Submitted by Andrew Lange
When it comes to betting who will win a conference title, I personally look for opportunities to cash in on moderate to big underdogs. That isn't to say that betting on teams like Alabama at +100 to win the SEC or Texas +200 to with the Big XII don't have value, but this early in the summer when the limits are low and the information is still somewhat sparse, finding those "value plays" with teams with the juicy plus price can do wonders for your bankroll at the end of a season. Earlier today, we discussed how California at +800 to win the PAC-10
fit my profile of a capable team with a favorable schedule and little expectation playing in a balanced conference. If I presented you with Oregon State +250, UCLA +350 or Cal +800, you wouldn't even need to look at the schedule or returning starters to immediately be drawn to the 8-1 payout. Here are a couple more teams that drew my attention...
Boston College +300 to Win ACC Atlantic
- Over the last three years, BC has the most regular season conference wins (16) in the Atlantic Division. The defense has allowed points per game averages of 19.8, 18.4, 20.4, 15.7, 15.9, 16.9 the last six seasons. 14 starters are back including four offensive linemen, sophomore QB Dave Shinskie and RB Montel Harris (1,457 yards). They play Florida State in Tallahassee but have beaten the Seminoles three of the last four years. Clemson and Virginia Tech must go to Chesnut Hill.
South Florida +500 to win Big East
- It isn't so much my infatuation with the Bulls as it is my questioning of the rest of the league. Pittsburgh (+250) is one of the co-betting favorites yet returns only 11 starters. The Panthers also must play a brutal stretch to close the season (at UConn, at USF, vs. West Virginia, at Cincinnati). UConn is also a co-betting favorite at +250 despite only one winning year in the Big East since joining the league. West Virginia (+250) breaks in a new quarterback for a second straight year. The Mountaineers however play one of the softer league schedules. Cincinnati +500 is tempting even though they start fresh with head coach Butch Davis (Central Michigan) and upwards of 10 new starters. The Bearcats also play at UConn and at West Virginia. Rutgers (+500) has the toughest schedule in the league (at Pitt, at USF, at Cincinnati and at West Virginia). That brings us to USF (+500). The Bulls bring in proven winner Skip Holtz as head coach. The offense returns starters are every position except tight end. There are back-to-back games at West Virginia and at Cincinnati but USF has a history of springing upsets including six wins over ranked foes the last four years. Overall, they seem to have some value at 5-1 to win the Big East.
*Odds courtesy of The Greek