Back in January, the Alabama Crimson Tide narrowly missed out on the team’s fifth national championship of the Nick Saban era, falling 35-31 to the Clemson Tigers on a last-second touchdown from Deshaun Watson.
But with Watson now competing for an NFL starting job as a Houston Texan, and Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts back for his sophomore season – online sportsbook Bovada likes the Tide to roll once again.
According to the latest futures odds posted by the sports betting site, Alabama (+240) enters the 2017-18 college football season in a familiar position. As the heavy favorites to win yet another National Championship title, the Tide currently offer odds that are nearly three times better than any other team in the land.
That lofty placement makes perfect sense, as Alabama – the Associated Press (AP) top-ranked team in the country – has reached the National Championship game in five of its last eight seasons under Saban’s strict guidance. And after losing the big game for the first time, Saban is no doubt looking to make this year’s regular season his personal revenge tour.
He’ll have a tough test right out of the gate too, as Alabama takes on the AP’s third-ranked team Florida State (+750) to open the year. As one of only four teams currently offering odds better than 16 to 1, the Seminoles are also led by a sophomore quarterback in Deondre Francois.
A loss for either Alabama or Florida State won’t end the season immediately, but it will dampen each team’s respective National Championship odds considerably.
The AP’s second- and fourth-ranked teams are Ohio State (+650) and USC (+600), respectively, but Bovada has their placement on the futures board flipped at the moment.
The Trojans opened last season with a humiliating 52-6 defeat at home to Alabama, before losing two of their next three games. First-year head coach Clay Helton held the course, however, leading USC to eight straight wins to close the regular season. That momentum, along with a rousing 52-49 victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl, has propelled the perennial title hopeful back to USC’s usual perch near the top of the rankings.
As for the Buckeyes, an impressive 11-1 regular season campaign came crashing down in the Fiesta Bowl playoff semifinal, where Ohio State was dismantled 31-0 by Clemson. But like Saban, head coach Urban Meyer isn’t one to rest on his laurels after a big loss, and yet another highly touted recruiting class should put the Buckeyes on the rebound.
Other than that fearsome foursome of favorites, title odds for this season remain as open as ever.
With no less than eight teams offering respectable odds between 16 to 1 and 28 to 1 – Oklahoma (+1600), Penn State (+1600), Michigan (+1600), Auburn (+2000), Washington (+2000), LSU (+2500), Georgia (+2500), and Clemson (+2800) – the field includes several legitimate contenders.
And along with those teams, dozens more can be backed at longshot odds – so bettors can take their luck on finding this season’s Cinderella story after Washington snuck into the College Football Playoff last year.
For a full rundown of all 56 teams offering odds on the college football National Championship, check the table below:
|Team||National Title Odds on 8/28|