College Football Bowl Projections Based on Betting Odds
Given the current College Football Playoff title odds, which you can check out here, this what the two CFP semifinals and the other four New Year’s Six games would look like.
2019 New Year’s Six Bowl Projections
|CFP Semi 1||Clemson vs Ohio State|
|CFP Semi 2||Alabama vs Georgia|
|Sugar Bowl||LSU vs Oklahoma|
|Rose Bowl||Michigan vs Washington|
|Orange Bowl||Miami (Fla.) vs Notre Dame|
|Cotton Bowl||Oregon vs Central Florida|
CFP Semifinal 1: No. 1 Clemson vs. No. 4 Ohio State
The early playoff favorite, the Tigers have a relatively easy schedule beginning with an opener against Georgia Tech, which is a 35-point underdog in Death Valley. If Clemson is going to be challenged at all, it will be in their Week 2 and 3 matchups against Texas A&M and Syracuse.
Ohio State has a new head coach and quarterback, but the Buckeyes remain the most talented team in the Big Ten, and hold a slight odds edge over Michigan and Oklahoma for the No. 4 seed. They’ll breeze past Florida Atlantic as 27.5-point favorites in Week 1, and are unlikely to be tested until they hit the teeth of their conference slate in late September.
CFP Semifinal 2: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 3 Georgia
Before Alabama-Clemson Part V, we could have Alabama-Georgia Part III. The conference rivals are both strong odds choices to return to the playoff again this season, even if they meet beforehand in the SEC Championship Game.
While the Crimson Tide might get a moderate test in its opener in Atlanta from 33.5-point underdog Duke, LSU and Auburn remain the only real land mines on their schedule. The Bulldogs are 21-point favorites at SEC foe Vanderbilt, but their first real challenge comes in Week 4 against Notre Dame.
Sugar Bowl: LSU vs. Oklahoma
Conference tie-ins dominate the non-CFP New Year’s Six bowls, a holdover from the days when league champions were committed to those games well beforehand. The Sugar gets the best SEC and Big 12 teams not in the playoff, which right now sets up as a nice matchup between the Tigers and Sooners.
LSU should roll in its opener against 27.5-point underdog Georgia Southern, while Oklahoma and new QB Jalen Hurts could get a test from 26-point underdog Houston. Should Oklahoma steal the No. 4 CFP seed, Texas would end up in New Orleans.
Rose Bowl: Michigan vs. Washington
Another game with a traditional matchup, pitting the best Big Ten and Pac-12 teams not in the playoff, which right now means the Wolverines and Huskies. Neither team will be stressed in the opener, with Michigan a 21.5-point favorite over Tulsa, and the Huskies’ game against FCS Eastern Washington not on the board.
But this matchup is hardly set: Michigan could grab a CFP bid and send Ohio State to Pasadena should the Wolverines win their rivalry game, and the Huskies are in a toss-up with Oregon and Utah (all with +300 odds) to win the Pac-12 title.
Orange Bowl: Miami vs. Notre Dame
Another conference tie-in, this time with the weak ACC, could send Miami to the Orange — the Hurricanes have the second-best odds to win the league behind Clemson, though at a distant +1600. The Orange gets to pick a team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame, making the Irish the likely opponent in a Catholics vs. Convicts redux.
Notre Dame should have no problem with 20.5-point underdog Louisville in its opener, while the Hurricanes face a real tussle against 7-point favorite Florida. But since conference standings will determine the ACC entrant, the opener will have little effect on Miami’s Orange Bowl hopes.
Cotton Bowl: Oregon vs. Central Florida
No conference affiliations here. The Cotton pits two at-large teams, and the projected matchup could change week-to-week. One team is likely to be the best from the Group of Five (read: non-power conference team), which gets into a New Year’s Six bowl if it doesn’t make the playoff. The leading candidate now is UCF, whose opener against FCS Florida A&M is off the board.
Still, the Knights will need to be near-perfect all season to get to Arlington. The best Power Five squad still on the board may be Oregon, one of those Pac-12 tri-favorites, whose Cotton hopes could end with a loss in Week 1 against 3-point favorite Auburn.