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College Football Playoff Odds, Futures: Texas Leads Week 13 Picks

College Football Playoff Odds, Futures: Texas Leads Week 13 Picks article feature image

Chris Leduc/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers.

The top-10 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings escaped Week 12 without a single loss, as Washington beat No. 11 Oregon State to cement its spot in the Pac-12 Championship.

While upsets were not a part of the weekend, the news could not be bigger for one of the undefeated teams challenging for a national title. Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis left the North Alabama game with a horrific leg injury that will end his season.

The Seminoles recovered from a 13-0 deficit to the Lions thanks to an experienced backup quarterback in Tate Rodemaker.

Questions will continue to surround Florida State without its star quarterback in the two games leading to the final playoff rankings. The Seminoles are lined at less than a touchdown against Florida this week, just one short week before a similar line will be available against Louisville.

The committee has no basis to remove the Seminoles from the top four, but any sloppiness in the next eight quarters will certainly give the committee reasons to bump Florida State.

Here's the updated list of national title contenders, along with their chance of sweeping their remaining schedule that includes a conference championship game:

To determine where value is in the national championship market, we must follow the “Four Commandments of the College Football Playoff.

These rules serve as a roadmap to the national semifinal, detecting value in futures before the committee releases the rankings.

The first set of rankings were released nine seasons ago, giving consumers 36 different data points for entry into the playoff.

The goal of this column is to find the best betting value before each Tuesday checkpoint when the committee updates its rankings.

Here's a look at the Four Commandments to apply when handicapping the ever-changing selection committee.

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CFP Commandment No. 1

“An undefeated Power 5 conference champion is automatically in.”

Note: We have never had five undefeated Power 5 champions, and that will continue with the cannibalization of the Big 12.

Florida State, Michigan, Ohio State, Washington and Georgia are the only Power 5 teams that remain undefeated.



CFP Commandment No. 2

“A one-loss Power 5 conference champion is automatically in… barring a Purdue-esque event.”

Note: Ohio State was left out of the 2018 College Football Playoff as a one-loss Big Ten champion.

Undefeated Notre Dame was selected as an at-large while Oklahoma was selected as a one loss Big 12 Champion. The Buckeyes couldn’t recover from a 49-20 defeat at the hands of a 6-6 Purdue team.

Alabama, Oregon and Texas currently meet this criteria. None of these teams have suffered an embarrassing loss, but Louisville’s loss to Pittsburgh is a knockout.

Alabama, Oregon and Texas all hold losses to teams with a top-15 ranking.



CFP Commandment No. 3

“A two-loss Power 5 conference champion cannot jump a one-loss team into the Playoff.”

Note: This precedent was set when Ohio State missed the CFP in 2017 as the Big Ten champion with losses to Oklahoma and Iowa.

No current two-loss teams have the resume to make the playoff.



CFP Commandment No. 4

“A two-loss Power 5 team trumps an undefeated Group of Five team with the right strength of record and head-to-head victories.”

Note: UCF finished 2018 undefeated but was passed by two-loss Michigan and Georgia. Cincinnati continued to fall in the 2020 rankings, as three-loss Florida and two-loss Oklahoma passed the Bearcats.

In 2021, Cincinnati made the College Football Playoff because of a head-to-head victory over No. 5 Notre Dame, while No. 6 Ohio State was not selected as a two-loss team after head-to-head losses against No. 2 Michigan and No. 14 Oregon.

Tulane will continue to rank in the top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings, but its loss to Ole Miss shuts the door on a playoff opportunity.

Bracket 1: SEC Championship

Contenders: Georgia, Alabama

Remaining Schedule:

  • Georgia: at Georgia Tech +23
  • Alabama: at Auburn +14
  • SEC Championship: Alabama +4 vs. Georgia

The lookahead line for the SEC Championship game has floated from Alabama +3 to +5.5. The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs enter Week 13 as double-digit favorites over Auburn and Georgia Tech, respectively.

The odds for both teams must consider what is essentially a quarterfinal game in Atlanta for the SEC Championship, along with the worst-case path in the playoff. From a power ratings perspective, the SEC champ would have the toughest schedule, going through Michigan and Oregon.

Assuming Alabama would be a near pick‘em against Oregon and Michigan, the true odds for the Tide to sweep the next four games are +800.  Meanwhile, Georgia’s numbers to run through Alabama, Michigan and Oregon project at +500.

Neither SEC team has the number in the futures market for action, as our Week 10 play on Alabama at 9-1 will carry over to this section.

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Bracket 2: Big Ten East

Contenders: Ohio State, Michigan

Remaining Schedule:

  • Ohio State: at Michigan -4 · Iowa +21.5
  • Michigan: Ohio State +4 · Iowa +22.5

Week 13 will provide college football consumers a true College Football Playoff quarterfinal with “The Game,” as Michigan opened as four-point favorites over the Buckeyes.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh will miss the remainder of the regular season because of the sign-stealing scandal, but the Wolverines still survived a full rally from Maryland in Week 12.

Michigan has similar numbers to win the national title as Georgia above — a projection of 5-1 with the path including Ohio State, Georgia and Oregon.

The number does not balloon for Ohio State thanks to a bump in power rating over the past couple of weeks.

The Buckeyes' toughest road to the national title goes through Michigan, Georgia and Oregon. That path would leave Ohio State with true odds of +950 to win the national title using our Action Network parlay calculator.

At the current odds, the best bet will be a National Championship number immediately after a winner is determined in Week 13.

Bracket 3: Pac-12 Champion

Contenders: Washington, Oregon

Remaining Schedule:

  • Washington: Washington State +17
  • Oregon: Oregon State +14
  • Pac-12 Championship: Oregon -5.5 vs. Washington

Oregon flew out of the friendly confines of Autzen Stadium in Week 12, stopping in Tempe to boat-race Arizona State.

The Ducks have a 73% chance to sweep Oregon State and Washington over the next two weeks, and they need both wins to make the College Football Playoff.

The true odds of Oregon sweeping the remaining four games to become national champions sit at 11-1 odds, far beyond the market consensus of 6-1. Our 30-1 ticket from October will roll into Autzen and Las Vegas looking for a berth in the Rose Bowl or Sugar Bowl.

Washington continues to win, and its title odds continue to drop.

The Huskies are +1100 to win the national title with a low 63% chance to sweep the remainder of the schedule. Washington will be a heavy favorite over Washington State in the Apple Cup, giving way to a near-touchdown underdog spot at a neutral site to Oregon.

If Washington was to escape the remaining Pac-12 hurdles, a potential path of Georgia and Michigan awaits. If Michigan and Georgia are in the way, Washington has true odds of 18-1 to take the title in Houston.

There will be no play on the Pac-12 through the end of the regular season.

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ACC or Big 12 Champion

Contenders: Florida State, Louisville, Texas

Bracket 4 has always been the catch-all, hell-breaks-loose side of college football.

If there's a stepping stone to mass chaos, the injury to Travis may have been the first step. Did Florida State lose its positioning with the committee because of the injury?

While most would say the playoff committee is a rearview mirror group that makes decisions based on the resume, the AP Top 25 has already moved Florida State out of the top four.

There's one team that should benefit the most from the injury to the Seminoles' quarterback.

Our “Four Commandments of the College Football Playoff” must be followed to determine betting value on the following teams.

Texas Wins Big 12

Remaining Schedule:

  • Texas Tech +14 · Big 12 Championship: Oklahoma State +10

A potential Florida State slip-up could benefit a Texas team that had issues breaking through the Pac-12 wedge in the playoff rankings.

Texas has the best win of any current team contending with a Week 2 victory over Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

The Longhorns have a relatively easy path to win out, as Texas will be favored by double digits over both Texas Tech and Oklahoma State in the conference championship. The Horns have a 71% chance of sweeping those two games, giving head coach Steve Sarkisian one of the best chances of any one-loss conference champion heading into the committee’s final decision.

The more important question is the moneyline rollover price for the Longhorns to beat Michigan and Georgia, the toughest potential path to the national title.

Texas is power-rated to be anywhere from 7- to 9-point underdogs to the Bulldogs and Wolverines. A moneyline parlay of the two events at +250 comes out to +1125 odds, but we're getting +1400 in the market.

The Longhorns are a buy at 14-1 or better heading into Week 13.

Florida State Wins ACC

Remaining Schedule:

  • at Florida +6 · ACC Championship: Louisville +5

National title odds rarely generate value with various books' greed over the hold percentage. The opposite is true for the current number for Florida State, which has true odds of 25-1 to win four consecutive games, including contests against Michigan and Georgia.

Florida State can be found at 30-1 in the current market offerings, a rare gem in the value department. Oddsmakers know the numbers can only go so far when it comes to a team with a backup quarterback and a rank of 62nd in Strength of Schedule.

The future is there for the taking, but it's a complete pass with the number of elite teams at full strength vying for the National Championship.

Louisville Wins ACC

Remaining Schedule:

  • Kentucky +7 · ACC Championship: Florida State -5

Louisville, the ultimate longshot, continues to win games, covering at Miami in Week 12

While the projected point spreads continue to move in favor of Louisville, the outright national title number refuses to budge.

The selection committee would need mass chaos to put the Cardinals in the top four. College Football Playoff Commandment No. 3 could be put to the test with a number of upsets over the final two weeks.

The playoff contenders would need to be shaved down to just four teams with a clean record or one loss, including Louisville. The Cardinals may not even jump any potential at-large bids from the SEC and Big Ten because of their loss earlier this season to Pittsburgh.

The loser of Ohio State vs. Michigan and a one-loss non-SEC champion Georgia would have a better resume for the committee's decision.

While Louisville can win out and mathematically have a shot, there's zero expectation of the Cardinals cracking the top four.

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