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  • Sportsbooks have posted odds on the best teams in the NCAA earning a spot in the four-team playoff
  • Alabama and Clemson are the only teams shorter than even money
  • The Tide have never missed the College Football Playoff in its five-year history

Betting on the NCAAF National Championship futures has become stale thanks to the dominance of Alabama and Clemson. Nick Saban’s Tide and Dabo Swinney’s Tigers have captured the last four national titles and met in the three of the last four championship games.

Thankfully, there’s another futures bet available these days, one which opens up real opportunities for secondary contenders: odds to make the four-team College Football Playoff.

The graph below sets out the average odds for the main CFP hopefuls heading into and during the 2019-20 season.

Average 2020 College Football Playoff Odds

  • [Nov 19] Minnesota and Baylor are both off the board after losing their first games of the season in Week 12.  Alabama dropped from +220 to +280 after Tua’s hip injury.
  • [Nov 12] Meet the Gophers! Minnesota improved from +1400 to +600 after its statement win over former no. 4 Penn State. Of course, the biggest gainer was LSU (-240 to -800) which beat the Bama in Tuscaloosa.
  • [Nov 6] The day after the initial CFP rankings put Clemson at #5, the Tigers’ odds to make the playoff improved to a nation-leading -450.
  • [Oct 28] After Oklahoma (+250) lost in Week 9, there’s now a big divide between the top-four (Alabama, Clemson, LSU, Ohio State) and the field.
  • [Oct 23] Clemson (-300) and Alabama (-230) are back in the top-two spots, with Ohio State falling to -190 despite remaining undefeated.
  • [Oct 10] Midway through the year, Ohio State now has the shortest odds (-360), even though Clemson (-220) and Bama (-260) remain undefeated.
  • [Aug 29] On the eve of Week 1, the two favorites saw their odds get a bit worse: Clemson (-560 to -530) and Alabama (-340 to -290).
  • [Aug 12] Florida and Auburn both saw their odds get considerably longer, dropping from +700 to +1000 as bettors continue to pound the favorites, Clemson, Alabama, Georgia, Ohio State, and Oklahoma.
  • [July 26] Two second-tier contenders are trending down: Ohio State fell outside the top-five (now at +230), getting passed by arch-rival Michigan (now +220). Oklahoma fell from +140 to +190.
  • [July 17] Good Lord, Clemson is now -480 on average to qualify for the CFP. As the table below shows, BookMaker.eu is paying +425 on the Tigers missing out.
  • [July 4] Clemson is now a -340 favorite to make the CFP (77.3% implied probability). The other big gainer since the odds opened is Notre Dame, which started at +380 and is now +330.
  • [May 17] Originally, only eight teams were on the board, but now 14 teams are available. The six new teams are Auburn, Florida, LSU, Nebraska, Oregon, and Washington.
  • [May 9] Alabama and Clemson both start the offseason as -250 favorites to make the four-team playoff yet again.

Odds to Make 2020 College Football Playoff

2020 CFP Contenders at BetOnline (Nov. 19) Yes No Previous CFP Appearances
Alabama +280 -340 5 (2015-2019)
Baylor OFF OFF 0
Clemson -1000 +700 4 (2016-2019)
Georgia +175 -210 1 (2018)
LSU -1250 +800 0
Minnesota OFF OFF 0
Ohio State -1000 +700 2 (2015, 2017)
Oklahoma +400 -500 3 (2016, 2018, 2019)
Oregon +400 -500 1 (2015)
Utah +290 -350 0

NB: the year of the title game is used to denote that season’s four-team CFP, even though the semifinals are often played prior to New Year’s Day. Hence, next season’s playoff will be the “2020 CFP.

Understandably, Alabama and Clemson opened as huge chalk to reach the four-team playoff. Alabama has literally never missed out in the five-year history of the playoff. Clemson has made it four straight years, returns 2019 Heisman Trophy-favorite Trevor Lawrence who just led the team to a national title as a freshman, and plays in the comparatively weak ACC.

Buteven with two berths reserved for Bama and Clemson, there are still two whole spots available!

As the season progresses, expect to see more teams pop up in the odds-list. The table above will be updated accordingly when they do.

If you don’t see a team you want to bet on in the table above, try the 2019 NCAAF Win Totals tracker, which features a more expansive list of betting options.