National Title: More Money Behind Alabama, More Tickets Behind USCBy David A.
Three weeks from today the 2017 college football regular season have its opening kickoff. That means bettors are placing their bets on which team will win the national championship.
The majority of sportsbooks have taken the most money on the Alabama Crimson Tide to win the national title, followed closely by USC. The next three rounding out the top 5 in most money wagered are Ohio State, Florida State and Michigan.
This week, the Coaches Poll was released and Alabama was the top team as 49 out of 65 coaches who voted put the Crimson Tide as No 1. On that same poll, Ohio State was No. 2 garnering 5 first place votes, while Florida State was No. 3, USC No. 4 and Clemson, the defending national champion, No. 5.
Seeing Alabama at the top is nothing new or surprising. The Tide has played in the past two national championship games, as has the Clemson Tigers, the Tide won in 2015.
Dating back to 2009, Alabama teams under head coach Nick Saban have played five times in the National Championship game winning four of the five.
Several sportsbooks have Alabama sitting at 3 to 1 to win the national title, while USC and Ohio State are 15 to 2, Florida State 8 to 1, Oklahoma 10 to 1 and Michigan 14 to 1.
While Alabama is the undisputed favorite to begin the preseason and more money has been wagered on the Tide to win the title, more bettors have backed USC to win the national title. In fact, on most sportsbooks, Alabama is fourth or even fifth in number of tickets wagered.
The most have been on USC, Michigan followed by Ohio State then the Crimson Tide.
The Trojans were considered the sport’s most dominant program during the 2000s, but when Pete Carroll left to coach in the NFL, USC fell on hard times.
However, last season the team finished 10-3 capped off by a win in the Rose Bowl over Penn State.
With most of the play on Alabama, USC, Ohio State and Florida State that are several other teams that give significantly better value with little risk.
Clemson, the defending national champions lost their field general quarterback Deshaun Watson to the NFL but his successor Kelly Bryant is expected to play well behind a strong offensive line and deep receiving corps. At 28 to 1 on many books, the Tigers have good value.