College football is a regional game at its core. Both within conferences and in cross-conference rivalries, fans and programs often view the season as a success or failure not by overall win-loss record, but whether they win the games that matter.
Auburn-Alabama, Michigan-Ohio State, Florida State-Miami, Florida-Georgia—the most interesting games in the sport that bring us back every year are the traditional, in-conference rivalries. With that in mind, let’s look at this year’s Power Five Conference odds and try to pick a few winners.
Clemson is still king in the ACC. This is a one-horse race, and Clemson -500 to win the conference is a boring but likely profitable choice. The value play, though, is Virginia +3000. The Cavaliers have a hard-nosed coach, a very tough defense, get to avoid Clemson and will play what may be a “for the division” home game to end the year against Virginia Tech. They are my choice to get beat down by Clemson in the ACC title game, where you definitely won’t be getting 30-1 if they get there.
Ohio State is still the class of the conference and at +175 is the safe pick. For value I like Wisconsin +1400. Somebody has to win the other side of the division, and it looks like a two-horse race between Nebraska (+1400) and Wisconsin.
Will Jalen Hurts make the adjustment from a pro-style offense learned under coach Nick Saban to a fun-and-gun system at Oklahoma (-170)? Will he be accurate enough to succeed? That will decide the conference, but if he struggles, I really like Iowa State +800 as a longshot.
The North looks more dangerous than the South, so I expect whichever team comes out of that division to win the conference. Washington gets to play Oregon at home, and I expect big things from Georgia transfer Jacob Eason, so my pick is Washington +250.
Georgia will win the East and play in Atlanta. Will you get +250 on them there? Possibly not, so that might be a value. But Alabama (-155) is still the class of the conference and will presumably be there for another epic battle as well. The only team even close to talented enough to compete at that level is LSU (+1200), but when was the last time LSU posed a genuine threat to Alabama’s dominance?
College football is coming at the end of the month, and you can find all the futures action you need at BetAmerica!