The nature of college football is always controversial, as unlike any other sport the National Championship is based largely on opinion rather than on the field of play. College Football aimed to improve that, installing a new four-team playoff last season.
This year, we agree with the CFP committee in choosing Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State, and Oklahoma, as those were the four most deserving teams. However, being deserving is not the same as being the best. While Clemson is deserving of the #1 overall ranking and seeding, they are not the best team in the country and the online sportsbook obviously agree as the Tigers are an underdog against fourth-seeded Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl.
In fact, we don’t even think Clemson is among the FOUR best teams in the country, as we believe Ohio State is far superior based on the eye test. But as it stands, this game sets up as a trap line by the linesmaker, with many novice college football bettors grabbing the points with the top-ranked Tigers while more experienced bettors are laying the three points with Oklahoma.
What we don’t agree with is how the four teams were seeded. Oklahoma was given the #4 ranking but is arguably more deserving than both Michigan State and Alabama to be seeded higher. The Sooners look the best of the top four teams over the past month and have better wins than both the Spartans and Crimson Tide. In fact, Alabama is ranked second primarily because of their conference, but as we’ve touched on numerous times this season the SEC is vastly overrated and was not the best conference in the country this year.
Even on an international level, a korean sportsbook lists Alabama as a big 9.5 point favorite against Michigan State in the Cotton Bowl – already down a half-point from the opening number of -10. Crimson Tide have several question marks in their passing game, and they won’t be able to rely on their running attack against one of the best rush defenses in the country. We only need to go back a few weeks to MichiganState’s upset win at Ohio State to prove you need to throw the ball in order to beat the Spartans, and MSU is also equipped offensively to do some damage against Alabama’s secondary. Michigan State is only +300 on the moneyline – a low number considering this high point spread, which indicates an outright win by the Big Ten champions isn’t out of the question.