle of the slate will be a grind.
Vanderbilt (Over 3 -148...Under 3 +115)
Non-Conference Games: ETSU, at Colorado State, Stanford, Connecticut
Schedule Notes: The Commodores have an odd schedule with four of their first five at home followed by two on the road and then three at home with back-to-back road games to close it out.
QB: Ken Seals
Roster Notes: New offensive coordinator David Raih has NFL experience and he'll have his work cut out for him. The offensive line has to be better and the hope is that Temple transfer Re'Mahn Davis can boost the running game. There are some decent skill-position guys out wide but the quarterback position is a bit of an unknown. New head coach Clark Lea is a defensive guy, but it may take some time for this side of the ball to come together.
Prediction: I don't hate the under here at this price. It could be another winless SEC campaign and the game at Colorado State won't be a cakewalk.
Alabama (Over 11.5 +110...Under 11.5 -139)
Non-Conference Games: Miami (in Atlanta), Mercer, Southern Miss, New Mexico State
Schedule Notes: There are some modestly tough road games at Texas A&M and Florida in the first couple of weeks and the game against the Hurricanes will provide a bit of a challenge as well. The Crimson Tide close with four of their final five at home.
QB: Bryce Young
Roster Notes: The offense brings back just three starters after losing a ton of talent and offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian. Bryce Young has some big shoes to fill, but he's got John Metchie III and Slade Bolden to help out. Jahleel Billingsley is awesome at tight end. The offensive line needs to be recalibrated, but it feels like it always works out for the Tide. The defense sustained fewer losses, but they are still big, including Patrick Surtain II, Christian Barmore, and Dylan Moses. I wouldn't worry about it though because there's plenty of talent.
Prediction: Basically if you think Alabama is going undefeated, take the over. I don't so I lean to the under.
Arkansas (Over 5.5 +110...Under 5.5 -137)
Non-Conference Games: Rice, Texas, Georgia Southern, Arkansas Pine-Bluff
Schedule Notes: Arkansas has its first three at home followed by three on the road, including facing Texas A&M in Arlington. The Razorbacks then follow that up with three straight at home and then tough road trips to LSU and Alabama before hosting Missouri to close things out.
QB: KJ Jefferson
Roster Notes: Just about every starter (17 total) return for Arkansas, who remade the offense under coordinator Kendal Briles. The line returns intact to block for a rotation of backs led by Trelon Smith. Mike Woods transferring to Oklahoma was a blow to the receiving corps but leading receiver Treylon Burks (51 rec.) is back and former Sooner Jaquayln Crawford has been added to the mix. The defense is led by linebackers Grant Morgan and Bumper Pool, who combined for more than 200 tackles last season.
Prediction: I come up with five or six wins so no play here.
Auburn (Over 7 +120...Under 7 -152)
Non-Conference Games: Akron, Alabama State, at Penn State, Georgia State
Schedule Notes: The week three road date with Penn State looms large for both teams. The Tigers also must test their road mettle against Texas A&M and LSU. The Iron Bowl and crossover game with Georgia come at home.
QB: Bo Nix
Roster Notes: New head coach Bryan Harsin and offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will have their work cut out for them with Nix, who has been inconsistent his whole career so far. I guess there's a small chance TJ Finley takes over at quarterback, but I think Nix wins the job. He won't have his top three WRs from last year but Tank Bigsby leads the way in the backfield with Shaun Shivers providing support. The defense has to be better after giving up 30-plus points in three of the final four games. Seven starters are back and a few key transfers should step in right away.
Prediction: The under is the right play here, but not at this price.
LSU (Over 8.5 EVEN...Under 8.5 -125)
Non-Conference Games: at UCLA, McNeese State, Central Michigan, ULM
Schedule Notes: The season-opening road trip to UCLA is an interesting test for the Tigers. They get their final three games at home after facing Alabama in Tuscaloosa on Nov. 6.
QB: Max Johnson
Roster Notes: Myles Brennan's broken arm puts even more emphasis on the quarterback position with Max Johnson now set to start. Johnson showed some flashes in limited playing time last season. Losing tight end Arik Gilbert is huge considering wide receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. is also gone but Kayshon Boutte is plenty talented. There's a new offensive coordinator (Jake Peetz) that's going to have to revive a poor running attack last year that managed less than 122 yards per game. Defensive coordinator Bo Pelini is gone and in comes an NFL assistant who has to fix a pass defense that ranked 127th nationally. Cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. may be the best defensive player in the country and he's one of eight returning starters on that side of the ball.
Prediction: Eight or nine wins here so no play.
Mississippi State (Over 6 -113...Under 6 -113)
Non-Conference Games: Louisiana Tech, NC State, at Memphis, Tennessee State
Schedule Notes: Three of the first four are at home with an intriguing road game at Memphis early on. The Bulldogs get to host Alabama and LSU, but also have to travel to Texas A&M and Auburn. The last two games are at home.
QB Battle: Will Rogers vs. Southern Miss transfer Jack Abraham
Roster Notes: Year two with Mike Leach has to go better with a full, more normal offseason. The Bulldogs took the world by storm with a 44-34 season-opening win at LSU and then scored 54 points over their next five games. Three of the team's team four WRs are back including Jaden Walley, who impressed as a true freshman. The defense has eight starters back and added UCF transfer Randy Charlton up front. Linebacker Erroll Thompson, the team's leading tackler last season, will be tough to replace.
Prediction: Six is what I came up with.
Ole Miss (Over 7.5 -139...Under 7.5 +110)
Non-Conference Games: Louisville (in Atlanta), Austin Peay, Tulane, Liberty
Schedule Notes: Ole Miss has just three true road games in September and October. The Rebels play just four overall as November is made up of three home contests before the Egg Bowl in Starkville.
QB: Matt Corral
Roster Notes: Corral really embraced Lane Kiffin's fun offense and threw for 29 touchdowns in 2020. He will be without top targets Elijah Moore and Kenny Yeboah, but Dontario Drummond and Braylon Sanders are back. The offensive line returns basically intact and the running game will be led by all-purpose weapon Jerrion Ealy. The defense was pretty bad outside of the Outback Bowl win over Indiana. Six starters are back but linebacker Jacquez Jones' late transfer to Kentucky was a blow. The secondary took its lumps in 2020 but should be better with experience gained and a few new faces.
Prediction: I like the over here. The schedule is really conducive to some wins especially if the defense improves.
Texas A&M (Over 9.5 +100...Under 9.5 -125)
Non-Conference Games: Kent State, Colorado (in Denver), New Mexico, Prairie View A&M
Schedule Notes: The Aggies' first true road game isn't until Oct. 16 against Missouri although they do play Colorado in Denver in week two. A&M gets Alabama at home on Oct. 9 and has two home and two road games in November.
QB Battle: Haynes King vs. Zach Calzada
Roster Notes: There's a ton of talent on offense, but who is going to be throwing the ball? The backfield is loaded with Isaiah Spiller and Devon Achane while the top five receivers are back as well. The offensive line is the biggest question mark with only one starter back. Nine defensive starters return from a group that was second in the nation against the run and gave up 22 points per game. Someone must replace the production and presence of linebacker Buddy Johnson and defensive tackle Bobby Brown III.
Prediction: I came up with 9-10 wins so no play here.