The first questions bettors need to ask themselves is will there be a college football season? It appears more and more likely that NCAA football will be played in 2020.
Will it look different than in years past? The answer is most likely yes, as some teams and conferences may not be ready to start to play in September.
The SEC seems like it will play this season, no matter what. The Big Ten is probably the least likely to play out of the major conferences, and I still have them well over 50% to have a season.
The Pac-12 has toyed with the idea of a conference-only schedule for 2020. Will other conferences do this, and how will it affect national title chances? We will dig into this and cover some of the best bets for the 2020 NCAA football season.
It is no surprise that the Tigers are the favorites to win in it all. They return Trevor Lawrence and Trevor Etienne, who will both be top contenders to bring home the Heisman Trophy. Clemson also plays in the ACC, which isn’t a powerhouse of a conference, so its path to the College Football Playoff is much easier than some of the other favorites.
Ohio State (+300)
If Lawrence or Etienne don’t win the Heisman, Justin Fields will be the most likely candidate. Fields had 41 touchdowns compared to only three interceptions in 2019.
The Buckeyes’ defense lost two top three picks to the NFL in Chase Young and Jeff Okudah. The biggest questions for the Buckeyes are how good is the defense going to be, and what will the Big Ten look like? They should be the odds-on favorite to win the Big Ten, but the conference is much better than the ACC.
What a surprise that Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama are the top three favorites to bring home the title. The Crimson Tide have lost Tua Tagovailoa and a bunch of first-round talent, but they are loaded with NFL-caliber players again.
The biggest hurdle for Alabama is the SEC is loaded with talent again, and a loss is much more likely for them than it is for Clemson or Ohio State. Out of the top three, I like a bet on the Crimson Tide the most.
They have value at +450, and the SEC is the most likely conference to play, so you don’t have to worry as much about them not playing.
The fourth- and fifth-best odds to win the title also come from the SEC (Georgia +900). The problem for Alabama, LSU, and Georgia is that not all of them can make the Playoff.
I don’t really like LSU at +650, as there isn’t any value. It is an overreaction to them being the defending champs.
Georgia lost Jake Fromm at quarterback, but Wake Forest transfer Jamie Newman will be a solid addition for the Bulldogs. Newman was successful at Wake Forest, and he didn’t have near the talent he will have at Georgia. The Bulldogs have value, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see them and Alabama in the Playoff.
With the Pac-12 possibly going to a conference-only schedule, there won’t be any easy victories for the Trojans. I like this bet a little more because their chances of a good record go way up if their game against Alabama to open the season is canceled.
The Trojans are +250 to win the conference, which could earn them a trip to the Playoff. The +10,000 is just way too high of a number for a team with USC’s talent.