2019 NCAAF Best Bet: Ohio State Will Make 4-Team College Football Playoff

  • Bovada has Ohio State listed at +165 to make the 2019 College Football Playoff
  • New head coach Ryan Day will bring innovative offensive concepts to the Buckeyes
  • Dual-threat quarterback Justin Fields (+1100) is a sneaky Heisman Trophy contender

When betting Ohio State to make the 2019 College Football Playoff, there is one big fly in the ointment: the CFP contains only four teams and Clemson and Alabama are virtual locks with both schools appearing in the tournament in each of the past four seasons.

There are still reasons to be bullish about the Buckeyes, however. Let’s look at the odds at Bovada and discuss why Ohio State qualifying for the CFP is my favorite bet of the 2019 NCAA football season.

Odds to Make 4-Team Playoff

Team “Yes” odds at Bovada “No” odds at Bovada
Ohio State +165 -205

*All odds taken on 05/30/19

Will Ohio State Make the 2019 CFP: Yes (+165)

It’s players who play the games, but college football is a coach’s sport. While recruiting the best athletes certainly helps, Nick Saban and Dabo Swinney are the straws that stir the drinks in Alabama and Clemson.

Similarly, my trust in Ohio State this season is solely based on my faith in new head coach Ryan Day. This is a man who smart football people see big things in.

Here’s what former Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer had to say after announcing his retirement last year: “I hired Ryan Day (as an assistant in 2016) because I thought he was a very good coach. I knew he was. He was with me before. What I found out was that he’s far past those thoughts. He’s elite.”

ESPN NFL analyst Louis Riddick also called the 40-year-old coach “brilliant” recently, saying that Day’s passing game concepts are going to “explode” in 2019.

Another person who obviously believes in the first-time head coach is quarterback Justin Fields, who transferred to Ohio State after one season at Georgia.

Last year, Dwayne Haskins set Big Ten single-season records in passing yards (4,831) and touchdowns (50). While the No. 15 overall draft pick is incredibly talented, one has to wonder if Fields, a top-five prospect nationally in the 2018 recruiting class, is a better fit for Day’s offensive scheme.

A protege of Chip Kelly’s, Day will use Fields’ dynamic running ability and rocket arm to force defenses to pick their poison. His dual-threat abilities should also open up opportunities for running back JK Dobbins.

Another reason I like Ohio State is they’re not exactly a rebuilding program. The school finished fifth in the nation in 2017 and sixth in 2018.

There’s also nowhere to go but up for new co-defensive coordinators Greg Mattison (hired away from Michigan) and Jeff Hafley (an NFL assistant since 2012), who inherit a defense that was the worst in school history last year (403.4 yards per game), allowing 30 points in five games or more.

While I also advise investing in a Justin Fields (+1100) to win the Heisman bet and an Ohio State to take home the National Championship (+850) wager, I’m most confident in the Buckeyes making their third College Football Playoff appearance in the past six years.

Steve Dominey

Steve has almost 15 years of experience in marketing, PR and sports television. After acquiring a Journalism degree from Carleton University, he assembled highlight packs for Canada's most-watched sports network (TSN) before transitioning to a career in communications. He describes himself as a good father, great dog owner, and mediocre gambler and husband.