After many requests to make the website more gambler friendly, AVS is going to deliver. Each week of the season we will publish a picks article complete with our picks for the week and our confidence stars (1-5). But, for now, let’s get the year off on the right foot for everyone with some NCAA futures wagers before Thursday night’s game kick-off
Best National Title Value Plays:
Clemson (currently 22-1): An explosive offense and one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. At 22-1, with a very favorable schedule (toughest games at home), expect this Tigers team to win the ACC and sneak into the Final Four. From there, anything can happen.
Arizona (currently 100+-1): An explosive young offense with some questions on defense. This team came within one game of winning the Pac 12 title last year. With another year under this young team’s belt, it’s worth the gamble with those odds.
Michigan State (20-1): Sparty has one of the best quarterbacks in the nation and one of the most underrated head coaches in the nation. In the weak Big 10, there are only two tough games on this schedule that they could lose (vs Oregon, @ Ohio St). They will be favored at home against Oregon, which leaves for 11-1 barring a loss to OSU. An 11-1 record with a loss to OSU could still get them in the playoffs. You’re basically getting 20-1 odds that Michigan State can get past OSU and I think those odds are pretty juicy.
Oklahoma (35-1): Bob Stoops’ teams play the best when people count out his Sooners. TCU has a bunch of holes to fill around the team and Baylor is breaking in a brand new QB. A new offense in Norman will allow Samaje Perine more room to run than last year. I can’t say it’s very likely, but a few balls bounce the way of Oklahoma and these odds are great.
Best Conference Title Value Plays:
ACC: Virginia Tech (8-1) – weakest Coastal division schedule. Good defense will be able to win them enough games to play in the ACC championship game.
Big Ten: Michigan State (6-1) – One tough game @ Ohio State. If they pull this game out, they’ll win the division and easily win the conference title.
Big 12: Oklahoma State (5-1) – avoiding picks less than 5-1 rules out TCU, Baylor, and Oklahoma. If you want to make some money, this would be a good gamble. A very good coach and a QB I think very highly of, Mason Rudolph, can cause a stir in the conference.
Pac 12: Arizona (10-1) & Arizona State (7-1) – These teams play each other in the last game of the year. I believe this game will decide who plays Oregon/Stanford in the Pac 12 title game. Why not take both of them and hedge your bet slightly. I am not very high on USC this year and the Pac 12 North champion can easily lose to either of these two explosive offenses.
SEC: Missouri (14-1) – Missouri has won the SEC East back to back years and they still get no respect. All teams in the SEC West may not be worth the gamble because their schedules are so grueling. Why not take the team in the weaker conference that proves everyone wrong each year.
Best Over/Under Plays:
Arizona (O/U 7.5): I see 7 games that the Wildcats should not lose. I’m pretty positive they can win one from the following: vs UCLA; @ Stanford; @ USC; vs Utah; @ Arizona State. Pick – Over
Clemson (O/U 9.5): I see 4 games that are up in the air for this team (@ Louisville; vs. Notre Dame; vs. Georgia Tech; vs. Florida State). What is the game that sticks out from those? Lousiville. 3 of the 4 tough games I’m counting are home games. Clemson would have to go 1-3 in these games to lose this bet. I see 3-1, with a possible hiccup in a home game. Pick – Over
Michigan State (O/U 9.5): Jackpot. We spoke in our college football preview about how there are only 2 tough games on this schedule for Sparty. Lose both of these games and still go over. Pick – Over
Ohio State (O/U 11.5): It is just too hard to go undefeated. I understand the Buckeyes play in the cupcake conference that is the Big 10, but you can’t assume they win another 12 straight. I am very high on Michigan State this year and I think if Ohio State doesn’t hiccup before that game, they could get knocked off there. Pick – Under
Arkansas (O/U 8): I did not take any of the Arkansas Kool-Aid last year and I’m still not buying it. Everyone talks about how close this team was to knocking off a ton of good opponents. The only “good” wins they had last year were in back to back weeks against LSU and Ole Miss. They couldn’t get over the hump in the rest. I have Arkansas winning 6 or 7 games this year. Pick – Under
- Arizona – Over 7.5
- Clemson – Over 9.5
- Michigan State – Over 9.5
- Ohio State – Under 11.5
- Arkansas – Under 8