LSU (+160) favored to win SEC title

Published on May 15 at 2:20 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Odds to win the 2012 SEC Championship (per 5Dimes)

Dec. 1, 2012, at Ga. Dome in Atlanta

LSU +160
Alabama +200
Georgia +525
Arkansas +550
South Carolina +925
Florida +1550
Auburn +2200
Mississippi State +2600
Missouri +2600
Tennessee +3300
Texas A&M +4200
Vanderbilt +5200
Kentucky +13500
Mississippi +15500

How to read the Odds:

Bet $100 to win $160 on LSU.

Bet $100 to win $1,500 on Florida

Bet $100 to win $5,200 on Vanderbilt

There’s just not much value with LSU or Alabama, so I think you look at Arkansas and South Carolina at their generous odds. Despite the tumultuous offseason, the Razorbacks are poised for a monster year and perhaps the drama has brought the team together even more. Without question, they have one of the top quarterbacks in the country in Tyler Wilson, who will get loads of support from Knile Davis, one of the nation’s premier running backs. Most importantly, the Hogs get Alabama and LSU in Fayetteville.

(However, if the three recent suspensions to two WRs and a TE expected to play key roles in the Arky aerial attack, are for more than two games, then a future wager on the Hogs is not advised because ‘Bama comes to Fayetteville in Week 3.)

South Carolina might have the best pass rusher in America in sophomore DE Jadeveon Clowney, who demands double teams and makes plays galore. At long last, Steve Spurrier doesn’t have a knucklehead under center. QB Connor Shaw got better with every start last year and did an excellent job of avoiding mistakes. Assuming Marcus Lattimore is back to 100 percent after tearing his ACL last season, I believe the Gamecocks are the team to beat in the SEC East.

Some may feel Georgia is more likely to win the SEC East and that notion is supported by the fortunate fact for UGA fans that it does NOT have to play LSU, Alabama or Arkansas for a second straight year. But the Bulldogs have to travel to Columbia and even if they get to Atlanta, they could be double-digit underdogs again.

Translation: Georgia was an 11 ½-point ‘dog vs. LSU at the Ga. Dome last year. That was good for a money-line return richer than the plus-525 odds that we have here from 5Dimes. So if you like UGA to win the East, maybe you just wait to take it to win outright in Atlanta?

As for Florida, there are just too many question marks. The optimist will tell you that QBs Jeff Driskel and/or Jacoby Brissett are immensely talented and could enjoy breakout seasons, but the fact is that both are still very unproven. The defense should be outstanding, but the two best players for this unit (Ronald Powell and Dominique Easley) are recovering from torn ACLs.

Prediction: LSU
Sleeper: South Carolina (+925 odds are generous enough to be a sleeper, right?)

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