If you ever get the hankering to set some of your money on fire, Homerism suggests you investigate sports future bets. Unless you really get off on the thrill of mocking the gods of commerce, futures offer a fun way to blow your greenbacks on some of the worst risk-adjusted returns around.
Let's keep in mind that there are literally no good bets when it comes to college football futures. So, if you're going to do it, why not dare to be great?
A couple national championship longshots for to consider:
As I mentioned in my preseason rankings, the Badgers always manage to seduce me in the preseason, only to fall short. Why should 2010 be any different?
At this price, however, Wisconsin does offer decent value. While the defense does have some holes to be filled, the O appears ready to grind it out in classic Midwestern fashion. Few defenses will be able to go toe to toe with the combo of thundering running back John Clay and one of the best offensive lines in the country.
Most importantly, circumstances are working in the Badgers' favor. They should start in the top 10 of the preseason polls. Additionally, Wisconsin gets Ohio State at Camp Randall this year.
Look, I don't like Chip Kelly's quarterback situation any more than you do. The Ducks' national championship dreams took a big hit when quarterback Jeremiah Masoli was suspended for the 2010 season.
Yet, Masoli wasn't the only reason to like UO. The Ducks still have plenty of explosive offensive weapons and an experienced D.
My guess is that Oregon would have been somewhere around +1500 prior to the Masoli suspension. As such, I think the drop in the odds on the Ducks may be a bit severe.
*North Carolina (+6000)
UNC coach Butch Davis has assembled a bodacious defense in Chapel Hill. Tony Pauline of TFYDraft.com rates five Tar Heel defenders in the top 40 prospects for next year's draft. That group includes junior defensive end Robert Quinn, Pauline's top overall player.
If the defense lives up to billing, it should be enough to keep the Heels competitive in every game. Provided Carolina's offense can take a few steps forward, UNC has the chops to contend for the whole thing.
The big downside here is a rough schedule featuring LSU, Cincinnati and Rutgers in the non-conference slate to go along with ACC roadies at Miami and Florida State.
If you prefer prolific offense to a stingy D, the Razorbacks should be your team this year. (Consider the Hogs the anti-UNC.)
With possibly the best quarterback in the country, Ryan Mallett, piloting coach Bobby Petrino's ship, points a plenty are coming to Fayetteville this fall. Whether or not Arky can get some stops will determine if this is an SEC championship-caliber team.
If you do invest in Arkansas, you'll know what your returns are going to look like early on–the Razorbacks play Georgia and Alabama in back-to-back weeks in September.