College Football Odds & Futures: Betting Value on Miami, Stanford Ahead of Week 2
Doug Murray/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Miami safety Avantae Williams (15), Miami safety James Williams (0), Miami safety Kamren Kinchens (24) and Miami wide receiver Michael Redding III (83).
Another football season has started, and once again, it looks top-heavy.
Alabama started out slow, but when it turned on the engine, scoring came in bunches.
Georgia routed Oregon on a “neutral” field. Stetson Bennett has burst into the Heisman picture, and the defense looks like it hasn’t skipped a beat.
Ohio State handled business against a tough Notre Dame defense. While the offense struggled early, the defense held its own and looked improved from last season. That unit that will only improve with more game experience under new defensive coordinator Jim Knowles.
But wait — that’s only three teams, and four teams make the College Football Playoff. Who will take the coveted fourth spot?
With Utah being my preseason pick to join the previously mentioned three, I now shift my focus elsewhere after the Utes dropped their opener in what was a much-needed win for their resume.
Who might be that new team? The Miami Hurricanes.
National Championship Picture
Miami to Win National Championship (+10000)
As the first team featured in my Futures Friday column, I love Miami at 100-1, which is available at Caesars.
While Bethune-Cookman isn’t the most inspiring opponent, Miami played a near-perfect game in Week 1, which was more than enough for me to make a small play on the Hurricanes at their current number.
The offense was unstoppable en route to a 70-13 win.
Heisman sleeper quarterback Tyler Van Dyke went 13-of-16 for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Every back with five or more carries averaged at least six yards or more per carry, with Henry Parrish Jr. and Thaddius Franklin Jr. scoring five touchdowns total. Xavier Restrepo finished with five receptions for 100 yards and one touchdown.
As a team, Miami went a perfect 7-for-7 on third-down attempts, didn’t punt a single time and had only one turnover with a lost fumble. Pure domination.
The defense still has a lot of work to do, but it luckily has another tune-up against Southern Miss before its showdown against Texas A&M.
A matchup with the Aggies is the sole reason I love this pick.
I’m lower on the Aggies than the market, so I think Miami has a realistic chance of beating them in the middle of a sandwich spot with Arkansas on deck.
A&M also has questions to answer on offense with new faces all over.
At 100-1, we will have plenty of room to play with should Miami run the table. Under Josh Gattis, its offense is more than capable of beating Texas A&M — a victory that would be a huge resume booster.
The rest of the schedule is mild with only Clemson and Pitt posing as serious challenges, and both come in the final two games of the season.
Stability on defense should help the Canes improve on last season’s numbers. With more experience and potentially one of the best offensive units this season, Miami can make real noise to state its case for the fourth playoff spot.
At a minimum of one loss, Miami has a realistic chance of sneaking in with a weak Pac-12 and Big 12 cannibalizing each other.
Should the Canes make it, we have another huge ticket to hedge against like we did with last season's 80-1 Michigan ticket.
Power rated sixth in the nation in Collin Wilson’s betting power ratings, Miami is still under the radar at 100-1. I would take this number now before it’s slashed after a potential win over Texas A&M.
Conference Championship Picture
Stanford to Win Pac-12 (+8000)
It’s great to be back with Kody talking futures every other week.
For my first look at the conference races, I’m heading out west to talk about the Stanford Cardinal. Yes, the same team that won four games a year ago.
I like Stanford’s value for two main reasons. The first of which is that I don’t see a heavyweight in the Pac-12.
Yes, USC looked dominant in Week 1, but there are plenty of holes in the Trojans’ roster that will be exposed against steeper competition. As a matter of fact, USC heads to Palo Alto this week, so we’ll know very quickly whether or not this play has some merit to it.
Elsewhere in the Pac-12, Oregon looked dreadful in a blowout loss to Georgia, and Utah suffered a road defeat against Florida in a back-and-forth game at the Swamp.
The other reason I’m throwing a dart on the Cardinal is due to the track record of David Shaw and his ability to turn things around quickly. Shaw was good for 82 wins in his first eight seasons at Stanford, and he didn’t just forget to coach overnight.
Injuries completely decimated the Cardinal a year ago despite them getting off to a decent start. Both lines should be much improved this season, and Tanner McKee is one of the best quarterbacks in this league.
I’m not saying Stanford is going to run the table in Pac-12 play. But with an improved roster and some Shaw adjustments, a 7-2 type of finish is within reason. In a league full of parity, that could very well be enough to get the Cardinal to the championship game in Vegas.
If the Cardinal upset USC at home on Saturday, this number will likely drop in half — if not more — by next week. Thus, if you’re on board for a fun longshot, I recommend getting it in before Saturday.
Conference Bet to Watch
SEC East Race
There aren’t a ton of conference games in Week 2, but there are a couple of SEC battles that will certainly have my attention this week.
Florida and Arkansas both notched impressive victories in their openers, taking down Utah and Cincinnati, respectively.
Neither gets a breather this week, however, with the Gators playing host to Kentucky and Arkansas welcoming in South Carolina. Both of these games will be impactful, particularly in the SEC East race.
Georgia is the clear favorite in the East and looked dominant in its opener against Oregon. That said, the winner of UK/UF would put itself in position to be a challenger if the Dawgs were to slip up at any point. South Carolina would also stay in the conversation if the Gamecocks go into Fayetteville and steal a victory.
The SEC very much feels like a collision course between Alabama and Georgia, but these two early conference battles this week will help paint the picture of who the other contenders could be in the race to get to Atlanta.