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2020 CFP Betting Guide

CFP logoSince the 2014-15 season, the College Football Playoff has determined which of the four best NCAA Division I FBS teams will play in the national championship game. As a result, the two CFP semifinal matchups receive the most betting action out of any of the games played during the college football bowl season.

There are some noteworthy trends you should be aware of before placing a futures wager on which four teams will make it or on the betting lines for the CFP semifinals. Along with the legal status of wagering on college football, we cover tips and strategies to help your bet while providing the latest odds of being picked by the selection committee in December.

Is it legal to bet on the College Football Playoff?

Yes, betting on the bowl games and playoffs is easier than ever. There are two ways to bet on the CFP semifinal legally. The newest way to wager is to use either brick-and-mortar sportsbooks or mobile apps located in states that have legalized sports betting operators in their jurisdiction.

The other legal option is to place a bet at a betting site located offshore and outside the United States. No federal gambling laws have prohibited the use of any of the online mobile sportsbooks we recommend. These sites have been vetted by our staff and have been trusted sports betting providers for decades.

Best College Football Playoff Betting Sites 2020

 Site NameCurrent BonusU.S.Visit Site
Top Rated #1 IconBovada Sportsbook50% Max $250USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
2MyBookie Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
3Betonline Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
4xbet logo50% Max $300USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site

CFP selection trends

The 13-member College Football Playoff selection committee has been tasked with picking which four teams will play in the two semifinal games since the 2014-15 season.

The teams are ranked starting in October then officially selected and seeded — No.1 plays No.4, and No.2 plays No.3 — after the conference championship games are played at the beginning of December.

Before betting on which college football teams will or won’t be selected, here are some trends to know ahead of time. The selection committee does not have a strict criterion—only to “select the four best teams”—but here’s how they’ve picked the “best” teams since the playoff format was introduced.

  1. Only undefeated and one-loss teams have been selected. No team with two or more losses has made the CFP.
  2. If two teams have identical one-loss records, the team will the loss to the stronger team is valued higher. Example: 2018 Oklahoma was selected with a loss to Texas, but Ohio State was not with a loss to Purdue.
  3. Winning a Power 5 (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) conference championship isn’t a requirement. Example: 2018 - Notre Dame (Independent), 2017 - Alabama.
  4. A Power 5 conference can have more than one team selected. Example: 2017 - Georgia, Alabama.
  5. Non-conference strength of schedule matters. All teams selected so far played and beat at least one Power 5 team in non-conference play.

2019-20 CFP selection committee members and schedule

The College Football Playoff selection committee has released information on the members that will rank and pick to the four best teams for the 2019-20 season. In addition to the CFP rankings schedule—including when the results will air on ESPN—the following are the 13 individuals on the committee this year and the schools they are associated with.

Who will make the four-team College Football Playoff?

Betting odds on for the top teams and the rest of the field are available, and only Clemson and Alabama are favored to make the cut before the first game of the 2019-20 season kicks off.

However, Georgia, Oklahoma, and Ohio State appear to have a high chance of being selected by the committee. The CFP selection odds below can be found at Bovada.

Past CFP Semifinal selections and results

Here you can see which four college football teams have been selected each year since the inaugural season as well as the results from those matchups.

SeasonBowlMatchup Results
2014-15Rose Bowl
Sugar Bowl
No.2 Oregon 59, No.3 Florida State 20
No.4 Ohio State 42, No.1 Alabama 35
2015-16Orange Bowl
Cotton Bowl
No.1 Clemson 37, No.4 Oklahoma 17
No.2 Alabama 38, No.3 Michigan State 0
2016-17Fiesta Bowl
Peach Bowl
No.2 Clemson 31, No.3 Ohio State 0
No.1 Alabama 24, No.4 Washington 7
2017-18Rose Bowl
Sugar Bowl
No.3 Georgia 54, No.2 Oklahoma 48 2OT
No.4 Alabama 24, No.1 Clemson 6
2018-19Orange Bowl
Cotton Bowl
No.1 Alabama 45, No.4 Oklahoma 34
No.2 Clemson 30, No.3 Notre Dame 3
2019-20Fiesta Bowl
Peach Bowl

How CFP Winners Affect National Championship Odds

The two teams that win the college football playoffs will advance to the national championship game. Odds for the big game can change based on how well the team performs in the CFP, injuries that may have occurred, and other deciding factors.

Our guide to betting on the College Football National Championship is a helpful resource that illustrates the legal options of betting on the championship game. Preseason odds favor an Alabama and Clemson rematch, but there are a bunch of other good teams out there looking to keep them out of the college football playoffs.