With the college football season quickly approaching, the college football futures market continues to heat up. Taking an early stand often leads to finding favorable NCAA Vegas betting odds. This year’s conference championship landscape looks no different for college football betting picks. This piece will discuss the best college football bets and which teams have the best Vegas odds to win their respective conference championships.
Best NCAAF Conference Championship Bets
NCAAF Picks: SEC
Georgia +225 to Win the SEC (DraftKings)
Georgia is a -450 favorite to take down the SEC East and +225 to win the SEC altogether. With Alabama in the SEC West, Georgia benefits from a winnable regular season schedule. The Bulldogs open against Clemson, but then play a relatively easy schedule. Their next most difficult opponent is Florida, while Alabama faces a slew of tough teams. The Crimson Tide face Miami (Fla.) in non-conference play. They also draw road games against Florida and Texas A&M while drawing LSU at home. While a slip-up is more likely for Alabama, the Crimson Tide are -450 favorites to win the SEC West.
Luckily, the Bulldogs also return one of the top rosters in college football. J.T. Daniels will return as the starting quarterback after going 4-0 and throwing for at least 299 yards in every game. He also returns two of his top three receivers while adding former five-star Arik Gilbert as a wide receiver/tight end hybrid. In the run game Georgia returns their top five running backs and three starters along the offensive line. Their defense only returns five starters, but transfers Tykee Smith and Derion Kendrick help ease the losses. With elite recruiting filling the gaps, Georgia continues to field one of the best rosters in all of college football.
With Alabama replacing six first-round picks, Georgia looks like a sharp bet to take down the SEC in 2021.
NCAAF Picks: Big Ten
Wisconsin +115 to Win the Big Ten West (SugarHouse)
With Ohio State -220 to win the Big Ten and -450 to win the Big Ten East, little value exists in the outright winner of the Big Ten. However, the Big Ten West provides much better odds, with Wisconsin +115 to win their region. The Badgers benefit from a cupcake schedule, featuring only Notre Dame, Penn State and Michigan. With just four true road games, the Badgers are set up for success. Meanwhile, their stiffest competition, Iowa, will face Penn State, Maryland, Indiana and Iowa State.
As for roster makeup, Wisconsin returns quarterback Graham Mertz after a COVID-shortened season. The Badgers return all of their major pass catchers, including stud tight end Jake Ferguson. In the run game former four-star recruit Jalen Berger returns, and Clemson transfer Chez Mellusi adds extra competition. With eight of their top 10 linemen back for 2021, this Wisconsin offense should return to their characteristic run-heavy approach. Ten players provide starting experience on defense, making the Badgers one of the most experienced teams in the Big Ten.
While an upset over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship looks unlikely, Wisconsin still provides sharp odds to win the Big Ten West at +115.
NCAAF Picks: Big 12
Oklahoma -143 to Win the Big 12 (SugarHouse)
Going with the chalk in the Big 12, Oklahoma is just -143 to win the conference. They are winners of the last five Big 12 Championships, and Oklahoma now plays one of the easiest schedules in the conference. In non-conference play Oklahoma draws Tulane, Western Carolina and Nebraska. Meanwhile, Iowa State draws a dangerous Iowa team in non-conference play. Helping matters further, Oklahoma draws Iowa State at home and faces Texas at a neutral location in Dallas. Altogether, this schedule sets up Oklahoma for a run at the Big 12 Conference Championship.
From a team-building perspective, Oklahoma also has one of the most experienced rosters in college football. They return seven starters on offense and another eight on defense. This includes potential first overall pick Spencer Rattler and two-time 1,000-yard rusher Kennedy Brooks. With leading receiver Marvin Mims entering his second year, this offense looks explosive behind a veteran offensive line. On defense they return seven players with All-Conference honors, including second-team All-American Nik Bonitto. This could be Oklahoma’s top defense in recent memory.
Between their soft Big 12 schedule and a powerhouse roster, Oklahoma is the chalk to win the Big 12 Conference Championship.
NCAAF Picks: ACC
North Carolina +1000 (FanDuel)
While Clemson is the most likely team to win the ACC, little value comes from betting a -900 favorite. However, North Carolina and Miami are both +1000 to take down the ACC. Only needing an upset over Clemson, predicting the winner of the ACC Coastal division could lead to a big payday.
Between North Carolina and Miami, the Hurricanes play a much more difficult schedule. Miami will face Alabama in their opener and will also battle Michigan State and Appalachian State in non-conference play. Meanwhile, North Carolina plays Georgia State, Wofford and Notre Dame. The Tarheels also benefit from home field advantage when they battle Miami. From a pure scheduling standpoint, North Carolina has an edge.
North Carolina also had a deeply talented roster. They return potential first round quarterback Sam Howell, while Miami must tread carefully with D’Eriq King after a late-season ACL tear. North Carolina also returns all five offensive linemen that blocked for Javonte Williams and Michael Carter last year. With Tennessee transfer Ty Chandler filling the void at running back, this unit should again impress in 2021.
While Clemson is the favorite for a reason, North Carolina is worth a speculative bet as ACC champion. At +1000, a small wager could lead to big payout from this college football pick.
NCAAF Picks: Pac-12
USC +400 (FanDuel)
The only conference without a clear favorite, USC has the same odds as Arizona State (+400) to win the Pac-12. They also have better odds than Oregon (+230) and Washington (+350). Interestingly, the Trojans have the easiest schedule of anyone on this list. While USC faces Notre Dame in non-conference play, they dodge Washington and Oregon from the North. In the South, their toughest games come against Arizona State on the road and Utah at home. With Washington and Oregon cannibalizing each other, USC has a clear path to the Pac-12 Championship game.
USC also has a loaded roster. On offense they return potential first-round quarterback Kedon Slovis and his top pass catcher in Drake London. With Bru McCoy entering his second year and transfers Tahj Washington, Jake Smith and K.D. Nixon joining the program, USC should find success through the air. They also return six offensive linemen with starting experience and 75 combined starts between them. With eight starters back on defense, USC’s complete roster should challenge for a Pac-12 title.