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2015 AAC Football Betting Preview

The Cincinnati Bearcats had to share top honors in the AAC last season, needing seven straight wins against conference rivals to finish deadlocked with the Memphis Tigers and Central Florida Knights at 7-1.

But with the Bearcats moving back to their home at Nippert Stadium for the upcoming campaign they have emerged as +225 favorites to win the AAC title in college football futures betting at BetOnline.

The Tigers closely trail Cincinnati, currently listed at +275 on the AAC odds. Memphis bounced back from early-season struggles a year ago to finish 7-1 before outlasting BYU in the Miami Beach Bowl, eking out a 55-48 double-overtime win over the Cougars.

The veteran-laden Temple Owls are expected to make significant gains in the AAC this year, reflected by their +550 odds at BetOnline. The Owls, whose 4-4 finish last season denied them a bowl game appearance, will have 18 players returning in the upcoming season, further bolstering one of the nation's top defenses.

The Houston Cougars follow closely at +600. The Cougars posted a mediocre 5-3 campaign in 2014, twice losing to conference rivals at home. With a schedule heavy on home games down the stretch, reversing that trend holds the key to their conference title hopes.

Last year's other co-champion, Central Florida, rounds out the top tier of contenders with +750 odds. The Knights will be put to the test early this season with visits to Stanford and South Carolina, and must also travel for October matchups with the Owls and Bearcats.

The East Carolina Pirates, who finished 5-3 in 2014, trail at +900, followed by the Navy Midshipmen, who make their AAC debut sporting respectable +1000 odds at BetOnline.

The Tulane Green Wave sit well back with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at +5000. The South Florida Bulls struggled in their second season in the AAC, finishing 3-5, and sit at a distant +6600, followed by the longshot Connecticut Huskies and SMU Mustangs at +10000.

2015/16 American Athletic Conference Champion

Odds as of July 20 at BetOnline

  • Cincinnati +225
  • Memphis +275
  • Temple +550
  • Houston +600
  • Central Florida +750
  • East Carolina +900
  • Navy +1000
  • Tulane +5000
  • Tulsa +5000
  • South Florida +6600
  • Connecticut +10000
  • SMU +10000

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Central Florida ran the table in the American Athletic Conference last season, going 8-0 in conference play and earning a berth in a BCS bowl with a 12-1 overall mark.

However, the oddsmakers at 5Dimes have them as just co-favorites to repeat as the AAC champions this season.

The odds to win the AAC championship at Bovada have Cincinnati and Central Florida at 7/4, with the Bearcats going 6-2 in conference play and 9-4 overall last season. Helping Central Florida and Cincinnati's cause this year - Louisville (7-1 in the AAC last season) has left for the ACC.

Houston is then at 5/2 on the AAC football betting odds at Bovada, with East Carolina rounding out the true contenders at 7/1 on those betting lines. From there the AAC odds drop to Memphis, SMU and Tulsa and South Florida.

Temple, Tulane, and Connecticut then round out the odds to win the AAC championship as the 66/1 longshots at Bovada.

2014 Odds to Win the AAC Championship at Bovada as of August 18:
Central Florida 7/4
Cincinnati 7/4
Houston 5/2
East Carolina 7/1
Memphis 20/1
SMU 33/1
Tulsa 33/1
South Florida 50/1
Connecticut 66/1
Temple 66/1
Tulane 66/1

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The remnants of the depleted Big East decided to joined forces with a number of defections from Conference USA to form the American Athletic Conference. It would be hard to still call this new conference a major, but a few of the teams could have an impact in the national polls. The following is a look at all 10 teams that make up the 2013 AAC and their odds to win the BCS Championship.

Louisville (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada 22/1)

The Cardinals are clearly the class of the AAC and a legitimate Top 10 team if they can live up to all the expectations. Last season they went 11-2 straight-up but they were hard to bet on at 6-7 against the spread. The total went OVER in four of their last six games.

Cincinnati (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada 250/1)

Cincinnati is also coming off a successful season with a 10-3 record SU and a highly-profitable 9-3 record ATS. The Bearcats’ defense ended the season ranked 14th in the nation in points allowed, giving up an average of 18.5 points a game.

Rutgers (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada 300/1)

Rutgers claimed a share of the final Big East title with a 5-2 record in conference play and it went 9-4 SU overall. Its defense was one of the best in the country and held opponents to an average of just 14.2 points a game. The Scarlet Knights went 7-6 ATS and the total stayed UNDER in nine of 12 games.

South Florida (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada 500/1)

The Bulls stumbled to a 3-9 record in 2012 and they were a costly 3-8-1 ATS. The total stayed UNDER in seven of 11 games, which is easy to see considering the offense averaged just 20.6 points a game.

Temple (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

Temple joined the Big East last season and went 2-5 in conference play and 4-7 overall. It was 4-7 ATS as well and the total went OVER in six of 10 games. The Owls' 201.3 rushing yards a game last season were almost twice as many as their passing yards a game.

Central Florida (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

Central Florida comes over from C-USA as the East Division champions after going 7-1 in conference play. It was 10-4 SU overall but just 7-7 ATS. The total went OVER in 10 of their 14 games.

SMU (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

The Mustangs are another defection from C-USA. They closed out last season 5-3 in conference play and 7-6 SU overall. They were 8-5 ATS and an impressive 7-1 ATS at home. The total stayed UNDER in three of their last four games.

Memphis (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

Memphis closed out its run in C-USA with a 4-4 record in conference play but it was 0-4 SU in non-conference play. The offense averaged 24.2 points a game while the defense allowed an average of 30.3 points a game. The Tigers went 4-2 ATS at home last season and 7-5 ATS overall.

Houston (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

Houston was another middle-of-the-road team in C-USA. It still has one of the most potent passing attacks that finished 2012 ranked 11th in the nation with an average of 328.4 yards a game. The Cougars went 5-7 both SU and ATS last year.

Connecticut (Odds to win BCS Championship at Bovada OFF)

The Huskies went 5-7 SU (4-6-2 ATS) last year but only managed to win two games SU in the Big East. Their defense held opponents to an average of 19.8 points a game, but their offense only averaged 17.8 points. Given these numbers it is little wonder the total stayed UNDER in eight of 12 games.