Alabama Strong Favorite to Repeat as National ChampionsBy David A.
The 2018 college football regular season is less than a month and a half from its opening kickoff. This week odds makers updated their national title odds for the upcoming season. Familiar faces dominate the top 5 spots.
To no one’s surprise the favorite to repeat as national champion is the Alabama Crimson Tide under the tutelage of coach Nick Saban. The Tide is stacked on both sides of the line and considered the deepest team in the nation. Jalen Hurts or Tua Tagovailoa will be the quarterback running the show on offense, but the Crimson Tide can win with either one under center. The defense will be anchored by its linebacker corps and a strong secondary.
Odds: 11 to 4
It is no surprise that the Clemson Tigers have the second shortest odds to win the national title. One of the biggest reasons they are regarded so highly is their defensive line. The entire line returns from last season and will force opposing teams to pass first and run second. On offense, the Tigers have two strong quarterbacks that will keep defenses off balance. Clemson’s 2018 squad will be better than last season when they reached the College Football Playoff as the top seed. Clemson’s defense and the defensive line in particular will be the nation’s best.
Odds: 6 to 1
The Ohio State Buckeyes did not reach the CFP last season, but this season are favored to reach the “final four” and have the third shortest odds to win the national title. The season for Ohio State will be determined by how well they play on the road at Penn State and Michigan State, with both of those opponents in the Top 20 in most preseason polls. Dwayne Haskins will start under center and how he plays earlier in the season could determine the team’s title chances in January.
Odds: 7 to 1
The Georgia Bulldogs surprised the college football world reaching the national championship game last season where they lost to Alabama. They beat No. 2 Oklahoma and No. 4 Auburn and then took Alabama to overtime before succumbing. The defense lost 6 of its starters from last season, but recruited very well and has several new faces that will impress. In all likelihood Georgia will end up in the SEC title game against Alabama and both are strong candidates to reach the CFP.
Odds: 7 to 1
Michigan is expected to battle for the title in the Big Ten in 2018 and have a good chance of making the CFP. Shea Patterson takes over as the team’s starting quarterback, but he must guide the offense to wins against four and maybe five Top 15 opponents and it starts with Notre Dame to open the season. Michigan easily has the hardest schedule of any of the top 10 preseason teams and quite possibly one of the toughest in the nation.
Odds: 10 to 1