We don’t know when the 2020 college football season will start but it’s never too early to place some fun longshot bets with value. This list has three plays and we go over why they make sense.
Wyoming to Win the Mountain West
Boise State is the team to beat in the Mountain West but Wyoming Cowboys can compete with them. BetOnline has Wyoming at +1400 to win the Mountain West and there’s value at those college football odds.
Wyoming head coach Craig Bohl has led the team to eight-win seasons and bowl games in three of the last four years. This was a very competitive squad last year and their five losses were by 13 points or less. This includes their 20-17 overtime home setback against Boise State on November 9th and their 26-22 road loss against San Diego State on October 12th.
Boise State, San Diego State and Air Force have to visit Wyoming. This clearly favors their aspirations to win the Mountain West. Their stingy defense has helped them thrive in recent years but this season they will have to do it without linebackers Logan Wilson and Cassh Maluia.
Defensive backs Tyler Hall and Alijah Halliburton are no longer eligible. Losing these four players can be a problem and defensive coordinator Jake Dickert is no longer there. That said, Bohl likely planned for this and the Wyoming offense can make up for the losses on defense.
The Wyoming Cowboys averaged 25.4 points per game last season and quarterbacks Sean Chambers and Levi Williams are more than capable of stepping. The offensive line will return all the starters and talented running back Xazavian Valladay can also help on that side of the ball. Valladay ran for 1,265 yards last year and he is one of the keys to Wyoming’s success.
California to Make the 2021 College Football Playoff
California could challenge my team Oregon in the Pac-12. First, their new offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave has to jumpstart a unit that averaged just 21.2 points per game last season. This is easier said than done but he has tools to work with.
Quarterback Chase Garbers threw for 1,772 yards and 14 touchdowns last season and was 7-0 in games in which he started and played all snaps. Garbers can have a breakout year as long as he stays healthy.
Garbers is coming back, which is significant in their aspirations and running backs Christopher Brown Jr. and Marcel Dancy also return. Brown Jr. and Dancy combined for over 1,000 rushing yards last season. Also, five of the team’s top six wide receivers and every starter in the offensive line are also back, making this a loaded offense.
Defensive coordinator Tim DeRuyter has made drastic improvements on that side of the ball since 2017. All-American linebacker Evan Weaver and safety Ashtyn Davis led a defense that allowed 21.9 points per game last season.
Cal has to find a way to replace Weaver and Davis. Having eight starters return to that unit should help. I wouldn’t be surprised if this team can rank high in their conference. Oregon and Washington have to play Cal on the road and they could lose those games. California at +5000 to make the 2021 College Football Playoff at BetOnline is a long shot. Don’t bet the farm on it. I am making a small, fun bet.
Ian Book to Win the Heisman Trophy
Ian Book shined for Notre Dame in 2018 when they reached the College Football Playoff. He ended the season with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 10 games, completing 214 of 314 passes for 2,628 yards.
Book was even better last year, completing 240 of 399 passes for 3,034 yards and 34 touchdowns and six interceptions in 13 games. The El Dorado Hills, California native improved all his numbers in 2019 except for his completion percentage, which fell from 68.2 in 2018 to 60.2 last year.
Book’s main targets from last season, Chase Claypool and Cole Kmet will not be back but Notre Dame’s new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees can bring the best out of Book. I can see Rees helping Book have the best year of his career, improving his NFL Draft stock for 2021.