Videos by OutKick
This past week, Vegas bookmakers were hard at work preparing for the 2016 College Football Season. South Point released regular season win totals on all 128 Division 1 FBS teams, while CG Technology updated their National Title and Conference odds for most of the top programs.
Nationally, Alabama (+650), Clemson (+750), Ohio State (+800) and Michigan (+800) are the 4 largest favorites, standing apart from the next tier of teams which includes Oklahoma (+1100), Florida State (+1200), LSU (+1200), Baylor (+1500), Tennessee (+1600) and Notre Dame (+1800). Those programs round out the top 10, and all other programs are +2000 or greater.
Next, let’s look at the Power 5 Conferences. (For fully interactive graphics that allow users to select conferences and view additional team information visit Sharp Football Analysis.)
In terms of win totals, in the SEC, Alabama (10), LSU (10) and Tennessee (9.5) are the schools most likely to enjoy success. However, Alabama and LSU are both in the SEC West and thus, competing with one another before making the title game. That said, both programs are #1 and #2 in overall conference odds (Alabama is +150, LSU is +350) while Tennessee is third at +450, indicating linesmakers belief that the SEC West is simply more dominant. LSU is projected to show the most overall improvement, winning 2 more games than 2015. Meanwhile, Florida and Texas A&M are both projected to lose at least 2 more games in 2016 than they did last year.
In the ACC, the Clemson Tigers are still projected to be dominant. They have the second best odds to win the National Title, right behind Alabama. They are +140 to win the ACC, with Florida State their only real competition (at +220). Lousiville is third but is all the way down at +850. Boston College and Georgia Tech are projected to be substantially improved, with each estimated to win 6.5 games this year, more than double their 2015 mark. On the other hand, North Carolina is projected to fall back, dropping to 8.5 wins (2.5 fewer than 2015) but that would still put them in contention in the ACC as well as most likely landing a good bowl game.
The nation’s third most likely champions hail from the Big Ten. Michigan and Ohio State both have identical odds to win the title at +800. They are situated at #1 and #2 (+160 for Ohio State and +180 for Michigan) to win the Big Ten, with the next closest competition being Michigan State at +500. It appears South Point is higher on Nebraska than CG Technology, with Nebraska being projected to win 8.5 games in 2016, a massive improvement of 3.5 more wins than 2015. That would be the third most wins in the Big Ten. But CG Technology has them at +900 to win the Big Ten (fifth longest odds) and in terms of the National Title, they are +15000, placing them behind Wisconsin (despite them having better odds to win the Big Ten than Wisconsin).
The Big 12 provides the next most likely National Champion, with Oklahoma having the fifth best odds to win the title in 2016. They are projected to win 10 games, most in the Big 12. Kansas pulls up the rear, with 1.5 projected wins, which is 1.5 more wins than they had in 2015. Texas is also projected to show an improvement of 1.5 wins, while TCU is projected to win 8 games, 2 fewer than 2015, and Oklahoma State is projected to show a decline of 1.5 wins as compared to 2015.
Rounding out the Power 5 Conferences, Stanford is +2000 to win the National Title, 11th best in the country. However, they are tied with USC at +280 to win the Pac-12, and USC’s title odds are +3500, worse than UCLA (+3200). The team projected to win the most games in the Pac-12, however, is Washington, who South Point is extremely big on. They forecast the Huskies to show a 3 point win improvement as compared to 2015, by far the most in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, CG Technology has Washington at +600 to win the Pac-12, with 4 teams projected with better odds to finish ahead of them. Without Jared Goff, the NFL’s #1 overall draft pick last year, Cal is projected to win only 4 games this year, 3 fewer than 2015.