With the conclusion of the Army-Navy game this past weekend, it is officially bowl season in college football.
There are a total of 44 postseason bowls this season, all of which are available to wager on at West Virginia online sportsbooks.
This includes the College Football Playoff, which kicks off on Friday, Dec. 31 — New Year’s Eve.
While there are some familiar faces in this year’s edition of the playoff, there are a couple of new ones as well.
Alabama is back on top at No. 1 in the country and the playoff after winning the SEC title game. It battles the first Group of 5 team to qualify for the CFP, the Cincinnati Bearcats from the American Athletic Conference.
Georgia is the second SEC school back in the playoff. This is UGA’s first appearance since it lost in the championship to the Tide in 2017.
It looked poised for the top spot but fell to Alabama by 17 in the conference title.
The Bulldogs need to take down Michigan to get back to the final.
The Big Ten champ is in its first CFP after finally defeating Ohio State. Michigan blew out its final obstacle in Iowa in the conference championship to snag the second seed.
College Football Playoff Odds At WV Sportsbooks
Both CFP semifinal matchups take place on the same night. The Alabama-Cinci affair is slated for 3:30 p.m. EST, with Michigan-Georgia starting at 7:30 p.m.
The winners will face one another in the National Championship the following week, on Monday, Jan. 10.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic Odds
As most might expect, Alabama is a sizable favorite entering its semifinal in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic.
According to DraftKings WV Sportsbook, the Tide are laying -13.5 in the point spread, with a moneyline of -550. Cincinnati is available with odds of +400.
The online sportsbook shows the game total at 58 points right now.
Although some may consider a nearly two-touchdown spread a lot, it is almost surprising that it’s not even larger. Based on the last week’s results, Alabama has proved it’s one of the best teams by far.
It dominated UGA for the duration of the contest after falling behind 10-0. Up to that point, the Bulldogs appeared unstoppable.
Alabama finished the season 12-1; however, it was on the cusp of missing the playoff. It was a six-point underdog against Georgia, and a second loss could have dropped it from the top four.
Now, coach Nick Saban and his squad are back in the driver’s seat and feeling another championship run.
The Tide are led by Heisman recipient Bryce Young. The incredible sophomore threw for over 4,300 yards and 43 touchdowns in 2021.
As always, the quarterback was surrounded by loads of talent in Tuscaloosa. His offense featured a 1,000-yard rusher, Brian Robinson Jr., and two 1,000-yard receivers.
Junior Jameson Williams is the top target for the Crimson Tide, totaling more than 1,400 yards through the air to go along with 15 scores.
John Metchie III is a lot to handle, too, as his 96 receptions were good enough for top five in the country.
Cinci will need to at least contain the Alabama attack to have a chance at winning outright. Of course, this is easier said than done, as Bama ranks sixth in yards and fourth in points overall.
The Bearcats could always just try to outscore their opponent. They also placed in the top 10 in scoring offense by producing over 39 points per outing.
Since Alabama’s surrendered over 28 points three times, it’s possible Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder can strike early and get this one into a shootout.
Capital One Orange Bowl Odds
With the potential for a more lopsided finish in the first semifinal, the other tilt between Michigan and Georgia gets the prime time slate.
Currently, Caesars Sportsbook WV has Georgia favored, giving -7.5 in the spread, with a moneyline of -320. It offers the Wolverines receiving the points, or at +250 to win the game.
Caesars lists the game total at 43.5 points.
This could be confusing to some, but despite the difference in seeding, UGA’s been considered the best team for several months now.
The Bulldogs took over the No. 1 ranking entering the seventh week of the season in the middle of October. They showed no signs of slowing down until this last tangle with rival Alabama, going 12-0 in the regular season.
It should be noted that Georgia also had an extra layer of security that Alabama did not. The Bulldogs knew that they were essentially into the playoff regardless of their performance in the SEC title.
You can be certain they won’t have any sense of comfort coming into this one following that serving of humble pie.
So while it makes sense that the Bulldogs are viewed as favorites, that doesn’t necessarily get them anywhere. They’ll go up against a Michigan side that made program history reaching the CFP.
The Wolverines went 12-1, with their only slip-up occurring on the road at Michigan State. They recovered with five consecutive victories, including the big one against OSU.
This was the first time Michigan beat its rival since 2011.
If it plans to advance in the playoff, it needs the offense to keep rolling. Michigan’s scored at least 42 points in three straight.
This will be a much harder task against an impressive Georgia defense.
The Bulldogs finished the regular season ranked first in points allowed per game, with just 9.5. The unit features several future NFL players, like linebacker Nakobe Dean and lineman Jordan Davis.
Dean just earned the Butkus Award for the nation’s top linebacker, while Davis took home both the Outland Trophy and Bednarik Award.