After weeks of speculation about who would be in the final four for the College Football Playoffs, we now have the matchups that will determine who wins the 2019 National Championship.
The College Football Playoff Committee got a gift this weekend as Oregon beat Utah in the Pac-12 Championship, eliminating one of the three options for the No. 4 seed. We knew that Ohio State, Clemson, and LSU would be in with victories, but that meant the last team to be selected would be in the winner of the Big 12 Championship.
Oklahoma beat Baylor for a second time this season, eliminating the Bears. The bracket was the only thing left to do and the committee put LSU in the coveted number 1 spot.
DraftKings Sportsbook opened No. 1 seed LSU as 10.5-point favorites against the No. 4 Sooners, while No. 2 Ohio State opened as a one-point favorite over No. 3 Clemson. However, strong Clemson action flipped the Tigers to a 1.5-point favorite just minutes after game was posted. Early money on LSU also moved the number.
Below you’ll find live betting lines for each game, along with some early analysis on the matchups.
No. 1 LSU vs. No. 4 Oklahoma
After much debate over which undefeated team would be ranked No. 1 in the final college football rankings, LSU earned the top spot from the committee and the benefit of avoiding the other two undefeated teams in the rankings. The Tigers cruised in the SEC title game over Georgia, putting up 37 points against one of the best defenses in the country.
Oklahoma’s selection became a formality after Oregon beat Utah in the Pac-12 title game and then the Sooners beat Baylor in overtime. However, the bookmakers clearly believe that the Sooners are the weakest team in the final four and that neither defense will have much success slowing down two of the best offenses in the country. You rarely see a double-digit line in a national semifinal but that’s what we have in this game. A total of over 75 is very high as well.
LSU’s defense has really come on these last two weeks. The Tigers held Texas A&M to seven points and Georgia to only 10. If the Tigers can continue the strong play of that unit into the playoffs, OU is going to be in real trouble. The Sooners defense has given up on average 24.5 points per game this season and LSU’s offense is scoring over 47 ppg.
In Las Vegas, the line opened a little lower than in New Jersey. CG Sportsbooks opened the with the highest line of any book in Vegas of LSU -10.5 and quickly took a max bet on it according to Director of Risk Tony DiTomasso. “I guess it turned out that (our opening line) was a little low.”
No. 2 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Clemson
Both Ohio State and Clemson fanbases were not happy to see this matchup come up on Sunday. These are two of the most explosive teams in the country but only one of them will advance to the National Championship.
Clemson has been criticized for its schedule and the lack of strong opponents in conference, but bookmakers and bettors are clearly showing some respect to the Tigers with this line. Ohio State has not been an underdog in any game this season but the number is now favoring the team from the ACC. The Buckeyes will use that for motivation for sure.
The Buckeyes had trouble with Wisconsin in the Big 10 Title game, actually trailing at half before rallying to the win the game by 13. Ohio State did not cover for gamblers, while Clemson covered a monster 29-point line over Virginia in the ACC Championship Game.