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I know that spring practice is still underway for most of the teams in the SEC, but that doesn’t mean some future bets on the upcoming 2022 season can’t be placed. There are so many different things that can happen between now and the start of the season that maybe this would be a good time to place a futures bet on your favorite SEC West team.
Some of these win projections are possibly too good to pass up, so let’s take a look at what some of the experts in Vegas think about next season in the Western division. Early betting lines provided by WynnBET.
Alabama Crimson Tide: 11.5 Wins
This could end up being the redemption tour for Alabama, who lost to Georgia in the National Championship game last season. The return of Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young should set the tone on offense, especially with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien back for another year. The Tide should have a veteran group along the offensive line, and the defensive unit could cause problems next season. This was a young team in 2021, though that shouldn’t be an excuse for Alabama. Ever.
The biggest question will be replacing John Metchie III and Jameson Williams at WR. The addition of Georgia transfer WR Jermaine Burton should benefit the receiving group, and Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech should give Alabama an explosive backfield. The win total seems about right, unless someone from the West causes the Tide a few unexpected problems.
Auburn Tigers: 5 Wins
The Tigers’ off-season, with the Bryan Harsin fiasco, has been one of the wildest we’ve seen in college football in a very long time. As we all know, Harsin kept his job, but he had to replace defensive coordinator Derek Mason and will be on his third offensive coordinator in a year. After firing Mike Bobo, the Tigers thought they had their replacement with Austin Davis, but he ended up resigning just a few weeks later. Eric Kiesau, who spent a good chunk of the 2021 season as the WR coach, was named the new OC.
Auburn lost Bo Nix to the transfer portal and replaced him with former Texas A&M QB Zach Calzada. T.J. Finley also returned for the 2022 season, giving Harsin two options at quarterback. Calzada will most likely get the nod, according to reports. The best news is Tank Bigsby is returning, giving Auburn a stellar running back for the upcoming season. But this team has work to do on defense and at the wide receiver position. The Tigers have three cupcake games in 2022 that should get them close to the win total. It feels as though they could muster three more wins to get them over that total, but that’s still up in the air. Good luck with this one.
Arkansas Razorbacks: 6.5 Wins
I am loving what Sam Pittman is doing with the Hogs, especially with K.J. Jefferson returning this season. Yes, this team did lose Treylon Burks, but they are trying to replace him with Oklahoma transfer WR Jaden Haselwood. This team has experience on the offensive line and at the running back position, which could carry them past this overall win projection. On the defensive side, Bumper Pool and Jalen Catalon return to work on this Barry Odom led unit, which found some success last season.
The biggest question mark for me is the downfield passing from Jefferson. Can this team open it up? I am not worried about them rushing the football, with the bruising running backs and Jefferson at the helm. My concern is how much they can get out of the passing game, even if Jefferson has to play it safe and ride open seams across the middle to make it work. I don’t expect the Hogs to go backwards this year, but they do play Cincinnati and BYU in non-conference play. This number feels right.
LSU Tigers: 6 Wins
The Brian Kelly era in Baton Rouge has begun. After the exodus of Ed Orgeron, it is now the job of Kelly to get this program back on solid footing. New offensive coordinator Mike Denbrock from Cincinnati will be installing his scheme in Baton Rouge, and one of the first things he did was go out and get one of the best QBs in the portal. The addition of former Arizona State QB Jayden Daniels could be huge for the Tigers in 2022, given what he can do with the ball and his ability to run the RPO. Don’t forget about QB Myles Brennan, who decided to return to LSU, along with Garrett Nussmeier, who are all battling for the starting job.
The Tigers also added DC Matt House, who will have Maason Smith along with Jaquelin Roy on the line to create havoc. It will be interesting to see how this team looks next season, but the win projection feels right at the moment. The schedule is also daunting in 2022, so maybe take a chance and roll the dice on seven wins?
Ole Miss Rebels: 8 Wins
Replacing Matt Corral will be no easy task for Lane Kiffin, even with Jaxson Dart transferring in from USC. Corral was such a game changer for the Rebels, especially when plays broke down. That will be hard to duplicate. The addition of TCU transfer RB Zach Evans will help tremendously, especially since this group lost so much production out of the backfield. He will be a problem for teams in the open field. The biggest challenge will be the defensive side. The Rebels got into shootouts at times last season, though they still managed to break the single season record for wins.
As long as Lane Kiffin is running the offense, expect the Rebels to score some points. The non-conference schedule lines up nicely, plus they have the usual matchup with Vandy. So, eight wins doesn’t feel far off.
Mississippi State Bulldogs: 6.5 Wins
The Bulldogs get Will Rogers back for another season at quarterback, which should convert into more passing yards than last season. Mike Leach will have his hands full trying to score enough points to overcome some losses on defense, but getting past the win total might not be as challenging as you might think. Playing teams like Arizona, Bowling Green, ETSU and Memphis could get them close, but their SEC schedule this season is pretty tough. If you think they can score enough for 7 wins, have at it. Maybe throw the under on this one for now.
Texas A&M Aggies: 9 Wins
Jimbo Fisher will have a tough decision to make about who will lead this team at quarterback: Haynes King or LSU transfer Max Johnson. The Aggies return talent on offense, but we all witnessed how things went last season when King went down with an injury in the first game. The Aggies have a new DC, DJ Durkin, after Mike Elko took the Duke HC job. How the Aggies perform this year with their rushing defense will be key. They’ll have to keep up with a nice group of opposing QBs in the division. They are building something in College Station, though it might take another year to pay off. Can the Aggies pull off a few surprises like last season? Sure, but they also can’t afford a few of those duds.
Time for Jimbo to get this thing headed towards the Playoff and stop playing second or third fiddle in the division. The win projection of nine feels like a strong gamble at the moment, but maybe throwing down a few bucks wouldn’t hurt.
There it is, the early betting odds for SEC West win totals. Good luck deciding which teams you feel could make you some money in 2022.