Georgia rolled through the SEC last season en route to an unblemished record and its second straight national championship. The Bulldogs are heavy favorites going into the 2023 season, but there are still several powerhouses in contention to unseat them and raise the SEC title trophy on December 2 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
Alabama failed to win the SEC West last season for the first time since 2019. Instead, LSU stunned the college football world last season when quarterback Jayden Daniels led the Tigers to the SEC Championship Game in coach Brian Kelly's first season in Baton Rouge. Crimson Tide coach Nick Saban has some work to do in order to solidify the depth chart, with quarterbacks Ty Simpson, Jalen Milroe and Tyler Buchner entering preseason camp vying for the spot formerly occupied by Bryce Young.
There are plenty of other contenders, though. Tennessee burst onto the scene last season and was in the thick of the SEC East race into November. Which team is this year's upstart? There are plenty of options. What are the best bets in the SEC league? Which team is the best value pick? Let's look at the conference title odds from Caesars Sportsbook:
Best bet -- Georgia (-110): Sure, it'd be easy to say that the price for Georgia makes this a risky bet. After all, the Bulldogs are replacing star quarterback Stetson Bennett IV, running back Kenny McIntosh, both starting offensive tackles and a ton on defense.
Let's not out-think the room, though. The quarterback room is loaded with talent no matter who succeeds Bennett and Georgia's defense playing at an elite level is as predictable as the sunrise. Additionally, tight end Brock Bowers -- one of the best players in the country -- is back, and coach Kirby Smart brought in a pair of big-time wide receivers in Dominic Lovett and RaRa Thomas.
Georgia's pedigree of success, combined with some questions facing the other top contenders, makes it the correct bet even if it comes at a less-than-desirable price.
Worst wager -- Texas A&M (+1200): Seriously? We are doing this again? The Aggies seem to be the trendy pick every single offseason, and apparently the sports books are counting on people falling into that trap again. They are unproven at quarterback, don't have weapons to set the tone on the ground and the defense, while talented, doesn't have what it takes to make up for any offensive deficiencies.
Maybe the thought process on the Aggies being the fourth-most likely team to claim the SEC title hinges on coach Jimbo Fisher and new offensive coordinator Bobby Petrino coming together to create an explosive offense that rivals the best in the division? It could work, but that seems unlikely given they are two strong personalities who will have to come together on and off the field.
Best value -- LSU (+450): The defending SEC West champs are well behind Alabama in the odds despite being more stable at quarterback with Daniels in the mix for the Heisman Trophy. Plus, LSU is loaded at wide receiver, and the stellar front seven is led by star sophomore Harold Perkins Jr. What's more, the Tigers have a pedigree of success after last year's run to the division title and more stability among the assistant coaches than their SEC West rival. LSU has a good shot at repeating as division champs. If that happens, all Kelly needs is a good 60 minutes in the SEC Championship Game to take the next step and cash those tickets.
Long shot -- Arkansas (+10000): It's going to be impossible to prepare for Arkansas' offense with dual-threat monster KJ Jefferson taking the snaps and Raheim Sanders leading what should be the most dynamic rushing attack in the conference. New offensive coordinator Dan Enos has returned to Fayetteville and is likely to install more NFL principles into the scheme, and Jefferson has shown that he is capable of handling those responsibilities when former coordinator Kendal Briles weaved them into his repertoire at times last season.
Sure, the defense was a disaster last season. That's what prevented the Razorbacks from truly contending in the division race. If new coordinator Travis Williams can just find a way to put an average defense on the field, this team could do some damage and make bettors a lot of money.