Conference championship week has arrived in college football. On Sunday after all the games are played, the final selection committee rankings will be released and we will know for sure which four teams have made the playoff.

According to the oddsmakers at 5Dimes, Alabama is -11000 to make the four-team tournament. The implied odds suggest the Tide are 99.1% likely to return to the College Football Playoff. In other words, Nick Saban’s team is a lock.

With Bama in and the rest of the field is still up for grabs, how much would the defending champions be favored over the other top playoff contenders?

Odds vs. Alabama


As you can see, the Tide would be favored against every potential opponent on a neutral field. That isn’t surprising, since Bama has been ranked No. 1 all season. The size of the spreads does catch your eye. Alabama would be at least a touchdown favorite against every team according to the Westgate and only Ohio State and Washington would be modest underdogs according to Bovada.

This season, Alabama has been favored on average by +23 points. Against ranked teams the Crimson Tide have been favored on average by 15.1 points. Overall, Nick Saban’s squad is 8-4 against-the-spread.

In Alabama’s three previous playoff games, the Tide were favored on average by 7.8 points

  • 2014 Semifinal: Alabama (-7.5) vs. Ohio State
  • 2015 Semifinal: Alabama (-10) vs. Michigan State
  • 2015 Championship: Alabama (-6) vs. Clemson

Regardless of the opponent, Bama will be favored to win. By how much is up in the air. As the bookmaker at told me when asked why the sportsbooks had varying odds, “everybody has an opinion on how good Alabama really is.”

How good do you think Alabama is?

Conference Championship Week

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