College Football Playoff Odds: Lines, Spreads, Betting Trends for Semifinal Games

College Football Playoff odds for the semifinals are on the board and getting attention, even as debate rages over the four participants. Michigan nabbed the No. 1 ranking and a meeting with No. 4 Alabama in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day. No. 2 Washington then faces No. 3 Texas in the Sugar Bowl.

Here’s everything you need to know about College Football Playoff odds for the semis: opening lines, spreads and betting trends for each game, as multiple oddsmakers provide insights on CFP odds and action. Check back regularly for updates and use our new ESPN BET bonus code VIBONUS to get the most out of your action.

College Football Playoff Odds for Semifinals

No. 3 Texas vs No. 2 Washington Odds

Michael Penix and No. 2 Washington are underdogs vs. No. 3 Texas. (Getty)
Matchup Spread Total Moneyline
  • Opening point spread: Texas -4.5
  • Opening moneyline: Texas -190/Washington +170
  • Opening total: Over/Under 62.5 points scored
  • Time: 8:45 p.m. Monday, Jan. 1 (ESPN)

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET MONDAY, JAN. 1: A few hours before kickoff, Texas is down to -3.5 (-115) at BetMGM. Back on Dec. 3, the Longhorns opened -4.5 (-105), then moved to -4 on Dec. 5. The number stuck there until dipping to Texas -3.5 (-115) Saturday, but it then rebounded to -4.5 (-105) Sunday.

Underdog Washington is landing 58% of spread tickets/56% of spread cash. Moneyline betting is more pronounced, with 77% of tickets/68% of money on the Huskies.

"Not much new on Texas-Washington. It's still looking like we'll need Texas to cover -4," Magee said.

BetMGM's total opened at 62.5 and quickly got to 64.5 on Dec. 3. On Dec. 16, it fell back to 63. Wednesday brought a move up to 63.5, but this morning, the total returned to 62.5. All that noted, the Over is attracting 63% of tickets/79% of money.

UPDATE 4 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 29: Texas is -4 (-115) at Caesars in the second semifinal. That's where the Longhorns opened, and early in the month, the line made a couple trips to Texas -4.5. But it's been stuck on Texas -4, either flat or -115, since Dec. 6.

"There's not too much interest in Texas-Washington so far," Feazel said, noting that comparatively, Alabama-Michigan is sucking up the oxygen. "But I'm sure that'll change as we get closer to Monday's kickoff."

Feazel envisions a scenario in which Washington does what it did often this season: Keep the game close and find a way to win.

"I wouldn't be surprised if we see that in this game," he said. "Texas is better on paper, on both sides of the ball. But Washington has great players, including Michael Penix Jr. The Huskies are always gonna be in games. They're well-coached."

Like the spread, Caesars' total has operated in a small window. The total opened at 64, touched 64.5 for a few hours on Dec. 4, then returned to 64. On Dec. 18, the number dipped to 63.5, and it hasn't moved since.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 22: Probably no surprise, but by ticket count, this is the No. 2 most-bet bowl game at BetMGM. Washington is taking the second-most spread tickets and third-most spread dollars.

Since Dec. 12 at BetMGM (see below update), there's been no spread movement. Texas remains 4-point chalk, and Washington is landing 63% of spread bets/60% of spread money. And as on Dec. 12, the moneyline is tilted toward the Huskies, at 82% of tickets/81% of money.

The total has moved over the past week and a half. On Saturday, BetMGM fell back from 64.5 to 63. So it's almost back to the 62.5 opener of Dec. 3. That noted, tickets and money remain in the 3/1 range on the Over.

UPDATE MIDNIGHT ET TUESDAY, DEC. 12: Texas opened -4.5 in BetMGM's College Football Playoff odds semifinals market, on Dec. 3. The line saw a couple of juice adjustments, to -4.5 (-105), then back to -4.5 flat, before falling to -4 on Dec. 5.

Underdog Washington is netting 65% of early spread tickets/60% of early spread money. Moneyline action is more tilted toward the Huskies, at 83% of tickets/79% of cash.

After opening at 62.5, the total has been painted to 64.5 at BetMGM since late on Dec. 3. Tickets and money are 3/1-plus on the Over.

UPDATE 1:30 P.M. ET SUNDAY, DEC. 3: Washington (13-0 SU/7-5-1 ATS) was a 9.5-point underdog vs. Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game. The Ducks advancing to the CFP and Bo Nix winning the Heisman Trophy were considered highly likely.

However, the Huskies jumped out to a 10-0 first-quarter lead and were up 20-3 late in the first half. Ultimately, Washington had to overcome Oregon's comeback bid – the Huskies trailed 24-20 late in the third quarter – but came away with a 34-31 victory.

Texas (12-1 SU/7-6 ATS) pretty much had to get into the CFP if Alabama got in, because the Longhorns went on the road and beat the Tide 34-24 in Week 2. In Saturday's Big 12 championship game, Texas drubbed Oklahoma State 49-21 laying 14.5 points.

The SuperBook opened Texas a 4.5-point favorite vs. Washington in the Sugar Bowl.

"Washington just hasn't gotten a lot of respect in the market or from bettors. Texas is a very public team, and let's face it, Texas is rolling right now," Murray said. "But the Pac-12 had a terrific season. I don't think the Big 12 was that great this year. This will be an interesting game, and we've knocked this line down to 4."

In-Progress Games for College Football Playoff

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Completed Games for College Football Playoff

No. 4 Alabama vs No. 1 Michigan Odds

Jim Harbaugh and J.J. McCarthy face a tough challenge vs. Alabama. (Getty)
Matchup Spread Total Moneyline
  • Opening point spread: Michigan -2.5
  • Opening moneyline: Michigan -135/Alabama +115
  • Opening total: Over/Under 45.5 points scored
  • Time: 5 p.m. ET Monday, Jan. 1 (ESPN)

UPDATE 2 P.M. ET MONDAY, JAN. 1: Three hours pre-kick, Michigan has advanced to -2.5 in BetMGM's College Football Playoff semifinal odds market. That's up a point from the -1.5 flat/-1.5 (-115) the line has been at since Dec. 7.

The Wolverines opened -1.5 Dec. 3. and hit a low of -1 on Dec. 5.

Alabama is taking 61% of spread bets/60% of spread money. In addition, 68% of moneyline bets/57% of moneyline dollars are on the Crimson Tide. Plus, BetMGM has significant championship futures liability to 'Bama, largely driven by a $205,500 Tide +600 bet made during the preseason. That bet alone would pay out $1.233 million.

"We took some sharp bets today on Michigan, so we're currently sitting -2.5 Michigan," BetMGM trader Seamus Magee said. "However, it's still really heavy 'Bama money coming in. We're definitely rooting for Michigan to knock 'Bama out of our futures liability, and in the win-the-game book, as well."

The total opened at 45.5 and is currently 45.5. It topped out at 46.5 on Dec. 4, hit a low of 44.5 on Dec. 19, went to 45 Thursday and 45.5 Sunday. Ticket count is almost 5/1 and money 8/1 on the Over.

UPDATE 4 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 29: Three days ahead of kickoff, Michigan is laying 1.5 points in Caesars Sports' CFP semifinal odds market. That matches the Dec. 3 opening number, but there have been a few stops in between. Among them: a high point of Wolverines -2 on Dec. 4 and a low point of pick 'em on Dec. 13.

"We've taken a lot of Alabama action," Caesars lead college football trader Joey Feazel said. "We tested the waters by going to pick 'em. We wanted to see if a sharp thought there was value on Michigan at pick 'em, and they did.

"Within a couple hours, we took a pretty sharp wager on Michigan for $79,000. So we went back to Michigan -1.5."

Even with that bet, Rose Bowl action at Caesars is pretty tilted toward Alabama. But it's well-bet game overall, as well.

"Right now, there's a lot of action on the Rose Bowl. And it makes sense, because these are the two best teams, in our eyes," Feazel said.

Feazel added that Caesars has significant liability to Alabama and Washington in the championship futures market.

The total opened at 46, spent the early part of the month at 45.5 and has been at 45 since Dec. 13.

UPDATE 4:30 P.M. ET FRIDAY, DEC. 22: This matchup, by ticket count, continues to be the most-bet bowl matchup at BetMGM. Part and parcel to that, Alabama is No. 1 in spread tickets and spread money at BetMGM.

Since Dec. 12 at BetMGM (see below update), there's been no spread movement in the College Football Playoff semifinal odds market. Michigan remains -1.5, while tickets and money run about 2/1 on Alabama. So the Wolverines have cut into the advantage slightly; on Dec. 12, it was 2.5/1-plus tickets and 3/1 money on 'Bama.

The Crimson Tide's moneyline advantage has also shortened, but is still significant. Tickets are 4/1 and money 5/1 on Alabama to win outright.

From Dec. 5-Tuesday, the total was nailed to 45.5. On Tuesday, it dipped to 44.5. Still, BetMGM is seeing ticket count of almost 3/1 and money of 2.5/1 on the Over.

UPDATE MIDNIGHT ET TUESDAY, DEC. 12: On Dec. 3, once the matchups were announced, BetMGM opened Michigan -2.5 in its College Football Playoff semifinal odds market. By day's end, Michigan dropped to -1.5, then went to -1 on Dec. 5.

The line returned to Wolverines -1.5 on Dec. 7 and hasn't moved since. Spread ticket count is beyond 2.5/1 and spread money 3/1 on Alabama. Further, moneyline tickets are running 6/1 and moneyline dollars 9/1 on Alabama.

In fact, by ticket count at BetMGM, Alabama is taking three times more spread/moneyline bets than any of the other three CFP semifinalists.

The total opened at 45.5, went to 46.5 Dec. 4 and back to 45.5 Dec. 5. There's been no movement since, with the Over getting 69% of tickets/59% of money.

UPDATE 1:30 P.M. ET SUNDAY, DEC. 3: Michigan (13-0 SU/7-5-1 ATS) had little trouble with Iowa in the Big Ten championship game. The Wolverines rolled 26-0 as 21.5-point favorites and in turn landed the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff.

In the Jan. 1 Rose Bowl, the first of games on the College Football Playoff semifinal odds board, Michigan will meet No. 4 Alabama.

The Crimson Tide (12-1 SU/9-4 ATS) edged out unbeaten Florida State for the final CFP slot. In Saturday's SEC title game, Alabama held off Georgia 27-24 as a 5.5-point underdog in the SEC title game.

The SuperBook opened Michigan -2.5 in the College Football Playoff odds for the semifinals.

"Michigan has been considered better than Alabama all season. You've got to favor Michigan ins this game. But the number had to come down a little bit, because Alabama beat Georgia," SuperBook executive director John Murray said this afternoon. "This line is exactly where I think it should be. Michigan will never say this, but you know they wanted to get Florida State instead of Alabama."

Indeed, Murray said the Wolverines would've been close to 10-point favorites against the Seminoles. Instead, oddsmakers, bettors and fans get a great matchup, and at the Rose Bowl, no less. The line has already moved toward the underdog, too, with Michigan quickly shortening to -2.

"The Rose Bowl is always just an absolute monster for handle. So we're happy with that matchup," Murray said. "It sets up to be a much better playoff game for business. These are two extraordinarily public teams. Michigan-Alabama is a real jewel for us."

Murray added The SuperBook does well to Michigan and 'Bama in College Football Playoff championship futures odds. And he has no issue with the Crimson Tide getting in over Florida State.

"You can't really have a College Football Playoff, the national championship of college football, if the SEC is not included. The SEC wins this every year," Murray said.

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