It is once again the time of year in which we must obsess over playoff odds on college football. The four-team field has been set. Alabama will take on Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl. Georgia will face Michigan in the Orange Bowl. Both games are currently scheduled for Friday, December 31, and like always, the winner from each contest will square off in the 2022 College Football National Championship.
Of course, before we start laboring over the betting odds for the 2022 College Football National Championship, we first need to sort through out 2021 NCAA football playoff predictions for the Cotton Bowl and Orange Bowl. So, here's a look at the latest college football playoff betting odds, courtesy of the fine folks over at BetOnline:
There are still a few weeks to go before these bowl games at this writing, so make sure you're double-checking the Orange Bowl betting odds and Cotton Bowl betting odds. All college football odds are subject to change right up until opening kickoff. On the bright side, this gives you plenty of time to browse through our reviews of the best online sportsbooks, so you can find the top fit for all your NCAA football betting.
2021 NCAA Football Playoff Predictions
Each of our 2021 college football playoff betting picks were made on December 13, a little more than two weeks before kickoff. If any sudden injuries take place thereafter, or if certain teams find out select players will sit out because they've declared for the 2022 NFL draft, you'll want to see how such breaking news has impacted betting odds on the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl.
Alabama Cruises into Another National Championship Game
So much for everyone having to worry about Alabama defending its 2020 college football National Championship. Their offense was supposed to be less bankable. Their defense was supposed to be more vulnerable, particularly through the air. They're not supposed to be as deep. Or have as much big-play potential. And so on and so forth.
Not so fast, though. Perhaps this version of the Crimson Tide isn't as good as last year's National Championship iteration. Fine. It apparently doesn't matter. Alabama came out and spanked Georgia, who many considered the better team entering their matchup, in the SEC championship. Like, it wasn't even close. They won by two touchdowns. Their offense was on fire, hanging 41 points on the Bulldogs' defense, and it dispels any notion they'll be a weaker team when the competition is stiffer and the stakes are higher.
Cincinnati, make no mistake, has been great this year. The Bearcats rank in the top 10 of both points allowed and points scored per game. That's ridiculously hard to do.
At the same time, Cincinnati hasn't even played out one of the nation's 70 hardest schedules. They've faced just two of the country's top-25 teams, and while both contests were wins, squaring off against Notre Dame and Houston is drastically different from a showdown with the Crimson Tide and their nearly 500 yards of total offense per game.
OSB Prediction: Alabama (-500)
Georgia's Defense will Stifle Michigan in Orange Bowl
Don't let Georgia's loss to Alabama in the SEC Championship fool you. Their defense isn't going to let up 41 points again. That disappointing display, in which they couldn't contain much of anything, was the mother of all anomalies.
For the season, the Bulldogs are giving up just four yards per passing attempt and only 2.6 yards per rushing attempt. This is also a team that's allowing fewer than 10 points per game overall—seriously—despite coughing up 41 points to Alabama, and despite having played against five top-20 schools on the year.
To be clear: Michigan is no joke. They beat two top-ranked schools, No. 8 Michigan State and No. 2 Ohio State, during the regular season. Their defense matches up well against Georgia's nation-best attack, and their offense has the capacity to grind through even the toughest frontlines.
Scant few teams throughout recent college football history, in fact, have been so devastating while running the ball. Michigan is averaging around 225 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns per game. The combination of Hassan Haskins and Blake Corum in the backfield is unstoppable.
Even against Georgia's front seven, Michigan should be able to open up and bust through some holes. And if they end up taking the lead at any point, they have proven to be experts in eating up the clock and turning games into a slog. With that said, we don't see this being enough to upset Georgia, who has one of the best rush defenses in all of college football and starts a much more dynamic quarterback on the other side in Stetson Bennett.
OSB Prediction: Georgia (-305)
Take a look at this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all your college football betting: