The LSU Tigers went undefeated in conference play and claimed the SEC West title last season, but they’re behind the rival Alabama Crimson Tide on those Bovada division odds for 2012.
The Tigers were a perfect 8-0 against SEC opponents and 13-1 overall in 2011, easily beating Georgia by a score of 42-10 in the SEC Championship Game before getting smothered by the Crimson Tide 21-0 in their rematch in the BCS Championship Game.
LSU is also dealing with the loss of star cornerback Tyrann Mathieu, who was booted from the team a week ago amidst drug allegations. As well, the Tigers are making a change at quarterback for this year, with Zach Mettenberger replacing the duo of Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson.
That has the Tigers at 8/5 odds to win the SEC West, just behind the 7/5 Crimson Tide. Alabama went 7-1 against SEC teams last year and 12-1 overall before winning the national title against LSU. The Tide were also lucrative betting options at 9-4 ATS in 2011.
Arkansas, which went 6-2 against SEC teams and 11-2 overall last year, is then at 5/1 odds to win the SEC West, putting them ahead of Auburn (12/1) and Mississippi State (16/1). Texas A&M, new to the SEC for this year, is then at 25/1, with Mississippi back at 75/1.
Overall, it’s Alabama at 2/1 to win the SEC, with LSU at 5/2, and the East’s Georgia next at 5/1. Arkansas has been listed at 8/1 on the college football futures at Bovada to win the SEC in 2012, with Auburn at 25/1, Mississippi State at 35/1, and Texas A&M at 50/1. Mississippi, which went 0-8 in SEC play last year, is back at 200/1 to win the conference.
And Alabama and LSU are also riding high on the BCS National Championship odds heading into the season, with the Crimson Tide at 5/1 and the Tigers at 6/1. Arkansas is pegged at 25/1 odds to win the national title, with Auburn back at 75/1 on those futures.
The initial AP Top 25 poll – released over the weekend – had Alabama at No. 2 and LSU at No. 3 behind top-ranked Southern Cal. Arkansas was ranked at No. 10 on that list.