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National Championship Odds: Michigan State Among Week 2’s Biggest Losers

  • Oddsmakers have adjusted their national championship odds following Week 2.
  • Even though Alabama didn't have a very meaningful win, its odds did improve significantly.
  • The biggest loser of the week was Michigan State following its loss to Arizona State.

While Week 1 had a clear impact on college football title odds, Week 2 was kind of … boring. No team inside of 40-1 lost, meaning this week’s futures look, for the most part, the same as last week’s.

There are, of course, a few exceptions, which brings us Week 2’s biggest winners and losers.

Winners

Alabama: +175 to +140 (36.36% to 41.67% implied probability)

Week 2 vs. Arkansas State: Won 57-7

Beating Arkansas State isn’t exactly a statement win for Alabama, but according to oddsmakers, no other teams have done enough to offer a true threat to the Tide.

West Virginia: +6000 to +4000 (1.64% to 2.44% implied probability)

Week 2 vs. Youngstown State: Won 52-17

Like Bama, West Virginia isn’t exactly coming off an impressive Week 2 victory. It does, however, have a legitimate Heisman contender under center and a win over an SEC opponent already under its belt, so this move may be a result of betting action, or a delayed reaction after its odds did not change following Week 1.

Arizona State: +100000 to +10000 (0.10% to 0.99% implied probability)

Week 2 vs. Michigan State: Won 16-13

The Sun Devils knocked off 15th-ranked Michigan State on Saturday to pull into this week’s Top 25, and give themselves a whopping 1% chance of winning the national title.

Losers

Notre Dame: +1500 to +2000 (6.25% to 4.76% implied probability)

Week 2 vs. Ball State: Won 24-16

Oddsmakers tend to overreact when adjusting odds after a big win, and that looks to be what happened with Notre Dame last week after it beat Michigan.

Knowing that bettors will flock to a team after a high-profile win, oddsmakers will shade lines a bit to account for that, and ease back the following week (In a nearly identical situation, Auburn also went from +800 to +1000 this week).

It doesn’t help, either, that the Irish beat Ball State by only eight points on Saturday.

Michigan State: +4000 to +8000 (2.44% to 1.23% implied probability)

Week 2 at Arizona State: Lost 16-13

The biggest loser of the week was Michigan State. The Spartans saw their title hopes cut in half following a 16-13 upset loss at Arizona State.

USC: +5000 to +10000 (1.96% to 0.99% implied probability)

Week 2 at Stanford: Lost Stanford 17-3

USC was a five-point underdog this weekend, so you’d think oddsmakers would’ve already accounted for the likely loss when setting futures. But the Trojans fell from +5000 to +10000 anyway, and are now looking at a 1% implied probability to win this year’s playoff.

Credit:

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Michigan State Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke (14) reacts against the Arizona State Sun Devils in the first half at Sun Devil Stadium.

Follow Danny Donahue on Twitter
@dannyjdonahue
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