By: Travis Pulver
Anyone who says that betting on games does nothing for their viewing experience has yet to actually place a wager. When a game doesn’t involve your favorite team, it can be a little harder to get invested in the contest. However, when you have money on the game, even the dullest of games become must-see-TV.
There is one game that is must-see-TV no matter who is playing; the national championship. If you happen to have money on the winner, the viewing experience is even better… obviously. But picking one team from the many potential contenders can be a daunting task.
Should you put money down on a team that stumbles out of the gate, your money is lost before the season is even half over. If only you did not have to choose just one (without splitting your money into multiple bets). Hmmm…
What if you could choose a whole conference? The odds will not be too long, of course. But you get the benefit of winning something if any team from your chosen conference takes the title. Winning something is always better than losing anything.
Alternate Ways to Bet on the CFB National Championship: Can You Go Wrong with the SEC?
BetMGM.com is taking wagers for teams to win the national championship like every other sportsbook. But they are also letting fans bet on any team to win from particular conferences. The SEC, of course, has pretty good odds:
- Any SEC team to win the National Championship Odds: +170
- Any non-SEC team to win the National Championship Odds: -223
Ask most fans which conference is the best in college football, and most will say without hesitation the SEC. In the six seasons the national champion has been decided by the playoffs, an SEC team has played in the title game five times—and there is also the Alabama Factor.
The Crimson Tide has played in four of the last five title games and won twice. The one they did not play in (last season), another SEC team did (LSU) and won. So, from a historical perspective, the SEC is the conference to bet on.
Is there any reason to think an SEC team is going to win it all this year, though?
An ACC team has the shortest odds (Clemson, +250), followed by a Big Ten team (Ohio State, +320). The first SEC team comes next, Alabama (+400), followed by three more SEC teams (Georgia, +1200; LSU, +1400; Florida, +1400).
But then the next best odds for an SEC team is +5000 (Texas A&M, Auburn).
Since 2001, there has not been a team with preseason odds longer than +5000 that went on to win the national championship. Most of the eventual champs had three-digit odds during the preseason (11 of 19 ranging from +250 to +800). Eight had odds from +1000 on up to +5000.
Last year’s champ, LSU, had +2500 odds in the preseason.
So, the winner is not necessarily going to be the team with the shortest odds. But it will likely be a team with +5000 odds or better. An SEC team doesn’t have the best odds. However, six of the SEC’s 14 teams have odds of +5000 or better; four have odds of +1400 or better.
No other conference has as many teams with similar or better odds.
Does this mean the SEC is the conference to bet on to win the national championship this season? Many bettors will likely find it easy to say ‘yes.’ The reputation of the conference will be enough to convince some.
Reputations do not win titles, though.