After the first week of play with just a few teams in action, the NCAA Football season gets underway in earnest this weekend. It figures to be yet another exciting year on the college gridiron.

Will there be a few surprises in store for college football fans at the end of the year? Or will it be business as usual for the traditional powerhouse programs?

College Football Starts With a Bang

With a full slate of games on the schedule for the Labor Day weekend, it’s surprising to see that a couple of top-ranked teams are going to get tested right off the bat.

The big game  will pit the #2 Ohio State Buckeyes playing host to the #5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish. A win by Ohio State could catapult them ahead of Alabama Crimson Tide in the rankings to #1. A win by the Irish would serve to confirm a ranking that some experts feel is a bit too high.

The other big game this weekend will see the #3 Georgia Bulldogs facing off against the #11 Oregon Ducks in Athens, Georgia. The Bulldogs will be looking to make a statement to the rest of a loaded SEC conference.

BCS Championship Betting Odds

The preseason rankings offer very little in the way of surprises. The Top 10 is filled with the usual suspects. Here are the the betting odds for the main contenders for the National Championship:

#1 Alabama Crimson Tide at +175
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes at +300
#3 Georgia Bulldogs at +450
#4 Clemson Tigers at +1000
#5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish at +5000
#6 Texas A&M Aggies at +2500
#7 Utah Utes at +4000
#8 Michigan Wolverines at +5000
#9 Oklahoma Sooners +5000
#10 Baylor Bears +7500

It’s worth noting that while only being ranked at #14, the USC Trojans are only +2200 to win the NCAA National Championship. Who is right? The Coaches Poll or the sportsbooks?

Outside Pick: The Michigan Wolverines might be an interesting longshot offer at +5000

Strong Rosters From CFB’s Top Two

At the top of the rankings, we once again see the Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes. Both of these teams are loaded for bear with hefty rosters of Five-Star players.

In an interesting twist, the preseason polls indicate both the SEC and Big Ten conferences are a little light on teams ranked inside the Top 20. Currently, the SEC shows five teams with the Big Ten represented by four teams. This could be an indication there is more parity expected throughout the season. Sports bettors will surely be keeping a close eye on this.

Overrated and Underrated CFB Teams

From a betting perspective, bettors can gain a significant advantage if they are able to identify teams that might be overrated to bet against and teams that are underrated to bet on.

Top 25 teams that might be Overrated: #5 Notre Dame, #9 Oklahoma, #17 Pittsburgh, #18 Wisconsin, and #23 Cincinnati Bearcats

Top 25 teams that might be Underrated: #6 Texas A&M, #16 Miami (FLA), unranked Texas.

U.S. Sports Bettors At The Ready

As the domestic sports betting market continues to grow, a larger number of U.S. residents now have easy access to wagering on NCAA FB games. That matters most to sports bettors in states where online betting has been legalized without restrictions on NCAA sport in general or in-state programs specifically.

For the benefit of college football fans and sports bettors who might not be aware they can legally place wagers on their favorite home teams from the comfort of home, here is a list of states that will allow such betting activities. The list also includes major college teams of interest.

Arizona (No Prop Bets) = Arizona Wildcats
Colorado (No Prop Bets) = Colorado Buffalos
Illinois (No Prop Bets) = Illinois Fighting Illini
Indiana (No Prop Bets) = Indiana Hoosiers, Purdue Boilermakers, Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Iowa (No Prop Bets) = Iowa Hawkeyes, Iowa State Cyclones
Kansas (coming soon) = Kansas Jayhawks
Louisiana = LSU Tigers
Maryland (coming in 2023) = Maryland Terrapins
Michigan = Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans
Pennsylvania (No Prop Bets) = Penn State Nittany Lions
Tennessee (No in-game wagering) = Tennessee Volunteers
Virginia (No in-game wagering = Virginia Tech Hokies, Virginia Cavaliers
West Virginia = West Virginia Mountaineers

It’s worth noting that in January 2023 legal sports betting will be launching in Ohio. That’s great news for Ohio State Buckeye fans should their team make it to the National College Football Playoffs.