Clemson, ‘Bama & Ohio St. favored to win their conferences

Ohio St. QB C.J. Stroud had a remarkable 44/6 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2021.

There were several stunning college football conference winners last season, including Pittsburgh winning the ACC at 33-1 preseason odds and Utah taking the Pac-12 title at 18-1.

FanDuel has released a full slate of conference odds for the 2022 season, allowing bettors to take an early gander at any potential long shots that might have value several months before the first game takes place. Here is the breakdown of each Power Five conference:

ACC

The Panthers took advantage of what was a down year for Clemson following the departure of Trevor Lawrence last season, cashing their 33-1 odds to win the conference.

They lost their quarterback heading into this season though, and they are priced at +950 to win the ACC. Clemson is once again favored to win the conference, but its -150 price tag is nowhere close to the hefty -835 number that it was laying last year.

Quarterbacks DJ Uiagalelei and Cade Klubnik are going to be fighting for the starting job. Clemson should have a strong defense, but there are questions at the playmaker positions. The Tigers are still going to have a better overall roster than Pittsburgh and Miami (+700), which is why books have them priced as favorites against the field.

North Carolina State is 11-1 and North Carolina is 12-1. Clemson is a heavy -320 favorite to win the ACC Atlantic, while Pittsburgh is the +160 ‘chalk’ to win the Coastal Division.

Big Ten

The Big Ten features the most lopsided Power Five conference favorite, according to FanDuel’s early odds.

Ohio State sits atop the charts with -200 odds, followed by Michigan at +800 and Wisconsin at 12-1. The Buckeyes were favored in 2021 as well, listed as -110 favorites heading into the season.

Quarterback CJ Stroud returns as the top signal caller in the conference. He is also the +200 ‘chalk’ to win the Heisman Trophy, which is one reason why Ohio State is expected to contend with Alabama for the College Football Playoff.

Michigan could give Ohio State a run for its money, but the Buckeyes are easily the top team in the conference. They are -300 to win the East Division; Wisconsin is the +185 ‘chalk’ in the West.

Big 12

Much like the ACC, oddsmakers are not expecting a repeat performance from a long shot.

Baylor opened at 40-1 to win the Big 12 last year and is still priced at +750 going into the 2022 season, despite winning the conference in 2021. This is expected to be one of the most competitive conferences in the country, with Oklahoma at +175 and Texas at +200.

The Sooners have UCF transfer quarterback Dillon Gabriel replacing Caleb Williams, and they’re also dealing with a head coaching transition to Brent Venables after the departure of Lincoln Riley. Texas is an intriguing team, as it has a loaded offense playing under Steve Sarkisian. It’s tough to back the Longhorns at short odds after years of disappointment, though.

Baylor has talent returning up front on both sides of the ball, while redshirt sophomore Blake Shapen is expected to start at quarterback. The Bears will be replacing running back Abram Smith and several key defensive players.

Pac-12

Utah was the other surprising conference winner last season, as the Utes were 18-1 heading into the 2021 campaign.

FanDuel has them priced at +500, which are the third-shortest odds in the conference. Oregon is the +200 ‘chalk,’ a similar number to its +225 odds last year.

USC (+300) is sandwiched in between Oregon and Utah as it heads into its first season under Riley. The Trojans are going to be hyped as much as any team in college football, with Riley and Williams providing an immediate spark.

Utah will rely on its returning experience and head coach Kyle Whittingham to compete with Oregon and USC’s talent.

SEC

The SEC features the top two teams in college football, at least according to the national championship futures odds.

Alabama is +200 to win the natty, while Georgia is +350. It should not come as a surprise that the two teams that met in the SEC Championship and the College Football Playoff finals last year have the shortest title odds in 2022.  

The Crimson Tide return quarterback Bryce Young (+400 to win the Heisman) and are -110 favorites in the SEC. They are expected to cruise through the SEC West, priced at -400 to win the division. I’m keen on them putting together a perfect 12-0 regular season, which you can check out here.

Georgia is an even heavier favorite in the East, listed at -750, despite losing eight members of its defense to the NFL Draft. Tennessee and Florida are tied for the second-shortest odds in the division at 14-1.

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