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College Football Playoff Odds Update: Pre-Conference Title Games

Who Has The Inside Track to Make The Final Four?

CFP National Championship Odds

It’s hard to believe, but December is already here, and, in the college football world, that means conference championship games. Of course, these are the last precursor before the final College Football Playoff rankings are released this Sunday, December 3.

The CFP National Championship odds should be crystalized by that point when it’s known which four college football teams have made it, who will play who, and where they’ll play.

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But, before we get to that point, there are title games to be played, which could completely shake up the CFP picture. Right now, Michigan (+190) has the best odds to win the National Championship in Houston in January, but, of course, they’ll need to take care of Iowa in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship.

Pre-Conference Title Games

The Wolverines’ hated rival, Ohio State (+6000), is on the outside-looking-in after losing in Ann Arbor last week and will need some crazy NCAAF scores today and this weekend to even have a chance at making the CFP.

Georgia (+200) also looks to be in a comfortable position, but they have a tough matchup in Alabama (+900) for Saturday’s SEC Championship. The Bulldogs are 12-0 and are favored over the 11-1 Crimson Tide by 5.5 points. If Georgia wins, Kirby Smart’s team will likely be the top overall seed in the CFP.

However, if the Bulldogs lose, then it could lock both Georgia and Alabama into the field, depending on how other title games go.

The Pac-12 Championship game, between undefeated Washington (+1600) and one-loss Oregon (+500), could really shake the CFP National Championship odds up. Oregon is a hefty nine-point favorite, and, based on the current odds, the Ducks are expected to make the CFP over their intra-conference rival.

But, Washington has already beaten Oregon once this season, and, if the Huskies win again, the Committee would have to give Washington the chance to be in the final four. Oregon should — on paper — win, and, if the Ducks do, they would almost assuredly make the CFP.

11-1 Texas (+900) needs to take care of business against the dangerous Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday for the NCAA football odds to favor the Longhorns going forward.

Texas has a great resume, but Steve Sarkisian’s group won’t get in with two losses. The Longhorns should be rooting heavily for Georgia and Oregon, but it’s a tougher call in the Big Ten because a Michigan loss to Iowa may not necessarily knock the Wolverines out of contention.

Texas — and everyone else in the CFP mix — will certainly be rooting for Louisville in the ACC Championship Game against undefeated Florida State (+3000). The Seminoles pose a challenge for the Committee because they are without their star quarterback and Heisman candidate Jordan Travis, but shouldn’t be penalized for potentially running the table in a Power Five conference.

Florida State has no chance if they lose to Louisville and could still be snubbed in the CFB standings even if the Seminoles take home the ACC title.

So, the CFP National Championship odds really depends on the results of each of the aforementioned title games. Because Michigan and Georgia are assured bids if they win — and they are each solid favorites in their respective games — it’s smart to grab their value. There just aren’t nearly as many questions regarding those teams’ CFP candidacies as there are for pretty much every other team.

Florida State is also a smart pick as a flier. Are the Seminoles close to the same team without Jordan Travis as they are with him? Of course not. But it’s a talented team on both sides of the ball and should still beat Louisville, even as just as a 1.5-point favorite.

And there just isn’t precedent for the Committee denying a bid to an undefeated major-conference team even without its starting quarterback and overall best NCAAF player. At +3000, Florida State is worth it.

You can never count out Alabama, yet it’s a tall task to beat Georgia, particularly with how unimpressive the Crimson Tide have looked in some of their wins this season. Taking them at +900 to win it all is essentially rolling the dice that Alabama can pull off a big upset and still manage to avoid Georgia in a potential CFP game because of how tough it is to beat the same team twice in a month.

The debate between Oregon and Washington really comes down to who you think will win tonight. Oregon is the better team, but Washington is no push-over despite the lopsided spread.

The final Pac-12 Championship Game is essentially a play-in game for the CFP. Oregon looks to be the better bet as the team with more of an ability to make noise in the CFP. Still, Michael Penix Jr. is an electric offensive talent who can elevate even Washington’s mediocre defense.

Texas and Ohio State may be the most interesting teams because they each need a lot of help. Texas doesn’t get in for sure with a win, and Ohio State almost certainly doesn’t get in unless there are a few huge upsets.

Neither is the smartest pick for those reasons but, if anything is certain about college football, it’s that what’s expected to happen often doesn’t. That’s the fun of it.

For NCAAF news, betting odds, analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine

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