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With no more than four regular-season games left in each college football team’s regular season, the 2019 season is officially on its home stretch, and the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture is starting to take shape. Just as when the season began at the start of September, Alabama and Clemson have the best odds to win the title but are now joined by an unsuspecting third. The Ohio State Buckeyes, who started the season at +1800, have been putting up video game-like numbers all season and now find themselves the current number one in the official CFP rankings. The LSU Tigers are another unsuspecting addition to the teams with the top odds, beginning the season at +2000 to bring home the title. With less than a month to go, let’s take a deeper dive to see where the best value lies.
What Are the Odds?
These odds were taken from FanDuel Sportsbook on November 8, 2019
|Alabama Crimson Tide||+250|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||+250|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||+4000|
|Oregon Ducks & Utah Utes||+5000|
Best Bet for a National Championship?
Georgia Bulldogs +1800
The Bulldogs opened the season at +700 odds to win the National Championship and find themselves with four games remaining still very much in control of their own destiny. The Bulldogs also have one of the better resumes left of the top five teams, with marquee wins over the Florida Gators (10th in the CFP rankings) and Notre Dame Fighting Irish (15th). Outside of Ohio State, Georgia additionally has the best defense of the teams still in contention and by far the best in the SEC. Through eight games, Georgia ranks fourth in the FBS allowing just 11.4 points per game and are eighth in yards allowed at 268.5.
Looking at the remaining schedule, they should be a minimum of seven-point favorites in all of their regular-season games, with their toughest test coming on the road at Auburn next week. If the Bulldogs can run that gauntlet, they will set themselves up in yet another SEC Championship Game, which will once again likely be a play-in game to the College Football Playoff. Outside of a bizarre performance from the entire Georgia team in early October against South Carolina, junior quarterback Jake Fromm has once again turned in a strong season. Through eight games, he has thrown for 1,685 yards, 11 touchdowns, and three interceptions (all vs. South Carolina), while throwing for a completion percentage of 70.1%.
When examining the teams ahead and just behind the Bulldogs in the National Championship future market, all but Clemson is at risk of cannibalizing themselves. Assuming Ohio State continues to roll through its remaining schedule, which is not guaranteed with Penn State and a potential Big Ten Championship game looming, that leaves two guaranteed spots for the SEC. While LSU’s offense has been impressive and you can never discount Nick Saban, I love the value the best defense and most experienced quarterback in the conversation (Georgia) provides.