College Football Conference Championship Bets and Win Totals: Conference USA
College football season is nearly upon us, and there are plenty of NCAA football odds and outrights on FanDuel Sportsbook we can explore.
Last season, the Texas-San Antonio Roadrunners reached 15th in the AP Poll and ended the season 12-2 as the only Conference USA team to reach double-digit wins. They aren't the runaway favorite in the conference this year, however. They and the Alabama-Birmingham Blazers are the co-favorites.
Here's how the conference winner odds shake out for this year.
Conference Winner(s) to Bet
Alabama-Birmingham Blazers (+200) - The Blazers are co-favorites with UTSA, yet the better case can be made for UAB. Their schedule is easier (120th versus 97th, per my model), they're favored in more games (10 to 8), and they have fewer coinflip games (1 to 3). UAB has a top-55 offense and defense by SP+ and actually are the top-ranked team in the conference by the Massey consensus rankings.
There's a lot of volatility in those rankings with UAB (26th-largest standard deviation in rankings), UTSA (8th), and Western Kentucky (15th). The best floor here, then, belongs to UAB.
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers (+450) - The third team with a legitimate chance to win the conference is Western Kentucky. They project to have the 30th-ranked offense by SP+, and via my pre-season projection model, they face the fourth-easiest schedule in the nation.
That model also has them favored in 11 of their games -- and by a touchdown in nine of them. Though they're losing quarterback Bailey Zappe and other key offensive pieces, their ceiling season -- based on consensus ranks -- is best of any team in the conference. At +450, that's appealing behind an offense ranked 30th in projected SP+.
Win Total(s) to Target
Texas-El Paso Miners | Under 5.5 (-140) - The primary win total value that jumps out is UTEP. UTEP has a ton of close games this year (seven games are projected to have three-point spreads, per my model), so that's a bit scary for targeting a win total regardless of the side we're taking.
However, matchups with Oklahoma and Boise State virtually rule out two wins, and they have low expectations against UTSA, as well. With an offense outside the top 110 by SP+ and no easy wins, my model projects them for 4.58 victories.
North Texas Mean Green | Under 6.5 (-130) - North Texas actually has top-100 ranks in both projected offensive and defensive SP+ and should be favored in six of their games this season.
The bad news? They're rating out as touchdown underdogs in five games, and that doesn't leave much room for error. They're rating out with 5.6 wins in my model.