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Can Alabama repeat as College Football National Champions?




Alabama is again the favorite to win the NCAA College Football Championship, but the odds make it tough to place a future bet on the Crimson Tide.

A tide of "amateur money" and loyal fans have made for a very shaky proposition

Let’s set the record straight.  There is no verifiable evidence to suggest the Alabama Crimson Tide will not repeat this season as NCAA College Football champions.  But at the price currently offered by most preferred offshore sportsbooks, hardly worth your investment. 

In fact, it almost seems that most books have learned a lesson in that they will not let bettors take them again at 3-1 or more ever again posting up this decade’s college football dynasty team.  If the public wants to pay the price, then they’ll just have to take whatever they serve up. 

Currently, large and well-known sportsbooks like Bovada and BetOnline have Alabama as intimidating +180 to +190 favorites to win it all.  That’s a discouraging and very poor value considering the Tide must first win through the toughest conference in America in the SEC.   Then likely capture the SEC Championship plus their feature playoff bowl game before reaching the final. 

What is interesting is noting that ACC powerhouse Clemson is the number two choice at BetOnline at +400 with major SEC competitor Georgia not far behind in the number three slot at +900.  Even fanatical rival Auburn is included in the Top 10 selections at +3300.  As a longshot, they could be an excellent play, considering they will have the opportunity to decide their own destiny against Alabama by playing them at least once and possibly twice. 

Since the NCAA switched to its current playoff format four years ago, Alabama has made it to the final four playoffs on three of those occasions and won twice in that span. Despite losing a ton of talent to the NFL, master recruiter Nick Saban has wooed 13 of the top 300 players in the U.S. committed to play for his team in 2018-19.  Most will be key contributors.

Over the last ten years, 48.3 percent of five-star recruits who played for Alabama have been drafted in the first round.  It seems they have developed a “Mercedes-like” reputation for NFL teams easing their anxiety when deciding who to draft. 

A Potential Wagering Strategy

Unlike devoting 80-100% of your funds on an almost sure Golden State Warriors NBA Championship, it would be foolish to compare Alabama in the same vein. The single game elimination plus the subjective voter factor totally makes this a baseless argument. Also consider the Warriors are currently -160, not +180 to +190.  Should the Tide stumble a bit in September, the odds will rise a bit higher.  Then again, it would be extremely un-wise to totally discount Alabama as the choice considering all their strengths and the many plusses they have going for them. 

As a reverse, I would suggest investing 20-30% of your NCAA future wager on Alabama as a safeguard.  The remaining 70 to 80 percent devoted to one of the top ten teams currently on the board at many top sportsbooks.  Here are Top 15 NCAA Championship selections listed at BetOnlne:


Alabama Crimson Tide footballAlabama        +190
Clemson        +400
Georgia         +900
Ohio State   +1200
Washington  +1200
Michigan      +1400
Oklahoma    +1600
Penn State   +2500
Wisconsin     +2500
Texas           +2800
Auburn         +3300
Michigan State +4000
Notre Dame   +4000
Florida State  +5000
Miami Florida  +5000

 Looking beyond these fifteen choices is certainly hopeless due to their potential, voter loyalty, initial ranking and most important conference affiliation.  Should Alabama again repeat then you probably will break even.  A selection on a worthy second choice could return a very generous return on investment.

Glenn Greene covers the games from a betting angle every week exclusively at OSGA.com. For weekly betting insights, inlcuding previews and picks from Glenn, click here.