October 22, 2021

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The Education Specialists

NCAA football betting: Updated conference championship odds

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With the college football season about a month away, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the betting odds for the top conferences in the sport.

More specifically, how have those odds shifted since the end of spring practice?

The programs that have dominated their respective conferences are predictably still at the top of the betting odds. Clemson is a big favorite in the SEC, Ohio State is a big favorite in the Big Ten, and Alabama and Oklahoma are at the front of the pack in the SEC and Big 12, respectively.

Nonetheless, there has been some pretty interesting odds movement at BetMGM over the last few months. Let’s dive in.

Note: Current odds listed first, odds from early May listed in parentheses. All odds via BetMGM.

Georgia’s JT Daniels speaks to reporters during a Southeastern Conference Media Days NCAA college football news conference, Tuesday, July 20, 2021, in Hoover, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

ACC

  • Clemson: -900 (no movement)

  • North Carolina: +850 (+700)

  • Miami: +900 (+800)

  • Virginia Tech: +2800 (+2500)

  • Louisville: +3000 (+2200)

  • Pittsburgh: +4000 (no movement)

  • Boston College: +4000 (+6600)

  • NC State: +5000 (+1800)

  • Florida State: +5000 (+3500)

  • Wake Forest: +5000 (+8000)

  • Virginia: +6600 (+3500)

  • Georgia Tech: +10000 (+6600)

  • Syracuse: +25000 (+10000)

  • Duke: +25000 (+10000)

Clemson has won six consecutive ACC titles and the oddsmakers don’t envision that streak ending in 2021. The Tigers are still big betting favorites at -900 with North Carolina and Miami listed at a distant +850 and +900, respectively. Back in early May, UNC and Miami were listed at +700 and +800.

A few teams have seen their odds move pretty significantly. For instance, NC State dropped from +1800 all the way to +5000 while Wake Forest jumped from +8000 to +5000. Still, everyone other than UNC and Miami are considered complete long shots to knock Clemson from the top of the conference.

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - JANUARY 02: Sam Howell #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels drops back to pass during the first quarter of the Capital One Orange Bowl against the Texas A&M Aggies at Hard Rock Stadium on January 2, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

MIAMI GARDENS, FL – JANUARY 02: Sam Howell #7 of the North Carolina Tar Heels drops back to pass during the first quarter of the Capital One Orange Bowl against the Texas A&M Aggies at Hard Rock Stadium on January 2, 2021 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)

Big Ten

  • Ohio State: -225 (-150)

  • Wisconsin: +650 (+1000)

  • Penn State: +800 (+600)

  • Iowa: +900 (+1600)

  • Michigan: +2000 (+700)

  • Indiana: +2000 (+1800)

  • Minnesota: +2500 (+2000)

  • Northwestern: +4000 (+2500)

  • Nebraska: +4000 (+2500)

  • Maryland: +8000 (no movement)

  • Michigan State: +10000 (+5000)

  • Purdue: +10000 (no movement)

  • Illinois: +15000 (+12500)

Ohio State undoubtedly has one of the most talented rosters in the nation, but the Buckeyes enter the season with a bit of uncertainty at quarterback. With Justin Fields off to the NFL, the team’s QB competition (C.J. Stroud, Jack Miller and Kyle McCord are the three contenders) will be one of the bigger preseason storylines.

Ohio State has won four straight Big Ten titles, but opened up at just -150 to do it again. Since then, though, OSU has become an even bigger favorite at -225. That still feels like pretty good value. The oddsmakers have Wisconsin — the favorites in the Big Ten West — next at +650. The Badgers moved from +1000 while Penn State dropped from +600 to +800. PSU is the last team other than OSU to win the Big Ten, and that was back in 2016.

Elsewhere, Iowa jumped from +1600 to +900 and Michigan fell from +700 all the way to +2000.

Big 12

  • Oklahoma: -175 (-130)

  • Iowa State: +275 (+300)

  • Texas: +900 (+450)

  • Oklahoma State: +1200 (+1000)

  • TCU: +1400 (+1800)

  • West Virginia: +2500 (+3500)

  • Kansas State: +4000 (+3500)

  • Baylor: +5000 (no movement)

  • Texas Tech: +6600 (no movement)

  • Kansas: +25000 (+15000)

Oklahoma lost its first two Big 12 games in 2020, but rallied to win its sixth consecutive Big 12 title. Will that streak extend to seven in what could potentially be OU’s last year in the conference? The oddsmakers think so with the Sooners listed at -175. Iowa State, last year’s runner-up, is not too far behind at +275.

In 2020, the Cyclones went to a New Year’s Six bowl game for the first time and reached the nine-win mark for just the third time in program history. Entering 2021, nearly all of ISU’s top contributors are back in the fold.

Texas, the other Big 12 program exiting stage right to the SEC, is entering its first season with Steve Sarkisian as head coach. The Longhorns were listed at +450 back in May, but have since fallen to +900.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - DECEMBER 19: Brock Purdy #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones scrambles with the ball against Isaiah Thomas #95 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half of the 2020 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship football game at AT&T Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – DECEMBER 19: Brock Purdy #15 of the Iowa State Cyclones scrambles with the ball against Isaiah Thomas #95 of the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half of the 2020 Dr Pepper Big 12 Championship football game at AT&T Stadium on December 19, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Pac-12

  • Oregon: +250 (+350)

  • Washington: +350 (+500)

  • USC: +400 (+250)

  • Arizona State: +400 (+500)

  • Utah: +600 (+1600)

  • UCLA: +1200 (+800)

  • California: +2800 (+3000)

  • Stanford: +4000 (+1600)

  • Washington State: +4000 (+2000)

  • Colorado: +4000 (no movement)

  • Oregon State: +5000 (no movement)

  • Arizona: +8000 (+5000)

The Pac-12 is pretty much a toss-up, especially on the heels of a significantly shortened 2020 season. Oregon won the conference last year, but did so after Washington was unable to represent the Pac-12 North in the conference title game because of COVID-19 cases.

The Ducks are currently the betting favorites at +250, just ahead of Washington and USC at +350 and +400, respectively. A few months ago, USC was actually the conference favorite at +250 with Oregon at +350 and Washington at +500.

Arizona State (+400) and Utah (+600) are also heavily in the mix entering preseason camp. Utah was listed at +1600 a few months ago, but has seen a big-time move in the odds.

SEC

  • Alabama: -165 (-105)

  • Georgia: +230 (+250)

  • Texas A&M: +1100 (+600)

  • Florida: +1600 (+1000)

  • LSU: +2200 (+1200)

  • Ole Miss: +2800 (+1800)

  • Auburn: +3000 (+1600)

  • Missouri: +4000 (+3000)

  • Kentucky: +5000 (+10000)

  • Tennessee: +6600 (+4000)

  • Mississippi State: +12500 (no movement)

  • South Carolina: +15000 (no movement)

  • Arkansas: +15000 (+25000)

  • Vanderbilt: +50000 (no movement)

After winning another national title under Nick Saban, Alabama enters the 2021 season as the betting favorite to win the SEC. Alabama has won the SEC in five of the last seven seasons, but it is not a heavy favorite at -165. Georgia, with JT Daniels back at quarterback, is not too far behind at +230 even after finishing second in the SEC East behind Florida last fall.

There’s a sizable gap between Alabama and Georgia and the rest of the conference, according to the oddsmakers. Texas A&M finished No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings last year, but enters 2021 with a question mark at quarterback with Haynes King and Zach Calzada competing for the starting role. The Aggies are currently listed at +1100 to win the SEC, down from +600 in May.

Florida is next at +1600 with LSU at +2200 and Ole Miss at +2800 in Year 2 under Lane Kiffin.

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 01: Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl football game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 31-14. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

ARLINGTON, TEXAS – JANUARY 01: Bryce Young #9 of the Alabama Crimson Tide warms up before the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Rose Bowl football game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at AT&T Stadium on January 01, 2021 in Arlington, Texas. The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 31-14. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

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