It was a more circuitous journey than Ohio State fans planned, but the Buckeyes’ national title hopes are still alive after being selected to play in the College Football Playoffs on Sunday. OSU is set to play Georgia in the semifinals on Dec. 31.
The Buckeyes were on the outside looking in at the playoff picture heading into conference championship weekend, but USC’s loss to Utah in the Pac-12 title game dropped the Trojans out of the final rankings.
Ohio State’s inclusion in the CFP means Ohioans will be unable to bet on the Buckeyes during the semifinals. Ohio sports betting starts on Jan. 1, but OSU-Georgia is set for 8 p.m. Dec. 31 — just hours before sports betting officially kicks off. Had the Buckeyes stayed at the No. 5 spot they entered the weekend in, they would be playing in the Jan. 2 Rose Bowl, a game available for bets in Ohio.
Latest Ohio State vs. Georgia betting odds
Michigan loss stings but Ohio State title hopes remain
Despite losing to Michigan 45-23 on Nov. 26, Ohio State snuck back into the national title race thanks to others faltering over the weekend.
Bettors expected as much. Ohio State’s odds to win the national title initially swelled after the Michigan loss, and bettors jumped in to back the Buckeyes.
USC’s top-four CFP ranking was short-lived. The Trojans moved up to No. 4 after OSU’s loss to Michigan but fell out of the playoff picture after being blown out by Utah.
Georgia and Michigan remain No. 1 and 2 in the rankings, respectively. TCU hung on to its CFP spot after losing in overtime to Kansas State in the Big-12 title game. Despite the loss, TCU remained No. 3 in the CFP rankings, clinging to their spot over No. 5 Alabama. Nick Saban had lobbied for his Crimson Tide to be included in the top four, but his two-loss team was left out.
Ohio State vs. Georgia betting line opens at Bulldogs -7
Betting markets viewed Ohio State as a likely playoff participant shortly after TCU’s loss to Kansas State, when FanDuel started taking action on Georgia (-6.5) vs. Ohio State and Michigan (-9.5) vs. TCU.
That’s exactly how things played out with the committee, though the lines as of Sunday were:
- Georgia (-7) vs. Ohio State
- Michigan (-10) vs. TCU
By Monday morning, the odds had shifted back to 6.5 points, and bettors were heavy on Georgia at BetMGM Sportsbook: 87% of bets and 86% of handle were on Georgia as of Dec. 5. Seventy-three percent of bets and 86% of handle took the over on 60.5 points.
Ohio State’s playoff appearance will be its third in four seasons. The Buckeyes last won the national title in 2014.