The Alabama Crimson Tide top all SEC teams in over/under win totals entering the 2020 season, during with the SEC will only play intra-conference games. Photo via @BamaCentral (Twitter)
- The Southeastern Conference announced its reduced 2020 schedule on Monday, which begins Sept. 26
- Alabama leads the way with an over/under of 8 regular-season wins, while defending national champion LSU sits at 6.5
- For all the SEC over/under win totals, and some analysis of the best bets, check out the article below
We all know college football will look quite a bit different this year due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but a whiff of normalcy came Monday in the form of the Southeastern Conference’s 2020 schedule announcement.
Each SEC program will play a 10-game regular season, with zero non-conference games, beginning on September 26th. They will play six games against division opponents and four games against non-division opponents.
That means we’ll still get the Iron Bowl (November 28), Egg Bowl (November 28), and the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party (November 7).
Here’s a look at the over/under odds for each SEC team’s 2020 regular season win totals:
2020 SEC Regular-Season Win Total Odds
|Team||Win Totals||Over Odds||Under Odds|
Odds taken August 18th
Predictably, these win totals are all lower than they were back in April, when hope was still alive that every conference would participate and teams would play full seasons.
Roll Tide Roll
The Alabama Crimson Tide are a factory for NFL talent, which means there will often be roster turnover — but also that the newcomers figure to be pretty good, too.
Nine of Alabama’s 22 starters from last season were selected in the NFL draft — most notably Tua Tagovailoa, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs — but that still means a lot of talent is coming back.
Running back Najee Harris is the most crucial returnee, coming back as a senior after 20 touchdowns and 1,500-plus scrimmage yards last year. Receiver Devonta Smith (68 catches, 1,258 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2019) is significant as well.
SEC countdown take 2: SEC football returns in 42 days!
Najee Harris went complete beast mode on this reception last season against South Carolina.
Harris was asked on Friday if he’s given any thought about opting-opt this season: “No. Not once.” pic.twitter.com/Jw8tSRC8rf
— that SEC podcast (@thatSECpodcast) August 15, 2020
Other returnees include: 80 percent of the offensive line, most of the defensive line and roughly half of the linebackers and defensive backs. Not bad.
Mac Jones will presumably take over for Tagovailoa under center, after looking great in limited action in 2019 (68.8 completion percentage, 14 touchdowns and three interceptions).
Only two other teams are projected to win at least seven games (Florida and Georgia) and Alabama only faces one of them. Count on the Crimson Tide to surpass this win total, if not fall just shy with a push.
Pick: Alabama, over 8 wins (-145)
What to Do With LSU?
The last time any of us watched college football, the LSU Tigers were on top of the world. They had one of the best offenses in NCAA history and steamrolled most of their opponents.
But we could be in for a much different situation with LSU this season, as several key players have moved on.
Joe Burrow is bringing his championship mentality to Cincinnati 🔥 #NFLDraft pic.twitter.com/dyXCmNMckN
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 24, 2020
LSU will have new starters at quarterback, running back, one receiving spot, tight end and 80 percent of the offensive line. On defense, they have to replace all three linebacker spots and three of four positions in the secondary.
Nothing is more important that the transition at quarterback, from Heisman winner Joe Burrow to unproven junior Myles Brennan.
For Brennan, filling Burrow’s shoes will be even more difficult due to the absence of spring football. Brennan spent much of his quarantine working out with tree trunks and throwing into trash cans, which … isn’t quite the same.
LSU has four seemingly daunting games against Alabama, Florida, Texas A&M and Auburn. They also open the year with Mississippi State, which is by no means a gimme. Having so many new faces in the mix creates enough risk that bettors should lean on the under for LSU.
Pick: LSU, under 6.5 wins (+125)
Is There Intrigue With Arkansas?
The Arkansas Razorbacks went 2-10 last year and see their over/under win total set at 2 again in this shortened season. But can they be more?
They’ll have a new quarterback this year in Feleipe Franks, but he is not a “new” quarterback, per se. Franks was a multi-year starter for Florida, with 38 touchdown passes in two-plus years, but he transferred after dislocating his ankle during the 2019 season and losing his starting job.
Now he brings a bunch of experience to Arkansas, where he’ll unite with running back Rakeem Boyd (1,300 scrimmage yards, eight touchdowns last year).
Rakeem Boyd (@boyd_rakeem) 52 yards to the house pic.twitter.com/BmdhtsHdHH
— Last Chance U (@LastChanceUAlum) November 2, 2019
The Razorbacks face stiff competition in Alabama, Georgia, Florida (revenge game for Franks, anyone?) and LSU. They’ll likely have to scrounge two wins during their games against Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Missouri, or else hope to grab an upset elsewhere.
With their “new” quarterback, it can be done. But this team went 0-8 in SEC play last year, so don’t count on it.
Pick: Arkansas, under 1.5 wins (-140)
2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker
The Vanderbilt Commodores are dead-last in the over/under SEC win totals, just below Arkansas at the one-win mark. And things could get a little messy for the Commodores this season.
They have a quarterback competition between a freshman and a JUCO transfer, they have to replace running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn and their defense is trying to recover after allowing almost 32 points per game.
TouchDown Vandy !! Mo Hasan to KeShawn Vaughn for 61 yards pic.twitter.com/zH9gWf93AZ
— GSH (@gman416) October 20, 2019
But hear me out. They only have to stumble into two wins to hit the over. And they avoid two of the heavy hitters, in Alabama and Auburn.
Can they find two wins among Missouri, South Carolina, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Kentucky? Sure they can! Their schedule, and the lack of preparation teams will have entering the season, play to the Commodores’ favor. This should be, at worst, a push.
Pick: Vanderbilt, over 1 wins (-115)