The Alabama Crimson Tide has held a strangehold on the college football world for the last decade-plus. Nick Saban’s bunch has won six of the last 13 national championships, and the legendary head coach may have his most talented team ever ready to take the field in 2022-23.
But sports bettors at a Las Vegas sportsbook are more interested in a different powerhouse this season.
USC, now led by former Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley, is reportedly receiving more money to win the national title than any other team in the country at SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas. Are these bettors on to something?
Bettors are loading up on USC at a Las Vegas sportsbook
USC has been a shell of its old self over the past few years. The Trojans have only played in one bowl game in the last four years, and they haven’t won a national title since the 2004 season. But after nabbing Riley and star quarterback Caleb Williams over the offseason, USC is finally on its way back to national relevancy.
Sports bettors at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas have high hopes for the new-look Trojans, as David Purdum of ESPN recently reported USC is the most popular national title bet at the popular sportsbook.
“America’s team,” Ed Salmons, an oddsmaker for the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas, told ESPN. “They’re our biggest loser in the futures book.”
Purdum reported the rush of futures bets has dropped USC’s title odds from 40-1 down to 25-1 at Westgate.
“If they go out and roll a couple of teams early, the public will be all over them every week,” Salmons told ESPN. “Sometimes when you put all these guys from different teams, it just takes a while. But if they happen to click from day one, absolutely, the public will be on them.”
Is USC a foolish bet or a smart risk to take?
I understand the hype surrounding USC this season. Riley went 55-10 in his five years at Oklahoma, and the Sooners had one of the highest-scoring offenses in the country every season. Williams, the sophomore QB who transferred from Oklahoma to USC, will enter the season with the third-lowest odds to win the Heisman Trophy. The Trojans also added former Pittsburgh wide receiver Jordan Addison, who won the Biletnikoff Award last year.
This should be the most explosive offense USC fans have seen in years, but winning the national title in Year 1 seems a bit farfetched. For one, it will take a few seasons for Riley to build a title contender with his own recruits. Alabama also looks like an unstoppable force this season with Bryce Young running the offense and projected No. 1 pick Will Anderson tormenting QBs on the other side of the ball.
USC will be in the College Football Playoff soon, but it may not happen in 2023.