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NCAA Football Playoffs: Breaking Down Odds

NCAA Football Playoffs: Breaking Down Odds

Now that the college football scene is hot and heavy, it’s easier to look at the movers and the shakers across the board.  It’s also the perfect time to see where teams stand in relation to their odds of making it to the NCAA Football playoffs, and there aren’t too many surprises.  There is one, however, that has made oddsmakers really look at what might be possible.

NCAA Football Playoffs Odds Update

It’s no shock that Louisiana State University is a favorite at this point.  The Tigers are 10-1 and top in the SEC West, and have “favored to win” plastered on virtually every game for the rest of the season.  Quarterback Joe Burrow has done an outstanding job this year and is a definite contender for the Heisman trophy.  LSU was a little long on its chances of reaching the playoffs before the season started, but have gone from +400 to around -1300 as of yesterday.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are up there, as well.  They’re 10-0, first in the Big Ten and second overall.  Chase Young is back on the field after a two-game suspension for violating NCAA rules, and should be well-rested.  His talents will come in handy in the playoffs, especially since the Buckeyes are -1000 to be going to the finals.

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Clemson is having a fantastic year, taking third place in the standings with a perfect 11-win record.  However, they could be better.  They dropped from the first-place spot and has their odds for making a NCAA football playoffs appearance have seen a lot of movement.  They started the season as a favorite at about -250 before improving to -560 and, then, dropping to -220 at the beginning of October. Things have gotten back on track, though, and they are now at -1000, right with the Buckeyes.

The number-four team is Georgia with its 9-1 record.  With a defense led by defensive linebacker Monty Rice, the Bulldogs have bullied their way to the top of the list and have worked hard not to let go.  There’s been a little trouble on the field, though, which is why the team is now not as much of a guarantee to see the postseason.  It began at about +110 before the season got underway and hasn’t been able to improve.  The Bulldogs have actually gone down a little, first to +290 before finding a little support and improving to +175.

Alabama rounds out the top five and has held its own, recording 9-1 on the season.  The Oregon Ducks threatened to drop them down a notch, since they’re now first in the Pac-12 North, but couldn’t quite pull it off.  Things could change drastically now for the Crimson Tide after losing they lost their star quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, to a season-ending injury this past Saturday.

Just when things were looking up and the team was able to keep its playoff hopes alive, the injury has turned everything upside down and they went from a season best of -260 to a season worst of +280.

From way out in the stratosphere, the Minnesota Golden Gophers have chewed their way to the top and caught everyone completely off-guard.  They are 9-1 and first in the Big Ten West, and their position at number ten, having dropped two spots, in the overall rankings doesn’t do them justice.  The team suffered its first loss against Iowa, but they have two upcoming games that should give them a chance to bounce back.

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Looking at the odds for all the NCAA football teams this year, the Gophers were +15000 for a shot at the playoffs back in August.  They may not be in a position to threaten the leaders, but they deserve a shout-out for having seen the most improvement of all teams.  Minnesota made it all the way to +600 before the loss to Iowa.

Erik is a writer and a sports nut who has had the good fortune to be able to experience a wide variety of world sports action up close and personal. He enjoys staying on top of the changing world of athletics and capitalizing on his writing skills to offer a unique take on what's going on in the ever-changing athletics ecosystem.

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