The College Football Playoff National Championship game will be held on Jan. 9, 2023 at SoFi Stadium in Los Angeles. This year, the two semifinal games are the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl, which will be held on Dec. 31, 2022. Below, we’ll look at National Championship odds and lay out our College Football Playoff picks for the upcoming season.
2024 College Football National Championship Odds
How To Bet On College Football Playoff
Most major sportsbooks offer futures odds on the National Championship. Alabama is an unsurprising favorite followed by defending champion Georgia and ever-relevant Ohio State.
College football is scarce. Its 12-game regular season format causes massive fluctuations in championship odds as just one loss contextually is enough to remove a team from the conversation entirely. Conversely, some teams are inherently going to suffer from conference prestige in title odds. For example, despite going undefeated in 2017, UCF went undefeated and was not selected for the CFP. Group of Five teams will naturally have longer odds and those odds likely won’t shorten much during the season.
2024 College Football Playoff Schedule
The College Football Playoff consists of three games, with two of the New Year’s Six bowl games alternating as semifinal venues each year. This time around, the two semifinal games are the Cotton Bowl (Arlington, Texas) and the Orange Bowl (Miami, Florida), with the CFP National Championship game taking place in Indianapolis. Below is the schedule:
- Peach Bowl (Mercedez-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, Ga.): Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022
- Fiesta Bowl (State Farm Stadium, Glendale, Ari.): Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022
- National Championship (SoFi Stadium, Inglewood, Calif.): Monday, Jan. 9, 2023
Where Can You Bet On The CFP?
College Football Playoff Betting Trends
Unfortunately, CFP semifinal games haven’t always been the nail-biting thrill rides we hoped for. The average point margin in 16 semifinal games thus far is around 21 points and only three games have presented tense endings. Conversely, three National Championship Games have been drawn within one score. The past four title games haven’t been as competitive, with the average point margin being 22 points.
Alabama and Clemson are frequent participants of the CFP and have typically covered their point spread, as those two teams are 8-3 against the spread in the semifinals (when not facing each other). The Over is also 7-9 in the 16 matchups so far, with six games failing to score 40 total points.
The CFP continues to be at the center of criticism for its seeming predictability and for good reason. Alabama or Clemson have won five of eight CFP title games, including four straight between 2015 and 2019. Further, either team has appeared in all but the first CFP National Championship Game.
Finally, no preseason AP No. 1 team has won a CFP National Championship since its inception.
College Football Playoff Betting Strategy
The small historical sample of the playoff states that one of two teams are likely to reach the title game, with a less– but still high– chance of one of them winning. Those teams would be Alabama and Clemson. As mentioned, history will also tell you to write off the preseason AP No. 1 team.
Ultimately, college football comes down to a small handful of factors: Coaching, quarterback talent, and defense. Alabama has won six national championships under Nick Saban because he is one of the best coaches of all time. LSU won the title in 2019 because they had the most prolific quarterback season ever. Clemson upended Alabama in the 2018 title game because their defense stifled the Tide to 16 points.
Once we reach the CFP Semifinals on New Year’s Eve, bettors should keep two things in mind: One is that favorites tend to win these games and have gone 16-7 straight up in the eight seasons since the playoff was implemented. With that said, favorites are just 12-11 against the spread, meaning many of these games are closer than expected.