College Football Odds Breakdown

It’s finally going to happen: a College Football Playoff without the Alabama Crimson Tide. Nick Saban’s crew was a fixture through the first five years of the CFP, but they won’t be playing for the title this year – not after losing yet another heartbreaker to the Auburn Tigers at last week’s Iron Bowl. That’s two losses on the year for Alabama, who had spent most of the year neck-and-neck with the Clemson Tigers on the NCAA odds board.

Clemson still have to beat the Virginia Cavaliers in Saturday’s ACC Championship Game (7:30 PM ET, ABC) if they want to clinch a playoff berth and defend their title, but that shouldn’t be much of a problem as 28.5-point favorites at Bank of America Stadium. That leaves the following five matchups as the most important Champ Week games on the NCAA football lines at Bovada Sportsbook.

NCAA Odds Week 15: Best Odds and Matchups

1. No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 1 Louisiana State Tigers (Saturday, 4 PM ET, CBS)

For now, the Bulldogs (11-1 SU, 7-5 ATS) have played well enough to earn them a CFP spot as a one-loss team. But that spot will be taken away if they fall to LSU (12-0 SU, 7-5 ATS) at the SEC Championship Game. The NCAA football odds have the Tigers laying 7.5 points with a total of 55 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta; they could still make the playoff with a loss to Georgia, but LSU would need some of the other contending one-loss teams to fall by the wayside this week. Don’t be surprised if the Bulldogs’ defense manages to contain LSU’s spread offense and at least secure the cover.

2. No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes vs. No. 10 Wisconsin Badgers (Saturday, 8 PM ET, FOX)

Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game will be at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, where the undefeated Buckeyes (12-0 SU, 9-3 ATS) hope to cash in as 16.5-point favorites over Wisconsin (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS). Although they have two losses, the Badgers could still earn a CFP invite by upsetting Ohio State for the conference title. They’re nearly as good on offense as the Buckeyes, although their defense isn’t as strong. On the flip side, a loss to Wisconsin doesn’t necessarily doom Ohio State’s playoff chances.

3. No. 8 Baylor Bears vs. No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners (Saturday, 12 PM ET, ABC)

This is the game that should have the most impact on the CFP race. The Sooners (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) aren’t in the top four just yet, but they’ll be close to a lock if they can beat Baylor (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) at the Big 12 Championship Game – which they probably will as 9-point favorites at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. The Bears, on the other hand, will only be about a coin-flip to get in if they can pull off the upset. At least there won’t be any scoreboard watching during this early-afternoon affair. Again, Baylor might cover but lose outright, which they did in Week 12 when they fell 34-31 to Oklahoma as 10.5-point home dogs.

4. No. 5 Utah Utes vs No. 13 Oregon Ducks (Friday, 8 PM ET, ABC)

The Ducks (10-2 SU, 6-6 ATS) have already taken themselves out of CFP contention, but they can still play the spoiler role Friday night when they face Utah (11-1 SU, 9-3 ATS) in the Pac-12 Championship Game. The Utes will have roughly a 50/50 chance to make the playoff with a win at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, and their chances are good as 7-point favorites – although they might get rained on, which won’t help the already sketchy turf conditions at the Field of Jeans.

5. No. 21 Cincinnati Bearcats at No. 16 Memphis Tigers (Saturday, 3:30 PM ET, ABC)

It’s very rare that you get an instant rematch when you bet on NCAA football, but these same two teams met last week in Memphis, with the Tigers (11-1 SU, 8-4 ATS) winning 34-24 as 14-point home favorites to earn a spot in this week’s AAC Championship Game. The Bearcats (10-2 SU, 7-5 ATS) had already punched their ticket, but would have hosted this game with a victory; instead, they’re 9.5-point road dogs for the sequel with a total of 57.5, on what should be a beautiful Saturday afternoon at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.