College Playoff Betting Notes

LSU made College Football Playoff Favorite

The final 2019 College Football Playoff rankings were announced on Sunday Dec. 8 at 12:15 p.m. ET and the semifinal matchups have been set for Saturday, Dec. 28, 2019.

Fiesta Bowl: (2) Ohio State vs. (3) Clemson
Peach Bowl: (1) LSU vs. (4) Oklahoma

LSU moved past Ohio State for the No. 1 position in the CFP, leaving the Buckeyes in the second slot. Rounding out the four-team field are Clemson at No. 3 and Oklahoma at No. 4.

College Football Playoff Betting History

Ed Orgeron and the LSU Tigers captured the SEC Championship with a dominating 37-10 win over Georgia and finished the season with a 13-0 record. This is the first CFP appearance for LSU.

Clemson and Ohio State also finished with 13-0 records, which included conference championship victories in the ACC and Big Ten respectively. This will be the fifth straight trip to the College Football Playoff for the Tigers, while Ohio State is making its third appearance and first since the 2016-17 Playoff.

Oklahoma has lost in the semifinals each of the last two seasons, and the defense gave up a combined 99 points in those setbacks. This will be their third straight appearance and fourth overall.

At the ends of the 2018-19 season, oddsmakers at the Las Vegas Westgate SuperBook released Future Odds to win the 2020 College Football Championship on Jan. 7, 2019.

Odds per Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook

School (Open) Current
  • LSU Tigers (50/1) 7/5
  • Clemson Tigers (7/2) 2/1
  • Ohio State Buckeyes (10/1) 3/1
  • Oklahoma Sooners (15/1) 16/1
LSU opened as a 50/1 betting choice to capture the title and now that the field has shrunk to four, the Tigers are the 7/5 favorites (Bet $100 to win $140).

The defending champion Clemson Tigers were a 7/2 choice back in January to repeat and they’re now listed at 2/1 odds.

Betch Didn't Know

The No. 1 seed, which would be LSU, has never won the College Football Playoff National Championship. The No. 3 seed is also winless and they have the worst overall record among the four seeds, going 1-4 in the first five playoffs since 2014.

The No. 2 seed has captured the title three times, which could have you leaning to Ohio State.

And, for those looking at the long shot ticket this season with Oklahoma. Make a note the No. 4 seed has gone 2-3 in semifinal matchups but the lowest seed has carried the momentum to the title game, producing a 2-0 record.

No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma

Matchup: Peach Bowl - History
Venue: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET

Opening Betting Odds

The SuperBook in Las Vegas opened LSU as a 9 ½-point favorite and the number was quickly bet up to -12. Some betting shops have gone to 12 ½ while the Circa in Las Vegas was holding the Tigers at -11.

The total (over/under) was sent out at 79 ½ and early ‘under’ wagers dropped the number to 76 ½. A few global books, including DraftKings, are holding 75 ½.

VegasInsider Expert Thoughts

Tony Mejia, college football expert of, provided his early betting observations on the Peach Bowl.

"This number looked awfully low to me even with the Sooners coming in with a healthy CeeDee Lamb and an experienced Jalen Hurts leading the charge in Atlanta. Likely Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow is playing at an extremely high level and figures to be able to move the ball at will down the field against the most vulnerable of the defenses to land a national semifinal spot. Oklahoma struggled to stop the run against Kansas State and surrendered huge plays downfield to both of Baylor’s quarterbacks in their narrow wins, so I’d expect this number to increase Dec. 28 approaches. The total being set at 77 is a slap in the face to a Tigers defense that will have weeks to fix issues that allowed elusive quarterbacks to make plays with their feet late in the season."

How They Got Here

LSU finished the season with 13-0 straight up and 8-4-1 against the spread record, which was topped off with a 37-10 win over Georgia in the SEC Championship as seven-point favorites.

The Tigers went 7-0 in Baton Rouge and 6-0 as visitors.

LSU was favored in 12 of 13 games this season and listed as a double-digit favorite nine times.

Oklahoma is the only team in this year’s CFP field with a blemish, finishing 12-1 overall. The Sooners also come in as the least profitable team of the quartet, producing a 5-8 ATS record.

This will be the first time this season that Oklahoma is listed as an underdog.

The Sooners were listed as double-digit underdogs last season in the College Playoff to Alabama (-14 ½) and the Crimson Tide ran past the Sooners 45-34 in the semifinal played at the Orange Bowl.

Oklahoma watched the ‘under’ go 8-5 and the low side closed the season with four consecutive winning tickets. LSU was 8-5 to the ‘over’ and that includes a 4-2 mark away from home.

Head-to-Head Matchups

These teams haven’t met since 2004 when they squared off in the Sugar Bowl, which was also the BCS National Championship Game. The Tigers captured a 21-14 win over the Sooners, led by then head coach Nick Saban.

College Playoff & Bowl Betting History

Going back to 2010, LSU has produced a 5-5 SU and 4-5-1 ATS mark in its last 10 postseason appearances.

The Tigers have won three of their last four bowl games and that includes a 2-1 mark under Ed Orgeron as head coach.

Oklahoma is also just 5-5 both SU and ATS in last 10 playoff or bowl games.

Three of those losses came in the College Football Playoff.

No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson

Matchup: Fiesta Bowl - History
Venue: State Farm Stadium
Location: Glendale, Arizona
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Opening Betting Odds

The SuperBook opened Ohio State -1 and the number has flip-flopped on this matchup. Clemson is currently -2 ½ in Las Vegas and a few books are holding the Tigers -1.

The total (over/under) opened 61 ½ and was nudged up to 62 ½. The Circa opened a tad higher at 63 and that number has held steady at the downtown Las Vegas shop.

VegasInsider Expert Thoughts

Tony Mejia, college football expert of, provided his early betting observations on the Fiesta Bowl.

"The Buckeyes impressively rallied past Wisconsin but lost any hope of avoiding this matchup by falling behind in the manner they did to 16.5-point underdog. A major point of contention in this matchup is trusting the Tigers against what will be by far their toughest test of the season, but there’s no question that the Tigers are also the best team the Buckeyes have seen themselves. QB Justin Fields should be sufficiently healed from having to play with a brace over the past few weeks but Trevor Lawrence is one of the few guys you would rather have under center if given your choice in this matchup. The total is in the low 60s but still quite manageable given the firepower on both sides of the ball and no weather to worry about indoors in Glendale."

How They Got Here

Clemson went 13-0 straight up and 10-3 against the spread. The school went 8-0 at home and 5-0 outside of Death Valley, which included a 62-17 win over Virginia in the ACC Championship.

The Tigers were double-digit favorites in all 13 of their games and 12 of the outcomes were decided by double digits.

The only score for Clemson came in Week 5 when the Tigers escaped Chapel Hill with a 21-20 win over North Carolina.

Total bettors saw the ‘under’ go 7-6 for the Tigers.

Ohio State also went 13-0 SU and it produced a solid 9-4 ATS record for bettors. Similar to Clemson, the Buckeyes went 8-0 at home and 5-0 in games played outside of Columbus.

The Buckeyes failed to cover in three of their final four games, which included an ATS loss in their 34-21 comeback win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship as 17-point favorites.

This will be the first time this season that Ohio State is listed as an underdog.

Bettors saw Ohio State’s total results produce a stalemate (6-6-1) in its 13 games.

Head-to-Head Matchups

These schools met in 2016 College Football Playoffs and Clemson stifled Ohio State 31-0 as a one-point underdog. Coincidentally, the game was played at the same venue of this matchup – the Fiesta Bowl. The ‘under’ (56 ½) connected.

Clemson also defeated Ohio State 40-35 in the 2014 Orange Bowl and the Tigers were listed as short underdogs (+2 ½) in that game as well. The ‘over’ (71 ½) was on a nice pace and never in doubt.

College Playoff & Bowl Betting History

Clemson has gone 8-2 SU and 9-1 ATS in its last 10 postseason games, both losses coming to Alabama in the College Football Playoff.

Including those two setbacks, the Tigers have gone 5-2 overall in the College Football Playoff.

Ohio State has gone 7-3 SU and 6-4 ATS in its last 10 postseason games while the ‘under’ is 7-3 during this span.

The Buckeyes have gone 2-1 both SU and ATS in the College Football Playoff, both victories coming in the 2014-15 edition when they captured the national championship. OSU defeated Alabama in the semifinal before blasting Oregon on the title game.

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