It's easy to get sidetracked this time of year as the sports focus shifts to the professional ones like baseball, hockey playoffs, or the NBA, that we are not all that far away from everyone's favorite sport coming back full throttle before you know it. Sure, right now you are forced to grill on your patio and drink in your garage, but soon enough you'll be able to grill on your tailgate and drink beer in a parking lot as you ready yourself for the college football game of your choosing.
And with the return of day drinking and parking lot festivities comes with it the opportunity to make some (in the words of Randy Moss) straight cash, homie. I've maintained that the first three to four weeks of the college football season is the most opportune time to wager with an edge. The gap of information between the sharps in Vegas and the hardcore fan is never smaller than the preseason or beginning of the year. Unlike the NFL where there are only 32 teams to track and know, there are 128 FBS programs. Complicating matters for the wise guys is the fact that what limited amount of information they will get will be best utilized by focusing on the major market teams.
Far more money is bet on teams with a national presence. The Alabamas, Notre Dames, and Florida States of the world will have the majority of money bet on them. With that comes a desire for information and knowledge, and that makes the gap between casual fan and serious gambler grow. Take away the eyes, take away the number of bets, and all of a sudden, smaller market conferences and teams don't have as big a gap. In some cases, there isn't a gap at all, or the hardcore fan actually knows more sooner than the folks in control of the line. That's an opportunity, and it's there for the taking pretty frequently in our beloved MAC.
I say all that to let you know that we at the Belt are nothing if not helpful for our readership, so you'll see a little bit more attention paid in the fall to things of the wagering variety. And our first foray into that comes the release yesterday of preseason things from 5Dimes, covering all sorts of things like Heisman front runner (Deshaun Watson) to national championship favorite (Alabama). But there are also a few MAC-related goodies to potentially pay for your kids' college fund with...
Odds to win the National Championship
Western Michigan Broncos +120000
Northern Illinois Huskies +500000
Central Michigan Chippewas +500000
Toledo Rockets +600000
Bowling Green Falcons +700000
Ohio Bobcats +999999
Miami-Ohio Redhawks +999999
Buffalo Bulls +999999
Ball State Cardinals +999999
Eastern Michigan +999999
Kent State +999999
For the uninformed and not degenerates among us, that number above is what will return on a $100 bet. So let's say you think Western Michigan is going to row the boat to a National Championship in January. That Cinderella Story, when coupled with a $100 wager, would net you a cool $120,000. Not a bad days work.
Of course, the reality of a MAC national champion occurring outside of your XBOX (thanks again, NCAA, for having to play a three-year old version), is slim. But don't fret, as there are other MACtion related things that you can lay a bit on.
General MAC Props
Bowling Green season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 7.5
Central Michigan season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 8.5
Northern Illinois season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 8
Ohio season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 6
Toledo season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 7.5
Western Michigan season wins (including conference championship and bowls): O/U 9.5
Your O/U above is your over/under number. So if you think WMU is going to hit double-digit wins this season, bet the over. Think the boat doesn't row to 10? Take the under and row yourself to the nearest ATM. Initial thoughts from me would be the under on BG, CMU and WMU and the over on NIU, Ohio, and Toledo. But your guess is good as mine. You know where a good place for that guess is? Comment section. And... go.