Projected Point Spreads for Potential College Football Playoff Games: Michigan vs. Alabama, More

Oct 31, 2018 11:35 AM EDT

USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Shea Patterson and Tua Tagovailoa

  • The College Football Playoff committee released its first set of rankings on Tuesday night.
  • We used our betting power ratings to project point spreads for a host of different College Football Playoff matchups.

We like to use our College Football Power Ratings here at The Action Network to speculate on whatever we can.

After the first College Football Playoff rankings, we’ll do just that by projecting point spreads for the national semifinals.

In the below table, you’ll find our betting power ratings, which you can use to create point spreads for a hypothetical matchup between any two teams.

For a neutral field, you can simply subtract the lower team’s rating from its opponent’s. If it’s a home game, you can give the host a standard three points or use our home-field advantage measures, which give fewer than three points for most teams.

Let’s start with the current top four, even though it ending up this way is pretty much impossible.

One possible scenario: LSU wins this weekend, and both the Tigers and Alabama win out from there. That could get us these same four teams, but not the exact seeding.

Anyway, here are the projected spreads for these two matchups:

OK, now let’s move on to more realistic scenarios — the unbeaten teams stay unbeaten, and the winner of Ohio State-Michigan gets in after winning the Big Ten title.

The top scenario is the playoff I’d most like to see. Michigan has the defense to match up with Alabama, and I know a few of us at The Action Network would surely bet the Wolverines at +9.5.

In the below scenario, Notre Dame loses to either Northwestern this weekend or USC to end the season, allowing two Power 5 conference champions to get in. Let’s go with Oklahoma, which would be No. 3 if Ohio State wins out, and No. 4 if Michigan does.

And this is the scenario the rest of the country is fearing. Georgia beats Alabama in the SEC Championship Game, but the Tide still get in. The seeding would be up for debate because the committee wouldn’t want an immediate SEC title-game rematch, so I outlined two.

Let’s also do the same thing with Kentucky, which truly controls its own destiny. The Wildcats have been winning without playing much offense, but teams have faked that for 12 or 13 games before. Maybe not against Alabama, but it’s fun to dream.

It’s crazy to think there could be a point spread of 20-plus in the College Football Playoff. Alabama was a two-touchdown favorite over Washington in 2016.

Be sure to use our power ratings to create your own point spreads for hypothetical matchups, CFP or otherwise.

How would you rate this article?
Follow Steve Petrella on Twitter

Top Stories