Whose got the juice? Your guide to NCAA CFB futures bets and more
Credit to Mitch Garrett for to putting this together for us. A great guide by a great guy!
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A look at the “JUICE” aka value of bets for a team’s regular season Over/Under win total, their chances to win the conference, and the odds they have to take home a national championship. Let’s take a look at some potential under the radar bets and money makers:
Over 7.5 (-175)
Odds to win the conference (+1000)
National Champion odds (+16000)
9/29 vs USC
10/12 @ Utah
10/27 vs Oregon
Yes, the juice sucks on the win total here but if you can find an alternate at 8.5 I would take that or parlay the 7.5 with some other futures if your site allows for parlaying those bets. Arizona is a team I think has real potential to surprise some people this year. Even if they lose all their toughest games on the schedule (2 of which are at home) they can probably still manage 9-3.
- Kevin Sumlin has a track record with helping talented quarterbacks take it to that next level, and he inherits a real talent in Khalil Tate. The Arizona signal caller is a dual-threat much the like of a Lamar Jackson or Michael Vick. Probably closer to the latter. He’s that good. A 1,400+ yard rusher (12.9 YPC) and passer with double-digit touchdowns in both categories. This guy can do it all for ‘Zona in what could be his first full season under center.
- Sumlin has taken his new teams to a bowl game in each of his first seasons as a new head coach (Houston and Texas A&M).
- The Wildcats return RB JJ Taylor to the best run game in the conference last season.
- Their top 3 receivers are all back as well as a three year starter at Left Tackle.
- For as good as Arizona’s offense was last year, their defense was just as bad with a 39.8 PPG average. The defense was young and returns most of their significant starts, but are those starters going to be any better with experience in 2018? That remains to be seen.
- They have a stall worth Left Tackle and Center but outside of that there are questions along their offensive line. Can their offensive line hold up for Khalil Tate and lead the way for another dynamic offensive performance?
Over (10.5) +145
Odds to win the conference (+105)
National Champion odds (+1300)
9/1 @ Auburn ("neutral" site)
9/15 @ Utah
10/13 @ Oregon
11/3 vs Stanford
I like Washington for a lot of reasons this season and am high on their potential to not only reach the playoffs, but possibly win a national championship. Yes, the PAC 12 is a weaker conference. But I think Washington is the class of a conference that could end up being more competitive group than their disappointing collective Bowl season last year.
- After the initial matchup with Auburn they’re a near double digit favorite in every other game.
- Quarterback Jake Browning and Running Back Myles Gaskin might be the best returning combo in the country.
- Wide receiver your Chico McClatcher is healthy this year, giving them the big play threat they were missing last year.
- They have had a top 10 defense the last three years, and their best pass rushers all return.
- If it wasn’t for the outlier loss to Arizona State they could’ve very well knocked out Alabama for a spot in the College Football Playoff.
- They have a top 15 recruiting class coming in, not to mention several players coming back from injury. Many of the players returning from injury aren’t just role players, but players that figure to factor in as significant contributors.
- In that top 15 recruiting class includes a top 10 ranked Wide Receiver in Marquis Spiker, giving the offense another weapon for Jake Browning.
- They lacked big players from their wide receivers last year, which made their offense sometimes predictable.
- They lost two of their best to pass catchers in Pettis and Dissly.
- They have a new Offensive Coordinator in Bush Hamdan who replaces the departed Jonathan Smith who left to take the head coaching position at Oregon State.
Over 7.5 (-140)
Odds to win the conference (+300)
National Champion odds (+5000)
10/13 @ Iowa State
11/3 @ Texas
11/10 vs TCU
11/23 vs Oklahoma
West Virginia is one of those teams that year after year seems to disappoint since the magical run of Dana Holgorsen back in 2012. This year feels different for the Davenport, Iowa native and his Mountaineers as they have possibly amassed the most talent they have had since that Orange Bowl season.
- Quarterback will Greer is a pre-season Heisman candidate and a top talent at the position. West Virginia boasted a near top 10 offense before he went down with injury last season.
- The West Virginia offense returns four of the five leading pass catchers this season.
- The Mountaineers also return most of their offense of line (4/5 starters) including all conference offensive tackle Yodny Cajuste.
- Wide receiver David Sills led the nation with 18 touchdowns even after not scoring a single one post Will Grier‘s injury.
- Two skill position transfers at Running Back (Haskins, Miami) and Wide Receiver (Simmons, Alabama) figure to factor their talents into an already dynamic offense.
- This team has traditionally seen a good deal of injuries through the season which exposes their lack of depth across the board. Last season was no exception to this. They’ll need to stay healthy if they have a shot to make noise this season.
- The Mountaineer defense must replace five of their seven top tacklers on what was already a suspect unit.
- The team as a whole is relying on an considerable deal of youth and transfers on both sides of the ball, which raises concerns about cohesion.
- Their schedule is tough as evidenced by the eight games predicted to be within a touchdown spread.
Over 10 (-180)
Odds to win the conference (+100)
National Champion odds (+2000)
9/15 @ Iowa State
10/6 vs Texas
10/20 @ TCU
11/23 @ WVU
Oklahoma was right there for a chance at the national championship game and lost after a dominate second half from an absolutely loaded Georgia team. They lose their leader and seemingly part of their soul in first overall pick Baker Mayfield’s departure, but this team returns plenty of talent to get right back to where they were last year.
- Running Backs Rodney Anderson and Trey Sermon lead one of the best duos in the nation, Anderson being on plenty of preseason award watch lists. Add in Wide Receivers Hollywood Brown and Ceedee Lamb and this offense could pick up right where they left off last year.
- The Sooner offense returns three All-Conference offensive linemen to the trenches, which should help keep the offense atop all the statistical bests they were a year ago.
- They boast a top 10 recruiting class coming in this year with ability to make an immediate impact.
- The depth on defense is relying on a lot of young players, and needing those young players to contribute right away.
- There remains the lingering question at quarterback heading out of spring, could Austin Kendall you search Kyler Murray as the starter this season?
- Mike Stoops remains as defensive coordinator despite very up-and-down 2017 campaign. He’ll have his work cut out for him replacing many of their defensive playmakers, like stud LB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo.
Over 9.5 (+115)
Odds to win the conference (+250)
National Champion odds (+2300)
9/2 @ LSU (neutral site)
10/6 vs Florida State
10/26 @ Boston College
11/17 @ Virginia Tech
The first road test when the Canes head to take on LSU in Arlington on opening weekend will be a real indicator of how the season might go. If they're able to start out with a big win against an SEC opponent I like them to go 1-2 at worst in their other "coin flip" type of games to hit 10 wins, and thus, the over.
- The Hurricanes are currently listed as a favorite and all 12 of their games.
- Mark Richt has established a culture as head coach, that while some find it very annoying; the players have embraced as they’ve begun to once again resemble those old Miami teams led by defense and a great running game.
- They have a premiere Wide Receiver in Ahnmon Richards who will greatly aide whoever is under center for the Canes
- After starting this season 10-0 they went on to drop their last three games. Will the Canes crumble again when the pressure of a winning season is on them again?
- The ‘Canes are another team that still have questions at the quarterback position, will Malik Rosier keep his job or be replaced by the promising youngster N’Kosi Perry?
- Last year the Miami defense became famous from the “turnover chain” thanks in large part to what was a great defensive line. There has been a good deal of turnover along that front but the back seven does look promising, with a full secondary of returning starters - which includes All-American Jaquan Johnson at safety.
Over 9 (-135)
Odds to win the conference (+650)
National Champion odds (+2500)
10/13 @ Penn State
10/20 vs Michigan
11/10 vs Ohio State
Sparty is a team that really intrigues me when looking at potential value in conference winners. At +650 the Juice is tempting here, especially with a favorable schedule. If they can win 2 of 3 in their division they could be in good shape to land a spot back in the Big Ten Championship game.
- The Spartans lead the country with the most experience in returning starters at 19.
- They are a double digit favorite in nine of their games, and get two of their three toughest tests at home.
- Veteran Quarterback Brian Lewerke returns to lead a veteran Offensive unit that features an always dangerous Running Back in LJ Scott and a monster of a Wide Receiver in Felton Davis.
- The defense is also loaded with returning starters (9) of what was the number seven total defense - and the second best rushing defense in the country a year ago.
- Their defense of questions lie and their ends, particularly at who will rise up to be a play maker off the edge.
- As good as running back LJ Scott could be last year, he could also be equally inconsistent. He’ll have to show up every game for the Spartans offense if they hope to have playoff possibilities.
- Everyone is aware of the highly publicized issues that Michigan State faced as a university this offseason, which included but was not limited to issues with the football team. Is it possible that these off the field distractions can find their way into derailing Michigan State’s season?
- The Big Ten East is by far the better division , will Michigan State have the ability to hang with the likes of Ohio State, Penn State, and Michigan?
Over 7.5 (-180)
Odds to win the conference (+2000)
National Champion odds (+16000)
9/8 vs Iowa State
9/22 vs Wisconsin
10/27 @ Penn State
11/3 @ Purdue
Call me a homer but I'm calling it what it is, a lock. To take it one step further I think Iowa has a real shot at returning to the Big Ten championship game this year. With Wisconsin, who they get at home, as the only identifiable threat to them in the West and a fairly easily schedule outside of their trip to Penn State, the Hawks could be poised for a big year.
- Nate Stanley comes back for his first year as the unquestioned starter and is already being talked about as a first-round pick. He has a lot on the line here and if he can perform up to that level, the Hawks could ride his arm to a surprising season.
- The defensive front is one of the deepest in the country and should be able to provide the defense with a good push up front while constantly rotating in fresh bodies.
- Iowa has premiere talent at Tight End and Offensive Coordinator Brian Ferentz’s time with the New England Patriots has, at the very least, taught him how to be unpredictable and ingenuitive from a variety of different formations. I imagine Noah Fant to be lined up all over the field this year creating mismatches for defenses.
- The linebackers are younger and inexperienced. Iowa typically leans on this group to be smart and intuitive. They will have to grow up fast.
- Iowa has been fortunate to have a Cornerback emerge on the scene season after season recently. This year might have the biggest question mark as to who that might be or even if there might be.
- The Wide Receiver position lacks quality depth and proven playmakers. Expect Tight Ends to be involved heavily in the passing game, but Nate Stanley will need someone to step up and be a threat from this position group.
- Off-the-field issues have been a distraction this summer for the Hawkeyes and some key players will miss their first game of the season. Head Coach Kirk Ferentz is known for running a disciplined ship. If these players continue to make mistakes will their talent be dismissed from the team and leave glaring holes at starting positions for Iowa?
Over 9 (+100)
Odds to win the conference (+650)
National Champion odds (+2000)
9/1 vs Washington
9/15 vs LSU
10/6 @ Mississippi State
11/10 @ Georgia
11/24 @ Alabama
The schedule for Auburn is an absolute "woof" in terms of looking at it and wanting to take the over for wins. But this team has a great deal of talent a year removed from being hosed out of a College Football Playoff spot, that's something I'm not underestimating. Even with what is probably college football's most brutal schedule, I think War Eagle is capable of at the very least making this bet a push, so the +100 juice for the over is enticing.
- Potentially the best Quarterback in the SEC, Jarrett Stidham, has his top five wide receivers all returning this season.
- Stidham isn’t afraid of the big games and tough opponents, with two of his best games coming against Georgia and Alabama.
- The offense has a couple great deep threats returning in wide receivers Craig Myers and Darius Slayton, both of whom averaged over 17 YPC last season.
- When Eli Stove and Will Hastings return from mid-season ACL injuries they suffered last year, the receiving corps will be loaded.
- The same defense that has finished in the top 10 the last two years returns the majority of their two-deep.
- The conference they play in and their schedule. These are really the only negative things I can think to write about this Auburn team. If they’re able to survive their brutal schedule and open with a win against Washington, I believe this is a easily a National Championship contender.
Over 8.5 (-130)
Odds to win the conference (+1200)
National Champion odds (+6000)
9/29 vs Florida
10/6 vs Auburn
10/20 @ LSU
10/27 vs Texas A&M
11/10 @ Alabama
This win total on the over might be my favorite future bet out of everything out there in college football. There's a lot to like about this Mississippi State team and I don't think they're getting the respect they deserve. Sure they play in the SEC a West where perennial power like Alabama and Auburn trade the crown, but this Bulldog team is one who could make some unexpected noise this season.
- They have one of the more dynamic options at quarterback in Nick Fitzgerald, who returns from injury. Even if he's not ready or struggles they have a promising young QB behind hi in Keyaton Thompson, who outplayed Baltimore Ravens first-Round draft pick Lamar Jackson in their bowl game.
- They have what might be the best defensive line in all of football, save Clemson, and are deep along the front.
- Running back is also a position of exceptional depth and talent that will run behind an offensive line with a good deal of game experience.
- They return experience in the back half of the defense with 3 of linebackers, top two safeties, and 3 of the 4 top corners all return.
- They return the second most starters of any team in the SEC
- They lack the big play wide receivers that typically make a Joe Moorhead led offense successful.
- While QB Nick Fitzgerald is a great runner at quarterback, it's a question if he can manage taking a game over through the air if defenses are able to slow their rushing attack.
- The secondary doesn't lack experience but rather lack in play-making ability discipline, resulting in a number of big passing plays against them last year.
- New Head Coach Joe Moorhead makes his way over from Penn State where he served as the OC and QB coach. He's been around the college game but this is his first head coaching job outside of a few seasons at Fordham. Can he handle being the head guy on this stage of football?
Over 7.5 (-125)
Odds to win the conference (+1600)
National Champion odds (+12000)
9/8 vs Georgia
10/13 vs Texas A&M
11/10 @ Florida
11/24 @ Clemson
The Gamecocks are an interesting play for me because I think theSEC East, unlike the other half of the conference, is fairly weak outside of Georgia. Dan Mullen takes over a Florida team with seemingly more questions than answers at the moment so I could see South Carolina easily filling the second spot in the standings.
- Junior Quarterback Jake Bentley has been starting since halfway through his freshman year. Experience under center is a trait to value when a team plays in the SEC's systematically complex defenses.
- They return a ton of talent on offense through 8 starters, not to mention one of them being the dynamic weapon at wide receiver in Deebo Samuel (scored on a jet sweep and two kick returns). He went down in September and is making his way back to add much needed explosiveness to the SC offense
- Ended last year with an impressive bowl game victory over Michigan
- Favorite in 5 of their first 6 games
- Their offensive line was in constant rotation last year outside of Martina's Rankins and is still in a bit of flux. Muschamp added 10 linemen with his last two recruiting classes but even if they are worth of starting, they will lack experience.
- Their secondary was poor last year in defending the pass and only returns one full-time starter.
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