Breaking Down College Football's Championship Futures Market

Future bets are out for college football. Updated ones at least. For odds to win the national championship and over/under on wins for the season. Now that we’re about six weeks from kickoff some of these propositions start to get pretty interesting.

Thanks to the NCAA threatening to geld any media outlet that actually mentions gambling and college sports in the same sentence, none of this stuff ever gets talked about. Where’s the money going as we get close to season kickoff on August 28? Not surprisingly, Southern Cal is a big favorite to win the National Championship at 3-1. Followed by the usual suspects of Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia and Ohio State. But who is sneaking into the picture after the proverbial big boys? Missouri at 10-1.

Georgia sliding in at 8-1 is a horrible bet. They aren’t that much better, if at all, than several teams on their schedule and they have a quarterback in Mathew Stafford who still prefers to pick dandelions on the sideline. So waste your money on the Dawgs if you must.

Seven other things that jump out at me based on these odds:

1. West Virginia even under their new coach that no one has ever heard of, Bill Stewart, is still at 15-1. Which seems surprising given a trip out to Colorado and a game at home against Auburn. That's a horrible bet.
2. Virginia Tech is lurking there at 22-1. Just tantalizing enough that if you put your money on them, you’ll start getting optimistic come mid-October before the inevitable Frank Beamer-led tanking. But what special teams! Also, and this is somehow perfect, Virginia Tech’s official site already color coordinates what games you’re to wear white, maroon, and orange. Because when you think Virginia Tech Hokie fans, you think fashion-obsessed.
3. Not particularly surprising but the dismissal of quarterback Ryan Perrilloux from LSU’s team has dropped them from 15-1 contenders to 25-1. At least for Perrilloux’s sake they’re going to be selling sweet tea vodka in Alabama soon. That will end well.
4. Clemson (at 20-1) and Wisconsin (at 30-1) are two teams that are lurking outside the national attention and seem like decent plays. Taking them in reverse order, look at Wisconsin’s schedule. They play at Michigan, which is probably their toughest road game, but get Ohio State, Penn State, and Illinois at home. If Wisconsin can manage to beat Ohio State, odds are they win the Big Ten and could still have a decent chance to play for the national championship even with one other loss on their schedule. At 30-1 that looks pretty good to me. Then, Clemson at 20-1. The Tigers open with a neutral game in Atlanta against Alabama (which they’ll be favored to win) and then play four home games in a row that they’ll be prohibitive favorites in. So a very decent chance they start off 5-0. Now I know that Tommy Bowden has started seasons great before tanking in the past, but you’re telling me that Clemson’s three toughest road games are at BC, at Florida State, and at Virginia? That's ridiculous. None of those three teams are very good. So Clemson at 20-1 looks pretty good. They’ll probably be favored in every regular season game. Unlike, Wisconsin you have to worry about them tripping up in the conference title game, but, still, Clemson’s a good bet.
5. 17 teams are left outside the field. Who’s included in the field that could win the national championship? Not a single team. Seriously, that’s a weak field.
6. Notre Dame clocks in at 100-1. This means they’ll be #12 in the media poll to begin the season.
7. If there are any actual UNLV fans, leaving the odds of their winning the national championship is just rubbing it in. At the very bottom, 1,000-1. And the cum shot on UNLV football fandom, college football behemoth Nevada is only at 400-1.

College Football Odds to Win National Championship [Vegas Insider]