Odds to Win 2017 NCAA College Football Playoff
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The Clemson Tigers won last year’s national championship and it’s time to start looking at who will win it next year. Below are a few teams that are worth keeping an eye on:
Alabama (4-to-1) - Alabama was seconds away from winning the national championship, but Deshaun Watson and Clemson snatched it away. The Crimson Tide will now be a hungry team entering next season, and they’ll certainly have the talent to win another title. QB Jalen Hurts (2,780 yards, 23 TD, 9 INT) and RB Bo Scarbrough (812 yards, 11 TD) are both back to lead this offense, and they should be some of the best players at their positions once again. Defensively, there’s never a reason to worry about Alabama. They get the best recruits in the country, and nobody teaches them better than head coach Nick Saban. Putting a few units on Alabama at 4-to-1 is as safe of a pick as one can make, as it’s a near-lock that this team will at least be in the College Football Playoff next year.
USC (15-to-2) - USC started last season 1-3, but the team won its final nine games of the year. One of those victories was a 26-13 win in Washington, and the Trojans also beat Penn State 52-49 in the Rose Bowl. They’re now going to be hoping to win a national championship, and they just might be able to do it with QB Sam Darnold (3,086 yards, 31 TD, 9 INT) under center. Over the final nine games of the year, Darnold threw for 29 touchdowns with only eight interceptions for USC. He is considered to be the top prospect in the 2018 NFL Draft, and the Trojans have a very good supporting cast around him. At just about 7-to-1, this team is worth taking a shot on. If they can get some solid play from their defensive unit then it would take a lot to keep them out of the College Football Playoff.
Washington (35-to-1) - Washington’s 35-to-1 odds really jump out, as this is a team that was in last year’s College Football Playoff. The Huskies will still have QB Jake Browning (3,430 yards, 43 TD, 9 INT) under center, and Chris Petersen also happens to be one of the best coaches in the country. In a weak conference like the Pac-12, it’s hard to imagine this team not being in contention for a conference championship. Sure, the Huskies will likely have to beat out the Trojans but that’s really not that crazy. Regardless, one of the two teams will likely be representing the conference in the College Football Playoff and it’s worth taking a shot on both of them. Washington, however, would pay out a lot better and has one of last year’s Heisman candidates leading the team in his junior season, which is when a lot of players make a gigantic leap.
Wisconsin (85-to-1) - Wisconsin might not be a team that usually finds itself in the championship conversation, but this program has been severely underrated under head coach Paul Chryst. The Badgers came close to making the CFP a year ago, and they’ll be the favorites to win the Big Ten West this season. That might not seem like a huge deal, but winning that division gets them a spot in the Big Ten title game. If they won that then they’d likely get a spot in the CFP. That might seem like a lot of “if’s”, but this team can play. The Badgers are going to have one of the better offensive lines in the nation next season, and they always have excellent running backs. The team should also have another great defense this season, and will just need better quarterback play. QB Alex Hornibrook (1,262 yards, 9 TD, 7 INT) should be able to provide that, as Hornibrook was very poised as a freshman and seems like he could be one of the better Wisconsin quarterbacks to ever play at the school.