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Why Georgia a good bet to beat CFP odds in 2021, derail Nick Saban dynasty

ATHENS — The odds for teams to win a national championship are out, and to no one’s surprise Alabama is the favorite.

The Crimson Tide sits at 3-to-1 odds, per the Caesars Sportsbook by William Hill, to hoist the golden College Football Playoff trophy in Indianapolis on Jan. 10, 2022.

Going down the list of favorites, there are the usual suspects, powerhouse teams in weaker conferences:

• Clemson, 4-1

• Ohio State, 7-1

• Oklahoma, 8-1

Then there is Georgia, fifth in line at 10-1.

ESPN CFB championship odds graphic 6-8-21
ESPN screen, Dawgnation

Overdue

The Bulldogs are the best bet on paper, loaded with talent, and overdue for the ball to bounce their way.

Comparing Alabama odds to Georgia odds, the numbers don’t add up when one considers the key starters Georgia has returning compared to the dynamic starters the Tide is losing.

Both teams lost plenty of NFL talent, to be sure. Alabama tied with Ohio State for the most number of draft picks (10), while the Bulldogs matched Notre Dame with a program-record nine players drafted.

But the Tide’s departures involved more superstars, along with four offensive coaches including former offensive coordinator, now-Texas coach Steve Sarkisian.

Georgia, meanwhile, brings back JT Daniels, who completed 67 percent of his passes in the four games he played and converted 64 percent on third down against the three SEC defenses he faced.

RELATED: Georgia version of JT Daniels living up to 5-star promise from Mater Dei

All that in Daniels’ first year working with a new coordinator after he spent the first seven weeks of the season on the scout team while recovering from offseason knee surgery.

Closer look

Flashback to 2020, and Georgia led Alabama in Tuscaloosa at halftime with former walk-on Stetson Bennett at quarterback. The Tide was still at full strength that night, first-round pick Jaylen Waddle complimenting Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith in the receiving corps.

There wasn’t THAT much separation between the teams when they met in Bryant-Denny Stadium, outside of the glaring difference in quarterback and receiver play.

Certainly, not like when the Tide cruised to a 35-17 halftime lead over Ohio State in the CFP Championship Game en route to the 52-24 blowout.

The Buckeyes, like Alabama, have some major re-stocking to do, notably at quarterback and linebacker.

Playing in the Big Ten, however, allows a much wider margin for error.

The same could be said for ACC powerhouse Clemson and Big 12 dominator Oklahoma, hence their favorable odds.