College football: How opt-outs are affecting betting

Kenny Pickett and Pittsburgh will try to pass the season's biggest test to this point on Saturday against Clemson. Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Betting on bowl games has always been a rather fraught experience. There have always been extra variables to worry about -- teams losing their rhythm with two- to four-week breaks, players and teams dealing with, "Do I really care about being here right now?" issues, teams led by interim coaches, etc.

In the 2020s, however, you also have to deal with the impact of departures via either opt-out (for draft prospects who don't want to get hurt in their final game) or transfer. As power conference teams -- teams more likely to boast draft prospects -- begin to show up on the bowl dance card, let's rank the teams most likely to be impacted by big absences, be they of the opt-out, transfer or injury variety.

(Note: This list is in reaction to known opt-outs only. Many potential opt-outs have not yet made their intentions publicly known. If receivers such as Ohio State's Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson or Penn State's Jahan Dotson were to opt out, it would obviously have a huge impact. We're also going to focus on departing players, not coaches.)

(Note 2: Texas A&M was tops on this list before having to pull out of Gator Bowl)

1. Pittsburgh Panthers