College Football Playoff Predictions: Most Likely Field for 2023

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Alabama head coach Nick Saban watches his team warm up before an NCAA college football game against Arkansas, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
(AP Photo/Vasha Hunt)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Nov 27, 2023, 1:10 PM

With only a handful of teams still viable for this year’s College Football Playoff, it’s time to get serious about projecting what this year’s field of four will look like. 

As always, BetMGM has football odds available to predict who will make the playoff and who will win the national championship. 

College Football Playoff Picture: CFP Predictions For 2023

Here, I will highlight and explain (in descending order) the teams I feel have the best shot at this year’s CFP – at least as things stand now, after Week 13. 


Michigan has been to two consecutive playoffs, and it’s now all but guaranteed a spot in a third. With a 12-0 regular season record and head-to-head wins over both Ohio State and Penn State, the Wolverines should breeze past Iowa in the Big Ten Championship Game and secure a playoff berth.

Depending on what happens in other games this weekend, Michigan could find itself as the No. 1 seed. 

For now, the Wolverines are merely the betting favorite in the college football national championship odds market. 


I’ve been critical of Georgia this season, as the Bulldogs have not quite looked the part of a dominant, two-time defending national champion throughout much of the season. My theory has been simple: You can’t turn over the amount of NFL talent that Georgia has over the past two seasons and remain effortlessly elite.

But as the season has evolved into November, even I must admit that Georgia is playing its best ball at the most critical part of the season. Carson Beck now has a year of starts under his belt and is effectively managing the offense. 

Dominant wins over Tennessee and Ole Miss in consecutive weeks have been very impressive. And while I was willing to entertain the idea of Alabama in recent weeks, I simply can’t go against Georgia right now with the excellent form the Bulldogs displayed over the last month of the season. 

I believe the Bulldogs will win the SEC Championship and be awarded the No. 1 seed in this year’s college football playoff. I’m ranking them below Michigan here only because Georgia’s chances of losing to Alabama are far greater than Michigan’s chances of losing to Iowa. 

The other reason Georgia is this high on the list: Even if the undefeated Bulldogs lose to Alabama, they still have a reasonable case to make for CFP inclusion.


Texas has stayed mostly off the radar over the last month of the season, and injuries to major stars like Quinn Ewers and Jonathan Brooks may have something to do with that. 

But Ewers is healthy now, and Texas is rolling. The Longhorns need only a Big 12 Championship victory over erratic Oklahoma State to clinch a 12-1 season.

This is the part of the predictions and rankings where it starts to depend a little bit on committee opinion and a lot on results across the other championship games. But if Texas is 12-1, with a win at Alabama and only a tight, last-minute loss to its biggest rival … aren’t the Longhorns a pretty good shot to make the CFP?


Oregon lost to Washington and likely needs to win out to make the CFP. So why are the Ducks higher in the championship odds table than the Huskies?

Perhaps that’s because the oddsmakers have been actually watching the games. Ever since Washington eked out its 36-33 win over the Ducks on Oct. 14, Oregon has looked like a legit top-5 team, winning games by an average margin of 24 points.

Washington, meanwhile, has looked quite mortal for long stretches of games. Perhaps that’s why Oregon is more than a touchdown favorite in this weekend’s rematch.

Florida State

Florida State has been the biggest favorite to make the field through much of this season’s College Football Playoff odds market at BetMGM. But the Seminoles now find themselves in a strange place, on the precipice of the ACC Championship Game against Louisville.

On the one hand, Florida State is undefeated and has a worthy resume. But after Jordan Travis’ season-ending leg injury in Week 12 against North Alabama, it’s hard to forecast the Seminoles’ futures.

Florida State really struggled to get past a bad Florida team this week. Louisville could easily upset the Seminoles in this final game. Given the current state of both teams, the Cardinals might be straight-up better.

Even if FSU does advance to 13-0, the committee would have a hard choice to make. If the conference champions are Michigan (13-0), Georgia (13-0), Texas (12-1), Oregon (12-1), and Florida State (13-0), it’s possible that FSU is the odd man out despite a perfect record.

Many of Florida State’s best wins – Clemson, Duke, even LSU – don’t look nearly as impressive anymore. 

With Travis now sidelined and the team relying on a backup, is it possible that the CFP committee feels the other conference champions are more worthy championship contenders right now?


If the Huskies can get to 13-0, Washington is more than a worthy playoff team. It should be in serious consideration for the No. 1 seed

The problem is Washington just hasn’t looked its best for large stretches of time since its Week 7 win over Oregon. The Ducks, meanwhile, have ripped off dominant win after dominant win. 

If Washington was a 12-1 non-champion in 2024, it would be a worthy at-large team to include in the new 12-team model. But in this last year of the four-team structure, I expect the Huskies to lose the Pac-12 Championship and get stuck on the outside of the playoff structure, alongside Ohio State and Alabama.


For this year’s Alabama team, it all comes down to another showdown with Georgia.

If Alabama can prevail, it’ll end Georgia’s 29-game winning streak and punch its ticket to the CFP. It’ll also earn a measure of revenge for the 2021 national championship game, which was the last time these two played.

Here’s the problem for Nick Saban, though. Who on earth is betting against Georgia right now?

Ohio State

With the Big Ten in the last year of its divisional model, Ohio State is the only team on this list not in action this week. That means the Buckeyes likely need total chaos to have a shot at the CFP.

Ohio State will be cheering hard for Georgia, Louisville, and Oklahoma State. With the Big 12 and ACC knocked out, the Buckeyes could potentially make the field as the No. 4 seed alongside No. 1 Georgia, No. 2 Michigan, and the Pac-12 champion at No. 3. 

Betting on College Football Playoff Odds

Let’s start at the beginning. CFP odds are quite different from the zero-sum college football national championship odds market. As Billy Beane said in Moneyball, only one team can win the last game of the season. Thus, only one ticket is going to cash out in the championship market.

CFP odds offer a slightly softer approach to betting the top 1% of college football odds, since it can pay out for four teams instead of one. 

That means shorter returns, but it also means more attainable wins. Last year, for example, I was really high on TCU, and bought up just about every future I could get my hands on. TCU national championship tickets were losers; TCU playoff tickets were big-time winners. 

If you see an opening with a team like 2022 TCU, it’s often best to bet their conference championship odds and their College Football Playoff odds over their national championship odds. 

A total of 14 teams have made the CFP since its inception, but only five have actually won it. If you’re betting on someone outside of that inner elite circle of Georgia/Alabama/Clemson/Ohio State/LSU, it’s usually better to stick to the CFP odds.

How To Bet on College Football Futures

College football betting doesn’t stop when the games end in January. You can bet on futures throughout the offseason!

As teams are holding spring practice, adding players from the transfer portal, and releasing depth charts, you can view updated online sports betting odds for a variety of markets, including national championship odds, win totals, and conference champion odds.

If you don’t have an account, register today with BetMGM’s welcome offer. Once you have an account, check for daily sports betting promos.

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About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.