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.
Editors' choice: top sportsbook.
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 2024 College Football National Championship Playoffs
Here are the odds to win the College Football National Championship from BetOnline – Updated: 4/7/2023
|Win 2024 Championship||Odds|
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+550|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+750|
|Florida State Seminoles||+1600|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||+2800|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||+3300|
|TCU Horned Frogs||+6600|
|Texas A&M Aggies||+10000|
|Oregon State Beavers||+12500|
|North Carolina Tar Heels||+12500|
|Kansas State Wildcats||+15000|
|South Carolina Gamecocks||+15000|
|Mississippi State Bulldogs||+15000|
|Tulane Green Wave||+15000|
|NC State Wolfpack||+20000|
|Oklahoma State Cowboys||+20000|
2024 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.
2024 NCAAF National Championship Favorites
- Jan 13: Georgia wins the National Championship. Even though they're losing a lot of talent to the 2024 NFL Draft, they're again favored to win the National Championship next season. They open as a +300 favorite.
2024 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.
Where the 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship Game Will Be Played
The 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be played on Monday, January 8, 2024, at NRG Stadium in Houston. This will be exactly one week after the semifinal games on Monday, January 1, 2024, which will be at the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl. The Rose Bowl will be Jan. 1 at 5 p.m. Eastern, and the Sugar Bowl will follow at 8:45 Eastern on New Year’s Day next year.
With the Rose and Sugar Bowls tied to the playoff semifinals, this means that if the Pac-12, Big Ten, and Big 12 champions – all teams normally connected to the Rose or Sugar Bowls as part of the New Year’s Six bowl system – fail to make the College Football Playoff, they will have to be re-routed to other bowls within the New Year’s Six, some combination of the Fiesta, Cotton and Peach.
How To Watch The Game
The 2024 College Football Playoff National Championship Game will be broadcast primarily on ESPN, but with alternate added broadcasts on ESPN2 and ESPNU, with live streaming on ESPN Plus. The game broadcast will start at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time, with kickoff likely being close to 7:40 or 7:45 p.m. from Houston. Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit will have the call of the main broadcast for ESPN. The other broadcasts on ESPN2 and ESPNU usually involve coaches who comment on the game in real time, plus celebrities or other football analysts working with multiple camera-angle shots while also providing live in-game statistics and other bonus features.
College Football Playoff History
The College Football Playoff is now nine seasons old. The playoff began in 2014 and has therefore accumulated nearly a full decade of history.
Here is every College Football Playoff game result, including the seeds of the four playoff teams each year:
2014 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Rose Bowl: (2) Oregon defeated (3) Florida State
Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl: (4) Ohio State defeated (1) Alabama
Championship Game in Arlington, Texas: (4) Ohio State defeated (2) Oregon
2015 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Orange Bowl: (1) Clemson defeated (4) Oklahoma
Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl: (2) Alabama defeated (3) Michigan State
Championship Game in Glendale, Arizona: (2) Alabama defeated (1) Clemson
2016 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Peach Bowl: (1) Alabama defeated (4) Washington
Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl: (2) Clemson defeated (3) Ohio State
Championship Game in Tampa, Florida: (2) Clemson defeated (1) Alabama
2017 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Rose Bowl: (3) Georgia defeated (2) Oklahoma
Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl: (4) Alabama defeated (1) Clemson
Championship Game in Atlanta, Georgia: (4) Alabama defeated (3) Georgia
2018 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Orange Bowl: (1) Alabama defeated (4) Oklahoma
Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl: (2) Clemson defeated (3) Notre Dame
Championship Game in Santa Clara, California: (2) Clemson defeated (1) Alabama
2019 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Peach Bowl: (1) LSU defeated (4) Oklahoma
Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl: (3) Clemson defeated (2) Ohio State
Championship Game in New Orleans, Louisiana: (1) LSU defeated (2) Clemson
2020 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Rose Bowl: (1) Alabama defeated (4) Notre Dame
Semifinal at the Sugar Bowl: (3) Ohio State defeated (2) Clemson
Championship Game in Miami, Florida: (1) Alabama defeated (3) Ohio State
2021 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Orange Bowl: (3) Georgia defeated (2) Michigan
Semifinal at the Cotton Bowl: (1) Alabama defeated (4) Cincinnati
Championship Game in Indianapolis, Indiana: (3) Georgia defeated (1) Alabama
2022 College Football Playoff
Semifinal at the Peach Bowl: (1) Georgia defeated (4) Ohio State
Semifinal at the Fiesta Bowl: (3) TCU defeated (2) Michigan
Championship Game in Los Angeles, California: (1) Georgia defeated (3) TCU
The SEC has won the most College Football Playoff national championships. Alabama has won three, Georgia two, LSU one. Clemson has won twice. Ohio State won once.
The SEC is the only conference which has never missed the College Football Playoff. Every other major conference has missed at least once.
The 2022 College Football Playoff was the first playoff without either Alabama or Clemson. At least one of the two schools made each of the first eight playoffs from 2014 through 2021.
Alabama has appeared in six College Football Playoff National Championship Games, winning three and losing three. Alabama is 1-2 against Clemson, 1-1 against Georgia, 1-0 against Ohio State.
Clemson has appeared in four College Football Playoff National Championship Games, winning two and losing two. Clemson is 2-1 against Alabama and 0-1 against LSU.
Georgia is the first team to win back-to-back College Football Playoff national championships.
Ohio State has made five College Football Playoff appearances, in 2014, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2022.
Oklahoma has made four College Football Playoff appearances, in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019.
TCU’s win over Michigan in the 2022 College Football Playoff semifinals was the Big 12 Conference’s first playoff game victory.
The Pac-12 Conference has not made the playoff since the 2016 season. The Pac-12’s only College Football Playoff game victory was the very first playoff semifinal in the 2014 season, when Oregon beat Florida State in the Rose Bowl.
3 Tips To Bet The Championship Game
First tip: Compare quarterbacks and rosters
The betting strategy for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game involves a not-very-complicated approach: Take the team with the better quarterback unless it is clear that the supporting cast on both offense and defense is overwhelmingly superior. This line of advice would have led you to the correct decision on a consistent basis.
In the 2014 national championship game, Marcus Mariota of Oregon was a better quarterback than Ohio State’s Cardale Jones, but Ohio State had the vastly superior team and the more physical, forceful roster of players with a defense which thrived. Mariota couldn’t beat Ohio State by himself.
In 2015, Jacob Coker of Alabama was not better than Deshaun Watson of Clemson, but Alabama had Heisman Trophy winner Derrick Henry and a loaded roster with better talent at most positions on the field. In 2020, Justin Fields of Ohio State was better than Mac Jones of Alabama, but Jones and Bama had Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith at wide receiver and a lot of elite options such as running back Najee Harris. In 2021, Bryce Young was a better quarterback than Stetson Bennett, but Georgia had a record-setting NFL draft class that season and unquestionably fielded a superior defense and all-around roster. Measuring the quarterback and the full roster will lead you to the right pick in these national championship games.
Second tip: Bet on the SEC team unless a Clemson juggernaut is on the other side
The SEC has won the playoff championship in 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, claiming six of the nine playoff titles. Clemson won twice with Deshaun Watson at quarterback in 2016 and Trevor Lawrence at quarterback in 2018. Clemson, though, hasn’t been nearly as good the past two seasons as it was under Watson and Lawrence. It’s an SEC world unless or until proven otherwise. You saw how much Georgia outclassed TCU in the most recent College Football Playoff National Championship Game. The SEC identity doesn’t lie.
Third tip: Don’t trust the Big Ten or Big 12
The Big Ten and Big 12 played each other in the Michigan-TCU playoff semifinal this season. TCU won outright as a 7.5-point underdog. That game wasn’t worth betting on because neither team had proven itself in a College Football Playoff semifinal. Michigan got blown out by Georgia one year earlier.
Ohio State has made a lot of College Football Playoff appearances, but since winning the 2014 national championship, the Buckeyes have won only one playoff game, the 2020 semifinal against Clemson. Ohio State lost to Clemson in the 2016 and 2019 semifinals and then lost to Georgia in 2022. The Big Ten has a track record of failure in the playoff, excluding the first one in 2014. The Big 12 finally won a playoff game in 2022, but it came at the expense of the Big Ten. Neither conference merits any trust against the SEC or Clemson in playoff situations.
The Future Of The College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff will expand to 12 teams in the 2024 season. The original plan was for the playoff’s 12-year deal to run through the 2025 season, and for a new plan to begin in 2026. However, the powers that be recently agreed to fast-track an expansion and a new plan for 2024.
The plan involves several components, but the main one is expansion from four teams to 12. The top four seeds will receive first-round byes. There will be four first-round games: The No. 5 seed plays the No. 12 seed, 6 plays 11, 7 plays 10, and 8 plays 9. Those four first-round games will be at campus sites. The quarterfinals will be neutral-site games played within the bowl game structure, followed by two semifinals and then the national championship game. The Power Five conference champions – SEC, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-12 – will get spots in the playoff, plus the Group of Five champion. Then there will be six at-large berths to fill out the 12-team playoff field.
The four first-round games will be played in the middle of December before the subsequent rounds occur in late December and into the middle of January.
The expansion to 12 teams occurs as conferences shift in size and membership. When USC and UCLA move to the Big Ten in 2024, the Big Ten will expand to 16 teams. When Oklahoma and Texas move to the SEC, the SEC will expand to 16 teams. The shift in the size of the playoff is very much a response to the need to make sure the SEC and Big Ten, the two best and most powerful conferences in the country, get maximum playoff representation.
The other really obvious reason for playoff expansion is that there is a lot of television money to be made. ESPN has been the sole broadcaster of the College Football Playoff. Expansion to 12 teams will create a large event in which Fox Sports is very likely to televise games, and NBC and CBS are very likely to get at least one game if not more each year. With ESPN having a new television and media rights deal with the SEC, and the Big Ten having an expanded new deal with Fox, and the Big 12 inking a new media rights deal with multiple television partners, the need to maximize TV dollars is simply too overwhelming at the moment.
If the 2022 college football season had a 12-team playoff field, this is what it might have looked like:
(12) Tulane vs. (5) Alabama in the first round
(11) Clemson vs. (6) USC in the first round
(10) Kansas State vs. (7) Tennessee in the first round
(9) Utah vs. (8) Penn State in the first round
The Tulane-Alabama winner would have then played (4) Ohio State in the quarterfinals.
The Clemson-USC winner would have then played (3) TCU in the quarterfinals.
The Kansas State-Tennessee winner would have then played (2) Michigan in the quarterfinals.
The Utah-Penn State winner would have then played (1) Georgia in the quarterfinals.
Tulane-Alabama-Ohio State versus Utah-Penn State-Georgia in semifinal No. 1.
Clemson-USC-TCU versus Kansas State-Tennessee-Michigan in semifinal No. 2.