Alabama Crimson Tide installed as Las Vegas favorite for 2018 championship


Alabama won its fifth national championship in the past nine seasons on Monday night, and it now rolls into the offseason as the favorite in Las Vegas to win next season’s title, too.

The Westgate SuperBook on Monday installed the Crimson Tide as next season’s favorite at 3-1. Georgia is next at 9-2, followed by Clemson at 6-1 and Ohio State at 8-1. No other team has odds in single digits.

Michigan opened at 10-1, followed by Penn State at 12-1.

Alabama rallied back in the second half, behind freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, to beat Georgia 26-23 in overtime in Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship Presented by AT&T.

Ed Salmons, a veteran Las Vegas oddsmaker who oversees football odds for the Westgate, said he made Alabama the favorite based on the consistent betting support that the Crimson Tide attracts.

Alabama will have a decision to make at quarterback in the offseason, though. Jalen Hurts, who has started the past two seasons for the Crimson Tide, struggled against Georgia in the title game and was replaced in the second half by Tagovailoa. A touted freshman, Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard pass to DeVonta Smith for the winning touchdown in overtime.

Texas, Wisconsin, Auburn, Michigan State and Miami (Fla.) all are 25-1 to win next season’s national championship. Oklahoma, which will be replacing Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Baker Mayfield, is listed at 30-1, along with Washington, LSU and Michigan State.

UCLA, under new coach Chip Kelly, opened at 100-1. Nebraska, with new coach Scott Frost, is 200-1.

Coach Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic are 500-1.

Next year’s championship game will be held Jan. 7, 2019, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

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