Table of Contents

    By Alex Lauzon from the “Course of Life” podcast

    2023: Another Year of the Same?

    We’re just days away from the week zero unofficial start of the college football season, and now is prime time to lock in future bets that could lead to a wonderful holiday shopping payout or year-ending bankroll that will have you smiling into 2024. The CFB season is perfectly situated to have a holiday season cashout on hand…if you place your bets correctly now. The question at hand is mainly: will this 2023 season look just like the last two, with a pedestrian Georgia Bulldogs domination of the college football landscape? Who’s looking to hoist the Heisman for maybe the first, or second time? With these thoughts in frame, let’s go to betting boards to find some August diamonds in the rough for college football’s biggest awards and accomplishments:

    Odds to Win Championship 

    Quite predictably the two-time defending champs from Athens, GA, are a massive favorite to win the SEC again, and a study +225 favorite to three-peat nationally…yawn. They’re followed up (also predictably) by the Alabama Crimson Tide (+600) and the other past playoff participants in Ohio State (+700) and Michigan (+900). The three-peat result seems plausible based on the premise that Carson Beck takes Stetson Bennett’s place at QB and keeps the train rolling, while the continuously bolstered defense soars to new heights. However, you can’t ignore the fact that a three-peat hasn’t been done in modern-day college football – 1936 to be exact. With the spread of five stars across the other top teams, and the volatility of SEC programs on offense from one week to the next, you have to figure there’s a spot in the schedule or the playoffs that trips them up so I’m betting away from the favorite. Other fliers to consider are LSU (+1200), and Clemson and USC both listed at +1600 odds to win it all.

    Heisman Trophy

    The odds to win this fall’s Heisman Trophy are a who’s who of NFL Draft prospects at the Quarterback position. Led by the 2022 Heisman Trophy Winner and defending champion Caleb Williams at +550, he’s a strong favorite clear from the pack to win in back-to-back seasons, something that hasn’t been done since Archie Griffin in 1974 and 1975. Once again, this is a spot where history tends to not repeat itself in that manner, so I’m looking in other directions for a Heisman future. Next listed is Texas QB Quinn Ewers at +1200 – I see a jump in his play but not THAT big of a jump. Tier two of Heisman quarterback picks features up-and-coming QBs like Florida State’s Jordan Travis at +1400, and more experienced QBs like Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. (+1600). UNC’s signal caller Drake Maye has a badass name and is buzzworthy at +1800, and if J.J. McCarthy (+1800) runs the table with his Michigan Wolverines, he’ll have to be considered for nomination. 

    2024 #1 Overall Draft Pick

    If you’re liking Caleb Williams’ chances at winning the Heisman, well wait until you see his #1 draft picks odds – they are set at a stunning -500 odds. Since this bet doesn’t pay until April and has a tremendous amount of juice, it doesn’t have the liquidity you would like and the wait isn’t worth the price. Recent years have shown us that draft stock can change drastically in the fall and winter months, so I’m looking down the board here for a lottery ticket beyond Drake Maye at +400. Some fun storylines that could pay off big include Deion Sanders’ son Shadeur at +3500, or South Carolina QB Spencer Rattler (+3200) continuing his 2022 torrid campaign into some big-time draft stock.

    The Hot Seat Bet

    In what may be the most grim betting line to ever hit sportsbooks, there are odds circulating for the first Division 1 CFB Coach canned from his job, and the list is fascinating and absolutely worth a wager. In what world can you make money off someone else’s firing? The favorite to get the first pink slip in CFB is West Virginia coach Neal Brown (+250), who’s coming off a disappointing 5-7 campaign and not much to tout on the recruiting end. Other contenders are Dino Babers at Syracuse (+450) or Boston Colleges’ Jeff Haley (+600). It’s a cruel world out there.

    Alex’s CFB Future Picks

    To Win Championship –  LSU +1200, Clemson +1600

    Heisman trophy – Jordan Travis +1400, J.J McCarthy +1800

    2024 #1 Draft Pick – Shadeur Sanders +3500

    Hot Seat – Dino Babers +450

    CFB FAQs

    How are college football bowl games determined?

    Only bowl-eligible teams are selected for College Football Bowls. At the NCAA Division I FBS level, the standard by which teams become available for selection in bowl games varies. For example, in 2018-19 season, the team had to have at least as many wins as overall losses. Wins against non-Division I teams do not count toward the number of wins.

    How do you play college football pick'em pools?

    Simply pick winners from the games each week selected by the Pool Commissioner, either straight up or against the spread. Whichever member has the most points at the end of the season wins

    What is a football pool?

    "Football Pool" is a broad term for a group of people competitively guessing the outcome of one or more football games. There are many types of formats, each assigning winners differently. They can be played informally between friends or through a more formalized system. They are often considered a great alternative to fantasy football given the ease of playing, although there are fantasy football pools as well.

    How to run a football pool?

    How you decide to run a football pool varies greatly depending on the game type. In each case, however, you'll want to determine the rules and settings before you begin inviting members to join you. You'll want to clearly establish how score will be kept, how tiebreakers work, and how winners are decided before anything else.

    How to play squares football pools?

    Football squares are played by creating a grid, in which Team 1 takes the column and Team 2 the rows. In some cases, participants may claim as many squares as they like. In others, commissioners limit them to one. At the quarter times and end of the game, the winner is decided at the point the scores final digit intersect.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    What is a college football squares pool?

    In a college football squares pool, a commissioner starts with a 10x10 grid of 100 squares (though commissioners decide to use smaller 5x5 pools). Members pick one or more squares in that grid. Winners are determined based on the score of each team after each quarter and at the end of the game.

    How many squares in a football pool?

    In a traditional football squares pool, a grid is sectioned off into 100 squares with 10 columns and 10 rows. This accounts for a direct relationship between each possible digit from 0 to 9 on both the X and Y axis. For smaller square grids like 5x5, multiple numbers can be assigned to each column and row.

    How to read a football squares pool sheet?

    In Squares formats, football pool sheets include a grid, where one team is the column and one is the row. Winners are determined at the end of each quarter when the last number in the team’s score (on each side) is matched to the numbers on the grid, and the intersecting square wins.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football confidence bowl pool?

    The winner of a college bowl confidence pool is the member with the most points after all games have ended. Members rank each game based on how confident they are in their pick (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). For each game picked correctly, members receive the number of points they assigned.

    What is a college football bowl confidence pool?

    Players try to pick the winner of every bowl game, assigning a point value to each game. Picks are made "straight up," not using a point spread system. Members rank each game based on how confident they are (44 points = most confident, 1 point = least confident). A winner is determined by totalling the point values assigned to correctly picked games.

    How do you setup a college football bowl pool?

    To set up a college football bowl pool, you'll need to first choose if you will include all the games or specific ones. Then, you'll need to set the ground rules. As commissioner, you'll implement rules to ensure everything runs smoothly during the bowl games. Many use pool sites like RunYourPool to make the process easier.

    How do you win college football bowl pick'em pool?

    As you might expect, the player who selects the most bowl winners will win their pick'em pool. You can win your college football bowl pick'em pool by choosing winners wisely, based on past performance, player starting status and other "intangibles."

    What is a college football bowl pick'em pool?

    In a College Bowl Pick'em pool members attempt to pick the winner of every College Bowl game (or a subset of games determined by the Pool Commissioner). Picks are made using the point spread system or "straight up", as assigned by the Pool Commissioner.

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    About Author

    Alex Lauzon

    Lauzon is a podcast host, live broadcaster, analyst and betting extraordinaire for the Course of Life brand. After earning a degree in broadcast journalism at Quinnipiac University, he worked in ESPN and ESPN radio newsrooms. He has interviewed athletes and celebrities from all walks of life who often love to play golf. When he's not playing golf or talking about the game on Course of Life, Lauzon enjoys time with his wife and dog, checking off the next island vacation destination or counting down the days to the next Dell Match Play in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

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