Every college football team dreams of making the College Football Playoff and winning the national championship, but once the season gets underway, that dream fades for most teams. But for a handful, like the Tennessee Volunteers, the dream doesn’t fade. Instead, it intensifies and becomes a distinct possibility.
Odds Of Making The College Football Playoffs
Odds of making the playoffs (Yes/No) are current at DraftKings as of October 19:
- Georgia -650/+450
- Ohio State -650/+450
- Michigan +200/-250
- Alabama +160/-195
- Clemson -125/-105
- Tennessee +260/-340
- Oregon +900/-1800
- Illinois +2500/-20000
- North Carolina +2200/-20000
- Oklahoma State +2500/-20000
- Wake Forest +2500/-20000
- Penn State +2500/-20000
- TCU +900/-1800
- UCLA +1100/-2500
- Ole Miss +1400/-5000
- USC +650/-1100
- Utah +2500/-20000
- Texas +1400/-5000
- Syracuse +2200/-20000
- Kansas State +2000/-10000
As expected, Georgia, Ohio State, and Clemson have minus odds which means they have a better than 50% chance of making the playoffs. That does not mean they are a lock, of course. But the odds are in their favor.
Alabama’s odds give the Crimson Tide a 38.46% chance. That may be surprising in light of their loss to Tennessee last weekend, but the Tide still have a great shot at winning their division, putting them in the SEC title game. They’ll make it into the CFP if they beat Georgia (or whoever represents the SEC East).
Michigan’s odds give the Wolverines a 33.33% chance, but their hopes rest almost entirely on beating Ohio State. They’ll be favored against everyone else on their schedule and should win those games. But early lines have Michigan as 8.5-point underdogs to the Buckeyes in their annual regular-season finale.
The next best odds belong to Tennessee at +260, which gives them a 27.78% chance of making the playoffs. As the No. 3 team in the AP Poll and the No. 4 team in the Coaches Poll, they are in line to earn one of the four spots. However, they have two games left against ranked teams, No. 19 Kentucky and No. 1 Georgia.
If they win both, they’ll be in. Should they lose to the Wildcats but then beat Georgia, it may come down to whether they can beat Alabama again in the SEC title game (or whoever represents the SEC West). But a win over Georgia would give them two victories over the top three teams. If that doesn’t make them a playoff team, nothing will.
The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game will probably make it in. Any of the teams with odds north of Tennessee’s will likely need a lot of help to make the playoffs, such as Alabama and Georgia losing 2+ games and Clemson losing one (perhaps to Syracuse?). But Tennessee is in control of its own fate.
With four wins over ranked teams, the Vols’ playoff resume is already better than most teams, and it stands to get better with wins over Kentucky and Georgia. Neither will be easy wins. The Vols will probably be favored against the Wildcats, but they are 10-point underdogs to Georgia.
But the Bulldogs have feasted on a weak schedule this season. They have just one win over a ranked team — then No. 11 Oregon in Week 1. Georgia is not as good as advertised. With how well Hendon Hooker and the Tennessee offense are playing, the Vols can take the Bulldogs.
If they do, they’ll be in the playoffs as long as they don’t slip up and lose to UT-Martin, Missouri, South Carolina, or Vanderbilt.
Article contributed by Travis Pulver/Photo contributed by Tennessee Athletics