College Football 2023 Championship Odds, Rankings and Storylines Ahead of Opening Week Kickoff
The 2023 College Football season kicks off in less than two weeks with the first full weekend of 45 games over Labor Day weekend. That includes Northwestern at Rutgers as the battle for media headlines continues with so many changes and so much money surrounding college football. And money is the name of the game when it comes to betting and for leading online sportsbooks. The opening week odds and lines have been out for months, but futures bettors looking for a bigger score and top payouts are taking their shots at college football championship odds, quarterback battles and Heisman favorites.
What is expected from top QB transfers like Sam Hartman (Notre Dame), Devin Leary (Kentucky), Tanner Mordecai (Wisconsin), Brennan Armstrong (NC State), DJ Uiagalelei (Oregon State), Hudson Card (Purdue) and Shedeur Sanders (Colorado) among others plus newcomers like top-rated QB Arch Manning?
Heading into fall camp, six top teams have QB battles to watch with the outcomes impacting the teams chances at a conference or national title along with betting odds.
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
The QB battle at Alabama is expected to extend beyond the Crimson Tide's opening game Sept. 2 vs Middle Tennessee State. Jalen Milroe, Ty Simpson and Tyler Buchner have not separated themselves to be the definitive No. 1 quarterback.
"You’re looking over your shoulder to see if the coach is gonna do this or that. How about you forcing me to play you," Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Aug. 15. "When you get your reps and you get a chance to play, you play so good we don’t have any choice but to play you, rather than worrying about all this other stuff.”
AP Top 25 Poll and Championship Odds
Weekly lines and championship odds from SportsBetting.ag and affiliate BetOnline refresh periodically and are subject to change, including on props and live betting. AP ranking and team national championship odds are followed by season win totals.
1. Georgia (+240) / 11.5
2. Michigan (+900) / 10.5
3. Ohio State (+750) / 10.5
4. Alabama (+650) / 10.5
5. LSU (+1100) / 9.5
6. USC (+1600) / 10
7. Penn State (+2500) / 9.5
8. Florida State (+2000) / 9.5
9. Clemson (+1400) / 10
10. Washington (+5000) / 9.5
11. Texas (+1800) / 9.5
12. Tennessee (+6600) / 9
13. Notre Dame (+4000) / 8.5
14. Utah (+10000) / 8.5
15. Oregon (+5000) / 9.5
16. Kansas State (+15000) / 8
17. TCU (+20000) / 7.5
18. Oregon State (+20000) - 8.5
19. Wisconsin (+7000) / 8.5
20. Oklahoma (+6600) / 9.5
21. North Carolina (+12500) / 8
22. Ole Miss (+15000) / 7.5
23. Texas A&M (+4000) / 8
24. Tulane (+20000) / 9.5
25. Iowa (+15000) / 8
The Associated Press AP Top 25 Poll was released this week, and that means opening week kickoff is near. I chipped in Top 25 odds and insight plus early season key games in my coverage for Forbes. You can also reference that piece for season wins, betting lines and additional information you can bet on ahead of Week 1 and the first full weekend of college football over Labor Day weekend.
Fans and bettors across the country are also watching the quarterback battles and changes. And a well-known name is also creating buzz in Austin and across the country and sports betting landscape with SportsBetting.ag adding to the hype with some Arch Manning odds.
Arch Manning Odds
The hype around Arch Manning has been well-documented. He was a 5* Star Plus+ recruit, meaning he was one of the only players ranked by all four major recruiting media companies as a five star. And a weighted average of all four major recruiting media companies also had Arch Manning as the No. 1 recruit in the country from the 2022 cycle, according to the On3 Industry Ranking.
But despite the hype, don't expect Manning to take over the starter role for the Longhorns this season unless an injury to Ewers happens. Manning is currently battling Maalik Murphy for the backup QB role. According to FOX Sports college football analyst Trent Klatt, “Arch went to Texas sit a year. This notion that he might play this year, I think, is unfounded," Klatt said last month following conversations with Texas football insiders about part of the reason why Manning picked Texas.
Still, the nephew of Peyton and Eli is apparently dazzling in camp and "looked incredible" in last weekends scrimmage with pinpoint accuracy and a 70-yard improv TD run. Texas fans are expecting Arch Manning to become the soon-to-be starter if Quinn Ewers is not at his best or injured early in the season.
Texas is picked by most publications and media members to win the Big 12 this season. But the Longhorns haven't won a Big 12 title since 2009, and this is their last opportunity with Texas moving to the SEC next season. Texas has blown 5 double-digit leads the past two seasons – the most in the nation.
SportsBetting.ag has set Manning odds on when he will make his first start of the season (non-injury related). While the odds are tight, with the second-best odds being never starting, the favorite is for Games 1-3.
Texas starts the season ranked No. 11 in the AP Poll, and the Longhorns have a major test Sept. 9 at No. 4 Alabama.
Which game will Arch Manning make first start in 2023?
Game 1-3 (+200)
Game 4-6 (+350)
Game 11-12 (+350)
Game 7-10 (+350)
Does Not Start (+150) now down from +250
Despite all the chatter, only Ewers' Heisman odds have improved this year, while Manning's have remained fairly steady (and long). Back in January this year, Ewers was tagged with 25/1 Heisman odds while Manning was listed at 75/1. Ewers dropped to 16/1 in May and is 9/1, currently. Manning's odds remained at 75/1 in May and are now 80/1.
Also, with the breakup of the Pac-12 starting in 2024, Sportsbettting.ag has also posted some fun odds on what the Pac-12, or new-named conference might become.
How many Pac-12 teams will there be in 2024?
Fewer than 8 teams (+175)
Conference does not exist (+200)
Exactly 8 teams (+200)
More than 8 teams (+500)
I'll be chipping-in college football weekly Top 25 matchups, odds, picks and opinions again this season following positive feedback to our coverage last season. Fairways Forecast and Top 25 picks went 11-7 ATS last season and we added additional opinions and leans on select matchups each week as well.
Follow additional college football coverage at Gamblers World and OSGA, which is celebrating 25 years of service to sports bettors and online gamblers.
FairwayJay is a proven sports handicapper and loves college football. He's been handicapping and betting college football for more than two decades and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful analysts. FairwayJay chips in additional sports betting coverage and reporting on industry news and events. Follow FairwayJay here at OSGA.com and on Twitter @FairwayJay for more sports and betting insights.