SEC Predictions: Odds, Analysis & Questions for the 2023 Season

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SEC Predictions: Odds, Analysis & Questions for the 2023 Season
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SEC Football 2023 Odds and Predictions

From LSU coach Brian Kelly’s improved Southern accent to serious conversations about national titles, the annual SEC Media Days event generated excitement about the upcoming football season.

The SEC Media Days event featured players and coaches from the Southeastern Conference's 14 teams. The Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners are slated to join the conference next year.

This year's event in Nashville focused on the upcoming season, which kicks off with Hawaii visiting Vanderbilt for an Aug. 26 Saturday night game. The following weekend, a full slate of games is on tap, highlighted by a pre-Labor Day clash on Sept. 3, between LSU and Florida State in Orlando.

Just how do the best college football betting sites see the conference? We look ahead with’s five questions about SEC football this season.


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SEC Football Predictions, Questions, Odds Ahead of the 2023 Season

Georgia Bulldogs Odds to Win the National Championship: Can the Bulldogs go for a Three-Peat?

Going into this season, coach Kirby Smart says the Bulldogs are determined not to become complacent in seeking a third straight national title. Georgia trounced TCU, 65-7, in last season's College Football Playoff championship game and appears poised to be dominant again during the 2023 season with the odds set at +230 with Caesars Sportsbook. However, no team has won three national titles in a row since Minnesota from 1934-36. 

In addition to elite talent, the Bulldogs have a new slogan:Better never rests.”

Star quarterback Stetson Bennett is gone, but Georgia has strong-armed Carson Beck, a 6-foot-4 sophomore ready to take snaps, joined by six returning starters on offense and seven on defense. 

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The Bulldogs went 15-0 last season, including the No. 1 spot in the SEC East, leading to a 50-30 drubbing of SEC West representative LSU in the conference title game in Atlanta.

The 2023 season doesn't appear especially challenging for the Bulldogs. Georgia's 2023 schedule is considered one of the easiest in the SEC, with road games at Auburn and Tennessee among the only games posing a threat. 

Off the field, the football program has faced serious scrutiny for reports of sexual abuse by players over the years and traffic incidents involving a fatal crash and other players receiving speeding citations. Smart held a news conference in recent weeks, asserting that the program is addressing these issues.

“I’m a big believer in education, helping them become better,” he said.

Georgia is +230 to win the national championship at Caesars Sportsbook


LSU Tigers Odds: Will LSU's Brian Kelly Win A National Title?

When he arrived in Baton Rouge from Notre Dame before last season, LSU coach Brian Kelly was criticized for a painfully bad fake Southern accent. Now he’s sounding almost like a Cajun.

"I think my accent is pretty good and has gotten better throughout the recruiting process," he said. "It depends on if I'm in Northern Louisiana or Southern Louisiana. Sometimes I get over to Lake Charles, it's got to change a little bit.”

He also took heat from fans and sports betting players during a rough start to last season for unsuccessfully using analytics in crucial situations instead of football instincts.

Soon, the fan base came around, however, as Kelly and transfer quarterback Jayden Daniels led the Bayou Bengals to a gusty win over arch-rival Alabama and a trip to the SEC title game against ultimate conference champion Georgia. A rebound trouncing of Purdue, 63-7, in the Citrus Bowl excited the LSU faithful about this season's possibilities. 

Down on the bayou, a lot of Tiger loyalists believe that with Daniels returning among seven other offensive starters and seven on defense, Kelly could be the next SEC coach to win a national championship. 

LSU to go undefeated (+850) at PointsBet Sportsbook


Alabama Crimson Tide Odds: Still The Elephant In The Room?

Last season, the Alabama Crimson Tide failed to make the national title game for only the second time in nine years. The Tide didn’t even win the ultra-competitive SEC West. That went to LSU in a season that saw the Tigers defeat Bama on a two-point conversion.

Some SEC observers expect the Tide to face a rough road this year, with Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Bryce Young gone to the Carolina Panthers as the No. 1 pick in this year’s NFL draft. 

But those who have watched Nick Saban, now in his 17th year as Bama’s coach, know he can turn up the heat when least expected.

"I think we have a pretty good mindset on our team," he said recently. "Our team seems to be pretty hungry this year and motivated."

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With five starters returning on offense and five on defense, Alabama is putting new pieces in place. Three quarterbacks — Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson — are vying to take over for Young.

But that doesn’t mean things are unsettled in Tuscaloosa.

“This looks like a ‘rebuilding’ year for Bama,” said college football guru Phil Steele, “but of course, that means they will still be a national title contender and are at their best when not preseason No. 1.”

Alabama to win the national championship (+800) at BetMGM Sportsbook



Tennessee Volunteers Odds: How Badly Is Tennessee Hurt By NCAA Penalties?

This has been a tough stretch in Knoxville, with the NCAA Committee on Infractions finding the football program under former coach Jeremy Pruitt responsible for more than 200 rules violations, including payments to players.

As a result, Tennessee is losing 28 scholarships over five years and has been hit with an $8 million fine. The team also must vacate 11 wins from the 2019-20 seasons.

That doesn’t mean this will be a hopeless year for the 101,915 fans packing into Neyland Stadium during upcoming Saturdays. The sportsbooks certainly don't think so as they have listed the Tennessee Volunteers at +1600 to win the SEC!!!

Current coach Josh Heupel already has expressed gratitude that the sanctions did not include a bowl ban. Current players will be able to compete in post-season play, including possible conference and national title games. 

"It's hugely important that our players were protected and the future players were protected as well,” Heupel said. “I'm really excited about the outcome.”

According to some college football experts and best futures betting sites, Tennessee is the only team capable of competing for an SEC East title against Georgia. Coming off an 11-2 season last year and a 31-14 drubbing of Clemson in the Orange Bowl, the Vols begin this season with 12 returning starters (five on offense and seven on defense).

Tennessee quarterback Joe Milton, a 6-5, 242-pound senior, has been picked as one of the best QBs in the conference, and if everything goes just right, could be the top passer in the league this season.

Tennessee is +1600 to win the SEC at FanDuel Sportsbook



Which SEC Teams Could Be A Surprise In 2023?

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher seems to live on the hot seat. 

Last season’s record didn’t help. The Aggies went 5-7 overall in 2022 and 2-6 in the conference, leading to a sixth-place tie in the SEC West.

“Change has to come for the Aggies,” Sports Illustrated wrote. “Fisher knows this, too. Eight wins are unacceptable for the head coach who posted six double-digit winning seasons while at Florida State.”

One step the Aggies took to produce instant results is the hiring of Bobby Petrino as offensive coordinator. Although star running back Devon Achane is gone, Petrino inherits an offense with 10 returning starters. 


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Since being run out of Fayetteville as Arkansas coach in a sex scandal several years ago, Petrino has been at smaller schools, including Louisville and Missouri State, but is on a big stage again and ready to prove himself. His task is to turn around an offense that placed in the bottom three in the SEC last season. It remains to be seen whether he and Fisher, neither known for having subtle personalities, can co-exist in shaping a productive offense.

Texas A&M is +450 to win the SEC West at Caesars Sportsbook

Vanderbilt Could See Improvement, But Win The East?

In the surprise move of SEC Media Days, Vanderbilt received eight votes to finish first in the SEC East and five votes to win the conference title outright. 

Coach Clark Lea led the Commodores to five wins last season, which was a three-game improvement over the two they won the season before. But win the East? The Conference?

Vanderbilt has never even won 10 games in a season. So that's a stretch. 

Here are how the first-place votes shook out:

  • Georgia 265
  • Alabama 165
  • LSU 117
  • Tennessee 14
  • Vanderbilt 8
  • Auburn 4
  • Arkansas 3
  • South Carolina 3
  • Kentucky 1
  • Mississippi State 1
  • Texas A&M 1

Vanderbilt to win the SEC East (+20000) FanDuel Sportsbook

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Larry Henry

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