Buckle up everyone because another fall of college football is right around the corner. If you’re doing some college football betting and looking at the odds, you’re likely to see the usual suspects leading the way as the favorites.
Let’s dive deeper into the favorites and the sleepers from each power five conference. Here is what to look out for when it all kicks off sixteen days from now. We’ll also give you the best CFB betting promo code to use on your first week bets!
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ACC: Clemson and Pittsburgh
Last year marked the first year in a long time that the ACC seemed to be up for grabs. Pittsburgh, led by Kenny Pickett, ended up taking down Wake Forest in the ACC Championship game. Clemson had won the prior 6 ACC title games and won the National Championship in two of those years.
Clemson will be returning junior quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei. Last year was Uiagalelei’s first as a starter. He finished the year with 2,246 yards, nine touchdowns, and ten picks. His 55.6% completion percentage capped off his disappointing campaign. Uiagalelei’s ceiling is still high, which should allow him to keep the job, while tapping into his potential in 2022.
The Tigers will have an outstanding defense led by juniors Myles Murphy and Trenton Simpson. Last season Murphy went for eight sacks, while Simpson had six and a half. Add in the head coaching experience of Dabo Swinney, and you’ve got yourself a perennial contender. Expect this Clemson team to reclaim their spot at the top of the ACC in the 2022 season.
A team to watch out for in the ACC is the reigning champions of the conference, the Pittsburgh Panthers. Pitt lost its star quarterback Kenny Pickett to the draft but was able to make a big move in the transfer portal. Kedon Slovis is set to be the guy under center this year for Pitt. Slovis was a starter at USC for parts of three seasons, where he racked up big passing numbers. Losing star wideout Jordan Addison is going to hurt, but senior wide receiver Jared Wayne has a lot to prove. Wayne’s production has increased during his time in Pittsburgh, and as the #1 guy, he’s going to get a lot more targets.
On the defensive side of the ball, Pitt will be returning their dynamic duo of Habakkuk Baldonado and Calijah Kancy. Last year the two D-linemen combined for 25 tackles for a loss, along with 16 sacks. These two will be anchoring Pitt’s defense a year older and a year stronger.
With all due respect to this Panther squad, they’re not Clemson. Thankfully for Pitt’s ACC title odds, and anyone doing college football betting, the team is a member of the coastal division. A division Clemson is not a part of. If Pitt can cruise through their conference schedule, it will likely land them a date with Clemson in the ACC title game. Neutral location. Who knows? We’ve certainly seen crazier things happen…
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Big 12: Oklahoma and Oklahoma State
This is the conference that seems to be getting smaller and smaller. The off-season news about conference realignment never seems to be favorable to the Big 12. The conference’s claim to fame is the Oklahoma Sooners. The Sooners are always in the college football playoff discussion every season, and always have a Heisman contender as well.
The loss of Caleb Williams is going to hurt, but the team was able to land Dillon Gabriel. Gabriel was UCF’s quarterback the past few seasons. The junior is a pocket passer and has shown the ability to put up big numbers throughout his time at UCF. The big play threat of Marvin Wims is going to give defenses problems as well in the passing game.
The changes at some of their skill positions and at the head coaching position are the reason why Oklahoma’s odds as the favorite have shrunk. Brent Venables will be replacing Lincoln Riley, who departed for USC. Venables was most recently the defensive coordinator at Clemson, where he won a couple of National Championships. The lights get brighter as a head coach, which will be a growing pain Venables will deal with this year. We’ll see if his success as the DC at Clemson can translate to the head coaching position with the Sooners.
A good value bet to win the Big 12 this season is Oklahoma’s cross-state rivals. The team from Stillwater came just inches short last season of winning the conference championship. Quarterback Spencer Sanders is a great value bet, with (+8000) odds to win the Heisman trophy. Sanders has always been a competent passer and the senior can also beat you with his legs. This combination makes Sanders a lethal asset for this Oklahoma St. team.
Junior receiver Brennan Presley looks like he’s going to be Sanders’ number one target this season. We saw flashes of what he’s capable of last year. In the Fiesta Bowl, Presley had ten catches for 137 yards. On the defensive side of the ball, sophomore Collin Oliver will be leading the way. As a freshman last season, Oliver had 11.5 sacks.
Circle the date for November 19th. It’s the day Oklahoma St. heads to Norman. There will be fireworks and big implications on the line, not to mention a lot of college football betting.
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Big 10: Ohio State and Nebraska
Ohio State is the biggest power five conference favorite in 2022. Star quarterback CJ Stroud will be heading into the season as the favorite for college football betting to win the Heisman trophy (+220). Wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (+2500 to win Heisman) is set to have a massive season as well. Smith-Njigba had a video game-like stat line in this past Rose Bowl. Fifteen receptions, for 347 yards and three touchdowns. Doesn’t get much better than that.
Sophomore running back TreVeyon Henderson will be attempting to exceed his 1,248 yards, fifteen touchdown freshman season totals. There are playmakers all over the field for this Ohio State offense. Senior edge rusher Zach Harrison is set to be a key member of this Buckeye defense. Last year, Harrison had three sacks and two forced fumbles. Harrison’s senior year could be his breakout one.
It’s going to be tough to keep this Ohio State team under 35 points. Whoever can, better hope that their offense can hang a number up as well. Until someone proves otherwise, Ohio State is the team to beat in the Big 10.
Wouldn’t it be cool to see Nebraska competitive at football again? The Cornhuskers used to have a powerhouse program, winning conference championship after conference championship. Nebraska is still a football school. The team consistently sells out Memorial Stadium and has one of the rowdiest gameday atmospheres.
Nebraska will be bringing in transfer quarterback Casey Thompson to take over at the QB position. Thompson was previously in Texas. He had 24 touchdowns with nine picks last season.
This Cornhusker team is coming off a disappointing season in which they went 3-8. All eight of these losses came by nine points or less. Nebraska will have an experienced defense that will be returning many of its starters from the year before. This includes defensive end Garrett Nelson, who had himself a career-high five sacks last season.
Nebraska will be in the much easier west division of the Big 10 conference. If they can manage to go 6-2 in conference play, they could find themselves in the Big 10 championship. All signs are pointing to the team out of the east being Ohio State. Though, Nebraska played them tough last year, and could very well do so again.
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Pac 12: USC and Washington
USC, Utah, and Oregon are all close at the top of the conference. However, it’s USC that gets the title of preseason favorite this year if you’re worried about college football betting. It’s in large part because of the massive offseason this USC football program had. The Trojans are coming off a disappointing season in which they had to fire Clay Helton after two games. USC finally decided that it was time to go after a big-name head coach this off-season. That’s when they decided to reach out to Lincoln Riley. Riley took Oklahoma to the college football playoffs three times over his five seasons in Norman.
Shortly after Riley decided to join the Trojan staff, Oklahoma star quarterback Caleb Williams decided to come with him. Williams is one of the most popular bets in college football betting to take home the Heisman trophy this season (+700). His playmaking and elusiveness made him special to watch when he took over as Oklahoma’s starter last season.
USC was also able to nab transfer wide receivers Jordan Addison and Mario Williams. Addison went for 1,593 yards and seventeen touchdowns last season at Pitt. Mario Williams also decided to follow Riley from Oklahoma to Southern California. The transfer-heavy team doesn’t stop there. They were able to bring in the Oregon Transfer, running back Travis Dye. Last year Dye went for over 1,250 rushing yards and had eighteen total touchdowns.
The Trojans will have to build chemistry with each other, but boy do they have a lot of talent.
Another team to look out for in the Pac 12 is the Washington Huskies. Washington will be coming off a disappointing 4-8 season, but they’ve reloaded. The team was able to bring in quarterback Michael Penix Jr. Penix was an off-and-on starter at Indiana. It seems to be his job to lose as we approach week one.
The Husky’s defense has a lot of talent. Linebacker Edefuan Ulofoshio, the junior from Anchorage, Alaska, has all the makings of an NFL prospect. At 6’1, and 230 pounds, Ulofoshio uses his strength and speed to stand running backs up. At defensive end, Zion Tupuola-Fetui is another guy that offensive lineman are going to have trouble with. Tupuola-Fetui was limited to two games last season, as he was recovering from an Achilles injury. In the 2020 pandemic shortened season, the defensive end played in three games with seven sacks to go with three forced fumbles. It was an incredible stretch from Tupuola-Fetui. We’ll see if he can replicate this kind of performance in the 2022 season.
Washington will have to face Oregon this year. However, they will not have to go up against the other heavy hitters in the Pac 12: USC and Utah. They are a good bet for someone looking for a dog in the Pac 12 title race.
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SEC: Alabama and Texas A&M
Only in the SEC could you be the defending national champions, and still not be favorites to win your conference. Such circumstances will exist this season for the Georgia Bulldogs. It’s what happens when your conference counterpart is the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Alabama’s Quarterback Bryce Young will be a junior this season. Last year Young won the Heisman trophy and took his team to the national championship. His odds to repeat are +380, great odds for college football betting.
Junior outside linebacker Will Anderson is widely regarded as a lock to be a top 10 pick in the 2023 draft. Last year, Anderson led all of college football with 17.5 sacks. Don’t be surprised if he’s a top 3 pick this coming April.
Only in Tuscaloosa could the head coach refer to the season in which the team was a drive short of winning a national championship, as a rebuilding year. That’s exactly the kind of comments Alabama head coach Nick Saban made headlines for last week. It may irk you but when you look at how the team has won the national championship in six of its last thirteen seasons, then you understand the golden standard. Always remember, you never want to see the Crimson Tide when they’re coming off a down year.
If someone is going to take down Alabama or Georgia this year, it’s going to be Texas A&M. The Aggies defeated Alabama at home last season. They’ll face Bama again on October 8th this year in Tuscaloosa. The beef between Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher this off-season will add to the hype of this contest. Saban took shots at Fisher’s program. He was skeptical of the Aggies ability to land such a talented recruiting class. A&M was able to bring in thirteen of the top 52 recruits in the country for the class of 2022. These numbers are staggering. One of these guys is wide receiver, Evan Stewart. The top-ranked wide receiver in his class looks like he’s going to get a lot of action this season.
A&M will likely go with sophomore quarterback Haynes King under center this year. His performance is going to be key to this team’s success, as is usually the case with the quarterback position. King is a dual-threat quarterback that was ranked 46 in the ESPN 300, for the class of 2020.
This team is young and talented. However, if they’re going to make noise in the SEC, they’re going to have to pull an upset in Tuscaloosa. I’m sure everyone in College Station has October 8th circled on their calendar.
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