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MidSeason NCAAF Updated National Championship Odds

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MidSeason NCAAF Updated National Championship Odds
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish gather in the tunnel. Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images/AFP

Top Candidates To Win National Championship

  • Alabama +200
  • Ohio State +200
  • Clemson +275
  • Florida +1200
  • Notre Dame +1200

Odds Per BetOnline.

Who Moved Up Or Down? Comparison With Last Week’s Odds

After a bye week, Alabama remains at +200. Likewise, Ohio State remains co-favored at +200 to win the National Championship on most top rated sportsbooks. The Buckeyes throttled Rutgers in the first half, which it led 35-3. They then took their foot off the gas pedal and gave backups playing time. The final score was 49-27.

After losing the first game of its season 46-40 in an overtime classic against Notre Dame, Clemson dropped from +225 to +275.

Georgia lost to Florida 44-28. As a consequence of this result, the Bulldogs are no longer the fourth-most favored team. Instead, Florida takes their place. The Gators were posted at +2800 before they played the Bulldogs. Last week, Notre Dame was posted at +2500 to win it all. They are now posted at +1200 after upsetting Clemson.

Breakdown

Clemson

In its last game, Clemson struggled to get running back Travis Etienne going. Clemson tried a variety of ways to do this, including having him return kickoffs. It was clear that the Irish defense focused on limiting Etienne, who easily emerged as Clemson’s top weapon after quarterback Trevor Lawrence was ruled ‘out’ for this game. I am impressed that Clemson was able to score 33 points in regulation even though Etienne added so little on the ground.

Before this game, Etienne had averaged at least four YPC in every game. Against the Irish, he averaged 1.6 YPC on 18 rushing attempts. Without much from Etienne, who is arguably the nation’s top running back, Clemson showcased other targets via contested catch situations, screens, and other short passing attempts. That Amari Rodgers needed to step up was a given because he is the Tigers’ leading wide receiver.

Rodgers regularly demonstrates his extended radius to make difficult catches. His mix of speed and strength makes him a solid candidate to accrue more YAC. Cornell Powell is somebody who has stepped up in Trevor’s absence. After doing little throughout his Tiger career, he has accrued back-to-back 100-yard performances.

Powell is a perfect example of how losing an important player can benefit a team in the long run as it forces other guys to step up and emerge as useful contributors. But Lawrence does not play defense. So his return will not change the problems that the Tigers show on defense. They do have a young defensive line and a lot of injuries including to important leaders like linebacker James Skalski and to other would-be starters on the defensive line.

Notre Dame took advantage by accruing over 200 rushing yards en route to a 33-point four-quarter output.

Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers. Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Future Outlook On Clemson

With your College Football Betting Picks, you’ll want to track the Tigers’ injury situation before its final game of the regular season. On December 5, the Hokies with their nationally fourth-ranked rush attack will look to replicate Notre Dame’s performance. Of course, the Fighting Irish will also try to replicate their performance against Clemson.

Since the ACC Championship will feature the two teams with the highest winning percentage in conference games, it seems likely that we get a rematch between Clemson and Notre Dame. While the Tigers will get to start their star quarterback, the Irish are worthy challengers, especially if they fix their goal-line offense.

Ohio State

I feel like Ohio State is the riskiest betting candidate and therefore not worth investing in at +200. We do already know some things. We know that Justin Fields is deservedly a Heisman candidate and that he has at least two reliable wide receivers to find.

We also know that Ohio State lost two early first-round picks on defense — one at cornerback and one at defensive end — who seem irreplaceable. We also know that the Buckeyes’ running back corps has regressed after JK Dobbins left for the NFL. I can only suggest that we should wait for Ohio State to actually get tested, to see what it really has to offer. Beating Penn State, which got blown out by Maryland to go to 0-3, does not seem impressive. Likewise, Rutgers and Nebraska were never going to challenge Ohio State.

Alabama

After struggling to stop Ole Miss and after giving up 24 first-half points to Georgia, the Crimson Tide defense is showing improvement on a level that neither Ohio State nor Clemson can claim for itself.

The Tide have now shut out Georgia in the second-half, held Tennessee to 17 points, and shut out Mississippi State.

Their defensive line was momentous against the Bulldogs as measured by the number of passes that they batted down. Their disruptiveness limited the Bulldogs’ second-half rushing total and made life uneasy for Georgia’s quarterback.

On offense, DeVonta Smith is stepping up after the team lost fellow wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to injury. Smith now has accrued 10+ receptions and over 150 receiving yards in three different games.

Slade Bolden is one new face who’s stepping up. He excels at finding and sitting in open holes in the defense. He amassed nearly 100 receiving yards against Tennessee. Likewise, John Metchie is a receiver that Alabama can count on as he’s shown in his recent yardage outputs. Despite barely playing last year, he distinguishes himself for his speed and route-running abilities. He is now almost the Tide’s second-leading receiver.

Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide. Wesley Hitt/Getty Images/AFP

Alabama Betting Outlook

Unlike Ohio State, the Tide have been tested. We see in their improvement how important it is for a team to face difficult opponents who are able to highlight their flaws. Alabama’s defense will not get tested soon. Two of its next four opponents — Tennessee and Kentucky — rank outside the top 100 nationally in offense as measured by yards per game.

Auburn, with its often struggling o-line and a characteristically inefficient quarterback, and Arkansas, with its 77th-ranked offense, don’t pose remotely the same threat that Ole Miss looked to represent at the time.

So the Tide, supported also by an offense that produces 40+ points against any opponent, are worth investing in now. I think that they will only lose value as they continue to blow out opponents. +200 is a nice price that you can find at BetOnline.

Fans storm the field after the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defeated the Clemson Tigers 47-40 in double overtime. Matt Cashore-Pool/Getty Images/AFP

Avoid Long-Shot Candidates

Notre Dame will likely have a rematch with Clemson. With Trevor Lawrence, the Tigers are going to beat Notre Dame because he represents a strong upgrade over his freshman backup and because he takes pressure off of Etienne. The remach will not be so close.

So do not bet on Notre Dame to win it all because the Irish would likely have to beat Clemson just to make the playoffs.

Also, do not bet on Florida, whose defense continues to struggle. The missed tackles and blown coverages could have been exploited by a half-way decent quarterback. Georgia “only” scored 28 points because it lacks this quarterback — it lacks any established starter at the position.