College Football Odds: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina Among Underrated Teams Entering 2022 Season

College Football Odds: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina Among Underrated Teams Entering 2022 Season

Preseason training sessions are underway across the country, Week 0 of the college football season is just three weeks away and optimism is spreading among the fan base. While there are some well-known favorites among the betting favorites to win the Power Five conferences, many programs across the country are entering the 2022 campaign with realistic visions of lifting the league’s trophies in the first week of December.

While the group of true national title contenders can feel like an exclusive party, last season was a great example of how to win conference championships even in the top conferences. Baylor emerged from a 2-7 campaign in 2020 to win the Big 12 last season, Michigan broke out as a surprise Big Ten champion and Pittsburgh went from 6-5 to 11-3 to take the ACC to win.

A pre-season bet on any of the three would have paid well, but it would have required foresight and a willingness to play a “value” game. For those rubbing a crystal ball trying to identify similar potential conference champions for this season, here are tips from each league to ponder as the start of the season nears.

Championship odds below are provided via Caesars Sportsbook.

Odds of Winning the ACC Championship: +2000

2021 was supposed to be the year for the Tar Heels in coach Mack Brown’s third season, but the Tar Heels flopped with a 6-7 record. Now that everyone’s off track, it’s time for UNC to strike back. In a notoriously wild ACC Coastal Division, UNC is quite capable of rising from the pile to appear ahead of the ACC Scrap Divisions in the league title game last season.

Though quarterback Sam Howell is gone, former 247Sports five-star nominee Drake Maye should be able to step in as a redshirt freshman and make the offense buzz. Hiring Gene Chizik as defensive coordinator feels like a dice roll considering he hasn’t coached since 2016. But UNC was No. 105 in the nation when it came to defense last season and should improve under Chizik’s watch. With a big quarterback prospect and three straight-draft classes ranked in the top-15 in the country by the 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 such an overwhelming favorite to win the Big Ten that you can convince yourself to find “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 an outside shot as the Nittany Lions take Ohio State at home, but the Wolverines are the best alternative to the Buckeyes on this map.

For a team that’s coming off a CFP appearance and an epic win over Ohio State, that’s a solid number. Michigan would likely need to win Ohio State for the first time since 2000 to pull this off, but that seems more plausible now after the Wolverines got their way in last year’s matchup. Defense has a lot to replace, including their coordinator, but if offense can get a little more explosive, the Wolverines have a chance to repeat themselves.

Big 12: Baylor

Odds of Winning the Big 12 Championship: +650

The Bears are the defending Big 12 champions, yet on the Big 12 betting map entering the 2022 season, they sit fourth behind Oklahoma, Texas and Oklahoma State. Do the skill positions have questions to answer? Absolutely, but compared to the rest of college football, the Big 12 isn’t the high-scoring fireworks of the past.

Trench play is important, and that’s what this Baylor team is made to shine for. With an experienced offensive line and a defensive front ranked seventh No. 4 in the country by CBS Sports, the Bears will be a brutally tough opponent capable of defending their conference title. Given how brave Dave Aranda was when he named Blake Shapen to quarterback over veteran Gerry Bohannon, there’s also reason to believe the passing offense will improve even amid receiver questions.

Odds of Winning the Pac-12 Championship: +1600

With a schedule believed to be among the easiest in the league and an offensive spirit now in charge of the program in Kalen DeBoer, the Huskies should quickly regain prominence after last season’s 4-8 debacle. Just having a pulse on offense will bring this team back to respectability, as enough talent remains on defense for Washington to remain solid on that side of the ball.

With both USC and Utah missing from the schedule, road games at UCLA and Oregon are the only significant obstacles in league play for a program that is still the last Pac-12 to make the college football playoffs. There’s nobody in the Pac-12 that a Washington team can’t beat with a competent offense on any given Saturday in 2022.

Odds of Winning the SEC Championship: +5000

Is it likely? No of course not. But that’s an insane number for a program that was struggling back then – No. 1 Alabama to finish less than a year ago. The Gators are also just two seasons away from an SEC championship game appearance, resulting in another narrow loss to the 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 definitely start the season in the group of SEC East schools chasing Georgia.

A string of midseason games against LSU, Georgia and Texas A&M is tough, but if the Gators manage to win two of the three — a surprise Georgia is the most critical play — they could find themselves in the hunt for SEC East sneak in. If nothing else, this would give people holding a +5000 bet on Florida a chance to cash out with a nice payday.

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