The second round of College Football Playoff rankings came out on Tuesday night and some of the complaints from last week have been resolved already.
Michigan State and Wake Forest lost. Ohio State played poorly to further justify Oregon’s position above the Buckeyes. Cincinnati didn’t play well, perhaps giving some credence to why the Bearcats were ranked sixth.
After another week of deliberation, the CFP Committee released another set of rankings and here those are, along with odds to win the National Championship and the remaining schedules.
We’ll use the odds from DraftKings Sportsbook and look at the top teams compare the odds and the remaining schedules to see if there are any good bets to make. As always, shop around for the best odds on any team that you like.
No. 1 Georgia Bulldogs (9-0, -110)
Georgia remained at the top of the list this week, to the surprise of absolutely nobody. Last week you could get Georgia at plus money to win the Natty. This week, you cannot.
Reality seems to have set in that Georgia could lose to Alabama (or somebody else) in Atlanta and still be in the top four. At this point, the title is Georgia’s to lose, but there aren’t going to be a lot of people that want to lay -110 on the Bulldogs, even if there is no debate about the best team in the country.
Remaining schedule: @ Tennessee, Charleston Southern, @ Georgia Tech, SEC Championship Game Dec. 4
No. 2 Alabama Crimson Tide (8-1, %plussign% 360)
We almost had a monumental shake-up in the CFP rankings, but Alabama survived (barely) against LSU with a 20-14 win. Everybody besides Alabama and Georgia from last week’s top seven moved up a spot with Michigan State dropping down the board. The question is whether or not Alabama would be the first two-loss team to make the final four.
If that loss is Auburn in the Iron Bowl, then no. If that loss is a close game against Georgia in the SEC Championship Game, then it gets interesting. There is no way I’d bet Alabama at this point. A moneyline rollover of Georgia, semifinal game, championship game would likely be better at this point.
Alabama was %plussign% 280 last week.
Remaining schedule: New Mexico State, Arkansas, @ Auburn
No. 3 Oregon Ducks (8-1, 25/1)
The Ducks are third after moving up to the spot vacated by another team that wears green. Oregon beat Washington in a bad-weather game by 10. Interestingly, the Ducks were 50/1 when we checked in on our feathered friends last week.
The Pac-12 is pretty weak, but the two best teams are Oregon and Utah and they’ll play at least once this season on Nov. 20, but could see each other again in Las Vegas on Dec. 3. Shop around for the best price on the Ducks if you want, but the price has been cut in half from what we saw last week.
With a win over Wazzu this week in Eugene, the Ducks will guarantee a spot in the Pac-12 Championship Game, so expect this price to go down even more if that happens.
Remaining schedule: Washington State, @ Utah, Oregon State
No. 4 Ohio State Buckeyes (8-1, %plussign% 450)
Another week, another ho-hum win for the Buckeyes. The game against Penn State was a much more dominant performance from Ohio State, but at this point, it’s all about surviving and advancing.
The Buckeyes control their own destiny for the CFP. Beat Purdue, Michigan State, Michigan and the West Division champ and the inaugural CFP champ will be in the final four for the third straight time and fifth time overall.
The scarlet & gray were %plussign% 500 last week. There still isn’t a whole lot of equity, as the Buckeyes look like a team that could have issues with one of both of those teams from up north.
Remaining schedule: Purdue, Michigan State, @ Michigan
No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats (9-0, 50/1)
It could be danger time for the CFP Committee. We’ve yet to have a Group of Five team in the final four, but Oregon could be vulnerable in Salt Lake City and the same can be said for Ohio State in Ann Arbor. Cincinnati appears unlikely to lose in the regular season and would be able to face a ranked team in the AAC Championship.
Cincinnati’s prospects look good and 50/1 is starting to look kind of attractive. While nobody expects the Bearcats to beat Georgia, that line would be small enough for a hedging opportunity, with the Bulldogs likely around a 14-point underdog, which equates to roughly a -600 or -650 favorite. At 50/1, you have some hedging margin if your bankroll is liquid enough to do it.
You just wouldn’t have any hedging margin left if Cincinnati pulled the stunner. This was %plussign% 3000 last week.
Remaining schedule: @ USF, SMU, @ East Carolina
No. 6 Michigan Wolverines (8-1, 60/1)
Michigan’s odds have not moved, despite moving up a spot. It is interesting that Michigan is above Michigan State, even though the Spartans have a head-to-head win. Last week, a lot of people talked about Oregon being ahead of Ohio State by virtue of a head-to-head win.
Michigan did lose to a better team, so maybe that’s the thought process. Either way, much like last week, Michigan at 60/1 does carry a certain amount of value given that a win over Ohio State should punch a ticket to the final four. Of course, Michigan does have a toss-up game in Happy Valley this week. The Wolverines, like Cincinnati, would be about a two-touchdown dog to Georgia.
Remaining schedule: @ Penn State, @ Maryland, Ohio State
No. 7 Michigan State Spartans (8-1, 70/1)
Recency bias is often part of the equation with these things, but a lot will be forgotten if Sparty can beat Ohio State in Columbus in two weeks. That is Michigan State’s lone path back to contention. Last week’s loss to Purdue might be enough to keep Sparty out, even with an Ohio State win, but a conference championship is said to be a big part of the equation.
Is the fact that Michigan State would be such a huge underdog to Georgia and such a relatively small draw enough for the Committee to look past the Spartans no matter what? Maybe. Even with a balloon number like 70/1, you can’t really take Sparty here. The line was 40/1 before the Purdue game.
Remaining schedule: Maryland, @ Ohio State, Penn State
No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners (9-0, 14/1)
There is always one team in the rankings that will draw a smirk and a shake of the head. It is Oklahoma. The Sooners were on a bye last week, but it couldn’t have gone better for them. Baylor’s loss hurts to a degree, but Michigan State lost, Wake Forest is no longer a concern and teams like Alabama, Oregon, Ohio State and Cincinnati weren’t very impressive.
Given how Oklahoma’s four College Football Playoff appearances have gone, you can see that the Committee wants to keep them away from this year’s event. Between the remaining schedule and what has happened above the Sooners to this point, an undefeated Oklahoma team would absolutely be in the final four.
It’s just that the Sooners have exactly zero margin for error, despite being one of three championship contenders with zero losses.
Remaining schedule: @ Baylor, Iowa State, @ Oklahoma State
No. 9 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (8-1, 100/1)
Just to keep up appearances covering the top nine, Notre Dame gets a mention here, but the Fighting Irish have played exactly one team that is still ranked and lost that game. Virginia, Georgia Tech and Stanford won’t be enough to sway any minds. It isn’t Notre Dame’s fault that the ACC is so bad this season, but it will be enough to keep the Irish from sniffing the CFP.
Remaining schedule: @ Virginia, Georgia Tech, @ Stanford
No. 10 Oklahoma State Cowboys (8-1, 100/1)
Oklahoma State has a better chance than Notre Dame. The Cowboys could still win a major conference and have the chance at a top-10 win with Bedlam at the end of the year. It would take a lot of things falling exactly Oklahoma State’s way, but stranger things have happened, I suppose.
Not strange enough to bet this number, but strange enough for chaos to be the theme of the final few weeks of the regular season.
If nothing else, Oklahoma State has gone from 130/1 to 100/1.
Remaining schedule: TCU, @ Texas Tech, Oklahoma
No. 11 Texas A&M
No. 12 Wake Forest
No. 13 Baylor
No. 14 BYU
No. 15 Ole Miss
No. 16 NC State
No. 17 Auburn
No. 18 Wisconsin
No. 19 Purdue
No. 20 Iowa
No. 21 Pitt
No. 22 San Diego State
No. 23 UTSA
No. 24 Utah
No. 25 Arkansas