Caesars Palace Race and Sportsbook released its odds for SEC and Big 10 conference team win totals, and Alabama and Michigan lead the way. But both frontrunners are expected to challenged by their rivals, Georgia and Ohio State.
The sportsbook has Alabama’s win total at 11.5, the most of any team in the two football powerhouse conferences. The over is -300, while the under is +250.
The Crimson Tide finished 14-1 last season. This year they have some pushover non-conference opponents, such as New Mexico State and Western Carolina that should help pad their win total.
The schedule also favors them in who they host in conference. They will play at home against Mississippi, Tennessee, and LSU. They also avoid an improved Missouri team, nor will they face Georgia. Potential stumbling blocks are visits to Texas A&M, Mississippi State, and Auburn.
One potential issue has already been resolved. Coach Nick Saban said he thought his starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa needed to lose about 15 pounds before the season opener.
“(He) has to challenge himself to get back into great shape and overcome some of the things that happened toward the end of the year,” Saban said. “And I think he should take the perception that he has a lot to prove relative to how we ended the season. I think the whole team fits into that category.”
Tagovailoa responded, coming into summer practice leaner, thus earning praise from his coach.
“I think he came out of spring and knew what he needed to do and is doing it,” Saban said.
Michigan Ready to Roll
Caesars has Michigan at 10.5 wins this season, with the over at -180, and the under at +160. The Wolverines have several tough tests on the schedule.
The team does have the benefit of hosting Ohio State, but the Buckeyes over/under is 10 games this season, with the over at +115, and the under at -135. The early line on the contest between the two is OSU +6.5 points.
Michigan also has the advantage of hosting rival Michigan State, and Notre Dame. They do have to travel to play Penn State and Wisconsin, though the early line on the Wisconsin game has the Wolverines favored by 6.5 points against the Nittany Lions and by six points over the Spartans.
Georgia, Ohio State Not Laying Down
While Alabama and Michigan are the favorites in their respective conferences, Georgia and Ohio State should challenge them for the title. The team’s win total is 11, with the over a -160 favorite and the under at +140.
The Bulldogs should be in the top five when the AP rankings come out later in the summer, and coach Kirby Smart has made improvements to his coaching staff on the offense and defense.
“There’s good energy, really good energy with the two new coordinators we’ve got,” Smart said recently. “Even the new guys we’ve brought into the staff provide that energy, sometimes change is good. I’ve seen it over the years.”
Ohio State had the biggest change of all when famed coach Urban Meyer resigned last December. The university promoted offensive coordinator Ryan Day as Meyer’s replacement.
There is uncertainty on whether Day will be successful. The win total is set at 10, but the under is the favorite at -135. The over is at +115.