Wrapping up BCS League Futures



Today I finish my three-part series on preseason odds to win the BCS conferences. I've saved the most interesting for last. The SEC will once again feature a war between Florida and Alabama...but other contenders will have a shot to crash the party because Alabama returns so little on defense, and Florida is breaking in a new quarterback. The Pac 10 is the only real"crapshoot" in the BCS this year. Traditional favorite USC is ineligible for the title...and several teams have the potential to step into the void.

I'll start with the SEC. Remember that I'm only listing general price ranges by categories. Conference futures prices can vary GREATLY from store to store. If you have a favorite team, shop around! If I tried to list all the available prices the page would be very difficult to read. I'm listing the ranges. That's enough to help you think through the process before making any final decisions.


FAVORITES (+100 to +300 range)

Defending SEC and national champion Alabama is close to even money at a lot of places to at least win their conference again. Some stores offer a slight return. Florida is the obvious co-favorite given their very high level of play during the Urban Meyer era.

As I mentioned above, each has some vulnerabilities this year. Alabama's amazing defense from 2009 is in an extreme rebuilding mode. Tim Tebow won't be running the Florida offense for the first time in years. I'm very interested to see if either or both of these teams stub their toes in the transition process.

POSSIBILITIES (+800 to +1000)

It's easy to find reasons to like or dislike each of these teams. It's that kind of year in the SEC. Nobody is perfectly positioned to make a run at history. Several teams are capable of doing it if new stars develop, or if veterans take a step forward from last year's performances.

As I mentioned earlier in the series, I'm not going to isolate the teams I'm most focused on here in these articles. I need to protect that information for my clients. There are so few really big games in September that I just can't risk giving away an edge with a team I think will make an early statement. I will tell you that one of the four teams I just listed is on my short list for major release potential in September, then again later in the year when they match up with other contenders.

NOT SERIOUS THREATS (+2000 or higher)
South Carolina
Ole Miss
Mississippi State

There are some good teams on the list of"not serious threats." They would be threats in most any other conference. That's how good the SEC is. You can be an 8-4 type bowl caliber team and still not be a real threat to win the league. I've had very good success with even the worst SEC teams in non-conference games in recent years, and with picking live dog spots with them. This has truly been a big money conference for college football sharps in recent seasons.

Let's see what's happening in the Pac 10, with Southern Cal out of the championship mix. Note that USC's games will still count. But, if they finish at the top of the standings, they WON'T be named champion. All betting propositions involve the crowned champion, not the league standings. Be sure that's clear at any store you may be shopping at. Southern Cal is ineligible to win the Pac 10 this year, period.

PAC 10

FAVORITES (+250 to +500 range)
Oregon State

I've listed the five teams in the general order that they've been ranked in various stores. You'll see some variety here. And, you'll also note that the prices are relatively low considering that it's seen as a 4-5 way coin flip in some circles. Well, Oregon's at the head of the class. But, nobody is getting true odds when this many teams are legitimate contenders.

If you have a favorite, you will be rewarded by shopping around. There's not much of a consensus beyond"anyone can win it" right now. I would advise against betting unless you have a VERY strong opinion. I'm not much for"pick a name out of a hat" type bets. If you're absolutely convinced this is Washington's year because of Jake Locker, or that Oregon State is ready to make a move...shop around and see what you can get.

POSSIBILITIES (+800 to +1000 range)

Some may be surprised that these teams aren't in the first group. In some places, they basically are. Things are THAT wide open this year in the Pac 10. Stanford has to replace  a workhorse running back. California has burned backers for so many years that nobody has any faith in them in terms of making a Rose Bowl run. That probably means THIS will be the year!

NOT SERIOUS THREATS (+1200 or higher)
Arizona State
Washington State

Those are the last two teams on the list...but Washington State really has a place by themselves way off the radar. They were horrible last year, and are very unlikely to accomplish much of anything this year either. Arizona State has to break in a new quarterback, and returns hardly any starters. That's why they rank so low heading into 2010.

That wraps up my three-part series on BCS Conference prices. Regular Season Win Totals will be widely available shortly in both college and pro football. I'll talk more in depth about those once we see what goes up on the board. Sportsbooks are starting to get smart about offering appealing football bets over the summer!

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I can't wait for football season to get here. I'm sure you're feeling the same way...because you've found a source that gets you the best information DIRECT FROM NEVADA!


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