Iowa the best playoff value?

Iowa with 18/1 odds to win national title after jump to fourth in rankings

The latest College Football Playoff Rankings have had some shakeups and Iowa finds itself as one of the top 4.

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On Tuesday night the newest rankings were released and Clemson and Alabama remained in the top two spots, but Oklahoma jumped up to third and the Hawkeyes are now fourth while Michigan State is fifth and Notre Dame dropped from fourth to sixth.

Of the teams in the mix, Iowa is perhaps the most intriguing. Most in the national media perceive the Hawkeyes to not be a legit contender, but they may have the easiest path to the playoffs of any team remaining.

Iowa needs a win at Nebraska this week and then a win next weekend in the Big Ten Championship to likely secure their playoff spot. While a win in the Big Ten title game isn’t a given, a matchup with Michigan State is the most likely scenario and the Spartans are dealing with an injury to QB Connor Cook.

According to oddsmakers at, Iowa actually is listed with 18/1 odds to win the college football playoffs, which is seventh of teams listed. Alabama and Clemson have the shortest odds, but both have to deal with a competitive championship game and a big rivalry game this week.

While Iowa isn’t a potent offense, the Hawkeyes have a very physical defense and the seventh-best rushing defense in the country. While a big concern lies with the Hawkeyes’ strength of schedule (65th nationally), it doesn’t mean Iowa can’t match the physicality with the other big names in the playoffs. Not many thought Ohio State could hang with Alabama and Oregon last year either. Iowa has some great betting value right now, but those odds will decrease significantly with each passing victory.

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