Ohio State, Alabama, Louisville Headline Week 7 College Football Favorites

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With QB J.T. Barrett coming off a poor game, the Ohio State Buckeyes head north to visit the fired-up Wisconsin Badgers as part of Week 7 of the college football schedule.

The Buckeyes are a 10-point betting favorite against the host Badgers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Buckeyes are 7-1 straight-up and against the spread in their last eight games against the Badgers, including an infamous 59-0 blowout in the 2014 Big Ten title game that Wisconsin surely remembers.

Ohio State’s potent rushing attack is up against a Badgers D that allows only 90 yards per game on the ground. Barrett also had only 93 yards aerially last week, and star WR Noah Brown will have a tough assignment against Badgers CB Sojourn Shelton. Wisconsin QB Alex Hornibrook has played capably, but coach Paul Chryst wants more out of RB Corey Clement and his ground game.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored by 13 points against Tennessee. Alabama and MLB Shaun Dion Hamilton excel at stopping the run and producing defensive touchdowns, but have allowed 30-plus points two conference games in a row. Tennessee and senior QB Josh Dobbs, despite a negative turnover margin that raises some red flags, is a resilient team.

The Mississippi Rebels are favored by 7.5 points against the Arkansas Razorbacks, in spite of being 2-5 SU and 1-6 in their last seven road games vs. Arkansas. With its spread offense, Mississippi might be ill-suited to running the ball, but senior QB Chad Kelly can be lethal. Razorbacks QB Austin Allen will be trying to shake off any ill effects from taking a lot of hits last week against Alabama, when he passed for 400 yards.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are set as 3-point betting favorites against the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford has yet to score more than 27 points, and star RB Christian McCaffrey had only 84 rushing yards during their back-to-back losses. The Irish, who lost to Stanford in 2015 on a last-play field goal, are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games after losing the previous game in a matchup. DeShone Kizer and the Irish have far more scoring punch than Stanford.

The Nebraska Cornhuskers are favored by 3.5 points on the road against the Indiana Hoosiers after scratching WR Jordan Westerkamp (back) and TE Cethan Carter (elbow), QB Tommy Armstrong’s two favorite targets. Indiana QB Richard Lagow has helped engineer an upset of Michigan State and a moral victory against Ohio State.

The West Virginia Mountaineers are favored by one point against the Texas Tech Red Raiders. The Red Raiders behind QB Patrick Mahomes are second in FBS in scoring (55.2 PPG) and offense (649.8 YPG), and are especially potent on home turf. With 13 senior starters, including QB Skyler Howard and three of the five defensive backs, West Virginia might be capable of luring Tech into a manageable scoring battle.

As well, the Louisville Cardinals and Heisman Trophy favorite Lamar Jackson are favored by 35.5 points against the Duke Blue Devils in a Friday game. The undefeated Clemson Tigers are favored by 17.5 points against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. And the Utah Utes are a nine-point favorite against the Oregon State Beavers.

Alabama betting favorite over Clemson in National Championship

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Led by linebacker Tim Williams and a hellacious defense, the Alabama Crimson Tide have got better at beating oddsmakers’ expectations during their pursuit of a repeat national championship.

Alabama is listed as the 6-point favorite against the Clemson Tigers with a 50.5-point total for the College Football Playoff National Championship Game in Tampa on Monday night at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Alabama is 7-2 against the spread in its last nine games as a favorite on the college football odds, and is also 4-2 ATS in its last six games when it was favored by 4.5 to 10 points. In last season’s national championship game, though, Clemson accounted for one of the two covers. Clemson is 6-1 SU in its last seven games after losing the previous game in a matchup.

The Tigers, who are 13-1 SU and 7-7 ATS, are once again a worthy challenger to Alabama as Heisman Trophy finalist Deshaun Watson embarks on his last college game before leaving for the NFL.

Watson and RB Wayne Gallman successfully running against the likes of Williams, MLB Rashaan Evans and OLB Reuben Foster could prove difficult, as Alabama has the nation’s No. 1 run defense. The Tigers do have an athletic receiving corps led by WR Mike Williams and TE Jordan Leggett and even Alabama might not be able to completely shut them down.

Watson is coming off a two-interception performance against Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl and will need to be disciplined against the takeaway-happy Tide.

The major question about the Crimson Tide, who are 14-0 SU and 10-4 ATS, is how much liberty freshman QB Jalen Hurts will have after the coaching shake-up following the Peach Bowl. Newly arrived offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian will be in his first game calling plays for Hurts after the ouster of Lane Kiffin.

Alabama and LT Cam Robinson can often exert their will in the rushing phase without being complemented by a dynamic passing attack, but Clemson has a stout defense led by DT Carlos Watkins and DE Christian Watkins. The Tigers were able to shut down a more seasoned dual threat QB, Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett, in the Fiesta Bowl.

Alabama’s Bo Scarbrough is a bruising ball carrier who could be essential to tiring out the Tigers defense. Both WR Calvin Ridley and WR ArDarius Stewart have the size and speed to win one-on-one battles downfield – provided Hurts has the time and precision to find them.

Alabama is 8-2 SU and 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games in the postseason. The total has gone UNDER in four of Clemson’s last five games on a Monday. The total has gone UNDER in four of Alabama’s last five games against teams with winning records.

College Football Playoff semifinals: Ohio State, Alabama set as favorites

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While they are the second-best and third-best teams in the country by any measure, Clemson and Ohio State carry some negative against-the-spread trends into the Fiesta Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal this weekend.

The Buckeyes are listed as 3-point favorites against the Tigers with a 58.5-point total, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. In the Peach Bowl, the early semifinal on Saturday, the No. 1-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide are 14-point betting favorites against the Washington Huskies with a 52.5-point total.

Ohio State is only 2-6 ATS over their last eight games while Clemson is 1-5 ATS in their last six games against teams with winning records.

Clemson (12-1 SU, 6-7 ATS) is bolstered by NFL- bound QB Deshaun Watson’s passing and a voracious pass rush that has amassed 46 sacks. Football Outsiders rates Ohio State second nationally (after Alabama) in defensive efficiency, and cornerbacks Gareon Conley and Marshon Lattimore won’t be easy pickings for star WR Mike Williams and the other Clemson receivers. The Buckeyes also have the speed to counter Watson’s scrambling.

Ohio State (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) is not as explosive offensively as Clemson, and the 11 sacks they allowed on QB J.T. Barrett over their last two games is a troubling trend to take into a matchup against the Tigers. However, with Barrett, RB Mike Weber and H-back Curtis Samuel, the Buckeyes inevitably get scoring opportunities. Clemson’s defense can also struggle to generate turnovers, so there could be some long Ohio State drives on Friday.

The total has gone over in Clemson’s last four games according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Washington (12-1 SU, 7-6 ATS), led by QB Jake Browning, has the country’s fourth-highest scoring offense while Alabama is first in scoring defense by a fair margin. The only SEC offenses which had success against DE Jonathan Allen, OLB Reuben Foster and the vaunted Alabama defense in the regular season were Arkansas and Mississippi, who run the same fast-paced spread attack as the Huskies. If Washington is up to blocking Allen and fellow DE Dalvin Tomlinson – a big if – it might be able to move the ball.

Alabama (13-0 SU, 9-4 ATS) is the deeper team on each side of the ball. The Huskies defense allows only 17 points per game, but has shown vulnerability since the season-ending injuries to MLB Azeem Victor and OLB Joe Mathis. The only QB to defeat Washington this season, Southern Cal’s Sam Darnold, is also a scrambler, somewhat like Crimson Tide QB Jalen Hurts. Hurts has turned the ball over 14 times on fumbles and interceptions and Washington does excel at takeaways.

The Crimson Tide are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games against teams with winning records heading into the Peach Bowl. The total has gone over in seven of Washington’s last 10 games against teams with winning records.