If you asked who the best team in the country was this year, for about 10 weeks, you’d have likely heard “Georgia” in response to your query. Alabama was around earlier in the season, sure. And other teams, particularly early, received some consideration — Oregon and Ohio State among them.
All of that changed in 61 minutes, 27 seconds — with the final drive of the Iron Bowl, four untimed overtimes, and a ‘Bama defenestration of the ‘Dawgs in Atlanta.
From almost being an afterthought to the consensus No. 1: I don’t think we’ve seen anything resembling that kind of movement since the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes entered the Playoffs, streaking a trail of fire behind them. What that has done is open up the far more interesting question of who exactly is No. 2?
Georgia was a dominant favorite just a week ago to win it all. The Bulldogs were sitting at -$350, in essence meaning you had to throw up a $350 stake just to win back $100. Alabama, meanwhile, entered the SEC championship at +$600 — meaning that if you bought in on the Tide after the Iron Bowl at $100, and if they win it all, you’ll net a cool $600.
Besides upending the Playoffs, that crushing Alabama victory also upended Vegas. And, with the odds released today, the Tide and ‘Dawgs are nearly identical favorites to win it all.
Alabama is your favorite, sure. But it is an ever so slight favorite: Just -$101. Expressed fractionally, UA has 99/100 odds. Almost even money, with a $100 wager earning you $99.
Georgia is not far off though. On the stength of their analytics, season-long performances, and raw talent, UGA is sitting at +$110 — so, 11/10 odds. Betting $100 on the Bulldogs would earn you 110 bucks.
These are, for all practical purposes, almost identical odds. They’re certainly the closest odds we’ve seen in the CFP. Even the 2017/2018 Alabama-Georgia Championship game had more daylight between the two: ‘Bama sat at -$130, and UGA was at +$150. And most generally agreed that those two were very close entering the playoffs.
Still, Vegas sees this one even closer, despite the head-to-head in Atlanta. As a practical matter of gambling, you have a 50-50 shot at making some money here...provided you pick the right team.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Bearcats are the longest of shots, sitting at +$1375 and rising. So too are the Michigan Wolverines seeing some slippage. UM entered the week as a fairl decent underdog (+$550), and they have seen their odds rise dramatically too, all the way to +$650. The feeling being that even if UM unseats Georgia in what is expected to be a one-score game, the Skunk Bears can’t do it twice in a row, and will lose to ‘Bama (most likely).
If you’re a long-odds bettor, and think that UGA and UA can both lose at any moment, or that this UM team is one of destiny, throwing a few bucks on a small bet for a 6.5-to-1 payout is not the worst idea.
Your money is on...
This poll is closed
No, I refuse to put Cincinnati here. No rational person believes UC can win the playoffs by going through Alabama and then Georgia or Michigan. They were down by 14 to Indiana, FFS.