Top Ranked Sportsbooks

What If They Played Right Now? Point Spreads for the Best NCAAF Teams

October 14, 2021
What is lines for top college football teams

After the Week 6 shakeup to the AP Top 25, we wondered what if the best teams in the country just played each other right now? There’s little doubt which teams are the best in the nation. Georgia, the new No. 1 after Alabama’s loss to Texas A&M, is clearly one of the best. The Bulldogs have the nation’s best defense and the offense is experienced and efficient. 

Despite its loss to the Aggies, the Crimson Tide is still a top tier team in the nation. Iowa, with its win over a previously fourth-ranked Penn State, falls into the top four or five teams in the country as do Oklahoma and Group of 5 power Cincinnati. 

The rest of the nation? Maybe you can make an argument for Ohio State, but C.J. Stroud is no Justin Fields. Michigan? Solid defense and outstanding running game, but the Wolverines do not have an elite quarterback. Michigan State is in the same boat and Kentucky (6-0) and Oklahoma State (5-0) still have a number of tough games to play. 

So, what if they best five teams in the country just played now? Here’s what the lines might look like.

Bearcat Nation

Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell hit it at the right time. His Bearcats are 6-0 with a pair of big wins over Power 5 schools – Indiana and Notre Dame. Cincy’s remaining schedule is in the American Athletic Conference and only SMU, No. 23, is ranked. Still, you have to like Cincy in the College Football Playoff if they win out and win the AAC title game. 

The Bearcats would match up best against Iowa, a team built similarly. Both teams are outstanding on defense, committed to running the football, and have a quarterback that can make the difference in the passing game. The line on Iowa-Cincinnati would likely look like this:

Iowa (-1) vs. Cincinnati

You have to like the Bearcats as an underdog. Cincy has the more athletic quarterback in Desmond Ridder and that could make all the difference in this matchup. While Ridder could be the difference against the Hawkeyes, he would find it much tougher against Georgia and Alabama.

Georgia (-7.5) vs. Cincinnati

Alabama (-5.5) vs. Cincinnati

The Bearcats are certainly worthy of the CFP, but they just do not have the rosters of either Georgia or Alabama. You still have to love Cincy as an underdog, but maybe not as much as against Iowa.

Boomer Sooner

With their dramatic win over Texas last week, the Sooners appeared to have what it takes to play for a national title. Caleb Williams proved he might be ready to take over the offense now from Spencer Rattler. 

Regardless, the Sooners ran for over 300 yards and passed for over 300 against Texas. The offense is outstanding. How would Oklahoma fare against Georgia?

Georgia (-6.5) vs. Oklahoma

That’s how. The Sooners would be a 6.5-point underdog to the best defense in America. The Bulldogs have seen it all and Lincoln Riley’s Air Raid would likely struggle against a defense that allows just 201.2 yards and 5.5 points per game.

Taking on Alabama would be much the same, though the Crimson Tide defense isn’t as strong as Georgia’s. Oklahoma would still find itself an underdog to Nick Saban’s team.

Alabama (-4.5) vs. Oklahoma

Oklahoma’s defense does fairly well against the run (91 ypg), but they still find a way to give up nearly 24 points per game. The Sooners would have a very difficult time slowing down the machine that is Alabama’s offense. The Tide averages 44.3 points per game.

The Sooners most advantageous matchup would be against Iowa. The Hawkeyes are a run-first offense and have a defense that has not given up more than 24 points in a single game since 2017. 

Oklahoma (Pick ‘em) vs. Iowa

The line on the Sooners and Hawkeyes would be a pick ‘em. It’s the result of Oklahoma’s outstanding offense and the Hawkeyes equally astounding defense. The difference in the game would come down to QB Spencer Petras and the Hawkeyes offense against the Oklahoma defense.

~ Click here to see the very top ranked sportsbooks ~

Speaking of the Hawkeyes

Could Iowa really beat Georgia or Alabama? There’s always the possibility, and it would be reflected in the lines for both games. Iowa would be an underdog no matter which team they played.

Georgia (-7) vs. Iowa

Alabama (-5) vs. Iowa

Both lines are interesting. With two defenses like Georgia’s and Iowa’s – the Hawkeyes rank fourth in the country in scoring defense allowing 13.0 points per game – it’s surprising that the Bulldogs would be favored by a touchdown. Iowa would need its offense to step up.

Against Alabama, the question would be if the Hawkeyes could extend their streak of not allowing more than 24 points in a game. If the Tide came anywhere close to its season scoring average, it’s hard to imagine Iowa keeping it close. However, Iowa does average 31.5 points per game.

Reality Check

Whether you like Alabama or wish they would just go away, the Crimson Tide is still one of the best teams in the country. Yes, Texas A&M jumped all over them and then Alabama fought back only to lose in the end. 

The reality of it all is this. If Alabama and Georgia win out, they will meet for the SEC title. A Crimson Tide win in that game likely puts both teams in the CFP, but what if they just played now?

Georgia (-2) vs. Alabama

If they played now, the Bulldogs would be a slight favorite. That would put some serious value on Alabama as an underdog. Alabama and Georgia have played each other six times since 2008. The Crimson Tide has won all six games, including last year’s No. 2-No. 3 matchup. ‘Bama won 41-24.