I’m not going to write that much about the Alabama Crimson Tide, who have the best odds to win the BCS Championship in our NCAAF futures, because the national media already pumps you full of news about them. They’re the best program in the world and Nick Saban’s long history of success in the south speaks for itself. Bet on them and back them heavily.
Some notable teams that didn’t make the list include Notre Dame, Florida, BoiseState, TCU and USC because none of those programs are headed in the right direction. The Aggies also have their hands full as they figure out what to do with Johnny Manziel and his impending suspension.
When you’re gauging this list, it almost doesn’t make sense to not bet on Alabama because it’s a good value all things considered. But which other teams have a great value as we head in to an exciting college campaign? Read on to find out (and before you do a quick scan to see which teams I’ve written about, keep in mind that the last team I mention is a flier bet for you hilarious money burners out there).
Three BCS Championships in the last four years? You can pretty much book it for four in five years unless you think that some of the following teams have a chance of catching them.
The Buckeyes went undefeated last year, will enjoy the return of Braxton Miller at quarterback and have – probably – the easiest schedule of any team contending for the BCS Championship. Getting your long term investment to the big game is half the battle, and OhioState’s patty cake list of opponents is a cake walk.
The most difficult matchups on their ridiculous gauntlet run include road trips to Northwestern, California (never an easy place to play) and their annual season finale against Michigan at the Big House. At home, they’ll play Wisconsin and Iowa and the Badgers and Wolverines are the only high profile teams that are expected to even rank in the top-25 by season’s end.
Just like Notre Dame last year, OhioState will be scrutinized for their easy slate of opponents but with Miller running and gunning under the guidance of the legendary Urban Meyer, the Buckeyes have a very strong chance of going undefeated yet again while reigning supreme in the Big Ten. They’ll likely battle Stanford for the chance to blow up the BCS Championship game against Alabama and at 5-to-1 I’d say they’re a reasonably strong play in the sportsbook to at least get to the big game…if not win it all.
One of the best teams in the country that nobody is talking about, and therefore one of the absolute best, sheer values on the BCS Championship board. Head coach David Shaw’s name isn’t making headlines because there’s so much going on as we prepare for the 2013 NCAAF season, but this team is legit. Now, I don’t actually think the Cardinal are better than Alabama but they have a chance to run the table, win the competitive Pac-12 and then show everyone just how great this program actually is. This is as good a time to any to grab this team’s odds to win the BCS Championship especially with such a remarkable return.
New head coach Mark Helfrich has his work cut out for him. Gone is the inspired creativity of Chip Kelly, the biggest playmakers of 2012 and a whole host of other factors that made the Ducks special these last handful of seasons. They’ll be hard pressed in the Pac-12 to fend off Stanford and the Oregon State Beavers, who have a big chance to play the role of spoiler in the season finale when they visit Eugene. I love the Oregon Ducks on a personal level, but their 8-to-1 odds aren’t enticing enough with the Buckeyes, Tide and – most importantly – the Cardinal looming on the horizon.
The SEC is packed with hopefuls and these three teams will do their best to usurp the Alabama Crimson Tide throughout the season. The Bulldogs will know their fate by the end of September with games against the Gamecocks and LSU coming within two weeks of each other. Their only other speed bump is when they host Florida in the first weekend of November.
Georgia’s Aaron Murray is the best pure quarterback in the country. LSU is routinely one of those teams on the fringe of busting in to the championship game, and constantly recruits the best defensive players around. South Carolina has the likely number-one draft pick in Jadeveon Clowney. This is going to be a tight race, and I suspect that Georgia has the best chance of keeping pace with Alabama. They don’t face the reigning champs this season, but could very well find themselves fighting for the SEC Championship and a berth in the national title game yet again. Alabama is still the most logical play, but outside of them, the Bulldogs have a realistic chance of claiming the throne and at +1200 have a much more enticing return on investment.
I couldn’t write this article without mentioning a team from the…wait a damn minute…what the hell is the American Athletic Conference?! Ok, I’m just kidding. The conference formerly known as the Big East doesn’t feature any ranked teams other than Louisville, who enter the season as the No. 9 ranked team in the country. The problem with betting on these teams is that all the other major conferences have marquee matchups that will decide the landscape of the NCAAF betting universe in the months to come. Louisville’s biggest game of the year is against…uh….Rutgers? South Florida? Houston??? I don’t know. The Cardinal could go undefeated and unnoticed at the same time because nobody will take their schedule all that seriously, and Charlie Strong’s crew will have to do sometime unimaginable to get the credit they think they deserve – lead the country in scoring. That’s a lot to ask from an offense that ranked 51st in points for in 2012 with 31.2 points per game. Even if every win is a massive blowout, nobody will take Louisville all that seriously and that’s exactly how you should treat these odds to win the BCS Championship.
Not Texas…not Oklahoma…nor Oklahoma State. If there’s any team that could shock the college football betting world, it’s the Baylor Bears. They were one of the hottest teams in the country last year, ending the year on a brilliant 4-1 SU and 5-0 ATS run that capped off a season which saw them go 8-4 ATS. Baylor doesn’t have a defense which can stop many big name teams as they gave up 37.2 points against last season, but they ranked 4th overall with 44.5 points per game and will have the exciting Lache Seastrunk returning for another year after compiling a 1,012 yard season with 7 touchdowns. The Bears will still be the explosive touchdown scorers we’ve come to expect, and are posting hilariously profitable odds. Their rocky road to the BCS Championship is filled with ranked teams, and a gauntlet run to end the year with Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas is absolutely frightening. But if you love longshots, Baylor’s the one to take. If you don’t, then bank on a team like Oklahoma or Texas in the Big 12.