College Football National Championship Odds: Alabama On Top

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, right, and John Metchie III, left, celebrate a touchdown during a game in the 2021-22 season.
Image Credit: Gary Crosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports

For those of us jonesing to bet on football, but not exactly enthused by this USFL product, there are other options this time of year. That is, if you don’t mind your money being tied up for a while. Among those options: College football national championship odds.

A developing picture indicates three tiers within the College Football Playoff odds. There’s the Alabama-Georgia-Ohio State favorites tier. Then the Clemson-Texas A&M-USC strong prospects tier. Then … well, everybody else. nabs insights and intel on college football championship futures from PointsBet USA sports analyst Mike Korn.

2023 College Football National Championship Odds

Team Odds
Alabama +190
Georgia +350
Ohio State +450
Clemson +1200
Texas A&M +1700
Southern Cal +2500
Notre Dame +4000
Oklahoma +4000
Florida +5000
Michigan +5000
Oklahoma State +5000
Utah +5000
Penn State +6000
Baylor +7000
LSU +7000
Texas +7000
Oregon +7500
Wisconsin +7500
Miami +8000

Odds via PointsBet USA and updated as of 4:30 p.m. ET May 13.

College Football National Championship Favorites

Georgia coach Kirby Smart raises the National Championship trophy while celebrating after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship game in Indianapolis, on Monday, Jan. 10, 2022.
Image Credit: Joshua L Jones-USA TODAY Sports

We know you’re as shocked as we are to see Alabama atop the 2022-23 college football championship odds table. Seriously though, Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide are a regular at the top of the board, and this season is no different. Even after Alabama lost to Georgia 33-18 in the 2021-22 College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 10.

“We opened Bama at +200 immediately following its loss to Georgia,” Korn said, noting some modest movement in both directions since then. “We got as low as +175 and as high as +220. We’re currently into +190. Bettors are still intrigued by Bama, as they are our No. 1 most-bet team, currently accounting for 34% of the overall bet count.”

Defending national champion Georgia is the +350 second choice, a modest backslide from the opener.

“We opened Georgia at +250 immediately following its win over Bama,” Korn said. “The Bulldogs are a bit further down in terms of most-bet teams, but are still in the top five, at No. 5 in bet count and No. 3 in handle.”

Then there’s +450 third choice Ohio State, which missed last season’s CFP, a year after getting blasted by Alabama 52-24 in the 2020-21 title tilt. Compared with Bama and Georgia, the Buckeyes’ modestly longer price is a bit more attractive in the offseason, and they’ve seen more movement too, after opening +700.

“We are definitely seeing some Ohio State love from our bettors. The Buckeyes are currently No. 2 in bet count, behind Bama,” Korn said.

CFP Championship Odds: Tier 2

Southern California Trojans coach Lincoln Riley during the 2022 spring game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Image Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

For the past decade, Clemson has been a mainstay at or near the top of the college football national championship odds board. After missing the CFP in 2014, the playoff’s inaugural year, the Tigers reached the Final Four six straight seasons. Clemson claimed two titles in that stretch, in the 2016-17 and 2018-19 campaigns.

Clemson leads PointsBet’s second tier of teams at +1200, after opening a bit longer at +1500. Texas A&M has seen a more significant shift, going from +3500 back in January to the +1700 fifth choice now.

“I would say both moves are a product of the market being corrected, and our sharper clients helping us find the right price,” Korn said.

But Southern Cal has been the more popular play among these three teams, and actually among every team in PointsBet’s college football futures odds market. That’s led to a healthy shift from +6000 into the +2500 sixth choice. Snagging coach Lincoln Riley away from Oklahoma apparently was a pretty convincing move.

“Bettors have been all over USC, with the news that Riley will be at the helm,” Korn said. “USC currently is No. 1 in terms of handle and is therefore our biggest liability by a good bit at this point.”

College Football Championship Odds: Dark Horses

At the 2022 spring game, Utah Utes players celebrate a moment of loudness between the third and fourth quarters in memory of Ty Jordon and Aaron Lowe.
Image Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

At this early stage, the drop-off after sixth choice USC is such that every team in this third tier is a dark horse or long shot. And that begins with +4000 co-seventh choices Notre Dame and Oklahoma, both breaking in new coaches.

Brian Kelly bolted Notre Dame for LSU. Marcus Freeman was then promoted from Fighting Irish defensive coordinator to coach. As noted above, USC lured Lincoln Riley from Oklahoma, which replaced Riley with Brent Venables, who was the Sooners’ defensive coordinator from 1999-2011. Venables returned to Oklahoma after serving as Clemson defensive coordinator since 2012.

So who’s getting bettors’ attention so far in third tier?

“The biggest long shots attracting action are Utah and Notre Dame, who are No. 6 and No. 7 in terms of bet count,” Korn said, noting significant odds movement from both teams. “Utah opened at +15,000, and Notre Dame opened at +7000.”

Utah is now among a pack of four teams at +5000, tied for ninth on the college football national championship odds board. Joining the Utes are Michigan — which lost to Georgia in last season’s CFP semis — Florida and Oklahoma State.

Bettors aren’t nearly as enthused by LSU, although the Tigers are now +7000, after opening +12,500 (125/1).

“Bettors are not that high on LSU with new coach Brian Kelly. The Tigers are not in the top 10 in terms of bet count,” Korn said.

Ticket Takers and (Perhaps) Money Makers

Clemson coach Dabo Swinney, right, talks with a referee during a game in the 2021-22 regular season.
Image Credit: Ken Ruinard-USA TODAY Sports

As Korn noted, favorite Alabama is taking the most tickets in PointsBet’s College Football Playoff championship odds market. The Crimson Tide are followed by Ohio State and USC. And as Korn mentioned, the Trojans are No. 1 in money, with Alabama and Georgia second and third, respectively.

“Our biggest concern is obviously USC. The Trojans’ liability is four times that of any other team at this point,” Korn said, before pointing to some potential good outcomes behind the counter. “Closer to the top of the odds board, the book will be rooting for Clemson. That being said, our liability will almost definitely change before the season starts.”