Wilson: Which Teams are Worth a Bet to Make the 2019-20 College Football Playoff?


Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

  • Odds to make the 2019-20 College Football Playoff are out.
  • Below you'll find the full list, as well as a group of teams worth a wager to make the Playoff.

Predicting the College Football Playoff can be just as tough as picking a national champion. The College Football Playoff selection committee has changed members and chairmen over the years, but remains constant in its filter of teams to compete in the semifinals.

This year the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl will host the semifinals with the National Championship set for New Orleans.

Here is a look at the current odds to make the playoff, followed by notes on teams worth a play.

>> For Collin Wilson’s latest betting advice on college football futures, check out our hub here.

Odds To Make The College Football Playoff

Notes on the Field

Oklahoma was originally released at +275 at the Westgate. Before I could get action down, the number had already moved. Along with my Heisman front-runner, this will be the biggest preseason wager of 2019.

Oklahoma to make the playoff has odds of +200 as of this writing. The most likely scenario for this bet is a one-loss Sooners team going to Arlington for the Big 12 Championship game. Oklahoma would not be an underdog to anyone in the conference in a rematch, so anything plus-money on Oklahoma to make the playoff has value, as an easy hedge in the conference championship will be available.

Taking Oklahoma to make the playoff is having belief in Jalen Hurts passing, offensive line coach Bill Bedenbaugh overcoming the loss of 160 career starts, and new defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.

It pains me to even consider this, but the odds on the board do not match probability of outcome. Central Florida has the most advantageous schedule in the country. The AAC schedule dodges Memphis and gets Houston at home, while the non-conference is the best situational scenario in the country.

The Knights list at 250/1 to make the College Football Playoff. We all know the hurdles with a Group of Five team, but Central Florida has never had a non-conference strength of schedule like 2019. It will take multiple Power 5 conference champions with two losses, but an FPI estimate of 2.4% that UCF goes undefeated dictates this wager deserves a tiny investment.

If there is a team that is completely disrespected in the market, it is Florida State. We denoted the Seminoles rank 33rd in returning production on the offensive side of the ball, where a 1.31 IsoPPP rating was good enough for 11th in FBS during 2018. This explosive offense now has Kendall Briles as the offensive coordinator.

The Seminoles will be favored in every game except Clemson and Florida. A 75/1 bet to make the playoff is a longshot that deserves minimum investment. There is the possibility the Seminoles roll into the Florida game 10-1 and looking for an at-large bid to the Playoff, similar to Alabama two years ago.

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