Ultimate 2018 college football betting guide

Brandon Wimbush and the Fighting Irish are in good position to crash the College Football Playoff. Richard C. Lewis/Icon Sportswire

The 2018 college football season is kicking off, so now is the time to lock down those value bets.

Two of ESPN Chalk's college football betting experts, Phil Steele and Will Harris, are here to help you find value. Additionally, ESPN Analytics expert Seth Walder applies Football Power Index (FPI) and our brand-new Playoff Predictor to see where you might be able to find good returns. They give their best bets in the national title, win total, Heisman, conference title and Game of the Year categories.

For an individual look at how to bet on each of the top 25 teams, according to ESPN College Football Rankings, this season, check out our team-by-team previews.

Note: Odds courtesy of the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook unless otherwise noted, as of Aug. 28.

Best title bets

Washington Huskies (15-1)

Steele: Chris Petersen has his best team ever, including his days at Boise State. Washington has nine returning starters on defense, and I rate the Huskies the fifth-best defense in the country. Jake Browning will also be a Heisman front-runner. Running back Myles Gaskin is back and has three seasons of 1,300 or more rushing yards. I rate their offensive line No. 13 in the country, and they are the eighth-most experienced team in college football. If they get past Auburn in the season opener, the Huskies will be favorites in all of their remaining games.

Walder (to reach the College Football Playoff at +240): Washington finished eighth in FPI last season and ninth in total efficiency. It is returning its head coach and 17 starters, including Browning. Yes, the Huskies have a critical 50/50 game against Auburn in Week 1, but they are the best team in their own conference and host Stanford this year. What more do you need to know? Playoff Predictor gives Washington a 41 percent chance to be in football's final four.