College Football Betting

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2021 College Football Bowl Odds Breakdown

 

College football is all about innovation – for most teams. The Louisiana State Tigers didn’t get the memo until last year; they were all about traditional, smash-mouth football under Les Miles and his successor at head coach, Ed Orgeron. Then the Tigers hired Joe Brady, a 28-year-old former assistant with the New Orleans Saints, to be their new passing game co-ordinator. The results speak for themselves: LSU won the National Championship, and QB Joe Burrow won the Heisman Trophy.

That was the easy part. Burrow is heading to the NFL now, perhaps as the No. 1 selection in the 2020 draft, and LSU’s odds to win the 2021 National Championship have suffered as a result. In fact, the team they beat for the title is back on top of the college football odds board at Bovada Sportsbook. It hardly seems fair.

 

College Football Playoff Odds: The Favorites

No need to press the panic button in Baton Rouge just yet. LSU still find themselves among the leading title favorites at Bovada, and if the defending champs keep winning with their next starting quarterback, they should move rather quickly up the 2020 college football odds board. Here’s how the top five shake out at press time:

 

 

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1. Clemson Tigers: +230 College Football Bowl Odds

Clemson (14-1 SU, 11-4 ATS last year) has the luxury of bringing QB Trevor Lawrence and RB Travis Etienne back for one more season, so the two-time champions under Dabo Swinney are the obvious frontrunners on this year’s NCAA football odds. That doesn’t mean these Tigers won’t have some turnover on offense; co-ordinator Jeff Scott is now the head coach of the South Florida Bulls, and there are four starters to replace on the offensive line. But Swinney has put together another strong class of recruits, and with an incredibly soft schedule coming up in the ACC, Clemson shouldn’t have much problem returning to the College Football Playoff.

 

2. Ohio State Buckeyes: +300 College Football Bowl Odds

So close, and yet so far. The Buckeyes (13-1 SU, 9-5 ATS) went into last year’s playoff as the top-ranked team on paper – LSU were No. 1 in the polls – and couldn’t get the job done against Clemson after taking an early lead in their Fiesta Bowl matchup. Ohio State will bring QB Justin Fields back for another season, and head coach Ryan Day has proved he’s a worthy successor to his mentor, Urban Meyer, so OSU’s place on the 2020 NCAA football odds board seems appropriate. There have been a number of changes on Day’s staff, though, including Kerry Coombs replacing Jeff Hafley (now coaching Boston College) at defensive co-ordinator.

College Football Lines

 

 

3. Alabama Crimson Tide: +450 College Football Bowl Odds

There was no way the Crimson Tide (11-2 SU, 7-6 ATS) weren’t going to be on this list. They’ll have to move on without QB Tua Tagovailoa, the likely No. 2 selection behind Burrow in the NFL Draft. However, head coach Nick Saban has also made champions out of Nick Coker (2015), AJ McCarron (2011-12) and Greg McElroy (2009) since landing in Tuscaloosa, and he has the luxury of choosing between junior Mac Jones and freshman Bryce Young for Tagovailoa’s replacement. Don’t be surprised if they both get some run next year.

 

4. Louisiana State Tigers: +750 College Football Bowl Odds

This might still be a bit optimistic for LSU (15-0 SU, 10-5 ATS). It isn’t just Burrow they have to worry about; Brady is gone, too, returning to the NFL as offensive co-ordinator for the Carolina Panthers. And there are several key starters to replace on offense, as well, including RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire and WR Justin Jefferson – their leading skill players at each position. But now that he’s found the winning formula, maybe Orgeron can fill those holes and approximate his success from last year with Myles Brennan at quarterback instead of Burrow.

 

5. Georgia Bulldogs: +900 College Football Bowl Odds

The Bulldogs (12-2 SU, 8-6 ATS) keep getting this close to winning it all, but they haven’t been able to get over the hump – which can happen when you have the likes of Alabama, LSU and Auburn in your own conference. A full makeover on offense could help Kirby Smart get that elusive title. Graduate transfer Jamie Newman (formerly with Wake Forest) will take over for QB Jake Fromm, working under new co-ordinator Todd Monken and operating behind a rebuilt offensive line. Maybe they’ll inject new life in Georgia’s offense the same way Brady and Burrow did in Baton Rouge.

 

*Odds as of March 12th, 2020

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