College Football Poised to Write Exciting Final Chapter at Las Vegas Sportsbooks
Posted on: December 2, 2016, 05:00h.
Last updated on: December 2, 2016, 04:40h.
The college football regular season comes to a close tonight and tomorrow with six Division I conference championships on tap.
By late Saturday night, the all-important College Football Playoff (CFP) picture will hopefully be settled, at least that’s what the Selection Committee is hoping.
Alabama (12-0), Ohio State (11-1), Clemson (11-1), and Washington (11-1) currently make up the CFP bracket and are positioned to battle for the National Championship later this month.
But Michigan (10-2), Wisconsin (10-2), and Penn State (10-2) are all lingering outside looking in.
While 12 teams will battle for their respective conference championships this weekend, Ohio State and Michigan will be at home after Penn State’s surprising Big Ten East victory.
Should Alabama, Clemson, and Washington all win as they’re expected to do, the final College Football Playoff will likely involve the same four teams as it does today.
But of course, the unexpected is expected in college football, and Vegas is ready for the action.
Friday Happy Hour
In regards to the CFP, only four of the conference championships are expected to impact the bracket. The first is tonight’s Pac-12 Championship between #8 Colorado and #4 Washington.
The Huskies are favored by 8.5 points at Nevada sportsbooks.
With a win, Washington is expected to retain its playoff spot. Colorado, fresh off two straight wins over ranked opponents, will try and pull off the upset.
Saturday Main Course
College football fans can sleep in on Saturday, as the next game with playoff implications doesn’t begin until 4 pm. That is when top-ranked Alabama takes on Florida (8-3) in the SEC Championship.
Oddsmakers don’t believe the Gators have much of a chance, and are spotting them 24 points. The Tide is expected to roll to 13-0, but Florida will try and play the role of spoiler.
#3 Clemson then squares off against #23 Virginia Tech (9-3) at 8 pm in another game that is seemingly one-sided. Vegas has the Tigers as a 10.5-point favorite over the Hokies. With an ACC title to their resume, Clemson is all but guaranteed a spot in the CFP for the second consecutive year.
The nightcap is the Big Ten Conference Championship between #6 Wisconsin and #7 Penn State. Though the Nittany Lions beat Ohio State in October and handed the Buckeyes their only loss of the season, the Big Ten winner isn’t likely to land in the final four unless an earlier upset occurs.
Wisconsin, which lost to both Ohio State and Michigan, is a small three-point favorite over the Lions.
Wanted: No Drama
The CFP Selection Committee, made up of 12 football experts, is hoping for a drama-free Friday and Saturday. If Clemson or Washington loses, chaos could ensue.
Even if all goes as expected, a debate will emerge if Penn State wins and misses out on the playoff in favor of the Buckeyes who Penn State beat.
The goal of the playoff structure is to choose the best four teams, and considering the Lions lost to Pitt and were dominated by Michigan, the Buckeyes remain the superior team in the minds of the committee.
The CFP playoff website states that the Selection Committee “ranks the teams based on conference championships won, strength of schedule, head-to-head results, comparison of results against common opponents, and other factors.”
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