Georgia’s Jamie Newman to Opt Out of 2020 Season; Bulldogs SEC Championship Odds Now +300

Georgia Bulldogs QB Jamie Newman in practice

Georgia Bulldogs transfer QB Jamie Newman has officially opted out of the 2020 season. Photo from @tCFBCountry (Twitter).

  • UGA QB Jamie Newman has opted out of 2020 season and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft
  • The Bulldogs odds to win the SEC have dropped to +300 as a result
  • Does Georgia still have a chance to take the SEC crown in 2020?

UGA transfer quarterback Jamie Newman is opting out of the college football season due to COVID-19 concerns. Despite still having USC transfer JT Daniels in the fold, Georgia’s odds to win the SEC have dropped from +200 to +300.

Can Georgia still win the SEC in 2020 or is there another team with better value in the Conference Championship odds worth betting on? The following table shows the conference title odds for all 14 SEC teams.

SEC 2020 Conference Odds

Player Odds
Alabama -143
Georgia +300
Florida +700
LSU +750
Texas A&M +1300
Auburn +2500
Tennessee +3300
Kentucky +8500
South Carolina +12500
Mississippi State +15000
Missouri +15000
Ole Miss +15000
Vanderbilt +30000
Arkansas +50000

Odds as of Sept 2.

Newman Opts Out

Newman, UGA’s highly-touted offseason acquisition, has officially opted out of the 2020 college football season and declared for the 2021 NFL Draft. Newman spent the past two seasons at Wake Forest. Last year, he threw for 2,868 yards and 26 touchdowns with 11 interceptions, while rushing for an additional 574 yards and six scores.

Newman’s decision makes sense given the coronavirus concerns surrounding the season, but it’s still disappointing for fans that he won’t play a single snap for the Bulldogs. Newman put up great numbers at Wake Forest, and he was going to get a chance to really boost his draft stock playing for a program as esteemed as Georgia.

While the Newman news is disappointing, it’s not reason to count Georgia out in 2020. The Bulldogs reached into the transfer portal in May to land QB JT Daniels out of USC.  He isn’t as big of a dual-threat as Newman, but he showcased his passing potential in 2018 when he threw for 2,672 yards and 14 TDs in 11 games.

Daniels has been granted immediate eligibility by the NCAA, though he hasn’t yet been cleared for contact by the team following a season-ending knee injury in 2019.

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Could Justin Fields Transfer Back to UGA? 

As soon as news broke that Newman was opting out of the season, many Georgia fans immediately entertained the possibility of Ohio State QB Justin Fields transferring back to the program. Fields began his career as the backup to Jake Fromm at Georgia in 2018, but he transferred to Ohio State ahead of the 2019 season after a Georgia baseball player directed racial slurs at him.

Fields is already a lock to be a first-round draft pick in the draft, but he’s been very vocal about wanting to play college football this fall. His passion for the game is unparalleled and he currently isn’t on track to play in 2020 after the Big 10 postponed their fall season.

I have faith in Daniels succeeding in Georgia, but the Bulldogs once elite QB room is now thinner. Freshmen Carson Beck and D’Wan Mathis are promising prospects, but they lack experience. If Daniels runs into injury issues again, Georgia could be in trouble.

Crimson Tide Are SEC Favorites 

Betting on Georgia winning the conference means betting on them being better than Nick Saban and Alabama. That’s a bet I’m more skeptical to make now that Newman is out of the picture. Even before this news broke, Georgia’s value to win the SEC was diminishing. They’re breaking in a new offensive scheme under OC Todd Monken, which is going to be difficult with the loss of spring practises.

Alabama has lost QB Tua Tagovailoa, but they’ve still got the experienced Mac Jones and five-star prospect Bryce Young. They’ve also got one of the best receivers duos in the entire country in Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith, plus senior Najee Harris in the backfield.

One of the biggest games on Georgia’s schedule is a clash with the Tide in October in Tuscaloosa. The Bulldogs haven’t beaten Alabama since 2007, and having your projected starting QB opt out before kick-off isn’t ideal.

Florida Offers Best Value

Newman opting out of the season really gives a boost to Floria’s value in the 2020 SEC Championship odds. The Gators have the best QB in the conference with Kye Trask returning for his senior season after throwing for 2,941 yards and 25 touchdowns with just seven interceptions in 2019.

The Gators are also returning All-SEC tight end Kyle Pitts, receivers Trevon Grimes and Kadarius Toney, four offensive line starters, in addition to five starters from their elite defensive unit. They’re on the cusp of contention after winning 11 games in Dan Mullen’s second season coaching the team.

Alabama is the SEC favorite for a reason, but the best value play is now  Florida due to uncertainty surrounding UGA’s quarterback situation.

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Brady Trettenero