Could this be the year an “outsider” team can win the national college football title? Many top programs look vulnerable, which could open the door for a longer-shot team to make a run. Read this to get our favorite 2023-24 NCAA Title Futures which include Notre Dame.
Before we go any further, let’s take a long look at this way too-early current title odds, as set by the top Vegas college football betting sites. These are the programs most favored to win the College Football Playoff in January of 2024:
|NCAAF National Title Numbers|
Since the CFP was first introduced, select programs have dominated the playoff picture. Along with Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State are among the top choices. To no one’s surprise, all four are among the contenders in the 2023-24 NCAAF Title Futures. None of our picks to follow will be on these teams. Remember, we’re picking outsider teams only because the top programs are more vulnerable than ever.
Let’s begin with the two-time reigning national champions in Georgia. They had to overcome the SEC conference once again. Stetson Bennett and Kirby Smart found a way to win the top prize once again. Georgia went 15-0 behind one of the stoutest defenses in college football. Georgia nearly lost a few games, including edging Ohio State 42-41. In the finale, the Bulldogs blew out TCU 65-7.
Georgia faced some scares when it came to the transfer portal. Fortunately, the only significant loss was AD Mitchell, who went to Texas. Georgia features a crowded wide-receiving corps and All-American Tight-End Brock Bowers. The Bulldogs and the Alabama Crimson Tide face many challenges to get back to the playoffs. We are not even talking about national titles.
Of the top contenders, the ones most apt to get back to the playoff are Georgia and Ohio State. Kirby Smart and Ryan Day can lead their teams back. After that, it’s a huge question mark. Their Vegas odds to win are first and second. Alright, enough about the “top contenders.” Let’s turn to teams of intrigue like Notre Dame. We’ll cover that in the section below.
You don’t want to overdo it with the best bets in the 2023-24 NCAAF Title Futures. One can guarantee that at least two, probably three, powerhouse teams will make the College Football Playoff. That’s because one spot is a virtual lock for whoever wins the ACC, Big 10, and SEC (where all four powerhouse teams fall into). We think there could be room for possibly two college teams:
The Lincoln Riley Kool-Aid failed us all in year number one. The message for the USC Trojans is let us try that again. USC started off well, but two losses to Utah finished off the Trojans. The first came behind a leaky defense that faltered in the fourth quarter. Unfortunately, the second happened because of the injury to Caleb Williams. Williams won the Heisman as his value became crystal clear from that game.
Playing in the Pac-12 represents a double-edged sword. Think about it. The PAC-12 is not easy to face because the defense is optional. Offenses keep scoring points in bunches, with Michael Penix coming back along with Bo Nix. Combine that with a reloading Utah squad, and USC will have its work cut out for them. This boils down to the defense. Can Riley find the personnel to slow down these top offenses?
Still, USC remains in a great spot. Year one started great and ended poorly. The expectation is that Riley learns and makes progress in year number two.
Notre Dame surprised some teams late last year. Now, the Irish added Sam Hartman to the mix. Marcus Freeman took over an Irish squad that fell flat on its face to start. They lost their first two games and nearly lost a third. Ultimately, Notre Dame won nine of their final 11 contests and ended up ranked. Against all odds, the Irish found a way to even win a bowl game.
They’ll be tested on an almost weekly basis. Fortunately, Notre Dame expects to start off against easier opposition next year. The Irish play what amounts to be an ACC schedule. Clemson, USC, and Ohio State figure to be the big tests. The good news is the Irish may get a slightly down Clemson team. Also, Notre Dame goes up against the Trojans and Buckeyes at home.
Can Sam Hartman be that difference-maker? If Freeman’s defense gels as expected and the receiving corps improves, look out! Notre Dame provides excellent value at +3000. The only team on that level could be the Tennessee Volunteers, but their defense has more question marks.
With the Internet, you have sportsbooks at your fingertips — all hours of the day and throughout most of the country. Hit one of the bookies below to hammer in your 2023 NCAAF futures bets. Multiple payment methods are supported on these sites. Finally, one can read the site, get the information needed, and start making wagers in just a click.
Chris Wassel is a skilled scribe who possesses a fervor for both sports and entertainment. Boasting a journalism background and over two decades of experience, he has crafted pieces that encompass a diverse array of sports including hockey, basketball, football, and others. His writing is characterized by its lucidity and sharpness, and provides a unique viewpoint on entertainment and political matters. While Chris primarily focuses on sports writing, he also writes about a wide range of subjects.