Week 5 update: Auburn came thiiiis close to knocking off No. 1 Georgia, but the Bulldogs keep rolling after a 27-20 win. Alabama took care of Mississippi State, and LSU fell in an instant classic against Ole Miss. Kentucky blew out Florida, and Arkansas lost to Texas A&M in Week 5.
This is the final year of the 14-team SEC as next year the Texas Longhorns and Oklahoma Sooners will find out why it just means more. The Georgia Bulldogs won the SEC title in 2022 and also won their second consecutive College Football Playoff. Gone are many components from that Bulldogs including quarterback Stetson Bennett and several members of their starting defense, many of whom now make up the two deal for the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite the personnel losses Georgia is still the favorite to win the conference again at -115. Behind the Bulldogs are the Alabama Crimson Tide (+300) and the LSU Tigers (+450) as the top-tier favorites. Things get a little jumbled from there with the second-tier conference teams. Georgia’s schedule is extremely easy — the Bulldogs’ non-conference schedule is borderline humiliating with Tennessee-Martin, Ball State, UAB and Georgia Tech. Combined record 24-24 and not a Power 5 school in sight. This should give Georgia plenty of time to break in new quarterback Carson Beck.
Alabama also has a new quarterbacj that Nick Saban has yet to name and a re-commitment to the style of football that brought the Crimson Tide championships during the early stages of the Saban era in 2009, 2011 and 2012. That was when Alabama beat teams up physically to the point of where they could win with Greg McElroy tossing softballs.
LSU has the toughest non-conference game — a Labor Day Sunday date with the Florida State Seminoles — and they also have the best quarterback situation with the returning Jayden Daniels (Heisman odds +1100 at DraftKings Sportsbook).
Overall, this feels like a race with three thoroughbreds and a few interesting quarterhorses like Texas A&M and maybe Tennessee.
Odds to win the 2023 SEC Championship Game from DraftKings Sportsbook (as of 10/2)
Texas A&M +900
Ole Miss +2200
South Carolina +50000
Mississippi State +100000
Preseason odds to win SEC
Texas A&M +1400
Ole Miss +4500
South Carolina +10000
Mississippi State +12000