Betting Futures for This Season’s College Football Playoff
Following a thrilling round of college football conference championship games, the list of this season's four playoff teams has been set. While there are two familiar teams in the mix, a pair of newcomers each have the ability to shake things up at longer betting odds.
BetOnline sportsbook has set the odds for each playoff team's chances to win this year's national championship, and here is a closer look at the value to be found in those odds.
Alabama Crimson Tide +120
Auburn had the Crimson Tide on the ropes in the annual Iron Bowl a few weeks ago. If Alabama had lost that game, it probably would not even be in the playoff as a two-loss team. As a result of 24-22 overtime victory against the Tigers as 20.5-point favorites, the Tide retained their chance to defend last year's national championship. They made the most of that opportunity by rolling over Georgia 41-24 in the SEC Championship as six-point underdogs. Alabama will now face Cincinnati in one of two semifinal games as an early 13.5-point favorite. That game will be played on Dec. 31 as part of this season's college football bowl schedule. After watching Alabama completely dominate Georgia, it is hard to bet against the Tide winning two more games this season, even if they have to face the Bulldogs for a second time. As the favorite to win the title, there is some excellent value in the +120 odds.
Georgia Bulldogs +140
Georgia held the top spot in the rankings all season long until it was time to face a team on its same talent level. The Bulldogs had the chance to prove that they were clearly the best team in the nation, and they came up well short. They have been opened up at eight-point favorites against Michigan in the other college playoff semifinal matchup. Assuming they get past that game, the Bulldogs would most likely get another crack at beating Alabama. Given the way they lost that game, it is hard to imagine a different outcome the second time around. It is also hard to find all that much value in this team's +140 odds. Georgia could easily come up short against the highly motivated Wolverines, and Alabama appears to have the Bulldogs' number no matter where or when these two teams meet.
Michigan Wolverines +650
Michigan may have the hottest hand coming into this season's playoff. After beating Ohio State 42-27 as 6.5-point home underdogs, the Wolverines crushed Iowa 42-3 to win the Big Ten conference title. In the process, they established themselves as legitimate contenders for a national title. With Georgia up next, Michigan has a great chance to keep things rolling all the way to the national championship game. At the very least, you should bet the Wolverines to cover with the eight points. At +650, you also cannot go wrong with a small wager to win the title game as well. The Wolverines are playing their best football at the right time of the year with the capability of beating any team they face from here on in.
Cincinnati Bearcats +950
First off, the Bearcats deserve to be in the playoff this season. They have beaten every team they have faced, and regardless of their strength of schedule, they are one of the top four teams in the nation. While I am unwilling to go 'all in' on a national title run, I would take Cincinnati and the 13.5 points against Alabama. When it is all said and done, the Tide will know they were in a battle.