Will the top-ranked Clemson Tigers cash in on their odds as prohibitive favorites to win the 2021 national championship? Will the perennially-powerful Alabama Crimson Tide get back into the CFP after missing the mark a year ago? Could perennial bridesmaid Oklahoma upset the entire apple cart after coming up agonizingly short the last few seasons? Last, but not least, could the polarizing Notre Dame Fighting Irish reach the CFP this coming campaign to challenge everyone for the national championship win? With the 2020 NCAA college football season really getting underway as Week 2 approaches, now is a great time for some fun-filled football betting predictions. Let’s get started with last season’s national championship runner-ups so you can make your bets against their NCAAF odds.
10 Bold Betting Predictions for the 2020 NCAA Football Season
10. The King Of South Beach
I’m just going to say it. Miami signal-caller D’Eriq King could turn out to be the best quarterback in the ACC this season. Okay, okay, maybe I’m reaching a bit, but I’m going with King to be the second-best quarterback in the conference behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. In his last full season at Houston in 2018, King tossed 36 TD passes and just six picks while rushing for 674 yards and a whopping 14 additional scores. No, the Canes won’t beat out Clemson for supremacy in the ACC, but they could win 10 games and King will be a big reason why.
9. A&M Makes a Move
No one’s mentioning Texas A&M much as a contender to win the SEC West in 2020, but I think they should. Yes, the Aggies took a slight step backwards from nine wins in Jimbo Fisher’s first season in 2018 to eight wins last season, but Texas A&M has an elite head coach that has won one national championship and they have a former five-star recruit under center in Kellen Mond. Points blank, if Mond elevates his game, I think Texas A&M will challenge both, Alabama and LSU for division supremacy in 2020.
8. Texas Two-Step
I’m calling it the Texas two-step, but maybe I should call it the Texas ‘misstep’ instead. The Longhorns were expecting big things last season in Year 3 of the Tom Herman era after winning 10 games in 2018, but they came up well short of their conference and championship hopes by winning just eight games. While the Horns have a gifted quarterback in Sam Ehlinger, Texas no longer is the top recruiting program in the Lon Star state with a ton of elite high schoolers now choosing Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M or even Patrick Mahomes’ Texas Tech over the Longhorns. Yeah…the Horns come up short of 10 wins again in 2020, putting Herman on the hot seat heading into 2021.
7. Iowa State Soars
Iowa State might have gone a modest 7-5 last season, but I believe the Cyclones could challenge for the Big 12 title in 2020. Iowa State has a big-time quarterback in Brock Purdy, a gifted running back in Breece Hall and a handful of tight ends that all look like future NFL performers. Nine starters are back on defense and several Big 12 rivals have made significant changes that could allow the Cyclones to soar in 2020. I like Iowa State to win 10 games at the least.
6. Transfer QB Does Not Win Heisman
If you didn’t know before, a transfer quarterback has won each of the last three Heisman trophy awards. However, it’s not happening in 2020. As a matter of fact, read my next bold prediction on the Heisman winner to find out who will win it.
5. The Heisman Winner Is…
Sure, Clemson signal-caller Trevor Lawrence is the front-runner and both, Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, and Texas’ Sam Ehlinger should be in the running. However, I’m going with a running back to win this year’s Heisman for the first time since Alabama’s Derrick Henry took home the hardware in 2015. There’s Clemson’s Travis Etienne and Alabama’s Najee Harris, but my pick goes to Oklahoma State star Chuba Hubbard after he racked up a stupendous 2,094 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore last season. Yes, opponents will have Hubbard in their bullseye this coming season, but since I’m expecting Oklahoma State to contend for the Big 12 title, I’m going with Hubbard to win the Heisman in 2021.
4. Baylor Surprises – Again!
A lot of football ‘experts’ are expecting Baylor to take a step backwards in 2020 after watching head coach Matt Rhule bolt for the Carolina Panthers, I’m predicting the Bears surprise for the second consecutive season. Baylor made a great hire in naming former LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda as their new leading man and they have a seriously underrated quarterback in senior Charlie Brewer (3,161 yards, 21 TDs). I like the Bears to win at least 10 games in 2020 while challenging for the Big 12 championship.
3. LSU Takes Big Step Back
LSU saw four players taken in the first round of the NFL draft in quarterback Joe Burrow, edge rusher K’Lavon Chaisson, wide receiver Justin Jefferson, linebacker Patrick Queen and running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but it is the loss of offensive coordinator Joe Brady that will set the Tigers back in a big way this coming campaign. I’m predicting LSU fails to record double-digit victories in 2020.
2. Alabama Does Not Reach CFP
Starting quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, tackle Jedrick Wills Jr. and wide receivers, Henry Ruggs III and Jerry Jeudy were all taken in the first round of the NFL draft while safety Xavier McKinney and defensive tackle Raekwon Davis were picked in the second round. I know Nick Saban has made a habit out of replacing a bunch of elite players that leave every year for the NFL, but this time around, Alabama’s losses will be far too much for them to overcome as they fail to reach the CFP for the second consecutive season.
Despite the fact that Clemson lost last season’s national champion and saw a handful of elite talent leave as part of their now, annual exodus to the NFL, the Tigers are looking mostly great heading into 2020. Former Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons and starting cornerback A.J. Terrell went in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft while wide receiver Tee Higgins was the first player selected in the second round. Still, with superstar quarterback Trevor Lawrence and gifted running back Travis Etienne back, Clemson will be fine on offense. On the other side of the ball, Dabo Swinney has made an annual practice of replacing elite talent. It may not be a really bold prediction, but I’m picking the Tigers to reach the national championship at the very least this coming season.