The defending national champion Florida State Seminoles lead the way as 2-5 betting favorites to qualify for this season’s inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.
The new playoff format features four teams playing in two semi-final games, with the winners advancing to the national championship game. It replaces the controversial BCS championship, which relied exclusively on votes and was a perennial source of problems.
The Seminoles last season won their first national championship since 1999 on the strength of a perfect 14-0 season, and they enter 2014 as 4-1 favorites to repeat in college football future odds, according to shops monitored by Odds Shark.
Joining the Seminoles at the top of the College Football Playoff betting odds are the Alabama Crimson Tide. The top-ranked team in the nation through much of the 2013 season, Alabama was denied a berth in last season’s national championship game after a heartbreaking 34-28 overtime loss to the Auburn Tigers in the Iron Bowl.
However, the Crimson Tide enter the new season as 6-5 favorites to return to the top of the SEC and own 5-6 odds of qualifying for the College Football Playoff. Alabama are also the Seminoles’ closest rival to win the national championship, with betting odds of 5-1.
Despite their success in 2013, Auburn trails the favorites with 9-4 odds of qualifying for the final four. Indeed, the Tigers are heavily favored to miss the four-team playoff with odds of 2-7.
Auburn’s greatest obstacle in its battle for a top-four berth is conference rival Alabama. The Tigers trail the Crimson Tide in SEC championship betting, with odds of 9-2, and are 10-1 in national championship futures betting.
But just like last season, the battle for a berth in the SEC championship game—and a shot at a spot in the four-team playoff—may not be decided until Auburn and Alabama meet in the regular-season finale on November 29.
The Oregon Ducks and Oklahoma Sooners round out the list of top-four betting favorites to qualify.
The Ducks open their season with 6-5 odds of qualifying for the four-team playoff. Their solid College Football Playoff odds are in line with their position as EVEN money favorites to win the Pac-12 conference and 15-2 odds of winning the national championship.
After posting an 11-2 record, but falling short of a berth in last season’s Big 12 championship game, the Sooners are strong 4-5 college football betting favorites to win the Big 12 this season, and a 3-2 bet to qualify for the four-team playoff.
Odds and stats courtesy of Odds Shark.