By now, everyone from tiny toddlers to octogenarian-aged hotdog vendors know the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are overwhelming favorites to win the National Championship.
Despite the fact that oddsmakers and the majority of college football fans don’t believe the Crimson Tide can be beaten, I’m not among the majority and believe that Alabama like any team can definitely be taken down.
What you need to know is which team is the best longshot to upset the Tide and which one is the ‘smart’ pick to do so. Let’s find out now with my updated college football championship odds.
Analyzing The Updated College Football National Championship Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide 4/11
Once again, whether you love the Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0 SU, 8-4 ATS) or hate them with every fiber of your being like I do, there’s just no denying that it’s going to take a Herculean effort to beat Nick Saban’s team.
When it comes to the top-ranked Crimson Tide, their excellence starts and ends with their stupendous defense. I mean, really, it’s kind of hard to beat someone – when you can’t score the damn ball! The Crimson Tide are ranked first in total defense (247.1 ypg), first against the run (69.0 ypg), 11th against the pass (178.0 ypg) and first in points allowed (11.4 ppg).
While Alabama’s offense doesn’t get much credit for their on-field excellence, I guess it’s mostly because the Tide are so busy pounding their opponents senseless defensively that their offense, which is very good, gets overlooked. Alabama ranks 22nd nationally in total offense (479.5 ypg) and an equally impressive 19th in scoring (39.4 ypg).
While the Tide don’t have a powerful running back leading their offense like they normally do, the Tide have still been able to run the ball effectively in ranking 13th nationally in rushing (248.3 ypg) and have found a ‘new’ way to pound their opponents on offense thanks to the emergence of true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The fleet-footed first-year star has been stupendous in completing 65.9 percent of his passes while throwing 21 touchdown passes and just nine interceptions. Hurts’ ability to run the ball has made Alabama’s offense extremely dangerous to stop this season and could be the thing that puts them over the top believe it or not!
Clemson Tigers 13/2
Maybe it’s me, but I just don’t understand why the Clemson Tigers (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) seem to be an afterthought in the minds of many college football fans that like Alabama or even Ohio State more. I picked the Tigers to reach the national championship opposite Alabama for the second straight season and the Tigers haven’t disappointed.
Clemson’s offense gets the lion’s share of national media attention for being ranked 12th in total offense this season (507.4 ypg), fifth in passing (336.0 ypg) and 17th in scoring (40.0 ppg), but for me, it is Clemson’s underrated defense that makes me believe they could beat anyone to win this season’s national championship. Well, that, and the play of superstar quarterback DeShaun Watson.
The Tigers rank eighth nationally in total defense (307.9 ypg), 26th against the run, 12th against the pass (180.1 ypg) and a stellar eighth in points allowed (17.0 ppg).
More importantly, Watson and his dual-threat abilities make him one of the few quarterbacks in the country capable of giving Alabama’s stingy defense problems with his ability to make throws from the pocket or break down a defense by running the ball when the opportunity presents itself.
Watson has been outstanding this season in completing an incendiary 67.5 percent of his passes for 3,626 yards with 34 touchdown passes, though he has tossed an unusually high, 14 interceptions. Watson has also rushed for over 400 yards and four touchdowns to compliment running back Wayne Gallman’s 943 rushing yards and team-high 14 rushing TDs.
The Tigers may not be getting the respect they deserve, but I like them to get it done this season. Besides, at 13/2 odds, they’re certainly offering a ton of value for a legit title contender.
Despite its absolutely fantastic season, the Washington Huskies (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) are absolutely not expected by oddsmakers or many college football fans – to give the Alabama Crimson Tide any problems when they square off in their semifinal showdown. No matter, I think the Huskies will cover the spread against the Tide as huge double-digit underdogs, while potentially beating the Tide outright.
Washington ranks a stellar fourth nationally in scoring by putting up an eye-opening 44.7 points per game as underrated quarterback Jake Browning has completed an impressive 65.0 percent of his passes for 3,162 yards with an insane 40 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions.
Washington also has a seriously gifted – and underrated – running back in Myles Gaskin (1,180 yards, 10 TDs), not to mention a trio of excellent receivers that all look like they could be playing at the next level in the near future.
While the Huskies’ high-scoring offense gets the lion’s share of national media attention for its high-scoring ways, for me, it is Washington’s defense that could be the key to upsetting Alabama. Washington ranks 17th nationally in total defense (328.9 ypg) and an encouraging 11th in points allowed (17.8 ppg).
I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again. I fully believe Washington will cover the spread as a double-digit underdog against Alabama – and that the Huskies could win outright – even if no one outside my ‘group of one’ thinks so. Besides, at 15/1 odds, Washington is offering an absolute ton of value!