The College Football Playoff has a cabal of four teams that have had a stranglehold on the top spots all season, and the oddsmakers at DraftKings Sportsbook don’t think that will change anytime soon.
No. 1 Alabama is the chalk at +125. They’re a 28.5 point favorite at LSU this Saturday, and will likely face Florida in the SEC Championship game as a double-digit favorite. Get through those two, and barring something completely unforeseen they’ll be the #1 seed in the tournament.
Clemson is third in the CFP rankings, but second via the dollars at +250. Could we get our fourth Clemson vs. Alabama national championship game in six years? The bettors think so, and the Tigers missing the Crimson Tide in the semifinals is likely the best way forward.
Ohio State might be the biggest gamble on the top of the board, as they missed their game with Illinois this week due to Covid-19, and will have to play both Michigan State this Saturday and Michigan on December 12th, otherwise they’ll fall below the six-game minimum and not qualify for the Big Ten Championship game. And it’s highly unlikely the committee adds a team with just five regular season apperances.
Notre Dame beat Clemson, but they’re the last of the top four at +600. A double overtime win against the Tigers was the game of the year, but the advanced numbers show that Clemson usually comes away the winner. Assuming both teams make the ACC Championship, look for the Tigers to be somewhere between a 7-10 point favorite.
The Florida Gators have a slightly longer path, needing a win over either Tennessee or LSU in the next two weeks to ensure their trip to Atlanta. But even with a loss in one of their last two games, a win over Alabama is likely enough to put them in the tournament. But can they get there without it? It would take a very close loss to the Crimson Tide, and possibly some help from Clemson or Ohio State.
If you’re betting below that on this board, you’re basically hoping for Clemson or Notre Dame to emulsify each other in the ACC Championship Game to free up a spot, or that Ohio State can’t finish the season with enough games. That leaves room for undefeateds from outside the Power Five Cincinnati and BYU, who both have an open date this Saturday and could play each other (HINT!). The winner of that might add enough muscle to surpass the one-loss SEC teams in Florida and Texas A&M.
The most fun longshot? If Ohio State can’t finish the season, Indiana is in the driver’s seat in the Big Ten East. The Hoosiers will need to knock off both Wisconsin and Purdue (neither is a gift) to finish the regular season, but would be favored against likely opponent Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship Game. And with the strength of their schedule they’d have a case: Their only loss, would be by a touchdown in The Horseshoe against Ohio State. And any team at 100-1 that gets in the tournament is worth a few scheckels.
Here are the current odds to win the 2020 College Football Playoff at DraftKings Sportsbook:
Ohio State +550
Notre Dame +600
Texas A&M +1600
Iowa State +15000
Miami Florida +75000
Oklahoma State +100000