Oddsmakers expect Alabama and Clemson to dominate regular-season opponents again this college football season. After squaring off in last season's national championship game as undefeated foes, both programs return high-profile quarterbacks who are Heisman Trophy favorites.
DraftKings is the first sportsbook to post regular-season win totals for 2019. Among the 25 schools offered, the Crimson Tide and Tigers have the highest lines, at 11. Each must go undefeated in 12 regular-season games to cash the over bet. Conference title and bowl games are not included.
"College football totals are not usually for the 'average Joe' to bet [in May]. There's been quite a bit of sharp money so far on them," Johnny Avello, DraftKings' director of race and sports operations, told ESPN. "The players have an opinion, and they voice their opinion with their money."
Avello said that sharp money has come on under 11 wins for Alabama.
"Jalen Hurts is as good of a backup as you'll have in college football," Avello said of the quarterback who transferred to Oklahoma. "So if Tua [Tagovailoa] does get hurt, that 11 is going to be really questionable."
ESPN's Football Power Index projects Bama, Clemson, Georgia, Michigan and Oklahoma as favorites in every game on their respective schedules. However, it's important to note that does not mean they are projected to go undefeated.
The Wolverines have a betting total of 9.5 wins (over, -150). They have won 10 games in three of Jim Harbaugh's four seasons. Rival Ohio State, in its first season since Urban Meyer's retirement, also has a line of 10 games (under, -121). FPI projects 8.6 wins. The Wolverines will host "The Game" in Ann Arbor, though Harbaugh has yet to beat the Buckeyes.
Oklahoma State has the lowest line offered, at six wins (over, -200 after opening -110). FPI projects Oklahoma State with 7.3 wins.
Avello said the Cowboys have seen more action than any other school.
"They lost quite a bit of personnel, but this team has done such a good job taking the talent they've had and getting the most out of it," Avello said. "I don't blame the players for making the bet over."
DraftKings lists Alabama and Clemson as co-favorites (+200) to win the national championship. The Tigers will be led by sophomore quarterback Trevor Lawrence, while Tagovailoa, a junior, returns to Tuscaloosa and is projected as next year's top NFL draft pick.