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2014 College Football Championship Odds (and Some Picks to Click)

July 24, 2014

It’s (finally) time for a new era of college football. The traditional bowls are still there, but now we finally have some sort of playoff system. That will change the landscape of college football, and that’s a good thing. The system isn’t perfect but it is better than the 1-game nonsense we’ve had for so long. When betting on a team to win it all, remember that your team will need to win 1 extra game this year (4-team playoff, 2 rounds). Speaking of picking a team to win it all, let’s take a look at the most current 2014 college football futures odds:

Florida State 5/1
Alabama 6/1
Oregon 8/1
Auburn 9/1
Ohio State 10/1
Oklahoma 12/1
UCLA 16/1
LSU 18/1
Georgia 20/1
Michigan State 20/1
Baylor 28/1
South Carolina 28/1
Stanford 28/1
USC 33/1
Wisconsin 33/1
Florida 40/1
Michigan 40/1
Mississippi 40/1
Notre Dame 40/1
Texas 40/1
Arizona State 66/1
Clemson 66/1
Missouri 66/1
Texas A&M 66/1
Miami 75/1
Nebraska 75/1
Oklahoma State 75/1
Arizona 100/1
Iowa 100/1
Kansas State 100/1
North Carolina 100/1
Tennessee 100/1
Texas Tech 100/1
Washington 100/1
BYU 150/1
Mississippi State 150/1
Virginia Tech 150/1
Oregon State 200/1
Cincinnati 250/1
Louisville 250/1
West Virginia 250/1
Arkansas 300/1
TCU 300/1
Boise State 500/1
Boston College 500/1
California 500/1
Georgia Tech 500/1
Pittsburgh 500/1
South Florida 500/1
UCF 500/1
Rutgers 1000/1

The favorite to win the national title is the defending champs – Florida State. The Seminoles not only return the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. They also have a championship-caliber defense coming back. Taking a look at Florida State’s schedule, overall, it’s fairly light. They begin the season on a neutral field against Oklahoma State. The Cowboys have a great program but FSU should handle them. Looking at FSU’s remaining schedule, only Notre Dame, Clemson and Miami will stand in their way of getting to the College Football Playoff.


The other favorites…

Alabama is, as always, a national title contender. The Crimson Tide have a very soft overall schedule despite playing in the SEC. The non-conference slate should be a cakewalk. Georgia and South Carolina aren’t on the conference schedule. Alabama is talented in most areas but they are breaking in a new quarterback, so that could scare you away.

Oregon is an interesting team. On paper, they look like a contender. But they always seem to have one tough loss preventing them from a national title berth. Maybe the new College Football Playoff will help a team like Oregon because now they can afford a tough loss. Oregon will go as far as quarterback Marcus Mariotta takes them. It’s as simple as that.

Auburn lost to Florida State in the championship game last year and appear to be in contention again. But now they are the team others will be gunning for. Last year, they came out of nowhere. Auburn is 9/1 this year…50/1 last year. Quite the drastic change. Ohio State and Oklahoma both have fairly weak schedules. Oklahoma is coming off a big Sugar Bowl victory over Alabama. Many thought OU was falling apart before that win. With most of their key players back, OU at 12/1 with a favorable schedule is a good value pick.

My concern with Ohio State is the loss of Carlos Hyde at running back means Braxton Miller is now the only proven runner, and he’s the quarterback. Miller, a very talented dual-threat QB, is injury-prone. But Ohio State does have a weak schedule. But can they get past Michigan State this year?

BEST VALUE PICK: Michigan State (20/1)