BCS Title Odds (05/21/13)
A look at the College Football BCS National Championship odds. Lines courtesy of Bovada.lv.
The college football season kicks off in 100 days. Alabama is looking to become the first program in the AP era to win back-to-back-to-back National Championships. If the Crimson Tide or any other SEC school wins the title it will be the eighth straight for the Southeastern Conference.
Alabama is the oddsmakers’ favorite to win the BCS Championship at 3/1. Ohio State is the second favorite at 13/2. Ohio State brings the longest active win streak into this season; the Buckeyes went 12-0 last season.
This marks the first season of a college football playoff. A selection committee will choose four teams for the playoff based on their performance during the regular season, which includes strength of schedule, championships won, and other factors. Below we breakdown the most likely participants in this year’s College Football Playoff based on the oddsmakers’ favorites to win the title.
Alabama – 3/1 odds
A three-peat for the Tide would give Alabama four titles in the last five years. Bama is led by senior quarterback and Heisman hopeful A.J. McCarron. McCarron has gone from “game manager” to third most likely Heisman favorite (10/1 odds). Nick Saban, the devil himself, has secured the No. 1 recruiting class, according to ESPN, for the second year in a row. The influx of talent will be needed as top Alabama players keep getting drafted, three were taken in the first round this year.
Ohio State – 13/2 odds
Expectations have not been higher since a sweater vest clad coach roamed the sidelines. The Buckeyes, after serving a one year suspension, are eligible for postseason play. Ohio State is the favorite to win the Big 10 with 13 returning starters including quarterback Braxton Miller. The real question for the Buckeyes will be on the defensive side of the ball. Only four starters return and Urban Meyer will need to replace his entire front four including Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year John Simon.
Oregon – 7/1 odds
Dark clouds hang over Eugene with the departure of Chip Kelly and possible NCAA sanctions. Brightening the mood for Ducks' fans is the return of Marcus Mariota. Mariota threw for 2,677 yards and 32 touchdowns last season while making an impact on the ground rushing for 752 yards and 5 touchdowns. With 16 starters returning, the transition of new coach Mark Helfrich should be smooth.
Texas A&M – 15/2 odds
The 2012 season could not have gone any better for the Aggies. New coach Kevin Sumlin and freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel led Texas A&M to an 11-2 record in the school's first year in the SEC which included a road upset of Alabama. Manziel returns for his sophomore campaign looking to become only the second player to win the Heisman Trophy twice. In addition to a brutal SEC schedule the Aggies will need to overcome major losses on the offensive line and defensive side of the ball if they hope to compete for the title.
Below are the odds for the top programs in the country. While the odds on favorite (Alabama) to win the title most likely will not differ from sportsbook to sportsbook there will be differences of opinion for other schools. For instance, 5Dimes has Florida listed at 27/1 (Bovada 20/1), South Carolina 34/1 (Bovada 28/1), and Michigan 41/1 (Bovada 28/1).
Note: Three of the 2012 preseason AP top-four failed to end up in the postseason AP top-10 (USC, LSU and Oklahoma). There is a good chance that some of the favorites to win the title this season have disappointing years.