College Football odds and futures took a big turn as the Big Ten, PAC-12, MAC and Mountain West conferences all announced their intentions to start their 2020 seasons. With the NCAA diving full back into the pigskin business, let’s look at some future plays in each league that is coming back. I’ve listed the college football odds favorites and picked a potential sleeper for each returning conference below.
Are these leagues going to be chalky like the ACC or a hot mess like the B12? We will find out soon enough.
College Football Odds and Futures
Favorite: Ohio State Buckeyes-285
When the Big Ten cancelled its season, folks in Columbus were heartbroken. This looked like a great year to win another conference title, get back to the College Football Playoffs and win another National Championship. QB Justin Fields has been amazing for Ohio State since he set foot on campus and they are loaded all over field. Sure they lost their usual cadre of talent to the NFL. However, they reload and as well as any team in the country, including Clemson and Alabama.
Sleeper: Penn State Nittany Lions +1000
Penn State is the second-best team in the conference. Those college football odds are high because they would have to get by Ohio State to play in the title game. PSU actually has more returning starters than OSU. Unfortunately, not having LB Micah Parsons looms large. He might be the best player in the country at that position. The offense could be awesome though if QB Sean Clifford and RB Journey Brown keep improving.
Favorite: Oregon Ducks +200
Similar to Penn State above, Oregon will are going to be without their top player, offensive lineman Penei Sewell. That means they will have no returning starters on the offensive line. Even though there is quite a bit of talent in Eugene, including new transfer QB Anthony Brown, there are a lot of questions too. The defense will be the more experienced and better unit this year. They gave up just 16 ppg a year ago and return eight starters. Kayvon Thibodeaux is one of the best edge rushers in the country.
Sleeper: Arizona State Sun Devils +1400
USC is the favorite in the South but Arizona State is the most intriguing. This is probably the best team they’ve had since Herm Edwards set up camp in Tempe. Jayden Daniels might be the best QB in the conference. He’s coming off a sensational freshman season where he only threw two interceptions. Sever starters are returning on defense and give that unit a great chance of being better. They were middle of the pack a year ago.
Go here for college football championship odds.
Favorite: Boise State Broncos -200
Heading into 2020 it looked like the Broncos were going to be the only nationally relevant program in the Mountain West Conference. Sophomore quarterback Hank Bachmeier looked really good at times last season but got hurt and missed time. BSU was still the top offense in the conference though. Coach Bryan Harsin is in control of his program as much as any coach across the country and will have them ready. Coaching is going to matter that much more and Harsin might be underrated.
Sleeper: San Diego State Aztecs +450
This is the second go-around at San Diego State for coach Brady Hoke. Though I am not his biggest fan I like the value here. SDSU had the league’s best defense a year ago only giving up 12 ppg, second-best in the nation. More than enough returns from that group for them to be really good on that side of the ball again. The offense has to get better but even though they have not been preparing as intensely, they have had a lot of time to implement what they want to do. Even it was only on Zoom.
Favorite: Ohio Bobcats +400
The Bobcats have been good ever since coach Frank Solich arrived in Athens, Ohio. This year they might be the college football odds favorite based on reputation though. They will be auditioning a couple of freshman quarterbacks and even though one has the familiar name of Rourke, there is no guarantee he will be as good as his older brother. If he is, having 9 starters returning on defense could be a great advantage.
Sleeper: Buffalo Bulls +1200
Jaret Patterson is the most exciting player not playing in a power five conference this season. The running back was one yard shy of 1800 yards last season and I loved him to make a run at 2000 yards this year in a full season. His brother is one of 7 starters returning for the defense, a defense that was tops in the MAC a year ago. Coach Lance Leipold knows how to win too. I would make them the favorite but they are not priced that way. This is a great line to hit but it might move quickly.