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 the college football favorites to where to watch to tips on how to handicap the game, we’ve got you covered. If you're looking for the best national championship betting sites we have a separate page for that.
Odds to Win the 2021 College Football National Championship Playoffs
Here are the odds to win the College Football National Championship from BetOnline – Updated: 10/11/2020
|Win 2021 Championship||Odds|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+250|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+300|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||+2800|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+4000|
|Central Florida Knights||+10000|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||+10000|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||+10000|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+10000|
|Texas A&M Aggies||+10000|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||+15000|
|Virginia Tech Hokies||+15000|
|Kansas State Wildcats||+20000|
|Arizona State Sun Devils||+25000|
2021 College Football National Championship Futures
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.
2021 NCAAF National Championship Favorites
- Jan 3: Alabama won as expected but Ohio State stunned Clemson as a seven-point dog. That sets up another Ohio State-Alabama National Championship rematch. The Tide are an eight-point favorite.
- Dec 31: There is not much change in terms of the National Championship odds on the even of the CFP semis. The general verdict is that Alabama will again face Clemson in the Championship Game.
- Dec 22: Ohio State, Clemson and Alabama all win their conference championships as expected and earn a berth in the College Football Playoff. Notre Dame earns the final spot but is the biggest underdog ever in a CFP game in their Rose Bowl contest against the Crimson Tide.
- Dec 13: Florida throws away their shot at the College Football Playoff by losing at home unranked LSU as a 23-point favorite.
- Dec 7: Alabama-LSU proves to be a laugher. The No. 1 Tide win 55-17 and are on the fast track to the SEC Championship Game.
- Nov 8: Down goes No. 1 Clemson. With star quarterback Trevor Lawrence out due to COVID-19, the Tigers lost at No. 4 Notre Dame by a final score of 47-40.
- Oct 18: Georgia's odds to win the National Championship tumble after losing to Alabama.
- Oct 3: Clemson cruises to an easy win over Virginia while Alabama routes Texas A&M in a showdown of teams in the Top 15.
- Sep 7: Oklahoma makes strides to +1400 from +2500. Alabama inching closer to Clemson odds territory.
- Aug 12: Pac-12 nixes their fall college football season and decides to shift it to the spring of 2021.
- Aug 11: Big 10 nixes their fall college football season and decides to shift it to the spring of 2021.
- Jul 1: Buckeyes not playing this fall. Odds for Penn State and Ducks deteriorate while LSU improves to triple digits. Clemson still on top.
- 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
2021 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Odds
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.
How Do Teams Qualify For The College Football Playoff/National Championship Game?
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.https://www.youtube.com/embed/17RWyRHPe1A?wmode=transparent&autoplay=0
Where Can I Watch/Stream The College Football National Championship Game
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.