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CFB: Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama labeled as top contenders

Week 9 action is now in the rearview as the chaos of college football continued over the weekend. The National Championship betting odds board has virtually turned into a two-team competition since one of the sport’s titans was destroyed two Saturdays ago.

The Ohio State Buckeyes, who are currently in full throttle, are the favorites to win this year’s National Championship, with the perennial contenders Georgia Bulldogs right behind them. In the whole update that follows, we analyze each of the leading candidates.

Alabama was widely regarded as the favorite heading into the season. However, the Tide fell behind Georgia in Week 3 after some ineffective attempts and an injury to quarterback Bryce Young. After hammering Oregon in their debut, Georgia appeared unbeatable, but the offense has since hit rock bottom and is currently having trouble with explosive plays. Following impressive victories over Wisconsin, Rutgers, and Michigan State, Ohio State is now regarded as a co-favorite.

After Week 9, oddsmakers and media analysts have the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Georgia Bulldogs as the overwhelming favorites to win the National Championship, both at +175 odds to claim the title, closely followed by the Alabama Crimson Tide, at +350 odds. Football fans can check valuable information about odds at this Ultimate Guide about online gambling in Canada, to find the best websites to place wager on this season of College Football.

Ohio State Buckeyes

In 2021, a team other than Ohio State won the Big Ten East for the first time since 2016. In the final game of the regular season, the Michigan Wolverines defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes, giving them their first conference title and a spot in the College Football Playoff.

However, the Buckeyes are back in the game. The offense is being led by Heisman runner-up C.J. Stroud, while the team’s receiver corps is headlined by Jaxson Smith-Njiba, who had 15 catches for 347 yards and three touchdowns in the memorable Rose Bowl victory over Utah.

The Ohio State Buckeyes have been cruising ever since they got off to a slow start in what turned out to be a respectable 11-point victory over No. 5 Notre Dame.

In each of its previous five games, the now No. 2-ranked scoring Buckeyes’ offense (49.6 ppg) has scored 49 or more points, including a recent blasting of the Iowa Hawkeyes, one of the top defenses in the country, by 54 points. The following matchup is a road game against Northwestern in Week 10.

Georgia Bulldogs

As they eventually defeated Nick Saban and their rival Crimson Tide in the 2022 championship game, the Georgia Bulldogs won the College Football Playoff National Championship for the first time in 41 years.

Despite losing many of its top defensive players—five Bulldogs alone were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft—Georgia has recruited at a high level and will soon be back in the mix. Georgia can easily win the SEC East, but the new-look defense will face challenges all season.

Their title defense began with a 49-3 thrashing of the No. 11-ranked Oregon Ducks, followed by a 33-0 shutout against Samford in Week 2 and a 48-7 hammering against conference rivals South Carolina.

They’ve subsequently looked fairly mortal, surrendering 22 points to Kent State in Week 4 and needing to make a comeback on the road against Missouri (behind 16-6 at halftime, won 26-22). Nevertheless, the Bulldogs have rebounded with impressive wins over Auburn (45-10) and Vanderbilt (55-0).

Alabama Crimson Tide

By their standards, the Tide had a terrible 2021 season, falling to Texas A&M in the regular season and Georgia in the national championship game. They brought back Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young, a slew of key defensive components, and while they lost some major skill position players, this is Alabama, and Nick Saban always refreshes swiftly.

Alabama’s luck ran out in Week 7 after barely surviving wins over Texas and Texas A&M earlier in the season. Nick Saban’s team traveled to Tennessee to challenge the undefeated Volunteers and came up short, dropping a 52-49 thriller on a last-second field goal.

The loss was a huge blow, especially given that Alabama’s CFP aspirations are now likely to hinge on a win against the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship game.

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