Handicapping College Football Conference Championships

Posted by Joe Solari on Monday,November 14, 2016 1:45, EST in

The conundrum of early season expectations, coaching and personnel changes, break-out and slump performances, along with unforeseen suspensions and injuries plus inexplicable wins and losses, always make up for a mind-raking puzzle when it comes to handicapping college football conference championships. Fortunately for the bookmakers and the bettors, regular NCAA football lines adjustments and weekly or monthly college football betting updates and analysis can help us to not only make sense of the entire hullabaloo, but also revise our NCAAF conference championship picks as the season progresses.

In Depth Analysis On The Handicapping College Football Conference Championships

 

 

For example, as we enter Week 12 of the 2016 NCAAF season, it is clear that the Alabama Crimson Tide are overwhelming and deserving favorites to win the SEC Championship, as they stand as the lone undefeated Power Five team, and they are unlikely to face much of a competition in the SEC title game. The Oklahoma Sooners, who are undefeated in conference play at 7-0, also look to have a solid grasp on the Big 12 Championship, barring any major collapse in their final weeks of the season, though Oklahoma State is still strongly in the Big 12 title conversation.

Elsewhere, the two Washington teams—the Cougars and the Huskies—are in the thick of things in the Pac-12 North, as Colorado and USC have at it in the South. Meanwhile, the Big Ten looks to be wide-open, with Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State representing the contenders in the East, while Wisconsin, Nebraska and Minnesota fight it out in the West. The ACC is just as puzzled with Louisville and Clemson fighting in the Atlantic division while Virginia Tech and North Carolina seek to outduel each other in the Coastal division.

As is exemplified by the current standings in the Power Five Conferences that have been detailed above, a good number of teams managed to live up to their preseason billing, including Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. But everything didn’t exactly go according to plan, or as was anticipated at the start of the season.

Current Heisman Trophy front-runner Lamar Jackson was not even in the top-10 list of contenders for the trophy and his Louisville Cardinals were considered more as an afterthought in the ACC Championship Futures after Clemson and Florida State. Yet as things stand now, the Cardinals are just a few weeks away from a potential ACC title game. The same story goes for the Colorado Buffaloes, Jake Browning and the Washington Huskies plus Luke Falk and the Washington State Cougars in the Pac-12, who were considered as sidekicks to the likes of Stanford and Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship Futures.

On the ugly side of things, we have the likes of Michigan State (3-7), Oregon (3-7) and Notre Dame (4-6), who were ranked in the Top-25 at the start of the season, yet have plummeted into oblivion and will not be bowling at the end of the season after falling miserably short of their high preseason expectations. Top-10 teams at the start of the season like Florida State (7-3), Stanford (7-3), Tennessee (7-3) and TCU (5-4) have also not been able to meet the exaggerated expectation pegged on them.

So, what’s the moral betting takeaway for college football conference futures bettors in all these?

Well, there is really nothing new we haven’t told you before. It all comes down to you being on the lookout for breakout teams and potential slump candidates, and not just buying into the preseason hype that is often a making of the media rather than a true assessment of team. Factors to consider here include player transfers, drafting into the NFL, recruitments and the experience of the players.

And while you are at it, remember that coaching plays a very important role towards the success of a team. Nick Saban’s Alabama and Urban Meyer’s Ohio State are good examples of how good coaching can help make up for even the heaviest of player turnovers in the offseason. But then again, don’t just bet on a team on the basis of coaching only… Look what has happened to the Michigan State Spartans in spite of them having one of the best of football minds in Mark Dantonio.

 

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Then, of course, you have to consider issues such as scheduling, fatigue, depth of teams in terms of dealing with injuries and suspensions, along with situational college football conference championship handicapping factors such as weather patterns in the course of games in a season. Week 10 and 11 of the 2016-17 college football season, for example, saw fatigue and tough scheduling heavily contribute to shock losses for top-10 teams—and Conference Championship hotshots—like Texas A&M, Baylor, Michigan, Clemson, Washington and Auburn.

Evidently, it’s not easy factoring all these issues and being spot-on in your picks, given that even the best of teams can falter when you least expect them to do so while the worst of team can deliver shock results on any given Saturday. Nonetheless, your chances of success in handicapping college football conference championships will be greatly increased if you can duly consider the above-mentioned pointers on top of any other NCAAF Futures betting tips that you already know of.