The start of College Football is finally here. There are some games for Week 0 this Saturday, but the real action kicks off on August 31.. That opens the door to look at NCAA Football odds for future bets on what teams could make the College Football Playoffs.
Georgia is the reigning National Champion and enters the season as the favorite to win three straight, with odds at +225. The Dawgs are followed by Alabama, Ohio State, and Michigan.
Now, all that is left is for the season to be played out, and these are my College Football picks for the teams that will make up the playoffs.
Rose Bowl: No. 1 Georgia vs No. 4 Florida State
It is no surprise that Georgia will make the College Football playoffs. Despite their losses to the NFL, it is hard not to see the Bulldogs as the top team in the nation.
The one question around the team is the loss of quarterback Stetson Bennett, who Carson Beck will replace. Without Bennett, the offense might take a hit, but the team’s core is built to support Beck, like tight end Brock Bowers being one of the best none-quarterbacks in the nation.
Georgia’s defense is why the team remains a scary opponent. Over the last two seasons, the Bulldogs’ defense has dominated, leading to players moving to the NFL. But every time they lose someone to the NFL, another five-star talent takes their place.
Florida State will try to stop Georgia from making it to the National Championship Game. The Seminoles’ College Football odds to make the playoffs on BetUS is +325.
The team checks a lot of the boxes necessary to make the playoffs. There is a potential Heisman candidate quarterback in Jordan Travis, with great offensive weapons, running back Trey Benson and wide receiver Johnny Wilson.
we get to watch Jordan Travis play football in 2 weeks 👍pic.twitter.com/IqwBu9y4iG
— FSU Plays Daily (@FSUplays) August 21, 2023
Then there is the defense, which features a lot of returning talent, most notably pass rusher Jared Verse. The Seminoles will make a lot of noise in the ACC, but should be able to win the conference, pitching their ticket to the playoffs.
This game could quickly become a defensive slugfest, and style of play favors the Bulldogs, taking a step closer to the National Championship.
Sugar Bowl: No. 2 Michigan vs No. 3 USC
After an impressive season, Michigan starts 2023 ranked second in the nation, with the fourth-best odds to win a National Championship, +900. Some talent on the defense did leave for the NFL, but not enough to keep the Wolverines from the playoffs.
Last season, they lost to TCU in an exciting shootout, 51-45, which started the hype around quarterback J.J. McCarthy possibly being able to reach a new level of play. He threw for 343 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions while running in a score, by far his best game of the season.
The duo of running backs, Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards, and the potential of McCarthy improving as a passer can make the Wolverines offense one of the best in the nation. That is paired up with a defense that held all but two opponents to under 25 points last season.
On the other hand, USC could be a surprise team making the College Football playoffs, with BetUS odds set at +275 to make it. However, with reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams favored to win the award again, the Trojans will have a chance.
Defense is the biggest issue for USC, and if that can at least be average, Williams and the offense can handle the rest. The College Football playoffs is possible, with the team probably making it last season if they didn’t lose in the Pac-12 Championship Game.
This matchup will be intriguing because USC will be in the Big Ten next season, facing Michigan on a regular basis. There is no better way to begin a rivalry than playing in one of the biggest games of the year. USC can take the first win, with Williams, potentially winning back-to-back Heismans, focused on a mission to win the National Championship.
National Championship Game: No. 1 Georgia vs No. 3 USC
Standing between Georgia and three straight National Championships is USC. The Bulldogs win this game on paper having the overall talent advantage.
However, having one star player can make up for a lot of problems. Offense is leading the way of the future in football, and defense can no longer regularly be relied on to win championships. Behind a fantastic performance from Williams, the Trojans can win their first National Championship since 2004.
Jose’s Best Pick: USC +1600