The 2020 college football season ended up being wild from start to finish. With all of the COVID-19 protocols, cancellations and then un-cancellations, shortened schedules and then a couple of crazy playoff games, 2020 was definitely a season to remember. As the 2021 season quickly approaches, let’s take a look at the latest futures on the board and see where there is some value.
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The Alabama Crimson Tide (+350) are primed for another championship level season. Isn’t that the story every year? They’re fresh off a 13-0 season and had just one game where the final score was within double-digits. They did lose a number of players to the NFL such as Najee Harris, Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith, but they were able to have one of the best recruiting classes during the offseason. Alabama always seems to find a way to compete for a championship, so they’ll be the team to beat.
Of course, the top contender in the SEC is the Georgia Bulldogs (+400). Although LSU beat up Alabama a couple of years ago, the most consistent contender to Alabama in recent memory has been Georgia. They are currently tied with Clemson for second in the released betting odds for the upcoming season and for good reason.
Alabama may have had a tremendous recruiting class recently, but Georgia had the best one in 2020 and the second best one in 2019. Quarterback J.T. Daniels is back and he looked great in the time we saw him last season. The Bulldogs won all four of his starts and he threw for 10 touchdowns and just two picks. If he gives the offense the threat through the air they need, this team will give Alabama a run for their money.
The other team that’s at +400 is the Clemson Tigers. Although Trevor Lawrence is now the quarterback of the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Tigers have proven that they simply reload, not rebuild.
Alabama’s Bryce Young (+550) is second in terms of the odds to win the Heisman Trophy by Clemson quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei is fourth (+800). He was the No. 2 recruit in the 2020 class (behind Young) and he’ll lead a Clemson squad that has plenty of talent. More importantly, they have an easier path to the championship as they’re in a much weaker conference.
The Ohio State Buckeyes (+650) lost in the national championship game against Alabama last season and they lost quite a bit of talent too. Star quarterback Justin Fields is now with the Chicago Bears in the NFL, which leaves a massive hole on their offense. The schools did reel in some top-level talent at the wide receiver position during the offseason, which could help out whoever ends up taking Fields spot. They’re still the top dog in the Big Ten, so they should be in contention to win the National Championship again.
The Iowa State Cyclones (+2500) could be an interesting value play this season. Head coach Matt Campbell helped take this team to No. 9 in the rankings at the end of last year as the school won more than eight games for just the third time in state history. With Brock Purdy back to lead the offense (he’s at 33/1 to win the Heisman), the Cyclones could prove to be the best team in the Big 12.