The CFB train keeps rolling. If you missed my Power 5 conference preview make sure you check that out before we dive into the G5 here. There is nothing more fun than betting the Group of 5. The electricity of the SEC and Big Ten games translate whether you have action or not, but there is nothing more fun than getting deep into a Fun Belt, Mountain West, or weekday MACtion game that have you have some action on. Other then the fun of these games, it’s also easier to find an edge in some of these conferences than in a big time SEC matchup that hundreds of thousands of people are betting on. As my good friend Rico Bosco says, “the money is in the crumbs” and with that being said, let’s get into the games.
2u Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns to win Sun Belt (+125)
The Sun Belt is basically a 3-team conference between the Ragin’ Cajuns, App State, and Coastal Carolina. The Cajuns have the fortune of being in the opposite division of App State and Coastal, making them almost a sure thing to at least make the Championship Game, automatically giving them a big edge over App State and Coastal. Billy Napier has made the championship game in all three of his seasons in Lafayette but has yet to win it. I love betting on Billy (who just turned down multiple P5 jobs to stay here) to finally break through and win the whole damn thing.
1.5u Boise State to win the Mountain West (-110)
The Mountain West is a similar situation to the Fun Belt. There are three teams that are a bit better than the rest year (Boise State, Nevada, and San Jose State) and Boise State falls in one division while Nevada and SJ State are in the other. This gives Boise State a big edge already and of course Boise has also just dominated the MW over the past few years, winning their division each of the past four years and winning two championships. Last year was supposed to be a rebuild for Boise and they actually had a historically bad offense but still won the division. This year they return 17 starters and should be way more experience and prepared across the board. There is no question in my mind that they win their division and I think they will also get to host the game and they will be favored by a few points which makes this -110 price a bargain.
1u Toledo (+450) and Ball State (+350) to win the MAC
There are 7 legit contenders in the MAC. That’s a lot compared to most conferences. The MAC is always up in the air due to a lack of talent (sorry, I still love you). However, I like the top of the West division a lot more than the East so I’m taking two teams from that division that I see as equal and I think whoever comes out on top will win the Championship Game. Ball State are the defending champs of the MAC and are returning TWENTY starters. It’s that simple. This team has experience across the board and are loaded at WR and LB.
Toledo is the most talented team in the MAC in my opinion. Toledo somehow tops Ball State with TWENTY-ONE returning starters. They face a tougher schedule than Ball State which is why I am backing the Cardinals as well just to be safe but Toledo is the better team. Toledo is loaded with the best RB unit and WR unit in the MAC and those skill position players can make the difference with less athletic defensive players in the MAC.
1u UAB to win the C-USA +275
There are 5 teams with 10/1 or better odds to win the C-USA and three of them are in the East (FAU, Marshall, WKU) which leaves just UAB and UTSA in the West. UTSA had had an amazing run to turn their program from literally a bottom-5 program in the country to a legit contender to win their conference. That being said, Bill Clark is one of the best coaches in the country and this UAB team has won their division each of the last three years and won the conference two of those three years. They return 9 starters on defense and should have the best overall defense in the conference. If you give me the best coach and the best defense in the conference full of player with championship experience, I’ll take that 7 days a week and twice on Saturday.
The only Gof5 conference I don’t have a future on is the AAC. Cincy is a little over -200 to win the conference and even more juiced at some books and they deserve it. They are the class of the conference and I won’t go against them, but I’m also not willing to lay that number in case of a freak injury to Demond Ridder or a COVID outbreak or something like that.
That’s it for the Group of 5 preview! Win totals are the only piece I still have to write in terms of futures which will be up by the end of the week and then I’ll have some spots I like in the first couple weeks of the CFB season, plus some NFL content coming after that! Let’s cash ladies and gents.