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December 16, 2017

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Never too early: Future odds posted on next year’s college football champion

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Jae C. Hong / Associated Press

Southern California quarterback Sam Darnold throws a pass during the first half of Saturday’s game in Los Angeles.

Rankings of next year’s college football teams that leak out the day after the national championship are always preceded with some disclaimer that they're coming, “too early.”

But it’s never too early if people are willing to bet on it. And people are always on willing to bet on it.

That’s why sports books around town are always in a rush to post future odds on next year’s national championship as soon as possible. Nearly every local casino has prices available for which team will win next year’s College Football Playoff national championship a day after Clemson’s 35-31 upset victory over Alabama to win this year’s title.

And, based on recent history, the odds are even more worthwhile to evaluate than the aforementioned horde of rankings. A team listed in the top three of the odds on the day after the prior year’s championship game has gone on to prevail in five of the last six seasons.

That includes Clemson, which opened as the 6-to-1 favorite at William Hill sports books after Alabama came back to beat it in last year’s championship game.

Alabama, Ohio State and USC are the teams to watch for next year’s game scheduled for Jan 8, 2018, at the Mercedes-Benz Dome in Atlanta based on the top-three criteria. The Crimson Tide open at the lowest odds, 3-to-1, at William Hill followed by the Buckeyes and Trojans at 15-to-2 apiece.

All three of those teams have in common that they return their quarterbacks around considerable offensive talent. USC sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold will come into the season as one of the Heisman Trophy favorites, and he’ll have junior running back Ronald Jones to alleviate some of the pressure.

Ohio State junior quarterback J.T. Barrett and Alabama sophomore quarterbacks Jalen Hurts could also implant themselves in the conversation. Barrett will have underclassmen Mike Weber and Noah Brown alongside him at the skill positions, while Alabama junior running backs Bo Scarbrough and Damien Harris project to again power the Alabama offense.

Florida State, which was the lone team in the last six years to overcome long preseason odds when it won the 2013 national championship after opening at 40-to-1, is listed next at 17-to-2, the same price as Oklahoma. Clemson, which loses the bulk of its championship core, is next at 15-to-1.

Check below for full odds to win the 2017-2018 College Football Playoff national championship from William Hill sports books.

Alabama — 3-to-1

Ohio State — 15-to-2

USC — 15-to-2

Florida State — 17-to-2

Oklahoma — 17-to-2

Clemson — 15-to-1

LSU — 15-to-1

Michigan — 15-to-1

Penn State — 20-to-1

Louisville — 20-to-1

Oklahoma State — 40-to-1

Washington — 40-to-1

Florida — 40-to-1

Wisconsin — 40-to-1

Georgia — 40-to-1

Texas — 50-to-1

Auburn — 50-to-1

Tennessee — 50-to-1

West Virginia — 50-to-1

Virginia Tech — 50-to-1

Miami — 60-to-1

Kansas State — 60-to-1

Stanford — 60-to-1

Colorado — 60-to-1

Ole Miss — 75-to-1

UCLA — 75-to-1

Notre Dame — 75-to-1

Oregon — 75-to-1

TCU — 100-to-1

Texas A&M — 100-to-1

Utah — 100-to-1

Washington State — 100-to-1

Nebraska — 150-to-1

Baylor — 150-to-1

Boise State — 150-to-1

Iowa — 200-to-1

Pittsburgh — 200-to-1

South Florida — 200-to-1

Georgia Tech — 200-to-1

Arkansas — 250-to-1

Michigan State — 250-to-1

Mississippi State — 250-to-1

North Carolina — 250-to-1

Minnesota — 250-to-1

Northwestern — 250-to-1

BYU — 250-to-1

NC State — 250-to-1

Arizona State — 250-to-1

South Carolina — 300-to-1

Field — 75-to-1

Case Keefer can be reached at 702-948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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