NCAAF
March 25, 2022

2022 College Football Odds: Best Bets for National Championship Winner

It has been way too long since we have talked some college ball. What better way to dust off the cobwebs than with some futures for the 2022-2023 season? 

Today, we are going to take a look at this season's odds to win the National Championship. As is tradition in college football, there are probably only two to three teams that can actually win the championship. That is tough to say coming off a season where Cincinnati and Michigan made the playoffs, but let's be real, do you think the committee is going to let another G5 team after the Bearcats got smacked against Alabama?

Win totals, player awards, and everything else will be released at a later date, but man does it feel good to be talking about some college football again. Spring ball is starting up, so that means we will also start back up the college football content. 

Obviously, all odds are subject to change. There are still some top-tier players in the transfer portal, and we have no idea what the depth charts will look like. But for now, let's take a look at the best future to win next season's National Championship. 

*Odds via FanDuel Sportsbook

National Championship Odds

TeamOdds
Alabama+200
Georgia+350
Ohio State+500
Clemson+950
Texas A&M+3000
USC+4000

The Southern Powers

As always, Alabama is the preseason favorite to win the National Championship. It has been, and always will be my philosophy that you should never take an Alabama future unless the odds are absurdly in your favor. I just do not see the value in taking that low of a future. Even if Alabama rules the sport, I would rather fish for the value. 

As everyone knows, because I told anyone who would listen, I was on Georgia the whole season. The day the preseason odds came out for this past season, I took Georgia. Now, my reasoning was because J.T. Daniels was going to be the missing link this team needed. However, the Dawgs rode with Stetson Bennett to not completely screw things up for their elite defense, and that is exactly what they did.

Although Georgia is a rising power, and they will be able to reload, I just do not think that you can strike gold with Bennett twice. Everyone around them is in the same spot as Georgia, but the majority of those teams have much better quarterbacks. Georgia has Brock Vandagriff ready to take the starting job at any moment, but there is no chance Georgia doesn't give Bennett the opening game nod. 

I am not willing to declare Clemson dead after one season, but Clemson was unbelievably bad on offense last season. After looking sharp in a few starts for the Tigers in 2020, D.J. Uiagalelei was the worst-rated P5 quarterback last season. Starting 2020 as the preseason favorite to win the Heisman, Uiagalelei will now enter a quarterback battle this spring with Cade Klubnik.

Clemson is still recruiting at a high level, but Dabo Swinney's refusal to utilize the transfer portal is going to cost them, especially this season. 

I know Texas A&M is among the betting favorites, and their 2022 recruiting class is statistically, the greatest of all time, but there is no chance I take this program seriously. A plethora of young players is not enough for me to take a future on your championship odds. 

The Aggies are on the right track, but these players need some seasoning before I dive in. 

California Love?

USC has dominated the transfer portal during the Lincoln Riley era. They landed highly-touted Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams, and players like Latrell McCutchin, Travis Dye, Mario Williams, and Brenden Rice will fill in the cracks for a roster that just was not good last season. I will give it about two years before USC inevitably because a powerhouse, but for now, they used the transfer portal to cover up the ugliness that lay within. 

The Trojans are dominating the 2023 recruiting trail, and there is just a different feel around this team. But like Texas A&M, a few really good players will not make up for the rest of the roster being average. 

THE National Championship University? 

Heading up north, Ohio State is getting a lot of love from the public. Normally, having your two best receivers leave for the draft is not great, but Jaxson Smith-Njigba, Marvin Harrison Jr., and Julian Fleming balled out in the Rose Bowl, and C.J. Stroud's improvement throughout the season was very impressive. 

The Buckeyes have the best offense in the country heading into 2022, but the defense is what scares me. Ohio State had Steele Chambers getting some run at linebacker last season. While that is an awesome linebacker's name, Chambers is a running back and has never played linebacker for Ohio State before last season. Ohio State was very young on defense with Denzel Burke, Jack Sawyer, and J.T. Tuimoloau all getting a lot of time as true-freshman. 

All three of those guys flashed their five-star potential, and with Jim Knowles coming over from Oklahoma State to be the new defensive coordinator, Ohio State was able to snag Tanner McCallister, and DeaMonte Trayanum from the transfer portal to help out the depth on defense.

Last season, Oklahoma State's defense was ranked 10th in scoring, 4th in yards per game, and 9th in points per play. No disrespect towards the Pokes, but Knowles is going to have a lot better talent to play with in Columbus. 

If you have not noticed, I am talking about the Buckeyes a lot. First of all, yes, I am an Ohio State fan, secondly, I love the value the Buckeyes are getting, and the Big Ten should get a lot worse this season. I have never bet on the Buckeyes to win the National Championship before, but this season, I am taking Ohio State based on that offense, and their defense coming in this season more experienced, and with a better coach. 

It also helps that they play Notre Dame for their first game of the season. Ohio State lost to Oregon at home in Week 2 last season, but that loss did not matter even in the slightest. Their loss to Michigan is what kept them out of the playoffs. The playoff committee operates under the theory of "what have you done for me lately?" rather than taking in a season-long body of work. 

It is a win-win for the Buckeyes. If they win, Notre Dame is on their end-of-season resume. If they lose, the narrative will be "well, they are much better at the end of the season than the beginning" after they run over the Big 10. 

Pick: Ohio State +500

Photo: Getty Images