The College Football season is nearly upon us. Every year, we count down the dog days of summer until the familiar sounds of bands playing fill the air. That’s when we know it’s college football season (that or just a calendar or the internet).
This year, we’re going to be preparing for another weird year, as tens of thousands of fans (some vaccinated, others not) will pretend like everything is normal for a day, pile into a crowded stadium, spill alcohol all over each other for three hours, and occasionally fight each other over socially-related insecurities, under the guise of “fanhood.”
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Regardless, it’s time for us to give you the scoop on what to expect this year in college football. With that, we’ll be going through some of the season props with lines from the DraftKings Online Sportsbook.
San Jose State +450 to win Mountain West Conference
The San Jose State Spartans shocked the MWC last season, running the table in the conference en route to a blowout bowl loss to Ball State in the Arizona Bowl. The Spartans return 11 starters on defense to a defense who ranked 16th in YPA in 2020.
They’re also featuring Nick Starkel, once a highly-touted QB prospect. Last season, Starkel was impressive down the stretch, torching Boise State for 452 yards in the MWC title game. As Starkel enters his Senior year, the Spartans are positioned well to repeat and currently sit at +450 behind only Boise for best odds in the division.
UCLA +1200 to win Pac 12 Conference
The UCLA Bruins lost a total of four games in 2020. They lost those four games by a combined total of 15 points. They were on the cusp, but things have turned in a positive direction since then. Now, the Bruins will have ten starters returning, including all five offensive linemen.
Their only loss it at running back, but the backup, who is now starting, averaged a tremendous 6.6 YPC in 2020. This team was teetering on the edge last season, unable to get over the hump for many close games. However, with the Chip Kelly offense now gaining steam, it should be enough to push them over the top in these close games.
UCLA may be kind of a longshot (6th best odds in the conference) but their offensive upside makes them much more intriguing than the others near them in conference odds.
Oklahoma -180 to win Big 12 Conference
The Oklahoma Sooners are as close to automatic to win their conference as any team in recent memory, aside from Bama and Clemson. Every year, it seems Oklahoma loses one conference game to Iowa State or Texas or Kansas State. Yet, every year, they get it together for the conference title game and subsequently fall apart in the playoff .
This season is no different. The Oklahoma Sooners will likely be favored heavily in every game this season. With the defense showing competency late last year and the offense finding a rhythm with Spencer Rattler, the Sooners have a projected win total of 11 games. Oklahoma has now won the last six conference titles.
As for this year’s team, the Sooners are again loaded with talent all over the field, except at receiver, oddly enough. Though the Sooners may no longer have talent like Ceedee Lamb or Hollywood Brown, Theo Wease and Marvin Mims have been productive underclassmen. Expect the Sooners to come into 2021 guns ablaze and secure their 7th straight conference title.
Alabama -165 to win SEC
The Crimson Tide are the gold standard of college football. Alabama has won six of the last nine SEC title games. While the loss of Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith and Mac Jones is big, Bama re-loads like no other team we’ve ever seen before. Even as reserves, the Bama players are coached so well that any adjustment period for live games is brief.
This season, there’s no looming contender for the SEC crown other than Alabama. Sure, there’s a chance a team like Ole Miss could pull off an upset, but Bama is just too well-coached and too talented to not make the SEC Title game in the end.
Navy Over 3.5 Wins -110
Navy has been a legitimately strong football program for the last 15 years. Last year, injuries at multiple offensive positions, as well as limited practice time, limited Navy’s ability to perfect their triple option-style offense. With limited resources and a reduced schedule, the Midshipmen won just three games in 2020.
This year, Navy has been able to resume full practices. They also brought in maybe the best recruiting class in school history. Though it certainly takes a while for players to learn the ins and outs of the triple-option offense, it’s even harder for opposing teams to adequately prepare for it on limited practice time.
The biggest issue last season for Navy was depth on offense. When their key players went down, any hopes the Middies had of exploiting unprepared teams went out the window. Now, the Midshipmen come into 2021 better prepared and more talented than they were in 2020.
Though the schedule is especially brutal this year, expect Navy to catch more than a few decent teams off guard with the advantage of limited reps for opposing defenses.