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NCAAF Championship outright odds (As of August 27)
Ohio State: 14.00
The stage was all set for an ultimate showdown: Alabama versus Clemson for the NCAA Football national championship. A showdown never materialized, but a stunning blowout sure did.
The lasting images from the evening of Jan. 7 involved Clemson coach Dabo Swinney and true freshman quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrating a 44-16 victory over the Alabama Crimson Tide for the national championship – a game in which the former entered the contest as a six-point underdog and the latter team was held off the score board for nearly three full quarters.
More than eight months later, a new college football season is upon us.
College Football Betting Breakdown
The Clemson Tigers have the best odds to win the 2020 CFP National Championship, currently 2.70 at PlayNow.com, while the Crimson Tide have outright odds of 3.40.
Alabama has the second best odds, but the largest share of money wagered on the championship market is on the Crimson Tide to redeem itself and capture the national title.
As of Monday, about 41 per cent of money wagered on the national championship outright market was on Alabama, which enters the season as the No. 2-ranked team in the NCAA. The Crimson Tide are currently 33.5-point favourites against Duke on Saturday, with odds of 1.92 to cover the spread at PlayNow.com.
The Tigers open the new season on Thursday. As of Tuesday, they were 37-point favourites at home against Georgia Tech. The home team is 6-2-1 against the spread in their last nine meetings.
The Tigers begin the year as the No. 1-ranked team in the NCAA, which brings a huge set of expectations going into the new season. About 22 per cent of money wagered on the outright market is on Clemson to repeat as national champs – an amount that is significantly lower than the handle on Alabama.
So far, about 63 per cent of total handle is on one of those two teams – Clemson or Alabama – to win the national title. Just over 10 per cent of money is on the Georgia Bulldogs, with outright odds of 9.50 at PlayNow.com.
There is one long shot team garnering interest with bettors: The Oregon Ducks.
The No. 11-ranked Ducks currently have odds of 55.00 to win the national championship at PlayNow.com. About 6.2 per cent of money staked on the outright market is on Oregon to win it all – the fourth highest percentage for that specific bet.
NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt floated that very idea on Twitter earlier this week, calling the Ducks a “dark horse” for one of the two playoff spots behind Alabama and Clemson, and that he wouldn’t be shocked if Oregon won the championship. The odds of Oregon making the four-team playoff are 8.00 at PlayNow.com.
The Ducks, led by senior quarterback Justin Herbert, a potential No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft, open the season Saturday on the road versus No. 16-ranked Auburn. Oregon is currently a 3.5-point road underdog at PlayNow.com.
It’s a similar picture for Heisman Trophy bets, too.
The clear favourites are Clemson sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence and Alabama junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
After ascending to the role of starting quarterback as a true freshman last year, with a 65.2 per cent completion rate, 3,280 passing yards, 30 touchdowns and only four interceptions, Lawrence has the best odds at PlayNow.com to win the Heisman. As of Tuesday, those odds were 3.00.
Tagovailoa’s Heisman odds stood at 3.80, with 44 per cent of money wagered so far on the Alabama QB to claim the award. Compare that to 27 per cent of money bet on Lawrence for the Heisman.
Tagovailoa completed 69 per cent of his passes last season, for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns and only six interceptions, while rushing for five TDs on his own. He was a nominee for the Heisman in 2018, but the award ultimately went to current Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray. Will Tagovailoa go from nominee to winner in 2019? A number of bettors are backing the prospect of it happening.