In less than a week, the 2018 college football regular season kicks off and sportsbooks have released odds on whether team will reach the College Football Playoff in January of 2019.
To no one’s surprise the defending national champion Alabama Crimson Tide have the best odds to be one of the four teams in the CFP. Alabama opened at -300 on several sportsbooks.
The Clemson Tigers have the second best odds at -140, followed by the Ohio State Buckeyes +160, Georgia Bulldogs +175 and Washington Huskies and Michigan Wolverines both at +300.
Since the format using the College Football Playoff started in 2014-2015, Alabama has reached the playoff. Therefore, it is no surprise the Tide has the best odds to appear for the fifth consecutive season.
Alabama will not face Georgia during the regular season but could play the Bulldogs for the SEC Championship if both reach that game. The Tide will also play Auburn at home this season in the annual Iron Bowl. Last season, the Tigers beat the Crimson Tide handing Alabama its only loss of the season, but have not won since 2010 in Tuscaloosa.
Alabama’s season is not as difficult as many others and football pundits look at Week 10 on the road at LSU as the biggest obstacle for a perfect record.
Clemson is nearly as automatic when it comes to reaching the CFP as Alabama is. The Tigers have reached three of the four CFPs that have been played. The inaugural season was the only one Clemson failed to appear. Clemson defeated Alabama in 2017 to win the national championship.
Clemson’s schedule is not that difficult this season with a Week 9 visit to Florida State considered it biggest test. Most football pundits see the Tigers returning to college’s football “final four” again this season. The Tigers defense is expected to be one of the nation’s best with eight starters returning from a unit that was ranked fourth in the country.
Ohio State and Michigan are expected to battle for the Big Ten title with the winner likely reaching the CFP. If Ohio State reaches the CFP, it will be the school’s third trip and the first for Michigan if the Wolverines were to be chosen.
Michigan’s path to the CFP includes opening the season on the road against Notre Dame, Michigan State and Ohio State, while hosting the likes of Wisconsin and Penn State.
Ohio State’s schedule is far easier with just visits to Michigan State and Penn State appearing to be difficult games. However, with issues surrounding coach Urban Meyer the team may lose concentration and be upset more than once during the season.
Other teams to keep in mind: Georgia, Washington, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Auburn and Oklahoma.