CFB Playoff Predictions
The College Football Playoffs are entering their sixth year of existence for the 2019 season. Which four teams will make it this year? Here’s our early thoughts.
According to oddsmakers, Clemson is listed with the top odds to make the playoffs right now at -280. Alabama has the next-shortest odds at -250 to win. Georgia is listed with -110 odds to make the playoff while Ohio State and Oklahoma each have +145 odds, Michigan and Notre Dame are listed at +300 while Texas is at +350.
Clemson and Alabama have won the past four College Football Playoff championships. Alabama won the title in the 2015 and 2017 seasons while Clemson won the championship in the 2016 and 2018 seasons. These two teams met in the final in three of the last four years. Alabama has reached the playoff all five years thus far while Clemson has made it the last four years.
Clemson and Alabama look like they are head-and-shoulders above the rest right now.
Both teams come into the season as 5/2 co-favorites to win the national championship. Clemson returns 12 starters from last year’s championship squad, including top Heisman contender quarterback Trevor Lawrence.
For Alabama, the Tide should be plenty motivated to win it all after getting humbled by the Tigers in last year’s final. Alabama returns 13 starters from their 2018 team, led by Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback.
Georgia is a team that has made the playoffs once, but was knocking on the door last year. The Bulldogs return 13 starters this year, including QB Jake Fromm. Georgia looks to be the top contender to best Alabama in the SEC.
Ohio State has reached the playoffs twice in program history, last doing so in 2016. The Buckeyes were the first playoff champions. Urban Meyer has retired from coaching, leaving Ohio State in the hands of Ryan Day. The Buckeyes have 13 starters back this season, but lose QB Dwayne Haskins. J.K. Dobbins will be their feature guy at running back.
Oklahoma made the playoffs last year and have made it three times in program history. The Sooners have a lot of talent back on both sides of the ball and bring in Jalen Hurts from Alabama to play QB this year.
Notre Dame reached the playoffs last year for the first time, but was soundly beaten by Clemson, 30-3. The Fighting Irish have 13 starters back this year, including seven on offense, led by QB Ian Book.
Michigan and Texas have not reached the playoffs in their program history. The Wolverines seems to be a team that can’t finish seasons under Jim Harbaugh while the Longhorns have a few too many bad losses thus far under Tom Herman. Both have the potential, but have longer odds for a reason.
These are the teams that have odds available, and you can also bet on them not to make the playoffs. I feel strongly that Clemson and Alabama will make it again. The Big Ten has missed out in recent years, but I think Ohio State has a strong chance this year. It could come down to a finale with Michigan, but the Buckeyes have proven they own the Wolverines right now. Oklahoma should continue to shine on offense with Hurts at QB and I don’t see Texas doing enough to take the Big 12 from them. Notre Dame doesn’t excite me and the committee will consider their awful showing in the playoffs this time around. The Pac-12 doesn’t look to have a dog in the fight either.
College Football Playoff Prediction: Clemson (-280), Alabama (-250), Ohio State (+145), Oklahoma (+145)