The 2015 College Football Betting PreviewJosh Bailey
It is never too early to start thinking about football and lately I have had college football on the brain. Even though the season is still weeks away from officially kicking off, I have the latest and greatest for my 2015 Complete College Football Betting Guide.
The 2015 NCAA football regular season has shrunk by one week, but that just means every other week will have that much more college football to bet on. Every week from September 3rd straight through to early December has several must bet on college football games on tap.
The Complete 2015 College Football Betting Guide
Odds To Win the 2015 National Championship
Ohio State +450
Not only do the champs return 3 proven starters at quarterback, a proven star at running back, and reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year Joey Bosa, they might only have to play a single Top 20 team in Michigan State before the College Football Playoffs.
Ohio St. became just the 4th team since 1936 to win an undisputed championship despite losing a game in September pic.twitter.com/IqvRnphD4U
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) June 26, 2015
The Horned Frogs’ QB Trevoyne Boykin is a Heisman Trophy candidate. But, this is a rebuilding year for the defense and the Big 12 is stacked with Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and West Virginia all on the Horned Frogs’ schedule. Be wary of taking short odds.
If the Tides’ secondary comes together, the defense might be the best in the country. The questions at quarterback shouldn’t hurt Lane Kiffin’s creative offensive play-calling and Derrick Henry is a monster tailback.
How many games will Alabama win in 2015? pic.twitter.com/l5fY39yMOp
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) June 22, 2015
The odds make Baylor an overlay. They return all 4 starters in the secondary and defensive lineman Shawn Oakman, who some are comparing to Ndamukong Suh. The offense is going to be as prolific as ever and there is no Big 12 Championship Game. The one to back at the odds.
The Trojans return 14 starters, including QB Cody Kessler, from a squad that almost won 10 games. USC might be ready to take over the Pac 12 now that Marcus Mariota has moved on to the NFL over at Oregon. The Trojans’ defense looks powerful as well.
Will Muschamp goes from leading the Florida Gators to taking over as the defensive coordinator at Auburn. He has some things to work with since the Tigers return their Top 3 tacklers from 2014. If the Tigers can get past Louisville, LSU and Mississippi State, whom they play in 3 out of their first 4 games, they could be on their way to yet another gargantuan show down with rival Alabama in the Iron Bowl as the only thing keeping them out of the SEC Championship.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) June 30, 2015
Replacing Marcus Mariota will not be easy, but fifth-year senior transfer Vernon Adams might be the real deal. Adams is 22-years-old and ran a system at Eastern Washington that is similar to what they run at Oregon. But, the cornerbacks are young and USC is stacked on offense.
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) July 2, 2015
The defense is loaded with the secondary being the major are of strength. Clemson’s ability to get into the College Football Playoff hunt will depend on the play of quarterback Deshaun Watson. If Watson is able to stay healthy, Clemson should win the ACC Conference.
Michigan State +2400
September 12’s game versus Oregon will determine if Michigan State is able to stay in the Top 10 early enough to garner College Football Playoff discussion. The Spartans return three year starter Connor Cook at QB. Cook has the ability to lead the offense a long way. The defense will be exceptional again. If future bettors think that the Spartans can beat Ohio State on Nov. 21 and feel that they can get past Oregon early on, they have to like the odds.
Since Oklahoma has to replace 4 starters on the offensive line and still hasn’t decided on who their quarterback will be, the chances of the Sooners getting anywhere near the College Football Playoff are slim to none. Expect north of 40 to 1 if you believe.
Josh Rosen, who will be counted on to replace Brett Hundley at quarterback, was the nation’s top recruit at the position. He ran an offense similar to what the Bruins run in high school. Overall, the Bruins return 17 of 22 starters. That will give them a shot if they can get out of the ultra-deep Pac 12.
The defense is going to be exceptionally strong. This is particularly true in the secondary where cornerback Tre’Davious White plays. The offense is a question mark. Even though running back Leonard Fournette has the ability to dominate, LSU still doesn’t have a real quarterback. Neither Anthony Jennings nor Brandon Harris looked like the answer during the spring.
The Bulldogs offense will be terrific in 2015. Nick Chubb, who filled in admirably for Todd Gurley, is back. He runs behind an offensive line that returns 4 starters. Questions for inside linebacker and cornerback make the defense a tough one to get behind, though.
Florida State +3000
Notre Dame QB transfer Everett Golson has a ton of talent, but he fumbles and throws a lot of interceptions. What’s worse for the Seminoles this season is that they might have issues in the linebacking corps with Terrance Smith and Reggie Northrup both returning from injuries.
Notre Dame +3400
Another tough schedule, especially Clemson on Oct. 3 and USC on Oct. 17, means that Notre Dame will have earned its way into the College Football Playoff should they go undefeated. Notre Dame has one of the most electric players in all of college football at quarterback with Malik Zaire. The defense returns enough starters to make this team a serious contender for the National Championship.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) June 24, 2015
College Football Playoff Picks
Which four teams will make the 2016 College Football Playoff?
Baylor should go undefeated in the Big 12 and stamp its ticket to the College Football Playoff. The Bears’ defense will be the difference when it plays Boykin and TCU on Nov. 27.
Ohio State +450
The ridiculously easy schedule until Michigan State on Nov. 21 means that the defending champs should be able to waltz into the College Football Playoff this season. Urban Meyer won’t let his team get lazy either, which means that the Buckeyes are going to be more than ready to take on the Spartans than they might otherwise be. The yearly tussle with Michigan won’t mean much since the Wolverines have nothing on the Buckeyes this season.
Not having Amari Cooper at WR could force Lane Kiffin to lean on RB Derrick Henry. That will help the Tide to slow things down on offense, which means that their terrific defense will get much more rest than it did in 2014. A rested Alabama defense makes them tough in the Iron Bowl and the SEC Championship. A win against Auburn, which will propel the Tide into the SEC Championship, and winning the SEC Championship Game, might be all that Alabama needs in order to get into the College Football Playoff.
Notre Dame +3400
Brian Kelly’s team is ultra-deep this season. The offense should be stunning while the defense gets linebacker Joe Smith back from injury. This team could go undefeated and knock USC, Clemson and Stanford from the College Football Playoff hunt.
Conference Championship Picks
ACC Champion – Clemson +250
The defense should feast on Florida State QB Everett Golson. Golson has a problem taking care of the football. The offense will be close to great if QB Deshaun Watson stays healthy. The Tigers face a bunch of lackluster squads in the ACC outside of Florida State. This will be the year that they break through with an ACC Championship.
Big Ten – Ohio State -150
Mark this down as the easiest future bet of the season. -150 on Ohio State to win the Big Ten is a gift since the Buckeyes should be much bigger favorites than that. There’s only a single team on the schedule, Michigan State, that’s close to the Buckeyes. The defense will be better while Ohio State’s offense goes three deep at the QB position. Ohio State takes on Michigan State at home in 2015. The Buckeyes will be impossible to beat again.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) July 2, 2015
Big 12 – Baylor +225
The odds on Baylor are quite good considering that TCU is +200 to win the Big 12 and Baylor has a much more experienced, much more potentially dominant defense this season than TCU has. TCU will have the upper hand on offense, but trying to outscore Baylor to beat the Bears shouldn’t be as easy this season as it has been in the past. The Bears could be sitting at #1 when they play the Horned Frogs on Nov. 27. Then, a game against Texas a week later will be the only thing keeping them out of the College Football Playoff.
Pac 12 – USC +450
The Trojans have a brutal 4 games where they play Stanford on Sept. 29, Arizona State on Sept. 26, Washington on Oct. 8 and Notre Dame on Oct. 17. That’s 4 games where, should the Trojans get out of all 4 unscathed, will lead to not only Pac 12 Championship talk, but College Football Playoff talk. Steve Sarkisian’s squad has the quarterback in Cody Kessler that should get them to the Pac 12 title in only Sark’s second season as head coach.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) June 3, 2015
SEC – Alabama +260
Yes, the Crimson Tide has question marks at QB and in the secondary. After that, every unit on the team is solid. Lane Kiffin will find the quarterback to run his offense. More importantly, the running back situation is terrific while the defensive line is good enough to dominate ‘Bama’s opponents in the SEC.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) June 30, 2015
Heisman Trophy Candidates
Trevone Boykin QB, TCU, +750
Boykin was sensational in 2014. He completed 301 out of 492 passes for 3901 yards. He threw 33 touchdowns to only 10 picks and averaged 6.5 yards on the ground versus Ole Miss’s terrific defense in the Peach Bowl. Boykin completed 71% of his passes. The schedule says that Boykin could be in line for a Heisman Trophy this season up until TCU plays Baylor. He’s the deserving favorite.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) June 10, 2015
Ezekiel Elliot RB, Ohio State, +800
Elliot rushed for 1878 yards from 273 attempts for a 6.9 average last season. He scored 18 touchdowns. Although Elliot was sensational, he’s a running back trying to win a Heisman Trophy on a team with 3 quality quarterbacks. It’s doubtful that Elliot is going to get enough carries to garner enough Heisman voter attention. Elliot could strike the Heisman pose, but at the odds, gamblers have to pass.
Dak Prescott QB, Mississippi State, +850
Prescott could have a sensational 2015. One of last year’s top quarterbacks threw for 3449 yards and 27 touchdowns with only 11 picks against top SEC defenses. Prescott only completed 61% of his passes in 2014, though. He’ll have to do much better than that in order to garner Heisman Trophy votes in 2015.
Leonard Fournette RB, LSU, +1150
Fournette is a much better play than Elliot at Ohio State as far as backing a running back to win the Heisman. Fournette will play behind a stellar offensive line and with a suspect QB no matter if Les Miles starts Anthony Jennings or Brandon Harris. Miles is going to lean on Fournette in every game this season, which is why he’ll have a big shot, unless he gets hurt, at being the running back that Heisman voters look to.
Nick Chubb RB, Georgia, +1200
If you’re thinking that a running back wins the Heisman this year, then look no further than Georgia RB Nick Chubb. Chubb runs behind 4 returning starters. He should be able to dominate defenses on the ground, is proven, and Coach Mark Richt knows that Chubb is his best shot at winning the SEC.
Paul Perkins RB, UCLA, +1200
Perkins was terrific in 2014 when averaging 6.3 yards per carry and scoring 9 touchdowns. He rushed for 1575 yards. But the low betting odds suggest that UCLA isn’t going to let top quarterback recruit Josh Rosen to run the same offense that Brett Hundley ran last year. That’s not the case. Perkins simply isn’t going to get the number of carries that Chubb with Georgia and Fournette at LSU are going to receive unless UCLA changes the offense.
Cody Kessler QB, USC, +1300
Kessler is probably the quarterback to bet on because of his exceptional odds. He was fantastic playing for the first time in Steve Sarkisian’s system in 2014. Kessler completed 315 out of 452 passes for 69.7%. He averaged 8.47 yards per attempt. He threw for 39 touchdowns and only 5 interceptions. He doesn’t run, but as a drop back passer, it’s hard to imagine anybody having the success that he’ll have in 2015.
Derrick Henry RB, Alabama, +1400
Henry split time with T.J. Yeldon last season for the Crimson Tide and he still rushed for a 5.9 average, 990 yards and 11 touchdowns. Depending on how well the quarterbacks are doing, offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin might lean on Henry much more than he leaned on either running backs in 2014. Yeldon, by the way, is on track to start for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL in Week 1, which proves how terrific Henry really is.
Samaje Perine RB, Oklahoma, +1500
Up until Oklahoma’s fourth game of the season in 2014, where the Sooners beat West Virginia 45 to 33, Samaje Perine had garnered 13, 10, and 9 carries. Once Oklahoma started using the terrific back, Perine started looking Adrian Peterson. He rushed for 242 yards and a 7.1 average versus West Virginia. Versus Texas Tech he rushed for 213 yards and an 8.5 average. In Oklahoma’s next game versus Kansas, Perine rushed for 427 yards and a 12.6 average and then versus Oklahoma State he rushed for 151 yards and a 5.8 average. If Oklahoma’s offensive line comes together, Perine could be a running back to watch in the Heisman Trophy race.
The Complete List of 2015 College Football Futures Odds and then some:
Odds To Win The 2015 College Football National Championship:
- Ohio State +450
- TCU +800
- Alabama +900
- Baylor +1700
- USC +1800
- Auburn +2000
- Oregon +2000
- Clemson +2400
- Michigan State +2400
- Oklahoma +2500
- UCLA +2500
- LSU +2600
- Georgia +2900
- Florida State +3000
- Notre Dame +3400
- Mississippi +4000
- Oklahoma State +4000
- Arkansas +4500
- Texas +5000
- Stanford +5500
- Georgia Tech +6000
- Arizona +6500
- Arizona State +6500
- Florida +6500
- Texas A&M +6500
- Tennessee +6600
- Wisconsin +6600
- Mississippi State +7500
- Michigan +8000
- Missouri +8000
- South Carolina +11000
- Utah +11000
- Kansas State +12500
- Nebraska +12500
- Penn State +12500
- Louisville +15000
- Virginia Tech +15000
- Washington +15000
- West Virginia +15000
- Miami Florida +17500
- Washington State +20000
- BYU +25000
- Iowa +25000
- Minnesota +25000
- Texas Tech +25000
- Cincinnati +25000
- Northwestern +25000
- South Florida +25000
- Maryland +25000
- Boise State +30000
- NC State +30000
- North Carolina +30000
- Pittsburgh +30000
- Duke +30000
- Rutgers +30000
- California +40000
- Oregon State +40000
- Iowa State +40000
- Illinois +40000
- Kentucky +50000
- Boston College +50000
- Central Florida +50000
- Virginia +50000
- Colorado +50000
- Indiana +50000
- Marshall +50000
- Vanderbilt +60000
- Kansas +60000
- Syracuse +60000
- Purdue +80000
- Wake Forest +80000
2015 Odds To Win The NCAA Football Heisman Trophy
- Trevone Boykin QB (TCU) +750
- Ezekiel Elliott RB (Ohio State) +800
- Dak Prescott QB (Mississippi State) +850
- Leonard Fournette RB (LSU) +1150
- Nick Chubb RB (Georgia) +1200
- Paul Perkins RB (UCLA) +1200
- Cody Kessler QB (USC) +1300
- Derrick Henry RB (Alabama) +1400
- Samaje Perine RB (Oklahoma) +1400
- Cardale Jones QB (Ohio State) +1500
- Jeremy Johnson QB (Auburn) +2000
- Connor Cook QB (Michigan State) +2000
- Joshua Dobbs QB (Tennessee) +2000
- Jarrett Solomon QB (Arizona) +2000
- Deshaun Watson QB (Clemson) +2250
- J.T. Barrett QB (Ohio State) +2500
- Braxton Miller QB (Ohio State) +2500
- Royce Freeman RB (Oregon) +3000
- Brad Kaaya QB (Miami Florida) +3300
- Corey Clement RB (Wisconsin) +3300
- D.J. Foster RB (Arizona State) +3300
- Dalvin Cook RB (Florida State) +3300
- James Conner RB (Pittsburgh) +3300
- Justin Thomas QB (Georgia Tech) +3300
- Nick Wilson RB (Arizona) +3300
- Seth Russell QB (Baylor) +3300
- Mason Rudolph QB (Oklahoma State) +4000
- Jacoby Brissett QB (North Carolina State) +5000
- Jalen Hurd RB (Tennessee) +5000
- Jared Goff QB (California) +5000
- Marquise Williams QB (North Carolina) +5000
- Laquon Treadwell WR (Mississippi) +6600
- Scooby Wright LB (Arizona) +6600
2015 Odds To Win The ACC
- Clemson +250
- Florida State +300
- Georgia Tech +400
- Louisville +800
- Duke +800
- Virginia Tech +800
- NC State +1000
- Miami FL +1500
- Pittsburgh +1500
- North Carolina +2000
- Boston College +3000
- Virginia +3000
- Syracuse +6000
- Wake Forest +6000
2015 Odds To Win The Big Ten
- Ohio State -150
- Michigan State +300
- Wisconsin +800
- Nebraska +1100
- Minnesota +1200
- Michigan +1300
- Penn State +1700
- Iowa +2200
- Rutgers +2500
- Maryland +3000
- Northwestern +5500
- Indiana +6000
- Illinois +6000
- Purdue +8000
2015 Odds To Win The Big 12
- TCU +200
- Baylor +225
- Oklahoma +500
- Oklahoma State +500
- Texas +800
- Kansas State +1000
- West Virginia +1300
- Texas Tech +1500
- Iowa State +2000
- Kansas +8000
2015 Odds To Win The Pac-12
- Oregon +200
- UCLA +450
- USC +450
- Arizona +550
- Stanford +600
- Arizona State +600
- Utah +900
- California +2000
- Washington +3000
- Oregon State +4000
- Washington State +4000
- Colorado +6000
2015 Odds To Win The SEC
- Alabama +260
- Georgia +400
- Auburn +400
- Mississippi +420
- Tennessee +900
- LSU +1000
- Arkansas +1200
- Missouri +1300
- Mississippi State +1500
- Texas A&M +1500
- Florida +2500
- South Carolina +2500
- Kentucky +7500
- Vanderbilt +10000
Opening 2015 College Football Week 1 Odds
- South Carolina -7.5 vs. North Carolina
- Michigan at Utah -6
- Texas at Notre Dame -10.5
- Arizona State vs. Texas A&M -1
- Alabama -13 vs. Wisconsin
- Auburn -10 vs. Louisville
- Virginia at UCLA -16
- Ohio State -19 at Virginia Tech