Your SEC Gambling Futures Preview and Best Bets

Nate Gabler

It's such a strange year for SEC football. We're starting the season three weeks after prior scheduled games and two weeks after the ACC and Big 12. There was no spring ball and fall camps were limited at best.

In the gambling world, things also look incredibly different. Win totals are hard to wrap your mind around. In January, Alabama opened at a total of 10.5. Now, with a ten-game, all-conference schedule, that number has plummeted. We have no reference for what these numbers mean, making these season-long predictions a bit more challenging. 

Elsewhere, props are harder to come by. Other than Heisman odds, player props virtually don't exist heading into the season (at least not in any reputable online betting platform). But we still have win totals, we still have odds to win the conference and there's still ways to make a lot of money (or lose it) betting on college football in 2020.

As a quick refresher for those not incredibly gambling savvy, odds of +800 to win the SEC means you would win $800 on every $100 bet. Betting over on Florida's win total at -145 means you would have to lay $145 to win $100. It can be a bit tricky, but it's pretty simple once you get the hang of it. 

Let's take a look at the long-term SEC plays entering opening week, followed by some of our favorites on the slate.

Odds to Win the SEC:

  • Alabama (-130)
  • Georgia (+350)
  • Florida (+375)
  • LSU (+800)
  • Texas A&M (+1200)
  • Auburn (+1800)
  • Tennessee (+2500)
  • Kentucky (+3300)
  • Mississippi State (+12500)
  • South Carolina (+12500)
  • Ole Miss (+15000)
  • Missouri (+15000)
  • Arkansas (+30000)
  • Vanderbilt (+30000)

*Odds via BetOnline

Shocker, Alabama comes in as the overall favorite. For record, the Crimson Tide are also +400 to win the national championship, trailing Clemson (+200) and Ohio State (+225). Georgia and Florida come in at almost equal odds to win the SEC East and square off against Alabama in the championship game. The gap between both Alabama and the rest of the West, and the Georgia/Florida duo and the rest of the East, is pretty sizable here. 

Team Win Totals:

  • Alabama: 8.5 (over -145, under +115)
  • Georgia: 8.5 (over -121, under +100)
  • Florida: 7.5 (over -140, under +110)
  • LSU: 7.0 (over -145, under +115)
  • Texas A&M: 7.0 (over -130, under +100)
  • Auburn: 6.5 (over -130, under +100)
  • Tennessee: 5.0 (over -135, under +105)
  • Kentucky: 5.0 (over -150, under +120)
  • Ole Miss: 4.0 (over -115, under -115)
  • Mississippi State: 4.0 (over -200, under +160)
  • South Carolina: 3.5 (over -130, under +110)
  • Missouri: 2.5 (over -150, under +120)
  • Arkansas: 1.5 (over -160, under +130)
  • Vanderbilt: 1.0 (over -170, under +140)

*Win Totals via BetOnline

Having Ole Miss and Mississippi State bump right up against each other at 4.0 is fun. Betting either team in either direction likely means you have a season-long bet coming right down to who wins the Egg Bowl. D~R~A~M~A.

Really, looking at these simply iterates the gap between the haves and have nots of the conference. Sorry Vanderbilt and Arkansas, there's not too much hope when you play a conference-only slate. 

Heisman Odds:

  • Justin Fields (QB, Ohio State): +500
  • D’Eriq King (QB, Miami): +600
  • Trevor Lawrence (QB, Clemson): +600
  • Sam Ehlinger (QB, Texas) +1100
  • Spencer Rattler (QB, Oklahoma) +1100
  • JT Daniels (QB, Georgia) +1400
  • Kellen Mond (QB, Texas A&M) +1600
  • Micale Cunningham (QB, Louisville) +1600
  • Travis Etienne (RB, Clemson) +2000
  • Bryce Young (QB, Alabama) +2500
  • KJ Costello (QB, Mississippi State) +2500
  • Kyle Trask (QB, Florida) +2500
  • Mac Jones (QB, Alabama) +2500
  • Ian Book (QB, Notre Dame) +3000
  • Najee Harris (RB, Alabama) +3300

*Odds via SportsBettingDime

It you bet on Kellen Mond for Heisman, please unsubscribe from The Grove Report and never come back. You would be better off putting everything you own in an incinerator and starting life anew as a drifter along border of Morocco and Algeria. Marry a gypsy (if gypsies even marry) and please never reproduce – I don't want the offspring of anyone betting on Kellen Mond for Heisman in our gene pool. 

Wow, okay that was harsh. I apologize. Clearly it's just a joke, we value and love all of our subscribers; just don't take that bet, I'm begging you. 

Nothing that Kellen Mond and Jimbo Fisher have ever done together should give you the idea that he should even be on that list, let alone at 16/1. Texas A&M is simply a team that is constantly overvalued both in polls and gambling odds. When you're one of the highest profiting programs every season in a state that loves football as much as Texas, the overhype and overvalue makes sense. But that overvaluing also makes them a horrible bet if you're trying to win money gambling.

Two guys I like at value? Kyle Trask and Najee Harris.  

The Grove Report's Best Season-Long Bets in the SEC:

The Hidden Favorite: Florida OVER 7.5 wins (-140)

If Dan Mullen doesn't get it done at Florida this season, I don't think he ever will. We're also pro-Kyle Trask here, having picked him as the All-SEC First Team quarterback, even before Jamie Newman opted out of the season.

SP+ pegs the Gators at 8.5 wins for the year, a full win above this total. Yes, you have to lay the -140 which isn't pretty. But Florida could lose to Georgia and LSU and still come out on top here. That's not even counting a potential 11th game with the SEC Championship game.

The 'Don't Overthink It' Duo: Vanderbilt UNDER 1.0 wins (+140) and Arkansas UNDER 1.5 wins (+130)

I don't understand these odds whatsoever. For the same plus odds, I would take both Vanderbilt and Arkansas under 0.5 wins. Playing an SEC-only schedule gives you no cupcakes. Arkansas lost every game in the SEC last year. Vanderbilt only beat Missouri. These two teams do not play each other, which would be their best opportunities for wins. Here's the point: Vanderbilt and Arkansas might win a game this year. MIGHT. But I can't see how either wins two. It's just not possible. LOCK IT UP.

The Relatively Obvious One: Najee Harris for Heisman at 33/1

Let me say this in two ways. 

1) You can get Alabama's starting running back at 33 to 1 to win the Heisman. 

2) You can get the starting running back on the team that is a heavy favorite to win the SEC at 33 to 1 to win the Heisman. 

Yes, we know it's been a while since a non-quarterback won. But 33/1 is just ridiculous value here. 

The Longshot: Auburn to win the SEC at 18/1

Do we think Auburn will win the SEC? Well no. But that's not how to approach big money futures bets. At 18/1, there's tremendous value in the Tigers. A way I like thinking about long odds futures bet is like this (and you can apply the same logic for Harris above): 

This is sitting at 18/1. If we run this season 18 times, how many times does Auburn win the SEC? I fully believe that, in every few simulations, Bo Nix takes a big year-two jump and the Tigers contend for the conference. And if you want to play a bit safer here with Auburn, laying a -130 for over 6.5 wins ain't too shabby either.

Don't miss out on more gambling coverage. Check back in at The Grove Report tomorrow for an Ole Miss centric gabling guide for the season and every Friday we'll be handing out our best bets for the Ole Miss, the SEC and anything else we love in college football. 

More From The Grove Report:

Five Burning Questions for Ole Miss Football

Position Previews: A Very Deep Ole Miss Receivers Room

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