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SEC win totals: Don't sleep on Ole Miss

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Welcome to our first installment of 2020 win totals, beginning with the SEC. Spoiler alert: It's going to be an elite conference yet again.

The SEC has won 10 of the last 14 national titles and could potentially have next season's winner as well. After all, five teams have a win total of 9.5 or better; no other conference in football has more than three.

With many mouths to feed and only so many wins to go around the SEC, it makes for an interesting handicap. It's also one of the toughest conferences to find an edge in, so don't be surprised to see just a couple of teams make our best bets.

Here's the SEC outlook for this fall.

SEC win totals

Team Win Total Over Under
Georgia 10.5 -210 +175
Alabama 10.5 -160 +140
Florida 9.5 -220 +180
LSU 9.5 -175 +155
Texas A&M 9.5 -160 +140
Auburn 8.5 -210 +175
Tennessee 7.5 -110 -110
Kentucky 6.5 -200 +170
Mississippi State 6.5 -170 +150
Ole Miss 5.5 -145 +125
South Carolina 5.5 -145 +125
Missouri 5.5 -110 -110
Vanderbilt 3.5 -170 +140
Arkansas 3.5 -110 -110

Strength of schedule

Considering how strong the conference is, it's not surprising all 14 teams are in the top half of the country in terms of schedule difficulty. However, there's a significant gap between the toughest slate (South Carolina, No. 7 in the country) and easiest (Florida, No. 61). Here's how the strength of schedule lines up.

Team National SOS Rank
South Carolina 7
Arkansas 9
Auburn 20
Alabama 23
Ole Miss 29
Mississippi State 30
Georgia 31
Kentucky 37
Tennessee 38
Vanderbilt 40
LSU 46
Missouri 53
Texas A&M 59
Florida 61

Best bets

Ole Miss over 5.5 (-145)

Ole Miss left arguably more wins on the table than any other SEC program last season. The Rebels went 4-8 but could have easily snagged five, six, or seven wins had they been better in late-game situations - Ole Miss went 0-5 in one-score games, losing by a combined 26 points. If the Rebels make the slightest improvement in close contests next season, they could be the first SEC team to cross the win total finish line.

Need one under-the-radar offense to watch in the conference? It's Ole Miss. The Rebels took a bit longer than you'd like to find their footing in 2019, but once they got going, they got a sneak peek at their true potential.

After averaging close to seven yards per play over its final three games, Ole Miss finished the year No. 40 nationally. Quarterback John Rhys Plumlee and new head coach Lane Kiffin could do some serious damage in an offense that returns 75% of last year's production.

LSU under 9.5 (+155)

Last year was the year for the Tigers, who won the national championship behind a record-setting offense and Heisman-winning quarterback. How will they respond as they go from the hunter to the hunted?

LSU's returning production is bleak. A whopping 14 players from last season's squad were drafted, while most of the offense will be brand new. I doubt the Tigers will replicate their success in the turnover margin after finishing the 2019 season +10.

I certainly don't love LSU's schedule, despite getting one of the easier slates in the conference. The Tigers still have to host Texas, Ole Miss, and Alabama, with road games against Auburn, Texas A&M, and Florida.

Alex Kolodziej is a betting writer for theScore. He's a graduate of Eastern Illinois who has been involved in the sports betting industry for 12 years. He can quote every line from "Rounders" and appreciates franchises that regularly wear alternate jerseys. Find him on Twitter @AJKolodziej.

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