The SEC opens the 2021 college football season with two blockbuster matches that should see serious action taken.
No. 1 Alabama meets No. 14 Miami in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game in the teams’s first matchup since the fabled Sugar Bowl 1993. The Crimson Tide are strong 18.5-point favorites, and they’re a good bet knowing Nick Saban is 10-0 in neutral opening games.
No. 3 Clemson and No. 5 Georgia clash in the other big match in Charlotte, which gets ABC treatment on prime-time. The Tigers are a 3.5 point favorite in what should be the first big piece of the college football playoff puzzle.
MORE: Can Miami Use The Big Stage Against Alabama?
That’s not all. Josh Heupel will make his Tennessee debut against Bowling Green on Friday night and the Vols are 34.5 point favorites. Michigan transfer Joe Milton will begin quarterback for Tennessee. No. 16 LSU travels to UCLA for a rare Pac-12 match, and Labor Day features a shootout between Ole Miss and Louisville. This is a risky over (75.5). Or is it?
Shane Beamer and Clark Lea make their debut against the FCS competition. South Carolina opens with Eastern Illinois and Vanderbilt hosts ETSU.
For more college football predictions, check out Sporting News’ Week 1 Tips vs Spread:
SEC odds for week 1
Here are the latest SEC odds, including point spreads, moneylines, and over-under totals for each game, according to FanDuel.com.
SEC point spreads for week 1
|Bowling Green in Tennessee (Friday)||TEN -34.5|
|UL Monroe in Kentucky||KY -30.5|
|Rice in Arkansas||ARK -19.5|
|No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami||ALA -18.5|
|Louisiana Tech, Mississippi||MSU -23.5|
|Central Michigan in Missouri||MIZ -13.5|
|Akron in Auburn||PLEASE -36.5|
|No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson||CLEM -3.5|
|FAU in 13th place in Florida||FLA -24.5|
|Kent State ranks 6th Texas A&M||A&M -29.5|
|No. 16 LSU at UCLA||LSU -3.5|
|Louisville at Ole Miss (Monday)||MISS -9.5|
SEC money lines for week 1
|Bowling Green in Tennessee (Friday)||TENN -10000|
|UL Monroe in Kentucky||KY -8000|
|Rice in Arkansas||ARK -1800|
|No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami||ALA -1000|
|Louisiana Tech, Mississippi||MSU -2500|
|Central Michigan in Missouri||MIZ -590|
|Akron in Auburn||PLEASE -100000|
|No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson||CLEM -170|
|FAU in 13th place in Florida||FLA -3500|
|Kent State ranks 6th Texas A&M||A&M -4500|
|No. 16 LSU at UCLA||LSU -188|
|Louisville at Ole Miss (Monday)||MRS-385|
SEC over / under for week 1
|Bowling Green in Tennessee (Friday)||59.5|
|UL Monroe in Kentucky||55.5|
|Rice in Arkansas||61.5|
|No. 1 Alabama vs. No. 14 Miami||61.5|
|Louisiana Tech, Mississippi||52.5|
|Central Michigan in Missouri||60.5|
|Akron in Auburn||55.5|
|No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson||51.5|
|FAU in 13th place in Florida||52.5|
|Kent State ranks 6th Texas A&M||65.5|
|No. 16 LSU at UCLA||66.5|
|Louisville at Ole Miss (Monday)||75.5|
SEC best bets for week 1
No. 16 LSU (-3.5) at UCLA
UCLA looked impressive in their opening game against Hawaii, and that may be tempting considering LSU battled the big game in defense last season. However, the new defensive coordinator Daronte Jones was brought in to clear that up, and despite the on-site success for UCLA, Dorian Thompson-Robinsion only made 10 of 20 passing games in the opener. LSU forces a couple of interceptions, and Max Johnson gets enough floor support to make Kayshon Boutte some big plays. LSU has won 12 games in a row against Pac-12 opponents, a streak that dates back to 1979. We like them on the west coast.
FAU (+24.5) in 13th place in Florida
Large spreads are always difficult, and the Gators make this a difficult decision knowing they have 7-4 ATS in non-conference games under Dan Mullen. The new looking Emory Jones offensive should find its groove, and the Gators have NFL talent all over the place with something to prove in a state opener. However, FAU has a team that can fight for a Conference USA championship under Willie Taggart’s second year coach. Miami Transfer N’Kosi Perry is a seasoned quarterback and you need to build a running game with James Charles. The owls were underdogs with 3-0 ATS last season. Florida wins, but FAU covers.
No. 5 Georgia vs. No. 3 Clemson (over 51.5)
It’s a top five showdown and both teams are on the defensive. We still trust the quarterbacks to make this a sort of shootout after half time. JT Daniels and DJ Uiagalelei are among Heisman’s favorites, and both teams had a track record last season. If it’s just a 28-24 outcome to hit this, we think this might be a bet to wind up. Clemson defeated Georgia 38-35 in 2013 and Georgia won 45-21 the following season. Look for another shootout that could see both teams get into their 30s.