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Giving Away Money 2020: College Football Playoff Championship Odds

Alabama is a very good buy

Texas A&M vs Alabama Photo by UA Athletics/Collegiate Images/Getty Images

Yesterday, the books updated the College Football Playoff Championship odds, and the good news for homers is that not only is Alabama a favorite, but the Tide is also very favorable to your wallet (3-to-1).

We’ve yet to see Clemson find that game-breaking wide-out that can change the complexion of the odds, or Ohio State get into their schedule, but through a month of play it’s hard to top ‘Bama at +$300.

Look at BYU sitting there at 200-to-1. Just a $5 wild swing in its direction could be a thousand bucks. It’s the longest of shots, sure, and the Cougs haven’t played anyone of note, but I love this team. In a year where most are having problems mustering consistency, the most steady squad may be the winner. Through a month, BYU has fit that bill.

Another improbable pick, though probably a team that will wind up with a stronger SOS and actually get consideration if it runs the table, is Cincinnati at 200-to-1. Perhaps wait that one out a few weeks though. The Bearcats have a tricky three-game swing where they travel to No. 18 SMU, host No. 23 Memphis, and travel to Tulsa. That Golden Hurricane game is especially worrisome. Tulsa has covered every game this year as a ‘dog, has almost beaten the Longhorns, has claimed some bigger pelts at home over the past few seasons, and just traveled to UCF to beat the Knights — plus, they’re just a bitch to play on the road. It is a program slowly rebuilding, but Tulsa will likely make noise next season in the AAC. This year though, they can ruin seasons. Isn’t that right, UCF?

On the far more likely end of the spectrum, I may throw five bucks at Notre Dame sitting there at 40-to-1. It’s far more probable than BYU or Cincy, but Kelly’s team wins doing much the same things: timely passing, explosive plays, smothering defense, forcing turnovers. The Irish also have the benefit of being a one-year-only member of the ACC. They’ll get their shot this year to not only play their way into the CFP, but to also knock out two of the three serious contenders for a playoff spot: No. 1 Clemson at home and No. 8 UNC on the road.

For the Quislings amongst you looking locally for a more palatable option, feel free to choose one of the SEC East teams. I personally will not, even though +$1400 is a pretty good payout for either Georgia or Florida.

CFP Odds (SEC teams in bold)

Clemson 2-1

Ohio State 5-2

Alabama 3-1

Florida 14-1

Georgia 14-1

Penn State 28-1

Oregon 33-1

Michigan 40-1

Notre Dame 40-1

Wisconsin 40-1

USC 50-1

Miami 60-1

Oklahoma 66-1

Texas 80-1

Washington 80-1

Auburn 100-1

LSU 100-1

Minnesota 100-1

Mississippi State 100-1

North Carolina 100-1

Oklahoma State 100-1

Tennessee 100-1

Texas A&M 100-1

UCF 100-1

Utah 125-1

Arizona State 150-1

California 150-1

Iowa 150-1

Memphis 150-1

Nebraska 150-1

Virginia Tech 150-1

BYU 200-1

Cincinnati 200-1

Kansas State 200-1

Pittsburgh 200-1

Baylor 250-1

Houston 250-1

Indiana 250-1

Iowa State 250-1

Kentucky 250-1

Louisville 250-1

Michigan State 250-1

Northwestern 250-1

Ole Miss 250-1

Purdue 250-1

Stanford Cardinal 250-1

TCU 250-1

Temple 250-1

UCLA 250-1

Washington State 250-1

West Virginia 250-1

Boston College 300-1

Marshall 300-1

NC State 300-1

SMU 300-1

Virginia 300-1

Wake Forest 300-1

Appalachian State 500-1

Arizona 500-1

Army 500-1

Colorado 500-1

East Carolina 500-1

FAU 500-1

FIU 500-1

Florida State 500-1

Louisiana 500-1

Maryland 500-1

Navy 500-1

North Texas 500-1

Oregon State 500-1

South Carolina 500-1

Arkansas 750-1

Missouri 750-1

Texas Tech 750-1

Arkansas State 1000-1

Charlotte 1000-1

Coastal Carolina 1000-1

Duke 1000-1

Georgia Southern 1000-1

Georgia State 1000-1

Georgia Tech 1000-1

Illinois 1000-1

Kansas 1000-1

Liberty 1000-1

Louisiana Tech 1000-1

MTSU 1000-1

Rice 1000-1

Rutgers 1000-1

South Alabama 1000-1

Southern Miss 1000-1

Syracuse 1000-1

Texas State 1000-1

Troy 1000-1

Tulane 1000-1

Tulsa 1000-1

UAB 1000-1

ULM 1000-1

USF 1000-1

UTEP 1000-1

UTSA 1000-1

Vanderbilt 1000-1

WKU 1000-1

Air Force 5000-1

Pfffft. Like anyone in the Air Force has need of camouflage
Photo by Russell Lansford/Icon SMI/Icon Sport Media via Getty Images

With the PAC 12 beginning its pansy shortened 6-game schedule, win totals for that conference have also been released.

Here’s who I like, who I don’t, and why.

Oregon State over 1.5. It is a conference of outstandingly mediocre-to-bad coaching across the board. The Beavers are actually one of the more stable teams entering 2020. The offense is lethal, and if they play just a smidge of defense, they get to .500. As it is, OSU only needs to win a pair. They’ll get there...barely
Arizona State under 4.5. Herm’s brand of defense, power running, and controlled passing may get there eventually, but I don’t see this team pulling off 5-1, not in a division with Utah, USC, and especially not with a road opener in the Coliseum, an end cap in Tucson, and an always-dicey road game to Boulder. 4-2 seems most likely.
Oregon under 6. No team in the country has been decimated by ‘Rona hold-outs quite like the Oregon Ducks. Decimation may be too gentle a word for it, in fact. Ancient Romans only lost one out of ten legionnaires. These foul fowl are far more wounded than that. Throw in a new QB, Cristobal’s awful in-game management, and a season-finale that sees two defenses behemoths in Cal and U-Dub, and 5-1, 4-2 seems likely...even if they win the North (and they will).
USC over 5.5 The team with the best chance to run the table is USC. Most stable offseason, best returning talent, best single player in the conference, and the P12 did their golden Trojans a huge solid with the schedule: Utah and UCLA at home (along with Arizona). And the road games are laughably soft (Colorado, Wazzu), outside of one tough game to Tempe to face the Sun Devils, likely for the South crown. As it is, 6-0 USC will meet 5-1 Oregon for the P12 championship.
PROP MORTAL LOCK: Cal under 4.5. I love the Bears defense, of course. But the offense is still a train wreck, and the schedule is even worse. Road trips to Washington, Oregon, and Stanford? Dangerous Beavers’ team the week before The Game? Nah. This team is staring at .500.
PROP’S OTHER MORTAL LOCK: Wazzu under 2: Nick Rolovich is a good coach; Hawaii lost a great west coast up-and-comer. But it’s going to take a while to move from the air raid to the run-and-shoot, and he had a very bumpy offseason. But, the real reason that Wazzu very well may go winless is their murderous schedule: Road trips to Stanford and USC. Home dates against Oregon, Washington, and Cal. Even the most winnable game on the schedule, Oregon State, is a loaded gun. It’s the opening week of the season...on the road. Do not be surprised if Wazzu goes winless. In no event will this team win more than two games. Your money’s safe here.

Pac-12 Totals

Over/Under: 1

Arizona State
Over/Under: 4.5

Over/Under: 4.5

Over/Under: 1.5

Over/Under: 6

Oregon State
Over/Under: 1.5

Over/Under: 3.5

Over/Under: 3.5

Over/Under: 5.5

Over/Under: 4.5

Over/Under: 4.5

Washington State
Over/Under: 2