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.