Clemson, Alabama, LSU, Ohio State Top Betting Odds to Win 2021 CFP Championship

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 14, 2020

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 13: Trevor Lawrence #16 of the Clemson Tigers celebrates with teammates after scoring a touchdown against the LSU Tigers in the College Football Playoff National Championship game at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 13, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Celebrations have only just begun for LSU following a win over Clemson in the College Football Playoff National Championship Game on Monday. Oddsmakers are already looking ahead to next season, though.

Clemson (+200) opened at Caesars Sportsbook as the early favorite to win the 2021 national title, with Alabama (+400), LSU (+450), Ohio State (+700) and Georgia (+1000) rounding out the top five.

Getting a read on Clemson is a little tough until the team's best underclassmen make their decisions regarding the 2020 draft.

The Tigers could potentially lose leading rusher Travis Etienne and leading receiver Tee Higgins. Jack-of-all-trades Isaiah Simmons is a near-lock for the draft based on his performance Monday, and the secondary might have to replace three starters (junior A.J. Terrell and seniors K'Von Wallace and Tanner Muse).

A road trip to South Bend to play Notre Dame looms Nov. 7. Otherwise, Clemson should remain head and shoulders better than the competition in the ACC.

And with Trevor Lawrence back for what's presumably his final season, a sixth straight trip to the semifinals is at least within reach.

Ohio State is basically in the same boat.

Chase Young, Jeffrey Okudah, Jordan Fuller and Damon Arnette are all gone from a defense that made big strides in 2019. J.K. Dobbins, whose 2,003 rushing yards were a school record, will follow K.J. Hill and Binjimen Victor to the NFL.

Despite that, Justin Fields almost single-handedly means the Buckeyes will be in the playoff discussion.

For the first time in what feels like a long time, Alabama arguably heads into the offseason with some questions about its national championship chances for the upcoming year.

The Crimson Tide will need to fill voids left by Tua Tagovailoa and two of their top wideouts, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. On defense Terrell Lewis, Trevon Diggs, Xavier McKinney, Raekwon Davis and Anfernee Jennings are all out the door.

Head coach Nick Saban reloads every year, and Alabama has the No. 2 recruiting class in 2020, per 247Sports' composite rankings. But Tagovailoa's departure in particular will hit the team hard, making no quarterback battle across the country more interesting to watch than the one in Tuscaloosa.

Nobody has repeated as national champion during the playoff era, and LSU might have a hard time being the first team in 2021.

Joe Burrow is the early favorite to be the No. 1 draft pick this spring. Even with Fred Biletnikoff Award winner Ja'Marr Chase coming back, the LSU passing attack is bound to take a step backward as the team loses the greatest quarterback in school history.

Kristian Fulton and Rashard Lawrence are the notable seniors on defense, with Jim Thorpe Award winner Grant Delpit, K'Lavon Chaisson, Jacob Phillips and Patrick Queen all draft-eligible as well.

Of course, fans in Louisiana won't be thinking about that now as they reflect on the national title the team already has in its pocket.

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