2009 College Football: Shocking Preseason Odds

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2009 College Football: Shocking Preseason Odds

Five teams have a combined 50% chance of becoming National Champions. Florida individually has a better chance than 3 of the BCS conferences!

Las Vegas, Nevada (August 10, 2009) - Las Vegas odds, properly analyzed, tell us what the betting experts really think. With the recent release of the USA Today College Football Poll, now is an interesting time to consider what the lone experts backing their opinions with millions of dollars really think.

Top 5 college football teams with the best chance to win the National Championship:
Florida: 5 to 1
USC: 13 to 1
Texas: 14 to 1
Oklahoma: 14 to 1
Ohio State: 19 to 1

Florida is projected to have more than DOUBLE the chance of winning it all than any other team! The Top five teams combined have approximately a 50% chance at the National Championship. This fact lends itself to an interesting proposition: Who do you think has a better chance to win it all: Florida, USC, Texas, Oklahoma, and Ohio State OR every other team in the country?

BSC Conferences (percentage chance at National Title):
SEC: 25% (9 teams)
Big 12: 20% (10 teams)
Big 10: 19% (7 teams)
Pac 10: 15% (8 teams)
ACC: 14% (11 teams)
Big East: 8% (6 teams)

Clearly the lowest regarded BSC Conference is the Big East: their top ranked team is Rutgers at #25 (91 to 1 against), and the entire conference has only an 8% chance of winning the BCS. The ACC has the most teams in the top 54, with 11 of their 12 teams making the grade (minus only Duke). Consider, if you remove Florida's chance from the SEC's number, the combined chance of its remaining teams is only 8%.

Notice that Florida as a team has a better chance of winning it all than any CONFERENCE other than the Big 12 or Big 10. This fact lends itself to an interesting proposition: Who do you think as a better chance at the National Championship: Florida or the entire Pac 10?

Boise State is the highest rated non-BSC school at #13 (46 to 1 against); the only other non-BSC school is Utah at #50 (163 to 1).

A total of 54 teams have been deemed worthy of individual odds; the chances are only 3% that a team outside of the top 54 will be crowned the BSC Champion.

Two teams are massively OVERRATED in the opinion of Las Vegas: Mississippi, ranked #10 in the USA Today Poll, is NOT considered one of the Top 54 teams based upon the odds. And neither is TCU, ranked #17 in the USA Today Poll.

One team is clearly UNDERATED in the opinion of Las Vegas: Miami of Florida, not even ranked by USA Today, is a surprisingly high #15 according to Vegas.

The odds stated above have been adjusted through a proprietary Pregame.com formula to remove the commission charged by sportsbooks. Without this adjustment, the odds against a result are understated substantially (often upwards of 50%). For example, an event whose true odds are 10-1 against will often be incorrectly stated as 7-1 against (the difference is the commission charged by the sportsbook). As a result, there is an overstatement of the chances of the event happening. The failure of nearly all widely circulated odds to account for this adjustment makes those numbers unreliable and misleading.

MEDIA NOTE: Print, radio, TV, and Internet media should feel free to quote any information above. Please attribute: RJ Bell of Pregame.com. For follow-up questions, or media appearances - email: rjbell@pregame.com

RJ Bell of Pregame.com is the only sports bettor on Forbes' recent list of Gambling Gurus and has been called "a true insider" by ESPN, "incredibly astute" by AOL and a "point-spread maven" by USA Today. Mr. Bell has been featured on CBS News with Katie Couric, ABC News with Charles Gibson, Nightline, Sportscenter, Outside the Lines (ESPN), First Take (ESPN2), Mike & Mike, Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome, Dan Patrick, ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, Yahoo, CNN.com and in the Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, LA Times, Newsweek.com, Bloomberg, Maxim, and Sports Illustrated. Pregme.com is the largest sports betting news website compliant with US Law.


  • FYI: The odds for this specific were a consensus between Olympic and Cris.

  • Over at FoxSports.com, for the 2nd day in a row, Ben Maller used some of the college football odds released by the Pregame.com team.

  • I wonder just how much these futures make up of the total action on college football... it's not the kind of wager I'd ever think of making myself, so I wonder who does this kind of betting, and for how much... it's too remote and vague and abstract, to try and measure Florida's whole season (just to take an example), before they've played even a single game... it seems like the real action leads up to game day, and involves the time and place of a single game, and the matchups on the field and the injuries and even the particular importance of the game (which is found in the context of how the season has gone so far), and all of this is wrapped up in a single point spread and moneyline and total... these futures ignore all of that, and cast all those particulars to the wind, and put you at the mercy of things (like injuries) that you should be watching for and waiting on, right up to the hour before the game.

    I guess I'm saying I don't care about futures, I care more about NC State minus 3.5 and Boise State minus 6.5 on Thursday September 3rd.

    There's a lot more substance to handicapping those wagers, than to trying to guess whether Florida will beat Oklahoma again, this time in Pasadena.

  • I am telling you all now...Watch out for Texas this year.

  • Pregame.com reporting picked up by Fox Sports today: msn.foxsports.com/.../college

  • I think Florida has to be the clear cut favorite with Tebow and the rest of the defense back.  Oklahoma isn't going to have as good of a year as last year because of the losses on the O-line.  Texas will be a team to watch out for, but they have a tough schedule.  Ohio State might be able to throw their name in the mix because Pryor is such an athlete AND, most importantly, a winner.  Look what Vince Young did for Texas when he was there.  He was a winner just like Pryor will be.  Pryor proved it last season with his play comeback against Wisconsin and his play against Texas in the bowl game.  I will take a winner over talent any day, because the winner gets the job done.