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College Football Playoff futures can offer some interesting betting options
Yahoo is partnering with The Action Network during the football season to bring you expert sports betting information and analysis.
The second College Football Playoff rankings come out Tuesday night, and ahead of it, PointsBet released odds on 11 different teams to make the national semifinals.
Three teams are way ahead of the pack and the only ones you have to lay money with: LSU (-800), Clemson (-700) and Ohio State (-400).
Georgia, Oklahoma, Alabama and Oregon come in after that. The situations are a little different for each -- UGA is in if it wins out, but Alabama will need some help from other teams and the committee because it now seems unlikely the Tide will play for an SEC title.
Let's dive in and see if there's any value on the board.
Odds via PointsBet, where Action Network users can access an exclusive promotion to get a 200 percent deposit match (deposit $50, bet with $150). No strings attached. No rollover required.
College Football Playoff odds
Any value on the board?
PointsBet only posted "YES" options to make the playoff. The value in futures markets can often be found on "NO" bets, but they're seldom offered.
The best and maybe only value on the board is Ohio State at -400. Based on our projected point spreads, which we can convert to moneylines here, the Buckeyes have a 79.6 percent chance of winning out.
But that doesn't account for the fact that a one-loss Ohio State could still get in, though it gets complicated depending on when the one loss comes. Several projection systems give Ohio State closer to a 90 percent chance to make the CFP.
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The same situation applies to LSU, sort of. Our point spreads give the Tigers a 57 percent chance of winning out assuming Georgia is the SEC title game opponent, but a one-loss Tigers team still has a really good chance to get in.
Just open parlay or roll over everything else
Instead of betting futures in a lot of cases, you can set up an open parlay with the team of your choosing and one or two open spots, or bet your team on the moneyline and then roll over your winnings to the next bet.
If you really like Baylor to make the College Football Playoff, take the Bears to beat Oklahoma straight-up this weekend. A $100 bet would pay $260.
The Bears would still need to get by Texas and Kansas to setup a possible rematch with Oklahoma, but the Bears could be +400 in that Big 12 championship game. Take your $260 and bet Baylor to win that game, and net more than $1,000. That's better than the +550 offered.
Same goes for Georgia. Set up a two-team parlay with the Georgia moneyline this weekend against Auburn, then one open spot that you'll use to take the Bulldogs against LSU in the SEC championship game. That parlay should pay around +350, better than the +175 being offered.
You can do this with most other teams that will be an underdog or close in at least one of their remaining games -- Penn State and Minnesota, especially.
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