Early betting predictions for the 2017 College Football Playoffs
College football is one of the few sports where we get to experience drama and excitement off the field as well as on it. Anyone who watched the college football playoff committee announce their final rankings of the season on Sunday will know what I am talking about. The top 3 teams in the nation were pretty much a lock, but there was some serious debate as to who should land the number 4 spot to close out the playoff line-up.
Talking heads in the media made arguments for Ohio State, Alabama, and USC, but the playoff committee decided that it was the Crimson Tide who would be getting that coveted final spot. The playoff semi-finals are now set, and the early college football betting odds have been listed, so let’s take a look at how things might play out on January 1.
Sugar Bowl – Clemson (12-1, 7-1 in ACC) vs Alabama (11-1, 7-1 in SEC)
Date/Time: January 1st, 8:45 PM (ET)
Location: Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans
TV & Live Stream:ESPN and WatchESPN
Odds: Alabama -4.5
There were a lot of college football fans who wanted this match-up as the National Championship game, as it would be the third time in a row these two met for the big one. Instead, they are going to need to break their tie by playing in the Sugar Bowl for a spot in the National Championship. Alabama may be in as the #4 seed, but the bookies have them as a 1 ½ point favorite over the team that beat them out for the title last year.
No-one is probably happier right now than Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide. Not only did they get in without winning their division or conference, they also now have a month to get healthy. They struggled over the last couple of weeks of the season, thanks in large part to their linebackers being seriously depleted by injury. If they can get healthy, they may well be able to justify being made the favorites for this one.
The Tigers are the champions until someone comes in and beats them, and I think it will be Alabama who delivers the killer blow.
Rose Bowl – Georgia (12-1, 7-1 in SEC) vs Oklahoma (11-1, 8-1 in Big 12)
Date/Time: January 1st, 5:00 PM (ET)
Location: Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.
TV & Live Stream: ESPN and WatchESPN
Odds: Georgia -1.5
The Oklahoma Sooner has had a magnificent season thus far, going 12-1, and doing so by playing a brand of offensive football that was at times impossible to stop. QB Baker Mayfield posted some heady numbers and is almost certainly a lock to win the Heisman, as well as probably securing a very high pick in the NFL draft. The Sooners are going to try and ride that offense all the way to a National Championship, but are going to need to get bye one of the best defenses in the Nation to do that.
The Georgia Bulldogs booked their ticket to the college football playoffs by delivering a dominating defensive display against the Auburn Tigers in the SEC Championship Game. Freshman QB Jake Fromm proved that he was ready for prime time with a huge performance in that game, while the running backs on the Bulldogs once again blasted holes open in the opposition defense. If Georgia are to win this one and move on, they are going to need their run game to work, as that will be the best way to kill the clock and keep Baker Mayfield off the field.
The Bulldogs are a 1 ½ point favorite for the Rose Bowl, and I think that it’s a very good bet. The Sooners have weaknesses on defense, and the Dawgs are a team built to expose those holes.