2018 NCAA Football Playoffs Odds - College Football Picks

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2018 NCAA Football Playoffs Betting Odds

The demand for the college football to have an actual playoff to determine its National Champion finally came to a head in 2015 with the very first College Football Playoff. The four-team postseason we have isn't considered ideal by one and all, but for a format that remains in its early stages, it's hard to say that this has been anything but a smashing success to date. Every single game means something over the course of the season, and that has really added to the hype of the entire year.

The 2019 College Football Playoff will start at the Orange Bowl and the Cotton Bowl in Miami and Dallas respectively. The games will kick off on Saturday, December 29, 2018 at 5 p.m. ET and 8:45 p.m. ET respectively and will be shown live on ESPN. The National Championship Game will take place at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara on Monday, January 9, 2019 at 8 p.m. ET and will also be televised on ESPN.

2019 National Championship Odds as of December 11th, 2018

Alabama -226

Clemson +250

Oklahoma +1200

Notre Dame +1425

There are some years in which the college football championship seems like it could go to any of the four teams in the College Football Playoff. This is not one of those years.

The Alabama Crimson Tide had its biggest scare of the season in the SEC Championship Game, but even after losing star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to injury, still rallied to knock off Georgia. It was a reminder of just how good this team is on both sides of the ball and why it is the heavy favorite to win the national championship. Alabama has been the team to beat from the start of the year and the projections have gotten stronger with every dominant win. The slight hiccup against Georgia could actually be helpful for those choosing Alabama because the odds of them winning the title have gotten a little worse. More

When the dynasty at Alabama finally comes to an end, we're going to look at Nick Saban's five titles with the Tide as a huge accomplishment. We're also going to look at the fact that Alabama has reached the College Football Playoff in all four years of its existence as a true coup, too.

The Crimson Tide are essentially odds-on favorites to reach the CFP before a down of football is even thought about in 2018, and they're +175 to win yet another championship for Saban. The excitement around this team is immense at the moment, and though this past version of the Crimson Tide wasn't quite as good as the ones before it, there are a ton of returning starters who will help pave the way for the newest generation of dominant players in crimson.

Is there anyone else who can truly challenge the Tide for the title? The SEC figures to have a good chance to get two teams in the Playoff once again with Georgia dominating in the SEC East. That defense is still young enough to make a huge impact in 2019, and Jake Fromm is only going to get better as time wears on. Fromm is on the list of expected Heisman Trophy contenders and if he ends up a finalist it will mean the team is right in the mix for the College Football Playoff. A price of +750 on UGA is probably as good as it gets considering the fact that it was one horrid quarter of football away from winning the National Championship last year.

Ohio State and Clemson are both right in the mix as well at +700 and +600 respectively, with Clemson getting some action which has pushed it past the Buckeyes as the team with the second-best odds behind Alabama.

The Big XII and Pac-12 have both had suspect histories in the College Football Playoff, and there's a good chance both conferences are left out in the cold in 2019. The highest-ranked Big XII team this year is Oklahoma at +2500, and next in line is West Virginia at +8000. The Pac-12 is hoping Washington, USC or a surprise contender can turn it on and enter the conversation.

The Group of Five will have felt slighted with UCF not getting the nod into the CFP this year in spite of the fact that it was the only undefeated team in America. The Knights are bringing back a ton of talent and should be successful once again under Josh Heupel. Still, at 200-1, few truly believe this team is winning out again or getting into the CFP even if it does.

Boise State is another Group of Five program hoping to crash the party, but like UCF, the odds are stacked heavily against it as the Broncos do not play a tough enough schedule to be considered true national championship contenders.

There generally isn't much drama coming into the awards weekend in college football. Usually, by the time the award's winner is announced or leaked, the favorite is at least -1000 and could feature significantly lower odds than that.

College Football Playoff Format

Over the course of the last several weeks of the regular season, the College Football Selection Committee gets together and votes on its Top 25. The committee is tasked with ultimately choosing the best four teams in America to play against each other. Though it isn't explicitly stated by the committee, there is a preference given to conference winners. That said, Ohio State was in the College Football Playoff in 2017 even after losing to Penn State, the team that went on to win the Big Ten title.

The SEC made history in 2018 when it had both Georgia and Alabama selected. The Crimson Tide became the first non-conference winner to win a CFP game, and they, of course, went on to win the title over Georgia in overtime.

The teams are bracketed together; the No. 1 team plays the No. 4 team, while No. 2 and No. 3 meet. The team that is ranked No. 1 will get geographic preference for where it will play its national semifinal.

The locations of the national semifinals move every season. In 2019, the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl are hosting the semis. The Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Fiesta Bowl are the other four bowl games that are in the current rotation for national semifinals. The National Championship Game is separate from the semifinals and is at a new location every season. Though the title game is usually played at one of the sights of the other New Year's Six bowl games, that doesn't necessarily have to be the case as shown in 2017 when Clemson beat Alabama at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa for the National Championship.

College Football Playoff History

SEASON CHAMPION RUNNER-UP SEMIFINALIST SEMIFINALIST
2017 #4 Alabama #3 Georgia #1 Clemson #2 Oklahoma
2016 #2 Clemson #1 Alabama #3 Ohio State #4 Washington
2015 #2 Alabama #1 Clemson #3 Michigan State #4 Oklahoma
2014 #4 Ohio State #2 Oregon #1 Alabama #3 Florida State

Almost amazingly, the team that entered the College Football Playoff at No. 1 in the country has never won the National Championship. Alabama is the only team to have played in the College Football Playoff in all four years of its existence, while the ACC is the only other conferences that has been represented in all four years.

The ACC champion has reached the CFP in each year it has been around, but the Big Ten winner in 2016, Penn State, didn't go to the College Football Playoff while Ohio State did. The Big XII has only had two representatives in the four-year run of the College Football Playoff, Oklahoma in 2015 and 2017 and is the only one of the Power Five conferences to not have won a game in the CFP yet.

Most National Championships (Since Poll Era, 1936)

WINS TEAM YEAR
12 Alabama 1961, 1964-65, 1973, 1978-79, 1992, 2009, 2011-12, 2015, 2017
8 Notre Dame 1943, 1946-47, 1949, 1966, 1973, 1977-78
7 Oklahoma 1950, 1955-56, 1974-75, 1985, 2000
7 USC 1962, 1967, 1972, 1974, 1978, 2003-04
6 Ohio State 1942, 1954, 1957, 1968, 2002, 2014
5 Miami 1983, 1987, 1989, 1991, 2001
5 Nebraska 1970-71, 1994-95, 1997
4 Minnesota 1936, 1940-41, 1960
4 Texas 1963, 1969-70, 2005
3 Florida 1996, 2006, 2008
3 Florida State 1993, 1999, 2013
3 LSU 1958, 2003, 2007
2 Army 1944-45
2 Auburn 1957, 2010
2 Clemson 1981, 2016
2 Michigan 1948, 1997
2 Michigan State 1952, 1965
2 Penn State 1982, 1986
2 Pittsburgh 1937, 1976
2 Tennessee 1951, 1998
1 BYU 1984
1 Colorado 1990
1 Georgia 1980
1 Georgia Tech 1990
1 Maryland 1953
1 Oklahoma State 1945
1 Syracuse 1959
1 TCU 1938
1 UCLA 1954
1 Washington 1991

There is much debate as to what does and does not constitute a National Championship in college football. The AP Poll and the Coaches Poll awarded separate National Championships for years and years, something that was quite easy to do in the event of two teams running the table. There used to be nothing in place to split ties, per se, while now with the College Football Playoff, there theoretically is no debate left.

(UCF will, of course, challenge that after declaring itself national champion in 2018 when the team went 13-0 and was the only undefeated team in America.)

Before 1936, schools declared that they were national champions all the time. Princeton technically has the most declared titles with 26 all-time, but many of those are largely disputed. The AP Poll and Coaches Poll winners at the end of each season from 1936 through the time the BCS was instituted are largely accepted as National Championships.

Alabama is the only team to have reached double-digits in National Championships since the polling era began. The Tide have rumbled to 12 titles. Notre Dame is now distantly in the rearview mirror with eight championships, while Oklahoma (7), USC (7), Ohio State (6), Miami (5) and Nebraska (5) round out the list of teams who have won at least five National Championships since the polling era began.

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NCAA Football Top Teams

Alabama Clemson Georgia Ohio State Oklahoma
Miami Auburn Wisconsin Notre Dame Penn State
Washington USC LSU Stanford Virginia Tech
Michigan State Michigan TCU Florida State Oklahoma State
UCF Texas South Carolina Memphis Texas A&M

2018 NCAA Football Weekly Schedule

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Live Lines

  • Time
  • Teams
  • Spread
  • Total
  • Odds
  • Ago 24

    4:00 PM

    • 291
    • Florida
    • -7½-105
    •  
    •  
    • 292
    • Miami Florida
    • +7½-115
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 24

    7:30 PM

    • 293
    • Arizona University
    • -11½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 294
    • Hawaii
    • +11½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 29

    4:00 PM

    • 133
    • UCLA
    • +3½-115
    •  
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    • 134
    • Cincinnati University
    • -3½-105
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 29

    5:00 PM

    • 135
    • Georgia Tech
    • +33½-110
    •  
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    • 136
    • Clemson
    • -33½-110
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    •  
  • Ago 29

    5:00 PM

    • 137
    • Florida International
    • +3-115
    •  
    •  
    • 138
    • Tulane
    • -3-105
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 29

    5:30 PM

    • 139
    • Texas State
    • +34-105
    •  
    •  
    • 140
    • Texas A&M
    • -34-115
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 29

    7:00 PM

    • 141
    • Kent State
    • +26-110
    •  
    •  
    • 142
    • Arizona State
    • -26-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 29

    7:15 PM

    • 143
    • Utah
    • -6-110
    •  
    •  
    • 144
    • BYU
    • +6-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    3:00 PM

    • 145
    • Rice
    • +23½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 146
    • Army
    • -23½-110
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  • Ago 30

    4:00 PM

    • 147
    • Utah State
    • +3+100
    •  
    •  
    • 148
    • Wake Forest
    • -3-120
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    4:00 PM

    • 149
    • Wisconsin
    • -10½-110
    •  
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    • 150
    • South Florida
    • +10½-110
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    •  
  • Ago 30

    4:00 PM

    • 151
    • Tulsa
    • +21½-109
    •  
    •  
    • 152
    • Michigan State
    • -21½-111
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    4:00 PM

    • 153
    • Massachusetts
    • +14½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 154
    • Rutgers
    • -14½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    5:00 PM

    • 155
    • Colorado State
    • +10½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 156
    • Colorado
    • -10½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    6:30 PM

    • 157
    • Purdue
    • -8½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 158
    • Nevada
    • +8½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 30

    7:00 PM

    • 159
    • Oklahoma State
    • -16½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 160
    • Oregon State
    • +16½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 161
    • Florida Atlantic
    • +27-110
    •  
    •  
    • 162
    • Ohio State
    • -27-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 163
    • South Alabama
    • +34-110
    •  
    •  
    • 164
    • Nebraska
    • -34-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 165
    • East Carolina
    • +20-111
    •  
    •  
    • 166
    • North Carolina State
    • -20-109
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 167
    • Akron
    • +15½-113
    •  
    •  
    • 168
    • Illinois
    • -15½-107
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 169
    • Ball State
    • +16½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 170
    • Indiana
    • -16½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 171
    • Toledo
    • +13½-113
    •  
    •  
    • 172
    • Kentucky
    • -13½-107
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 173
    • Mississippi State
    • -22½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 174
    • Louisiana Lafayette
    • +22½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    9:00 AM

    • 175
    • Mississippi
    • +6-110
    •  
    •  
    • 176
    • Memphis
    • -6-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    12:30 PM

    • 177
    • Georgia State
    • +25½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 178
    • Tennessee University
    • -25½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    12:30 PM

    • 179
    • Eastern Michigan
    • -5½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 180
    • Coastal Carolina
    • +5½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    12:30 PM

    • 181
    • South Carolina
    • -7½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 182
    • North Carolina
    • +7½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    12:30 PM

    • 183
    • Duke
    • +31½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 184
    • Alabama
    • -31½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    1:00 PM

    • 185
    • Northwestern
    • +6½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 186
    • Stanford
    • -6½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    1:00 PM

    • 187
    • Virginia Tech
    • -2½-115
    •  
    •  
    • 188
    • Boston College
    • +2½-105
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    3:00 PM

    • 189
    • Syracuse
    • -17½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 190
    • Liberty
    • +17½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:00 PM

    • 191
    • Boise State
    • +4½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 192
    • Florida State
    • -4½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:00 PM

    • 193
    • SMU
    • +3-107
    •  
    •  
    • 194
    • Arkansas State
    • -3-113
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 195
    • Middle Tennessee State
    • +31-109
    •  
    •  
    • 196
    • Michigan
    • -31-111
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 197
    • Miami Ohio
    • +21½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 198
    • Iowa
    • -21½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 199
    • Georgia Southern
    • +25½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 200
    • LSU
    • -25½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 203
    • Virginia
    • -2-115
    •  
    •  
    • 204
    • Pittsburgh University
    • +2-105
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 205
    • Missouri
    • -14½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 206
    • Wyoming
    • +14½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    4:30 PM

    • 207
    • Oregon
    • +2½+100
    •  
    •  
    • 208
    • Auburn
    • -2½-121
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    5:00 PM

    • 209
    • Louisiana Tech
    • +20½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 210
    • Texas
    • -20½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    7:00 PM

    • 211
    • New Mexico State
    • +34-110
    •  
    •  
    • 212
    • Washington State
    • -34-110
    •  
    •  
  • Ago 31

    7:30 PM

    • 213
    • Fresno State
    • +14-110
    •  
    •  
    • 214
    • USC
    • -14-110
    •  
    •  
  • Sep 01

    4:30 PM

    • 215
    • Houston University
    • +26½-110
    •  
    •  
    • 216
    • Oklahoma
    • -26½-110
    •  
    •  
  • Sep 02

    5:00 PM

    • 217
    • Notre Dame
    • -19-114
    •  
    •  
    • 218
    • Louisville
    • +19-106
    •  
    •  

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