The SEC captured another National Championship in mid-January when Alabama outlasted Clemson in the title game of the College Football Playoff. It was the eighth time in the past 10 years an SEC school has won college football's National Championship.
If this SEC dominance is to continue in 2016, it is likely to come from one of three teams. In addition to the usual suspects of Alabama and LSU, this year Tennessee also looks like a title contender. The Vols return 19 starters from last year's 9-4 squad. The triumvirate of Alabama, LSU and Tennessee looks to be clearly a cut above the remainder of the conference.
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South Point in Las Vegas recently released its win totals for all 128 FBS programs. In the coming days, Doc's Sport's will provide an analysis of all the Power 5 conferences along with betting strategies to help nail the win totals.
The first installment is the SEC. Listed below are the win totals for every team in the conference, along with selected analysis and predictions. We will go down the list and highlight the win totals we think offer betting value.
SEC Win Totals
Alabama 10 ("Over" +100, "Under" -120)
LSU 10 (Over +100, Under -120)
Tennessee 9.5 (Over +105, Under -125)
Among the bevy of starters back for the Vols is Joshua Dobbs, who should be one of the SEC's top quarterbacks this season. The senior signal-caller accounted for 2,962 total yards and 27 touchdowns (11 rushing) last year. Dobbs will also have plenty of help. Starting RB Jalen Hurd has totaled 2,187 rushing yards in two seasons in Knoxville, while junior wideouts Josh Malone and Josh Smith are also back.
Tennessee would have been 11-win team last year if not for second-half collapses against both Oklahoma and Florida. With nearly everyone back and a favorable schedule, 10 wins seems likely this time around.
The Pick: Over
Georgia 8.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
The Kirby Smart era has dawned in Athens following the departure of long-time former coach Mark Richt. Smart, the former defensive coordinator at Alabama, inherits 13 starters from last year's 10-3 team. This includes a pair of standout running backs in Nick Chubb, a first-team All-SEC candidate, and the explosive Sony Michel. It should be the best one-two punch in the SEC this season.
So that's the good news. There are also some negatives. The Bulldogs may have a true freshman under center in Jacob Eason, who, though highly-touted, will likely undergo some growing pains; the entire defensive front-seven must be replaced and Smart is unproven as a head coach. While the schedule isn't particularly daunting, this looks like an 8-win team given all the changes.
The Pick: Under
Ole Miss 8.5 (Over +100, Under -120)
It was a tumultuous offseason in Oxford, with rumors of recruiting chicanery casting a dark cloud over the program. More will be revealed in due time, but it's never good when NCAA investigators are sniffing around campus. It can be a big distraction. Besides that, the Rebels lost a boatload of talent from last year's 10-win team, including three first-round picks in the NFL Draft.
Ole Miss' season could hinge on the right arm of quarterback Chad Kelly. He is the best QB in the SEC after posting 4,042 passing yards and 31 touchdowns as a redshirt junior last season. Kelly also has some productive receivers back.
Those are positives, but in general this is a team in transition. Last year's squad was filled with quality veterans, most of which are now gone. It seems getting to nine wins would be a stretch as in addition to navigating the SEC gauntlet, the Rebels also play Florida State in the season-opener in Orlando.
The Pick: Under
Arkansas 7.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
Florida 7.5 (Over -125, Under +105)
Auburn 6.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Mississippi State 6.5 (Over -120, Under +100)
Texas A&M 6 (Over -120, Under -100)
Missouri 5.5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Kentucky 5 (Over -110, Under -110)
South Carolina 5 (Over -110, Under -110)
Vanderbilt 5 (Over -110, Under -110)
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