2021 College Football National Championship Futures Odds
The College Football National Championship Game is college football’s version of the Super Bowl. It’s the final game of the season where the winner gets crowned champion. Needless to say, the college football odds for the championship game are one of the most talked about items of the season.
The system has changed over time as we’ve now ditched the BCS in favor of the College Football Playoff. Nowadays, at the end of the regular season, a committee selects four teams they feel deserve to be in the college football playoff, and then those teams engage in a four-team playoff. The rest of the teams still play the regular bowl season. If you want to check the NCAAF Odds throughout the season we have a separate page for that.
On this page, we’re going to run you through everything there is to know about the college football national championship game. From where to bet on college football lines to where to watch to tips on how to handicap the game, we’ve got you covered.
The College Football National Championship Game is more convenient to bet in an online context than by using an in-person sportsbook and going to that sportsbook’s physical, geographical location.
To start, the land-based idea of betting on sports is archaic. Who wants to physically drive over to a casino – or get there in some way – and then stand in line to place a bet to get a printed ticket slip and then carry that around with them? If it wins, you have to go back to the sportsbook to collect your winnings.
Online betting is still easier and less stressful compared to in-person betting at a sportsbook. All you do is place your bet from your account – wherever you are in the world – and if it wins, the money is credited to your account. It’s that simple.
Also, betting online affords you a number of other good perks. To start, all online sportsbooks offer a deposit bonus, so when you open your account and make a deposit, your bankroll will get a boost. Secondly, with online betting, you can bet in-game. At a land-based sportsbook, that’s not an option but online, the technology is there for you to bet in between plays throughout the game.
Although it’s still fun to go to a casino from time to time, the sports betting experience online is way better than land-based.
The current College Football Playoff National Championship Game odds for the coming season are not going to be dramatically affected by any of the delays attached to the coronavirus, which could very realistically cause the season to start in October or November instead of on Labor Day weekend at the end of August and the start of September. Clemson will be the leading favorite and Alabama and Ohio State are going to be in the second and third places.
Here are the opening odds to win the College Football National Championship from BetOnline – Updated: 05/09/2020
|Win 2021 Championship||Odds|
|Texas A & M||2500|
The Crimson Tide and the Buckeyes might trade spots during the season, but they are going to be in the top three with Clemson unless they surprisingly lose a game early in the season. Clemson is going to be the favorite for one central reason: Running back Travis Etienne, widely felt to be a player who would turn pro and enter the 2020 NFL Draft, instead chose to come back for his senior season, teaming up with quarterback Trevor Lawrence to form the best offensive backfield in college football for the coming season. Clemson is going to have the best offense in the United States since LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is in the NFL and Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is also in the NFL Draft. Ohio State running back J.K. Dobbins also went pro, which limits the Buckeyes’ capabilities. Clemson is going to be first.
- Jun 3: In the dead of the offseason, we haven't seen much change to the lines as Clemson is still favored to win it all.
- May 9: Bettors continue to see value in the Oregon Ducks as they are one of the biggest movers since open. The Ducks opened at +6600 but are now down to +2500 at some shops.
- Apr 23: At the 2020 NFL Draft, the Tigers are still favored. LSU drops to +1025 after opening at +750 as they watch many key components of their 2019 offense get drafted in the first couple of rounds.
- Jan 17: Travis Etienne decides to return for one more season at Clemson, which surprised a number of people. That bolsters Clemson's chances as the running back totaled 2,046 total yards last season with 23 total touchdowns.
- Jan 14: The Clemson Tigers open as the favorites to win the 2021 National Championship at +250
There are a number of ways to bet on the College Football Playoff National Championship and in this section, we’ll go over the options. If you’ve bet on college football before, a lot of these will be familiar to you. If you're looking for one of the best betting sites, we highly recommend Bovada or BetOnline
College Football Moneyline
The moneyline bet is a wager on which team will win the game outright. The point spread is not a factor. If you pick the winning team, you cash in.
The key to understanding moneylines is how to read the NCAA football odds. You might see something like this:
In this case, the minus sign tells you how much you bet to win $100 while the plus sign shows you the amount you’d win if you bet $100. In other words, a $100 bet on Clemson’s college football betting odds would pay $240 whereas for LSU, you’d have to bet $300 to win $100. You can bet as much as you like but this gives you a clear idea of how these NCAA football betting odds work.
College Football Spread
College football point spreads are a margin of victory. This gives you a different way of betting the game without strictly choosing who wins or loses outright.
The most recent College Football Playoff National Championship Game had a modest point spread of 5.5 points in favor of LSU. That would look something like this:
Clemson Tigers +5.5
LSU Tigers -5.5
This means that the Tigers have to win by six or more to “cover” or win the bet. Meanwhile, Clemson has some wiggle room. They can lose by 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, tie or win the game, and all Clemson bets would “cover” or win on the CFB lines.
College Football Game Totals
The total refers to the total number of points scored in the game. In the most recent College Football Playoff National Championship Game, the total was 69 points at kickoff time. That means you have to decide whether the combined final score of the two teams will go over the number or under. The final score of that particular game was 42-25, which put the total at 67 points and therefore an under.
Typically, when you’re betting the total, you have to decide whether it will be a high-scoring shootout and exceed the oddsmakers expectations or whether it will be a low-scoring, defensive style of game, which is more likely to lead to an under. If you’re not sure who will win the game or who is the best bet for the college football odds spreads, the total gives you another way of examining/handicapping the game.
College Football Futures
Futures deal with the long-term CFB odds like winning college football’s national championship, winning a conference, winning a division or various other props like regular season win totals. These are bets that last over the course of the college football season. The odds of a team winning the national title will change to varying degrees with each week, keeping in mind that there are 12 games in the regular season and then a 13th game for the conference championship games, but the further in advance you bet, the more risk but usually the greater the payout.
An example of the odds would look like:
Clemson Tigers +400
Alabama Crimson Tide +500
USC Trojans +1800
TCU Horned Frogs +5000
What this means is if you bet $100 on the college football betting lines, you’d win the amount next to the plus sign for the teams above if one of them wins. For example, a $100 bet on Clemson would pay $400 if they in fact won. Or a bet on TCU would be $5000 if they came through.
Keep in mind that the NCAAF Vegas odds vary based on how teams are expected to perform, their talent, their record and many other factors.
College Football Betting Props
These types of NCAA football lines focus on player or team performance rather than the outcome of the game. An example of a prop bet on the College Football National Championship Game might have been this:
Travis Etienne Rushing Yards Versus LSU
Over 90: -110
Under 90: -110
It turns out that Travis Etienne, Clemson’s starting running back, rushed for 78 yards against LSU, so if you had bet that Etienne would rush over 90 yards, you lost. If, however, you bet Etienne would rush under 90 yards, you would have won. The minus sign next to the number 110 means that if you bet 110 dollars on Etienne to rush for under 90 yards, you would have won 100 dollars. If there is a plus sign next to the number in one of these props, you would have won that amount of money for every $100 you bet. So, a price of +110 on the NCAAF lines would mean that a successful $100 bet would win $110.
Live Bet The Game
The National Championship Game is the final game of the year. While many people will tell you that they have an edge on the NCAAF odds for the big showdown, usually it’s one of the tightest lines and it’s tough to make a decision. When there are 50 games on a college football Saturday, you can generally find an edge somewhere. When there is just one game on the board, it gets much harder.
That’s why we recommend live betting the game. If you don’t have a good read on what will happen ahead of time, watch some of the game and then make your decision. Seeing how some of the matchup plays out will help you come to a conclusion as to which side is the better bet.
Play The Props
Again, if you don’t have a good read on who’ll win the game outright, look to the props. For the National Championship game, there are going to be tons of props on the board. That means if you do your homework, you can probably find an edge somewhere with a player’s rushing total, a receiving over-under or a head-to-head performance prop.
Study The Schedules
One of the toughest parts of handicapping the National Championship Game is you’re usually weighing two very different teams. In the Super Bowl, you’ll generally have some common opponents between the teams or at least some inklings as to how the teams might perform against each other. In college football, you might have one team come out of the Big 12 in a year where none of the teams played any defense and the league was strictly focused on offense. At the same time, the other team might come from the rugged SEC where teams rely on defense to win. That makes judging the matchup all the more difficult.
What we recommend here is to really dive into the teams’ schedules. See if there are any common opponents. If not, try to see if they had opponents that played a style similar to the championship opponent.
Beyond that, rely on tools like Power Rankings or mathematical tools like the Sagarin Rating, which assigns a score to each team’s season-long performance. The more homework you do, the better the chance you’ll find an edge in the game.
Most of what we’ve talked about above focuses in on pre-game betting. In other words, you place your bet and you’re locked in for the game. However, you can also wait to bet on the game because all major sportsbooks now have live betting available.
Sportsbooks allow in-game betting on college football and how it works is they’ll adjust the odds every single play. If a team is about to punt, their odds of winning might decrease. If a team is about to score, their odds of winning might increase. All of these lines – the moneyline, the point spread and the total – can change every single play.
A general line of advice is to watch the beginning of a game to determine the flow of play and make some initial observations of a game. If that first quarter gives you a powerfully revealing look at two teams – showing that one is clearly better than the other – you can make an in-game bet on the superior team. At least this way, you’re taking in some evidence from what you see and then making a calculated decision.
Another way to use live betting is for hedging your bets. This is useful because let’s say you placed a bet pre-game and it’s not looking good. You can now bet on the other side to at least hedge your bets. You still might lose some money but maybe not all of it. It’s a way of buying out of a bad decision. It’s another way to use in-game betting to your advantage.
You can bet on college football in many ways from the point spread to the moneyline to the total. Open an account at an online sportsbook and you’ll have access to odds on every college football game – including live betting.
The moneyline is a type of bet is a wager on who you think will win the matchup. If Clemson and LSU are playing and you bet on Clemson on the moneyline, you win your bet if they win. That’s all there is to it.
The point spread is a margin of victory. If the spread is -5.5, that means that team has to win by six or more to cover the spread. On the other hand, the underdog can lose by five or less, or win the game, and they would cover.
The qualification process for the College Football National Championship Game is simultaneously very easy and very complicated. The simple answer here is that teams make the four-team College Football Playoff semifinals by performing really well in the regular season and working their way up the rankings. Once they’re in the Final Four, they have to win a semifinal to make the national championship game.
The longer and more complicated answer is that a team needs to win games by large margins and generally look impressive enough to crack this four-team playoff. There are rankings of teams throughout the year and those factor as typically the teams in the Top 4 of the Associated Press Top 25 make the cut. However, if a team starts in No. 3 in the rankings and doesn’t lose throughout the season while another team starts off at No. 24 and also wins all of their games, the lower-ranking team has to make up a lot more ground – even if both teams are undefeated.
Winning the championship of one of the so-called “Power Five” conferences – the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, and Big Ten – usually puts a team at the head of the line for a playoff spot, but as you can see, with five conferences fighting over four spots, one conference champion is guaranteed to miss the playoff. This is where strength of schedule starts to become a factor. If one team went 12-0 but didn’t beat any Top 25 opponents while another team went 12-0 and beat four teams in the Top 25, the second is going to be viewed as the stronger contender.
At the end of the day, the way to qualify is to win your conference, go unbeaten and be very impressive in all of your wins. Those are the three basic guidelines for making the playoff, but if a team is not unbeaten, it leaves itself vulnerable to a debate or comparison which it could lose if circumstances break the wrong way.
Typically, ESPN has the rights to the College Football National Championship Game and airs the contest both on ESPN and ABC. More people have ABC, so that is the national broadcast while the ESPN family of networks may have other simultaneous broadcast.
An ESPN broadcast of the national championship game will have play-by-play from Chris Fowler and analysis from Kirk Herbstreit. ESPN’s other channels will have other outlets for watching the game. ESPN2 and ESPNU have their own broadcasts, one of them being a coaches’ round-table with several college football head coaches providing live commentary.
In terms of streaming, ESPN+ will have numerous options for the game. This is a paid subscription service, so anyone who wants to have ESPN on their phone or on the go can use this service.
Some other options to get ESPN on the go would be YouTube TV, which gives you access to watch ESPN from multiple devices.