College Football Betting: 4 Early Bets To Win 2021 College Football Playoff
The 2021 college football season is many months away. The 2020 pandemic season just ended with Alabama beating Ohio State in the national championship game, after the Crimson Tide beat Notre Dame and the Buckeyes whacked Clemson in the playoff semifinals. College football is a sport with an entrenched power structure, but in 2019, few people expected LSU to dominate the sport. Is there another surprising scenario just around the corner in 2021, or will the big boys remain in charge of the sport? When the season begins at the end of August, which teams are likely to be at the top of the rankings?
The Crimson Tide won’t have DeVonta Smith or some of their other elite players from the 2020 national championship team. Yet, if you know anything about Alabama under Nick Saban, you know this team regularly reloads. It doesn’t go through rebuilding years. Even in 2019, when Alabama lost two games and didn’t make the College Football Playoff, it had a very talented team. Its problems were Joe Burrow of LSU and a ton of injuries which decimated Saban’s defense. That team had a legitimate shot at the national championship but ran into a hot opponent (LSU) and had horrible injury luck. When Alabama entered the 2020 season, many people felt the Crimson Tide would suffer because they no longer had Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback. Mac Jones was expected to be a downgrade. Yet, you saw how well the Alabama offense played all season long. This team simply plugs in new faces and gets the same great results. Alabama is still the favorite to win the SEC in 2021.
The Tigers didn’t win the national title this past season, and they didn’t even make the national championship game, but they did win the ACC championship, and they did make the College Football Playoff. There is really nothing which should prevent them from winning the ACC once again in 2021, which would mark Clemson’s seventh consecutive conference title. Clemson has D.J. Uiagalelei at quarterback. You might recall that he briefly played for Trevor Lawrence when Lawrence was out due to COVID-19 this past season. That in-game experience should make Uiagalelei a much better quarterback in 2021. He got a taste of high-pressure situations and should have little trouble sliding into the starting role this coming season while Lawrence moves into the NFL. Yet, Uiagalelei isn’t the main reason Clemson should thrive this year. The Tigers will retain almost their entire defense. Players who were on the fence about declaring for the NFL draft decided to stay in school, a likely product of a terrible defensive performance versus Ohio State in the playoff semifinals. Clemson’s 11 defensive starters will have a ton to prove, and that should give the Tigers the edge they need in 2021.
The Buckeyes got great news when receiver Chris Olave decided to return to school for 2021 instead of jumping to the NFL. Justin Fields won’t be around, but the Ohio State roster will be loaded just the same. Head coach Ryan Day will face challenges in maintaining the Buckeyes’ place atop the Big Ten, but until another team in the conference shows it can stand up to OSU, the Buckeyes remain the favorite in the league.
The Sooners had a young offensive line in 2020 which wasn’t always focused or competent. However, the Sooners improved throughout the season and should have a much tougher and more polished offensive line in 2021. The work of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch has sharply improved the physicality and quality of Oklahoma’s defense. This is going to be a playoff contender in 2021, with quarterback Spencer Rattler set for a breakout season.