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Bet on These Potential First Time Playoff Teams - 2023 College Football

Written by:
Dan Shapiro
Published on:
Aug/06/2022

Texas A&M appears early on to have the best shot of making the 2023 College Football Playoffs as a team that has never been there before.  They are favored to win OVER 8.5 regular season games and have the 5th best odds (24-1) of winning College Football Playoff Championship.

The Texas A&M Aggies

Two seasons ago, the Aggies beat every opponent but Alabama.  Last season, they were the only team to beat Alabama.

And this season they have the talent, combined with a workable schedule, to go all the way.

Heather Dinich of ESPN writes that the Aggies defense must stay focused in light of losing coordinator Mike Elko.  They also need to find a consistent winner at quarterback, one who can stay healthy.

"Over the past four seasons, the Aggies have allowed the third-fewest yards per game in the SEC (334). They allowed 15.9 points per game -- third-fewest in the FBS behind Georgia and Clemson. Former Ole Miss defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin was hired to replace Elko. Offensively, Fisher has a quarterback competition between Haynes King and LSU transfer Max Johnson."

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The Utah Utes

This year's Utes team is favored to win OVER 9.5 regular season games.  That's better than the Texas A&M Aggies odds.

The Utes are a legitimate favorite to win the Pac-12 South and Pac-12 titles again.  They are second in the Pac-12 and 14th nationally in points per game.

They had the best run defense in the Pac-12 last season, allowing just 3.7 yards per carry.

More great news: They return 14 starters after winning 10 games last season.

The Utes did only cover the spread in six games last season.

Their path to the Playoffs might not be as easy as, say, a Texas A&M.

ESPN has the Utes as the second most likely team to make the Playoffs that hasn't already.

Utah can lose its opener against Florida and still get in.  It just won't be as easy.

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The USC Trojans

The only way the Trojans can make it to the Playoffs is to avoid going 0-2 against Utah and Notre Dame.  A loss to Utah and the Trojans still have a shot just as long as they can win against everybody else.

USC is favored to win OVER 9.5 regular season games.

"I don't think (the expectations are) too much," head coach Lincoln Riley said. "I don't. I believe in what we're doing. I believe in what we're teaching. I believe in the people that we have in there."

"Not my place to say whether (the expectations are) fair or not. Like I said in my opening press conference, before even one of these players had come in, I mean, you don't come to USC and you don't come to Los Angeles to do things small. You got to set your sights big."

USC has less than a 50% chance to beat both Utah and Notre Dame, according to ESPN's Football Power Index.  In fact, Gambling911.com has Notre Dame as a -15 point favorite against the Trojans using last year's power ratings.  These will improve dramatically for USC, but Notre Dame should still be a heavy favorite. 

- Dan Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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