College Football National Championship Odds Update
With championship week in the books, the College Football Playoff landscape is officially set. Things worked out quite conveniently for the playoff committee; had the Utah Utes defeated the Oregon Ducks to finish the season as a dominant one-loss Pac-12 champion, or had Georgia upset the LSU Tigers in the SEC Championship Game, the committee might have had some tough discussions on its hands.
But Utah and Georgia ducked out of the playoff conversation with losses, allowing Oklahoma to claim the final spot. Here’s how this year’s National Championship odds shake out at the Bovada sportsbook:
No. 1 LSU Tigers (+120 Odds)
The LSU Tigers are clearly deserving of the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff and the best odds to win the title. Across their brilliant 13-0 SU and 8-3-2 ATS campaign, the Tigers picked up five wins over teams that were ranked in the top 10 when LSU faced them, including road wins over the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Joe Burrow looks unstoppable. The senior sensation finished the regular season second in the nation in passing yards with 4,715 and first in touchdown passes with an SEC-record 48, all while throwing only six interceptions. Burrow is a virtual lock for the Heisman Trophy and might have played his way into being the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL draft.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (+205 Odds)
The Ohio State Buckeyes finally showed some signs of vulnerability down the stretch, narrowly defeating the Penn State Nittany Lions 28-17 and the Wisconsin Badgers 34-21 in the Big Ten Championship Game. Still, despite a 1-3 ATS run over their last four games, the Buckeyes enter the playoffs with a 13-0 SU and 9-4 ATS record and an average margin of victory of 36.2 points per game.
No. 3 Clemson Tigers (+205 Odds)
The defending champion Clemson Tigers are back in the College Football Playoff for the fifth straight season. The biggest knock on Clemson is the team’s cakewalk of a schedule through the ACC, but the Tigers can’t control the strength of their conference foes; and they thoroughly dismantled their schedule with an average margin of victory of 35.9 points per game.
Clemson is a proven commodity with a 28-0 SU and 19-9 ATS record over its last 28 games. And with Dabo Swinney selling his team on the idea that they are being disrespected, they enter the playoffs with a chip on their shoulder despite being an undefeated defending champion.
No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (+1200 Odds)
It may be a bit jarring to see the Sooners going off at +1200 in a four-team field, but they are the clear outlier in this group. While LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson were dominant all season long, Oklahoma went just 5-8 ATS including a 1-5 ATS record down the stretch that included multiple close calls. The Sooners are a deserving playoff team as a 12-1 SU Big-12 champion, but overcoming both LSU (as 13-point underdogs) and the winner of the Ohio State vs. Clemson clash is a long shot appropriately indicated by these betting odds.