Notre Dame remained No. 2 in the Associated Press Top 25 on Sunday, but the Irish remain long shots to reach the College Football Playoff.
The Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0) are the unanimous No. 1 team in the nation, and are the +170 national title favorites by PointsBet, similar to most sportsbooks.
However, Clemson (7-1) is being offered at +250 along with No. 3 Ohio State (4-0), despite the Tigers’ lone loss coming against Notre Dame. Clemson played that game without star quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who has not played since Oct. 24.
Lawrence missed two games due to a positive COVID-19 test and the Tigers had Saturday’s game against Florida State postponed due to COVID-19 concerns. Clemson still remains on track to play in the ACC title game, where the Tigers would be favored against Notre Dame.
The ACC championship game will be played in Charlotte on Dec. 19, with the top two teams by winning percentage qualifying. Notre Dame has regular-season games remaining against No. 25 North Caroline, one-win Syracuse and 4-3 Wake Forest.
Florida (6-1) is being offered at +900 to claim the final CFP spot by PointsBet, well ahead of Notre Dame at +1600.
Northwestern (5-0) moved to No. 11 in the AP Top 25 and the Wildcats’ title odds have shortened to +500 by PointsBet.
First CFP rankings critical
The College Football Playoff selection committee will release its first rankings of the season on Tuesday, and they could create a shift in teams’ path to the final four.
In a memo issued by the committee on Sunday, it said it will not penalize a team for playing fewer games than another team as it determines its rankings of the nation’s top teams.
That’s good news for Big Ten and Pac-12 teams.
Oregon moved to No. 9 with the Ducks being 3-0 in the Pac-12’s late start to the season. Oregon and Washington are currently being offered at +25000 by PointsBet, with conference rival Southern Cal at +20000. The Trojans are 3-0 thanks to a pair of nail-biting victories.
Pac-12 teams have only seven games to prove their case to the CFP committee after the conference began its season earlier this month.
The CFP semifinal games are scheduled to be played Jan. 1 in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl. Miami is set to play host to the title game on Jan. 11.
–Field Level Media (@FieldLevelMedia)