Can Any Team Other than Alabama or Georgia make the SEC Championship Game?

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Can Any Team Other than Alabama or Georgia make the SEC Championship Game?
© USA Today

Entering the 2022 college football season there is an overwhelming expectation that the reigning college football national champion Georgia Bulldogs will square off against the Alabama Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship game and more than likely the national championship game.

The Bulldogs are coming off a 14-1 straight-up (SU) record last season, culminating with a 33-18 win against the Crimson Tide at Lucas Oil Stadium for the national title. They were 3-point favorites in that game. The Bulldogs went 10-5 against the spread (ATS) and saw the Over-Under go 6-9 last season.

The Tide went 13-2 SU, 8-7 ATS including a 6-8-1 Over-Under record last season. Their first loss of the season was historic as they lost at the Texas A&M Aggies 41-38 installed as 18-point favorites in Week 6. 

They beat Georgia in the SEC Championship game 41-24 as 3.5-point underdogs. The Bulldogs won the East Division by two games over the Kentucky Wildcats, who went 9-3 in conference play. The Tide won the West Division by two games over the Mississippi Rebels.

Team Over/Odds Under/Odds
Alabama Over 11.5 +110 Under 8.5 -130
Arkansas Over 7.5 +125 Under 7.5 -150
Auburn Over 6.5 +130 Under 6.5 -160
Florida Over 7.5 +120 Under 7.5 -145
Georgia Over 11 –115 Under 11 –105
Kentucky Over 7.5 -140 Under 7.5 +120
LSU Over 6.5 -120 Under 6.5 +100
Mississippi Over 7.5 -160 Under 7.5 +135
Mississippi State Over 6.5 -120 Under 6.5 +100
Missouri Over 5.5 +115 Under 5.5 -135
South Carolina Over 6.5 +115 Under 6.5 -140
Tennessee Over 8 –105 Under 8 –115
Texas A&M Over 8.5 -175 Under 8.5 +140
Vanderbilt Over 2.5 +130 Under 2.5 -165

What Team Has the Personnel to Upset Georgia or Alabama?

Kentucky coach Mark Stoops enters his 10th season with his most talented and deep group of players and is coming off a 10-win season. 

He had a solid recruiting season and returns his starting quarterback and senior Will Levis, who completed 66% of his pass attempts (233-of-353) for 2,826 yards. He had 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions for a quarterback rating of 148.3 last season. 

His experience will be big after the Wildcats lost offensive coordinator Liam to the NFL Los Angeles Rams.


Betting the Wildcats Wins Total

Kentucky might take a step forward and close the gap to Georgia, but it will face 10 bowl participants on its 12-game schedule. 

The Wildcats are +5000 to win the SEC Conference Championship with a 7.5 wins total at -140 as offered at BetMGM. 

The market is indicating an 8-4 season, which won’t be better than Georgia, who they face at home on Nov. 19. 

I do, however, like the Over 7.5 wins paying –140 at BetMGM.


A Look at the Texas A&M Aggies

At the Bet MGM Sportsbook, the wins total for Texas A&M is 8.5, paying a whopping -175 to bet the Over. 

I do not like paying that kind of price on any futures bet, but I see the Aggies winning 10 games. 

Coach Jimbo Fisher enters his fifth year and has produced a 34-14 SU record and 25-19-1 ATS mark, for 57% winning bets. 

The Aggies had a Top 5 recruiting class with some outlets ranking them No. 1 in the SEC.

The Aggies' first test will come on Sept. 24, hosting Arkansas, a team that has not covered the spread in four straight tries. The Aggies have won three of the last four games SU against the Razorbacks, who I expect to regress from last year’s outstanding season. 

Texas A&M is 9-1 SU, but 3-6-1 ATS over the past 10 seasons against Arkansas.

The Aggies play Alabama on Oct. 8 in Tuscaloosa. The Crimson Tide will no doubt be a double-digit favorite and if I had to line it now, I would put them as 14.5-point favorites.

Nick Saban is 183-25 SU and 112-92-4 ATS for 55% winning bets since taking over at Alabama in 2007. Saban is 19-3 SU and 14-8, for 64% winning bets revenging a straight loss when his team was the favorite and 4-1 SU, but just 1-4 ATS revenging a loss priced as a double-digit favorite.

Texas A&M’s game against Alabama is the SEC game of the year. It is likely that both teams will be undefeated coming into this game and the winner will go on to an undefeated conference season. 

I believe that if the Aggies go over the 8.5 wins total they are more likely to win 10 or more games than just nine and so I’d like to wait and shop to see if I can get Over 9 or even 9.5 wins paying no more than -110.

My pick is for Texas A&M to bump Alabama from the SEC Championship Game this season.

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