Which Teams are Most Likely to Reach the 2021 College Football Playoff?

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Sam Herder Aug 24, 2021, 3:34 PM

Cincinnati was No. 8 in the final College Football Playoff rankings in 2020. Not bad for a Group of Five program but still a ways away for the 9-0 team to make the four-team bracket.

Strength of schedule was a valid argument for the Bearcats to be ranked behind Power Five bluebloods like Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M, Oklahoma, and Florida. This year, though, they have a chance at a marquee win that could get them closer to making the CFP. The Bearcats, preseason ranked No. 10 in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll, go to No. 7 Notre Dame on Oct. 2.

A win versus the Fighting Irish and against Miami (OH), FCS Murray State, and Indiana in the non-conference, plus another undefeated record in the American Athletic Conference, gives Cincinnati a more legit argument to make the playoffs. However, the college football betting odds say the chances of that happening are low.

Cincinnati has +1100 odds to make the CFP. It’s the same odds as LSU and Miami (FL). Again, not bad for a G5 team. But it’s just the 17th-best odds overall.

Maybe you see a lot of value in the +1100 odds. All Cincinnati has to do is beat Notre Dame and avoid other slip-ups, and it’s realistic for the Bearcats to push for a CFP bid. At the same time, the playoff system is just seven seasons old, and only 11 different teams have made up the 28 total spots. Just five programs have more than one appearance — Alabama 6, Clemson 6, Ohio State 4, Oklahoma 4, Notre Dame 2.

Expect the same group of teams to be in the bracket again, according to BetMGM’s odds to make this season’s College Football Playoff.

Odds To Make The CFP

*As of Aug. 12

Clemson -1000

Alabama -350

Ohio State -275

Oklahoma -225

Georgia +160

Iowa State +450

Texas A&M +500

Oregon +600

USC +600

Washington +600

Notre Dame +700

Florida +800

Wisconsin +800

Texas +1000

Arizona State +1000

North Carolina +1000

LSU +1100

Miami (FL) +1100

Cincinnati +1100

Penn State +1300

Iowa +1500

Michigan +2000

Auburn +2000

Indiana +2000

Ole Miss +2000

Utah +2500

Oklahoma State +2500

UCLA +2500

TCU +3000

West Virginia +4000

South Carolina +4000

Minnesota +4000

Louisville +4000

Cal +4000

NC State +5000

Boise State +5000

Stanford +5000

Nebraska +5000

Florida State +5000

Pitt +5000

Boston College +5000

Kansas State +5000

Missouri +5000

Kentucky +5000

Northwestern +5000

Louisiana +6600

Coastal Carolina +8000

UCF +8000

App State +10000

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About the Author

Sam Herder

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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.

Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.