2021 College Football Bowl Odds Breakdown

Monday’s National Championship game (8 PM ET, ESPN) between the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide and the No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes could be one for the ages – if both teams are healthy. That’s the tricky part. On one hand, the Buckeyes are relatively well-rested after playing just seven games this season; on the other hand, they’ve also had some trouble dealing with COVID-19. How has this update affected the college football odds at Bovada Sportsbook?

Not at all – at least, not yet. At press time, Bovada’s odds to win the 2021 National Championship are almost the same they were at the open, with the Crimson Tide checking in as 8-point favorites at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. This is despite Alabama’s failure to cover the spread at the Rose Bowl, where they defeated the No. 4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 31-14 as 19-point favorites. Ohio State, meanwhile, cashed in with their 49-28 upset of the No. 2 Clemson Tigers (also –7.5) at the Sugar Bowl. It all adds up to one of the most hotly-anticipated title games we’ve seen in quite some time.

College Football National Championship Betting Preview

There’s no question Alabama (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS) has what it takes to win yet another championship for head coach Nick Saban. He’s already won six titles, the last five since taking over at Tuscaloosa back in 2007; however, beating the college football odds is another story. Saban and the Tide dropped the cash in each of their last four National Championship appearances, losing twice outright to Clemson. They also lost 42-35 to Ohio State (+7.5) in the 2014-15 College Football Playoff semifinals – the first year under the new format.

The Buckeyes went on to win the title that year for head coach Urban Meyer, who’s no longer with the team. However, there’s still a through-line to Monday’s matchup; current head coach Ryan Day was Meyer’s right-hand man in 2017 and 2018, running the offense and filling in for Meyer on multiple occasions before taking over the top job last year. Ohio State crushed the 2019-2020 NCAA football odds at 13-1 SU and 9-5 ATS in Day’s first full season, although it ended in heartbreak when they lost to Clemson in the CFP semifinals.

At 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS, Day and the Buckeyes have had a little more trouble beating this year’s NCAA football odds. That’s partly because of higher expectations – Ohio State were preseason title favorites at one point, before the Big Ten decided not to play fall football because of the coronavirus pandemic. Their decision would eventually be reversed, thanks in large part to pressure from the Buckeyes and their title-hungry supporters.

It would be somewhat ironic if COVID-19 prevented them from winning it all. The Buckeyes may be missing several players this Monday because of positive tests; a potential make-up date of January 18 was announced for the National Championship, but it’s all systems go for now, especially after OSU were accused of trying to give QB Justin Fields some extra time to heal from the punishment he took at the hands of Clemson during the Sugar Bowl. Stay tuned to Bovada Sportsbook for the latest 2021 College Football Playoff odds to see what impact these developments will have, if any, and enjoy the game.