The college football season is ever so close on the calendar, which gives football bettors just enough time to get down on those preseason futures – like conference championships. While some leagues could pretty much crown their winner now (ACC), others could be a close fight to the finish, which means added betting value.
Here are some of the tightest conferences in college football and the betting trends for potential contenders at the top:
The MAC title looks to be a two-horse race between Ohio (+185 to win the MAC) and Toledo (+200 to win the MAC at sportsbettingonline.ag), however, a surprise sleeper could stir up the pot in the Mid-American Conference.
The Bobcats will continue to shine under Frank Solich, headlined by quarterback Nathan Rourke, who loses a lot of talent from last season. Those departures have opened the door for the Rockets, who can put up points but need to develop on defense.
Perhaps the live underdog in the conference is Western Michigan (+375). The Broncos bring back QB Jon Wassin, who was lost to injury last October, and have plenty of experience on defense including a deep linebacking corps.
Big Ten Championship
The Big Ten is always a heated battle at the top of the standings, with marquee programs Michigan (+150) and Ohio State (+125) getting all the preseason attention. The Buckeyes are in the post-Urban Meyer era, with Ryan Day taking over head coaching duties, and playing with plenty of pieces missing from last year’s squad.
The Wolverines are under pressure to win, with coach Jim Harbaugh starting to feel his seat heat up. Michigan has Shea Patterson at QB and desperately need any ounce of offense to support what has been one of the best defenses in the country in recent seasons.
Behind those two heavyweights, Nebraska (+900), Michigan State (+950), Purdue (+1,000) and Wisconsin (+1,200) all look like live dogs. But with Day trying to keep up OSU’s level of success and Harbaugh possibly coaching for his job, it’s tough to see another other Big Ten team truly challenge.
Winning the Pac-12 is an instant ticket to the Rose Bowl but the conference hasn’t been up to past standards in recent seasons. In the five all-time College Football Playoff brackets, only two teams from the Pac-12 made the Final Four.
Books have Oregon (+210) as a slight frontrunner to win the conference title, with the Ducks boasting perhaps the top quarterback in the country in Justin Herbert. Utah (+225) is right behind them, followed by Washington (+230).
The Utes are the reigning Pac-12 South winners and return plenty of power on the offensive side of the football. The Huskies are very much in rebuild mode but transfer QB Jacob Eason could be the breakout star in the conference this season.