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Odds to Miss 4-Team Playoff Set at +600 for LSU and +500 for Clemson; Should Bettors Fade the Favorites?

Joe Burrow has made the most of his opportunity to start at LSU
Joe Burrow is now the Heisman Trophy favorite. Photo by Tammy Anthony Baker (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • LSU (-800) and Clemson (-650) are now the favorites to make the College Football Playoff
  • LSU defeated Alabama 46-41 in Week 11, and Clemson is coming off a 55-10 blowout of NC State
  • Both Clemson and LSU have fairly clear paths to the Playoff, but LSU does have one last test remaining

LSU and Clemson are now the favorites in the Four-Team Playoff odds, but there is still football left to be played. Is there value in betting against the two biggest favorites to miss out?

Odds to Make Four-Team Playoff

Team Odds to Make Four-Team Playoff Odds to Miss Four-Team Playoff
Alabama Crimson Tide +220 -260
Baylor Bears +700 -1000
Clemson Tigers -650 +500
Georgia Bulldogs +180 -220
LSU Tigers -800 +600
Minnesota Golden Gophers +600 -800
Ohio State Buckeyes -500 +400
Oklahoma Sooners +310 -370
Oregon Ducks +270 -350
Utah Utes +600 -800

*Odds taken November 12th.

Tigers Finally Conquer Tide

Since 2011’s shutout loss in the National Championship, LSU had been completely owned by Alabama. On Saturday, the Tigers finally ended that run with a 46-41 victory.

Joe Burrow was the star, going 31-of-39 for 393 yards and 3 touchdowns. The main benefactor of Burrow’s big day was Ja’Marr Chase, who had 6 catches for 140 yards, along with a touchdown.


On the ground, Clyde Edwards-Helaire had a star-making game as well. He gained 5.2 yards per carry against the Alabama defense, and scored three touchdowns while eclipsing the 100-yard mark.

LSU had a 33-13 lead at halftime, but credit to the the Tide, they rallied in the second half and made the game close and competitive. However, on Saturday, the Tigers proved that the SEC is no longer ruled by one team.

Value in Fading LSU?

The Tigers are 21-point favorites this coming weekend against Ole Miss, and after that, they’ll face Arkansas and Texas A&M to wrap up the regular season. However, there is one roadblock that still exists between LSU and the College Football Playoff.

Georgia may have lost to South Carolina, and the Bulldogs have had their share of offensive concerns this season, but they still have the athletes to pull off a victory in a potential SEC Championship Game. The Tigers’ playoff could be dashed by the result of that game. Only once in the five-year history of the CFP has one conference put two teams into the four-team field. If Georgia finishes as the 12-1 SEC Champion, they will get in.

At +600 for LSU to miss the playoff, backing a Bulldog upset isn’t a bad idea here. Though LSU could still qualify like Alabama two years ago.

Clemson Keeps Rolling

As has been the case for most of the season, there was never a sweat on Saturday for Clemson. They sailed to a 55-10 victory over NC State, and with every week, the Tigers’ path to the playoff becomes even more inevitable.

It was a ho-hum day for Trevor Lawrence, as he went 20-of-27 for 276 yards and 3 touchdowns. Things were easy for him against the Wolfpack, and it helped that the Tigers ran for 5 touchdowns and 6.0 yards per carry, totalling 246 rushing yards on the day.

When it comes to fading a favorite, this isn’t the time to do it. Not only is Clemson a juggernaut, but they have the easiest road of all the teams still in the race. All that remains on the schedule for the Tigers is Wake Forest, South Carolina, and whomever the ACC Coastal produces for the conference championship game.

Clemson’s fate once they enter the playoff is one discussion. There is no question, however, that they’ll at least make the field.

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