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P.J. Fleck and Minnesota, off an 8-6 season and Quick Lane Bowl win over Georgia Tech, return a talented roster led by WR Tyler Johnson. (AP)
College football is a chalky sport. Parity tends to be found in the middle class. The favorites usually win the championships. For some teams, though, simply being in contention late in the season or reaching the conference title game is a huge accomplishment. Here are 6 teams that could surprise in 2019.
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    UCF again heads list of Group of Five
    CFB - Central Florida again shapes up as the nation's top Group of Five program heading into the season. Just not by nearly as wide a margin as the last couple of years. Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush will take over for McKenzie Milton as the Knights' starting QB. Cincinnati, Boise State, and Appalachian State are all poised to take the throne as the nation's Cinderella.
    Clemson, Alabama sit atop CFB throne
    CFB - Clemson and Alabama have turned college football largely into a two-team show with blowouts wins, conference domination and national championships. As such the oddsmakers have installed the Tigers and Crimson Tide as the heavy 2019 championship favorites with 12/5 and 13/5 odds respectively. Georgia is the only other team with sub-10 to 1 odds.
    Broncos, Falcons kick off NFL season
    NFL - The NFL preseason kicks of Thursday night in Canton, OH with the traditional Hall of Fame game. As always with this game, it is bettor beware. Matt Ryan and (new Denver QB) Joe Flacco won't be playing, as will numerous other starters. Preseason betting often comes down to coaching and motivation. Atlanta has shown very little of it in the month of August recently as they've dropped 8 straight preseason games ATS.
    Braves' Teheran looks to cool Nationals
    MLB - From June to mid-July, the Braves surged to the NL East lead by winning 28 of 37 games. They have cooled off since and watched the division rival Nationals go on a run of their own. Washington is 25-11 since the middle of June and has closed to within 4.5 games of the division leaders. The Nat's are contenders despite owning one of the league's worst bullpens in 2019. (6.01 ERA, 1.547 WHIP)

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