Sports Betting Guide: College Football Playoff National Championship

Written By Martin Derbyshire on January 3, 2019 - Last Updated on June 8, 2022
College football bowl betting concludes with the College Football Playoff National Championship game on 1/7.

The College Football Playoff National Championship game is now set and there are a variety of simple and easy ways even casual fans of the sport can now bet on it.

The undefeated No. 2 ranked Clemson Tigers embarrassed the No. 3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 30-3 in the Cotton Bowl Classic this past Saturday to book its place in the championship game.

Then, the undefeated No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide rolled over the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners 45-34 in the Orange Bowl. Of course, this sets up what has become a classic college football match-up for all the marbles.

Alabama vs. Clemson again

It’s a classic for college football bowl betting because Clemson will take on Alabama with the title on the line for the third time in the past four years. Additionally, in the off year, Alabama also met Clemson, beating the Tigers in the CFP semifinal. Alabama went on to win the title over Georgia in the National Championship that year.

Most legal sportsbooks across the US will have Alabama as the favorite heading into the Jan. 7 title game. The game is set for 8 p.m. ET at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

ESPN will provide national television coverage so you can sweat any action you have on the game–action that is easier than ever to find since you can now bet legally on the game at licensed retail sportsbooks in seven states. These states are:

Additionally, if you’re in New Jersey, there are eight online and mobile sports betting operations offering a variety of different lines on the game. These are:

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The National Championship spread

The lines at all these sportsbooks will move based on what people are betting. However, at most sportsbooks, Alabama will likely open as a -6.5 point spread favorite. Of course, if there’s heavy betting on Clemson at +6.5, the number will go down to Alabama -6, or even less.

Point spread bets are one of the easiest and most popular ways to bet on college football.

You win a point spread bet when you make the correct prediction with the line factored in. That means if you take Alabama as a -6.5 point spread favorite, you’ll need to take 6.5 points off their total before determining if you have a winning ticket. In other words, bets on Alabama -6.5 will only win if Alabama beats Clemson by seven points or more.

Another popular and perhaps even easier way to bet on the National Championship game is on the moneyline.

Moneyline bets pay according to each team’s probability of winning. All you have to do is pick the winner and accept the posted odds. In fact, there are no point spreads to factor in and nothing complicated about it.

Of course, it is a good idea to shop around at the different sportsbooks to find the best moneyline price.

It looks as though the opening price on Alabama at most legal US sportsbooks will be somewhere between -225 to -240. That means you’ll have to bet somewhere between $225 to $240 to win $100 plus your bet back.

Additionally, Clemson moneyline bets should hover around +185 to +195. That means a $100 bet on Clemson will get you somewhere between $185 and $195 if the Tigers can pull the upset.

Finally, most legal US sportsbooks will also set an over/under line on the game. These bets ask you to pick whether the total amount of points scored by both teams combined will be over or under a set number. Again, shop around, but you’ll probably find the over/under line set around 59.5 points. Of course, you can also combine two or more of these bets as part of a parlay.

Parlay bets allow players to win big even with a relatively small bet if they all come in. However, they all have to come in.

The National Championship probably marks your last opportunity to bet on college football this season. Get in on the action and you’re sure to enjoy the game even more.

Martin Derbyshire Avatar
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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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