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Why You Should Bet Ohio State to Win CFP Championship 2019

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com

Dan Kilbridge  | 4 mins

Why You Should Bet Ohio State to Win CFP Championship 2019

This is the first in a four-part series looking at National Championship odds and making the case for all four College Football Playoff teams, including how to bet them with the most value.

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Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, playing on a sprained left MCL, led the Buckeyes to a 13-point win over Wisconsin in Saturday’s Big Ten title game. He threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns as OSU outscored the Badgers 27-0 in the second half.

The College Football Playoff committee was not impressed.

LSU went to No. 1 in the final rankings with a 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC title game. That means the Tigers get a semifinal game against an Oklahoma Sooners team that snuck into the CFP with an overtime win over Baylor in the Big 12 Championship Game.

OSU fell to No. 2 and now plays defending national champion and CFP No. 3 seed Clemson in the Fiesta Bowl on Dec. 28. That’s a tough break for the Buckeyes, but good news for OSU bettors. A subjective decision from the CFP committee created more value on OSU by ranking them No. 2.

Ohio State’s Changing National Championship 2019 Odds

An OSU team that was the college football betting favorite just three weeks ago currently has the third-best odds to win the National Championship.

William Hill offers the most college football futures value with OSU’s odds at +230, and there’s plenty of reason to believe it’s a smart bet ahead of the Dec. 28 CFP semifinal games.

Clemson is favored by 2.5 points over the Buckeyes, the odds perhaps swayed by the Tigers’ 62-17 blowout win over Virginia in the ACC Championship. The question with Clemson in 2019 is whether the Tigers can keep it up against a legitimate team.

We know the Buckeyes can. They proved it by beating three top-15 teams in their final three games.

Both teams feature top-five offenses, with Clemson (547.7) narrowly edging OSU (531) in total yards per game. As for the competition, it’s not even close. OSU had the far tougher road on offense. That goes not just for the Clemson game but all CFP teams.

Battle-Tested Buckeyes Enter College Football Playoff

Clemson and Oklahoma each put up huge offensive numbers, but neither team played a single top-25 defense this season. LSU played three, beating Georgia, Florida and Auburn.

The Buckeyes played six games against top-25 defenses, nearly half of their schedule, including two against Wisconsin. OSU averaged 40.3 points in those games and won them all by double digits.

LSU played a tougher schedule than OSU overall, but the gap isn’t as wide as you think. There’s also no question that OSU is the more proven team than Clemson. That could be the difference that sends OSU to the National Championship game.

Justin Fields Has Time To Recover From Injury

It also seems clear that the Buckeyes will benefit most from the three-week break. Fields suffered an MCL sprain in the win over Michigan and wasn’t nearly as mobile in the Big Ten title game. That hit in Ann Arbor was one of several big shots he has taken over the season. His stats suggest it took a toll.

Fields had 10 rushing touchdowns this season but none in his last four games. Buckeyes running back J.K. Dobbins stepped up with nine of his 20 rushing scores coming in those four games, but this offense is at its best when both are capable threats on the ground.

The Badgers also did OSU a favor by going up 21-7 in Indianapolis. It was the first time OSU has been behind at halftime all season. The Buckeyes got a chance to show some resolve and scored 27 straight to answer any questions about how they’d handle adversity.

Even if you’re not sure OSU is the best team in the CFP, it’s impossible to ignore how consistently strong they’ve been against opponents of all caliber this season. It’s not hard to make a case that they’re the best team in the country.

That all makes it very easy to see the value on Ohio State’s national championship odds.

About the Author

Dan Kilbridge for Bookies.com
Dan Kilbridge
Handicapper Dan Kilbridge writes about college football, MLB and other sports for Bookies.com after spending three years covering Tiger Woods’ comeback and the PGA for Golfweek.