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Can Underdogs Win in the College Football Playoff? Ohio State Might Have the Best Case

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Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. and Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Emeka Egbuka. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Can underdogs win in the College Football Playoff? Of course they can.

It’s been done before; just not as often as those who crave college football drama and chaos would likely hope. The College Football Playoff has been extremely chalky over a small sample size. Favorites entering the 2022 CFP are 17-7 straight up.

However, one team that’s won nearly half of those might be poised to shake things up: the Ohio State Buckeyes.

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Only two teams have won as an underdog in the College Football Playoff: Clemson (4) and Ohio State (3).

The Buckeyes crashed the party during their 2014 title-winning season, upsetting Alabama in the semifinals (+7.5) and Oregon in the championship (+6).

The Buckeyes were flawless catching points during the Urban Meyer, going a perfect 7-0.

Although they’re off to a 1-2 start over a small sample in the early stages of the Ryan Day era, the win was a 49-28 rout of Clemson in the 2020 CFP semis as touchdown-sized ‘dogs.

Ohio State is anywhere from +6 to +6.5 against Georgia in the Peach Bowl on Saturday. The TCU Horned Frogs, meanwhile, are +7.5 against the Michigan Wolverines earlier in the day.

Saturday night is the first time in 25 games the Buckeyes are listed as underdogs. They’re anywhere from +188 to +230 on the moneyline to beat the reigning champion Bulldogs, depending on the sportsbook.

Defending national champs have come up empty in the College Football Playoff, though this will be Kirby Smart and Company’s first title defense.

Playoff Teams Defending CFP Title 

Year Team Result
2022 Georgia TBD
2021 Alabama L, Title Game
2019 Clemson L, Title Game
2018 Alabama L, Title Game
2017 Clemson L, Semifinals
2016 Alabama L, Title Game

The betting public isn’t expecting an upset, according to our college football data.

We’ve tracked three of every four betting spread tickets on the Bulldogs, while 78% of the moneyline bets are also riding Georgia.

The over/under Saturday is anywhere from 62 to 62.5. The Peach Bowl kickoff is set for 8 p.m. ET.

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