Monday, June 17, 2024
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2024 SEC championship odds, picks: Georgia an overwhelming favorite but Alabama, Missouri provide value

The SEC will look drastically different in 2024 with Texas and Oklahoma set to join and divisions going away to accommodate the swelling ranks. Still, a familiar face has emerged as the heavy preseason favorite. Oddsmakers like Georgia to climb back to the mountaintop after Alabama unseated the Bulldogs a year ago. 

Georgia won back-to-back SEC titles and College Football Playoff National Championships from 2021-22, and it’s missed out on the SEC Championship Game just twice under coach Kirby Smart. The Bulldogs are built to stay near the top, no matter what the SEC may look like. 

Texas enters its first year as an SEC program with the second-best odds to win the conference outright. It makes sense, given that the Longhorns are fresh off their first College Football Playoff appearance in program history and have turned into a recruiting juggernaut under coach Steve Sarkisian. 

Georgia and Texas are two of just four SEC teams with less than 10-1 odds of winning the league’s championship, as the SEC looks rather top-heavy. Alabama, amid an intense internal transition, just narrowly avoided falling out of the top four. 

Here are the SEC title odds for all 16 teams and a few individual picks for bettors to consider. 

Team 2024 Odds

Georgia

+185

Texas 

+310

Ole Miss

+650

Alabama

+950

LSU

+1000

Tennessee

+1100

Missouri

+1500

Texas A&M

+2000

Oklahoma

+4000

Auburn

+5000

Kentucky

+9000

South Carolina

+10000

Florida

+12000

Arkansas

+20000

Mississippi State

+30000

Vanderbilt

+50000

Best Bet — Georgia (+185): The work Kirby Smart puts into constructing his roster, both with high school recruiting and the transfer portal, means that Georgia will always be a safe bet to win the SEC. While we’ve grown accustomed to elite defenses carrying the day in Athens, the other side of the ball might steal the headlines this season. Quarterback Carson Beck is back after a breakout performance in his first year as a starter. He might have the best arm in an otherwise weak quarterback class and could hear his name called in the first round of next year’s draft. 

The Bulldogs boast a great supporting cast. Georgia has a Joe Moore Award-level offensive line, an explosive wide receiver room with insane depth and a lightning-thunder combo at running back with Florida transfer Trevor Etienne and Roderick Robinson. The defense should also be excellent, but that’s just the standard Smart has established in his tenure. 

Worst Wager — LSU (+1000): A team with 10-to-1 odds inherently seems like a longshot, but considering how top-heavy the SEC is, LSU still has the fifth-best outlook among 16 teams in the conference. While Brian Kelly has done a good job establishing LSU as a consistent double-digit win team, there are too many question marks to confidently predict the Tigers will be in the title picture. LSU has to replace a Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback in Jayden Daniels. His successor, Garrett Nussmeier, has flashed some enticing potential in his limited playing time, but he’s never navigated a full season in the SEC. 

It’s LSU’s defense that has us concerned. The Tigers were putrid on that side of the ball, and they didn’t do much to improve their outlook (from a talent perspective) this offseason. New coordinator Blake Baker, who was great at Missouri, will have his hands full revitalizing a defense that returns just two defensive tackles with real-game experience and two players — linebacker Harold Perkins and edge rusher Sai’vion Jones — more than five sacks in their career as Tigers. 

Value Pick — Alabama (+950): It’s weird that Alabama is a value pick given the program’s dominance under Nick Saban, who went out on top after leading the Crimson Tide to the SEC title for the ninth time in his tenure. Surely, some people aren’t as bullish on Alabama now that Saban’s out and former Washington boss Kalen DeBoer is in. A transfer window that saw Alabama lose stalwarts like safety Caleb Downs and leading receiver Isaiah Bond likely tanked the stock a little bit more. But DeBoer isn’t inheriting an empty cabinet. Alabama’s roster still has more talent and blue-chip prospects than most teams at the FBS level could ever hope for. 

And DeBoer is no stranger to hitting the ground running. He’s never won less than nine games in a full season as a head coach. In his first year at Washington, the Huskies tied for second in the Pac-12 with an 11-2 overall record. He followed that up in 2023 with a 12-0 regular season, a Pac-12 title and a runner-up finish in the College Football Playoff. With quarterback Jalen Milroe leading his team, the ceiling for DeBoer is high. It’s certainly worth throwing a few dollars on such an enticing line. 

Long Shot — Missouri (+1500): Missouri should again field one of the most potent passing attacks in the nation, spearheaded by an elite duo in quarterback Brady Cook and wide receiver Luther Burden. The former can play his way into the first round of the NFL Draft, while the latter seems like a virtual lock for the top-15. Those two alone give the Tigers plenty of offensive upside, but other weapons can carry water as well. The defense must replace five draft picks, including three defensive backs, while breaking in new coordinator Corey Batoon. That means new additions like 2024 five-star defensive lineman Williams Nwaneri will have to come along quickly to pick up some slack, but Eli Drinkwitz has done a good job building Missouri’s roster and transforming it into an SEC dark horse. 

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