- The defending national champions have seen their championship odds drop during the offseason
- Can LSU become the first team in the CFP era to win back-to-back titles?
- A Tiger roster in transition will face an uphill climb this season
LSU’s odds to repeat as national champions have taken a dip. Back in April, the Tigers were as short as +750 – fourth-best in the country. Today, their odds to win the College Football Playoff are +1075 on average and they have fallen to fifth-favorite behind Georgia.
Does the latest price tag offer a sign of things to come or does it make them a value bet?
2021 CFP National Championship Odds
Odds as of June 17, 2020.
One key to successful betting is knowing when not to wager. This may look tempting: the national champions paying a higher price than expected. But LSU is a team to avoid for three key reasons.
LSU Sets NFL Record with Five First-Round Picks
According to ESPN, LSU ranks 127th out of the 130 FBS teams in returning production at only 42%. The issue with the Tigers isn’t only that there is large roster turnover, it’s the quality of the players that are no longer in Baton Rouge. Expecting them to compete in the tough SEC with the number of major changes is unrealistic.
Most players drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft:
LSU – 5
Alabama – 4
Ohio State – 3
Georgia – 2
Clemson – 2
Auburn – 2
Oklahoma – 2
TCU – 2 pic.twitter.com/jcLuHNN2uj
— PFF College (@PFF_College) April 24, 2020
In the 2020 NFL draft, Heisman Trophy-winner Joe Burrow was the 1st-overall pick to the Cincinnati Bengals, LB K’Lavon Chaisson went to Jacksonville at number 20, two picks later was WR Justin Jefferson going to Minnesota, followed by LB Patrick Queen to Baltimore 28th overall, and finally RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire to Kansas City to close the first round.
For those keeping track at home that was the best player in all of college football, the star running back, the second-best wide receiver, and the top-two linebackers.
SEC Schedule Provides Major Hurdles
The SEC is a top-heavy conference with many contenders for the College Football Playoff. Five of the top-10 CFP favorites are from the SEC. Alabama has the best odds in the conference, followed by Georgia, LSU, Florida, and Auburn.
🏆 No. 1 Draft pick
🏆 Heisman trophy winner
🏆 AP National Player of the Year
🏆 SEC Offensive Player of the Year
No surprise that @Joe_Burrow10 is adding 2020 Roy F. Kramer SEC Athlete of the Year to his resume 👏 pic.twitter.com/4PwHmYroz2
— SEC Network (@SECNetwork) June 17, 2020
The reality of the situation is only one of these teams is likely to make the playoff and, even if a second is invited, they would likely be the loser of the conference championship game. That means only one of Alabama, LSU, and Auburn will receive an invite out of the SEC West, and I don’t like the Tigers’ chances in that scenario.
What Can We Expect From Ed Orgeron?
Ed Orgeron proved he’s a national championship caliber coach last season, but what does that really mean? He led the Tigers to a 15-0 record last year but had a combined seven losses the two years prior.
Are you convinced he’s a top-shelf coach or did he simply ride an incredible run from a Heisman-winner and 1st-overall NFL pick en route to a title?
“We need football”
🎥 https://t.co/pheon6T3ie pic.twitter.com/x5rtEZ7zuI
— LSU Football (@LSUfootball) May 27, 2020
The three teams ahead of LSU in the title odds are Clemson, Ohio State, and Alabama. Without the advantage of a roster full of first-round talent like he had last year, do you have confidence Orgeron could win a coaching battle with Dabo Swinney, Ryan Day, or Nick Saban?
I’d have “Coach O” ranked fourth on that list heading into this season.
Fade The Tigers And Likely The Entire SEC
I like Alabama with Mac Jones at quarterback but I still see this season coming down to a battle between the two best quarterbacks in Trevor Lawrence from Clemson and Justin Fields from Ohio State.
Do your research and decide who you think offers the best value; but whatever you do, fade the defending national champions.