College Football Playoffs Odds: Four Strong Favorites
The college football playoffs system was created to make sure the national champion wasn’t just a team that happened to have a good day when it matters most. Fans want to see the best team crowned champion, not the luckiest one. So far, the CFP system has delivered.
With three weeks to go (two weeks in the regular season and the conference championship games), the field for this year’s Final Four appears set. LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson have been dominating the competition all season long and will likely remain No. 1, 2, and 3 in the CFP rankings for the foreseeable future.
According to the oddsmakers at PointsBet.com, all three are heavy favorites to make it into the playoffs this year. Clemson’s odds are the best (-2000) since it is unlikely any of their remaining opponents will give them a fight, let alone actually beat the Tigers.
Ohio State’s odds are pretty short (-667) even though they still have three tough games on their schedule (Penn State, Michigan, and the Big Ten Championship).
LSU still has a couple of tough ones left, as well. Arkansas shouldn’t be too much trouble, but Texas A&M could be problematic. Then they will also have to face Georgia in the SEC title game hence their odds being a little longer than Ohio State’s (-500).
The No.4 slot is currently being held by a team, Georgia, with strong odds to make it in (-133). But if anyone were to fall out of the top four, it will likely be them.
College Football Playoffs Odds: How Georgia Could Fall And An Underdog Could Rise
Of Georgia’s remaining two regular-season opponents, Texas A&M might be able to pull off the upset. The Bulldogs are favored by 13 points over the Aggies. But if Texas A&M can run the ball on Georgia, they might be able to make a game of it. That will, of course, be easier said than done against the best run defense in the SEC.
But assuming Georgia wins out in the regular season along with the other top four teams, they will be in a rather precarious position when they face LSU in the SEC title game. Georgia will likely have to beat LSU to remain in the top four.
Should they lose, there will be a handful of teams with good odds more than happy to move up and take the slot.
Baylor (+2000) still has an outside shot if they can win out and then beat Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. The same could be said for Minnesota (+1500) if they win out and then beat Ohio State in the Big Ten title game.
Penn State (+400) will have a compelling case if they can beat Ohio State (they are 18-point underdogs) and win the Big Ten.
How the Pac-12 Title Game will Affect the College Football Playoff Odds
Either Utah (+200) or Oregon (+150) will be knocked out of the race when they lose the Pac-12 title game. But it is hard to say either has an impressive enough resume to jump over Oklahoma (+150) or Alabama (+175).
Oklahoma will have a strong case if they can win out and then punish Baylor in the Big 12 title game. But then it will be hard for the committee to overlook Alabama even though Tua Tagovailoa is out for the season.
Mac Jones is not the same caliber of quarterback, but Alabama is so much more than Tagovailoa. They will be just fine without him. Since the committee let Alabama in once before despite not playing in the SEC title game, it is not hard imagining them doing so again.
If Georgia loses, chaos could very well break out as several teams make their case for the No.4 spot. But should they beat LSU, look for Ohio State and Clemson to move up to No. 1 and 2. Georgia will move up to No. 3, and LSU will fall back to No. 4.
So, depending on how these last few games playout, we could see things go crazy with the top four—or nothing will happen. Right now, there is no telling what will go down. But we do know one thing.
It is going to be a lot of fun watching it all play out.
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