Ward, Houston among betting favorites to early slate of bowl games

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Led by quarterback Greg Ward Jr. the Houston Cougars boast wins against Louisville and Oklahoma this season, but they have a tough matchup against the San Diego State Aztecs in the Las Vegas Bowl.

Saturday’s slate of bowl games includes Houston being listed as a 3.5-point favorite against the San Diego State Aztecs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Houston is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games, but 7-0 straight-up in their last seven games after losing as a favorite. The Mountain West-champion Aztecs, who boast 2,000-yard rusher Donnel Pumphrey, are 5-2 SU in their last seven games against AAC competition.

Ward directs a Houston attack that averages 38 points, 459 yards and 301.9 passing yards per game, but is turnover-prone. The Aztecs lead the country with 22 interceptions. Paced by Pumphrey, the Aztecs pound out more than 273 rushing yards per game, but Houston is No. 2 in the nation (behind only Alabama) in yards allowed per rush. Aztecs quarterback Christian Chapman typically isn’t asked to step out of his comfort zone as a game manager.

The New Mexico Lobos are listed as seven-point favorites against the UTSA Roadrunners in the New Mexico Bowl on their home field, University Stadium in Albuquerque. The Lobos are 8-2 SU and 4-6 ATS in their last 10 games as a home favorite. They lead the country in rushing thanks to the tandem of 1,000-yard rushers Teriyon Gipson and Teriyon Owens. The Roadrunners, led by linebackers La’Kel Bass and Marcus Davenport, are one of the Top 10 teams at generating turnovers.

The Appalachian State Mountaineers are favored by one point against the Toledo Rockets in the Camellia Bowl. The matchup at Montgomery, Alabama’s Cramton Bowl pits Toledo’s Logan Woodside, the country’s second-most efficient passer, against Appalachian State’s defense which is the sixth-most efficient against the pass, with 20 interceptions. The Mountaineers are 8-0 when Marcus Cox rushes for 100 yards this season and Toledo is average at containing the run.

The Arkansas State Red Wolves are 5.5-point favorites against the Central Florida Golden Knights in the Cure Bowl, in which UCF will be playing close to home at Camping World Stadium in Orlando. The Red Wolves, 1-6 ATS in their last seven games against the AAC, face a challenge against AAC defensive player of the year Shaquem Griffin and the 10 senior starters on the Golden Knights defense. Central Florida is 7-3 ATS in their last 10 games.

And the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles are 3.5-point favorites against the Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns in the New Orleans Bowl. Each team is middling defensively, but quarterback Nick Mullens and 1,300-yard rusher Ito Smith give Southern Miss, which is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games against Sun Belt teams, the edge in scoring punch. Ragin’ Cajuns quarterback Anthony Jennings is the second-least prolific passer in the Sun Belt.

College Football Odds: Notre Dame, Georgia headline betting favorites

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The Georgia Bulldogs are the first team in almost a decade to go into LSU’s fabled Death Valley laying more than a touchdown, but they are a reliable cover as a heavy road favorite

Georgia, with an offense led by sophomore quarterback Jake Fromm, are 8-point road favorites against the LSU Tigers with an 50.5-point total for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The line is the largest against LSU in a home game at Tiger Stadium since 2009 when they were 10-point underdogs against Tim Tebow-led Florida.

Georgia is 8-1 straight-up and 6-3 against the spread since 2014 as a road favorite of at least 7.5 points. Georgia is also 10-1 SU and 9-2 ATS in its last 11 road games against teams with winning records. However, LSU is 8-1 ATS in its last nine games against its conference. Six of the last seven games in this matchup have gone OVER, with an average combined score of 59.43.

Elsewhere this weekend, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 21-point betting favorites against the Pittsburgh Panthers with a 54-point total. The visiting team is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 games in this matchup. The total has gone UNDER in four of Notre Dame’s last five home games, with an average combined score of 43.2.

The Washington Huskies are 3-point road favorites against the Oregon Ducks with a 57.5-point total. Washington is 1-7 SU and 1-6-1 ATS in its last eight road games against Oregon. Oregon is 0-4 ATS in its last four home games.

The Michigan Wolverines are 9-point favorites against the Wisconsin Badgers with a 49-point total. Wisconsin is 9-1-1 ATS in its last 11 games against Michigan, according to the OddsShark College Football Database. Michigan, coming off of a decisive win at Maryland, is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after an ATS win. The total has gone OVER in six of Michigan’s last seven home games, with an average combined score of 55.57.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 29.5-point favorites against the Minnesota Golden Gophers with a 59.5-point total. Minnesota is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games against its conference. The total has gone OVER in 10 of Ohio State’s last 14 games against its conference.

The Penn State Nittany Lions are 13.5-point favorites against the Michigan State Spartans with a 53-point total. Michigan State is 3-8 ATS in its last 11 road games. The total has gone OVER in 16 of Michigan State’s last 19 games against Penn State, with an average combined score of 59.16.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are 28-point favorites against the Missouri Tigers with a 73.5-point total. Missouri is 11-4 ATS in its last 15 road games against teams with winning records. The total has gone OVER in seven of Missouri’s last nine games against its conference. The total has gone OVER in six of Alabama’s last seven games, with an average combined score of 68.71.

The Auburn Tigers are 15-point favorites against the Tennessee Volunteers with a 47-point total. The total has gone OVER in five of Tennessee’s last seven games against its conference. Auburn is 1-4 ATS in its last five games.

The Texas Longhorns are 14-point favorites against the Baylor Bears with a 60.5-point total. Baylor is 4-1 ATS in its last five road games against Texas. Texas is coming off a dramatic win against rival Oklahoma but is 1-4 ATS in its last five games after an ATS win. The total has gone UNDER in Baylor’s last five games against Texas.

And the West Virginia Mountaineers are 6.5-point road favorites against the Iowa State Cyclones with a 56-point total. West Virginia is 3-9 ATS in its last 12 road games in October. Iowa State is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.

College football odds: Red River Showdown in spotlight on Week 6 board

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Bettors will have to balance a tighter-than-usual line and a possibly tougher Texas team as the Oklahoma Sooners look for a cover in the Red River Showdown this weekend.

The Sooners, with junior quarterback Kyler Murray behind centre, are 7.5-point favorites on the college football odds against the Texas Longhorns with an 60.5-point total for Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

The Sooners are 0-5 against the spread in the last five editions of this annual matchup at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, according to the OddsShark College Football Database, but the smallest spread in any of those games was 9.0 points. Overall, Oklahoma is 8-0 straight-up and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games within the Big 12. Texas is 5-0 ATS in its last five games in October, while the total has gone UNDER in 16 of Texas’ last 18 against its conference.

Elsewhere, the Auburn Tigers are 3-point road favorites against the Mississippi State Bulldogs with a 44.5-point total. Auburn is 6-1 SU and 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven games in October. Mississippi State is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 home games.

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish are 5.5-point road favorites against the Virginia Tech Hokies with a 53.5-point total. The total has gone OVER in eight of Notre Dame’s last 11 games on the road, with an average combined score of 62.36. Virginia Tech is 12-0 SU and 10-2 ATS in its last 12 games against Independent teams.

The Clemson Tigers are 17-point road favorites against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons with a 62-point total. Clemson is 0-4 ATS in its last four games against Wake Forest and the total has gone UNDER in seven of their last 10 matchups with an average combined score of 46.7. Wake Forest is 18-6 ATS in its last 24 home games in October.

The LSU Tigers are 2.5-point favorites against the Florida Gators with a 44-point total. LSU is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games against fellow SEC teams, while the total has gone UNDER in 15 of LSU’s last 21 conference games. Florida, whose last home game was on September 15 in Week 3, is 8-1 SU in its last nine home games after consecutive road games.

The Miami Hurricanes are 12.5-point favorites against the Florida State Seminoles with a 51-point total. Florida State is 0-9 ATS in its last nine games against its conference. Miami is 0-5 ATS in its last five home games in October. The total has gone OVER in five of Miami’s last six games, with an average combined score of 60.5.

The Texas A&M Aggies are 5.5-point favorites against the Kentucky Wildcats with a 51-point total. Kentucky is 7-3 ATS in its last 10 games on the road, while the total has gone UNDER in Kentucky’s last six games on the road in October. Texas A&M is 2-8 ATS in its last 10 games in October.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are 25-point favorites against the Indiana Hoosiers with a 62.5-point total. Indiana is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games against Ohio State. The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Ohio State’s last 15 home games against teams with winning records.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are heavy 35-point road favorites against the Arkansas Razorbacks with a 61-point total. The total has gone OVER in five of Alabama’s last six games, with an average combined score of 64.17. Arkansas is 2-7-1 ATS in its last 10 home games.

And the Stanford Cardinal are 5-point favorites against the Utah Utes with a 46.5-point total. Utah is 12-1 ATS in its last 13 games on the road against teams with winning records. Stanford is 6-2 ATS in its last eight games.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at OddsShark.libsyn.com.