Ohio State Among Betting Favorites for College Football Rivalry Week


J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State Buckeyes are hopeful home-field advantage gives them the edge against the Michigan Wolverines’ vaunted defense.

With College Football Playoff implications afoot, the Buckeyes are the 6.5-point betting favorite against Michigan at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Barrett and the Buckeyes, the fifth-highest scoring team in the country, will try to extend a trend of being 9-0 straight-up in home games following consecutive road games.

The line might reflect how the Big Ten rivalry has been lopsided with Ohio State going 11-1 SU in the last 12 meetings. The Buckeyes will need Barrett to be consistent against a Michigan defense which allows only 245 yards per game. The Wolverines have made a QB change to John O’Korn, but that shouldn’t detract from their strong rushing attack.

The Penn State Nittany Lions are the 12.5-point favorite against the Michigan State Spartans.  The Nittany Lions have made a habit of having slow starts, but QB Trace McSorley’s playmaking is an X-factor. Spartans seniors such as MLB Riley Bullough who are in their final career will try not to go out meekly, and MSU is 12-3-1 ATS in their last 16 road games against teams with winning records.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are the 17-point betting favorite against the Auburn Tigers. It could be a low-scoring game since Alabama will try to keep the task simple for freshman QB Jalen Hurts. Auburn has allowed only two opponents to score 20 or more points and can control the clock with RB Kamryn Pettway. With QB Sean White injured, the Tigers might have issues passing. Alabama is 4-1 ATS in the last five editions of the Iron Bowl.

The Florida State Seminoles are the seven-point favorite against the Florida Gators. The visiting team is 5-0 ATS in the state rivals’ last five matchups. Caleb Brantley and Florida’s defensive line will need to reprise the effort they had last week against LSU to have any hope of shutting down Seminoles RB Dalvin Cook. The Gators are the more offensively challenged team.

The Washington Huskies are favored by six points on the road against the Washington State Cougars in a Friday matchup that will decide the Pac-12 North. The Cougars stack up as a sexy underdog but the Huskies, with CB Kevin King and CB Sidney Jones, present the biggest challenge that the Luke Falk-led Air Raid attack has faced. The Huskies, through RB Myles Gaskin, will probably make a conscious effort to control the clock.

And the Colorado Buffaloes, who are looking to clinch the Pac-12 South, are the 10-point betting favorite against the Utah Utes. Utah is 8-0 ATS in their last eight games against teams with winning records, but workhorse RB Joe Williams is facing a very solid Colorado defense. Colorado QB Sefo Liufau, complemented by RB Phillip Lindsay, also seems to have peaked at the right time.