College Football Playoff

  • The College Football national champion has not seen any consistency as to when their odds are best to bet.
  • Even looking at preseason odds to make the playoffs isn’t the best indicator as to who will make it.
  • The Alabama Crimson Tide are the smallest underdog as a four-seed since 2019.
  • They also beat the Clemson Tigers as a four seed in the 2017 season as a #4 favorite at -3.5.
  • The Michigan Wolverines join Clemson and Georgia as the only three #3s to be favored over the second seed.
  • Favorites have a one-game advantage over underdogs (10-8) in covering the CFP semifinal spreads.
  • The under is 11-7 in semifinal games despite last year seeing both games hit the over. But, it’s 6-3 in the #1 vs #4 matchup.

NEW ORLEANS – Nobody can ever really tell for sure what is going to happen when it comes to sports betting. In fact, the Georgia Bulldogs and Ohio State Buckeyes were the only two teams with favored odds to make the playoffs before the 2023 season started.

  • Georgia Bulldogs -240
  • Ohio State Buckeyes -105

While the Michigan Wolverines (+115) and the Alabama Crimson Tide (+150) were next on the list, oddsmakers listed the USC Trojans (+250), Clemson Tigers (+290), and LSU Tigers (+300) thereafter.

Beating two of those teams this season, the FSU Seminoles (+375) were left out of the College Football Playoffs despite a perfect record as ACC Champions.

As for the Texas Longhorns (+300) and Washington Huskies (+750), they were thrown randomly in a mix of the top 13.

When Is The Best Time To Bet A Team To Win The CFB Championship?

There is no exact science as to when to bet on the college football playoffs in favor of one team. For the 2023 season, each team held their best odds at different points in the season

Team Shortest Odds Longest Odds Current Odds
#1 Michigan Wolverines +225 (Week 9) +800 (Week 1) +160
#2 Washington Huskies +900 (Week 8) +4000 (Week 1) +700
#3 Texas Longhorns +750 (Week 6) +2500 (Week 2) +315
#4 Alabama Crimson Tide +600 (Week 12) +5000 (Week 4) +185

Since the semifinal games were introduced to college football, there aren’t any trends to lock into either.

Year CFP Champion Longest Odds Time
2022 Georgia Bulldogs +350 Week 2
2021 Georgia Bulldogs +600 Preseason
2020 Alabama Crimson Tide +500 Week 5
2019 LSU Tigers +2500 Preseason
2018 Clemson Tigers +500 Week 6
2017 Alabama Crimson Tide +400 Conference Championship
2016 Clemson Tigers +1200 Week 12
2015 Alabama Crimson Tide +2000 Week 4
2014 Ohio State Buckeyes +4000 Week 3

But outside of futures bets, you can also bet on college football games during the playoffs. With the lines set, Michigan holds a 1.5-point advantage over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, while the Rose Bowl has Texas favored over Washington by four points.

Sugar Bowl Betting Odds

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Alabama (#4) +1.5 (-110) +105 O46.0 (-110)
Michigan (#1) -1.5 (-110) -125 U46.0 (-110)

Rose Bowl Betting Odds

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Texas (#3) -4.0 (-110) -180 O64.0 (-110)
Washington (#2) +4.0 (-110) +155 U64.0 (-110)

But, don’t look at the last four years to try to find any advantage.

  • Favorites and underdogs are an even split 4-4 in the last four years of the CFP semifinals
  • The over and under is also an even split at 4-4 since 2019.
  • The #1 seed is 2-2 ATS in the semifinals and 2-2 on the O/U as well in that span.

One trend that stands out is that the #1 and #3 have met in the last four National Championship games.

So, Texas may be safe. Further, Texas at -4 marks the third time since 2019 that the three seed is favored over the two seed.

But, Alabama’s history and their status as a four-seed may cause concern for the Michigan Wolverines. Alabama’s line of +1.5 is the smallest disadvantage of any 4-seed (+5.5, +13, +19, +12.5) over the last four semifinal games.

Only time will tell who comes out on top, but one thing is for sure: don’t let anyone tell you what you want to bet is wrong. Able to cherrypick and trend that fits your narrative, there are many other trends that can oppose your mindset as well.

All odds presented come from Bovada.

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