College Football Betting Odds Update After One Month Of Action

Georgia, Alabama, and Ohio State remain the favorites to win the national championship
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It’s been one month since the college football season began. Since then, Nebraska fired Scott Frost, Georgia Tech fired Geoff Collins, and Arizona State fired Herm Edwards. 

How’s that for an eventful first month? 

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We also saw the Sun Belt have its day in the national spotlight, with Marshall upsetting Notre Dame, Appalachian State upsetting Texas A&M, and Georgia Southern upsetting Nebraska — all on Sept. 10. Interestingly, 10 teams are undefeated against the spread this season, according to BetMGM. Of those 10 teams, four (Arkansas State, South Alabama, Southern Miss, and JMU) play in the Sun Belt. The league is exciting to watch, plus a few teams have been quite profitable from a sports betting perspective. That’s a stellar combination. 

The conference has been given the nickname “Fun Belt” for its entertaining brand of football, which features a wide variety of playing styles and regional rivalries. 

“At its core, college football is about the fun moments outside of the Xs and Os of the game,” JP Acosta wrote in a recent SB Nation article. “The rivalries, the passion of the fans, that’s what makes college football truly great. It feels like the Sun Belt has truly accomplished getting passionate fanbases together and creating rivalries while also playing great football.”

The Sun Belt doesn’t offer the only intriguing storyline, as we’ve seen outrage this week over Kansas being left out of the latest AP top 25 poll. What a time to be alive!

Let’s reset our view on this college football season after one wild and wacky month.

Title contenders largely unchanged

As crazy as some results have been, Georgia (+190 at DraftKings), Alabama (+200), and Ohio State (+240) remain the national title favorites. As much as things change, they seem to stay the same. 

Those teams also have Heisman Trophy favorites at quarterback, with Ohio State’s CJ Stroud +125 to win the award on FanDuel Casino. Alabama’s Bryce Young is +500 on the same mobile sportsbook, and Georgia’s Stetson Bennett is +2500. 

Clemson is also very much in the mix to win the title (+1500 at DraftKings), as quarterback DJ Uiagalelei looked the part of a Heisman contender (+5000 on FanDuel) in last week’s double-overtime win over Wake Forest. The close win showed the Tigers don’t appear unstoppable, though, and they’re facing a tough N.C. State squad this weekend. Hurricane Ian could impact the weather for Saturday’s game. 

The Tigers are only 6.5-point home favorites on BetMGM, but the rest of the schedule isn’t impossible, and a one-loss ACC champion could even warrant inclusion in the College Football Playoff depending on how the rest of the season shakes out. 

USC, thanks in part to the nation’s best turnover margin (+14), is a perfect 4-0. The Trojans are +1600 on DraftKings to win the national championship, and quarterback Caleb Williams is +600 to win the Heisman on FanDuel. Michigan (+2200 on DraftKings) is another national title contender.

‘Basketball schools’ have surprised

While not necessarily national title threats, a few colleges that usually thrive on the hardwood have been balling out on the gridiron. Kansas, Kentucky, Syracuse, and UCLA are all a perfect 4-0, and Duke and North Carolina are 3-1. 

Of the undefeated teams, Kentucky has the shortest national title odds at +15000 at DraftKings. Kansas and UCLA are listed at +20000, and Syracuse checks in at +30000. The group makes for a fun storyline, even if they aren’t legitimate CFP contenders. At the very least, those teams could spoil national and conference title chances of their peers. A bowl game may also be in each team’s future.

A couple of the programs have huge games this weekend, as No. 7 Kentucky (+6.5 on Barstool Sportsbook) plays at No. 14 Ole Miss on Saturday, and UCLA (+3.5) hosts No. 15 Washington. 

Miami, Notre Dame, Nebraska disappoint

While schools not known for having successful football teams are playing well, a few “traditional” powerhouses have struggled. Nebraska continued its recent downward spiral, with its coach dismissed as a result. The Cornhuskers are 1-3 this season and might need a miracle to qualify for a bowl game. 

Notre Dame opened 0-2 with losses to Ohio State and Marshall, although consecutive wins over Cal and North Carolina have the Fighting Irish moving in a positive direction under new coach Marcus Freeman. Miami, which some believed could be a contender in the ACC, lost 45-31 to Middle Tennessee last week. 

“It’s always fun to do stuff that nobody thinks you can do, and coming down here, 26-point dogs and kickin’ their butt like we did, because it was a butt kickin’, it was no fluke to this and just really proud of our team,” Middle Tennessee coach Rick Stockstill said after the win. “The toughness that we played with, we were the tougher team here tonight.”

It’s hard to argue with Stockstill, as Miami looked lethargic. The Hurricanes are just 2-2 this season, having also lost to Texas A&M. Interestingly, they’re still +800 on DraftKings to win the ACC, which are the shortest odds of any team in the ACC’s Coastal Division. 

It’s seemingly a tough year to be an old-school power, although 4-0 Florida State is bucking that trend through the early stages of the college football season. The 23rd-ranked Seminoles might not sustain that success, as they’re 2-0 in one-possession games and have yet to face a team currently in the AP Top 25. That changes Saturday when they host No. 22 Wake Forest.

Photo: Doral Chenoweth/USA TODAY

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