2016 College Football Conference Title Odds
There hasn’t been much movement in the 2016 College Football Conference futures since the first batch of odds were released, and understandably so, given that most major Las Vegas Sportsbooks have been busy studying the betting markets and fine-tuning their lines in readiness for the upcoming college football season that is set to commence in a little over two months from now. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the teams that are already making noise in the early 2016 NCAAF conference title odds and whet our betting appetite with the following college football picks for each of the Power 5 conferences.
2016 College Football Conference Title Odds
Favorite ACC 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Florida State
We know the Clemson Tigers are the prohibitive favorites to win the ACC and Deshaun Watson is very capable of leading the team to a second successive conference title. Matter of fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if that is what happens come the end of the season. Our money is, however, on the Florida State Seminoles, who are coming off a great 10-3 season and are winners of 2 of the last 3 ACC titles. Having stud running back Dalvin Cook for another year means trustworthy production in FSU’s offense. This, of course, will be greatly encouraged by the support of the team’s excellent secondary from last year. Add a favorable schedule in the mix, which includes a home game against Clemson, you get the possibility of an 11-1 or 12-0 campaign for the Seminoles, which would give them a big shot at winning the 2016 ACC title.
Sleeper ACC 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Louisville
After a 0-3 start that saw them shuffle between different QB options, the Cardinals settled on Lamar Jackson as quarterback and went on to win 6 of their last 7 games in 2015. With Jackson as a guaranteed starter in 2016, Louisville’s offense figures to be an experienced unit, particularly with a much-needed support from eight returning starters in the offensive line and a defense that played above average last year. Just about the only concern for Louisville is that it is playing in the same conference with Clemson and Florida State, and rising above these two powerhouses won’t be easy.
Favorite BIG TEN 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Ohio State
Coming off a 2015 season that they went 11-1 and won the Fiesta Bowl over Notre Dame, the Buckeyes will be hoping to put up another Big show in the Ten. With Ohio State returning with the fewest starters (six returnees) of any Power Five team entering the 2016 season, there were concerns about the team’s potential to compete for the conference title and a potential slot in the playoffs. These doubts were, however, cleared for the most part, thanks to an excellent 2016 recruiting class and a proven QB in J.T. Barrett. Michigan and Michigan State will obviously be in the mix, but we like Urban Meyer’s new shiny toys to blend in quickly with the vets and beat the rest of the competitors to the conference title.
Sleeper BIG TEN 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Michigan
With the Spartans expected to have a down year after barely filling the many holes in the team’s key positions, the floor is opened Jim Harbaugh and his Wolverines to build on their promising campaign 2015 campaign. This should be plausibly attainable, considering Michigan loaded up with some good pieces during recruitment and is coming off a morale-boosting 10-3 season that culminated with a 41-7 rout over Florida in the Citrus Bowl. Not to mention, the Wolverines have a pretty easy non-conference schedule, which should help tune-up Michigan’s youngsters for the daunting Big Ten conference games that will come later in their schedule. That said, Michigan will need to sort its QB dilemma if it is to go the distance in the Big Ten title contention.
Favorite BIG 12 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Oklahoma
Led by Heisman Trophy contender QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma’s offense should stay on song as it did last season. Plus, even if Mayfield won’t be at his best, which we don’t see happening anyway, Oklahoma’s strong running game that includes stellar talents like Samaje Perine should keep the chains moving. Throw in a defense that could be the best in the Big 12 and the fact that both Baylor and TCU have a number of issues to sort coaching-wise and player-wise, respectively, it goes without saying the Sooners have a great outlook as worthy Big 12 favorites.
Sleeper BIG 12 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Oklahoma State
Yes, the Horned Frogs and Bears could easily be the teams to look out for as sleepers, but it is the Cowboys who we like better for this spot. For starters, this is an Oklahoma State that wasn’t far off the top of the Big 12 last year, so building on that shouldn’t be a problem. Talent-wise, the Cowboys have it all, returning all the members of its offensive line from last year to support the primed ability of returning quarterback Mason Rudolph and his top wide receiver James Washington. Meanwhile, Oklahoma State’s running game could easily be jumpstarted by highly-rated transfer Barry Sanders. And then, in the defense, the Cowboys return seven big-value starters plus star defensive tackle Vili Leveni who missed the 2015 season due to injury. Add all that up, you get a very good sleeper in the Big 12.
Favorite/Sleeper Pac-12 2016 NCAAF Title Picks: Stanford/Washington/Oregon/USC
The Pac-12 is a mess and it’s hard to single out anyone as a worthy favorite or sleeper right now. Stanford has an all-purpose player in Christian McCaffrey, but he can’t answer the many questions in the team. Oregon has a productive offense to build on from last year, but the Ducks didn’t do well enough in the offseason to patch up their leaky defense. Juju Smith and the USC Trojans are a good team on paper, but like Stanford, there aren’t many standout players in the rest of the team. Plus, USC has a killer schedule, drawing UCLA, Oregon, Stanford and Utah in Pac-12 play plus Alabama and Notre Dame in non-conference play. Then we also have QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin leading an up-and-coming Washington team under the tutelage of Coach Chris Peterson, but with an average defense and a head-scratching receiving game. Any of these teams could thus take the Pac-12 crown, depending on who is able to clean up his act and commit fewer mistakes in the course of the season. At the moment, our money is on Stanford as a favorite and Washington as a sleeper, but we are not very high on either of these picks, so feel free to pick whichever team you feel offers you the best value at a good price.
Favorite BIG 12 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Alabama
As has been the case for the case for Tide in nearly every season since Nick Saban set foot in Alabama, the SEC will be Bama’s to lose in 2016. QB Blake Barnett is said to be full of potential, RB Bo Scarbrough should be able to carry the load left by RB Derrick Henry, returning wide receiver Calvin Ridley is expected to build on his amazing freshman season and the Saban philosophy should be able to resonate in Bama’s defense, putting them among the best Ds in the nation in defending the run and pass efficiently. The result? An all-hands-on-deck team with everything to win and nothing to lose, and that includes taking a stranglehold the SEC.
Sleeper BIG 12 2016 NCAAF Title Pick: Tennessee
When you have a boatload of experience returning (18 starters back from last year’s squad), including a terrific dual-threat QB in Josh Dobbs, a supportive pair of influential RB’s in Alvin Kamara and Jalen Hurd and a defense that held opponents to 20 points per game last season; then you have all the rights to be considered as a title contender. Sprinkle in a couple more talents from a solid recruiting class from coach Butch Jones, you get one of the deepest squads in the nation. That’s the sweet kind of predicament the Vols find themselves in ahead of the new season. Should Alabama slip up, and the usual also-rans like LSU or Mississippi also fail to step up, then be sure that to look in Tennessee’s direction for a solid-value sleeper in the SEC.