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2019 College Football Playoff — Who's In and Who Wins?
Heading into the final two pivotal games of the year, college football odds makers have pegged the following three teams with the best shots to win the 2019-20 College Football Playoff:
- Ohio State (+175)
- LSU (+250)
- Clemson (+275)
If any of the three lose during the next two weeks, you can expect complete madness with NCAA football odds ebbing and flowing greatly. So what's going to happen? We'll cover all that during this preview before offering up our CFP winner at the end.
However, before we go any further into NCAA football futures, be sure to brush up on the current bonus offers available at sportsbooks across the Internet. Hundreds of dollars in free play are up for grabs with such bonuses. Leveraging them, plus nailing your college football picks, can earn you a mean payday when it's all said and done!
Who makes the playoff at the four seed?
We mentioned the three favorites to win the CFP earlier, per online sportsbooks. Right now, all three are unbeaten and control their CFP destiny. With wins in the next two weeks, they're all guaranteed a spot in the four-team playoff.
The fourth and final spot is more of a crapshoot. These teams need to win out, plus hope for some losses from others. Among that field, these four programs are given the best NCAAF odds currently:
- Georgia (+700)
- Alabama (+1000)
- Oklahoma (+1600)
- Utah (+2500)
Just to be clear, the above lines are to win the CFP, not merely qualify for it. You should be paying close attention to who sneaks into the playoff at the four seed because history shows these teams can be dangerous.
Get this, since switching to a playoff format, two of the five national championship winners have been four seeds — Ohio State in 2015 and Alabama in 2018.
Among the aforementioned group, we like Bama's NCAAF Vegas odds most.
Here's why we haven't given up on the Nick Saban-coached team like seemingly everyone else in America: they've lost one game this season on the road to the proverbial number-one team, LSU (by five points no less). That's not a bad resume whatsoever — certainly better than the other hopefuls.
Look, Georgia needs to beat LSU in the SEC title game to have any shot at getting in. Possible, but we don't see it happening. Utah and Oklahoma could win their conferences with 12-1 record a piece and still not match Bama's resume.
For all the talk of Alabama's cupcake schedule, Utah and Oklahoma's is hardly better. The Utes have one top-25 win this year, while the Sooner could finish with two (over the same Baylor team). Neither of those is more impressive than Bama, playing in the toughest conference in the nation and with its history of success (which will have an effect in the voter's mind even if they say it doesn't).
With that said, we think taking Bama right now at +1000 is worth a flier bet. Yes, we know Tua Tagovailoa is done for this year, but this is Saban we're talking about — only the greatest college football coach ever. We'll take him at +1000 odds anytime, anywhere based on value alone.
Lucky number two seed
We talked about the success of the four seed before, but there's been one seed that's actually performed better: the two. Three times has a two seed gone on to win the CFP. For those counting at home, that means a one or three seed has never claimed a national title.
That's a trend to keep an eye out for. Assuming the big three win — LSU, Ohio State, and Clemson — win out, the chances are high the Buckeyes remain at two (where the CFP currently has them ranked).
Two seed or not, this Ohio State team has been on an absolute tear this season. They've won every single game by double digits with the "closest" game being last weekend's 11-point victory over eighth-ranked Penn State. Matter of fact, its average margin of victory has been 38.9 points this year — highest in the nation (Clemson is next at 34.2).
They draw rival Michigan next in the Big House, but are guaranteed a Big-10 title game spot against Minnesota regardless of what results. Not that we think Ohio State won't win, though — Jim Harbaugh doesn't win big games, c'mon!
Anyway, first-year head coach Ryan Day has done a masterful job filling in for Urban Meyer in Columbus. As it stands, the Buckeyes rank first nationally in scoring offense (49.4) and defense (10.5). Proof that Ohio State is the most complete team in NCAA.
If you haven't figured it out by now, we're riding Ohio State's Vegas odds college football. Drawing the two seed would only increase our confidence in this pick. Bet the Buckeyes big to win the CFP, folks!
Pick: Ohio State (+175)
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