The College Football Playoff is one of the best things that ever happened to this sport. Instead of letting the writers and/or computers decide who will be the champions, the FBS title will be won on the football field. Granted, there’s still plenty of room for debate over which four teams get to play in the CFP semifinals, but at least winning the National Championship isn’t like winning American Idol anymore.

According to the National Championship odds at press time, the Alabama Crimson Tide are more likely to stand tall on January 8 than any other team. The Tide are +190 favorites on the NCAAF futures market, but if they want their title back, they’ll have to dethrone the defending champions first. Then Alabama will have to beat whichever team wins the first CFP semifinal on the New Year’s Day schedule.


Rose Bowl: No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs vs. No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners

Monday, January 1, 5 PM ET on ESPN

These are two quality teams meeting in Pasadena, but they’re tied at the bottom of the College Football Playoff odds at +333. The Bulldogs (12-1 SU, 9-4 ATS) are very good on both sides of the ball, and they’ve got arguably the best special teams in the FBS, with kicker Rodrigo Blankenship going 15-for-17 on field goals and nailing all 55 of his extra points.

Georgia is laying 1.5-points to Oklahoma on the Rose Bowl odds list. The Sooners (12-1 SU, 8-5 ATS) have had a tremendous year in the Big 12, led by Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield at quarterback. This might be the best offense in college football, but Oklahoma’s defense and special teams are lacking – especially their defense.


Sugar Bowl: No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. No. 1 Clemson Tigers

Monday, January 1, 8:45 PM ET on ESPN

This is the third straight year that Alabama (11-1 SU, 5-7 ATS) and Clemson (12-1 SU, 8-4-1 ATS) are meeting in the CFP playoff, and it’s the third straight year the Tigers (+250 to win the title) are in the underdog role. At press time, Clemson is a 2.5-point dog at the Superdome in New Orleans, and there’s every chance the Tigers could be +3 or more on the Sugar Bowl odds board by the time they kick off.

The two previous meetings between these juggernauts were at the National Championship Game, and Clemson covered both times against the popular Tide, losing the first game straight-up and winning the second. The Tigers remain undervalued in this spot, even with Kelly Bryant taking over at quarterback for Deshaun Watson (now with the Houston Texans). Alabama deserves to be a slim favorite, but they’ll be thin at linebacker with Shaun Dion Hamilton (knee) out for the season and Dylan Moses very much in doubt after injuring his foot during Monday’s practice.


*Odds as of December 22, 2017