The Alabama Crimson Tide remain the favorites in 2021 college football national championship odds, as they were over the past few weeks of the regular season and now into the College Football Playoff.
Their ascension coincided with Clemson’s loss at Notre Dame on November 7 that knocked the Tigers off the top of the odds list for the first time since last year’s national championship game.
Clemson avenged that loss to Notre Dame when the two met in the ACC championship game, which has cemented the Tigers as the No. 2 seed and the No. 2 team on the oddsboard.
Online sportsbook Bovada has updated its 2021 national championship odds for the final four with Alabama the favorite at -180. The Tide are followed closely by Clemson at +235, Ohio State at +550 and Notre Dame at +2200 to round out the oddsboard.
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2020-21 College Football National Championship Odds
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-180|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+550|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+2200|
Odds as of December 22 at Bovada
New to the college football scene? Check out our handy college football betting guide to help you get in the action. Also, keep an eye on our College Football Odds page for the latest up-to-date betting lines.
Clemson Avenges Loss To Notre Dame
You had to go all the way back to October 13, 2017, to find Clemson’s last previous regular-season loss, a narrow 27-24 defeat at Syracuse. The Tigers’ long winning streak was snapped when they lost in double overtime at then-No. 4 Notre Dame 47-40 on November 7.
That didn’t dash Clemson’s College Football Playoff hopes, though, as the Tigers were without standout quarterback Trevor Lawrence due to the coronavirus in that defeat. Lawrence was back in the lineup for the ACC championship game in which Clemson throttled Notre Dame 34-10.
The Heisman Trophy hopeful and projected first overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft had a fantastic season, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 2,753 yards with 22 touchdowns and four interceptions.
It makes sense to see the Tigers No. 2 on the oddsboard, but a rematch from last year’s CFP semifinal with Ohio State looms. In that contest, Clemson needed Lawrence to lead a fourth-quarter comeback with under two minutes remaining to steal victory from the Buckeyes. Could we be in for another classic this time around?
Alabama’s The Team To Beat
Alabama ran the table this year to an 11-0 record, an SEC championship and the top seed in the CFP, and three of the four men listed on the final Heisman Trophy oddsboard call Tuscaloosa home. The Crimson Tide finished the season with the second-best offense in the country and limited six of their last seven opponents to 17 or fewer points.
Quite simply, in many people’s eyes, mine included, this is the most complete and powerful team in the nation. By earning the top seed in the CFP, ’Bama has the luxury of playing Notre Dame, which was exposed in the loss to Clemson while being held to just three points for the majority of the contest. I’m not thrilled at the odds of -180 but it’s essentially the price you’re paying for the Tide to beat the winner of Clemson/Ohio State because the Irish shouldn’t cause too much of a problem.
Ohio State Backs Its Way Into CFP
The Buckeyes are a hard team to get a handle on this season after they played just six games, including a tight Big Ten championship game in which they had to mount a second-half comeback to score a 22-10 triumph over Northwestern. Ohio State had just one victory over a ranked team, then-No. 18 Penn State, which doesn’t look all that great in retrospect since the Nittany Lions went on to finish with a 4-5 record.
In the Big Ten championship game, the team was out of sorts with 22 players missing due to various injuries and positive COVID tests. Quarterback Justin Fields was less than stellar, but the defense stepped up to silence the Wildcats in the second half and Oklahoma transfer running back Trey Sermon took over to lead the Buckeyes to victory.
Was that title game just a whirlwind of missing players, including leading receiver Chris Olave, and the pressure of a must-win situation that had the team playing on edge? Or is this team simply not a CFP team? Time will tell when they hook up with Clemson in the Sugar Bowl as there are familiar faces on both teams from what was an incredible game a year ago. The odds are very intriguing to back OSU; I’m just not sure if it’s a wise investment.
What is a Futures Bet for NCAA Football Teams?
When it comes to big events for any sport, you can bet months in advance. In this case, a futures bet is a wager made on which team will win the national championship. Each week, oddsmakers will update the odds to reflect how a squad is doing. If a team is plagued with injuries, their chances of making it to the NCAA football final game slim down. A surging squad will see their odds skyrocket.
Understanding College Football Championship Odds
When you go to a college football sportsbook, you’ll see the betting lines laid out like this:
If you believe that LSU has the greatest odds of winning the championship, and you bet $50 on them, you’d get a payout of $275 – your original $50 is returned along with your winnings of $225. On the other hand, if you’re looking at Georgia and think they’re going to turn it around and win it all, that same $50 would give you $750 – you get your $50 back, plus your prize of $700. Our odds calculating tool will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.
When you see futures odds that you like, it’s best to jump on them early. As mentioned above, betting sites will adjust the odds as we get closer to bowl season and teams move up and down in the standings.