This is November. Conference title season is here, as is the College Football Playoff. For all the world it looks like Alabama and Clemson vs The World, with odds over +1000 on everyone else. But if you don’t feel like betting on Alabama’s -280 (also, yikes, Alabama is over -200 favorites), who else should college football betting fans back?
Take everything with a grain of salt and assume that Alabama is the team to beat in the final (which they are). A notable omission that punters might be surprised about: Notre Dame is not included. At +1600 odds, they’re simply not putting up the stats to justify odds that short. Digging into the stats, players might find that the Irish are miles behind the four following teams.
Clemson? Good value? Yes, Clemson is probably the best bet to knock off Alabama currently. Since nearly losing to Syracuse, Clemson has turned it on, blowing opponents out of the water with contemptuous ease.
The really stunning thing is that Clemson’s odds still have them at +430. Considering that Alabama is hovering around -280, this is a steal…if you can get around the fact that Alabama looks like it could eat the world. But Clemson has yet to allow more than 26 points to an opponent, and have scored at least 27 points in every game.
Putting some money on Clemson to win it all is probably your best bet here, because you can still win some serious money if the Tigers win it all and the Clemson defense might be the best equipped to handle the Alabama offense.
Next closest team to Alabama and Clemson is Georgia. Kirby Smart is slowing building an Alabama of the SEC East, and his Death Star is almost fully operational already. The Bulldogs boast the #3 offense in the nation (per S&P+ statistics), which might be enough to give them a chance against Alabama.
The defense is a bit of cause to worry, ranking only 15th in the country, but they’re not giving up a boatload of points per game. The only game that Georgia dropped was a 36-16 stinker to LSU, and Georgia hasn’t looked back since.
Of course, the transitive property doesn’t look good because LSU got blanked by Alabama in Baton Rouge, but college football is a crazy thing. Could Kirby Smart be the prodigy that finally knocks off Mentor Nick Saban? Yes, it’s going to happen eventually. The only real question is if this is the year for it. Georgia is sitting at +1800, which should look pretty good to Bulldog fans.
Hey, we’re moving out of the south! Michigan looks to be the heavy favorite to win the Big 10. They only need to beat Ohio State on rivalry weekend, and it’s practically theirs for the taking. Sure, they’ll need to beat a pesky Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship, but they’ve already beaten the Wildcats once.
Funny enough, Michigan’s defense, per S&P+, is better than Alabama’s. Michigan sits on the #2 defense in the country, which has only been improving since the early season loss to Notre Dame. Not only that, but the offense has had three games under 30 points, only one of which they lost.
The Big Ten looks like it might not be as strong as expected this year, but Michigan still looks to be a contender. If you don’t think they’ll trip up in the last three weeks, the Wolverines can be found for +1200 odds to win it all.
The Sooners are alive in the playoff race, though most people have written them off for dead. The Big 12’s chances really rely on someone knocking off Notre Dame, which is no guarantee, but +5000 odds are hard to argue with for a team that is looking as good as Oklahoma. You really can throw West Virginia in the place of Oklahoma and this remains generally the same, but Oklahoma looks to be the favorite to win the Big 12 over WVU.
It comes down to simply outgunning everyone else. The Sooners have the best offense in the NCAA by roughly a mile, even Alabama can’t keep up statistically, despite Tua being one of the most unstoppable forces in football. If the Sooners can make it to the CFP, they could simply outgun the competition to a title.
Again, it hinges on Notre Dame going down, and the Irish look to be “win and you’re in.” Still, +5000 odds are pretty good, and a couple stinkers late from ND coupled with some dominant wins by Oklahoma might just vault the Sooners into position.