Auburn, Top NCAA Football Betting Fans Pick To Win SEC

Posted by Alex Murphy on Monday,July 27, 2015 5:18, EST in

At the SEC Media Days, College Football betting lines fans and voters did select Auburn as the most likely team to win the conference outright. Unfortunately, they didn’t select Auburn even to win the SEC West – with will be necessary for them even to appear in the SEC championship game in the first place. The voters instead picked Alabama to win the SEC West and Georgia to win the SEC East.

How Realistic is Auburn as a Top NCAA Football Betting Pick to Win the SEC

Here’s how it broke down: voters picked Auburn over Alabama by a 96-80 margin as the likeliest team to win the conference. However, when the vote came down just to the SEC West, the Crimson Tide had 1,405 points, while the Tigers only had 1,362 points. Auburn did have more first-place votes by a 108-92 margin, though. The voters picked LSU third, and then Arkansas, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Mississippi State. That’s a big fall from grace for the Bulldogs, who spent over a month in the #1 ranking nationwide last season. This year, it looks like voters expect Mississippi State to fall all the way to the bottom, even though Dak Prescott is still back as the signal-caller.

The SEC West is arguably the toughest division within the toughest conference in all of college football. It’s telling that two of the teams that were the very best – Ole Miss and Mississippi State – are now seen as flashes in the pan, likely to go back down to the bottom. Some of this has to do with perception, though, as neither Mississippi team has much of a history of contending. As Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen puts it, “This is my seventh year coming here, and I think all seven years they’ve pretty much picked us to finish last in the West. It’s kind of like a tradition, I guess. Won’t really worry much about that. I’m much more concerned with how we finish” (as reported by ESPN.com).

How Tough Will Auburn Have it to get to the top?

But how likely is an Auburn rise to the top? Alabama did lose quarterback Blake Sims, and replacing Amari Cooper and T.J. Yeldon will also be difficult. On defense, the Crimson Tide lost All-American safety Landon Collins. Given the prowess that Alabama regularly has shown in recruiting in the Nick Saban era, it’s going to take more to upend them as the SEC West favorite.

So what about Auburn? They did win the conference in 2013, but only finished 8-5 in 2014. The primary problem was with the defense, and so head coach Gus Malzahn has brought in Will Muschamp as his defensive coordinator. If Muschamp can bring the defense to an elite level, the Tigers will contend in the West. However, it’s too soon to crown them the favorites.

Another team that will contend is the Arkansas Razorbacks. Their run-first offense returns just about every starter, and there is also outstanding talent on defense. The SEC West is definitely a gauntlet to run, and top to bottom, there are no easy games for Auburn – or for any other team. While the Crimson Tide are currently the favorites, that could change from week to week once play begins.