The 2021 College Football season gets underway on Saturday, so now is the best time for SI Gambling to take a look at the latest betting NCAA Football Championship Futures'. Last season, college football fans witnessed the Alabama Crimson Tide post an undefeated 13-0 season, en route to a National Championship title for the 18th time in school history.
Oddsmakers again believe in Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, installing Alabama as the favorites (+275) to win the National Championship for the second consecutive season.
Let's dive in and see who is being offered at the top contenders, as well as which longshots have witnessed significant steam in offseason wagering leading up to Saturday's kickoff of the 2021 season!
Alabama Crimson Tide (+275)
Alabama was dominant on the gridiron in 2020, posting an undefeated 13-0 (9-4 ATS) season that culminated in the school’s 18th national championship. The Crimson Tide were 8-2 ATS during the regular season but failed to cover as massive 16.5-point favorites in their 52-46 win in the SEC Championship over Florida. In the College Football Semifinal, Alabama again came up short in covering as 18.5-point favorites in a 31-14 victory over Notre Dame. However, the Crimson Tide closed out the season in style as 9.5-point favorites in a 52-24 blowout win over Ohio State in the National Championship.
Although the school has lost quarterback Mac Jones, running back Najee Harris, and wide receivers Jaylen Waddle and DeVonta Smith to the NFL, oddsmakers have the Crimson Tide heavily favored to repeat as National Champions in 2021 at odds of +275. Star recruit Bryce Young will take over under center and guide Nick Saban’s crew to another dominant season in Tuscaloosa.
Oklahoma Sooners (+500)
The pressure is on the shoulders of Oklahoma quarterback Spencer Ratter (+650), who is the favorite across the betting landscape to win the Heisman Trophy in 2021. The Sooners are prohibitive (-175) favorites to win the Big 12 Championship with a season-win total (11) that demands an undefeated 12-0 season to cash. I would not be willing to bet against a highly productive season for Rattler with the history of quarterback play under head coach Lincoln Riley. The Sooners, who went 9-2 (8-3 ATS) last season, will be looking to build upon their dominant 55-20 drubbing of the Florida Gators in the Cotton Bowl when they easily covered as 7.5-point favorites.
Clemson Tigers (+500)
As Clemson football fans are well aware, star quarterback Trevor Lawrence will now be playing on Sundays for the Jacksonville Jaguars. In his place, the Tigers will be rolling out D.J. Uiagalelei under center running the show for Dabo Swinney. The dynamic signal-caller is currently the second overall betting choice (+750) behind Spencer Rattler in the Heisman Trophy betting market. College football bettors will get to see just how good this Tigers team is in 2021 on September 4, when Clemson plays host to the high-powered Georgia Bulldogs of the SEC as 3.5-point home favorites. Clemson will be looking to improve upon its 10-2 (5-7 ATS) 2020 campaign, which ended disappointingly when Ohio State dominated them in a 49-28 loss as seven-point favorites in the College Football Semifinal.
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Ohio State Buckeyes (+600)
Ohio State loses star quarterback Justin Fields to the NFL, but the Buckeye offense returns arguably the best receiving corps in college football in Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Ohio State is a massive -220 favorite to win the Big 10 Championship, and the edge the oddsmakers believe the Buckeyes have over the rest of the conference means an undefeated regular season is well within the realm of expectations in 2021. New quarterback C.J. Stroud will look to build upon the Buckeyes’ abbreviated 7-1 (4-4 ATS) 2020 campaign that ended with a 52-24 defeat at the hands of Alabama in the College Football Championship game. Ohio State’s season win total (11) market is intriguing but parlaying the potential of a fifth consecutive Big 10 Conference title is something I would seriously endorse (looking to avoid the juice).
Georgia Bulldogs (+700)
Quarterback JT Daniels was dealt some tough luck when he lost his favorite target from last season - wideout George Pickens - to a torn ACL in spring practice. However, oddsmakers still believe in the Bulldogs offense thanks to a talented backfield led by star Zamir White who paced the club last season with 779 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns. Wide receiver Kearis Jackson will be expected to shoulder the load and enable Daniels to move the ball down the field in arguably the hardest conference in college football (SEC). With a season win total of 10.5 games, oddsmakers expect Georgia to build off its 8-2 (4-6 ATS) 2020 season that culminated with a late-second 24-21 win over Cincinnati in the Peach Bowl. Bettors will be hesitant to back the Bulldogs early in 2021 after only covering at only a 40% clip last season against the spread.
Texas A&M Aggies (+2500)
There has been immense preseason support for Jimbo Fisher’s Texas A&M Aggies in sportsbooks around the country. The Aggies, who opened at odds of +5000 at some respected shops in Las Vegas, have seen their odds cut in half (+2500) after several large five-figure wagers were placed around town. After losing Kellon Mond to the NFL, the quarterback situation in College Station is far from settled, as Haynes King and Zach Calzada are likely to both see action early in the season. Texas A&M only loss last season came at the hands of SEC rival Alabama. If they are to improve upon their 9-1 (6-4 ATS) 2021 campaign, the club will need another solid year from running back Isaiah Spiller. The talented back led the school with 1,036 rushing yards and nine touchdowns on the ground in 2020. The value in backing Texas A&M will come down to the October 9 home tilt with Alabama. The lack of an experienced signal-caller is the lone reason I cannot support the Aggies to win the SEC, despite the attractive +575 odds.
Texas Longhorns (+3100)
There has also been tremendous preseason support for another team playing in the state of Texas. The Longhorns, who opened at odds of +10000 at some respected shops in Las Vegas, have seen their odds cut dramatically down to +3100. The money has arrived, backing Steve Sarkisian’s first season at the helm, taking over a program that finished 2020 with a 7-3 (4-5-1 ATS) mark, culminating with a 55-23 win over Colorado in the Alamo Bowl as 7.5-point favorites. Ending Oklahoma’s streak of six consecutive Big 12 Titles will not be an easy endeavor, but bettors are backing that running back Bijan Robinson will take the next step and emerge as a legitimate Heisman Trophy (+2800) contender. Whether it’s Hudson Card or Casey Thompson who wins the quarterback battle, Texas will need freshman wideout Xavier Worthy to emerge as a player who will force opposing defenses to respect the pass and prohibit eight or nine-man fronts in the box looking to shut down Robinson.
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Frankie Taddeo is a successful high-stakes fantasy football player who created the first-ever DFS program ever offered in a Las Vegas sportsbook. Frankie is SI Betting's Senior Analyst and provides his significant experience and resources in the sports betting scene. You can follow Frankie on Twitter @Frankie_Fantasy for his latest betting and fantasy insights from Las Vegas.
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