Alabama Now Odds-on Favorites to Win 2021 CFP National Championship After Week 14

Alabama celebrates touchdown

Alabama tight end Jahleel Billingsley (19) scores a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against LSU in Baton Rouge, La., Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
  • Alabama – fresh off its record-setting 55-17 win over LSU – is now the odds-on favorite to win the College Football Playoff
  • The Crimson Tide have played for the CFP title four of the six years of its existence, winning twice (2015 & 2017)
  • See updated National Championship odds after Week 14 play below

The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide (9-0) are the odds-on favorites to capture the program’s third College Football Playoff National Championship after their 55-17 demolition of LSU in Week 14.

The Tide have rolled through their 2020 schedule in utterly dominant fashion, boasting an average margin of victory of just under 31 points a game. Alabama was left out of the sport’s final four for the first time last season – and seem hell-bent on a return to reclaiming their mantle as the best program in the sport.

2021 CFP National Championship Odds

Team Odds
Alabama -105
Clemson +250
Ohio State +550
Notre Dame +1100
Florida +1600
Texas A&M +3000

Odds taken Dec. 7th on FanDuel

Not only has ‘Bama made a steady move to favorite status in the National Championship odds all season, the team has done so in impressive fashion. The roughly 31-point margin of victory in an SEC-only slate (including a 63-3 win over Kentucky and a 41-0 victory against Mississippi State) is one thing.

But putting up the offensive numbers they have, week in and week out, is something we haven’t seen in Tuscaloosa to date.

Following a likely easy victory over Arkansas to close out the regular season in Week 15, is all that enough to win games against Florida in the SEC Championship Game and a potential pair of CFP games? If the Tide knock off the Gators in Atlanta, they would be the top seed in the CFP. Remember, only one No. 1 seed has won it all – and that was those Bayou Bengals from last year.

Talented Trio on Offense

Alabama’s chances to help Saban claim his seventh championship as a head coach (and sixth in Tuscaloosa) rest squarely on the broad shoulders of one of the most talented three-headed monsters seen in college football ever.

All quarterback Mac Jones has done this season is throw for 3,113 yards, 27 touchdowns, only three interceptions and a completion percentage of nearly 76-percent. The crazy part is, Jones might be the least statistically-impressive of ‘Bama’s talented trio.

Jones’ favorite target DeVonta Smith is having a season for the ages. The wide receiver has accounted for an FBS-best 1,305 yards, caught 15 touchdowns (tied for the top spot) and was just named the SEC Player of the Week after a jaw-dropping performance against the Tigers in Week 14.

He’s now garnering legitimate attention as a Heisman finalist.

Then, there’s Najee Harris. The senior running back has rushed for 1,038 yards and scored 20 touchdowns in 2020. He and Smith became the first pair of players in Alabama’s rich history to score at least three rushing and receiving TDs each in the same game.

If these players keep rolling, it’s lights out for the field.

Been There, Done That

Saban has built this program into the gold standard of college football. But for all the incredible success the 69-year-old has enjoyed in Tuscaloosa (winning five titles over a nine-year span between 2009-17), the Tide have fallen behind ‘Bama alum Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers as college football’s superpower in recent years. That pendulum seems to be swinging back in ‘Bama’s favor this season.

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When you combine the Tide’s resilience (Saban just overcame the coronavirus without a hiccup for his team) and a virtual chip on its shoulder after missing out on last year’s CFP (thanks to that wild 46-41 loss to LSU it just avenged Saturday), Alabama is the clear-cut choice to climb the mountain top again this season.

2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker

Uneasy Path

There’s little doubt Alabama deserves to be the odds-on favorite to win the natty. The Crimson Tide possess the skill position players, the head coach and the dominant offense to roll past opponents the rest of the way.

But there’s a couple other teams out there that could give them a fight.

If Ohio State gets in – and that’s a big if including numerous factors – the Buckeyes are a team that could give the Tide a ballgame. OSU can keep up with Alabama offensively and have the defensive playmakers to potentially keep Harris and Smith in check. Then, there’s Clemson.

Swinney’s club has overcome Trevor Lawrence’s bout with COVID this season with aplomb, rolling its ACC competition in large part. The only blemish on an otherwise perfect record is a 47-40 double-overtime loss to Notre Dame. Remember, it was Clemson that knocked off Alabama in 2016 and 2018 title games to claim the top spot.

I’m not putting much stock in Florida to give the Tide a game in the SEC Championship. Kyle Trask may be the Heisman favorite, but the Gators lack a legit run game and will likely be exposed by the Tide’s overall talent.

I’m going with the chalk in this spot and running with the Tide.

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