Looking for the definition of unfairness in the college football betting odds? Here’s one for you… Bad enough as it is that beating highly-ranked teams like Ohio State, TCU and Baylor is not going to be easy this year, the Bucks, Frogs and Bears are among the teams with the softest NCAAF schedules in 2015. Fortunately for bettors, this is good news, as it means that there will be a lot of value for such teams in the betting boards, particularly in the College Football betting odds for lines like SU, ATS, Game Totals and Team Season Win Totals. So rather than wasting our time on bemoaning the unfortunate fate of the soft opponents that will have to contend against the strong ranked teams, let’s make better use of our time by quickly checking out the easy schedules and the potential benefits to bettors in the college football lines.
Breaking Down the Ranked Teams with Easiest NCAA Football Odds Schedules in 2015
Ohio State, #1 in AP Rankings
The defending champions dodge the bullet in the regular season, as they won’t be facing Wisconsin and Nebraska, who are among the top 5 contenders for the Big Ten championship. In their non-conference schedule, their lone “tough” schedule will come against the Virginia Tech Hokies, who are only being called tough because they eked out a win over the Bucks last year. In fact, minus the history from last season, Ohio State should be able to take care of the Hokies quite comfortably. Within the conference, playing the two Michigan teams on November 21st and 28th should make up for some wild anticipation and tense viewing, but in the end, Ohio State’s class and depth should show once again. Outside those three tough but manageable challenges, the Buckeyes should be in cruise mode, easily sweeping their soft 2015 opponents, including Hawaii, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Indiana, Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Minnesota and Illinois.
TCU, #3 in Rankings
Besides the games against Baylor and Oklahoma, which are both winnable anyway, the Frogs have a very soft slate that should see them collect another double-digit win season and possibly go undefeated in the regular season. Some of their weakest matchups that are likely to end up in comfortable wins include: Iowa State, Minnesota, SMU, Stephen F. Austin, Texas and Kansas.
Baylor, #7 in Rankings
The Bears have a schedule that is a near-replica to their soft slate in 2014 that saw them cruise to an emphatic season, finishing as a one-loss team and earning a major bowl game, the Cotton Bowl, after missing out on a Top-4 mark in the nation. The biggest challenges for the Bears will be games against TCU and Oklahoma. Baylor’s softest matchups will come against Texas, Iowa State, Kansas, Lamar, SMU and Rice. Remarkably, Baylor and TCU have more-or-less the same schedules, with the only difference being that the Frogs are ranked higher than the Bears ahead of the new CFB season.
UCLA, #10 in Rankings
The Bruins have been a good team for quite a while, but for reasons only known to them and their fans, they haven’t been able to exert their dominance in the Pac-12. This year, they not only have one of the best units in the conference, but they also have a favorable schedule that includes games against beatable opponents like Washington State, UNLV, BYU, Virginia and Colorado. USC and Stanford are probably the toughest regular-season opponents they’ll face in 2015. If the Bruins can take advantage of their easy slate, 2015 could be a good year for them. Even so, I wouldn’t put my hopes that high on them, considering they went against opponents with a combined record of 76-76 in the 2014 season, but weren’t able to do much.
Boise State, #16 Rankings
The MWC has been friendly for the Broncos, and based on their 2015 schedule, the status quo in the conference will probably remain the same. Just about the only “tough” matchups for the Broncos will come against Washington and Virginia, which are actually very winnable for them. All the other games are soft for the Broncos, so a very solid showing (probably with a flawless winning record) can be expected from them, with blowout victories over the likes of BYU, Utah State, Wyoming, UNLV, Idaho State, Hawaii, Air Force and San Jose State.
#Bonus Team: Oklahoma
Despite an underwhelming 8-5 campaign last-year that has seen them go unranked ahead of the new season, the Sooners are still one of the best teams in the nation. This is ascertained by the fact that, in 16 years of Bob Stoops as the team’s coach, Oklahoma has finished the regular season with less than 10 wins only four times. Playing TCU and Baylor within the Big 12 and Tennessee for the Southeastern Conference will not be easy. However, if they can collect at least two wins from the three games, then everything else should be easily manageable for the Sooners, who have a host of easy games in their schedule against the likes of Akron, Texas, Kansas, Iowa State and Tulsa.