The NCAAF betting guide for the 2023 National Championship has already been thrown through the wringer as player and coach movement has caused different institutions to take massive leaps— or dives— in the NCAAF odds.
Amidst the craziness of March Madness, a few early contenders for the upcoming national title have emerged.
Here’s how the race to be college football’s “top dog” is shaping up through spring practice.
The ever-present threat of the Alabama Crimson Tide has last year’s runner-up checking in at the top spot in the way-too-early NCAAF betting guide. Bama returns record-setting quarterback Bryce Young as well as a talented cast of players, although they will be experiencing decent roster turnover. The positive news for Bama fans is that this happens every year, and head coach Nick Saban has figured out how to keep them in the good graces of the NCAAF spreads despite the constant roster changes.
Georgia won last year’s national title thanks largely in part to an overwhelming defense that brought the fire to every opponent it faced, barring the Southeastern Conference title match against Alabama, which they then beat in the national championship. Like the Crimson Tide, Georgia is going to be losing a lot of key pieces but has an impressive freshman class coming in. The major concern for Georgia will be if it can survive the pounding of an SEC regular-season schedule, but they will have the luxury of returning QB Stetson Bennett to lead them through it.
Ohio State (+500)
The Buckeyes, like the previous two programs, are in the position of losing and bringing back an assortment of impact players— such is the burden of being such a highly-reputable program with professional talents on the roster. Ohio State has not been able to get over the hump in recent seasons, claiming its last national title in 2014. Most NCAAF betting guides still favor Ohio State as a clear top-three team in America, but they are going to figure out how to make the extra surge that has avoided them in recent seasons; thankfully for them, and just like the other schools, standout QB C.J. Stroud will be back for another year.
The Clemson Tigers are next in the NCAAF championship odds despite having a disappointing 2021-22 season; even with that, the Tigers went 10-3 and won their Bowl Game against Iowa State 20-13. Clemson’s biggest problem last season was inconsistent quarterback play from D.J. Uigalelei, but their defense was as staunch as ever, and they are still a viable contender for the upcoming title.
Texas A&M (+3000)
Well, this has to be a welcome sign for Texas A&M fans; the Aggies have vaulted up to fifth in the preseason odds and are likely to be one of the most popular NCAAF picks against the spread because of their rapidly-increasing talent, both from transfers and recruiting classes. The Aggies managed standout victories over Alabama and Auburn last season and are one of the ascending programs in America.