Compelling Conference Races Await in College Football
by Richard Gardner | Bodog Sportsbook Manager - 7/22/2011
It’s going to be a while before I’m used to calling it the Pac-12. Just doesn’t sound right. But that’s the way it is in 2011, with Utah and Colorado joining the conference formerly known as the Pac-10.
Speaking of which, we’ve just released our conference odds at Bodog’s online sportsbook. The Utes are at 13/2 to win their new conference, while the Buffaloes are well back of the pack at 22/1. In fact, only Washington State (100/1) is a longer shot, although I’m not sure if 100/1 is high enough. Frankly, I’m not sure 1000/1 is high enough.
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The favorites? No surprises here. Oregon is at 2/1, followed by Stanford at 3/1.
As far as how the wagering is going, the Cardinal has been receiving strong early support from bettors who no doubt love the fact quarterback Andrew Luck decided to remain in college instead of turning pro. Luck finished second to Auburn’s Cam Newton in the 2010 Heisman voting, and he’s our 9/2 favorite to win the award in 2011. (Other Heisman frontrunners include Oklahoma QB Landry Jones at 13/2 and South Carolina RB Marcus Lattimore at 7/1.)
Meanwhile, in the SEC, we’ve got Alabama as the 9/5 favorite, followed by Florida (9/2), Georgia (5/1), LSU (5/1) and South Carolina (6/1). The defending national champs from Auburn are relative long shots at 28/1, with Newton now plying his trade in Carolina with the NFL’s Panthers.
As always, each SEC team will play a demanding schedule (and brag about it). The Crimson Tide’s toughest conference game will likely come at Florida on Oct. 1, but other than that, its road games could be a lot worse. Alabama also visits Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Auburn.
Florida, on the other hand, has to travel to LSU and South Carolina.
Perhaps the easiest away schedule of the SEC favorites belongs to Georgia, which will visit Ole Miss, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Of course, the Bulldogs will also face the Gators in Jacksonville on Oct. 29 in “The World's Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party."
If you’re looking for a heavy favorite to throw down on, look no further than Boise State, which you can get at 2/7 odds to win the Mountain West. The Broncos have lost just five games in their last five seasons, including two undefeated seasons in 2006 and 2009. They lost to Nevada in devastating fashion last November, ruining their chances to play for a national championship.
Other favorites in the major conferences include Florida State (3/2 odds to win the ACC), Oklahoma (4/9 odds to win the Big 12), West Virginia (9/5 odds to win the Big East), and Nebraska (8/5 odds to win the Big Ten, which it joins for the 2011 season.)
I will be posting weekly articles about betting previews, matchups and the inside scoop from a bookmaker’s point of view right here at Doc's Sports. Read my past articles HERE and to learn more about Bodog JUST CLICK HERE.