Is the tail end of the spring too early to be thinking about college football betting? Rhetorical question, of course; it’s never too early. Never. Ev.er. Or to ponder on who the sportsbook favorites are to win some of the NCAA’s countless conferences.
Southeastern Conference – Alabama Crimson Tide
The Roll Tide lost the National Championship Game, but that’s still better than what any other college in the SEC conference and, for that matter, the entire country did – Clemson excepted, of course. Furthermore, Jalen Hurts, Bo Scarbrough, Damien Harris, Da’Shawn Hand, and Minkah Fitzpatrick among others are all returning in 2017. Therefore, ‘Bama is unsurprisingly the odds-on favorite to win its 27th overall and fourth straight SEC championship. Head coach Nick Saban will have some gaps to fill, like the one left by SEC Defensive Player of the Year Jonathan Allen, but that’s what he thrives on. The LSU Tigers are a far-off second favorite. LSU lost Leonard Fournette in offense and eight players on defense. And speaking of Tigers, Auburns comes in third with the huge windfall that was Jarrett Stidham’s transfer from Baylor.
Big 12 Conference – Oklahoma Sooners
The Sooners have won 10 Big 12 championships in the last 17 seasons, seven in the last 10, and four in the last five. Needless to say, Oklahoma is not about to loosen its grip on the conference – and next season will be no exception, as far as college football betting futures are concerned. That said, the Sooners will live or die by Heisman trophy finalist QB Baker Mayfield, seeing as how Dede Westbrook, Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine will all be conspicuous by their absence. Mayfield does have the credentials to carry the team, though; he has completed almost 70% of his passes for 7665 yards in the previous two seasons, with 76 touchdowns and only 15 interceptions.
Big Ten Conference – Ohio State Buckeyes
The Buckeyes are the favorites above both last season’s conference champions and runner-ups – Penn State and Wisconsin, respectively. Ohio State has only won the Big Ten championship once in the last eight seasons, through when they did in 2014 they went all the way to win the National Championship. The Buckeyes’ hopes this year hinge upon JT Barrett’s drive to win a second CFP title in his last year in Ohio. Granted, the conference title is not a prerequisite to achieve that goal – though it wouldn’t hurt either. Meanwhile, Penn State has arguably the top quarterback/running back duo right now in Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley.
ACC Conference – Florida State Seminoles
In a vacuum, if the 2016 had been longer the Seminoles could have really gone places – seeing as how they only really got their engines going in the second half of the season. But in the grand scheme of things, FSU could be headed toward another championship winning season like 2013, as long as they keep last year’s momentum going. At the very least, they are the college football betting favorites to win their first AAC title since 2014.