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College Football National Championship: Is Clemson Poised to Repeat?

2020 National Championship Odds

The 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship Game has just wrapped up so why not look ahead at what’s in store for the 2020 College Football Playoff National Championship Game and who’s going to be there. As you can probably assume, after a 44-16 beatdown of Alabama, the Clemson Tigers at +175 top all other teams to win next year’s title, while the team they beat, the Crimson Tide, follow suit at +250.

Bovada has Clemson to win back-to-back titles at +175, followed by Alabama at +250, Georgia at +550, and Ohio State and Penn State at +1200 to round out the top five teams on the oddsboard. It should be noted that Clemson opened at +600 but a lot of money poured in on it shortly after winning and it has dropped to +175.

Can The Tigers Repeat as Champions?

Clemson put on a show in the 2019 championship game, running up the score to a 44-16 triumph over Alabama. The Tigers will have a little bit of a different look heading into the 2019-20 season as they are likely to lose three of their defensive linemen who absolutely terrorized opponents this year, limiting them to the third-fewest rushing yards and the second-fewest points per game. Clelin Ferrell, Christian Wilkins and Dexter Lawrence are expected to be drafted in the first round of the upcoming NFL draft.

But the ace in the hole for Clemson is the return of quarterback Trevor Lawrence and running back Travis Etienne. Lawrence was remarkable in the victory over Alabama as he threw for 347 yards with three touchdowns and on the season, he tossed 3,280 yards with 30 touchdowns and four interceptions. Meanwhile, Etienne had the fourth-most rushing yards in the nation at 1,658 and led college football with 24 touchdowns. At +175 before the season is even upon us still seems a little crazy but with Lawrence and Etienne carrying the load, Clemson is in good hands and crazier things have happened.

You can’t count out the Crimson Tide

Alabama has appeared in each of the last four national championship games, splitting those games 2-2, falling to Clemson 35-31 in 2017, and 44-16 in 2019. However, it also topped Clemson 45-40 in 2016 and beat Georgia 26-23 in overtime in 2018. No doubt about it, Nick Saban will enter the 2019-20 season with another powerhouse team that will be near the top of the AP poll rankings for the entire year and perhaps setting the table for yet another Alabama/Clemson championship game.

Similar to the Tigers, the Crimson Tide are returning their quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, who finished second in the Heisman Trophy voting. The Hawaii native had the fifth-most passing yards in the nation at 3,966 while throwing the second-most touchdowns at 43 and throwing only six interceptions. Additionally, Alabama is bringing in three five-star recruits in offensive tackle Evan Neal, defensive end Antonio Alfano and running back Trey Sanders. Although it may not be super exciting for fans that we may see another repeat in the national championship game between Clemson and Alabama, at +250 the Crimson Tide will be in the mix and there’s some value.

Here’s a look at the odds to win the 2020 college football championship:

2020 National Championship odds
PlayerOdds
Clemson+175
Alabama+250
Georgia+550
Ohio State+1200
Penn State+1200
Michigan+1400
Auburn+2500
Miami+2500
Texas+2500
Wisconsin+2500
LSU+3000
Michigan State+3000
Oklahoma+3000
Washington+3000
Florida+4000
Florida State+4000
Notre Dame+4000
Texas A&M+4000

Odds as of January 8 at Bovada

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Monday night will mark the culmination of another college football season and will also give us our third Alabama vs Clemson national championship game in the last four years. It is also the fourth consecutive season with a playoff meeting between these two powerhouses. 

It’s interesting to note that these schools split their first two championship encounters while Alabama eliminated Clemson in the semifinal a year ago. Each time, the losing team was the No. 1 seed entering the game; Alabama is the No. 1 seed heading to Santa Clara. 

The Crimson Tide and the Tigers have been the two front-runners for the entire season with Alabama sitting atop the odds table wire-to-wire since their national championship win a year ago. 

Did You Make Your Bet at the Right Time? 

Let’s look back on the history of the futures odds at Bovada to see where you could have gotten the most value on these teams, or better yet, if you actually did!

2018-19 College Football Champion Odds
OddsAlabamaClemson
January 3, 2019-210+175
December 17, 2018-200+280
November 27, 2018-260+350
November 20, 2018-250+350
November 12, 2018-265+450
November 6, 2018-265+500
October 30, 2018-200+550
October 23, 2018-200+500
October 16, 2018-185+650
October 9, 2018-200+750
October 2, 2018-125+550
September 25, 2018-115+500
September 18, 2018+185+500
September 11, 2018+210+500
September 4, 2018+225+600
June 15, 2018+175+600

The best time to bet Clemson was the week of October 9, just days after the Tigers dominated Wake Forest 63-3. It doesn’t exactly make sense that their odds got longer after that performance, but hey, the numbers don’t lie. After they defeated NC State coming out of the bye, their odds began to stumble lower each week. 

Alabama waltzed through its first three games but after a dominant win over Texas A&M in Week 4, oddsmakers moved Alabama below EVEN money, a place the Tide have remained ever since. In recent weeks, the best value on the defending champs came after Georgia exposed them as human and the futures line moved to -200 in mid-December. 

How Do These Teams Stack Up? 

Clemson and Alabama only have one mutual opponent this season, Texas A&M.

Clemson went to College Station in Week 2 and escaped with a 28-26 victory while losing against the -12 spread. Notably, Kelly Bryant was the starting quarterback for the Tigers in that game while Travis Etienne only had eight carries. The Aggies had 501 yards of total offense, including 430 in the air. 

The Aggies went to Tuscaloosa two weeks later, and while they managed 393 total yards and put 23 points on the board, Tua Tagovailoa was just too much for the defense to handle. Tua passed for 387 of the 524 total yards accumulated by the Bama offense, including four passing touchdowns.

For a more detailed analysis of this game, head over to our National Championship Game Center.

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Just a few days out from the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, we are seeing that bettors are putting more money on underdogs than accepting the juice on Alabama.

When the top four seeds were announced, Alabama’s odds to win were as low as -280 to win the championship. Since that time, the odds for the underdogs have moved lower while the Alabama line has moved a little closer to EVEN. 

On December 29, Alabama and Oklahoma play in the Orange Bowl while Clemson and Notre Dame play in the Cotton Bowl. 

With just four teams left on the futures board, who is the best option to back from a betting perspective? Oddsmaker Bovada released updated odds today.

Is Alabama The Best Bet? 

I actually don’t think so. There’s very little value at -200. If you’re inclined to bet Alabama to win the national championship, I’d suggest betting their games individually rather than on this juice-laden number.  

In fact, the Crimson Tide looked fallible in their last few outings, requiring bursts in the second half of games against The Citadel, Auburn and Georgia. A slow start against Oklahoma in the semifinal could put them in an inescapable hole. 

Oklahoma has proven it’s able to put up 50 points almost at will against any opponent, leading the nation with an average of 49.5 points per game and an average of 578 scrimmage yards. 

Clemson Odds Creeping Closer to Even

The Clemson Tigers see their odds nearly as low as they’ve been all season at +280. A tricky situation here as if they play Alabama in the final, bettors are likely to get a better price in the single-game moneyline than +280 to win two games here. 

If Oklahoma upsets Alabama, then bettors will be looking at a Clemson team that is favored in the national final and there will certainly be no moneyline value in that matchup for the Tigers. 

So my advice? If you think Alabama beats Oklahoma, wait on the Tigers bet until the championship game. If you think Oklahoma is going to beat Alabama and then lose to Clemson, go ahead and lock in Clemson at +280. 

Notre Dame and Oklahoma Both +1100

The likelihood of Notre Dame getting past Clemson is extremely low in my opinion. The Tigers have been near unstoppable since Week 5 while Notre Dame hasn’t exactly been lights-out. For example, the Irish beat Pittsburgh by just five points – the same Panthers team that Clemson destroyed in the ACC championship. I wouldn’t recommend a bet on Notre Dame. Full stop.

Oklahoma is a little more interesting. Everybody knows that the Sooners defense is the worst among remaining teams – by a country mile. But their offense and Kyler Murray also understand that and just outscore every opponent they’ve played. They avenged their only loss of the season in the Big 12 championship and will be relishing the underdog role against Alabama. If you’re looking for a long shot, the Sooners are the play.

Below you can find the full odds table for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship:

2018-19 College Football Champion Odds
TeamCurrent OddsPreseason Odds
Alabama-200+175
Clemson+280+600
Notre Dame+1100+4000
Oklahoma+1100+2500

Odds as of December 17 at Bovada

Archived Articles

In less than a week, we will know the four teams in the College Football Playoff, but for now, the odds table is still giving a fighting chance to six teams in the FBS. As they have been since Day 1, the Alabama Crimson Tide (-260) remain the odds-on favorites to win the national championship. You can also pencil Clemson and Notre Dame into the playoff, so that leaves three teams vying for one final playoff spot.

Who Gets the Final Playoff Spot? 

Georgia and Oklahoma both seem to have their playoff fates in their own hands to an extent, while Ohio State will likely need some help to slide into the fourth spot. Each team has one loss this season, so if any team loses its championship game, you can likely scratch it off the list. 

Oklahoma, which has an unbelievable offense with Kyler Murray, will get a chance for revenge against a Texas team that handed the Sooners their only loss this season on a walk-off field goal. 

Georgia, which was ranked in the top four for most of the year, has seemed to readjust since a midseason blowout loss to LSU. A win against rival Alabama in the SEC championship would make it tough to deny the Bulldogs a spot in the playoff.

Ohio State, on the other hand, had a very up-and-down season before the beatdown on Michigan in The Game. It’s my opinion that the Buckeyes will need Alabama and Texas to win in order to claim a playoff berth. 

Why I Like A Clemson Futures Bet

Alabama is good, but are they unbeatable? That’s what the odds would have you believe and, frankly, the Crimson Tide have responded very well to limited adversity this season. While I’m not convinced that they won’t win the national championship, I think we need to take a long, hard look at Clemson as a very viable opponent and potential winner.

At +350, I am considering making a late-season futures bet on a Clemson Tigers team that is scoring over 50 points per game and allowing just 12 points per game since the beginning of October. Sure, they play in the ACC and Alabama plays in the SEC, I get it, but the Tigers have an outstanding defensive line, a proven secondary, one of the top running backs in the nation with Travis Etienne and a stud freshman QB in Trevor Lawrence. 

The only question to ask before making this bet is: Will the moneyline price heads-up with Alabama in a national championship game be better than +350? It just might. 

Below you can find the full odds table for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship:

2018-19 College Football Champion Odds
TeamCurrent OddsPreseason Odds
Alabama-260+175
Clemson+350+600
Notre Dame+900+4000
Georgia+1200+750
Ohio State   +1500+700
Oklahoma+1800+2500

Odds as of November 27 at Bovada

Archived Articles

With one week left on the regular-season schedule in college football, the Clemson Tigers have closed the betting gap, albeit marginally, between themselves and the betting favorite Alabama Crimson Tide. Alabama remains the odds-on favorite at -250 odds to repeat as national champion. 

Alabama was caught off guard by The Citadel this past week, but cleaned it up at halftime and got back to its usual dominance in scoring 40 points in the second half. At -250, a bet on the Crimson Tide doesn’t offer a great deal of value at this point and we are largely unaware of how they will react against the better teams come playoff time. 

Clemson Tigers +350

As the weeks progress, it becomes clear that this year’s Clemson Tigers team shouldn’t be overlooked when it comes to a potential national championship win. In fact, Clemson has the No. 1 scoring defense in the FBS and has been completely dominant since making Trevor Lawrence the No. 1 quarterback over Kelly Bryant. 

The Tigers are my favorite futures bet. Do I think they beat Alabama? I honestly don’t know, but I think it would be a great game and there is a whole lot more value in betting Clemson.

Michigan and Notre Dame Still Fighting for a Playoff Spot

Of course, in order to win this futures bet, a team has to be among the four teams in the College Football Playoff and while it looks like Notre Dame is safe, Michigan is far from a lock among the top four with a date against Ohio State this week in order to get to the Big Ten championship. 

Oklahoma and Georgia are still lurking in the weeds, but their paths to get past Notre Dame and Michigan are difficult at best. Much more will be known after the final week of play. 

Below you can find the full odds table for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship:

2018-19 College Football Champion Odds
TeamCurrent OddsPreseason Odds
Alabama-250+175
Clemson+350+600
Michigan  +650+1600
Notre Dame+700+4000
Georgia+1800+750
Oklahoma+2000+2500
Ohio State   +4000+700
Washington State+12500+60000
West Virginia+15000+8000
Central Florida+15000+20000

Odds as of November 20 at Bovada

Archived Articles

Alabama answered the “Yeah, but they haven’t been tested yet” critics with a resounding win over the LSU Tigers in Baton Rouge last week and followed it up with a shutout this week. Alabama’s odds hold steady entering Week 12 at -265.

There’s plenty of Alabama haters out there who blame Alabama’s schedule and the James Carville SEC bias theory for why Alabama is the top team in the nation. But there’s a simple fact: nobody can touch them on the football field.

Clemson +450

The one team that might be able to put a crimp into a perfect season for the Crimson Tide is Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers. The Tigers are crushing opponents since Trevor Lawrence has taken over full time at QB. Clemson has the No. 5 scoring offense and the No. 2 scoring defense in the FBS and will be a formidable opponent if it can earn a matchup with ’Bama.

Does it Make Sense to Bet On Anyone Else? 

It’s tough. Clemson and Alabama have set themselves apart from the crowd and I think Notre Dame, while a nice story, isn’t nearly at the level of the top two schools. I don’t like the Irish at +650 at all. 

In fact, I prefer Michigan at +650, but to be honest, I wouldn’t bet on either to upend the two front-runners. I’ll give Michigan credit, though. The Wolverines looked really good against Penn State as Trace McSorley was essentially a non-factor in that game. 

Maybe the smartest play, if you want to fade Alabama, is a field bet against them, which can be found at some books. 

Below you can find the full odds table for the 2019 College Football Playoff National Championship:

2018-19 College Football Champion Odds
TeamCurrent OddsPreseason Odds
Alabama-265+175
Clemson+450+600
Notre Dame+650+4000
Michigan  +650+1600
Georgia+1800+750
Ohio State   +2000+700
Oklahoma+2800+2500
West Virginia+6000+8000
Central Florida+15000+20000
Washington State+15000+60000

Odds as of November 12 at Bovada

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