College football futures watch: Georgia, Alabama swap spots as title favorites

Oct 17, 2020; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Georgia offensive lineman Warren McClendon (70) forces Alabama defensive back Malachi Moore (13) out of bounds after Moore intercepted a pass during the second half of Alabama's 41-24 win over Georgia at Bryant-Denny Stadium.
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Ricky Dimon

NCAAF· 4 days ago

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports--just about any and all you can think of!--and coaching tennis in Atlanta, Ga. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

There is a new National Championship favorite in college football. Georgia is now occupying the top spot both on the odds list and in the rankings, as it continued to dominate with a routine win over Arkansas. Defending champion and previously No. 1 Alabama, however, was stunned by Texas A&M.

Thus there was an ol’ switcheroo for the top two title favorites. There was no change in the Heisman Trophy market, however, despite the Crimson Tide’s loss. Bryce Young is still the favorite to hold the stiff-armed statue at the end of the regular season.

Let’s take a look at where some of the futures markets stand following six full weeks of college football action.

National Championship

Georgia +125
Alabama +220

Ohio State +800
Oklahoma +1500
Iowa +2000
Cincinnati +2500
Michigan +3000

Even during the College Football Playoff era in which one loss is not necessarily crippling, most programs take a serious hit when they come up on the short end of any game. Well, Alabama is not most programs. The Tide still have relatively short odds at +220 to capture another national title. And why not? Nothing has changed in terms of controlling their own destiny. Obviously if they win out and secure the SEC championship, they are going to be one of the four teams in the playoff. In fact, ‘Bama could even lose a close game to Georgia in the SEC Championship and still sneak in if help comes from other results around the country. As for the Bulldogs, they are now favorites for the first time in 2021 (+125 to win it all and -130 to win the SEC).

Elsewhere in the picture, the Iowa vs Penn State was always going to determine which team would remain in College Football Playoff position. The Hawkeyes prevailed 23-20 and climbed to No. 2 in the polls, but they only moved up to fifth in the odds (+2000). Ohio State is still third (improved from +1000 to +800) and Oklahoma stayed in fourth (once again +1500).

Heisman Trophy

Bryce Young, QB, Alabama +180
Matt Corral, QB, Ole Miss +200
CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State +800
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State +1200
Desmond Ridder, QB, Cincinnati +1400
Bijan Robinson, RB, Texas, +1400

Similar to his team’s chances of winning it all, Bryce Young did not take much of a hit on the heels of Alabama’s 41-38 setback against A&M. After all, it wasn’t Young’s fault. He had another big game with 369 passing yards and 3 touchdowns in addition to an interception. The sophomore is now a +180 favorite instead of +120. Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral, who lost the head-to-head matchup with Young when ‘Bama won 42-21 a week earlier, is still second at +200.

The moves that were made in the Heisman picture came from Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud (+800) and Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III (+1200). Stroud threw for 406 yards and 5 TDs in the Buckeyes’ 66-17 rout of Maryland. The Big Ten rival Spartans took care of Rutgers 31-13, as Walker ran for 232 yards and a score. Walker has 358 yards and 4 touchdowns over the past two games.

Big 12

A Red River rivalry rematch in the Big 12 title game? Yes, please. With the conference no longer divided into halves, it’s a free-for-all in terms of snagging the two spots in the championship game. If the Longhorns can win out, they won’t even need help to get another shot at the Sooners. That’s why UT is still a +380 second choice to win the Big 12. OU is -175. Nobody else is better than +600 (Oklahoma State).

At Pickswise we offer free expert College Football Picks and College Football Predictions for all games in the Power Five conferences and the top 25 teams outside of Power five, including our College Football Parlay picks each week.

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