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Michigan’s Odds to Make the CFP are Almost Twice as Long as Ohio State’s

Chris Amberley

by Chris Amberley in College Football

Updated Mar 30, 2020 · 2:53 PM UTC

Michigan Wolverines
Michigan hasn't won a Conference Championship since 2004, and has never qualified for the College Football Playoff. Photo By Maize & Blue Nation (Flickr) [CC License]
  • You can wager on whether or not Michigan or Ohio State will make the College Football Playoff this season
  • Ohio State has much shorter odds to make the CFP, despite big changes to their roster and coaching staff
  • Are the Wolverines or Buckeyes worth a wager?

The Big Ten has been noticeably absent from the College Football Playoff the past four years, and according to online sportsbooks, that trend could continue this season.

Odds to Make 2020 College Football Playoff

Team Yes Odds No Odds
Alabama Crimson Tide -250 +195
Clemson Tigers -250 +195
Georgia Bulldogs +110 -140
Oklahoma Sooners +145 -175
Ohio State Buckeyes +160 -200
Michigan Wolverines +300 -400
Notre Dame Fighting Irish +300 -400
Texas Longhorns +350 -500

*Odds taken on 05/17/19

Ohio State and Michigan are expected to be the class of the conference once again, but neither is among the top-4 favorites to make the College Football Playoff. Between the two, the Buckeyes have the much shorter odds, which is interesting given the amount of changes the program has undergone.

A New Day for Ohio State

The expectations will be sky high for new head coach Ryan Day this season, but there will be plenty of obstacles to overcome. For the Buckeyes to have any hope of making the College Football Playoff they’ll need to win the Big Ten, a feat only one rookie head coach has ever accomplished.

Day will be running an offense with a new quarterback under center, and although Justin Fields’ talent is undeniable he lacks experience at the collegiate level.

On paper, the Buckeyes should be favored in all but one game this season, but there’ll be plenty of opportunities for them to stumble, most notably at Nebraska and Northwestern, and at home versus Wisconsin. If they can reel off wins in their first 11 games, their College Football Playoff hopes could come down to the season finale at Michigan.

Can Michigan Finally Breakthrough?

The Wolverines feature a wealth of talent, including the top recruiting class in the Big Ten, but their history in big games is abysmal. Michigan is 1-9 versus top-10 opponents in the Jim Harbaugh era and the program hasn’t won a conference title since 2004.

Under Harbaugh, they’ve never beaten Ohio State, which explains why they’re overhauling their offensive scheme. They’ll move to a more modern, up-tempo style in 2019, and if the shift in philosophy doesn’t produce results, there’ll be even more people in Ann Arbour clamouring for big changes.

Trust the Buckeyes’ Pedigree

Ohio State is coming off back-to-back Big Ten titles and a Rose Bowl victory, while Michigan hasn’t won anything of significance since 2016. We keep waiting for the Wolverines program to turn the corner, but year after year they disappoint under Harbaugh and it’s hard to see that trend stopping.

The Buckeyes, meanwhile, continue to stay relevant and are usually involved in the College Football Playoff conversation until the final four teams are selected. The amount of change the program has undergone is concerning, but their immense talent and favorable schedule gives them a much more likely road to the Playoff than the Wolverines.

Pick: Ohio State Yes (+160)

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