CFP Championship Odds: 2021 Mid-Season Betting Guide

All CFP Championship odds listed are as of 10/27/2021.

We’re a little over halfway into the 2021 college football season, which means we have a solid understanding of teams’ strengths and weaknesses. This makes now a great time to revisit and look for value in the national championship futures.

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Here’s a look at the odds for several of the remaining contenders as well as each program’s strengths and the challenges they’ll have to overcome to be victorious on January 10 in Indianapolis.

Georgia +120

Why it’s a good bet: This year’s UGA defense could be in the conversation for best-ever—through seven games, the Dawgs have allowed just five touchdowns and an incomprehensible 6.6 points per game. Even if Georgia were to lose the SEC Championship against (likely) Alabama, they would probably still make it into the CFP with one loss.

Bad bet: There’s an outside chance that if enough of the other contenders run the table, and with a horrid loss in the SEC Championship to a one-loss SEC West champ, Georgia could slip outside the committee’s chosen four. Still, the Dawgs somewhere in the CFP is as sure a thing as there is this year, which is reflected in their shorter CFP championship odds.

Alabama +240

Good bet: They’re Alabama. The Tide’s offense is second only to Ohio State in ESPN’s SP+ metric and has scored less than 35 points in just one game this season. Also equipped with a stout run defense, an SEC title-matchup with Georgia might force the run-first Bulldogs to do something they’re uncomfortable with—throwing the football.

Bad bet: But this isn’t your slightly older brother’s Alabama—this squad has its flaws including a leakier-than-usual pass defense. Saban’s group also still has to face a suddenly competent Auburn and (most likely) a Georgia team with a defense that’s currently performing better than 2011 Bama’s.

Ohio State +500

Good: After a slow start, the diesel engine that is Ohio State is now humming and plowing through everyone in front of them. The Buckeyes lead the nation in scoring offense (49.3 ppg) and the defense hasn’t surrendered over 20 points since the second week of the season.

Bad: The freshman duo of CJ Stroud and TreVeyon Henderson are just that—freshmen who have yet to play in a truly massive game. The three-game gauntlet of Michigan State, at Michigan, and the B1G Championship could be a tall ask, as just one more loss would likely eliminate Ohio State from title contention.

Oklahoma +1200

Good: Despite their stumbles and a mid-season QB controversy, there just doesn’t seem to be enough trouble on OU’s remaining schedule to hand them the two losses that would “officially” knock them out of the CFP race.

Bad: The Sooners just seem to actively look for ways to lose games. Five of their wins have come by a touchdown or less, and Oklahoma couldn’t put away hapless Kansas until late in the 4th quarter. Math says consistently failing to put away these coin flip games will eventually end up costing them, be it through losses or falling out of favor with the committee.

Cincinnati +2500

Good: Of the remaining undefeated and one-loss teams, Cincinnati has the third-highest likelihood (43%, behind only Georgia and Bama) of winning their remaining regular-season games according to Brian Fremeau’s efficiency ratings. If even just one or two of the other teams on this list pick up another loss, the current public sentiment feels like the Bearcats would make it into the final four.

Bad: A non-Power 5 team has still yet to make it into the CFP, and Cincinnati’s too-close-for-comfort wins against Indiana and Navy could be costly come resume judgment day. Though the Bearcats still have the Notre Dame away win in their cap, the only opportunity for another remotely signature win is SMU on Nov. 20 (granted the Mustangs are also currently undefeated).

CFP Championship Odds, Numbers 6-10

Michigan +3500, Oregon +5000, Michigan State +5000, Iowa +6600, Notre Dame +8000

Of the five schools with the next-best betting odds, three of them already have one loss while the other two (Michigan and Michigan State) still have to play each other and Ohio State. A chaotic finish to the season could possibly see one of these teams eke into the playoff, but so far none of them have shown to be championship-caliber quality.