Oct 21, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA;  Ohio State Buckeyes mascot Brutus Buckeye greets fans before a game against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

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Michigan, Georgia top CFP title odds after first rankings

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee has spoken, and sports betting fans can see their favorite school’s path to a title.

Embattled Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh isn’t scared. He saw what the committee, chaired by a guy named Boo (Corrigan, athletic director at North Carolina State), did on Halloween and is ready for the challenge.

Rival Ohio State, with coach Ryan Day furiously working to bring a national title back to Columbus, Ohio, is ready for its likely win-and-you’re-in showdown with the Wolverines on Nov. 25.

When the smoke cleared after the CFP rankings were released, a couple of schools carried more value than others, and the race was on.

Day’s Buckeyes received the CFP’s No. 1 ranking, while Georgia, the top team in the AP poll all season, fell to No. 2.

Michigan, Florida State and Washington sit third, fourth and fifth, respectively, to round out an unbeaten top five.

Oregon (No. 6), Texas (7), Alabama (8), Oklahoma (9) and Ole Miss (10) — all carrying 7-1 records — completed the top 10.

We have news, odds and betting value for fans eager to get a jump on their CFP wagers.

THE BACKDROP

How is this going to play out?

With Rutgers, Michigan State and Minnesota on the menu, let’s pencil in the Buckeyes to stay perfect entering the Nov. 25 matchup with Michigan.

The Wolverines have Purdue before a key test at Penn State. Michigan then visits Maryland before its game at The Big House against Ohio State.

Washington and Oregon are headed toward a similar win-and-you’re-in matchup in the Pac-12 title game, should both schools keep winning.

Washington travels to Los Angeles to face Southern California on Saturday, then hosts Utah before visiting Oregon State. The Huskies finish up at home against Washington State and, if still unbeaten, would play the conference championship game in Las Vegas.

Oregon has Cal and USC at home, visits Arizona State and finishes at home against Oregon State. Win those games, and the Ducks punch their ticket to Las Vegas as well.

Florida State has the easiest path to an unbeaten finish: at Pitt, at home against Miami and North Alabama and at Florida. The Seminoles would then very likely meet Louisville (7-1, 4-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) in Charlotte in the ACC title game.

And then there’s two-time defending champ Georgia, which defeated Ohio State 42-41 in last season’s CFP semifinals.

With the weakest of schedules among the current unbeatens, Florida State can’t afford a slip-up. And even if the Seminoles remain unbeaten, they might have a major disappointment coming.

Per FanDuel, the Seminoles are the best bet to reach the playoff but only the third-best choice to win the title.

THE ODDS BOARD

Team Playoff Title:
–Florida State -250 +550
–Georgia -210 +250
–Michigan -150 +250
–Ohio State +110 +700
–Washington +155 +1700
–Oregon +165 +1400
–Texas +200 +1700
–Alabama +250 +1600
–Oklahoma +310 +3500
–LSU +550 +3500

THE NEWS

Buckeyes fans were disappointed after hearing Tuesday’s announcement that running back Miyan Williams would have a procedure that will force him to miss the remainder of the season.

Williams, Ohio State’s leader in rushing yards and touchdowns last season, led the ground attack in the Oct. 21 victory over Penn State.

It’s Ohio State, though, so it’s far from a disaster. TreVeyon Henderson and Chip Trayanum have been strong all season and, pending health, will continue to pace a versatile offense.

Michigan, meanwhile, assumed a narrow favorite’s position at BetMGM, coming in at +240 to Georgia’s +250 to win it all.

Other factors now worthy of discussion include whether a two-loss team, LSU, can reach the final four.

The Tigers (6-2, 4-1 Southeastern Conference) must run the table, including a win on Saturday at Alabama, and then stop Georgia (if the Bulldogs remain unbeaten) in the SEC championship game to earn strong consideration from the committee.

It seems highly unlikely that LSU would be denied if that were the case.

If that matchup were to be Georgia’s lone loss, would the Bulldogs slip from No. 2 all the way out of the playoff lineup? All that depends on whether the top schools largely win out.

THE BETTING VALUE

In seeking potential bang for your buck, look no further than Oregon.

The Ducks, at +1400 at FanDuel to win the national championship, would appear to have a comfortable path to the playoff after Florida State was placed fourth in the CFP rankings.

Oregon faces ranked Southern California, Oregon State and, with victories in those contests, very likely Washington — now that’s a strength-of-schedule component likely to improve, especially compared with the Seminoles’ remaining opponents.

The committee has six Pac-12 schools among its top 20, so the Ducks and Huskies will enjoy the extra weight of their opponents in November.

And how about No. 12 Missouri, which travels to Athens, Ga., for a Saturday matchup with Georgia? An admittedly huge upset would put the Tigers on the path toward the SEC title game.

A win there? You have to believe they would be in.

Take a shot with Missouri at +5000 to reach the playoff (and/or +40000 to win it all).

The chalky wager would be on the Big Ten champ, but it’s easy money only if you know who will win the Michigan-Ohio State regular-season finale.

The scariest scenario? It’s the zombie Crimson Tide, whose last major test comes at home Saturday against LSU.

A victory there, followed by wins over Kentucky, Chattanooga and Auburn, places coach Nick Saban’s improving team in the SEC championship.

Alabama, at +1600 to win the CFP national title, sounds like a nice value, doesn’t it?

–Field Level Media

Field Level Media
Sport Writer & Editor
FLM has a North American focus while tying into regional and hyper-local resources – providing the ability to distribute compelling content through the writing of professional journalists. As the U.S. sports content provider to dozens of digital and print media publishers through strategic partnerships with the likes of Reuters and Nielsen Sports, FLM covers the nuts and bolts with a breaking news desk and game event coverage.

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