The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavily favored to make the four-team CFP this season. (Photo by Daniel Dunn/Icon Sportswire)
- Updated four-team CFP qualification odds have been released
- Eight teams are on the board and four are listed at -245 or shorter
- Which four teams are the best bet to make the CFP this season?
The updated four-team College Football Playoff odds only have eight teams on the board and four are listed at -245 or shorter. Alabama is listed with the best odds to make the CFP, while USC is the biggest longshot available.
Considering the impact COVID-19 is having on the season, is this a year where wagering on a longshot could actually pay off?
Odds to Make 2021 College Football Playoff
|Alabama Crimson Tide||-900|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||-775|
|Notre Dame Fighting Irish||-245|
Odds as of Nov. 18, 2020.
Tide, Buckeyes Heavy Favorites
Both Alabama and Ohio State are listed as heavy favorites to make the CFP in the latest odds. The Crimson Tide’s qualification odds have increased from -210 to -900 over the last month, while the Buckeyes have gone from -275 to -775.
Alabama is the one team you can consider almost a lock to make the CFP this season. Their dynamic offense is averaging almost 50 points per game and their defense has only improved as the season has gone on. The Tide are very likely to run the table, with their only chance for a loss being against Florida in the SEC title game. They’ll be favored in that game, but even if they lose, they should still get in with a strong performance.
Often imitated, never duplicated. 🤫#BuiltByBama #RollTide pic.twitter.com/v7W5Bd2G8x
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 5, 2020
Ohio State being listed at -775 is a bit much considering there’s still a scenario in which the Buckeyes don’t make it. Ohio State is facing an undefeated Indiana team in Week 12 and then could potentially face a solid Wisconsin team in the Big 10 championship game. Considering Ohio State only has seven regular-season games scheduled, a slip up could be enough to cost them a playoff spot.
2020 Heisman Trophy Odds Tracker
Will ACC Produce Two Playoff Teams?
Both Clemson and Notre Dame have very short odds to qualify for the CFP this season. The Tigers’ four-team CFP odds have improved from -360 to -400 over the past month, while the Fighting Irish have seen their odds drastically improve from +475 to -245.
Clemson is definitely the better wager out of the two teams, as it’s hard to see them picking up another loss on their schedule. Their one defeat came at the hands of Notre Dame when Trevor Lawrence was sidelined by COVID. There’s a strong chance they get their revenge in the ACC title game when their Heisman-calibre QB is back under center.
Notre Dame is undefeated through eight games, but there’s a decent chance they could pick up a loss at the hands of North Carolina or Wake Forest before the season is over, especially consider both those games are on the road. If they stumble somewhere down the stretch, their playoff hopes could be dashed. It’s going to very difficult for them to beat an immensely talented Clemson team a second time.
Best Longshot Wager To Make
The best value play in the latest four-team CFP odds is a team that actually isn’t on the board. That doesn’t mean you can’t shop around at sportsbooks and find odds, however.
The Cincinnati Bearcats are undefeated through seven games and have been dominating all their opponents. They easily have the best chance out of anyone to become the first Group of Five team to qualify for the CFP. Their next three games are against UCF, Temple, and Tulsa, who are all solid and reputable teams.
Take a look back at the biggest highlights from last night’s 55 to to 17 victory over ECU as the #Bearcats improved to 7-0 on the season.
Presented by @usbank. pic.twitter.com/nBF3fhibjR
— Cincinnati Football (@GoBearcatsFB) November 14, 2020
Florida is the other team to consider a wager on considering they have the offense to go toe-to-toe with Alabama, but Cincinnati offers the best value. BYU’s toughest opponent this season was Boise State, while USC hasn’t looked anything like a contender despite their 2-0 record.
There’s a very realistic possibility Cincinnati wins out and has a compelling case to make the CFP. Based on CFP history, however, they would likely need some outside help in order to leapfrog some of these Power Five teams. Potential scenarios that could help the Bearcats qualify for the CFP include Alabama dominating Florida in the SEC title game, Clemson losing to Notre Dame again, and/or the Irish picking up two losses before the season is up.
This Cincinnati team is the most complete out of all the ‘longshot’ teams and is very well-coached under Luke Fickell. In this bizzare 2020 football season, there’s value betting on this Group of Five powerhouse to make history this year.
Brady is a passionate hockey fan and sports writer with over five years experience specializing in digital media, plus a degree in Broadcast Journalism. His work has been published by outlets such as ESPN, CBS Sports, Yahoo! Sports and Fox Sports.