Even though the American Athletic Conference isn’t a member of the Power 5 Conference, they’re just a step behind that group. The AAC has made themselves known throughout the college football world. Many are predicting that the AAC could actually get a team into the College Football Playoffs this season. Let’s take a look at the AAC, and what team should win the conference, a smart choice for a bet, and a longshot to win so you can plan your bets against the College Football Conference Championship odds.
Odds to Win the 2021 American Athletic Conference Conference Championship – Favorite, Smart and Longshot Pick
Even though it’s going to be hard to make a lot of money betting on them, you can’t pick against the University of Cincinnati. The Bearcats are a -225 to win the AAC this season. Luke Fickell’s squad is clearly the most talented team in the conference. They return many starters from last year’s team and have found suitable replacements for the starters who graduated or left the program.
Sauce Gardner will lead the stellar Cincinnati defense. They had one of the top units in the country last season and will look to continue their dominance. Georgia struggled to score on them in last year’s Peach Bowl, so if they can hold down a dominant SEC offense, they should fare well in the AAC. They have one of the top secondaries in the country, so it’s going to be hard to move the ball against them.
Desmond Ridder will be under center again for the Bearcats. Ridder is a legitimate NFL prospect. We’ll see how good Ridder is, as the Bearcats will play Indiana and Notre Dame this season. If he and the rest of the offense play well against one or both of these teams, Cincinnati will be sitting in a great position.
The Smart Bet
When Dana Holgorsen left a very good job at West Virginia for Houston, many felt that this would propel Houston to the top of the AAC. Tom Herman had taken Houston to new heights, but when he left and Major Applewhite took over, the Cougars didn’t continue on the upward path. Holgorsen hasn’t exactly lit the world on fire, as Houston has gone 7-13 over the last two seasons.
Things seem to be looking up for Houston this season. The Cougars return 18 of their 22 starters. Houston also has the advantage of having a fairly easy schedule. They don’t play Cincinnati or Central Florida, and they host Memphis and SMU. If things go their way, and Cincy slips up somewhere, Houston could sneak away with the title.
You could win big if you take Houston at +1200.
The Dark Horse
Sonny Dykes has brought SMU back to a respectable program. The Mustangs are 17-6 over the last two seasons. They went 7-3 last season, and they’re returning a good portion of the starters from that team. Oklahoma transfer Tanner Mordecai should take over for Shane Buechele. Ulysses Bentley could be one of the top running backs in the country.
The Mustangs are a +2500 to win the AAC. SMU could shock everyone and walk away with the conference title. If they do, and you place a nice bet on them, you could make yourself a whole lot of money.