Identifying Worthy Longshots For Your College Football Picks

Ted Sevransky

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 7:30 PM GMT

Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 7:30 PM GMT

Let's take an early look at the  ‘usual suspects’, that tend to be in the national championship mix on a yearly basis.The goal? Identifying worthy longshots, for some college football picks.

First Look: 2017 CFB National Championship Longshots
Alabama just won their fourth national title in seven years, knocking off Clemson to get the win (and the rings), even though they didn’t cover the spread in victory on Monday Night. The Crimson Tide will be one of the early favorites in the college football futures betting marketplace for next year, along with several of the other ‘usual suspects’; teams like Ohio State, LSU, Notre Dame and Oklahoma that tend to be in the national championship mix on a yearly basis.

I haven’t done any schedule analysis for next year yet. The vast majority of sportsbooks have not yet posted any future odds for the 2017 national championship game. But it’s certainly not too early to get a jump on the odds for next year’s title; taking a look at four teams that I expect to be in the mix for the CFB Playoffs next January. The goal? Identifying worthy longshots, early in the game, so bettors can take advantage of those first future book numbers for some college football picks.

 

Michigan
Jim Harbaugh’s team exceeded expectations in his first year on the job, and there’s little reason to think that his Wolverines won’t be capable of competing with the elite programs of the college football world next year!  Harbaugh’s teams – at Stanford, with the 49ers, and in his first year coaching Michigan – have gone Over their season win total in every year but one (his last with the 49ers).  We know he can coach, we know he can recruit, and we know he’s building something strong in Ann Arbor. However we don’t know who the quarterback is going to be, and that’s always a good thing when it comes to getting the best of the number – future college football odds are heavily influenced by returning quarterbacks. Don’t be shocked if the Wolverines take another huge step forward in 2016. It’s surely worth noting that key Big 10 East competitor Michigan State is likely to be down a notch or two next year following the graduation of Connor Cook.

 

Tennessee
The SEC has won eight national titles in the last ten years. Florida State in 2013 and Ohio State in 2014 have been the only two non-SEC squads to capture a championship since Texas won it all with Vince Young’s comeback over USC back in 2005. So it’s not hard to make a case for an SEC school to bring home a title. QB Josh Dobbs returns (26 total touchdowns, only five interceptions), already being touted as a potential Heisman candidate. The Vols are loaded in the trenches, and their skill position talent ranks right there with the SEC elite. This program was competing (and even winning) national titles under Phil Fulmer, and Butch Jones won conference titles in previous stints at Central Michigan and Cincinnati. This team is live to make some real noise on a national level next year, while the rest of the SEC East (most notably Florida and Georgia) are not.

 

Washington
The Huskies haven’t even been on the national radar for more than a decade. Their last run at a national title came with Rick Neuheisel on the sidelines. But Chris Peterson has been recruiting at an elite level since the day he arrived in Seattle. Washington has emerging young skill position stars like QB Jake Browning and RB Myles Gaskin, both of whom earned plenty of valuable experience this year. And the Huskies are positively loaded in the trenches, with NFL caliber talent coming back on both the offensive and defensive lines. The PAC-12 schedule is brutal, and the Huskies will still be pretty young next year, but I’d call them a ‘live’ longshot at first glance, especially with PAC-12 North brethren Stanford and Oregon both breaking in new quarterbacks.

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