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.

Penn State, Notre Dame among Week 8 betting favorites

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Trace McSorley, Saquon Barkley and Penn State opened as a nearly two-touchdown favorite before bettors remembered what happened in their last game against Michigan.

Playing at home with one of the most potent offenses in the nation, the Penn State Nittany Lions are 9.5-point betting favorites against the Big Ten rival Michigan Wolverines with a 45-point total for their Week 8 college football matchup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Penn State, which opened laying 12.5 points, is 0-3 straight-up and against the spread in its last three games against Michigan. However, since their 2016 defeat against Michigan, Penn State is 14-1 SU and 13-1-1 ATS in its 15 most recent games according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Michigan, which will try to stop all-purpose RB Barkley and dual-thread QB McSorley with the country’s No. 1-ranked defense, is 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight games in October.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 3.5-point favorites against the USC Trojans, with a 66 total. Southern Cal is 0-5 ATS in its last five games. Notre Dame is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games in October.

The Auburn Tigers are 15.5-point road favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks, with a 53.5 total. Auburn is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games on the road against teams with losing records. Arkansas is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 34.5-point favorites against the Tennessee Volunteers, with a 50.5 total. Tennessee is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 games on the road after consecutive home games. The total has gone under in Alabama’s last six games at home in October.

The TCU Horned Frogs are 39-point favorites against the Kansas Jayhawks, with a 59.5 total. Kansas is 0-5 SU and 5-0 ATS in its last five games against TCU, which is 1-9 ATS in its last 10 games at home.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 24-point favorites against the Maryland Terrapins, with a 50.5 total. Maryland, is on a two-game losing streak but is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games after consecutive losses. The total has gone over in six of Wisconsin’s last seven games against its conference.

The Oklahoma Sooners are 13.5-point road favorites against the Kansas State Wildcats, with a 56 total. The visiting team is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in this matchup. Kansas State is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games in Week 8. The total has gone over in seven of Oklahoma’s last nine games against Kansas State.

The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 7-point road favorites against the Texas Longhorns, with a 65.5 total. Oklahoma State is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games in October. Texas is 5-0 ATS in its last five games, but overall is 6-16 ATS in its last 22 games after consecutive ATS wins.

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.

Red River Rivalry on the board on college football Week 7 betting slate

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The Oklahoma Sooners tend to recover very well after a loss, but they have also had trouble recently earning covers against the rival Texas Longhorns.

The Sooners and quarterback Baker Mayfield are a 7.5-point betting favorite against the Longhorns with a 64.5-point total in their Week 7 matchup, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Oklahoma comes into this edition of the Red River Rivalry at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on a down note after a shock home loss last week against Iowa State. The Sooners are 24-2 straight-up in their last 26 games after a loss, but 0-4 against the spread in their last four games against Texas. The total has gone OVER in eight of Oklahoma’s last 11 games after losing as a favorite.

Texas, with QB Sam Ehlinger, is on a 4-0 ATS streak, which might override their longer-running trend of being 5-16 ATS in their last 21 games after consecutive covers.

The Clemson Tigers are 22.5-point road favorites against the Syracuse Orange, with a 56 total in their Friday betting matchup. Clemson is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games against its conference. The total has gone under in 11 of Syracuse’s last 13 games.

The Washington State Cougars are 14-point road favorites against the California Golden Bears, with a 53.5 total in their Friday meeting. Washington State is 2-10 SU in its last 12 games against Cal. Cal is 1-7 SU and 2-6 ATS in its last eight games against its conference.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 30-point favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks, with a 55.5 total. The total has gone over in 19 of Arkansas’ last 24 road games against teams with winning records. Alabama is 1-4 ATS in its last five home games according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

The Georgia Bulldogs are 30-point favorites against the Missouri Tigers, with a 56.5 total. Missouri is 1-7 ATS in its last eight road games. Georgia is 5-0 SU and ATS in its last five games against its conference. The total has gone UNDER in seven of Georgia’s last nine games in Week 7.

The Miami Hurricanes are 5.5-point favorites against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, with a 53 total. Georgia Tech is 1-7 SU and ATS in its last eight games against Miami. Miami is 9-0 SU and 8-1 ATS in its last nine games.

The Michigan Wolverines are seven-point favorites against the Indiana Hoosiers, with a 47.5 total. Michigan is 4-14 ATS in its last 18 road games after winning their most recent road game. Indiana is 0-6 SU in its last six games in Week 7.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 24-point road favorites against the Nebraska Cornhuskers, with a 58 total. Ohio State is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games in Week 7. Nebraska is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games in October. The total has gone over in the past three games of this matchup.

The TCU Horned Frogs are six-point road favorites against the Kansas State Wildcats, with a 53 total. Texas Christian lost to Kansas State in 2016, but is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games after losing the previous game in a matchup. Kansas State is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 home games against teams with winning records.

And the USC Trojans are 13-point favorites against the Utah Utes, with a 53 total. Utah is 10-0 ATS in its last 10 road games against teams with winning records, as well as 8-1 SU and ATS in its last nine games in Week 7. Southern Cal is 0-4 ATS in its last four 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.