- Ohio State (+250) is the new favorite after being ranked No. 1 by the CFP selection committee
- No. 2 Alabama (+275) and No. 3 LSU (+400) will face off in Tuscaloosa this Saturday (Nov. 9)
- Clemson (+350) will almost certainly make the 4-team playoff despite being ranked at No. 5
After the College Football Playoff committee placed Ohio State No. 1 in their initial rankings for the 2019 season, oddsmakers installed the Buckeyes as the new favorites to win the national title.
With LSU, Alabama and Penn State rounding out the projected semifinal group and defending champion Clemson on the outside looking in for now, let’s see how the selection committee’s choices have impacted the odds at BetOnline.
2020 CFP NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP ODDS
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THE CFP COMMITTEE’S TOP FOUR
With a Heisman Trophy contender on both sides of the ball, no one should be surprised that the Buckeyes debuted atop the rankings. There’s just one catch: in the first five years of the CFP, no team that has opened at No. 1 has ever gone on to win the national championship.
Ohio State (+250) claiming favorite status bumped the Crimson Tide down slightly to +275, but it’s hard to get too worked up about any of this with No. 2 Alabama set to host No. 3 LSU this Saturday.
— LSU Football Report ? (@LSUReport) November 7, 2019
Not only will the loser of the SEC slugfest be displaced from the top four, the game will likely decide which quarterback, Joe Burrow or Tua Tagovailoa, takes home the Heisman.
Strength of schedule (impressive wins over Michigan and Iowa) helped Penn State claim No. 4, however, oddsmakers still view the school as a significant underdog at +1800. This weekend, the Nittany Lions will face off against an undefeated Minnesota squad that’s feeling disrespected after the committee ranked them 17th, before heading to Ohio State on Nov. 23.
CLEMSON CHECKS IN AT NUMBER 5
Having played no games against the committee’s top 25 teams and only narrowly escaping unranked North Carolina 21-20 back in September, the Tigers were ranked outside the top four.
Luckily for Dabo Swinney, none of this really matters. The defending champs finish their cupcake schedule with games against NC State, No. 19 Wake Forest and South Carolina. When they inevitably win all of those contests, they will be rewarded with a berth in the College Football Playoffs.
— Scott Keepfer (@ScottKeepfer) November 6, 2019
For this reason, Clemson (+350) remains behind only Ohio State and Alabama on the big board. If you like the Tigers’ chances of repeating, this is the week to place your bets because their odds will only shorten once a loser emerges from the Alabama-LSU game.
POSSIBILITY OF PAC-12 PLAYOFF TEAM
With Oregon and Utah checking in at No. 7 and No. 8 in the rankings, respectively, one of these one-loss squads could become the first Pac-12 school to ever be awarded a spot in college football’s four-team playoff.
Assuming both teams hold serve against their three remaining unranked opponents, the winner of the conference championship game between the Ducks and the Utes will have an outside chance at squeaking into the tournament ahead of Georgia and the loser of the Alabama/LSU game.
Looks like Justin Herbert was just dumped by his girlfriend on national TV. Brutal pic.twitter.com/VH0GRtfqvm
— Ben Koo (@bkoo) November 3, 2019
Given the star power Justin Herbert provides as a top NFL quarterback prospect, Oregon is the better bet to finish in the top four if you’re looking for a longshot to win the national championship, however, this scenario is as unlikely as the odds (+3300) suggest.