The LSU Tigers finished 2013 on a 1-5 ATS slump despite going 4-2 SU over that six-game stretch.
They'll need to rely on their signature defense to compete in the SEC, going off at 13/2 to win the conference title.
LSU's offense was one of its strengths in 2013, averaging 35.8 PPG to lead the team to a 10-3 SU and 5-7-1 ATS season. The Tigers will have a whole slew of new faces on offense this season however with QB Zach Mettenberger, leading rusher Jeremy Hill and the team's top three wide receivers all departed to the NFL.
There are some great young players ready to step in at these positions, but there are likely to be some growing pains for the offense over the course of the season.
The Tigers also lost some key players on defense, but there are enough returning starters and prized recruits on that side of the ball for LSU to feel very confident on defense coming into the season. They get tiny Sam Houston State as a Week 2 tuneup.
LSU ranked 15th in the nation in total defense and 21st in scoring defense last year and should be as good or better again in 2014. After trending towards the OVER in 2013 at 8-4-1, LSU's current makeup could be more catered towards the UNDER.
The schedule doesn't do LSU too many favors this season. The Tigers have back to back road games against Auburn and Florida in the middle of their schedule and end the year with a pair of potentially tricky road games at Arkansas and Texas A&M.
LSU does get Alabama at home this season, but the Crimson Tide are 5-2 SU in their last seven games against LSU including a current streak of 3-0 SU and 2-1 ATS in the last three meetings between the two SEC rivals.
LSU is going off at 22/1 to win the national championship and 5/1 to win the SEC West.
The talent is here for the Tigers to find their way into the SEC title game, but trying to top both Auburn and Alabama in the SEC West with so many newcomers on offense will take a special kind of season.
The Ohio State Buckeyes, winners in their last 24 regular season games, will start the 2014 NCAA Football season as heavy 10-11 favorites to emerge as Big Ten champions and a solid 12-1 bet to claim their first national championship since 2002.
After a perfect regular season last year, the Buckeyes fell short of their goal of a conference championship, falling to the Michigan State Spartans, 34-24, in the Big Ten title game. But that victory has not helped the Spartans eclipse the Buckeyes in NCAA Football odds this year.
The Buckeyes are pegged as heavy 2-5 favorites to win the Big Ten East title, edging the Spartans, who sit at 13-5 to win the Big Ten East division. The Spartans also trail the Buckeyes in odds to win both the 2014 conference title with odds of 15-4, and are well back of the pack in College Football FBS Championship futures wagering, with odds of 25-1.
The Wisconsin Badgers start the year looking to rebound from a disappointing 2013 season, which ended with a pair of 31-24 losses to Penn State and South Carolina.
The Badgers, winners of three of the last four Big Ten conference titles, open their season as 6-5 favorites to win the Big Ten West division and a respectable 9-2 to once again claim the conference championship.
The Badgers are closely followed by the Nebraska Cornhuskers, who own odds of 3-2 to win the Big Ten West and 11-2 to win the Big Ten championship. But things don’t look quite as bright for Nebraska in national championship online betting, where they are pegged as distant 66-1 longshots to be crowned national champs for the first time since 1997.
The Michigan Wolverines, who struggled to a 7-6 record in 2013, are an intriguing 9-1 bet to win to the 2014 Big Ten title, while the Iowa Hawkeyes round out the list of favorites with odds of 14-1.
The Northwestern Wildcats top the list of longshots in Big Ten football betting with odds of 40-1, while the Minnesota Golden Gophers sit at 66-1.
The Indiana Hoosiers and Maryland Terrapins are well back of the pack at 100-1, but ahead of the Illinois Fighting Illini, Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Purdue Boilermakers, who round out Big Ten futures betting, each with odds of 200-1, per Bovada.