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Michigan, Ohio State co-favorites at top of Big Ten champion odds

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Entering year two of the Jim Harbaugh era, Michigan is level with archrival Ohio State at the top of the Big Ten champion futures board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Harbaugh’s revival of the maize and blue has led to the Wolverines being installed as co-favorites alongside the Buckeyes, with each holding identical +175 odds. Michigan’s climb up the board also means that the Michigan State Spartans might be undervalued at +700.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will need to call upon his proven ability to reload quickly. The Buckeyes return only six starters from a year ago, although one is star quarterback J.T. Barrett. The talent level at Ohio State is still mouth-watering, but bettors will have to decide how they feel about the Buckeyes’ chances in a daunting September 17 road game against the Oklahoma Sooners. That top-ten matchup won’t affect conference standings, but a loss could affect the Buckeyes’ morale.

Michigan returns 14 starters, including eight on a defense now coordinated by Don Brown, who oversaw the nation’s No. 1 defense last season at Boston College. Whether the Wolverines will push Ohio State – which has home field for their November 26 rivalry game – might come down to quarterback play. Michigan is counting on Houston transfer John O’Korn to deliver the ball to their trio of senior receivers that includes tight end Jake Butt.

It is possible some fans might not identify Michigan State as one of the six Power 5 teams which has an .800 winning percentage since 2010. The Spartans, with likely high NFL draft pick Malik McDowell as the fulcrum of their rugged defense, should give offenses headaches once again. Michigan State’s offense is a blank slate. Fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor might represent a step down from Connor Cook, while there isn’t a wide receiver on the roster who had more than seven catches last season.

The Big Ten West offers two darkhorses, with the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers each listed at +900 on the college football betting lines. Of the two, Iowa is the one whose prop owes more to past performance. Everything went right for Iowa early last season while starting 12-0, but that eventually culminated in losses in both the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. They could be due for a step back, even with quarterback C.J. Beathard and shutdown cover cornerback Desmond King among their 13 returning starters.

The law of averages would suggest a better fate is in store for Nebraska after a 6-7 season where it lost five games by less than a one-touchdown margin. The Cornhuskers project to have seven seniors starting on offense, including quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., so they will be well-equipped for high-scoring games. To get in contention, though, Nebraska needs to coach up their inexperienced front four. Their pass defense, which ranked No. 122 (of 128 teams) last season, has nowhere to go but up.

The Wisconsin Badgers, who are listed at +1400 odds, appear to be on a downswing. The Badgers’ famed rushing attack was garden-variety last season. Meanwhile, post-Christian Hackenberg Penn State is listed at +1800, followed by the Northwestern Wildcats (+3300) and Minnesota Golden Gophers (+4400). The Indiana Hoosiers, Illinois Fighting Illini and Maryland Terrapins are all listed at +5000, with the Purdue Boilermakers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights at +10000 each.

Alabama, Georgia highlight college football odds in Week 4

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Getting the cover when they host good teams has bedeviled the Georgia Bulldogs recently, which suggests the line against the Mississippi State Bulldogs might be a bit generous. Georgia is listed as a six-point favorite against Mississippi State with a 48.5 total in their Week 4 matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Georgia is only 2-5 against the spread in its last seven games against teams with winning records, although they are 12-1 straight-up in their last 13 games in September. Mississippi State is coming off a statement win where they won by 30 points against LSU, but these Bulldogs are 0-5 ATS in their last five games after winning as the underdog.

Most of the teams ranked in the Top 10 are on the road in Week 4.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 18.5-road favorites against the Vanderbilt Commodores, with a 43 total. Alabama is 8-0 SU and 7-1 ATS in its last eight conference road games, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. The total has gone under in 15 of Vanderbilt’s last 18 games against its conference.

The Penn State Nittany Lions are 12.5-point road favorites against the Iowa Hawkeyes, with a 52 total. Penn State is 11-0-1 ATS in its last 12 games. Iowa is 2-7 ATS in its last nine conference games at home.

The Clemson Tigers are 34-point favorites against the Boston College Eagles, with a 53 total. The total has gone under in 14 of Boston College’s last 19 games against its conference. Clemson is 5-0 ATS in its last five games.

The Oklahoma Sooners are 27.5-point road favorites against the Baylor Bears, with a 62.5 total. Oklahoma is 8-2 ATS in its last 10 games on the road. The total has gone over in 16 of Baylor’s last 22 games at home against teams with winning records.

The USC Trojans are 16.5-point road favorites against the California Golden Bears, with a 64 total. The total has gone under in 10 of Southern Cal’s last 13 games on the road against teams with winning records. California, which defeated Mississippi in Week 3, is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after winning as an underdog.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are four-point road favorites against the Michigan State Spartans, with a 54 total. Notre Dame is 2-9 SU in its last 11 games on the road against teams with winning records. Michigan State is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games in September

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 14-point favorites against the TCU Horned Frogs, with a 71 total. TCU is 2-7 ATS in its last nine games against its conference. Oklahoma State, which is 3-0 SU so far this season, is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games after consecutive wins.

The Washington Huskies are 10.5-point road favorites against the Colorado Buffaloes, with a 50 total. Washington is 1-4 ATS in its last five road games in September. Colorado is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games in Week 4.

The Stanford Cardinal are 7.5-point favorites against the UCLA Bruins, with a 57 total. UCLA is 0-9 SU and 1-8 ATS in its last nine games against Stanford. Stanford, which is coming off of a loss against San Diego State, is 6-0 ATS in its last six games after losing as a favorite.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

Clemson’s road winning streak on the line as betting favorite at Louisville

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Defending national champion Clemson’s road winning streak, built with a quarterback who’s now in the NFL, could be on shaky ground against the Louisville Cardinals, who are a tough out on home turf.

Clemson, now with Kelly Bryant at quarterback, is listed as a three-point road favorite against Louisville with a 56 total in their Week 3 matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Clemson is 10-0 straight-up and 4-6 against the spread over its last 10 home games, with the over hitting in seven of those contests. Louisville, led by reigning Heisman Trophy-winning QB Lamar Jackson, is 9-1 SU in its last 10 home games as well as 7-1 ATS in its last eight Week 3 matchups.

The Florida Gators are 5.5-point favorites against the Tennessee Volunteers on the Week 3 college football odds with a 49 total. Tennessee is 1-11 SU and 4-6-2 ATS in its last 12 games against Florida. The total has gone over in seven of Florida’s last 10 games at home against teams with winning records.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 13.5-point road favorites against the Boston College Eagles, with a 51 total. The total has gone under in Notre Dame’s last seven games against Boston College. Boston College is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games at home.

The USC Trojans are 16.5-point favorites against the Texas Longhorns, with a 67 total. Southern Cal is 11-0 SU in its last 11 games. Texas is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games against the Pac-12 conference.

The LSU Tigers are seven-point road favorites against the Mississippi State Bulldogs, with a 51.5 total. LSU is 14-6 ATS in its last 20 games against Mississippi State. The total has gone under in seven of Mississippi State’s last 10 games at home.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 28.5-point favorites against the Colorado State Rams, with a 53.5 total. Colorado State is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games. The total has gone under in seven of Alabama’s last eight home games according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 30-point favorites against the Army Black Knights, with a 53 total. Army is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in September. The total has gone under in five of Ohio State’s last seven games in September.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 17-point road favorites against the BYU Cougars, with a 41 total. Wisconsin is 8-0 SU and 4-4 ATS in its last eight road games as a favorite of 14 or more points. Brigham Young is 2-8 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games as the underdog.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 14-point road favorites against the Pittsburgh Panthers, with a 64.5 total. Oklahoma State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games as a road favorite. Pittsburgh is 3-11 ATS in its last 14 games at home.

And the UCLA Bruins are three-point road favorites against the Memphis Tigers, with a 70.5 total. UCLA is 8-2 SU and 4-6 ATS in its last 10 games as a road favorite. Memphis is 4-6 ATS in its last 10 home games.

For more info, picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the new OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes, or check it out at OddsShark.libsyn.com.