10 Teams with the Best Odds to Make the College Football Playoff

By Joe Gendelman   November 16, 2020 

10 Teams with the Best Odds to Make the College Football Playoff

During arguably the craziest, most upside-down, most unpredictable college football season in decades, it has been impossible to bet on anything except for chaos. When trying to figure out which four teams will make up the College Football Playoff in January, it seems almost impossible to compare the betting odds of teams that are at totally different places in their respective seasons. How can you choose between betting on a 2-0 Wisconsin team or an 8-0 Notre Dame squad? What we can do though is narrow down our top ten contenders, by betting odds, to make the CFB Playoff.

1. Alabama

Realistically, ‘Bama would have to lose twice to miss out on the CFP and that is becoming less and less likely by the week. To bet against the Crimson Tide, you’d need to assume that they will lose the Iron Bowl at home to Auburn, and then also lose the SEC title game to either Florida or a Georgia team they’ve already beaten by 17. Seems like a longshot bet. 

2. Notre Dame

Like Alabama, Notre Dame is a team that could potentially afford a loss and still make the CFP. The Irish have the most impressive win in the country on their resume, with their incredible victory over Clemson, and will not face another ranked team before a hypothetical ACC Championship rematch with the Tigers. Notre Dame would probably be the underdog in that game, at least with regard to CFB betting odds, but even with a loss they’d likely land in the playoff.

3. Ohio State

This is less an example of “what have they done so far” and more a question of “who is possibly going to beat them.” The Big Ten looks as weak as it’s been in years, and if Ryan Day’s Buckeyes can get past an upstart Indiana team they will likely waltz into the Big 10 title game. OSU wins the Michigan game every season, but this year’s should be especially anticlimactic. 

Quarterback Justin Fields #1 of the Ohio State Buckeyes passes against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Ohio Stadium on November 7, 2020 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

4. Clemson

The Tigers are another team that control their own destiny, even with a loss on their record already. If Clemson wins out and takes the rematch against Notre Dame with Trevor Lawrence playing, only an undefeated Alabama or Big 10 team will have better odds at winning the college football championship than the Tigers. 

5. Wisconsin

The Badgers have only played two games thus far, but all of the dominos are falling in their favor. If they can beat Indiana and Northwestern, both having their best seasons in recent memory, then even a close loss in the Big 10 title game could be enough for the Badgers to make their case for a CFP slot. 

6. Oregon

Oregon has only played two games, but an optimist would note that they only have four games left. A 6-0 Pac-12 team would almost certainly be playing for a spot in the CFP in the conference title game, and Oregon does not have a ranked team left on their regular season schedule.

7. USC

It could very well come down to 6-0 Oregon vs. 6-0 USC in the Pac-12 Championship for a spot in the playoff. USC’s route is slightly harder than the Ducks, considering they have to play crosstown rivals UCLA, the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes, and an unknown Utah team that is still 0-0.

8. Texas A&M

The Aggies have already lost by 28 points to Alabama, but the good news is they won’t have to play ‘Bama again in SEC play. Would a win over Florida coupled with a late season victory at Auburn potentially be enough for a one-loss SEC team to make the CFP? The betting odds would be high, but it’s not impossible.

9. Florida

The Gators actually rank behind Texas A&M because they have already lost to the Aggies and are looking to be on a crash course with Alabama in the SEC title game. Of course, a win over Alabama, something Texas A&M failed to do, would vault the Gators ahead of both Alabama and A&M and as the moneyline odds favorite to be the SEC team in the playoff. 

10. Tie between Cincinnati and BYU

Cincinnati Bearcats players react after the game against the Houston Cougars and the Cincinnati Bearcats on November 7, 2020, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, OH. (Photo by Ian Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This is not to disrespect the other non Power 5 undefeated teams Marshall, Liberty, Coastal Carolina, but none of those teams appear to have a path to the playoff. Cincy and BYU on the other hand, are firmly inside the top ten, and watch have multiple impressive wins on their resume. Cincinnati has already beaten Army and blown out SMU on the road, while BYU went to Boise St. and won by 34 on the vaunted blue turf. Cincinnati can land another solid win this week at UCF.

What would it take for one of these long betting odds contenders to end the season in the top four? Probably a ton of carnage amongst the top teams and as many two loss major teams as possible. But if there were ever a season for that to happen, it would be this one.

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