Getty Images

Odds Preview: College Football Playoff, New Year’s Six bowl games

Leave a comment

Ohio State and Clemson each take some negative trends into the betting matchup for the Fiesta Bowl, the second College Football Playoff semifinal set for New Year’s Eve.

The Buckeyes are listed as three-point favorites on the college football bowl game odds against the Tigers at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Ohio State is 2-6 against the spread over its last eight games. That is barely better than the 1-5 ATS mark the Tigers have in their last six games against teams with winning records.

Each team’s offense averages 40-plus points. The Buckeyes, led by QB J.T. Barrett and RB Mike Weber, have the more efficient attack. The Tigers, with star QB Deshaun Watson and TE Jordan Leggett, are more explosive. The game might come down to which defense is more disruptive. Clemson has racked up 46 sacks, while S Malik Hooker and the Buckeyes thrive at causing turnovers.

The storied programs met in the 2014 Orange Bowl, with Clemson winning. Ohio State is 11-1 SU after losing the previous game in a matchup.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are favored by 16.5 points against the Washington Huskies in the other CFP semifinal, the Peach Bowl in Atlanta on December 31. Huskies QB Jake Browning, who struggled with reads against Colorado in the Pac-12 Championship Game, is facing OLB Reuben Foster and the No. 1-ranked scoring defense. Alabama QB Jalen Hurts could hurt the Huskies with his mobility, but Washington should not be written off totally.

The Michigan Wolverines are seven-point favorites against the Florida State Seminoles on the Orange Bowl odds, with that game taking place on December 30 in Miami. The Seminoles’ 8-0 SU streak will be on the line as superstar RB Dalvin Cook faces Michigan’s No. 2-ranked defense. Michigan, presuming QB Wilton Speight is healthy, should be able to put up some points against FSU, which allows 24 points per game.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 7.5-point favorites against the Western Michigan Broncos in the Cotton Bowl, the early New Year Six’s game on January 2. The speedy Broncos are 4-0 ATS in their last four games against the Big Ten and have great catalysts such as WR Corey Davis and DE Keion Adams. Wisconsin, with OLB T.J. Watt and CB Shelton Sojourn, can play lights-out defense.

The USC Trojans are favored by seven against the Penn State Nittany Lions in the Rose Bowl. Penn State is 8-0 ATS over its last eight games but hasn’t seen a passing game like Southern Cal’s, which is led by QB Sam Darnold and future NFL WR JuJu Schuster-Smith. Penn State QB Trace McSorley is hard to shut down, but LB Michael Hutchings and Southern Cal’s defense has been very solid for the last two months.

The Oklahoma Sooners are 4.5-point favorites against the Auburn Tigers in the Sugar Bowl. Auburn is 7-2 ATS over its last nine games and will trot out an efficient pass defense against Oklahoma’s irresistible combo of QB Baker Mayfield and WR Dede Westbrook. The Sooners’ major weakness, pass defense (119th nationally in aerial yards allowed), might not matter much against the Tigers (112th in passing yards).

Auburn, USC, Ohio State among conference championship favorites

Leave a comment

The Auburn Tigers’ habit of closing well and the Georgia Bulldogs’ resiliency are two trends to be mindful of heading into Week 14, when the College Football Playoff matchups will be determined.

By virtue of a head-to-head win earlier this month, Auburn is a two-point favorite against Georgia with a 44-point total in the SEC championship game at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Georgia, which will be a de facto home team at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, is 9-3 straight-up in its last 12 games against Auburn, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. The Bulldogs are also 4-0 both SU and against the spread in rematches against teams which they lost to in the previous matchup. Auburn, led by QB Jarrett Stidham and RB Kerryon Johnson, is 5-0 ATS in its last five games in December.

The USC Trojans are four-point favorites against the Stanford Cardinal with a 58.5 total in the Pac-12 championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which is a Friday matchup. Stanford is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games on a Friday. Southern California beat rival UCLA last week but is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games after a win.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 6.5-point favorites against the Wisconsin Badgers, with a 51.5 total in the Big Ten championship game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Wisconsin is 0-5 SU and 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Ohio State. Ohio State is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against its conference. The total has gone over in eight of Ohio State’s last nine games.

The Clemson Tigers are 9.5-point favorites against the Miami Hurricanes, with a 46 total in the ACC championship game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte. Miami is 1-4 ATS in its last five games against Clemson. The total has gone over in Miami’s last four games against Clemson. Clemson is 33-1 SU in its last 34 games after winning the previous game in a matchup.

The Oklahoma Sooners are seven-point favorites against the TCU Horned Frogs, with a 63.5 total in the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington. TCU is 1-6 SU in its last seven games against Oklahoma. The total has gone under in six of TCU’s last eight games against Oklahoma. Oklahoma is 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in Week 14.

The Central Florida Golden Knights are seven-point home favorites against the Memphis Tigers, with an 82 total in the AAC championship game. The total has gone under in four of Memphis’ last five games against Central Florida. Central Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after consecutive wins.

Despite losing to them a week ago, the Boise State Broncos are 8.5-point home favorites against the Fresno State Bulldogs, with a 50 total in the Mountain West championship game. Fresno State is 4-12 ATS in its last 16 games against Boise State. Boise State is 19-3 SU in its last 22 games after a loss.

The Toledo Rockets are 21.5-point favorites against the Akron Zips, with a 57.5 total in the Mid-American championship game at Ford Field in Detroit. Akron is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games. The total has gone under in nine of Akron’s last 11 games against its conference. Toledo is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games.

And the Florida Atlantic Owls are 11-point home favorites against the North Texas Mean Green with a 73.5 total in the Conference USA championship game. The total has gone over in 10 of North Texas’s last 14 games. Florida Atlantic is 7-2 ATS in its last nine games 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.

Alabama an Iron Bowl betting favorite to highlight college football week slate

Leave a comment

Alabama and Jalen Hurts will have to correct their recent offensive regression away from home in order to get a cover against archrival Auburn. The Crimson Tide are listed as 4.5-point road favorites against the Tigers in the Iron Bowl with a 47.5-point total at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Alabama is a stellar 8-2 straight-up and 7-3 against the spread in its last 10 road games as a favorite of 6.5 or fewer points. However, they are just 2-4 ATS in their last six games overall, with one culprit being the fact their average production in their last two road games (29 points, 399.5 yards) pales compared to the Tide’s output at home (40 points, 482.3 yards).

Auburn and star QB Jarrett Stidham are 3-0 ATS in its last three home games as the underdog, although it is just 2-7 ATS in its last nine home games in November, according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

The Miami Hurricanes are 13.5-point road favorites against the Pittsburgh Panthers, with a 52 total in a Friday betting matchup. Miami is 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS in its last nine games in November. The total has gone under in seven of Miami’s last eight games. Pittsburgh is 5-14 ATS in its last 19 games at home.

The UCF Golden Knights are 10-point favorites against the South Florida Bulls with a 62.5 total in a Friday matchup. South Florida is 6-2 SU and ATS in its last eight games against Central Florida. Central Florida is 7-1 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games on a Friday.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 12-point road betting favorites against the Michigan Wolverines, with a 50 total. Ohio State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games against Michigan. The total has gone over in Ohio State’s last four games against Michigan. Michigan is 1-5 ATS in its last six games at home.

The Georgia Bulldogs are 11-point road favorites against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, with a 51.5 total. Georgia is 9-0 ATS in its last nine games on the road against Georgia Tech. Georgia Tech is 7-3 SU in its last 10 games at home in November. The total has gone under in five of Georgia Tech’s last six home games against Georgia.

The Clemson Tigers are 14-point road favorites against the South Carolina Gamecocks, with a 46.5 total. The total has gone under in nine of South Carolina’s last 12 games against the ACC. Clemson is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games against South Carolina.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 17-point road favorites against the Minnesota Golden Gophers, with a 43 total. The total has gone over in 15 of Wisconsin’s last 17 games against Minnesota. Minnesota is 22-8-1 ATS in its last 31 games in November.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 2.5-point road favorites against the Stanford Cardinal, with a 57 total. Notre Dame is 0-5 ATS in its last five games in November. The total has gone under in six of Notre Dame’s last seven games against Stanford. Stanford is 5-2 ATS in its last seven games in Week 13.

The Oklahoma Sooners are 22.5-point favorites against the West Virginia Mountaineers, with a 68.5 total. West Virginia is 8-1 SU and 7-2 ATS in its last nine games in Week 13. The total has gone under in Oklahoma’s last five games at home against teams with winning records.

And the Washington Huskies are 10-point favorites against the Washington State Cougars, with a 47.5 total. Washington State is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games on the road against teams with winning records. The total has gone UNDER in nine of Washington’s last 12 games against its conference.

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.