College Football Odds: Which Team is Favored to Win Each Conference?

Posted by Michael Hunt on Friday,July 14, 2017 11:29, EST in

By next Monday, we will be less than 40 days until the 2017 college football season kicks off. The SEC and ACC Media Days were last week and the Big 12 Media Days are this week. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are still to come. Let’s take an updated look at the College Football odds favorites to win each Power 5 Conference.

College Football Odds: Which Team is Favored to Win Each Conference?

ACC: Florida State Seminoles

Clemson is the two-time defending ACC champion and of course the reigning national champion, but the Tigers lost a ton of last year’s team, led by star quarterback Deshaun Watson, leading rusher Wayne Gallman and top receiver Mike Williams, among others.

So it’s FSU’s Atlantic Division to lose – and the Atlantic Division appears much better at the top than the Coastal does. FSU defensive back Derwin James believes his Seminoles defense will be one of the best to ever take the field in Tallahassee.

Not sure about that, but James is one of the best defenders in the country. He is on the preseason Nagurski Trophy list. That award goes to the country’s best defensive player.

Also on it are FSU end Josh Sweat, cornerback Tarvarus McFadden, and defensive tackle Derrick Nnadi. Sweat is another future NFL guy as he recorded 41 tackles, 11 1/2 tackles for loss, and seven sacks as a sophomore in 2016. FSU does have to visit Clemson this year but hosts Louisville.

Latest College Football Odds Trends

  • Odds to Win 2018 National Championship: +600
  • Odds to Win ACC Division: Even

Big Ten: Ohio State Buckeyes

No surprise here as OSU has been the preseason favorite ever since Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus. The Buckeyes bring back the conference’s top quarterback in JT Barrett. OSU should have one of the country’s best defenses as well.

The Buckeyes who are in the running for the Nagurski Trophy include fourth-year junior defensive end Sam Hubbard, junior linebacker Jerome Baker, sophomore defensive end Nick Bosa and fifth-year senior defensive end Tyquan Lewis.

Are These Players Going to Make a Difference for this Season?

Baker, Bosa and Lewis are all on the watch list for the Bednarik Award, which is given to the defensive player of the year by the Maxwell Football Club. Lewis is the reigning 2016 Big Ten defensive lineman of the year and heads into his final campaign with 92 career tackles, 27 TFL and 16½ quarterback sacks.

OSU is likely to be favored in every regular-season game – except maybe at Michigan.

Latest College Football Odds Trends

  • Odds to Win 2018 National Championship: +450
  • Odds to Win ACC Division: +140

Big 12: Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners have owned the Big 12 for the past couple of years. They enter this season without legendary head coach Bob Stoops, who surprisingly stepped down in the spring. But OU brings back two-time Heisman Trophy finalist quarterback Baker Mayfield. He’s on the Maxwell Award list.

Oklahoma has been chosen to finish at the top of the standings for the second consecutive year in the Big 12 football preseason poll, voted on by media representatives. This year marks the fifth since 2011 in which the Sooners led the preseason rankings. They have captured a Big 12-record 10 league titles, including the last two.

How is The Defense This Year?

Defensively, seniors Jordan Thomas and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo are among 103 candidates who are being considered at this stage for the Nagurski Trophy. Both Thomas and Okoronkwo were named to the 2017 Preseason All-Big 12 Team this week and are two of seven returning starters on the Sooner defensive unit for 2017.

Latest College Football Odds Trends

  • Odds to Win 2018 National Championship: +800
  • Odds to Win ACC Division: -125

The Oklahoma Sooners are top favorites in the college football odds to win their division.

Pac-12: USC Trojans (-125)

In my mind, USC is the least likely of these five schools to win its conference. That’s nothing against the Trojans mind you – it’s just there are great QBs in this league.

USC has the Heisman Trophy favorite in QB Sam Darnold, who was last seen carving up a very good Penn State team with a record-setting performance in the Rose Bowl. Some NFL teams are tanking just to get a shot at him in 2018 draft.

The redshirt sophomore can declare for the NFL draft next season, but he doesn’t have to. Should he prefer to return to school he has the option. After he redshirted his freshman year at USC in 2015, he became a star in his first season as a starter.

How Well Has Darnold Done So Far?

He spent the first three games of the season coming off the bench before helping the Trojans rally off nine straight wins. The 20-year- old quarterback completed 67.2 percent of passes for 3,086 yards, 31 touchdowns and nine interceptions, carrying the Trojans to a 52-49 Rose Bowl victory over Penn State.

Meanwhile, UCLA has Josh Rosen, Washington has Jake Browning and Washington State has Luke Falk just to name three.

Latest College Football Odds Trends

  • Odds to Win 2018 National Championship: +600
  • Odds to Win ACC Division: -125

Check Out These Three Bold College Football Betting Prediction for 2017

SEC: Alabama Crimson Tide (-190)

I no longer subscribe to the notion that the SEC is the best conference in the league. Alabama is amazing and the favorite for another national title – but no one else in the SEC is close to the Tide. Since 2014, Alabama has gone 25-2 in SEC play, won three SEC titles and reached the College Football Playoff three times.

The average margin in those SEC games is an 18.2-point Alabama win. Take out Ole Miss, which beat Alabama in ’14 and ’15 and which pushed the Tide in a five-point Alabama win last year, and the number jumps to 20.8.

Auburn and LSU might be the second- and third-best teams in the SEC but they are stuck in the same division as Alabama.

Latest College Football Odds Trends

  • Odds to Win 2018 National Championship: +300
  • Odds to Win ACC Division: -190