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National Championship Futures: Public Buying into Harbaugh Hype

Early money came pouring in on Michigan to be crowned 2016 National Champions.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Aside from traditional recreational wagering, future bets not only require insurmountable patience, but bettors must locate value and pinpoint a plethora of factors. Perhaps the holy grail of college football stakes, mere moments were wasted once the 2016 National Champion odds were unleashed in May.

And upon the hire of Jim Harbaugh, early money came pouring in on the Wolverines, Michigan punching the clock at No. 5, trailing only Ohio State, Alabama, Auburn and Notre Dame.

I weighed in on the early season hype with ESPN's David Payne Purdum, a numbers guru and prominent figure amidst the betting subclass. And for the sport statistics aficionado, he wasn't taken back by the Maize 'n Blue money.

"Most people laughed at Michigan being No. 5, but that’s not surprising either with the amount of hype that comes along with Jim Harbaugh," stated Purdum.

"The Wolverines are 60-1 (to win it all)."

As for its counterpart, it should surprise few that the Ohio State Buckeyes top the high society.

"More money has been bet on the Buckeyes than any other team," Purdum reassured. "Not surprising with the talent they bring back from last year’s team that peaked at the right time."

Wallowing in the limelight, Ohio State can be highlighted as the favorites once more, as the Vegas geeks foresee a 11-12 win campaign for Meyer and the Buckeyes.

As for the logjam sandwiched between the Big Ten foes, it's a steady blend of expectations and rich history. "Alabama, Auburn and Notre Dame always attract early money as well," claimed the ESPN writer.

If preseason win totals foreshadow a fragment of the season's script, then the Wolverines may hope for a stockpile of luck, as 5Dimes sports book currently lists Harbaugh's club as a projected seven-win core for 2015 (over -120/under -110), which ranks 4th within the Big 10 East alone, behind the Buckeyes (11), Spartans (9,5) and Nittany Lions (8).

It's a shot in the dark, but ultimately attainable. Regarding the 2013 National Championship, Auburn was upended by Jameis Winston and the Florida State Seminoles, but War Eagle managed to folly into the title game as 50/1 underdogs prior to season's kickoff.

While championship chitchat and playoff pleasantly call for casual conversation, I'm sure Harbaugh's priorities remain intertwined with notching slashes in the win column.