Who Will Make College Football’s 4-Team Playoff?

  • BetOnline has updated odds on who will make the 2019-20 College Football Playoff
  • Alabama (-350) and Clemson (-550) are viewed as shoo-ins to reach the final four
  • Georgia (+120), Oklahoma (+200) and Ohio State (+240) should contend for the two remaining CFP berths

Nick Saban has led the Crimson Tide into the College Football Playoff every year since the format started in 2014. Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers have appeared in four straight final fours.

Alabama and Clemson are at about +300 and +400, respectively, to miss out on the tournament, but unless you plan on kidnapping Tua Tagovailoa and/or Trevor Lawrence, you’d probably need longer odds than that to make it worth your while.

With two CFP spots seemingly locked up, let’s examine three schools who have the best shot at the final two berths. All odds from BetOnline.

Odds to Make 4-Team College Football Playoffs

Team “Yes” odds “No” odds
Alabama -350 +290
Auburn +1000 -1500
Clemson -550 +425
Florida +1000 -1500
Georgia +120 -140
LSU +500 -700
Michigan +250 -300
Notre Dame +1000 -1500
Ohio State +240 -280
Oregon +800 -1250
Texas +600 -800
Washington +1000 -1500

Georgia Bulldogs

Regarded as a top quarterback prospect in the 2020 NFL Draft, Jake Fromm is making his land stand with the Bulldogs this season after losing the 2017-18 national championship game to Alabama in overtime as a freshman, and falling short of the CFP last year thanks to another crushing loss to the Crimson Tide.

The good news is Fromm will be working behind a veteran offense line and handing off to a fellow Heisman candidate D’Andre Swift. The bad news is he has to pick up a new offense under new OC James Coley and break in four freshman wideouts after the team lost their top five receivers from last season.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Is there a quarterback competition or isn’t there? While most expect Justin Fields to be leading the offense when the season starts, new head coach Ryan Day says the Georgia transfer still hasn’t won the job over former five-star prospect Gunnar Hoak.

While it should be impossible to win a QB battle against a kid named Gunnar, Fields is one of the highest-rated quarterback prospects of all time, and his rushing ability will add a new level of difficulty for opposing defenses.

Assuming the two new defensive coaches (Greg Mattison and Al Washington) that the Buckeyes poached from the rival Wolverines can improve a unit that ranked 93rd in the nation last year, Ohio State should return to the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2016.

Oklahoma Sooners

It seems I have a type. Like Ohio State, the Sooners have a dual-threat QB transfer and an offensive guru calling the plays. The only difference of course is that Oklahoma’s pair are proven commodities.

Lincoln Riley has coached up two consecutive Heisman Trophy winners in Baker Mayfield and Kyler Murray, and is gunning to return to the 4-team playoff for the third straight season and fourth in the past five years. Meanwhile, Jalen Hurts started for Alabama in 2016 and 2017, and famously saved the day in last year’s SEC championship game comeback over Georgia.

Oklahoma has a new defense coordinator in Alex Grinch (another similarity with the Buckeyes), but the team’s playoff hopes took a hit this week when defensive back Tre Norwood suffered a knee injury.

Could that open the playoff door for former college football powerhouses such as Auburn, Florida and LSU?

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.