The college football season is weeks away, but odds have already been released for several different categories. With that, here are college football bets to make before the season.
Clemson Tigers to win National Championship +250
It isn’t always fun to bet on the favorites to win, but in college football it is the smart thing to do. In the College Football Playoff (CFP) era, there have only been a handful of teams that have qualified for final four spots. Clemson is often one of them and is projected to be back this season.
On offense, the Tigers have an elite quarterback in Trevor Lawrence and an elite running back in Travis Etienne. They will need their good recruiting to pay off for their offensive line and wide receiver core, as they won’t have many returning starters in these areas. Defensively, they will be experienced in the front seven, but they will only have one secondary starter back. The team ranked fourth in offense and third in defense last season and with their returning players and recruits they will be one of the most talented teams again.
To go with their talent and continued domination, Clemson will have an easier time getting to the CFP because they play in the ACC. Last season, they had one game that was within one possession and it came against North Carolina. It’s safe to say there won’t be too many hurdles for Clemson to get over in their conference play, but they do have a matchup with Notre Dame in the nonconference, which could be tough.
Penn State Nittany Lions over 9.5 wins
Penn State has continually won big games in James Franklin‘s tenure. That continued last season when they won 11 games, which included the Cotton Bowl. Heading into the 2020 season, expectations are high once again for the Nittany Lions.
While they lost K.J. Hamler to the NFL Draft, Penn State still has eight returning starters on the offensive side of the ball. Quarterback Sean Clifford, running back Journey Brown and tight end Pat Freiermuth will make a lot of plays at the skill positions. The offensive line also returns four starters. On defense, five starters are back from a top 10 unit. Linebacker Micah Parsons has a chance to be a game-changing player, which could make them elite again.
The schedule sets up well for the Nittany Lions. They will have tough games at Virginia Tech, at Michigan and at home against Ohio State. They will likely be favored or will be evenly matched with Virginia Tech and Michigan. Ohio State will be a tough game, but they do have it at home, which could give them the edge. They need to win just one of those three games if they take care of the lesser teams on their schedule, which will be manageable.
Miami RedHawks over 6.5 wins
The Miami RedHawks started the 2019 season 2-4, but finished with just one more loss in the regular season. They finished the year as MAC Champions and an 8-6 record after their bowl loss to Louisiana. The 2020 season should be a good one for Miami, as they look to repeat as MAC champions.
Miami has nine returning starters on offense, which includes quarterback Brett Gabbert, the younger brother of Blaine Gabbert, who will be a sophomore in 2020. He was fantastic as a freshman and with so many experienced players around him, he could take a big step forward. The offense ranked 99th last season, but should rank higher. Seven starters are back on the defensive side of the ball, which should help them improve on their 69th ranking.
The schedule also sets up well for the RedHawks. They have tough games against Pitt, Cincinnati, Army and Buffalo. They could win the latter of these two games, but shouldn’t be counted out for an upset against the former two. Even if they lose all four of these games, they can still lose one more game and hit the over. Betting the over on 6.5 wins on the RedHawks is one of the safer bets out there for college football.
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