Scan the lines on the teams picked to win the college football conference championship games and the odds are pretty dismal. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook and Station Casinos recently released their odds and finding any value is pretty challenging.
That should be expected for the power conferences such as the SEC, Big 10, and ACC. Alabama is a 5/8 pick to win the SEC Title game. Not surprising since they are also a 7/4 favorite to win the national championship in January.
The Westgate has Clemson a 1/2 pick to win the ACC, with Miami second at 3/1. Stations has them at 2/5 and the Hurricanes at 5/2. The Tigers are the second choice to win the national championship at 6/1.
Controversy Moves Line
The Big 10 has seen a little bit of movement because of the scandal involving Ohio State Coach Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes opened as 10/11 favorites, with Michigan at 4/1. After the news that OSU had placed Meyer on paid leave while it investigated whether he covered up a domestic violence incident involving one of his assistant coaches.
While other Buckeye bets have been taken off betting boards, this one has stayed. Probably because the game isn’t scheduled until Dec. 1, and the school will have concluded its inquiry well before then.
OSU now, however, is 7/4 to win the conference championship, while Michigan has moved to 9/2. Wisconsin has seen the most movement. The Badgers opened at 13/5, and are now 3/1.
Wading Through Favorites to Find Gems
The disparity in odds is no different in the other two prominent conferences. Oklahoma is 5/7 to win on Dec. 1 at the Westgate, 2/3 at Stations. The second choice is slightly better, with the Westgate having Texas at 5/2, and Stations listing the Longhorns at 2/1. BetOnline, however has Texas at 3/1, so savvy bettors can take advantage of much better odds if they want to take a chance on Texas.
In the Pac-12 Washington is the oddsmakers’ choice as the team to win the conference championship. The Huskies, which are 14/1 to win the national championship, are 4/7 at the Westgate, and 5/9 at Stations.
There is some confusion on the second choice between the two casinos, and this might actually be a benefit to those looking for an edge. The Westgate has Stanford as the next choice at 9/2. USC is third at 4/1. At Stations, however, the Trojans are the second pick at 3/1, and the Cardinal is third at 7/2.
Smaller Conferences No Bargain
Don’t look at the AAC, MAC or Mountain West for any sleepers. Some of the odds for those are equally as bad.
In the AAC Central Florida is 5/4 at the Westgate, 11/10 at the Stations. The next team is Houston at either 5/2 or 2/1.
In the MAC, Northern Illinois is 2/1 at Westgate, 9/5 at Stations. Toledo is next at 3/1 or 5/2.
Boise apparently has the Mountain West sewn up. They are a 4/7 selection at Westgate, 5/9 at Stations. The next team is San Diego State at either 3/1 or 5/2.