Longshot College Futures



Futures bets are almost always great money makers for sportsbooks. They don't offer true odds. People tend to bet longshots hoping to win a 'lottery' type miracle. Those lottery bets are so spread amongst various teams that they rarely punish a sportsbook even if they hit.

The only way a sportsbook takes a hit is if one big player steps up with a longshot that comes home. That can be painful, but it doesn't happen often. The pain in these props is usually inflicted on bettors, who take the worst of it except in very rare circumstances.

Many football fans are thinking about football futures right now. The NFL Preseason is still a few weeks away, and the college season is a month and a half away. Baseball doesn't catch the fancy of many of them (you probably heard about the very low TV ratings for the All-Star game this past Tuesday night, meaning baseball isn't catching the fancy of a lot of people!). Legal sports bettors want to bet some football, so they're looking at various odds to win conferences, championships etc...

Very soon regular season win totals for both the NFL and colleges will be out and available. When that happens I'll post them for you here in my web articles and talk about some of the possibilities. Today, and over the next few days, I want to talk about odds to win the BCS conferences. You're thinking about making some bets. I'm hear to guide you!

The first thing to remember is that it's typically the favorites, or the most highly regarded teams that win their leagues. It's very uncommon for somebody to come from out of nowhere to win a major conference. That's particularly true for those with a conference championship game because it's tough to get lucky in your own division, then ALSO win a huge game against a top notch competitor. Let's say lightning struck and somebody like Vandy won the SEC East. They still have to beat Alabama or an SEC West power in a big neutral site game to win a Futures bet for the conference title. Not likely.

Let's do a quick review of last year in the six BCS leagues:

*Georgia Tech won the ACC. They weren't preseason favorites (Virginia Tech was), but they were on the short list. The preseason polls had Georgia Tech as the second best team in the league.

*Cincinnati won the BIG EAST. They and Pittsburgh were basically co-favorites at the start of the season. Ultimately they played a wild game on the last weekend of the regular season to determine the league winner.

*Ohio State won the BIG TEN, as they were expected to.

*Texas won the BIG 12. They were co-favorites along with Oklahoma.

*Oregon won the PAC 10. This is the closest thing to a major shocker because everyone assumed it would be Southern Cal. Oregon was the third favorite though, just behind California. This was a highly regarded team, rather than somebody picked to finish 6th or 7th.

*Alabama won the SEC. They had to upset Florida to do it. But, Alabama was #5 in the preseason polls and didn't lose a game all year. This wasn't a longshot pulling off a miracle.

So, even though the consensus favorite failed to win the ACC, the Pac 10, and the SEC, the eventual winners still weren't offering very much value. You didn't get a huge return if you took a shot. And, many bettors didn't want to bet against USC or Florida winning their leagues anyway given all the preseason hype.

I'll start with the ACC today, then look at the other BCS leagues in upcoming reports. Here are the odds I've seen to win the ACC this year (meaning you have to win the conference championship game at the end of the year to be crowned the official champion).

FAVORITES (+300 to +500 range)
Virginia Tech
Florida State
Miami of Florida
North Carolina

POSSIBILITIES (+800 to +1200)
Boston College
Georgia Tech

NOT SERIOUS THREATS (+3000 or higher)
Wake Forest
NC State

Oddsmakers have a knack for putting up numbers that encourage you to bet. You start talking yourself into things. 'I can see Miami of Florida continuing their improvement.' 'Georgia Tech won last year, they can do it again.' 'Hey, Clemson deserves more respect than that.'

Everyone talks themselves into a bet, and almost all of them will be wrong! That's how the house makes its money.

I'm not going to make preseason picks in these articles. Generally you should AVOID making Futures bets except in very rare circumstances. I plan on using these run-throughs to help outline expectations for the season...and to get you thinking about college football in a way that should be productive for when the season finally arrives.


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