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NCAAF Betting: Look at the College Football Playoff Field

Alabama Is In, Florida State Is Out

Florida State was the team left on the outside looking in as the four teams set to take part in the College Football Playoff were announced on Sunday. The college football odds had Florida State sixth to win the national title heading into the conference championship weekend. Not even topping Louisville to win the Atlantic Coast Conference and remain undefeated was enough to get FSU into the CFP field.

Michigan earned the top seed followed by Washington after both teams won their respective conference titles. Michigan will face Alabama in the Rose Bowl and Washington will meet Texas in the national semifinals on Jan. 1. The winners will play in the national title game on Jan. 8.

NCAAF Betting: Look at the College Football Playoff Field
Todd Kirkland / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

Those entrusted with selecting the four teams in the College Football Playoff field didn’t get many breaks over the weekend.

If Georgia had defeated Alabama in the SEC Championship Game and either Florida State or Texas lost, it would have been pretty easy to separate the top four teams from the rest of the contenders.

However, wins by Alabama, Florida State and Texas made things pretty interesting.

Coming into the season, Georgia (+220) had the best odds according to our sportsbook to win the national championship, followed by Alabama (+600), Ohio State (+700) and Michigan (+850). Florida State came in eighth at +2000 and Washington (+4000) was tied for 13th in the championship odds.

Michigan received 51 of the 62 first-place votes to take over the top spot in the Associated Press poll followed by Washington, Texas, Florida State, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State and Oregon. The only team that remained the same in the top eight was No. 4 Florida State.

Michigan (+160) and Alabama (+180) lead the way in the odds of winning the national title. Texas is priced at +300 and Washington comes in at +750 according to the college football championship odds.


No-Win Situation for Florida State

There doesn’t appear to be anything that Florida State could have done to get into the CFP field once Texas rolled past Oklahoma State to win the Big 12 title.

If Georgia had won the SEC title, the Bulldogs would likely have been the top seed followed by Michigan, Washington and Texas with the college football spreads viewing Georgia as a top contender to make it three titles in a row.

With Alabama beating Georgia, that bumped the Crimson Tide into the No. 4 spot. Alabama predictably was behind Texas in the CFP pecking order since  the Longhorns went to Tuscaloosa and returned with an impressive win.

One factor that did in FSU was the season-ending broken leg suffered by quarterback Jordan Travis.

That brings up an interesting debate since Jalen Milroe of Alabama threw for just 192 yards in the SEC title game while Michigan’s J.J. McCarthy had 147 passing yards as Michigan topped Iowa in the Big Ten title game.

Travis tweeted that he wished his injury had come earlier in the season so that those making the decisions on the four competing for the national title would realize that there is more to the Florida State team than its star quarterback.

No 3-Peat For Georgia

Georgia’s quest to win a third straight national title ended with a loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship Game.

It was the only blemish for the Bulldogs as the loss ended Georgia’s 29-game winning streak. It was enough to keep the two-time defending national champions out of the CFP field.

Once Georgia lost, the feeling was that the Bulldogs were in trouble with Texas and Florida State also losing. Since Georgia finished ahead of idle Ohio State in the College Football Rankings, losses by Texas and FSU would have put Georgia into the CFP field.


A Look at the Numbers

Coming into the season, Michigan, Georgia, Oregon and Florida State had the best odds to reach the College Football Playoffs.

Michigan led the way at -4000, Georgia was priced at -550, Oregon -300 to make the College Football Playoff followed by Florida State (-140), Texas (+130), Alabama (+195), Washington (+240), Ohio State (+1000).

Breaking Down the Matchups

Alabama and Michigan will play in the Rose Bowl at 5 p.m. ET.

It will be the first meeting between the teams since Alabama’s 35-16 win over Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020.

Texas and Washington will play in the Sugar Bowl at 8:45 p.m. ET on Jan. 1.

The Longhorns and Huskies met in the Alamo Bowl on Dec. 29, 2022. Washington won that game 27-20 behind two touchdown passes from Michael Penix Jr.


Questions of the Day

What are some of the factors to consider when thinking about betting on the NCAAF playoff?

Previous experience playing in the College Football Playoff could play a role in those who bet online rolling with either Michigan or Alabama.

What are some of the most common mistakes bettors make when betting on the NCAAF Playoff?

Going with the results of past matchups won’t always be the best way to proceed, especially since coaches have nearly a month to prepare for the next game.

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