COLUMBUS, Ohio – Following their wild showdown in last year’s College Football Playoff semifinal, the Ohio State Buckeyes and Clemson Tigers now find themselves listed as co-favorites in Vegas to win the upcoming national championship.
Clemson opened as the sole front-runner with the lowest odds (roughly +225) last month, but that was before the news of wide receiver Justyn Ross undergoing season-ending surgery to correct a spinal issue.
As a result, Ohio State is now listed side-by-side with its national rival at 11/4 (+275) on the futures board courtesy of SuperBookUSA. Both teams held an average margin of victory of more than 35 points per game before squaring up last December in Glendale.
Ohio State, boasting a returning All-American and Heisman Trophy candidate at quarterback in Justin Fields, dropped a wild 29-23 affair with Clemson during last year’s CFP semifinal. The Buckeyes stood on top, 16-0, in the second quarter and also held a lead late into the fourth. OSU will need to clear primary hurdles at Oregon and Penn State in order to get another crack at the Tigers.
Clemson has won two of the last four national championships and appeared in four of the last five title contests altogether. The Tigers, falling 42-25 in the most recent showdown against LSU, will once again feature standout quarterback Trevor Lawrence and face a relatively comfortable path throughout the ACC regular season. They will, however, embark on a dangerous non-conference trip to Notre Dame in early November.
Alabama, expected to reload and be right in the mix once again, comes in at 5/1 while fellow SEC foe Georgia is currently 8/1. The Crimson Tide missed the playoff for the first time ever last winter after appearing in four-straight championships prior.
Florida (12/1) and Oklahoma (16/1) help round out the top six. The Gators only lost to LSU and Georgia last season while “Boomer Sooner” needs to replace some key stars.
The betting list takes a bit of a drop following those top contenders, but still features plenty of powerhouse programs capable of making a serious push. Here are the next challengers:
30/1: Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Penn State, Texas, Oregon
40/1: Auburn, LSU
50/1: Michigan, Wisconsin
Some bunched-up groups begin forming into the triple-digit options such as Minnesota, Nebraska, Miami, Central Florida and Oklahoma State at 100/1. Feel like sprinkling an even higher longshot? Take a look at these choices:
200/1: Iowa State, North Carolina, Baylor, Washington, Utah