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College Football Betting - Glancing at the college football landscape

Posted by Blake Frazier on 4/19/2012 9:54:10 AM
NCAAF oddsThe college football betting season is just around the corner, and with the sportsbook futures posted, it’s time to start examining team outlooks. The USC Trojans are rebuilding and Notre Dame is on the rise, while the Florida Gators will have a good chance to repeat as national champs. Here’s a preview of the top 20 teams.

College football betting: Gators favored to win BCS Championship again

  • Big Ten once again up to Ohio State and Penn State
  • Oklahoma, Texas ready to roll through Big 12
  • With 18 returning starters, Florida once again the National Championship favorite

USC Trojans odds

After losing starting quarterback Mark Sanchez – and 11 players to the NFL – the Trojans are supposed to be rebuilding. But college football handicappers know that they don’t rebuild - they reload. With another Top 10 recruiting class, all five starters returning on the offensive line along with the top four running backs. Don’t be surprised to see them in the Rose Bowl again, and the sportsbook odds have them favored to win the Pac 10.

Oregon Ducks odds

Head coach Mike Belotti is gone and Chip Kelly takes over. Kelly has been groomed to take over for a couple of years and he’s been impressive while running the offense. The Ducks finished the year No. 2 in rushing offense, and with seven home games this year, they could give a “rebuilding” USC a run for their money in the Pac 10.

California Golden Bears odds

Cal has been successful in the Jeff Tedford era, but they are getting tired of being the bridesmaid. Like Oregon, they are going to hope that USC is a bit vulnerable this year, which can open the door for a team like Cal. College football betting fans will expect to see running back Jahvid Best as a Heisman candidate this year as he’s among the nation’s best backs, and Cal does have a strong defense. The question is the quarterbacking – can Tedford find a steady arm?

Ohio State Buckeyes odds

With 11 returning starters, including freshman sensation Terrell Pryor, the Buckeyes are once again loaded. With only four road games on the schedule this year, expect another Big 10 Championship. For a second year in a row, college football betting sharps know that the Big 10 title will come down to their contest against Penn State, which is in Happy Valley this year on November 7th.

Michigan Wolverines odds

It has never been uglier for Michigan, who’s off a nine-loss season for the first time in history. The good news is that the Wolverines return 16 starters, which means they should be vastly improved. Head coach Rich Rodriguez will be hoping for a similar jump from awful to really good, as he did in his first to second year at West Virginia.

Penn State Nittany Lions odds

The Penn State Nittany Lions return with Daryl Clark and Evan Royster, so there will be plenty of consistency on offense. On defense, we all know that the Lions always bring it. With only four road games this year and no difficult non-conference games, college football betting handicappers might want to give Penn State – not Ohio State – the inside track for the Big Ten title.

Florida State Seminoles odds

Bobby Bowden’s tenure at FSU could be nearing the end, and his team will look to send him out in style. With all five offensive line starters returning – and eight offensive starters in total coming back – there is some optimism, but with a schedule with 11 bowl teams from 2009, the Seminoles will have a really tough time winning the ACC.

Miami Hurricanes odds

College football betting enthusiasts are waiting for the revival of Miami, but that may not come this year. Randy Shannon has recruited well and put a young roster through the fire last year, but a tough start to this year’s season could deflate the young squad. Miami starts at Florida State, then welcomes Georgia Tech, then visits Virginia Tech and welcomes Oklahoma. Good luck.

Virginia Tech Hokies odds

Beamer ball is still going strong as the Hokies are fresh off their third ACC win in five years. With one of the top defenses around, the Hokies are always going to be competitive in the ACC, and as their offense develops, they will once again be a threat in the conference.

Oklahoma Sooners odds

Oklahoma breathed a sigh of relief when Heisman Trophy winner Sam Bradford elected to return. That means that they are probably in line to win their fourth consecutive Big 12 title in a row. They are loaded on offense again and should roll over everything in their path – aside from Texas.

Texas Longhorns odds

The Longhorns return 16 starters, which means that everything will be on the line when they meet up with the Sooners in the Red River Shootout on October 17. With Colt McCoy running the show, the Big 12 will again be down to Texas and Oklahoma.

Florida Gators odds

College football betting pundits expect the Florida Gators to return to the Championship Game because they return 18 starters. They faced the 2nd toughest schedule in the nation last year and that didn’t slow them down, and now it gets a little easier. All 11 starters are back on defense and so is quarterback Tim Tebow, which is a scary thought.

Auburn Tigers odds

The Auburn Tigers raised some eyebrows when they hired Gene Chizik, and he’ll have to work quickly to turn around the Tigers, who had their first losing season in a decade last year. With Tulsa’s former offensive coordinator running the show, don’t be surprised if Auburn comes out of nowhere to be a contender.

Mississippi Running Rebels odds

Ole Miss had quite the turnaround in 2008 and with 14 returning starters, some people are even whispering about an SEC Championship in Oxford. College football betting handicappers should note that Ole Miss has a rather easy schedule. Alabama, Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee all have to travel to Oxford to face the Rebels.

South Carolina Gamecocks odds

There is some quiet optimism in South Carolina as the Gamecocks return 11 starters. Everything will be contingent on quarterback Stephen Garcia, and if he can’t help turn this team around, Steve Spurrier might find himself on the chopping block.

Tennessee Volunteers odds

Lane Kiffin takes over at Tennessee, and it has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride to start his campaign. The offense has already lost a couple of playmaking wideouts but we all know this squad is built on defense. While Lane is getting all of the attention, his dad Monte should guide a pretty good defensive squad this year.

Alabama Crimson Tide odds

All eyes will again be on Nick Saban this year as he brings back 13 starters from a wild turnaround year. After getting stomped by Florida in the SEC Championship and by Utah in the Sugar Bowl, the Crimson Tide definitely have a chip on their shoulder.  Greg McElroy will have to prove that he’s a legit starting quarterback for this team to do any damage this year.

Georgia Bulldogs odds

For the first time in a long time, the Georgia Bulldogs come into the season under the radar. After disappointing last year, then losing Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno to the first round of the NFL Draft, not much is expected of these Bulldogs. They’ll offer plenty of good value on the betting lines since nothing will be expected from them.

LSU Tigers odds

The LSU Tigers came back down to Earth in 2008 with an 8-5 season, but they might be ready to rise again. The offense will be led by SEC first-teamers Charlie Scott (RB) and Brandon LaFell (WR). College football betting sharps know the defense is always strong, so maybe this is the team that gives Florida a run.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish odds

Charlie Weis survived the chopping block in 2008 and he’ll have to produce lots of wins in 2009 to stay alive. The roster is chalk full of seniors (29) and quarterback Jimmy Clausen is ready for his coming out party. With 15 returning starters back, look for this team to ride the momentum from their bowl win in Hawaii and return to a better bowl game this year.

For more analysis on college football lines and matchups, check out the Betting Edge regularly throughout the season.

Blake walked onto his college football team and had a brief stint as an assistant coach after he graduated. He brings a sharp mind to the world of sports handicapping. Blake understands the nuances of the game that only someone who has played would understand. Thoughts or questions?



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