The four-team college football playoffs is set with Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, and Washington ready to square off for the national title. Click here for latest NCAAF odds and futures prices.
CG technology kicked off opening line festivities once the committee's selections were unveiled, offering Alabama an 11-point favorite to beat Washington in the Peach Bowl. Most Vegas and online sports books posted a longer number, chalking up -13.5 to -16 points in favor of the Crimson Tide. Bettors, meanwhile, are seeing -2.5 to -3.5 points in favor of Ohio State in its matchup against Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl.
Penn State, despite beating the Buckeyes and winning the Big Ten Championship, proved the biggest snub in the four-team race. Oddsmakers suggest the Nittany Lions, though, would be underdogs to roughly 9-10 teams if matching up next weekend. Most bettors would agree, the committee got it right. Ed Salmons, head football linesmaker at the Westgate SuperBook, believes USC would open a 4.5-point favorite over Penn State, for example.
As far as updated futures prices for the championship game, Alabama is seeing anywhere from -225 to -280 odds to win it all. The second choice is Ohio State at +350 odds with 5Dimes. Clemson +600 and Washington +1500 round out the group. The Huskies, for what it's worth, were +4000 just weeks before the start of the season. The Crimson Tide, Tigers, and Buckeyes were listed as three of the top four choices at +600, +700, and +800 odds respectively.
Below is a table showing the average margin of victory for each team, average line, and average margin against the spread in 2016:
|TEAM||AVG. MARGIN||AVG. LINE||AVG. MARGIN ATS|
Head-to-head, Alabama last met Washington in the 1986 Sun Bowl, winning 28-6 as a 2-point favorite. It was one of five matchups against the Pac conference since 1980 for the Crimson Tide, where they are 3-2 SU and ATS. Only one has kicked off under head coach Nick Saban's leadership, this year's opening game blowout of USC (52-6). The Huskies, too, have squared off against the SEC in this time span five times, going 1-4 SU and 2-3 ATS. Their last matchup was a 41-3 rout by LSU in 2012. The Tigers kicked off 23.5-point chalk for that one.
Ohio State hopes to avenge a 40-35 defeat to Clemson in the 2014 Orange Bowl. The Buckeyes went off the 7.5-point chalk but allowed 3 passing touchdowns from Tiger quarterback Tajh Boyd in the second half to lose the game. It's one of two defeats in three games for head coach Urban Meyer against the ACC. IIn 2014, the Buckeyes fell at Virginia Tech 35-21 despite laying 10.5 points.