It is almost a month until the CFB Playoff games, but the opening line for Alabama Football vs. Michigan has the Crimson Tide as a 1.5-point underdog, according to FanDuel.
The Texas Longhorns are a heavier favorite over the Washington Huskies with the Horns being a 4.5-point favorite.
It is hard to imagine any Alabama football fan not believing the oddsmakers have the wrong favorite for the Rose Bowl semi-final. According to ESPN’s FPI, the Wolverines have the worst Strength of Schedule (SOS) of the four Playoff teams.
Alabama’s SOS is the toughest at No. 5, followed by Washington at No. 11 and Texas at No. 13. The SOS for the Wolverines is No. 33.
Michigan has a good team, deserving to be in the Playoff field. But how good Michigan is difficult to answer based on its schedule. Could the Wolverines have beaten Georgia this season? Many SEC fans are sure that the answer is no.
The second-best team the Wolverines played was probably the Penn State Nittany Lions. Take away the Ohio State and Penn State wins and Michigan did not face much credible opposition. The other 11 wins for Michigan came against East Carolina, UNLV, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Nebraska, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan State, Purdue, Maryland, and Iowa. Those 11 teams combined for a 62-72 record and only two of them won more than seven games.
A major subplot for the Rose Bowl game is that Michigan, through a suspension of its head coach, was punished for cheating. As that story spiraled, a delusional claim was made that the Wolverines had become ‘America’s Team.’ As much as Alabama Football is hated nationally, perhaps it will be that Michigan will be the favorite of most college football fans.
Just as the Crimson Tide relished in an underdog role against Georgia, the Wolverines as a fan favorite would provide added motivation for the Alabama team.
Three more SEC football teams will play in New Years Six bowl games. Georgia will play Florida State in the Orange Bowl; Missouri will play Ohio State in the Cotton Bowl and Ole Miss will take on Penn State in the Peach Bowl.
According to FanDuel, Michigan has the best odds to win the National Championship at +170. The Alabama Crimson Tide is next at +200, followed by Texas at +250 and Washington at +750.
Potential bettors should read our previous post about not counting out the Crimson Tide.