Week six in the college football season saw three teams ranked inside the AP Top 10 lose, and that has oddsmakers even more confident in Alabama’s chances of winning the National Championship for the third time in four years.
The Crimson Tide easily took care of business against an meager Arkansas team on Saturday. However, Alabama’s 65-31 victory failed to cover the 35-point spread afforded to Razorback bettors.
Coach Nick Saban won’t be losing any sleep over the spread. His focus is of course on a much bigger picture, and that’s leading his team to another College Football Playoff appearance.
Saban refused to compare this team to the five others he coached to national titles at Alabama.
I can’t make any comparisons,” Saban told reporters. “This is a different team with its own identity.”
Before week six’s games, Alabama was at 1/2 to win their third title in four years and become the first college football team to successfully defend the national title since the Crimson Tide did it in 2011-2012. The 1/2 line implies odds of 66.67 percent.
Top 10s Fall
A wild week six Saturday saw No. 5 LSU, No. 7 Oklahoma, and No. 8 Auburn lose.
The worst was unquestionably Auburn and its 23-9 defeat by an unranked Mississippi State program that was coming off two consecutive losses. The Tigers were favored by 3.5 points playing away, but lost by two touchdowns.
LSU was handed its first loss of the year by Florida 27-19 in Gainesville. With the win, the Gators climbed eight spots to No. 14.
Oklahoma was upset at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas by No. 19 Texas, as the Longhorns continue to turn around the program under first-year coach Jimbo Fisher. The Sooners were seven-point favorites, but lost 48-45 on a last-minute field goal.
Texas moves to No. 9, the first time the Longhorns have been in the Top 10 since 2010. Alabama received 59 of the AP poll’s 61 first-place votes, with No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Clemson taking the other two.
There are now just 11 teams that remain unbeaten, but Las Vegas oddsmakers believe only a handful of them have a serious shot at the National Championship. The Westgate SuperBook has Ohio State and Clemson both at 9/2, with a $100 bet netting $450.
No. 2 Georgia is slightly longer at 6/1 due to being in the same SEC as Alabama, as well as their next three games being played against ranked opponents (@ No. 13 LSU, No. 14 Florida, @ No. 18 Kentucky). Notre Dame cracks the Top 5, and the SuperBook has the Irish at 8/1.
Oddsmakers feel strongly one of those teams will win the CFP National Championship. The next shortest line is Michigan at 25/1.
It’s Alabama that remains the heavy favorite. Following the week six upsets, the line on the Crimson Tide has shortened to 4/9, or implied winning odds of 69.2 percent. A $100 wager nets just $44.44.