College Football Playoff Odds: Final Four Is Named
It isn’t often that there is a whole lot up for debate with the rankings this late in the season. Heading into Championship Weekend, that was certainly the case this year. Sure, if LSU, Ohio State and/or Clemson lost there would have been chaos.
While Ohio State came the closest to falling, none of the top three did. But for that to happen, that meant No. 4 Georgia had to fall—which they did against a dominant LSU team, 37-10. That, in turn, opened the door or Utah, Baylor, or Oklahoma to march right in.
One team (Utah) played on Friday night while the other two faced off in the Big 12 title game on Saturday. So, it was pretty much a win and you’re in scenario for all three.
As it turns out, Oregon decided to play spoiler to Utah’s playoff hopes making the stakes even higher for the Big 12 title game. Despite being forced to insert their third string quarterback Baylor put up an incredible fight only to fall in overtime.
So, going into Selection Sunday, we knew the No.4 team would be the Oklahoma Sooners, but we didn’t know for sure how the rest of the top four would play out.
National Title Odds
College Football Playoff Odds: LSU Named Title Favorite
After heading into the Big Ten title game as the No.1 team in the rankings and beating No. 8 Wisconsin by 13-points, Ohio State had a great case to remain the No.1 team in the nation. However, LSU dominated No. 4 Georgia in every facet of the SEC title game en route to a 27-point win.
Fans of the Buckeyes can argue all they want, but LSU absolutely deserved to jump over them and retake the No. 1 slot. That meant Ohio State fell to No. 2. Clemson remained No.3 despite destroying Virginia in the ACC title game, 62-17. But with their easy schedule, no one was really arguing for them to be higher than that.
That left Oklahoma to round out the college football playoff Final Four at No. 4.
The semifinal games will take place on December 28 with LSU and Oklahoma facing off in the Peach Bowl followed by Clemson and Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl. According to DraftKings, LSU is favored to beat Oklahoma by 13.5 points. But the Fiesta Bowl is expected to be a lot closer (Clemson is favored to win by two).
College Football Playoffs Odds: Who’s Going To Win The National Championship?
Right now, the oddsmakers at DraftKings are saying it is going to be a close one between LSU (+120), Clemson (+200), and Ohio State (+225). Oklahoma isn’t being given much of a chance at +1200. Does that mean Oklahoma doesn’t have a chance?
Back in 2014, eventual champion Ohio State didn’t have great odds heading into the Big Ten title game (+1500; +600 after but still just third best) but went on to take down Alabama and then Oregon. Clemson entered the 2016 CFP with the third best odds at +800 and went on to win.
Teams with lesser odds heading into the playoffs have won in two of the five years the CFP has been in existence. So, to discount the Sooners just because they were such heavy underdogs would be a mistake.
Does that mean they are going to win? Not necessarily. While they do have one of the best offenses in the country, their defense barely qualifies as good.
Does that mean one of the other three teams is going to win? Again—not necessarily. Clemson was a statistical monster on both sides of the ball this year but racked up those stats against lesser competition.
If Clemson can stop Ohio State’s run game will the buckeyes be able to throw their way to victory (Buckeyes ranked 41st in the passing game this year)? Oklahoma can score some points, but they have also been known to give up quite a few Can they get a key stop when they need one?
LSU’s defense is good but not great. Against some of the best offenses in the country, can they hold their own?
These questions and so much more will need to be answered in order to make a well-informed wager on the national championship.