Before the start of the season, we posted odds on which teams would make the 4-team playoff from both 5Dimes and BetOnline. Alabama opened with the best odds to make the playoffs at +150. They were followed by Oklahoma (+175), Ohio State (+190) and Clemson (+200).
Just two years earlier these odds proved prophetic as the four preseason favorites (Alabama, Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon) all advanced to the four-team playoff. That changed last year as three teams with longer odds (Clemson +525, Michigan State +550 and Oklahoma +800) earned a playoff berth.
On November 22, 5Dimes updated their college football playoff odds and the four preseason favorites (Alabama +125, Clemson +155, Oklahoma +175 and Ohio State +195) were all expected to make the playoff. In fact, three of those schools were odds-on favorites including Alabama at a whopping -3000. The following week, some of these odds had moved dramatically.
After defeating Michigan in double-overtime, Ohio State moved from -170 to -3000 to make the four-team playoff. Conversely, the loss caused Michigan’s odds of making the playoffs to drop from +180 to +420.
Oklahoma, who was previously tied for the fourth-best odds of making the playoffs, saw their odds drop from +150 to +1300 despite not playing last weekend. They are currently listed as 11-point favorites against Oklahoma State.
The table below compares the current playoff odds with the preseason odds from 5Dimes.
|School||Make Playoff (11/30)||Miss Playoff (11/30)||Make Playoff (11/22)||Miss Playoff (11/22)||Make Playoff (8/30)||Miss Playoff (8/30)|
It’s been a great season for the chalk, but there are some potentially big upsets lingering. The Wisconsin Badgers, who were listed at 25/1 to make the playoffs before the season, currently have the fifth-best odds at +360. Penn State, who boasts the seventh-best odds at +525, weren’t even listed as an option during the preseason.
Based on these odds, we can project the most likely playoff matchups along with the lookahead lines from the Golden Nugget.
#1 Alabama (-14) vs. #4 Washington
#2 Ohio State (-6.5) vs. #3 Clemson
There are several conference championship games this weekend which can potentially impact the playoff race. That includes Colorado vs. Washington (-7.5), Virginia Tech vs. Clemson (-10), and Penn State vs. Wisconsin (-2.5). Bettors can view the latest odds and trends for these games by visiting our free college football odds page.
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