College football: Who are the favorites in each conference?

At least one Las Vegas sports book likes Ohio State to defend its Big Ten championship. 

The Buckeyes are a 3/2 favorite to win the conference in numbers published by Bovada on Thursday. 

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Wisconsin (last year’s runner-up) is next at 14/5 followed by Michigan at 11/2, Penn State at 6/1 and Michigan State at 10/1. 

The drop from there is precipitous with Iowa and Nebraska coming in at 40/1. 

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Ohio State and Wisconsin are both heavy favorites in their respective divisions with the Buckeyes getting nearly even numbers to win the East (21/20) and the Badgers running away with the West at 4/9. 

This is consistent with prognostications from both Phil Steele and the advanced statistics at Football Outsiders/SBNation

Who else is expected to rule their conferences this season? 

  • Bovada has the Ohio Bobcats as the Mid-American Conference favorites at 5/2 while the Miami RedHawks are fifth at 9/1. 
  • Luke Fickell’s Cincinnati Bearcats, coming off a very tough first season together, offer bettors a chance to make some money in the AAC, where UC is getting 55/1 odds (better than only three teams). Defending champ UCF is the favorite at 7/5. 
  • Ohio State Week 2 opponent, TCU, has the third-best odds in the Big 12 at 13/2. Oklahoma is getting 7/5 odds with coach Tom Herman’s Texas Longhorns a surprising second at 3/1. 
  • The other Power 5 conference favorites are Clemson (1/2 in the ACC), Washington (21/20 in the Pac 12) and, you guess it, Alabama (5/7 in the SEC).
  • FAU is a 5/6 favorite in Conference USA while Boise State is getting 5/12 odds in the Mountain West and Arkansas State is 7/5 in the Sunbelt. 

College football starts ramping up next week with SEC media days starting Monday. The Big Ten is set to follow a week later.  


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