The best bets and most interesting long shots to make the College Football Playoff

The College Football Playoff is still a little over six months away, but Bovada has released its newest odds for the best team-by-team chances to make the field. 

There are plenty of familiar names at the top and a few surprises not too far behind. 

If you were to bet on which teams would make the playoff today, the four-team field with the best chances would be Alabama, Florida State, USC and Ohio State. Here's how Bovada placed their respective chances ... 

Alabama
Yes -250 (2/5)
No +175 (7/4)

Florida State
Yes +140 (7/5)
No -180 (5/9)

USC
Yes +140 (7/5)
No -180 (5/9)

Ohio State
Yes +150 (3/2)
No -200 (1/2)

Ask college football followers from around the country to predict the playoff field and you're likely to get these four teams or a significant portion of them. Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State are preseason favorites to win their respective conferences and USC should be up there when the Pac-12 preseason poll is released. 

The next most-likely team to make the playoff field? You probably guessed it: Oklahoma with 5/2 odds to make the field and 1/4 odds to miss it. To battle its perception problem in the playoff race, the Big 12 is re-introducing its conference championship game this season with the intention of getting on the same playing field with the other power conferences -- the "13th data point" as Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby calls it. Whether that extra game actually helps the Big 12 in the long haul remains to be seen. 

Here are the rest of the odds. Note that zero Group of Five teams had odds released. 

LSU
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -700 (1/7)

Penn State
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -700 (1/7)

Washington 
Yes +400 (4/1)
No -700 (1/7)

Michigan 
Yes +500 (5/1)
No -1000 (1/10)

Auburn
Yes +600 (6/1)
No -1200 (1/12)

Clemson 
Yes (+600)
No -1200 (1/12)

Florida
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -1500 (1/15)

Georgia 
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -1500 (1/15)

Oklahoma State 
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -1500 (1/15)

Wisconsin
Yes +700 (7/1)
No -1500 (1/15)

Texas
Yes +900 (9/1)
No -1800 (1/18)

Kansas State
Yes +1000 (10/1)
No -2500 (1/25)

Louisville
Yes +1000 (10/1)
No -2500 (1/25)

Miami (FL)
Yes +1000 (10/1)
No -2500 (1/25)

Notre Dame
Yes +1200 (12/1)
No -3000 (1/30)

TCU
Yes +1200 (12/1)
No -3000 (1/30

Tennessee
Yes +1200 (12/1)
No - 3000 (1/30)

The usual suspects just miss the top four. Auburn, Clemson, Oklahoma State, Penn State and Washington are viewed as major competitors to the favorites. But there are a few interesting teams that stand out ...

Michigan: The Wolverines have been given a better chance of making the playoff than the reigning national champions, Clemson. That's noteworthy considering Michigan is literally the least-experienced team in the Football Bowl Subdivision, according to Phil Steele. That seems problematic in a stacked Big Ten East Division. However, this is still a Jim Harbaugh team and the "Year 3 jump" is always a possibility. One thing is for sure: Michigan is going to be a fascinating team to watch since we know little about them. 

Florida: The Wolverines' Week 1 opponent has the same odds as SEC East favorite Georgia, plus the Gators aren't too far behind Auburn and Clemson. There are a lot of questions about Florida's quarterback situation ... but this team gets LSU and Texas A&M at home while bypassing Alabama and Auburn out of the SEC West. 

Texas: Yes, Texas. The team that lost to Kansas a year ago. That one. Oklahoma State is the Big 12's spoiler team and even Kansas State is getting a little bit of love. But the Longhorns still get some favorable odds. It makes sense on some level. This is an experienced team that's been through the ringer. Vegas clearly has some faith in new coach Tom Herman. 

Notre Dame: Come on, now. You didn't really think you'd see title odds without the Fighting Irish, did you? But I'm sure in the next 4 to 8 months we'll find out if they're legit. 

CBS Sports Writer

Ben Kercheval joined CBS Sports in 2016 and has been covering college football since 2010. Before CBS, Ben worked at Bleacher Report, UPROXX Sports and NBC Sports. As a long-suffering North Texas graduate,... Full Bio

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