2019 SEC championship odds, picks: Alabama is the favorite, but who is the best bet?
Odds are out for who will win the 2019 SEC championship, and familiar faces are atop the board
Talking season is in full swing, and oddsmakers are taking advantage of the chatter by releasing all kinds of odds and lines in advance of the 2019 season. FanDuel recently released its 2019 SEC championship odds, and familiar faces are littering the top of the board.
Defending conference champion Alabama tops the list with Georgia not too far behind the team that has broken the Bulldogs' hearts in each of the last two seasons. LSU and Florida are right there as the projected second-place finishers in the respective divisions, which should not come as much of a surprise after the way the 2018 season played out.
Let's first take a look at the full list.
*Missouri is ineligible for the SEC Championship Game due to NCAA sanctions
Now let's break down some of these odds.
Best bet -- Texas A&M (27-1): The Aggies have to replace a stud running back in Trayveon Williams, star center Erik McCoy and some beef up front on the defensive line. That's no easy task. However, the staff was happy with the running back-by-committee that features Jashaun Corbin and Cordarrian Richardson this spring, and defensive coordinator Mike Elko still has Justin Madubuike up front to help stop the run -- something the Aggies excelled at last season. Throw in an experience quarterback in Kellen Mond, a veteran group of receivers and another year in coach Jimbo Fisher's system, and this team -- which finished second in the division last year -- is the primary threat to Alabama in the SEC West. The Aggies at +2700 behind four SEC teams is, by far, the best value on the board.
Worst wager -- Mississippi State (23-1): OK, in reality, the worst bet is Missouri since it can't win the SEC title due to NCAA sanctions. But of the teams that can, Mississippi State at +2300 ahead of Auburn and Texas A&M seems way too aggressive. The Bulldogs lost its entire starting defensive line, including star end Montez Sweat and tackle Jeffery Simmons. That was the lifeblood of the 2018 Bulldogs, who finished 8-4 prior to losing the bowl game to Iowa. If the defense, which finished first nationally in total defense and yards per play allowed -- and second in scoring defense -- is depleted, that means the offense better get cranked up in a hurry. Can quarterback Keytaon Thompson or Penn State transfer Tommy Stevens provide that much of a spark?
Personal pick -- Georgia (3-1): The last two seasons have shown that the gap between Alabama and Georgia is razor thin. If I can get $300 off a $100 bet on the Bulldogs, I'll take that seven days of the week and twice on Sunday. Coach Kirby Smart will trot out one of the best offensive lines in the country. He also has a strong group of running backs led by D'Andre Swift and an established star quarterback in Jake Fromm. The defensive front wasn't stellar last year, but another year with starter Tyler Clark, a healthy Julian Rochester and a strong group of rotational players back should help. The secondary is stout, and the linebacking corps has a little more depth with freshmen Nakobe Dean and Nolan Smith joining the fray.
The Bulldogs should cruise to the SEC Championship Game, and all it takes there is a good 60 minutes to take home the crown. They've proven the last two seasons that the can go toe-to-toe with the Crimson Tide in Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, and there's nothing to suggest that will change in 2019.
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