SEC 2022 Odds, Predictions, and Betting Preview: Young and the Restless

Alabama enters the 2022 college football season highly motivated after losing to Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship. Can Bryce Young and Tide regain the throne?

Last Updated: Jul 28, 2022 1:21 PM ET Read Time: 6 min
Bryce Young Alabama Crimson Tide 2022
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Georgia and Kirby Smart finally slayed the dragon. The dragon, of course, was Alabama and Nick Saban, as the Bulldogs claimed their first national title since 1980 by defeating their SEC rivals in the College Football Playoff National Championship.

So, the question for Georgia is, now what? Can it repeat despite losing virtually every key piece to a historically good defense? Or do the Bulldogs turn back into a pumpkin as betting favorite Alabama attempts to reclaim its throne atop the SEC with arguably the best players on either side of the ball in college football?

Here’s our 2022 SEC college football betting preview.

Odds to win the SEC

Team Odds Win Total O/U
Alabama -145 10.5
Georgia +155 10.5
Texas A&M +1,800 8.5
Florida +4,500 7
Tennessee +5,000 7.5
Mississippi +5,000 7.5
Kentucky +5,500 8
Arkansas +6,000 7.5
LSU +7,000 7
Mississippi State +12,000 6.5
South Carolina +15,000 6
Auburn +15,000 6.5
Missouri +30,000 5.5
Vanderbilt +100,000 2.5

Odds courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook as of July 28, 2022.

Favorites to win the SEC in 2022

Alabama (-145)

Bama haters look away.

It's hard to believe that a team that won 13 games, defeated Georgia in the SEC Championship, and was probably a Jameson Williams injury away from winning yet another national title has a chip on its shoulder, but here we are with Alabama in 2022.

The Crimson Tide have the best offensive player in the country in quarterback (and reigning Heisman Trophy winner) Bryce Young, and the best defensive player in the country in edge rusher Will Anderson. They also feature one of the deepest rosters in the best conference in college football. 

The offense must replace wide outs Jameson Williams, John Metchie III, and running back Brian Robinson, but Nick Saban did what Nick Saban does and restocked the cupboard quickly. The Tide poached wideout Jermaine Burton from rival Georgia and brought in running back Jahmyr Gibbs, who's in line for a big season, from Georgia Tech.

The scariest part about Bama in 2022? Nick Saban really likes this team, calling them a “fun group to coach.” It would be a shock to not see Alabama in the SEC Championship, at the very least.

Georgia (+155)

Georgia finally reached the pinnacle of college football, defeating Alabama and winning the national championship. So, what do the Bulldogs do for an encore? 

Defending their national title will be tough, but not impossible. Georgia had a record 15 players taken in April’s NFL draft, including eight players on one of the greatest defenses of all time. But impact players Jalen Carter and Nolan Smith return to head up a defense that will be rebuilt and will still be one of the best in the country.

And it may be hard to believe, but Stetson Bennett and the Bulldogs' offense might be the key to the team’s success this season. Bennett’s play was scrutinized all the way through the CFP Championship, but he got the job done, was the MVP of the Orange Bowl, and ended up with 29 touchdowns and just seven interceptions. He’ll have some great weapons at his disposal like tight-end Brock Bowers. 

It’s impossible to replace all that talent Georgia lost, but this team will still be one of the best in the country, and playing in the East Division in the SEC still plays to their advantage. 

Sleeper to win the SEC in 2022

Kentucky (+5,500)

Let’s be honest: Alabama or Georgia is winning the SEC. Full stop. But everyone loves a good sleeper pick, so let’s give it a shot. 

Most other SEC betting previews will probably have Texas A&M in this spot. Yes, the Aggies have a ton of talent, and are set up to challenge the top dogs in a year or two, but their quarterback questions give me pause this season. So, if we’re going to take a shot let’s go with a long one. And that’s with Kentucky and gunslinger Will Levis.

The Wildcats won 10 games a season ago and got a huge boost when Levis turned down the NFL this offseason to improve his game. Running back Chris Rodriguez Jr. has a chance to break Benny Snell’s school rushing record. And while replacing WR Wan’Dale Robinson will be tough, Mark Stoops did a good job in the transfer portal. The defense also got some key players to return and the defensive front could be a force this season.

The other thing to like here is that Kentucky is in the East, gets Georgia at home, and avoids Alabama and Texas A&M this season. The Wildcats are still a level below the Bulldogs, but they could make things interesting this season.

Pick to win the SEC: Alabama (-145)

This is the best way to bet on Alabama this season (outside of first-half spreads). Nick Saban has had some incredibly talented and deep rosters in Tuscaloosa, and this one has a chance to match any of them. Bryce Young could win back-to-back Heismans unless Jahmyr Gibbs runs wild (spoiler - he’s going to).

Saban has this incredible ability to use a previous failure to inspire his group the next year. The only thing scarier than this Alabama roster is the fact that it’s motivated too.

SEC 2022 best bets

Best ATS bet: Florida

It’s funny how things can come full circle in college football so quickly due to the nature of the sport and the constant turnover and players. For example, in last year’s edition of this article, I had Florida as my best bet, but as a fade.

This time around, thanks to the hiring of former Louisiana head coach Billy Napier, and a dark horse Heisman candidate at QB, it’s OK to start thinking about the Gators as a good ATS bet on a week-to-week basis this season. 

The Gators relieved Dan Mullen after a 6-7 season which included just two SEC wins. In comes Napier, who has served as an assistant under both Dabo Swinney and Nick Saban and turned the Ragin’ Cajuns into one of the better Group of Five programs in the country with the goal of creating a new culture in The Swamp.

On the field, Napier will transform the Gators to do their best chomping on the ground, and that all starts with QB Anthony Richardson. The redshirt sophomore was electrifying as a freshman, and the dual-threat signal caller is the perfect candidate to run Napier’s offense.

The defense has some issues with depth on the defensive front, but there is talent there, particularly at the back end, so improvement for a unit that ranked 11th in the SEC in scoring defense is likely. 

But the biggest reason for optimism is the culture shift Napier is implementing in Gainesville. This team had talent last year, they came within a hair of beating Alabama, but they were undisciplined. And it cost them, as the Gators ranked 117th in penalties per game. Napier is thorough and demands a lot from his players and staff but has made foundational changes like getting better food. And that will go a long way.

This team may be a couple of years away from getting back to the Top of the SEC East, but Napier is setting them up for the future, and if things fall the right way they could be surprisingly competitive this season. Not for nothing, Louisiana went 18-8 ATS in Napier’s first two seasons there.

Best Over/Under bet: Tennessee (Overs)

This was a toss-up between Tennessee Overs and Auburn Unders. The Tigers might run Tank Bigsby into the ground this season but the defense lost one too many playmakers, and the fact Bryan Harsin could lose that locker room at any moment is enough to scare me away.

So, we’re going with the Volunteers. There was a little trepidation here because the Voles were a great Over bet last year at 9-3 which could mean some elevated totals in 2022, but the combination of a great offense and a questionable defense is enough to feel confident in this prediction.

QB Hendon Hooker and WR Cedric Tillman make up one of the best QB-WR combos in the country and if they continue to grow in Year 2 of Josh Heupel’s system, watch out.

Tennessee ranked second in the SEC and seventh nationally in scoring at 39.3 points per game. And here’s a stat for you: The only teams to score more than 14 points in a game against Georgia’s historic defense last season were Alabama and Tennessee.

At the same time, the Vols surrendered 29.1 points per game, ranking 90th in the country. Basically, they got burned everywhere. They allowed more than 200 rushing yards per game in SEC play, ranked 122nd nationally in pass yards per game, and couldn’t stop anyone on third down. 

There are some building blocks on that side of the ball, but this isn’t suddenly going to be an elite unit this season, making this a perfect recipe for betting some Overs. 

Best win total bet: Texas A&M Over 8.5 (-150)

It may sounds crazy, but Vanderbilt Over 2.5 was almost the pick here, but let's stick with Texas A&M. The Aggies may be a year or two away from really competing with Alabama and Georgia, but they are still the clear-cut third-best team in the SEC. 

Texas A&M beat everyone in the SEC but Bama two seasons ago, and then did beat the Tide last year. This is a good football team, with what should be an exceptional defense, and it is really difficult to find four losses on the schedule.

Texas A&M should be favored in every game this season outside of its trip to Tuscaloosa on October 8, and have a very good chance to be 5-0 heading into that game. Then four of their final six games are in College Station. This season, 9-3 looks like the floor. Even at this juice, there is value in the Over. 

Best 2022 SEC props

Jahmyr Gibbs to win the Heisman (+5,000)

If Alabama quarterback Bryce Young doesn’t win back-to-back Heisman Trophies, one of the reasons will likely be because running back Jahmyr Gibbs went off.

The transfer from Georgia Tech is primed for a huge season in Tuscaloosa. He averaged 5.2 yards per carry in two years for the Yellow Jackets and is a threat out of the backfield as well, catching 60 passes. And that was when he was the focus of opposing team’s defensive plans.

And of the last 13 Heisman winners, the non-QBs have all been Alabama skill position players. So, if you don’t like a QB to win the award this season, Gibbs looks like a great bet.

Alabama Alternate Regular Season Wins - Over 11.5 (+130)

Betting Alabama can be a tough thing to do. There is little to no value on them in most of the regular markets. The odds-on favorite to win the SEC, the Over on their win total is juiced as high as -280. Heck, they are the +175 favorites in college football national championship odds.

But there’s a reason for that. For my money the Crimson Tide are the best team in the country and their schedule sets up favorably. An early season trip to Texas isn’t a big problem, there is no regular season date with Georgia, while Texas A&M and the Iron Bowl both come to Tuscaloosa this year. A perfect SEC regular season is tough, but this team is more than capable of pulling it off.

SEC 2022 Stat to know

At least one SEC team has played in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in each of the last seven seasons.

SEC 2022 Preview FAQs

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