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If the SEC is a game of thrones, the Alabama Crimson Tide haven’t had much to worry about in recent years. They’ve enjoyed a long, comfortable reign, winning three national championships in the last five years, and are favoured to continue their supremacy. Can anyone end their dominance? Here’s a preview of the SEC:


The Favourites

The Crimson Tide (+175) are the overwhelming favourite in the SEC and much of that has to do with their track record. They’ve won the SEC West in four straight seasons and won the SEC championship in three of those years. They enter the year as the No. 1 team in the nation and will be tough to knock off.

LSU (+375) is next in line in the futures market, but they’ve been a clear step behind Alabama in recent years. They’re a fairly complete team, except for the quarterback position where Brandon Harris has really hindered the team in recent years. If he, or another quarterback, can elevate the LSU passing game, they could compete for the SEC title. If not, they’ll probably lose to Bama for a fifth straight time and fall short in the SEC.

Tennessee (+400) has been the talk of the town all offseason as this up-and-coming team enters the season ranked No. 9. But can this young team put it all together and make a serious run? They return 17 starters, including quarterback Josh Dobbs, who’s one of the best in the SEC. They need more out of their passing game, though, as it ranked 92nd in the country last year.

The Georgia Bulldogs (+1000) are highly thought of as well, mostly because of their easy schedule. They won 10 games last year and there’s excitement between the hedges with 14 returning starters. There’s so much hope pinned on the arm of star freshman Jacob Eason, but he has to show that he’s ready to lead. The key to their success could be the schedule: they don’t have to face Alabama or LSU, and they’ll have home field advantage when they face their toughest opponent, the No. 9 Tennessee Volunteers.

The Ole Miss Rebels (+1000) are the only other team with odds of 10/1 or better, but opposite of Georgia, they’ll have to play both Alabama and LSU. And don’t forget about that showdown with No. 4 Florida State in their opener. The good news is they have the SEC’s top quarterback in Chad Kelly; their overall offense might also be the best. If the defense can gel, they could make a run.


The Sleepers

Florida (+1200), Auburn (+1600), Texas A&M (+1800) and Arkansas (+2000) lead the sleeper category, but each team has some flaws to overcome. Texas A&M lost five of their final eight games last season as their offense crumbles in big games. They averaged just 12.8 points per game in those losses. Auburn’s defense was a mess last year, giving up 32 points per game in their six losses. As for Arkansas, they had some ugly losses last year (home to Toledo and Texas Tech), but they managed to win six of their final seven and appear to have some momentum.

Florida might be worth the price here as they were rolling last season until the bizarre suspension of quarterback Will Grier came down. They still won 10 games and if they can fix their quarterback conundrum, they might be able to make a run in the SEC.


*Odds as of September 1, 2016