2008 SEC Football Future Betting Odds June 25th, 2008
By: NCAA Football Handicapping Staff
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NCAA Football Futures Betting – SEC Wide Open
As Our best Sportsbooks customers eyeing the college football betting landscape look at the SEC, see what may be a number of teams who could contend for the national title. But can they even win the conference? We’ll examine that here.
To Win Southeastern Conference
Mississippi State +3000
South Carolina +1200
Let’s examine the contenders in capsule form:
GEORGIA (+200 in BetUS SEC betting odds) — With momentum coming from that 41-10 win over Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl, Georgia is being given a pretty good shot to win the national title by a lot of people. I’m not sure I am one of them. However, I concede that Knowshown Moreno is a legitimate contender for the Heisman Trophy, and that any team that returns eight starters on offense and seven regulars from a talented, speedy defense are a potential nightmare for any team they play.
But I’m still waiting for Matthew Stafford, who had less than a 55% completion rate, to really become the quarterback everybody expected him to be. Now a junior, there are no more excuses for him not exploding. There are obstacles in the schedule, which include road games at LSU and Auburn.
FLORIDA (+250 in BetUS sports betting odds) — Tim Tebow is a one-man wrecking crew, throwing for 32 TD’s and rushing for 23 more. There is plenty of speed at his disposal, and although Percy Harvin is a tremendous receiving threat (858 yards), Tebow will have even more choices. And the bonus comes if redshirt freshman Chris Rainey becomes a star. If the Gators get the kind of defensive improvement they expect, and there’s no reason they shouldn’t with seven starters returning. Still, after giving up 524 yards in the Citrus Bowl game against Michigan, there is much work that has to be done. Being able to host defending champion LSU instead of traveling to Baton Rouge is a bonus.
AUBURN (+250 in BetUS odds) — I was hoping for a little more value here, but I do like Auburn, because there is already a strong defense in place (ranked sixth nationally last year) which brigs seven starts back, and a new spread offense being installed by Tony Franklin, who has managed a lot of success elsewhere, including in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl with the Tigers, who will be even better with spring and fall practice using it. Kodi Burns is the guy with mobility who can make this offense multi-dimensional, but there is also Chris Todd, who played an similar scheme in junior college. With two starting wide receivers and all the best running backs returning, there is no reason Auburn should not score enough points to distance themselves from a lot of opponents, and cause headaches for LSU, Tennessee and Georgia, all of whom have to come to Jordan Hare Stadium.
LSU (+400 in BetUS SEC football odds) — I don’t see LSU repeating, because they lost enough playmakers that will make it difficult to make up the difference. Plus, having let Ryan Perrilloux go for disciplinary reasons, there is a void at quarterback that will not be so easy to fill. I’m not sure Les Miles was counting on having to go to the two-deep this soon, but either Jarrett Lee or Andrew Hatch is going to have to step up and step up big. Replacing Craig Steltz, Glenn Dorsey and Ali Highsmith, all of whom anchored their respective units, won’t be simple. But Miles naturally knew that he had depth in talent, otherwise he may not have turned down the Michigan job. This may not be his year again, though. Within the first seven games, this team has to play at Auburn, at Florida, and at South Carolina. That’s a tough road for them to hoe.
ALABAMA (+650 in BetUS SEC betting odds) — John Parker Wilson is not the kind of quarterback who is going to scare a lot of opposing defenses, but he’s got quite a bit of support around him, as Alabama returns nine offensive starters. There is a new offensive coordinator (Jim McElwain), the third in three seasons, so that doesn’t say much for continuity. I would be concerned about the defense, because while it is not a porous unit, it is not super-talented. Maybe Nick Saban will use a number of the great recruits he was able to sign. Of course, that won’t be enough to win the conference. No value here.
TENNESSEE (+800 in BetUS odds) — Tennessee is looking for a lot of improvement from its secondary, which returns three starters and veteran depth. The defensive line needs work, but Demonte Bolden and Dan Williams can be solid in the middle. Even though Arian Foster ran for over 1000 yards, the running game on an overall basis was only so-so, and Jonathan Crompton must be able to fill the shoes of the solid, steady Erik Ainge at quarterback. He had elbow surgery in April, but is expected to be a more than adequate replacement.
SOUTH CAROLINA (+1200 in BetUS college football betting odds) — Steve Spurrier has never been able to work the same magic in Columbia that he did at the University of Florida. And he will once again have a team that would seem alien to what he’s dealt with in the past, which is to say a club that will have a tough time scoring points on quality defenses but will be able to play a little “D” themsleves. The Gamecocks had the fourth-ranked secondary in all of college football last season and return 10 starting players from the defense. Maybe some “unders” in the offing?
Forget about the rest of the teams. They are not genuine contenders.
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