College Football Betting Preview: 2022 Southeastern Conference Analysis and Best Bets

The Georgia Bulldogs are the defending national champions and will now have a hungry Alabama Crimson Tide team, along with several other top-tier SEC programs, gunning for them. Find out how we think things will shake out in our SEC conference betting preview

Not only are the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide considered to be two of the better teams in college football this season, but Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies also have championships on their minds. All in all, this should be one of the most exciting conferences in the nation to follow — as is always the case. And perhaps this is a good place to use your $20 free + risk-free bet of up to $1,000 as a new customer of BetMGM Sportsbook. 

 

2022 SEC Preview and Best Bets

Alabama Crimson Tide

Best odds: -140 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 5 Offense, 7 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 11.5

Alabama returns Heisman Trophy hopefuls on both sides of the ball, as QB Bryce Young, who won the award last year, is back to lead the offense and Will “The Terminator” Anderson is back to terrorize opposing quarterbacks. Nick Saban’s team gets a total of 12 starters back from last year’s squad, which is the most the Crimson Tide have returned since 2013. Last year’s team was sixth in the nation in scoring offense and 18th in scoring defense, so there’s insane potential here. Alabama will also have a chip on its shoulder after having finally given way to Georgia in the national championship. A return to the College Football Playoff is extremely likely here. The DimersBOT actually gives the Tide a 31.9% chance of winning it all  — and a 54.9% shot at winning the SEC. 

Georgia Bulldogs

Best odds: +150 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 7 Offense, 3 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 11

Georgia is a really safe bet to win the SEC East this year, as the team returns a decent amount of talent and we just haven’t seen anybody emerge as a true contender in that division yet. Perhaps Tennessee or Florida will be able to do that somewhat soon, but the Bulldogs likely won’t worry about either program until they’re given a scare from them. It is, however, worth noting that this year’s team is a bit worse than last year’s, on paper. Does that mean the Bulldogs can’t win another national championship? Of course not. But Kirby Smart’s group won’t look as dominant as it did in 2021. The Bulldogs gave up only 10.2 points per game last year, but only three starters remain on that side of the ball. 

Texas A&M Aggies

Best odds: +1600 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 6 Offense, 5 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 9

Whether it’s Haynes King or Max Johnson under center for the Aggies, the team should get better quarterback play than it did with Zach Calzada in 2021. Texas A&M also happens to have one of the most talented rosters in football, top to bottom. It might take another year before Jimbo Fisher’s team is truly a championship contender, but that time is coming soon and it wouldn’t be that surprising if the breakthrough happened this season. The Aggies bring back most of their key pieces from a defense that allowed only 15.9 points per game last year, and the offense is the only real question mark here. The showdown between the Aggies and Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa should be electric. 

Tennessee Volunteers

Best odds: +4000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 8 Offense, 7 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 8

Tennessee is getting 15 starters back from a team that won seven games in head coach Josh Heupel's first year with the program. One of those starters is quarterback Hendon Hooker, who is dynamic as a runner but can also spin it when he needs to. He and wide receiver Cedric Tillman make up one of the best duos in the conference, and they should excel in Heupel's up-tempo offense again this year. The question is whether or not Tennessee's defense can take a step forward, but having seven returning starters on that side of the ball helps. The Volunteers just need to get a few more stops each game in order to become an eight or nine win team. 

Kentucky Wildcats

Best odds: +5000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 6 Offense, 5 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 7.5

Kentucky only has six starters returning on offense, but one of them is quarterback Will Levis. Last year, Levis threw for 2,826 yards with 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while also adding 376 yards and nine scores on the ground. He's a legitimate NFL prospect at the quarterback position and when you combine that with Mark Stoops' ability to squeeze every ounce of potential out of his teams, the Wildcats are likely looking at another season of bowl eligibility — and possibly even more. 

Arkansas Razorbacks

Best odds: +5000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 7 Offense, 4 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 7

Arkansas was ridiculed when it landed on Sam Pittman as its head coach, but he has done nothing but stabilize the Razorbacks and this team now seems poised to do big things in the near future. Look for this offense to be explosive again, as Kendal Briles is one of the brightest offensive minds in college and gets to call plays for dual-threat quarterback K.J. Jefferson. Arkansas does, however, lose most of its defensive starters from last year's 39th-ranked scoring defense. That side of the ball really limits the upside of this Razorbacks team in 2022. 

 

MORE: College Football predictions for every game in 2022

Florida Gators

Best odds: +5000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 6 Offense, 7 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 7

New Florida head coach Billy Napier brings a little bit of experience coaching in Tuscaloosa, and the Gators decision-makers are hoping that some of that Saban magic rubs off. Napier was very successful in his stint with Louisiana and his style of coaching should be exactly what Florida needs. Look for this year's Gators team to be nastier in the trenches, and don't be surprised if there's a bigger focus on running the football in 2022. Florida has the perfect quarterback for that in Anthony Richardson, who has a big arm but also a huge body. He should be a tough guy to bring down in read-option looks, but he also will beat defenses over the top if they cheat. The issue for this year's Gators is that the schedule is insanely tough. They'll win seven or eight games, but the future is bright. 

Ole Miss Rebels

Best odds: +5000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 5 Offense, 7 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 7.5

The Rebels lost a lot of key pieces from last year's 10-win team, but they also added an absurd amount of talent in the portal — which is why head coach Lane Kiffin has been referring to himself as the "Portal King." Ole Miss has a very good offensive line and a great stable of running backs, led by Zach Evans and Ulysses Bentley IV. Evans was a former five-star recruit that performed at a high level at TCU, but he should do even bigger things in this offense. Meanwhile, Bentley was a big-time contributor for SMU before heading to Ole Miss. If the Rebels can get some decent play at the quarterback position, eight or nine wins is certainly attainable. But that's a big if with this group of quarterbacks, and Kiffin is going to miss having Matt Corral around. 

Auburn Tigers

Best odds: +15000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 7 Offense, 6 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 6

Since head coach Bryan Harsin got to Auburn, it seems like nothing good has happened for the Tigers. Whether it's on or off the field, the headlines have been rather negative, and the on-field product doesn't look like it'll get much better this year. Auburn did have the 27th-best scoring defense in the nation last year, which is the best you can say about that squad. But losing defensive coordinator Derek Mason to Oklahoma State is a big blow, and it's hard to imagine running back Tank Bigsby being able to carry this offense on his own — even with an experienced offensive line. Don't be surprised if Auburn misses out on a bowl game this year. 

Mississippi State Bulldogs

Best odds: +12500 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 8 Offense, 9 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 6.5

The Mike Leach era in Mississippi State hasn't been perfect, but the team did win seven games last year and the pieces are in place for the Bulldogs to turn in yet another winning season in 2022. They're bringing back nine starters on defense and should really take a step forward on that side of the ball with defensive coordinator Zach Arnett calling the shots. He's viewed as an up-and-coming head coaching candidate around the nation. But Mississippi State's offense hasn't quite hummed the way people thought it would. Perhaps that changes with quarterback Will Rogers expected to make a sizable leap this year. If it doesn't, the Bulldogs just don't have much upside. 

LSU Tigers

Best odds: +5000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 6 Offense, 5 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 6.5

It's interesting that LSU has such a low season win total this year, as it really wouldn't be all that surprising if they won eight or nine games this year. Quarterback Jayden Daniels never quite lived up to the hype at Arizona State, but he is a talented dual-threat signal caller and he should be able to make some big plays. It helps that he'll have Kayshon Boutte, one of the best receivers in the nation, catching passes. Also, all Brian Kelly has ever done is win at a high level, and LSU still has a lot of talent on its roster. This could go either way, but the Over on the Tigers win total is one of the better bets you can make this college season. The team should be able to pick up four wins in its first four weeks of the year. 

Missouri Tigers

Best odds: +40000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 6 Offense, 8 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 5

It's hard to see a path to Missouri winning more than five games this season, as the Tigers have a lot of issues on the defensive side of the ball and don't appear to have a quarterback they can trust either. The team seemingly had a good one in Connor Bazelak, but he opted to transfer to Indiana after last season. Now, Missouri is stuck with a good offensive line and some solid weapons, but will the quarterback be able to make good use of them? We have some serious doubts and the Tigers also happen to have a very difficult schedule this year. 

South Carolina Gamecocks

Best odds: +12500 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 9 Offense, 5 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 6.5

South Carolina is one of the most interesting teams in the SEC this year, as the Gamecocks caught a lot of people by surprise in Shane Beamer's first year with the program. South Carolina went 7-6 last year and now has quarterback Spencer Rattler in the building after two interesting years at Oklahoma. Rattler can be a bit polarizing, but all the reports from Gamecocks staffers have been positive. He brings an insane amount of arm talent to the South Carolina offense, which should allow the team to successfully open up the playbook. The Gamecocks were only 104th in the nation in scoring offense last year, so you can only imagine what will happen if they start scoring points. Seven or eight wins should be realistic for Beamer's crew, especially if the team can steal a win from Arkansas in Week 2. 

Vanderbilt Commodores

Best odds: +100000 at BetMGM

Returning Starters: 7 Offense, 7 Defense
Over/Under Regular Season Win Total: 2.5

Vanderbilt brings a lot of starters back from last year's team, but the Commodores only won two games last year. Games against Hawaii and Elon in the first two weeks of the year give Vanderbilt a very good shot at matching that win total immediately. From there, the Commodores would just need to win one more game in order to hit the Over on 2.5. But that's a lot easier said than done, as this team isn't exactly scary on either side of the ball. Still, we like Vanderbilt's chances to cash that Over. Even a Week 3 meeting with Wake Forest is looking somewhat winnable now that Sam Hartman is out indefinitely. 

2022 SEC Best Bet: Georgia (+150)

Look, you're just not going to get great odds on Alabama to win the conference and that makes it really hard to justify backing them to win. The DimersBOT absolutely loves the Crimson Tide this season, but the model is also high on the Bulldogs. Georgia also happens to have the luxury of playing in the SEC East, which gives the team a great chance of getting to the SEC Championship. Alabama has a few more obstacles in the way in that regard, with a meeting with Texas A&M being one of them. 

 

2022 SEC Best Value Play: Texas A&M (+1600) 

As previously mentioned, Texas A&M's time is coming and it's only a matter of when the Aggies break through. Why not take a shot on it being this year? You can get a great payout on a small bet for this team, and Jimbo Fisher's group is wildly talented. You're just banking on King or Johnson turning in a good season at quarterback, and we've already seen the latter play at a high level in this conference. Last year, Johnson threw for 2,815 yards with 27 touchdowns and only six picks. He'll be ready if he ends up under center in Week 1. Otherwise, it's a great sign if King is able to beat out such an established player. 

 
 
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