This Saturday will feel like Christmas morning to college football fans with the opening weekend getting kicked off in full. Thursday night is the appetizer to Saturday’s main course. Along with the season kick off comes the opportunity to add another layer of excitement, sports betting.
This season I will be previewing the upcoming college football slate with the gamblers perspective in mind.
The College Football Playoff will have its inaugural season this year. It has made predicting who will hoist the National Title trophy more of a challenge. Ideally bettors select a handful of teams that can get their name in one of the four lines for the playoff.
Outside the favorites like Florida State and Alabama, there are three teams that have odds that stand out as teams worth taking a shot on.
The Georgia Bulldogs have a talented team that has a golden opportunity to make some serious noise. While last seasons injury plagued season derailed the 2013 season, it has set them up for a potential terrific 2014 season. Hutson Mason took over for an injured Aaron Murray late in 2013. The experience gained from those starts should pay dividends this season. They also feature “new starters” this season at other positions but those players saw playing time against key SEC foes last season.
The Bulldogs have one of, if not the best running back in the nation in Todd Gurley. He is currently 14/1 to win the Heisman Trophy. If the Dawgs end up on top, hoisting the national championship trophy come seasons end, Gurley would be the likely be a finalist if not the winner. Bettors who like Georgia, should bet Gurley and give themselves a nice payday come seasons end.
Michigan State (30/1)
A team I loved prior to the Braxton Miller injury, has a seemingly easier path to be one of the four teams in the College Football playoff. The Spartans have a massive hurdle September 6th when they travel to Eugene, Oregon to take on the Ducks. If they can head back to East Lansing with a W, they will be in a great position to claim one of those four playoff slots. They may still have an outside shot if they fall against the Ducks if they are able to run the table the rest of the way and win the Big 10 championship.
Sparty is a physically dominant team that can give teams problems. Coach Mark Dantonio gets the most out of his players. Connor Cook will need to continue to progress at the quarterback spot. If all of these things happen expect to see Michigan State in the College Football Playoff.
A national championship for the LSU Tigers is seemingly more likely to come next season as opposed to this season. The Tigers are loaded with young talent. That talent assembled in Baton Rouge is too hard to ignore for me. They could make their push this season and hoist the championship trophy. Anthony Jennings and Brandon Harris are currently vying to be the team’s starter come Saturday when they face a tough Wisconsin team. Running back Leonard Fournette is expected to a massive difference maker.
Les Miles is a dynamic coach that has the ability to get his teams to play at elite levels. If all the young talent can come together quickly, this may be a special season in Baton Rouge.
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College Football Championship Odds (per Vegas Insider)