The Pac 12 has won more NCAA Championships than any other conference in history, and as such its teams are always college football betting odds favorites, or are they? Let’s see what the odds are like for these 12 teams to win the NCAA football national championship:
Arizona State +25000
Oregon State +65250
Washington State +35000
Recently, Stanford topped the conference preseason poll for the first time in 56 years. As a result, the Stanford Cardinal football team is the favorite to win the 2016 Pac 12 Conference championship. That vote of confidence is reflected in Stanford’s college football betting odds to win the NCAA football national championship. At +3150 they have the best odds of the bunch, but are they good enough for fans who bet on college football? Not necessarily, especially when compared to Alabama (+705), Clemson (+830), or Florida State (+1525). The Cardinal is lead by Heisman Trophy aspirant running back and return specialist Christian McCaffrey. A return specialist, also known as kick returner, is a player who specializes in returning punts and/or kickoffs and not, as I thought at first, an expert in re-gifting and de-gifting.
Anyway, McCaffrey made quite the qualitative leap between his freshman and sophomore years. He went from 796 all purpose yards in 2014 to 3,864, breaking Barry Sanders’s NCAA record. McCaffrey also ranked 2nd in the nation in rushing yards with 2,019 – the first Stanford player to rush for 2,000 yards in a single season. Among the many accolades he accrued in 2015 were the Associated Press College Football Player of the Year, Pac-12 Player of the Year, and Paul Hornung Awards. In addition to all of that, McCaffrey was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
While Stanford was the top choice to win the Pac 12 South division, UCLA is expected to be the Cardinal’s opponent in the conference championship game by virtue of winning the North division. The Trojans lost QB Cody Kessler, who was selected by the Cleveland Browns as the 93rd overall pick in the third round of the 2016 NFL Draft. However, they still have Kessler’s backup, Max Browne, a two-time Gatorade Player of the Year, Hall Trophy winner, and 2012 Mr. Football USA. Of course, all of that was back in high school, but still.
On the other side of the spectrum, college betting fans are warned not to put their money on either Oregon State or Colorado, which were picked to finish last in the North and South divisions, respectively. As it turns out, that is exactly how both colleges finished the 2015 season, Oregon State with 0-9 (conference) and 2-10 (overall) records, and Colorado with 1-8 (conference) and 4-9 (overall) records. At least the Beavers and head coach Gary Andersen have nowhere to go but up, after failing to win a single game within the Pac 12 Conference last year, for whatever that is worth.