The 2022-23 college football season just ended, which means it is high time to start getting ready for 2023-24!. Is it ever too early for college football? The sportsbooks wasted precisely zero minutes getting some betting markets up for next season.
January 2024 will see the 10th and last four-team College Football Playoff before the postseason field expands to twelve teams. Here are the favorites to take the title next season over at Caesars Sportsbook.
Legal sports betting starts at the end of January in Massachusetts, first at retail sportsbooks located in the state. Online betting will start soon after, though there is no official date set as of yet. Specific Massachusetts sports betting promos are coming soon. Expect to see the sportsbooks offer first bet free bet insurance. Sign up, deposit and place a bet. If the bet wins, just collect the proceeds. If the bet loses, the sportsbook will make up the loss in the form of free bets up to the amount of the loss on the first bet, generally with a maximum of $1000.
Bay State residents will have plenty of time to place college football futures wagers ahead of the season. Georgia will set out to become the first team ever to take three titles in a row. As the betting odds demonstrate, they have an excellent chance. They will definitely lose QB Stetson Bennett and will almost certainly say goodbye to DT Jalen Carter and CB Kalee Ringo, both rated as 1st round picks in the upcoming NFL draft. They are expected to retain 6 six starters on both offense and defense which is actually much higher than the 2022 champs, which lost 15 players to the NFL. 247 Sports is the premier source for rating recruiting classes each year and they calculate an overall “Team Talent Composite” for each program. Georgia ranked second in 2022. As for the incoming 2023 class, 247 Sports also ranks them second with 26 new commits coming in so far, including two players rated with 5-stars and another twenty with 4-stars. Talent factories like this now lose players to the transfer portal as some top recruits have trouble seeing the field with so many other stars on hand, but the recruiting class and a few incoming transfers offset that.
The Dawgs will also benefit from a paper-thin out of conference slate next season. A scheduled game vs Oklahoma got canceled since the Sooners are set to join the SEC as early as 2024. Georgia does play at Tennessee, but otherwise they project as large favorites in every game up to a potential return to the SEC title game.
If Georgia makes it back to Atlanta, they of course might face their twin superpower, Alabama. The Tide’s “down” season is only one of perspective as they were simply not as great as usual. They topped Georgia in the 2022 talent composite and in their incoming 2023 class so far with seven 5-stars and 20 4-stars.They do lose QB Bryce Young and have no particularly strong replacement on hand. But it is Alabama and Nick Saban, they deserve the benefit of any doubt and the number two betting odds.
Next comes Ohio State. The Buckeyes could have taken out Georgia but for a missed field goal at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. Losing superstar wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr in the third quarter did not help either. He is among 14 starters expected back in 2023, though they do need to replace QB CJ Stroud. They ranked third in the 2022 talent composite but “only” have brought in the seventh ranked 2023 class so far. Ohio State, and really their massive fan base, has not gone big into the new world of Name Image Likeness (NIL) programs that allow the current players and future recruits to earn money. That is almost certainly costing them in the recruiting game and the Buckeyes may drop a bit in future rankings. They are still loaded in 2023 however.
Going further down the list, Texas looks like an intriguing long shot at +2000. They outplayed their middling 8-5 record in 2022 as they lost close games to both Bama and TCU. The SP+ Power rankings had them as eighth best in the country, while Football Power Index (FPI) ranked them seventh. They lose star running back Bijan Robinson to everybody’s NFL Fantasy Dynasty league, but nine starters return on offense and six more are expected back on defense. Plus they bring in QB Arch Manning, 247Sports top incoming recruit as part of the third ranked overall class.
If Caleb Williams stays healthy in the Pac-12 title game, USC possibly wins the game and gets to the CFB playoff. Williams returns next season along with most of their stable of excellent wide receivers, save for Jordan Addison, Their offense will stay explosive, so if Lincoln Riley can figure out how to raise their defensive level from awful to meh, they have a realistic shot at getting to the playoffs.
Speaking of Williams, he gets a chance to defend his Heisman Trophy in 2023. Caesars already has odds up for that too.
Everyone else is +2000 or higher. It is tough to repeat as voters tend to want to give the award to a new player even when the defending Heisman winner comes back to school. Bryce Young barely dropped off statistically in 2022, going from a 167.5 QB rating to a 163.2 and 8.9 yards per attempt to 8.8. He missed a couple games though and Bama did not make the playoffs and he ended up not even getting an invite to New York. Williams has no margin of error.
The lower guys here look interesting. McCord will probably start at QB for Ohio State and put up huge numbers and Daniels could lead an explosive offense on an LSU team that is a fringe title contender. Hartman starred at Wake Forest and will play for Notre Dame next season. They are not at all likely to have an offense on par with the best teams but the Irish name has such cache that a good season could really play.