October 23, 2021

Auto Priwors

The Education Specialists

Staff picks: Best futures odds providing good value ahead of 2021 college football season

This week, we rolled out our Power Five conference title odds and shared some of our favorite, and least favorite, bets. With our betting theme continuing into today, our college football team is sharing our favorite futures bets as we inch ever closer to the start of the 2021 season. 

These bets can range from national title and conference championship winners to Heisman Trophy recipients. The only real rule is that you actually have make decent money on the bet itself. So, sorry, no odds-on favorites will be listed here. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the futures to consider for the upcoming season. 

Odds from William Hill Sportsbook

Tom Fornelli: Georgia (+800) to win the national championship

I want to get this before the market adjusts. Georgia was already a strong value considering the talent it has on the roster, but this week alone, the Dawgs have added two of the best transfer targets available in tight end Arik Gilbert and defensive back Derion Kendrick. Should he be cleared academically, Gilbert gives an offense that was already explosive under JT Daniels last season another matchup problem and somebody to help offset the loss of George Pickens. Kendrick is a stud addition to a terrific defense and helps address what could have been an area of concern in the secondary. This team’s playoff odds just increased this week. 

David Cobb: Utah (+1500) to win the Pac-12 championship

A team that appeared in two conference title games during the past three years and just upgraded at quarterback is listed at +1500 to win the league? Sign me up. Sure, USC and Arizona State are sexier picks out of the Pac-12 South, but Utah is led by a 17th year coach in Kyle Whittingham and will have a high floor with Baylor transfer Charlie Brewer at quarterback. With the momentum of three straight victories to close last season on their side, the Utes can be a legitimate challenger in the conference if their secondary improves. Games against USC and Arizona State in back-to-back weeks during October will determine the pecking order of the Pac-12 South, and the Utes are plenty capable of competing in both matchups.

Barrett Sallee: Ball State (+350) to win the MAC championship

I know the MAC doesn’t exactly draw the attention of the college football world until weekday #MACtion starts in November, but by then, it’ll be too late to get the best investment in college football. Take Ball State (+350) to win the conference. The Cardinals have 18 starters back and a whopping 16 “super-seniors,” off of a team that went 7-1 and won the conference in 2020. First-team All-MAC wide receiver Justin Hall, MAC Defensive Player of the Year Brandon Martin, second-team All-MAC quarterback Drew Plitt, second-team All-MAC cornerback Bryce Cosby and third-team All-MAC wide receiver Yo’Heinz Tyler are among the stars of last year’s squad who are back. Plus, it’s not like Buffalo — the favorite according to William Hill Sportsbook — has had a stable offseason considering coach Lance Leipold left for Kansas after spring practice. 

Ben Kercheval: JT Daniels (+1200) to win the Heisman Trophy 

I agree with Tom’s assessment of Georgia’s national title odds above. The Bulldogs are about to be in for a big market adjustment. Similarly, I’m more bullish on Daniels’ odds of winning the Heisman than his current place suggests. Here’s what we know about college football’s most prized individual honor: it usually goes to the best player on a championship-caliber (or, at the very least, playoff-caliber) team. It’s also usually a quarterback, though Alabama’s DeVonta Smith showed a wide receiver can win in this era of passing offenses. 

There are surer bets to win the Heisman. Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler (+550) is still pretty good money for a guy who’s probably due for a monster season. But Daniels notably elevated Georgia’s offense at the end of last season with 10 passing touchdowns in the final four games. The loss of George Pickens hurts, but there are weapons around Daniels and a full, healthy offseason is only going to help. Even if Daniels doesn’t win the Heisman, his odds aren’t going to stay this low for long. Get ’em while you can.