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The SEC Championship game was quite exciting last year, it was the only game of the season that Georgia lost, and led many to believe that Alabama was the team to beat for the National Championship. Once again this year you have to expect that Georgia and Alabama are going to make it to the big game, but there is one team I think could be lurking in the shadows ready to get into the mix.
Alabama is undisputed as one of, if not the, best team going into the year. Of all conferences, outside of Ohio State, Alabama is the heaviest favorite to win the SEC championship game. I also think they should be heavier favorites than they are listed as. At just -145, there is some good value on Alabama. I don’t see them losing more than one game if they even lose that. I think that Alabama is almost certain to be in the championship game and I would be willing to bet that unless Georgia can repeat the performance of last year (I don’t think they can) Alabama will probably be a -200 or greater favorite to win the game. They have one of the best quarterbacks in college football, a strong defense, and will undoubtedly have strong skill players. I’m taking them to have this ticket in my back pocket.
Georgia wasn’t known for their offense last year. No, instead the discussion was all around the defensive prowess of the Bulldogs. This year the defense will probably take a bit of a step back, but could still be very strong. If they want to be successful, the offense will need to step up quite a bit. They will need someone to emerge as a top receiving target and option. I’m just not sure they have that. Eventually, I think teams will be able to force Stetson Bennett to beat them. He has won a championship so it is possible he can do it, but he will likely need to accomplish it with less help from the defense. Alabama and Georgia will likely be the rematch, I think Alabama wins the SEC easily, but if Georgia is there a +155 ticket isn’t bad to have.
The only other team I’m considering for this game (again, I really don’t think Alabama loses the championship) is Texas A&M (+1800). With their schedule, I think that there is only one loss on the schedule – Alabama. Could they lose more than that, absolutely, but I think they have a great young core, and if this is the year it clicks, that +1800 ticket for them to win the SEC could be worth having in your pocket. While there is a lot of turnover on defense, if the new recruits can make the jump quickly, and be a cohesive unit, the Aggies could have a very productive defense.
I genuinely don’t think there is a chance any of the other teams will even have a shot at making the game. I’ll take my chance with Alabama to win the SEC now, and a smaller ticket on Texas A&M. Georgia will likely be there, but two losses could kick them out and +155 isn’t enough for me.