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2017 SEC Predictions

2017 SEC Conference College Football Predictions and Picks

By Loot, NCAA Football Handicapper, Lootmeister.com

The SEC is the best conference in college football in the minds of most. Rightfully so. Since 2006, an SEC team has been the national champion 8 times. Perhaps there is more competition now, as an SEC has won the national title just once in the past four seasons. Any way you want to cut it, the SEC is the epitome of big-time college football. They take their football seriously in the south, with less major sports teams in that part of the country, making SEC football just that much bigger. These programs pour millions upon millions of dollars in an attempt to become the big kids on the block.

Last season, the Alabama Crimson Tide were once again SEC champions, before falling in the CFP final game to Clemson. Alabama was unbeaten in conference play at 8-0, winning the SEC title game against Florida, another contender to the title. LSU Looks to bring a lot to the table this season, while some are expecting a revival of the War Eagle with Auburn poised for big things in 2017. Also coming out of the East Division are Tennessee and Georgia. As always, the competition in the SEC should be action-packed and well-contested.

As we make our bets to win the SEC, let's remember what it takes to win. Looking at team's schedules is important. A team might be really good, but if they have three of the best SEC teams in road games, will they be able to post the record necessary to win the conference? The SEC is split into two divisions—the East and the West Division. With Alabama, LSU, and Auburn, among others, the West Division is the stronger division. Picking a team from the West other than Alabama and LSU is a tough move to make. An underdog from the East could be more-appealing with less heavy hitters to topple. Here are the odds to win the SEC conference in 2017.

Betting Odds to Win the 2017 SEC
Alabama wins SEC Champ -167
Field wins SEC Championship +147
LSU wins SEC Champ +675
Field wins SEC Championship -1050
Auburn wins SEC Champ +700
Field wins SEC Championship -1100
Georgia wins SEC Champ +970
Field wins SEC Championship -1470
Florida wins SEC Champ +1100
Field wins SEC Championship -1700
Tennessee wins SEC Champ +2250
Field wins SEC Championship -4500

About the Odds: In these bets, you'll notice a "field" option listed with each team. For example, Alabama is -167 to win the SEC, with the "field" getting +147. The "field" pays off is any other team besides Alabama wins the SEC. You'll also notice this is a partial list of SEC teams. All the other choices are extreme long-shots, even longer than Tennessee who is +2250. But if you wanted to bet on those teams, the odds will come out a little closer to the start of the season. With a lot still up in the air, these are really just the early odds. Maybe too early. But if there's a number that you like, getting an early jump on it is a good way to lock in a price before it goes the wrong way.

A Look at the Contenders:

Alabama Crimson Tide: On one hand, they return only 11 starters, but even their second and third-team guys could probably still thrive in this context. Emerging dual-threat QB Jalen Hurts was the conference player of the year as a true freshman and returns with a stacked backfield. They lost some key pieces in the receiving corps and on "D," but Saban's handiwork on the defensive side of the ball should have the Tide in peak form, particularly in the secondary. It's hard to go against the Tide this season.

LSU Tigers: It seems like every year, a solid case can be made for the Tigers. With the talent they draw and Ed Orgeron coming back after serving as interim coach last season, the Tigers should show some new life. The offense could be handicapped with the lack of a playmaking QB. And Leonard Fournette is gone. But Maybe QB Danny Etling can upgrade his game, with RB Derrius Guice set for a big season. The "D" could be a difference-making group with guys like pass-rusher supreme Arden Key, but they lost some pieces, as well. They still should be very tough in '17.

Auburn Tigers: When watching Auburn the past several seasons, it's clear that their inability to get vertical has been a major hindrance. That could stop with former Baylor gun-slinger Jarrett Stidham now in the mix. Now he just needs some reliable pass-catchers to develop. They have a tremendous 1-2 punch at RB with Kerryon Johnson and Kamryn Pettway. With some youngsters maybe developing ahead of schedule on the other side of the ball, this could be one of the better Auburn teams we've seen since they won it all in 2010.

Georgia Bulldogs: If the offensive line can recover from some key departures, look for the 1-2 punch of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel to be among the best in the nation. Head coach Kirby Smart looks to rely on a stout defense, while his backs do much of the heavy lifting. Maybe QB Jacob Eason can find another gear, as well, with Georgia having lacked solid play at that position since Aaron Murray departed. The schedule is tough, with only 6 home games for the Bulldogs and road games against Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn.

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Florida Gators: It's hard to not like what head coach JimMcElwain is doing, with Florida now a looming threat in the East Division. Graduate transfer Malik Zaire adds some interesting possibilities at QB to go along with a good back in Jordan Scarlett and dangerous receiver Antonio Callaway. A good line should also help. The defense has been tip-top for the past few seasons, but departures mean some youngsters will need to step up in a big way. If they do, Florida will contend for the division.

Tennessee Volunteers: Replacing Joshua Dobbs, the face of the Volunteers' recent upsurge, is going to be tough from an on-the-field and leadership perspective. They also lost a lot of their playmaking ability on offense with departures and need a gaggle of guys to step up and might be asking for too many stars to align right. Unfortunately for the Vols, the defense took just as many hits, as a big part of their production on that side of the ball now departed. With Tennessee, a wait-and-see approach might be the best outlook.

Loot's Pick to Win the Conference: Alabama Crimson Tide. Tired of your credit card not working for sportsbook deposit? End that problem today by signing up at Bovada Sportsbook where your credit card WILL work and where you'll receive a generous 50% sign-up bonus!

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