2021 SEC odds, picks and predictions: Chasing the Tide

Ryan Bloomfield
Sportsbook Wire

The SEC has been the center of conference expansion talk all summer, but it's finally time to shift gears and analyze the play on the field. Below, we look at the odds to win each division in the SEC with college football picks, predictions and best bets.

The road to the SEC Championship technically goes through Atlanta, but figuratively? Tuscaloosa, as defending national champion Alabama remains the top dog in the West (and the conference). They'll have competition from Texas A&M and LSU, but no other team in the West is better than +1500 to win the division.

Also see:2022 CFP National Championship odds, picks and predictions

It's likely a two-team race in the East Division between Georgia and Florida. The Gators went 8-2 in the regular season and nearly took down Alabama in the 2020 SEC Championship Game, losing 52-46. The annual Florida / Georgia rivalry game in Jacksonville Oct. 30 will go a long way in determining who represents the East in 2021.

2021 SEC West odds

Odds via Tipico Sportsbook; access USA TODAY Sports' betting odds for a full list. Lines last updated Tuesday, Aug. 24.

  • Alabama: -370 (bet $370 to win $100)
  • Texas A&M: +400 (bet $100 to win $400)
  • LSU: +900 (bet $100 to win $900)
  • Auburn: +1500 (bet $100 to win $1,500)
  • Ole Miss: +1500 (bet $100 to win $1,500)
  • Mississippi State: +4000 (bet $100 to win $4,000)
  • Arkansas: +4000 (bet $100 to win $4,000)

2021 SEC East

  • Georgia: -450 (bet $450 to win $100)
  • Florida: +350 (bet $100 to win $350)
  • Missouri: +900 (bet $100 to win $900)
  • Kentucky: +1200 (bet $100 to win $1,200)
  • Tennessee: +3000 (bet $100 to win $3,000)
  • South Carolina: +4000 (bet $100 to win $4,000)
  • Vanderbilt: +10000 (bet $100 to win $10,000)

2021 SEC West picks and prediction

The 2020 version of Alabama was one of the all-time great teams, but the Crimson Tide lose a ton of talent-six first-rounders; their starting QB, RB, WR; and three-fifths of the offensive line-from last year's juggernaut.

The next wave is another who's who of blue-chippers, most notably QB Bryce Young, and head coach Nick Saban is a master at handling turnover. However, there's not much reward in going with Alabama (-370) as such a heavy favorite.

Best bet

Texas A&M narrowly missed the College Football Playoff in 2020-the Aggies' lone loss was to Alabama in the second game of the season-and while they lose QB Kellen Mond and four of five OL starters, having three straight top-10 recruiting classes means there's plenty of talent in the pipeline.

Texas A&M (+400) offers the best balance of lucrative odds and a puncher's chance to supplant Alabama, whom it'll face at home on Oct. 9.

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Long shot

For as much as the stars aligned during LSU's 2019 title run, a perfect storm of NFL graduations, coaching replacements, and opt-outs hit the Tigers hard in 2020. Most of last year's team returns and LSU is a top-five recruiting program, so it has the talent to jump right back into the SEC West mix. A small-unit bet on LSU (+900) could pay off handsomely.

2021 SEC East picks and prediction

Georgia was a far more explosive team once QB J.T. Daniels took over the starting job Nov. 21. He threw 10 touchdowns (just 2 interceptions), completed 67.2% of his passes and the offense averaged 37 points per game in his four starts.

Georgia loses some pieces from its top-ranked rushing defense, but with years of elite recruiting and some offseason transfer portal wins, a lack of talent won't be an issue in Athens. Georgia (-450) is low-risk and low-reward, but the Bulldogs are the class of the division.


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The only contrarian play we can reasonably recommend is Florida (+350). The pass offense was prolific in 2020, but it loses QB Kyle Trask, TE Kyle Pitts and WR Kadarius Toney, while the defense allowed over 30 points per game in 2020.

The schedule doesn't do Florida any favors-the Gators face Alabama and LSU as SEC West crossover opponents-so while there's enough talent in Gainesville to prevent a major step back, Florida has an uphill battle to return to Atlanta.

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College sports coverage from USA TODAY Sports Media Group:

Alabama / Auburn / Florida / Georgia / LSU / Michigan / Michigan State / Notre Dame / Ohio State / Oklahoma / Tennessee / Texas / USC / Wisconsin

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