Bovada released their gambling odds for college football futures last week and for the first time since the 2010 season, the Hawkeyes find themselves favorites to win... well, anything.
Iowa has the best odds to win the Big Ten West at +140, which should not come as a surprise seeing as how Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are in the East.
Nebraska has the second-best odds at +200 (more on this later), followed by Wisconsin at +400. Northwestern is an intriguing pick at +900, but after that... well, the payouts are that high for Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue for a reason.
The trio of contenders make the East a little more top-heavy, with Ohio State getting even money to win that side of the division. Michigan has Iowa-like odds to win the East at +160, while Sparty could be a sexy dark horse to return to Indianapolis for a fourth time at +500.
The rest of the East? Brent Musburger’s Friends In The Desert don’t have much faith in them playing the role of spoiler this year. Good news for Rutgers fans, though. If they place a bet on their team to take the East and win, they will have enough money to move out of New Jersey!
Let’s look at the real prize here. Iowa hasn’t won the Big Ten outright since 1985, back before I was even an idea.
Vegas gives Iowa +750 odds to make a nice addition to its trophy case, giving better chances only to those guys in the other side of the division. Seeing as how Iowa was one stupid, legendary drive away from winning the conference a year ago, that doesn’t seem too bad!
Something else that’s fun to look at are the over/under win totals put on teams before the season starts. While Bovada puts the o/u for Iowa at 8.5 games, it curiously placed Nebraska at 9.5, despite giving Iowa better odds to win the West. Obviously Iowa can win fewer games than Nebraska overall and take the conference, but still. Maybe they thought Tommy Armstrong graduated?
Other o/u’s of note include Michigan at 10.5, OSU at 9 and MSU and Penn State at 8. Only Clemson, Boise State and Florida State have a higher o/u than Michigan at 11. Meanwhile, Iowa State’s rests at a whopping 3.5.
Leap of Faith
Next up we have National Championship futures—and they actually aren’t that bad! Iowa is +6600 to take the whole thing home, getting the same odds as Texas, Houston, Louisville and Texas A&M.
As one would imagine, Alabama has the best odds of winning it all, followed by LSU and Clemson. Michigan and Ohio State are tied for having the fourth-best odds of winning the National Championship at +900. Earlier in the year that number was closer to +1500 for Michigan, but at some sports books the Wolverines were bet so heavily that oddsmakers were forced to level the payout.
(Iowa State is +50,000 to win it all, which seems generous since Bovada didn’t even assign a number to Minnesota or Purdue or Illinois.)
For Heisman winners, Leonard Fournette, Deshaun Watson and Christian McCaffery are your frontrunners. I haven’t seen anywhere to post Heisman numbers for C.J. Beathard or Desmond King HOWEVAH if Brad Kaaya, Patrick Mahomes and Josh Dobbs are getting odds, one would imagine CJB should be getting some numbers crunched as well.
As of a now, a dubious site on a dark corner of the internet that I’m not going to link to has Iowa listed as 28.5 point favorites over Miami (Ohio) in the opener. I’ll dissect that spread once we get closer to kickoff, but for now just daydream about the fact that some guy in a basement believes Iowa should win by 29 on Sept. 3. (I know that’s not exactly how point spreads function, just work with me here.)
Any other interesting (hypothetical) plays you guys (hypothetically) see in regards to CFB futures?