Some of the usual top teams in college football are struggling in the early going of the 2021 season, and the updated national championship odds at BetMGM reflect that.
Ohio State, Clemson and Oklahoma all had uneven performances on Saturday and they are all slipping pretty dramatically in the national title odds.
Ohio State opened the year at +500 to win it all and dropped to +800 following a loss to Oregon last week. Now, following an ugly performance against winless Tulsa, the Buckeyes are all the way down to +1500 at BetMGM.
Ohio State won the game 41-20, but that score is deceiving. Tulsa, a team that lost to UC Davis in Week 1, actually had the ball with a chance to tie the game with 9:14 left in the fourth quarter. This is at the Horseshoe in Columbus. OSU would get the defensive stop it needed before adding two touchdowns in the final three minutes to inflate the final score, but this was still another concerning outing from the Buckeyes.
After giving up 505 yards (including 269 on the ground) in the loss to Oregon, Ohio State coach Ryan Day switched the defensive play-calling duties from coordinator Kerry Coombs to cornerbacks coach Matt Barnes, but it did not make much of a difference as Tulsa finished the game with 501 yards of offense.
Clemson, meanwhile, needed a goal line stand in the final minute just to avoid potentially going to overtime with Georgia Tech. This is a Georgia Tech team that lost to Northern Illinois, yet the Yellow Jackets still took the Tigers to the brink on Saturday.
Clemson’s offense looks terrible. You can understand scoring just three points against Georgia. But only mustering 14 points and 284 yards against Georgia Tech is a rough look. As such, Clemson’s national title odds have dropped from +350 down to +1000.
Oklahoma, meanwhile, underwhelmed offensively in a 23-16 home win over Nebraska. If it wasn’t for some shaky special teams play from Nebraska — two missed field goals and an extra point blocked and returned for two points — the game would have been even closer.
The Sooners just aren’t generating the explosive plays in the passing game that we’re used to seeing under Lincoln Riley. OU’s Spencer Rattler had just 214 yards on 34 attempts against the Huskers.
Unlike Clemson and Ohio State, Oklahoma is undefeated. Nonetheless, the Sooners have dropped from +750 to +1200 in the span of a week.
Alabama is most popular bet
Even Alabama showed some holes on Saturday.
The top-ranked Crimson Tide went on the road and held on to beat No. 11 Florida 31-29. Alabama jumped out to a big lead, but Florida stormed back and had a chance to tie the game with a two point conversion with 3:10 remaining. Alabama’s defense was able to get the stop it needed and preserved a two-point victory.
Alabama is a significant betting favorite to repeat as national champion. Nick Saban’s team is now listed at +175 with Georgia next in line at +350. There’s a big gap between Alabama and Georgia from the rest of the field.
Alabama has been the most-popular title bet by far. According to BetMGM, Alabama has received 27.8% of the bets and 39.7% of the money. Oklahoma is next at 9.3% of the bets and 10.4% of the money. Georgia is third at 8.8% of the bets and 10.3% of the money.
Updated national championship odds at BetMGM
Ohio State: +1500
Texas A&M: +3000
Penn State: +3000
Notre Dame: +5000
Ole Miss: +6600
Iowa State: +8000
North Carolina: +10000