Crimson Tide, Tigers, Sooners favorites on college football Week 11 odds

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Freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and the Alabama Crimson Tide have a matchup on Saturday against a Mississippi State Bulldogs team which took down a top team last week. Alabama is listed as a 29-point favorite against Mississippi State at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The OddsShark College Football Database shows the Crimson Tide are 5-1 against the spread in their last six games, but Mississippi State ended Texas A&M’s College Football Playoff hopes last weekend and is 4-0 ATS in their last four road games after consecutive home games.

The Tide’s Hurts and the Bulldogs’ Sam Fitzgerald are the two best rushing QBs in the SEC, and Fred Ross gives MSU a bona fide deep threat. Mississippi State is better than its record, but keeping OLB Tim Williams and MLB Shaun Dion Hamilton from wreaking havoc will be a tough job.

The North Carolina Tar Heels are 10.5-point favorites on the road against the Duke Blue Devils in a Thursday game. North Carolina, which has balance between QB Mitch Trubisky and RB Elijah Hood, is coming off a season-best offensive performance. Duke often matches up well with explosive passing teams – they won at Notre Dame and stayed within two scores of Louisville – but their top two RBs, Shaun Wilson and Joseph Ajeigbe, are both banged up.

The LSU Tigers are seven-point favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks, even though they are 1-8 ATS in their last nine games against the Hogs. Tigers RB Leonard Fournette has a good matchup against a weak Razorbacks defense, but one wonders how much trust there is in QB Danny Etling after he amassed only 92 passing yards last week against Alabama. Arkansas has a solid offense led by QB Austin Allen.

The Penn State Nittany Lions are favored by seven on the road against the Indiana Hoosiers, who they are only 3-6-1 ATS against in their last 10 matchups. Nittany Lions RB Saquon Barkley has emerged as a fringe Heisman Trophy candidate and QB Trace McSorley is very good at ball security, whereas Hoosiers QB Richard Lagow is interception-prone. If Indiana’s rushing game fails to keep them out of third and long, it will play into Penn State’s hands.

The Oklahoma Sooners are listed as the 15.5-point favorite against the Baylor Bears. Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield might have RB Samaje Perrine rejoining him in the backfield to test a Bears defense which has yielded 97 points in their last two games. Baylor has benched star RB Shock Linwood, but QB Seth Russell and the likes of WR K.D. Cannon should get some big pass plays. Baylor is 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games against the Sooners.

The Washington Huskies are favored by nine points against the USC Trojans. Washington QB Jake Browning will have his favorite target, WR John Ross, in a tough matchup against CB Adoree’ Jackson. The Trojans come in on an upswing with freshman QB Sam Darnold providing a spark but they are only 3-7 SU on the road since Clay Helton became coach. Washington is 8-2 ATS in their last 10 home games after consecutive road games.

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.