College Football Teams Making Noise In Legal Betting States
While some states do restrict wagering on games that involve in-state college teams, most do not. And right now there are six Division I college football teams in the AP Top 25 poll that reside in states where football fans can wager freely on the games (Iowa, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Indiana, and Arizona) .
Let’s take a look at the six college football teams attracting the local betting action.
Iowa Hawkeyes #3
Clearly, the Big 10 is loaded for bear this year. The conference currently has five teams in the top 11 with these Iowa Hawkeyes leading the way. Additionally, the Ohio State Buckeyes are ranked #7, with state of Ohio in the early stages of legalizing sports betting for the state’s residents.
At 5-0, the Hawkeyes have clearly improved from last year where the team went 6-2. They have a potent offense behind returning star players QB Spencer Petras, RB Tyler Goodson, and center Tyler Linderbaum. After five easy victories, they will finally get a proper test as #4 Penn State comes visiting in week #6.
Penn State Nittany Lions #4
After a dreadful record of 4-5 in 2020, Penn State (5-0) started the season off with a ranking of #21. Clearly, the polls underestimated the prowess of returning starters QB Sean Clifford, RB Noah Cain (season-ending 2020 injury), and WR Jahan Dotson.
Their climb to #4 comes compliments of two victories over ranked teams (then #18 Auburn followed by a win over then #9 Villanova). With games remaining against #3 Iowa, $7 Ohio State, #9 Michigan, and #11 Michigan State, the Nittany Lions will need to stay sharp behind a very stout defense.
Michigan Wolverines #9
For the first time in years, Michigan (5-0) entered the season ranked outside of the Top 25. Still, Michigan remains one of the top college football teams in college football history.
This year they still have to really prove themselves. The Wolverines enter week #6 after easy victories over much weaker unranked opponents. The defense has been outstanding but untested. The fact they are currently ranked so high might have something to do with a large number of upsets that have occurred this season within the top 15.
Michigan State Spartans #11
Michigan State (5-0) is another team that has made its bones this year by beating up on lesser opponents. Like Michigan, Michigan State opened the season unranked, which leaves us wondering just how good this team really is this year. We’ll find out in the second half of the season when they play five quality football teams with winning records. That includes #9 Michigan, #7 Ohio State, and #4 Penn State.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish #14
After a strong 10-2 in the 2020 season, Notre Dame (4-1) entered this season ranked #13. They briefly hit the Top 10 before defeat to #5 Cincinnati just last week. Moving forward, the schedule looks pretty weak, which gives the Fighting Irish a good chance of a major Bowl bid. However, there are questions about an offense that really struggled against the Cincinnati defense, something they need to work on.
Arizona State Sun Devils #22
Arizona State (4-1) rounds out this list after opening the season ranked #23. While the Sun Devils only played four games last year, they hinted at having both a good offense and defense. The team’s lone loss this year came against #10 BYU while crushing the rest of their opponents. With a weak schedule going forward, this is a team that could climb in the rankings by year-end.
There are a few other teams just outside the Top 25 that also reside in states that allow sports betting on in-state college teams. We are referring to Virginia Tech, Pittsburgh, and Western Michigan. We’ll see where these teams end up as the year progresses and the legal wagers are counted.