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College Playoff Props

The Bowl Championship Series (BCS) has finally come to a close as the college football championship. Replacing the BCS is the College Football Playoff, which will feature a four-team playoff system.

This format will start this season with two semifinal games:

Playoff Semifinal - 1
Rose Bowl, Pasadena, California (Jan. 1, 2015)

Playoff Semifinal - 2
Sugar Bowl, New Orleans, Louisiana (Jan. 1, 2015)

The winners will then meet 10 days later in the championship:

College Football Championship Game
AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas (Jan. 12, 2015)

Even though we’re far removed from August, our friends at 5Dimes.eu have already started getting ready for the new format. The major offshore outfit has offered up College Football Playoff Props on five schools that are widely considered contenders.

My early predictions and prop thoughts on each team are listed below.

College Football Playoff Props (Odds provided by 5Dimes.eu)
 
Florida State
Florida State makes 4 team playoff -350 (Bet $350 to win $100) 
Not selected for 4 team playoff +250 (Bet $100 to win $250)

2014 Schedule and Projections
8/30 vs. Oklahoma State (from Arlington, Texas) - WIN
9/6 vs. THE CITADEL - WIN
9/20 vs. CLEMSON - WIN
9/27 at North Carolina State - WIN
10/4 vs. WAKE FOREST  - WIN
10/11 at Syracuse  - WIN
10/18 vs. NOTRE DAME - WIN
10/30 at Louisville (Thursday) - WIN
11/8 vs. VIRGINIA - WIN
11/15 at Miami, Fl. - LOSS
11/22 vs. BOSTON COLLEGE  - WIN
11/29 vs. FLORIDA - WIN
 
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Betting Notes:
For this prop, I believe the 5/2 odds are generous. I believe Florida State will go 11-1 and play in the ACC Championship. However, I feel that the one loss will come late in the season at Miami and it will drop the Seminoles in the rankings. Even if they win the ACC, I believe the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC and an at-large team would beat them out for one of the four spots. Will Jameis Winston stay healthy? If he doesn't, then all of a sudden several games marked as wins could go differently. The last time FSU went to Louisville on a Thursday night, it came home with a loss. Even home games against Florida and Clemson would be interesting if Winston isn't 100-percent healthy. No for a 5/2 return is the way to go.
 
Alabama
Alabama makes 4 team playoff -135 (Bet $135 to win $100)                                         
Not selected for 4 team playoff -105 (Bet $105 to win $100)
 
2014 Schedule and Projections
8/30 vs. West Virginia (from Atlanta, Georgia) - WIN
9/6 vs. FLORIDA ATLANTIC - WIN
9/13 vs. SOUTHERN MISS - WIN
9/20 vs. FLORIDA - WIN
10/4 at Ole Miss - LOSS
10/11 at Arkansas - WIN
10/18 vs. TEXAS A&M - WIN
10/25 at Tennessee - WIN
11/8 at Louisiana State - LOSS
11/15 vs. MISSISSIPPI STATE - WIN
11/22 vs. WESTERN CAROLINA - WIN
11/29 vs. AUBURN - WIN        
 
Betting Notes: Without A.J. McCarron, Alabama will be breaking in an extremely inexperienced quarterback. That's not a good thing when the first true road game is in Oxford against a rising Ole Miss program that's played 'Bama tough in each of the last two meetings (both were in Tuscaloosa). The Crimson Tide probably doesn't make the SEC Championship Game with a 10-2 record and if it does, will it prevail at the Ga. Dome? And remember, we've marked wins next to tough games against Florida and Auburn. We did so because both matchups will take place at Bryant-Denny Stadium but if Alabama isn't getting quality quarterback play, who knows how those games might go? The play is for 'Bama NOT to make it at a -105 price.
                                 
Oregon  
Oregon makes 4 team playoff +125 (Bet $100 to win $125)                                          
Not selected for 4 team playoff -165 (Bet $165 to win $100)     
 
2014 Schedule and Projections
9/30 vs. SOUTH DAKOTA - WIN
9/6 vs. MICHIGAN STATE - WIN
9/13 vs. WYOMING - WIN
9/20 at Washington State - WIN
10/2 vs. ARIZONA (Thursday) - WIN
10/11 at UCLA - LOSS
10/18 vs. WASHINGTON - WIN
10/24 at California (from Santa Clara) (Friday) - WIN
11/1 vs. STANFORD - WIN
11/8 at Utah - WIN
11/22 vs. COLORADO - WIN
11/29 at Oregon State - WIN
 
Betting Notes: Oregon is fortunate to get Stanford, Washington and Michigan St. at home. The Ducks always seem to lose a late-season game they shouldn't, and that possibility certainly exists in road games at Utah and at Oregon St. The fact that the trip to Utah comes after a huge game against Stanford will help the Utes. Even if Oregon clears those obstacles, what sort of shape will it be in for the UCLA rematch a week after battling the Beavers in the Civil War? I'm going to say no to the Ducks, but I won't say it with the sort of confidence I need to lay a -165 price. Therefore, my recommendation is to pass.                  
 
Ohio State 
Ohio State makes 4 team playoff +140 (Bet $100 to win $140)                                    
Not selected for 4 team playoff -180 (Bet $180 to win $100)
 
2014 Schedule and Projections
8/30 at Navy (from Baltimore, Maryland) - WIN
9/6 vs. VIRGINIA TECH - WIN
9/13 vs. KENT STATE - WIN
9/27 vs. CINCINNATI - WIN
10/4 at Maryland - WIN
10/18 vs. RUTGERS - WIN
10/25 at Penn State - WIN
11/1 vs. ILLINOIS - WIN
11/8 at Michigan State - LOSS
11/15 at Minnesota - WIN
11/22 vs. INDIANA - WIN
11/29 vs. MICHIGAN - WIN
                                                
Betting Notes: With an entire off-season to lament a two-game losing streak, the thinking here is that Urban Meyer and his staff will have the Buckeyes geared up and ready for the 2014 campaign. Yet again, the schedule isn't overly daunting. Not playing Wisconsin certainly helps Ohio St.'s cause, as does getting Michigan at home. If the Spartans win their division, I think the rematch would favor the Buckeyes in revenge mode. Don't expect to see Ohio St. in the top five of my Power Rankings in August, but I have to go 'yes' to make the playoffs for a decent +140 payout.              
             
Oklahoma
Oklahoma makes 4 team playoff +150 (Bet $100 to win $150)                                     
Not selected for 4 team playoff -190 (Bet $190 to win $100)     
 
2014 Schedule and Projections
8/30 vs. LOUISIANA TECH - WIN
9/6 at Tulsa - WIN
9/13 vs. TENNESSEE - WIN
9/20 at West Virginia - WIN
10/4 at TCU - WIN
10/11 vs. Texas (from Dallas, Texas) - WIN
10/18 vs. KANSAS STATE - WIN
11/1 at Iowa State - WIN
11/8 vs. BAYLOR - WIN
11/15 at Texas Tech - WIN
11/22 vs. KANSAS - WIN
12/6 vs. OKLAHOMA STATE - WIN
 
Betting Notes: Of the props broken down in this piece, Oklahoma to make the playoffs for a +150 return is undoubtedly my favorite. The Sooners put their young talent on display at the Sugar Bowl and the result was a dominant win over a veteran Alabama squad that had won the two previous national titles. And there was nothing fluky about it and it can't be compared to Utah's win over 'Bama at the same venue early in Nick Saban's tenure. McCarron had his team ready to play, but it just got soundly beaten fair and square. Bob Stoops brings back a wealth of talent and knows that he has finally found his QB of the present and future. You will see OU in the top-five of my Power Rankings in August, and it might occupy the No. 1 slot. 




  
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