Oddsmakers are beginning to release win total over/unders for the 2017 season. (In case you don't have a gambling problem, that means they're setting a likely number of regular season wins for each team, and the public can then bet on whether a team will exceed or fall short of its number.) Here's a list with the Power 5's biggest teams.
If we turned that list into a College Football Playoff prediction, we'd have two spots figured out right away. Alabama and Ohio State are listed at 10.5 wins, and though these totals don't include conference title games, Wisconsin is the only potential conference championship opponent set within a win of any of those three teams. So it's safe to say an oddsmaker would be somewhat surprised by, say, a non-Bama team winning the SEC.
For the third spot, Florida State, Oklahoma, USC, and Washington are each set at 9.5 wins and not outranked by teams from their conferences.
Let's seed a top four from among that group of six teams.
Bama's given by far the best odds of exceeding a 10.5-win total, with bettors having to lay $260 just to make $100. For Ohio State, it's $205.
Among the relevant 9.5 teams, Oklahoma and USC are given better odds of cracking 10 wins than Washington or Florida State is (the Huskies also have a weaker schedule, meaning 11-1 records by all four would likely mean UW ranking last in this group), and the Sooners have a slight odds edge (with no SOS worries for OU, thanks to Ohio State on the schedule, a likely improving Big 12, and a potential 13th game), with the Trojans slightly ahead of the Noles.
That'd mean your Playoff would be:
That happens to be close to what this space predicted for 2017 back in January, roughly in line with advanced stats, and in line with the likely preseason polls. Seems we're getting us a consensus, which will surely be wrong.
[Correction: Florida State’s win total is listed at 9.5, not 10.5.]
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