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2021 SEC Football Favorites, Sleepers and Long Shots

By Carlos Chacon

The 2021 SEC Football is about to return from the offseason. With the way things are going, the opening weekend of major college football guarantees action-packed games and plenty of betting opportunities along the way. The SEC secured its fourth national championship of the CFB Playoff era last season as the Alabama Crimson Tide completed an incredible run through the conference. They continue to dominate Conference Football with 9 titles to their name and are among the favorites to win the 2021 title.

Apart from Alabama, other teams join the Championship talks, including Georgia, Florida, Texas A&M, and LSU. Ole Miss looks promising with coach Lane Kiffin at the helm, while Auburn has the talent to pull off unexpected wins alongside new coach Bryan Harsin. Furthermore, Arkansas, Tennessee, and Mississippi State have what it takes to accomplish a deep run this season.

With the fast-approaching season, NitroBetting news and the rest of the team put together a preview of the 2021 SEC Football. We bring you important event details, along with the latest 2021 College Football odds, tournament sleepers and favorites, and our very own expert betting predictions.

2021 SEC Football Preview

  • When: Saturday, September 4, 2021
  • TV: SEC Network
  • Radio: SEC Radio Network, SEC12.com
  • Live Stream: SEC Network+, ESPN+

READ MORE: Which College Football Teams Can Reach the 10 Win Mark in 2021?

2021 SEC Football Favorites

Alabama Crimson Tide

The Crimson Tide are on a mission to become the first team to record back-to-back champions since the program completed that goal in the 2011-21 season. Talent-wise, new quarterback Bryce Young gives the team the offensive prowess it needs. There’s no shortage of options as well when it comes to receivers.

Although the new names might have to go through several adjustments, the lineup on paper tells us that the Crimson Tide is out to win it again this season. Taking a look at the team’s defense, they led the SEC in scoring defense and are almost untouchable from every angle. Ultimately, the team’s top defense combined with a swift and consistent offensive line is a threat to any opponent headed their way.

Georgia Bulldogs

The Bulldogs ended their three-year run on top of the East last year, but they are back and ready for redemption. Coach Kirby Smart and the rest of the squad come out guns blazing as they return to Atlanta. The team’s offense averaged 8.3 points a game more with star quarterback JT Daniels in the mix, and the USC transfer should further improve under veteran coach Todd Monken.

The Bulldogs have a loaded running back selection, and even with George Pickens out of the picture, they should be able to make the necessary adjustments with that. It’s difficult to find any fault in the Bulldogs’ system, but the team can further benefit from a more solid offensive line.

Meanwhile, they have one of the nation’s top players upfront in lineman Jordan Davis, who takes care of the defense together with Adam Anderson and Nakobe Dean. In addition, safeties Tykee Smith, Lewis Cine, and Christopher Smith complement the rest of the team.

LSU Tigers

After a disappointing 5-5 season, the LSU Tigers are ready to bounce back. Coach Ed Oregon gets the support of several coordinators and staff chances to help get his team back on track and top of the SEC. Myles Brennan and Max Johnson give the team some confidence in the quarterback. The team should get more traction upfront with all five starters back in the offensive line.

There’s an abundance of talented receivers as well, and Kayshon Boutte is ready for another outstanding year. But after dropping their average yards per play last year from 7.9 to 5.5, there’s more pressure on new play-caller Jake Peetz to improve their numbers.

The ground game needs more polishing after putting down only 3.3 yards per carry last season. But once they have all of that covered, the LSU Tigers are anticipated to do well this season.

2021 SEC Football Sleepers

Mississippi State

The Bulldogs started their previous campaign on a positive note with a win over LSU. However, they started to struggle halfway through the season, before winning their last two games to finish 3-7. If they do well in the offseason with coach Mike Leach, there’s no reason for Mississippi not to pull off the impossible. Quarterback Will Rogers showed what he can do after elevating the team’s offense, while receiver Jaden Walley adds more strength to the starters.

On the other hand, there’s plenty of work to be done on the defensive side. They ranked fourth in the SEC in the fewest yards per play, allowing 5.48 last year, which should be enough to challenge other teams. While depth remains questionable, once players start to step up, other teams are going to be in for a surprise come game day.

Arkansas Razorbacks

Following a disappointing run between 2016-19 in the SEC, the Razorbacks did well to win three games after coach Sam Pittman joined the team in his first year. The Razorbacks overachieved last season and we look forward to what the team brings this season. They improved their scoring average significantly from 17.4 in 2019 to 25.7 last year.

Receiver Treylon Burks is one of the top players in the nation and working with quarterback JK Jefferson further improves the offense’s potential. As we look at the defense, it’s obvious that Barry Odom introduced good elements to the team, allowing 6.95 yards a play in SEC games in 2019. Nine starters make their way back, which means improvements should follow.

2021 SEC Football Long Shots

Kentucky Wildcats

Mark Stoops did a great job at leading Kentucky to four SEC wins in the last five years. If the offense gains more traction, the team can push for more victories this season. Drake Jackson and Landon Young won’t be a part of the fixture, but the team remains strong upfront. Running back Christopher Rodriguez Jr. is primed for a big season, and ex-Nebraska playmaker Wan’Dale Robinson looks on pace to do well.

The Wildcats finished in the top five in SEC in scoring defense for three consecutive years. Despite returning with only four starters, the team was able to set solid foundations in the last few seasons. End Josh Paschal, linebacker DeAndre Square, and safety Yusuf Corker are all high-caliber players that gives Kentucky the edge coming into the season.

Expert’s Prediction for 2021 SEC College Football

With a wide-open field, we expect the 2021 SEC Football to bring the action we want to see. While the frontrunners look poise and strong to complete a deep run to the finals, there’s plenty of options in the sleepers list. Multiple changes result in a good mix of offensive and defensive advantages for each team. Ultimately, if you want to stay on the safer side of the spectrum, going with the favorites is a no-brainer. Meanwhile, if you want to mix up your picks, the selection of sleeper teams can deliver what you’re looking for.

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