- BetOnline has updated 2020 CFP National Championship odds with the college football season starting this weekend
- Clemson (+225) is now the slight favorite over Alabama (+275) to win the College Football Playoff
- Michigan (+1000) is the Big Ten’s top title hopeful after Ohio State’s odds (+1400) plunged
Sports Illustrated might have just crowned Alabama as the greatest program in college football’s 150-year history, but bookmakers have installed Clemson as the favorites for this year’s National Championship.
With regular season games getting underway this Saturday, let’s look at recent odds shifts at BetOnline and try to uncover some smart bets for the fast-approaching season.
2020 CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
BEST FAVORITE BET: ALABAMA OR CLEMSON?
Like a couple of thoroughbreds jockeying for position down the stretch, Alabama and Clemson have each pulled ahead as favorites at various times throughout the offseason. It’s hard to give either a program an edge at quarterback as Tua Tagovailoa and Trevor Lawrence are seen as two of the surest bets to win the Heisman.
He very well could be a top-5 pick April, so you had to know Jerry Jeudy was going to make an appearance on the #PFFCollege50. pic.twitter.com/h80TiJGq2m
— PFF College (@PFF_College) August 8, 2019
Similarly, neither are lacking at the skill positions. Travis Etienne ran for 1,658 yards and 24 TDs in his sophomore season for the Tigers while Bama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy announced himself as one of the top players in all of college football after catching 14 touchdowns last season.
Nick Saban’s teams historically have a strong defense, and they’ll need one to top Clemson if Lawrence can improve on a historic rookie year where he tossed 3,280 yards and 30 TDs.
BEST BIG TEN BET: MICHIGAN OR OHIO STATE?
The Buckeyes odds to win the College Football Playoff are now +1400 after being +800 when we last checked in a month ago. And the Wolverines are down to +1000 from +1400.
While I’m all for punishing Ohio State after the school filed for a ridiculous trademark on the word THE, this shift in the odds is difficult to explain.
Shea Patterson believes the possibilities are “limitless” for Michigan’s offense this fall.https://t.co/PP0AZdF129 pic.twitter.com/JwBXqOknu2
— 247Sports (@247Sports) August 15, 2019
Perhaps it’s all the glowing camp reports about how good senior QB Shea Patterson looks in Michigan’s spread attack, or maybe Vegas just doesn’t like how long it’s taking coach Ryan Day to name a starting QB.
Either way, the Buckeyes have won seven straight against Michigan and 16 of the last 18 match-ups.
BEST LONGSHOT BET: TEXAS OR LSU?
Expectations are high in Austin and Baton Rouge with both marquee programs coming off 10-win seasons. However, with LSU playing in Texas on Sept. 7, one of these schools is essentially going to be eliminated from playoff contention before their players are even finished picking courses.
Sam Ehlinger famously declared “We’re baaaaaack” after running in three touchdowns in a 28-21 Sugar Bowl victory over Georgia, but the Longhorns quarterback will have to be even better in his junior year to make up for a defense that lost eight senior starters.
A Longhorns fan his entire life, Sam Ehlinger was born to bring Texas (dare we say?) back https://t.co/IIJxjuAskm pic.twitter.com/lLpxQaYlja
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) August 14, 2019
In stark contrast, the Tigers have eight starters back on defense, including junior All-American safety Grant Delpit. The nation’s best secondary should be able to slow down Ehlinger, but the real question is whether they can hang with Alabama on November 7th. LSU hasn’t stayed within single digits of the Crimson Time since 2014.