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SEC Conference: NCAA Football Gambling Predictions | Futures

NCAA Football Betting Futures – 2011 Southeastern Conference Season Preview

Over the last half decade of college football, it’s been then other conferences…and then the SEC. Home to the last five BCS title game winners, the SEC was on another level.

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However, after the NFL mined so many SEC powerhouses for NFL talent this offseason, the conference looks far less predictable – or dominant – on paper this season.

Alabama (+170) couldn’t repeat as national champs last season but certainly threatened and gains top favorite status for 2011. Quarterback Greg McIlroy graduated, leaving AJ McCarron and Phillip Sims to battle for the starting job. An undetermined quarterback situation would normally be a huge red flag for a national title contender but the Crimson Tide are just so strong everywhere else.

Alabama Cheerleaders

SEC Conference Football Predictions

The offense will remain run-first, with Trent Richardson getting the job to himself and ready to flourish with Mark Ingram off to the NFL.

Alabama loses outstanding defenders to the pros every year – most recently Marcell Dareus – but always manages to field a powerhouse “D” anyway.

Florida (+175) is right on Alabama’s heels among the SEC betting futures. With Charlie Weis taking over as offensive co-ordinator, the Gators’ offense could explode. Weis is a much better fit for quarterback John Brantley, who has every starter at the other skill positions returning to support him. That said, the offensive line could be shaky, which is bad news considering Brantley isn’t fleet of foot.

Worse yet, the Gators’ secondary won’t be what it was last year now that three of its key members used up their eligibility.

Is LSU (+450) a perfect team? No. The criticism for the Tigers starts and ends with Jordan Jefferson. The man threw four touchdown passes last season. Four! If you believe LSU can fix him, however, you probably like the Tigers to win the conference.

Spencer Ware looks like he could be a monster at tailback and the Tigers’ defense is an athletic group of playmakers led by Stefoin Francois, Ryan Baker and Morris Claiborne, who will be tested early and often this season now that Patrick Petersen is gone.

Georgia (+500) hopes to sneak up on the competition. Quarterback Aaron Murray showed promise as a freshman, throwing 24 touchdown pass versus eight picks. Then again, his numbers were possibly inflated by A.J. Green, the first receiver selected in this year’s NFL draft.

Who’s left for Murray to throw to? The best returning receiver caught 27 passes last season.  Eek. At least Georgia’s pass defense should be solid with all four starters returning in the secondary. [soliloquy id=”82219″]

South Carolina (+650) is the boom/bust pick. The Gamecocks showed plenty of promise last year, winning at Florida and beating Alabama at home. They have perhaps the conference’s top runner in Marcus Lattimore, who ran for 17 scores at a freshman. Alshon Jeffry is a stud at wide receiver, too.

While the defense wasn’t perfect, especially against the pass, it should improve. The country’s top recruit, Jadeveon Clowney, could drastically improve the pass rush.

But the big wild card is Stephen Garcia. He’s a crazy man who can’t stop getting suspended. Will the team let him play? If not, South Carolina is in big trouble, as no other quarterback is ready to step in and helm Steve Spurrier’s complex offense.

The general consensus is that the SEC will come down to the five teams above. There’s a big gap from South Carolina to Arkansas (+1200). The Razorbacks have to move on without Ryan Mallett at quarterback and several pieces of their O-line.

In case you’re wondering, the defending national champion Auburn Tigers are buried at +3000.

That’s no surprise considering they’ve lost a whopping 16 starters, including Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton.

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Very tough choice to make here but I lean toward LSU. Florida and Alabama lost too many key contributors and Garcia makes South Carolina too much of a risk. Many bettors like Georgia as a sleeper but I want to see Murray do it without Green.

I think LSU needs only a marginal improvement from Jefferson to be an elite team this season.

It’s not a pipe dream to expect that.

Pick: LSU +450

CappersPicks.com brings you the only college football handicapping guide you’ll need. Use the College football previews for the 2011 NCAA football season to help you with your college football handicapping at our top sportsbooks online this season.

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About Shea Matthews

Shea Matthews the Senior Writer at CP. Lives and breathes sports. He made the transition from athlete to sports journalist at a young age, writing in TV & national papers. Shea applies his knowledge to sports betting + handicapping daily, and shares winning picks with the world.


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