- Alabama Crimson Tide QB and Heisman Trophy semifinalist Mac Jones is the favorite to earn MVP honors in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship at +350
- Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields is second on the board at +425 odds
- See below for a list of top contenders for the award and betting analysis on the prop
Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback and Heisman Trophy semifinalist Mac Jones is favored to earn MVP honors in Monday’s College Football Playoff National Championship game at +350. Kickoff is set for Monday, Jan. 11 at 8:00 p.m. ET in South Florida at Hard Rock Stadium. The Tide are favored to capture the program’s 16th national championship and sixth under head coach Nick Saban.
As for the MVP prop, Jones is followed closely by a trio of others – including Ohio State Buckeyes QB Justin Fields (+425) and teammates WR DeVonta Smith (+450) and RB Najee Harris (+600).
Over the previous six CFP title games, the quarterback from the winning team has won the award – including the last four in a row. Let’s handicap this year’s edition and offer betting analysis on the wager.
2021 CFP National Championship Game MVP Odds
|Mac Jones (ALA)||+350|
|Justin Fields (OSU)||+425|
|Devonta Smith (ALA)||+450|
|Najee Harris (ALA)||+600|
|Jaylen Waddle (ALA)||+1000|
|Trey Sermon (OSU)||+1000|
|John Metchie III (ALA)||+1600|
|Chris Olave (OSU)||+1800|
|Garrett Wilson (OSU)||+1800|
|Master Teague III (OSU)||+1800|
|Jeremy Ruckert (OSU)||+2200|
|Brian Robinson Jr. (ALA)||+2500|
|Jahleel Billingsley (ALA)||+3300|
|Jameson Williams (OSU)||+3300|
|Jase McClellan (ALA)||+3300|
|Luke Farrell (OSU)||+3300|
Odds as of January 8th
As the leader of possibly the greatest offense in SEC history (the Tide averaged 48.2 points per game against a conference-only schedule this season), all Jones has done in 2020 is throw for 4,036 yards, 36 touchdowns and only four interceptions while sporting an exceptional completion percentage of 77-percent and a passer rating of 203.0. Then, there’s this nugget.
Alabama is the 1st team in league history to record 5 50-point games in a season in conference play since the formation of the SEC in 1933. pic.twitter.com/W9rj53b30l
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) December 12, 2020
That doesn’t include ‘Bama’s 52-point effort against the Gators in the SEC title game.
One could argue at +350, Jones is a bargain for taking home the CFP title game MVP trophy – especially if you believe Alabama will close out its historically-dominant season with a victory over Ohio State.
Right now, Saban’s squad is a 9-point favorite over Ryan Day’s group. Considering the weapons Jones has at his disposal, including a freshly-crowned Heisman winner in Smith, he figures to join Deshaun Watson, Tua Tagovailoa, Trevor Lawrence and Joe Burrow as the latest quarterback to win the CFP title game MVP.
What if you think ‘Bama wins, but want some added value in the exotic? Though it’s not a huge jump (+350 vs. +450), Smith is certainly a legitimate choice in this spot. Smith, aka The Slim Reaper, just became the first wide receiver to win college football’s most prestigious honor since Desmond Howard won 1991.
Smith has been incredible all season, but truly awe-inspiring over the last two games – against Florida in the SEC Championship and Notre Dame in the Sugar Bowl CFP Semifinal. He had 22 catches for 314 yards and five touchdowns in those two games.
If Ohio State, which allows 271 passing yards per game, loses Smith in the middle of the field like the Irish did – watch out. With Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian off to Austin to take over as Texas head coach after this game, it’s quite possible he draws up an extra play or two to put some icing on an all-time season for Smith.
Fields vs Buckeye Field
Speaking of coming off a good game, look at what Fields did against Clemson in the Orange Bowl CFP Semifinal.
Fields was a revelation against the Tigers (after absorbing a nasty hit, to boot), tossing six touchdown passes. Three went to receivers (including a pair to Chris Olave) and three went to to tight ends Jeremy Ruckert and Luke Farrell.
Even with a secondary that features first-team All-American cornerback Patrick Surtain II, Alabama has been vulnerable to high-powered passing attacks this season. Look at what Florida QB and Heisman semifinalist Kyle Trask did in the SEC title game (408 yards, three touchdowns, no picks).
The past three quarterbacks to beat Alabama – who didn’t play for Auburn – were Watson, Lawrence and Burrow. Notice a correlation here?
If you think Ohio State will beat Alabama – which is fair (especially since the Tide is 2-2 straight up in four previous title game appearances) – Fields is a solid play.
What about Fields’ teammates? There’s certainly value in his targets. Trey Sermon at +1000 is intriguing as a contrarian wager to join former Buckeye Ezekiel Elliott as the only running back to win the honor.
But Jones is a favorite in this spot for a reason. As noted above, he’s a bargain at +350.
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