Being labeled as a betting favorite in whichever sport comes with its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand, and the positive hand for that matter; it motivates players and teams to do well and prove that they indeed deserved to be placed as favorites. On the negative hand, it comes with a lot of expectations, which can easily put undue pressure on teams and players hence leading to mess-ups. For the 2016 college football championship favorites mentioned in this article, that’s the position they will find themselves in.
Which favored team offers the best chance to overcome the obstacles in the 2016 NCAA Football lines and stand tallest in the end with the FBS National Championship? Read on to find out what our handicapper has to say ahead of the new college football season.
Here’s a Look at the 2016 College Football Playoff Expert Betting Picks
— NCAA Football (@NCAAFootball) July 28, 2016
Ohio State Buckeyes
With J.T. Barrett leading Ohio State as an experienced QB and the Buckeyes having a squad that is absolutely loaded with talent on both sides of the ball, the Buckeyes have all the ingredients needed for them to succeed in the watered-down Big Ten Conference that is expected to feature relatively easier competition compared to the past couple of years. On paper, the games against Wisconsin, Penn State, Maryland and Michigan State stand as Ohio’ State’s toughest games of the year; tilts that Urban Meyer’s boys should be more than capable of acing en route to the playoffs as Big Ten representatives.
Every year, we get to hear the same talks about Alabama’s lack at QB, or RB, or somewhere else, and every year Nick Saban proves that he is the best in the business by finding his next-man-up, so 2016 shouldn’t be an exception. Bama has won an FBS-best four national championships over the past national championships, including last year’s thrilling win over a Clemson team that entered the finals with an undefeated record from the entire season. Replacing Heisman Trophy winner RB Derrick Henry and defensive coordinator Kirby Smart won’t be easy, but with 12 returning starters, the No.1 recruiting class in the nation and the firm hand of Saban to guide the team; locking the Crimson Tide as solid national championship favorite is well worth the price right now.
If the Tigers were able to make a loss-less run until the Championship game last season with QB Deshaun Watson being rather inexperienced at the time, imagine what they can do now that he is more experienced and returns with some of the best pieces in the country supporting him in the offense. Just about the only concerns are that Clemson will be playing a deadly title-contender in Florida State and will also need to make some replacements in the defense that lost some talents in the offseason. Even so, every team has its fair share of talent loss to deal with and some tough opponent to play; meaning Clemson should warrant as much trust as any other favorite in its quest for a second straight appearance in the National Championship game.
Like Alabama in the SEC, the Cardinal has been the class of the Pac-12 Conference, winning three of the last four Pac-12 titles– including last season’s conference championship when they recovered from a season-opening loss and ran down everyone en route to a Rose Bowl blowout win over Iowa. Replacing quarterback Kevin Hogan will be a tough ask, but whoever gets the job shouldn’t have much of a problem in the offense as he will inherit some solid talents, none more important than 2015 Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey— the player who led the nation in all-purpose yards last season. Meanwhile, the Cardinal should remain solid in defense, giving the team a much-needed balance and motivation to challenge for a first-ever playoffs appearance.
My Final Remarks and My 2016 College Football Championship Predictions
Oklahoma and USC deserve to be mentioned here, and I wouldn’t actually be surprised if any of them made the NCAAF Championship Game. As things stand currently, though, both teams have very brutal schedules, with OU going against the likes of Texas, TCU and Baylor in the Big 12 while USC faces powerhouses like Stanford, Utah, Arizona, Washington and UCLA, California and Oregon in the Pac-12, making their path to the playoffs more uncertain. Picking either of them right now is therefore a big risk.
In regards to the favorites analyzed above, Ohio State looks like the most complete team, making them my early pick to win it all. Whether they will get to deliver or not is something that remains to be seen.
My 2016-17 College Football Championship Winning Pick: Ohio State