It’s almost hard to believe, but we are less than 100 days away from the 2021 NCAAF season. That means there’s no better time to talk about college football futures.
It all kicks off on August 28 with a handful of games that will wet bettors’ appetites for the season to come.
Before we get there, we’ll take a look at college football futures. Sports bettors can start thinking of the upcoming season right now and dream of hefty paydays later.
Last week we looked at post 2021 NFL draft futures.
College Football Futures – National Champion
Alabama pulled off one of the more impressive seasons in college football history in 2020. The Crimson Tide has won six national titles in the past 12 seasons. Yes, they lost a ton of talent from last year’s team including Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, QB Mac Jones, WR Jaylen Waddle, and RB Najee Harris.
But, head coach Nick Saban has been through this before. His recruiting classes are the best in the country and he will simply reload in 2021. That is why Alabama is the overall favorite at +210 to repeat – something they did in 2011 and 2012 – as national champ.
Alabama will be pushed by the cast of usual suspects including Clemson (+450), Georgia (+600), and Ohio State (+550). The Tigers and Buckeyes will start new quarterbacks in D.J. Uiagalelei and C.J. Stroud. Georgia welcomes back J.T. Daniels who took over as the starter last season.
If there is a wild card in the mix, it could be Oklahoma (+700). The Sooners return QB Spencer Rattler (more on him later) and a defense that continues to improve under defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
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The Big 12
With Rattler and the Sooners defense returning so many starters, it’s easy to see why Oklahoma is favored to win the Big 12 at -165. The Sooners competition will come from Iowa State (+300), which beat Oklahoma during the regular season but lost in the conference title game.
Texas (+250) has a new head coach in Steve Sarkisian and boasts a wealth of talent. The Longhorns do have to break in a new quarterback. If there is a longshot to win the conference, take a look at TCU (+1150) which returns QB Max Duggan.
The Big Ten
Stroud replaces Justin Fields and Ohio State, like Alabama, reloads in 2021. The Buckeyes are a -180 favorite to win a fifth consecutive conference title.
Wisconsin (+700) will likely win the West Division. Michigan and Penn State are given +750 odds to win, but neither has beaten Ohio State in the past several seasons.
The Oregon Ducks (+185) are the only plus-money favorite among the Power 5 conferences. The Ducks have won the last two straight Pac-12 titles and return starting QB Tyler Shough and All-Everything DE Kayvon Thibodeaux, MVP of last year’s conference championship game.
Look for USC (+225) to challenge with QB Kedon Slovis leading a very good Trojans offense. Jayden Daniels leads a strong Arizona State (+400) offense and Washington (+325) is also a team to watch in the Pac-12 race.
SEC – College Football Futures
When looking at college football futures, the SEC is always highly talked about. There’s no question Alabama (-155) is the favorite to capture yet another SEC title, but Georgia (+200) should give the Tide a run for its money. Texas A&M (+750) has to replace QB Kellen Mond, but head coach Jimbo Fisher is building a champion in College Station.
The one team to watch will be Ole Miss (+1550). Head coach Lane Kiffin has an extremely talented offense and he might be able to get through the SEC West schedule with a single loss.
The heaviest conference favorite for college football bettors is Clemson which is listed at -850 to win the ACC for a seventh straight season. The Tigers lose QB Trevor Lawrence but return Uiagalelei who started two games last season.
The only real competition for Clemson will likely come from either Miami (+700) or North Carolina (+650).
The Heisman Race and College Football Futures
Rattler passed for 3,031 yards and 28 touchdowns last season in leading Oklahoma to another Big 12 title. He opened as the front-runner in the Heisman Trophy race and remains the +350 favorite.
The Sooners’ quarterback will get his biggest challenge from UNC QB Sam Howell (+900). The Tar Heels quarterback completed over 68 percent of his passes for 3,586 yards and 30 touchdowns. Howell led North Carolina to an 8-4 record and final No. 18 ranking.
Uiagalelei is listed at +600 as is new Alabama QB Bryce Young. Daniels of Georgia comes in at +750 while Stroud, the new Ohio State quarterback, is listed at +900.