The betting action will be fast and furious once sportsbooks post the opening line for the CFP National Championship game. However, sports bettors do not have to wait for the opening line to bet on the game. There are ways to wager earlier that do not require the final two teams to be set.
One such option has been available throughout the season, of course — championship futures. Here’s where the four CFP Playoff contenders stand at four sportsbooks ahead of next week’s national semifinals — Cincinnati vs. Alabama and Michigan vs. Georgia:
|NCAAF FBS CHAMPIONSHIP WINNER||BetMGM||BetRiversBetRivers||Caesars||DraftKings|
College Football Playoff Exact Result
Once the four teams playing in the CFP semifinal games were announced, many fans had a good idea who they wanted to bet on to win it all. But why just bet on who you think will win when you can bet on who you think they will beat, too?
Several sportsbooks have posted odds for the exact result of the CFP Championship game — not the score, but who will beat who.
|College Football Playoff Exact Result||PointsBet||FanDuel||DraftKings|
|Georgia defeats Alabama||+180||+180||+175|
|Alabama defeats Georgia||+200||+200||+215|
|Alabama defeats Michigan||+550||+550||+500|
|Georgia defeats Cincinnati||+800||+800||+700|
|Michigan defeats Alabama||+1000||+1000||+1100|
|Michigan defeats Cincinnati||+2500||+2500||+2200|
|Cincinnati defeats Georgia||+3000||+3000||+3000|
|Cincinnati defeats Michigan||+5000||+5000||+5000|
Alabama (-13.5 vs. Cincinnati) and Georgia (-8 vs. Michigan) are favored in their respective semifinal games, so it is not hard to understand why the odds on outcomes involving the two of them are so short. It is just as easy to understand why odds on outcomes involving Cincinnati are as long as they are.
However, it is not insane to think the Bearcats can make the title game. Alabama did not look anywhere close to as dominant as they were in the SEC title game for much of the season. In their one loss this season to Texas A&M, Alabama was an 18.5-point favorite and lost by three despite outgaining the Aggies, 522-379.
The Crimson Tide were 20.5-point favorites against Auburn but needed a late-game comeback and four OT periods to secure a two-point win.
Don’t disregard Michigan’s shot at beating Georgia, either. Yes, the Bulldogs were the most dominant team in college football for every game but their last one. However, in the loss to Alabama, a potential weakness was exposed, the Georgia secondary. Of course, just because Heisman winner Bryce Young was able to tear the Bulldog secondary apart does not mean Cade McNamara can.
If McNamara can put some points on the board, the Georgia offense could struggle to play catch-up against Michigan’s stout defense.
SEC! SEC! SEC! SEC!
Georgia has looked like a great pick to win it all for the bulk of the season. While Alabama has not always played like the Tide team we’re used to seeing, it beat the Bulldogs — which makes them a solid potential pick. With the futures odds being as close as they are, it is understandable if fans are struggling to pick one over the other to bet on.
What if you don’t have to? BetMGM, BetRivers, and FanDuel are giving fans a chance to bet on both SEC teams.
|CFP Championship Game Winner||BetRivers||FanDuel||BetMGM|
|Will any SEC team win the National Championship?||-800|
Of course, at those odds, you will need to risk a lot more to win as much as you would betting on one team. So, why even think about making this bet? Simple—because you like the idea of having an 85.71-88.89 percent chance of winning. That, and winning some money is more appealing to you than possibly winning none.
You can also bet the field — that either Michigan or Cincinnati will emerge as champs — at much longer odds.
FanDuel’s CFP National Championship Game Look-Ahead Lines
If you prefer to bet on a winner against the spread, FanDuel has an option for you, offering look-ahead lines for the four possible matchups:
- Alabama +1
- Georgia -1
- Cincinnati +6.5
- Michigan -6.5
- Michigan +6
- Alabama -6
- Cincinnati +14.5
- Georgia -14.5
You might be wondering: why should this option be appealing to me? If Desmond Riddler leads Cincinnati to a big win over Alabama, is the spread still going to be 14.5 points against Georgia? If Bryce Young gets hurt in a win over the Bearcats, will Georgia be just a 1-point favorite?
But while look-ahead lines offer the chance to get down early at a good number, the converse is also true — you may see the line move against your bet from the time you place it until kickoff.