College football odds: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina among undervalued teams entering 2022 season

Pre-season training sessions are underway across the country, week 0 of the college football season is just three weeks away and optimism among fan bases is creeping in. Although there are some familiar favorites among the bookies favorites to win Power Five conferences, plenty of shows across the country are entering the 2022 campaign with realistic visions of lifting the League Cup in the first week of December.

While the lineup of true national title contenders can feel like an exclusive party, last season was a great example of how convention tournaments can stay affordable even at the major conventions. Baylor knocked out a 2-7 campaign in 2020 to win the Big 12 title last season, Michigan erupted as the surprise Big Ten champion and Pittsburgh went 6-5 to 11-3 to win the ACC title.

A pre-season bet on any of the three would have paid off well, but it would have required some insight and a willingness to go with a ‘value’ game. For those of you rubbing against the crystal ball and trying to identify similar potential Conference Champions of the season, here are picks from each league to reflect on as the season approaches.

The tournament odds below are provided via Caesars Sportsbook.

Odds of winning the ACC Championship: +2000

2021 was supposed to be the year for Tar Heels in coach Mac Brown’s third season, but Tar Heels flopped with a 6-7 record. Now that everyone has been rid of the smell, it’s time for UNC to strike back. In the ACC Coastal division that has a reputation for being wild, UNC is able to come out of the heap to appear in the league title game in the last season before the scrap ACC divisions.

Although quarterback Sam Howell has left, Drake Maye, the former five-star detective at 247Sports, should be able to step in as a red jersey rookie and get the criminal whizzes by. Appointing Gene Chezek as defensive coordinator looks like a throw of dice considering he has been out of training since 2016. But UNC was the 105th in the country to score in defense last season and should improve under Chezek’s supervision. With a high potential quarterback and three consecutive recruiting seasons ranked in the top 15 nationally by 247Sports Composite, this team is talented enough to challenge Clemson for the ACC title.

Big Ten: Michigan

Odds of winning the Big Ten Championship: +750

Ohio State is hugely favored for winning Big Ten awards, so you can speak for yourself for finding “value” in a handful of teams, including defending champion Michigan at +750. Do we really think there’s anyone else in the conference who can beat the Buckeyes? Penn State may have had an outside shot since the Nittany Lions took Ohio State home, but the Wolverines are the best alternative to the Buckeyes on this card.

For a team showing off a CFP appearance and an epic win over Ohio State, that’s a solid number. Michigan would probably win Ohio State for the first time since 2000 to pull off that success, but that seems to make more sense now that the Wolverines enforced their will in last year’s game. The defense has a lot to replace, including its coordinator, but if the offense can get even more explosive, the Wolverines will have a chance to repeat.

Big 12: Baylor

Odds of winning the Big 12 Championship: +650

The Bears are the defenders of the Big 12 champions, yet they finished fourth behind Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State in the Big 12 betting card entering the 2022 season. Are there some questions to answer at skill positions? Sure, but compared to the rest of college football, the Big 12 hasn’t been the only high-ranking and attacking fireworks show in the past.

Trench game is important, and this is where the Baylor team is built to shine. With a veteran offensive line and a defensive front that ranked seventh Number 4 in the country By CBS Sports, the Bears will be a tough, brutal competitor fully capable of defending their conference title. Given how daring Dave Aranda has called quarterback Blake Shapen over veteran Gerry Bohannon, there’s also reason to believe passing offense will improve even amid the questions in the receiver.

Odds of winning the Pac-12 Championship: +1600

With a schedule that ranks as one of the easiest in the league and an attacking mind now in charge of the program at Kalen DeBoer, Husky should quickly return to prominence after defeating last season 4-8. Just having a pulse in attack would bring this team back to respect as there is still enough talent in defense for Washington to stay solid on this side of the ball.

With USC and Utah missing from the schedule, road games in UCLA and Oregon are the only significant league-playing hurdles for a program still the last of the Pac-12 to make it to College Football Playoff. There is no one in the Pac-12 that a Washington team with a competent offense cannot beat on a particular Saturday in 2022.

Odds of winning the SEC Championship: +5000

Is it possible? No, of course not. But that’s a crazy number to see for a killer program then – no. 1 Alabama down to the wire less than a year ago. The Gators were also removed from just two seasons of SEC Championship game appearances, resulting in another tight loss to Crimson Tide. With a potential elite quarterback in Anthony Richardson and a defense that has nowhere to go but under a new staff, the Gators should start the season in the SEC East’s group of schools that are haunting Georgia.

Extending games mid-season against LSU, Georgia and at Texas A&M is tricky, but if the Gators manage to win two of the three—Georgia’s surprise was the most important part—they could infiltrate the SEC East hunt. If nothing else, that would give people with a 5,000+ bet on Florida the chance to take advantage of a good payday.

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