How To Bet on the College Football Playoffs

Written by on August 27, 2014

College Football finally has a playoff system. Okay, it’s not much of a playoff system, there is still a selection committee involved, but at least there’s no BCS Championship where the two competitors are determined via polls and computers. Every year, the Selection Committee made up of political figures like Condoleeza Rice and in the know former college football stars like Archie Manning decide on the four teams to play in the College Football Playoffs. The way it works is this: the four teams chosen will play in two semi-final games on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day with the College Football Championship taking place on a Monday a week later. There will be one other game on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day but the teams that play in those two games will not have a chance at the College Football Championship. The following bowls will take part in the new structure: Orange, Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Cotton and Peach. Cities will bid on the College Football Championship like they do to host the Super Bowl. Now that we know some basics about this strange, new College Football Playoff system, how are we going to get your NCAA football betting game on?

Breaking Down the College Football Playoffs and How to Bet Them

The key thing to remember is that it is the Selection Committee who will decide upon the four teams. Right now, we want to think about what teams have a shot in the online future sports book to win the College Football Championship. Let’s go over what the Selection Committee will be looking for before getting into the four teams to consider for our future wagers.

Selection Committee’s goals:

  • Select the top four teams for the playoff, rank them and assign them to semifinal sites.
  • Rank the next group of teams to play in other New Year’s bowls if berth are available.
  • Select the highest-ranked champion from the five conferences without New Year’s bowl contracts.
  • Assign teams to New Year’s bowls
  • Create competitive matchups
  • Attempt to avoid rematches of regular-season games and repeat appearances
  • Consider geography
The first bullet point is the most important. Although the first bullet point is the most important, the rest of the bullet points clue us in as to how the Selection Committee might decide on those four teams. For example, the bullet point that says, “attempt to avoid rematches of regular season games” means that it’s unlikely that Alabama, LSU and Auburn all end up in the College Football Playoffs. It’s also unlikely that both Baylor and Oklahoma end up in the playoffs or Oregon and USC. Another thing that they’re trying to do is to “create competitive matchups”. What this tells me is that an SEC team is going to be in the College Football Playoffs because it’s likely to be the deepest conference. A Pac-12 squad could have a problem because of the natural bias against football on the West Coast for any team not named Oregon or USC (don’t deny it…it exists in college football) and there’s a strong possibility that a Big Ten team gets in even though the conference sort of blows this season. With all of this in mind, let’s take a look at who I think are the best future plays to win the College Football Championship.

1. Florida State Seminoles +450

Yep, they’re the chalk on the board but they only have two tough games and “tough” is relative. The first is against Clemson and Clemson’s AD is on the Selection Committee. How could he possibly go against FSU after they thump his team? The second game is versus Miami and everybody is still waiting for the 1990’s version of the ‘Canes to arrive. It won’t happen this year.

2. Alabama Crimson Tide +550

It’s tough to get past the top two chalks. I tried, but it’s impossible. Alabama will get a mulligan, meaning that they can lose a game to either LSU or Auburn in the Iron Bowl and still make it to the College Football Playoffs unless LSU or Auburn is undefeated. The fluke play killed ‘Bama’s chance at the BCS Championship last season. We can’t anticipate another fluke play happening to them this season and nobody is as good of a coach in college football as Nick Saban. They’ll get a bid into the College Football Playoffs.

3. Michigan State Spartans +2500

Everybody is picking Ohio State from the Big Ten to get into the College Football Playoffs, but I think the Selection Committee is going to have a hard time not picking the Spartans after they upset the Ducks on September 6 in Oregon and take down the Buckeyes on Nov. 8. MSU’s program is finally hitting its stride. This is the long shot pick that makes sense because if MSU gets into the playoffs there won’t be another team that plays defense as well as they do.

4. Oklahoma Sooners +900

The road doesn’t get any easier for a team to go 12 and 0. Texas Tech is the only team that Oklahoma plays on the road this season that had a winning record last year. Mike Stoops says the defense is fantastic and his brother, Bob Stoops, should have the offense as playing as well as it always does. Plus, by picking Oklahoma, the Selection Committee will have chosen the best team in the country, Florida State, to go along with an SEC team, a Big Ten team and a Big 12 team. That’s fairness, right?

Which Other Schools Could Sneak In

The question now becomes, could a team like Notre Dame or Boise State, maybe, a Pac 12 school sneak into the College Football Playoffs? That’s doubtful. Notre Dame plays Florida State on Oct. 18. That should be a loss. Oregon just lost their left tackle, Tyler Johnstone, to a torn ACL and there is nobody else in the Pac 12 good enough to go undefeated, and even if Boise State goes undefeated they’re going to have to really impress the Selection Committee in some way due their strength of schedule. Good luck with your College Football Playoffs’ wagers!