Oddsmakers deem the college football national championship race will be more competitive than in recent seasons thanks to the return to eminence of historic powers. Two conferences, the SEC and Big Ten possess the top four spots. Two-time defending national champion Georgia is the favorite at +250, followed by conference rival Alabama at +550. Ohio State, who took Georgia down to the final play in the national semi-finals is next at +700. The team that has defeated the Buckeyes in consecutive seasons, Michigan is next at +900.
Bovada declares USC is back thanks to the Oklahoma twosome of coach Lincoln Riley and Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams. The Trojans also made a splash by adding quarterback whisperer Kliff Kingsbury as their new QB coach. Southern Cal is next at +1200. While Clemson is no longer the annual virtual co-favorites with Alabama, they are strong contenders at +1800.
Will Brian Kelly become the fourth straight LSU coach to win a natty? The Tigers are +1600 to do so this season. Traditional powers Texas, Tennessee, Florida State, and Penn State all are returning to relevance with odds at 20-1 or less.
The best sports handicapper looks at the best dark horses:
Texas A&M +4500: Texas A&M has had some great recruiting years but was a total bust last year. Jimbo Fisher won a national title at Florida State and brought in long-time coach Bobby Petrino to jumpstart the offense. Petrino is a terrible human being, but he knows how to coach. Conner Weigman is a strong QB. Look for Fisher’s recruiting to finally pay dividends.
Wisconsin +5500: Luke Fickell has been atop of a lot of coaching wish lists the past two years and he landed in Madison. He dominated the transfer portal, adding depth on both sides of the ball. The defense is top shelf, the offense will be both more aggressive and talented.
All teams’ odds. All odds are based on $100 per bet. Hence +400 is the same is 4-1 and +1200 is the equivalent of 12-1.
San Jose State+50000
New Mexico State+90000
San Diego State+90000
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