The two college football semifinal playoff games are taking place this week on New Year’s Eve on December 31, 2015. Here are the betting odds for the two semifinal games plus the over/unders for both games.
When you look over the schedules that each of the four teams in the college football playoffs have played this season it’s easy to see that the playoff committee screwed up the seeding. Alabama and Michigan State are the two best teams in the playoff and they are incorrectly playing each other in one of the semifinal games. Alabama and Michigan State played much tougher schedules than either Oklahoma or Clemson did as noted below.
- Alabama -10 vs Michigan State (O/U is 46.5)
In the second semifinal game which is being played at 8:00 pm EDT at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, the Alabama Crimson Tide are a big 10 point favorite in the betting odds to beat the Michigan State Spartans. Alabama was a big favorite last year too to beat Ohio State but the Buckeyes pulled off the big upset. Can Michigan State do the same this year?
One thing Alabama really has going for them is the fact that they easily played the toughest schedule of the four teams in the college football playoff this season. The teams Alabama faced in 2015 have combined records of 101-56, which works out to a .643 winning percentage. That is well above the schedule Michigan State played this year as the Spartans opponents were a combined 92-61, which works out to .571 winning percentage.
Alabama played 11 teams in 2015 that went to bowl games which is highly impressive considering that the Crimson Tide went 12-1. The only two teams Alabama played who did not go bowling this year are Louisiana-Monroe and Charleston Southern. Charleston Southern plays at the FCS level and they did make the FCS playoffs this season where they lost to Jacksonville State in the quarterfinals.
Michigan State played 10 teams in 2015 that went to bowl games. That’s also impressive considering the Spartans also went 12-1 this season. Overall, on paper these are the two best teams in the college football playoff and Alabama is still favored by 10 points.
- Oklahoma -3.5 vs Clemson (O/U is 64.5)
In the first semifinal game which is being played at 4:00 pm EDT at SunLife Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, the Oklahoma Sooners are favored by 3.5 points over the Clemson Tigers. That’s despite the fact that Clemson is undefeated this season at 13-0.
Both Oklahoma and Clemson played weaker schedules than either Alabama or Michigan State did this season. The teams Oklahoma played in 2015 are a combined 79-67 (.541) while the teams Clemson played are 85-73 (.538). Oklahoma played nine teams in 2015 that made a bowl game, while Clemson only played seven teams that went bowling this season.
While you have to respect a team that went 13-0, Clemson clearly played the weakest schedule of any of the teams in the college football playoff. It’s hard to see Clemson going undefeated playing any of the other schedules of the three teams but Oklahoma’s schedule would be the easiest after Clemson and these two teams are facing off. So Clemson has a better chance in this game than if they had played either Alabama or Michigan State.