Look, we all knew that Ohio State was going to be legit national championship contenders this season, but it looks like Las Vegas and the betting public are starting to realize just how legit that possibility is. According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Buckeyes are now not only the best bet to win the Big Ten Conference, but also the College Football Playoff national championship.
Heading into Week 6, Ryan Day’s squad has created such a disparity between themselves and the B1G field that it is almost comical. Currently, the Buckeyes carry -260 odds to win the conference title, while their rivals are in second place at +500.
That means that in order to win $100 on a bet for the Buckeyes, you would need to bet $260. However, if you bet $100 on the Harboys to win the league (and it somehow happened), you would win $500. So for a dollars to dollars comparison:
A $100 bet on the Buckeyes would pay out $138.46 while a $100 bet on TTUN would pay $600. So Ohio State is currently considered by Vegas oddsmakers to be a 433% more likely favorite to win the Big Ten title than the Corn and Blue.
Of course, anything can happen — like we saw last year — but them’s pretty good odds for the Scarlet and Gray. You’ll also notice that since DraftKings Sportsbook operates out of New Jersey, it cannot include teams from the Garden State in its odds, which is kind of fitting, because no one was going to bet on Rutgers anyway.
Moving from the Big Ten to the big picture, the Buckeyes are the national title betting favorites, but it is a pretty tight race. Ohio State currently sits at +200 (so, a $100 bet would net you a $200 profit) while the defending national champion Georgia Bulldogs are at +210 and the Alabama Crimson Tide are at +220.
Of course, by virtue of the fact that those two teams would need to theoretically play each other in order to make the CFP, their roads to the title are inherently more difficult than the Buckeyes. So, this doesn’t mean that Vegas would necessarily pick OSU to win the title in a vacuum (although I think they should).
When I was in Las Vegas over the summer, I placed a $100 bet on Ohio State to win the national title, but before the season, I got +350 odds, so I am looking forward to collecting my $450 come January!
Where the betting gets interesting is when you start factoring in postseason parlays. Currently, Ohio State and Alabama have the same odds to both make the CFP as the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs do — both pairs come in at -195. This means that if you bet either pair at this number for $100, you would only profit $51.28; OSU and UGA are just slightly longer odds at -200 ($50 profit).
So it’s clear that the bookmakers feel pretty confident about at least two of these three teams making the playoff, but they also think that it’s better than even money that all three will end up in the four-team tournament.
Currently, the Buckeyes, Tide, and Dawgs taking up 75% of the playoff spots comes in at -115, which means that the aforementioned theoretical $100 bet would net you $86.96. So this possibility remains a betting favorite versus it not happening. I don’t know if I feel as confident about both of the SEC squads making it after they’ve both looked vulnerable in the first five weeks of the season, but given how far ahead this trio of teams is, I wouldn’t be surprised.