2016 College Football Championship Odds Overview
Can the Alabama Crimson Tide make a third straight trip to the college football playoffs and repeat as national champs after winning it all in the 2015 NCAAF season? Below we take a look at the early college football odds to win the 2016-17 National Championship and analyze the teams that seemingly offer the best betting value in our online sportsbook.
2016 College Football Championship Odds Overview
Betting on 2016 College Football Championship Odds Favorites
Clemson Tigers (+700)
While I strongly expect Heisman runner-up Deshaun Watson to compile another big season alongside his trustworthy offensive players, I can’t say the same for Clemson’s defense that will have to deal with some key talent losses that included defensive star Shaq Lawson. That said, Clemson’s schedule is pretty manageable, with the trip to Florida State (and the threat of an equally big year by the Seminoles) being the only major challenge in ACC. Should they manage to get out of ACC unscathed as they did last year, or as a one-loss team, then there’s no way the playoff committee will be keeping these Tigers caged away from a second successive appearance in college football playoffs. And, of course, with the lessons learnt from last year’s spirited narrow loss to Alabama in the national Championship Game; Clemson should be a very strong candidate to consider in your picks in 2016-17 National Championship odds.
Alabama Crimson Tide (+700)
In all honesty, I am not enamored by this year’s version of the Crimson Tide. This is mainly based on the fact that Alabama lost its starting quarterback Jake Coker and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry, leaving two major gaps to fill in the team. The defense (both the O and D lines) also lost some key contributers. But then again, Blake Barnett is said to be the most talented quarterback ever recruited at Tuscaloosa in recent year and Nick Saban brought in other solid talents in the offseason so the Crimson Tide may just survive the wave of exited players to the NFL. Oh, I wasn’t that high on Alabama at the start of the 2015 season and I cashed in massively from betting against the Tide in their home loss to Ole Miss, only for the Tide to prove me wrong by getting back on track en route to a championship-winning campaign. And based on that reason, I wouldn’t highly recommend betting against Alabama, lest you suffer like I did at the end of year.
Ohio State Buckeyes (+750)
The Buckeyes lost a number of talents to this year’s NFL Draft, including some early entries, and the schedule in 2016 isn’t the easiest. The two Michigan teams will be a headache to deal with as usual, while a tricky early season non-conference game at Oklahoma awaits Ohio State. Nonetheless, coach Urban Meyer recruited splendidly and has been developing some noteworthy talents to replace those losses and make another run for the national title. With the experience of winning the first ever college football championship in the playoff era back in the 2014-15 season, there are more than enough reasons to believe that the Bucks will be up to the task. This should be particularly be possible with starting quarterback J.T Barrett operating with a very good offensive line and a defense that is capable of making plenty of plays both at home and on the road.
Oklahoma Sooners (+1200)
It comes as no surprise that Sooners are the odds-on favorites to win the Big 12 crown, given TCU looks to take a step back due to its talent hemorrhage in the offseason and Baylor’s coaching shuffle that is predicted to shake up the Bears. Not to mention, the Sooners have a proven offensive group that is led by a Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback in Baker Mayfield and a talent-laden defense. It, however, remains to be seen if the Sooners will be able to finish in the nation’s top-4 and give a good account of themselves in the playoffs after their national championship hopes were dashed in last year’s CFP semi-finals.
Betting on the 2016 College Football Championship Odds Sleepers and Longshots
There are many other up-and-coming teams that offer lucrative betting options as 2016 college football championship odds sleepers and longshots, and you can use your professional discretion to bank on whichever side you like most. On a personal level, though, my biggest sleeper recommendation would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (+1600). Last year, the Fighting Irish compiled a 10-win season and barely missed on the college football playoffs in spite of suffering injuries to their key starters. With two solid returning QBs in Malik Zaire and DeShone Kizer, along with a boatload of talent on both sides of the ball, the Fighting Irish will undoubtedly be a better team, making them good sleepers in the odds to win the 2017 College Football Playoffs.
The Florida State Seminoles (+1300), as we mentioned earlier, will be another team to watch in 2016, especially if they can dethrone the Clemson Tigers from the helm of the ACC.
Other sleepers worth considering in the online NCAA Football betting lines include the Michigan Wolverines (+700), who signed several top talents to fill out the roster and build on the refreshing season compounded by Jim Harbaugh last year. The Baylor Bears (+2500), thanks to their gifted QB Seth Russell-led offense, could also make some noise in the national arena, just in the same way Christian McCaffrey and the Stanford Cardinal (+2500) will keep it interesting from the world of Pac-12 football.
If you are willing to stretch your imagination and belief in college football championship long shots, the furthest I’d recommend is the usual suspects such as LSU (+1100), Tennessee (+1200), Mississippi (+3000), Michigan State (+2800), Georgia (+3000) and Oregon (+4800). Do, however, keep in mind that long shots haven’t had much success in the national arena over the recent years, so cautious optimism is recommended when wagering on such teams.