Updated 2021 CFP National Championship Odds After Return of Big Ten

  • Ohio State opened at +260 to win the college football national championship, only behind Clemson (+210) 
  • SEC teams such as Alabama (+400), Georgia (+1200) and LSU (+3300) all saw their odds lengthen following the Big Ten’s return
  • Justin Fields and the Buckeyes will open their season against Nebraska on Oct. 24

The Big Ten is back. After originally canceling its football season back in August, the league announced it will play an eight-game schedule starting the weekend of Oct. 24, plus a Big Ten championship game on Dec. 19.

What this means for those of us who enjoy betting on college football of course, is that Ohio State is back in the mix for the national championship.

Let’s see where the Buckeyes and the rest of the Big Ten landed on the Bovada board and examine all the movement over the past week.


Team Current Odds Trending Last Week
Clemson +210 +150
Ohio State +260 N/A
Alabama +400 +225
Georgia +1200 +450
Florida +1800 +1200
Oklahoma +2000 +750
Penn State +2800 N/A
LSU +3300 +1600
Texas +3300 +1400
Michigan +4000 N/A
Notre Dame +4000 +2500
Texas A&M +4000 +2800
Wisconsin +4000 N/A
Auburn +6600 +4000
Minnesota +6600 N/A


This year’s national champion would have been affixed with an asterisk if Ohio State (+260) didn’t get to play football this season. But as it stands now, Justin Fields and the Buckeyes should get their rematch against Trevor Lawrence’s Tigers after falling 29-23 in last year’s Fiesta Bowl.

As the creme de la creme of the conference, Ohio State shouldn’t have any trouble with the Big Ten opponents on their eight-game slate (Nebraska, Penn State, Rutgers, Maryland, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan State, Michigan). In fact, oddsmakers don’t see the Nittany Lions (+2800), Wolverines (+4000), Badgers (+4000) or Golden Gophers (+6600) as any kind of a threat to win the national championship.

The Buckeyes return to play caused Clemson’s odds to lengthen slightly from +150 last week to +210. SEC schools such as Alabama (+225 to +400), Georgia (+450 to +1200) and LSU (+1600 to +3300) also saw their odds crater, as suddenly the path to this year’s four-team CFP semifinals becomes much tougher.


Clemson predictably destroyed Citadel 49-0 in Week 3 with Lawrence throwing for three touchdowns in just nine passing attempts. The Tigers’ first real test will come on Oct. 10 against the Miami Hurricanes (+12500), who hung 47 points on No. 24-ranked Louisville on Saturday.

In other action, Notre Dame (+4000) blew out South Florida 52-0 and Oklahoma State (+12500) snuck by Tulsa 16-7.

This upcoming weekend marks the return of SEC football with the Crimson Tide heading to Missouri, Georgia playing at Arkansas and LSU hosting Mississippi State. While no signature games are on the menu for this Saturday, the weekend of Oct. 4 offers juicy matchups between No. 2 Alabama and No. 10 Texas A&M, as well as No. 4 Georgia versus No. 8 Auburn.

Given the majority of conferences have still not started play, there’s not a lot of value to be had on the board. However, it might not be a bad idea to bet on Clemson (+210), Ohio State (+260) or Alabama (+400) as this year’s national championship winner will almost certainly come down to those three schools.

Steve Starr

Steve is one of the many Americans who spends Sunday watching football on the couch and gorging on heart-clogging eats. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.

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