2017 NCAA Football Championship Odds Preview
The start of the 2016 NCAA college football season may still be months away from getting started, but college football betting fans everywhere are already starting to turn an eye toward the upcoming season in the hopes of cashing in early and often. Thanks to this look at the odds to win the 2017 National Championship, you’re going to get a great idea of which teams will be legitimate contenders, which ones will likely be nothing more than pretenders and those that have no shot at winning it all next season. Okay, let’s get started.
2017 NCAA Football Championship Odds Preview
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Favorites To Win It
Analysis: The Clemson Tigers nearly won it all last season and will have arguably the nation’s best quarterback under center in 2016 in the gifted Deshaun Watson, but it is the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide that are favored to win it all again in 2017.
The Tide pulled off the nation’s top recruiting class by signing three 5-star recruits, a whopping 16 4-star recruits and six 3-star recruits. Clemson ranked 14th in national recruiting while Oklahoma ranked 20th, Ohio State second and Michigan, sixth. The bad news for Alabama is that the Tide will be breaking in a new starting quarterback thanks to the graduation of Jake Coker.
Oklahoma will lean heavily on Heisman Trophy contender Baker Mayfield while Ohio State turns to J.T. Barrett to overcome the losses of Ezekiel Elliott and defensive end Joey Bosa.
Last but not least, college football bettors can expect Michigan to continue improving its program in Year Two of the Jim Harbaugh ear, though the Wolverines need to find a replacement for quarterback Jake Rudock.
Contenders To Win The Title
Analysis: Ole Miss has increased its win total in each of the last three years under head coach Hugh Freeze and will have a shot to do something big this coming season thanks to quarterback Chad Kelly. Mark Richt is out at Georgia and that could be a good thing for the perennially underachieving Bulldogs in Kirby Smart’s first season, especially if running back Nick Chubb regains his All-American form.
UCLA will look to build on quarterback Josh Rosen stellar freshman season but will do so without star running back Paul Perkins in 2016. TCU loses four starters on the offensive line as well as elite stars in quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson.
My favorite team in this group is the Houston Cougars. Tom Herman led his team to a stellar 13-1 mark in 2015 and 2016 could produce a similar campaign thanks to the play of quarterback Greg Ward first and foremost.
Pretenders To The Title
Analysis: Arkansas lost Quarterback Brandon Allen, running back Alex Collins and tight end Hunter Henry and that likely means the Razorbacks will take a step backwards in 2016. While Boise State took a step back in head coach Bryan Harsin’s second season at the helm, quarterback Brett Rypien and running back Jeremy McNichols return to lead what should be another explosive offense for the Broncos.
I also love Wisconsin’s chances to rebound as they’ll have gifted running back Corey Clement back on the field after the expected Heisman contender missed virtually all of the 2015 campaign due to a series of injuries, including a debilitating sports hernia.
Best Of The Rest To Win The Title
|San Diego State||1000/1|
Analysis: With Cal and Penn State losing starting quarterbacks Jared Goff and Christian Hackenberg to the NFL Draft, both schools will be hard-pressed to challenge for much of anything, even in their own conferences. The two teams that I really like to exceed their expectations in 2016 are Texas Tech and Temple. I love dynamic dual-threat Texas Tech signal-caller Pat Mahomes and I believe he can help the Red Raiders make another jump in the win column after helping them improve to 7-6 last season after going 4-8 in 2014.
Last season, Mahomes led the Big 12 in passing yards (4,653, the best total in the Big 12 since 2011) and tied Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield with 36 touchdown passes. If the Red Raiders can improve their overly generous defense, they could surprise.
As far as the Temple Owls are concerned, the Owls have an elite running back in Jahad Thomas but the Owls will need quarterback P.J. Walker to be better than he was down the stretch last season. Temple will also need to overcome the loss of super-active linebacker Tyler Matakevich, but they have an outstanding head coach in the widely-respected Vern Rhule and a schedule that features suddenly mediocre Penn State as its toughest opponent.