Our long national nightmare is almost over, as the start of the college football season is only a few weeks away. So our thoughts now turn not only to the big games coming up on opening weekend, but also to the 2017 national championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark and which teams might hold some betting value.
The Betting Favorites
Defending national champion Alabama tops the updated title odds board at a price of +600 (bet $100 to win $600). The Crimson Tide overcame an early-season loss to Ole Miss last year, rolling to another national title with a 45-40 victory over Clemson in the championship game. This year, though, Alabama must replace several key people, including its defensive coordinator, and it must play several tough games on the road.
Fellow SEC West contender LSU comes next at +750. The Tigers struggled down the stretch last year and nearly parted ways with their head coach, Les Miles. But they return a ton of talent this year, including Heisman Trophy candidate running back Leonard Fournette, and they get Alabama at Death Valley on November 5.
The Clemson Tigers rate as the third choice on the board at +850. Clemson came within one score of a national championship last year, and its own Heisman candidate, quarterback Deshaun Watson, has a chance to carry the Tigers back to the College Football Playoff this season. However, the game that might decide Clemson’s fate comes on the road at Florida State on October 29.
A pair of Big Ten teams, Ohio State and Michigan, follow at +900. The Buckeyes narrowly missed the CFP last year, thanks to a loss to Michigan State, but they only return six starters, the fewest in all of FBS. The Wolverines, meanwhile, appear geared up for a run at something big in their second season under head coach Jim Harbaugh. However, to win the Big Ten, Michigan will probably have to beat Ohio State in Columbus on November 26.
The Florida State Seminoles follow at +1000 on the odds to win the national championship. FSU stumbled to three defeats last year but returns 16 starters for this season, and, as mentioned above, gets Clemson at home for what might be the game of the year in the ACC.
Tennessee hasn’t been part of the national championship conversation in almost 20 years. However, with 17 starters back from a team that went 9-4 last year, the Vols rate as the seventh choice on the board at +1200.
Oklahoma made the CFP last year before losing to Clemson in a national semifinal, and the Sooners will go off this year as a favorite to win the Big 12 again at the sportsbooks. And if they win the Big 12, they’ll probably make it back to the CFP. The Sooners are getting +1400 odds to win the national title.
Notre Dame nearly made the CFP last year, and even with a number of holes to fill, the Irish rate in the top 10 on the national championship board for this season at +2000.
And Stanford might have been the team most deserving of a CFP berth last year that didn’t get one. This year, led by Heisman runner-up Christian McCaffrey, the Cardinal are the 10th choice on the board at +2500.
Championship Long Shots
Elsewhere, Oregon and USC out of the Pac-12 are both listed at +3300 to win the national title. TCU and resurgent Washington are at +4000. Last year’s fourth CFP qualifier, Michigan State, is at +5000, and defending Big Ten West champion Iowa, Oklahoma State and defending AAC champion Houston are all lined at +6600.
ACC schools Miami and North Carolina sit at +10000, with Nebraska at +15000 and Washington State back at +20000.
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