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Georgia stomped TCU to win its second straight national championship and wrap up the 2022-2023 college football season.
Bulldogs fans are celebrating like it’s 1980 all over again, along with anyone who bought Georgia -13 in the college football odds market’s last game of the season.
With the season now complete, bettors must inevitably turn toward the 2023 college football season. Inevitably, that comes with a new set of college football championship odds, which are already available at the BetMGM online sportsbook.
Georgia, the winner of the last two national championships, is a +300 favorite to win the 2024 national championship.
It’s still very early, so don’t feel bad if you’re not quite ready to be emotionally invested in college football odds for next fall. While early positions can be very profitable, they can also be total guesswork.
One of the things that stands out to me is the top of the table and how it compares to last year’s immediate post-championship odds.
Last year, after Georgia and Alabama played a four-quarter classic in the national championship game, the Bulldogs and Crimson Tide were priced essentially as co-favorites to win this past season’s national championship.
It made sense. Georgia was the reigning champ; Alabama had Bryce Young, and the dynasty wasn’t quite over yet. Both teams would draw big action.
This year, there are no big numbers. Georgia is a clear (and sensible) favorite after winning back-to-back championships. Still, even with no co-favorite to draw big bets at the top of the market away from Georgia, the Bulldogs are still just +300 – a more lucrative price than they were offered last year.
To me, this is an indication that next year’s championship market will be more wide-open than this year’s, where it was speculated from the preseason on that only three teams were elite enough to win the title.
Bettors looking to get involved early in the college football national championship odds market may want to consider venturing a bit further down the table, past the traditional, binary SEC powers.
USC, Penn State, LSU and Michigan all have interesting cases to make.
Every year, there’s a lot of discussion of “value” in this part of the odds table. Here’s a question I field nearly every summer: “Sure, you can bet on Alabama to win another national championship at short odds, but wouldn’t you rather have reigning Big 12 champion Kansas State at 125-to-1?
Chris Klieman is an excellent coach who I am a huge fan of, and Kansas State may indeed compete for another conference championship next season. But any intrinsic “value” that may exist here is dwarfed by the fairly obvious reality that Kansas State has zero chance of winning a national championship next season.
I call this the Utah rule. A few years ago, Utah was a trendy pick to win the national championship at +7500. Paul Finebaum would bring guests on to talk about the Utes. ESPN Radio loved them. Talking heads would slide them in as their fourth and final playoff pick throughout the summer.
And here’s the thing: Utah nearly won the Pac-12 and made the playoff!
They ultimately choked pretty hard in the conference title game to Oregon and never had a shot at the Final Four. Even if they hadn’t, would Utah really have stood a chance in a four-team playoff against multiple SEC opponents? Or Ohio State? It’s… unlikely.
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Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.