When previewing the college football betting season, one of the props that gets overlooked is the conference championship board. I mean, by the time we’re halfway through the season, gamblers are rushing to the futures to get their bets in. However, the early pre-season is the best time to get value plays in on the favorites because these numbers are only going to go down as each contender wins games. Here are the Top-5 Bets To Consider for the upcoming college football betting season when it comes to conference champions. The betting lines are from NorthBet as of July 18th.
Alabama Crimson Tide +300 To Win 2016 SEC Championship
This seems like free money, but you should keep in mind that the SEC is an absolute gong show when it comes to long term bets. Auburn (twice) and LSU have emerged victorious as recent SEC Champions. It’s why a perennial powerhouse like Alabama is getting longer odds than you might expect.
Still, it’s easy to see why this is one of the Top-5 Bets To Consider in college football betting. Alabama is by far the best program. A twist here is that the Crimson Tide haven’t actually won back-to-back conference titles. Beyond that they’re just 5-4 SU in the SEC title game. But in their last three appearances, they’ve taken home the trophy.
Too many other teams are going through serious overall, so I’d rather bank with a 3-to-1 pony like Alabama instead of hoping that Georgia and Auburn recruited far better than anyone hoped.
Ohio State To Win Big Ten (-240)
“Duh”, right? The Buckeyes are not only the strong favorite to repeat as champions, they’re also somewhat of an “easy money” target to end up as the Big Ten Champion. Of course, at -240 some of you might balk because you love chasing anything with underdog odds, but that number should entice you more than anything. Michigan State (+650) and Wisconsin (+1100) are the second and third favorites and the oddsmakers are begging you to chase the dogs here. Don’t. Stick with what works. Stick with Urban Meyer.
Wisconsin +145 To Win Big Ten West Title
What I wrote above doesn’t mean that Wisconsin (of all teams) doesn’t have intrinsic value. The favored Badgers are the bet within the divisions here, though you could strong arm me in to backing Nebraska. The West division is a wasteland of good teams, as the better ones – OSU, MSU, Michigan – are in the East Division. This should be a cakewalk for the beefed up offensive line and running game that Wisconsin will bring to the table, making it one of the Top-5 Bets to consider in college football betting.
USC Trojans +225 To Win 2016 Pac 12 Championship
It’s been seven long years since USC was the conference champion. Instead it’s been a two-horse race led by Oregon and Stanford since 2009. That can and will change this year with USC taking the necessary step forward since moving on from the embarrassment that was Lane Kiffin as a head coach.
A lot of folks will be banking on Oregon at +250, but those odds are rightfully inflated due to the public bandwagon that has been built around the hot handed Ducks over the past seven seasons. A new day is dawning for the Pac-12, and it starts with 14 returning veterans that include quarterback Cody Keller who is poised to return USC’s most celebrated position back to its glory days.
Oklahoma Sooners +650 to Win Big 12 Championship
As you can tell by the odds, this is the college football betting pick that I consider a stretch amongst the top-5. What makes this one of the best bets to consider is Oklahoma’s ability to wallop the regular season competition. They ended last year at 8-5 SU and 5-8 ATS, but that included three heartbreaking losses to Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma State in the final three weeks of the season.
Up until that point, they were legitimate playoff threats and they’ll be in the mix again this year. Obviously, TCU at +165 and Baylor at +225 are the smarter plays to emerge as Big 12 Champions, but I’m not sleeping on the Sooners and at these odds I can have a little fun, which is why this makes this my list of Top-5 Bets To Consider for college football betting in 2015.