NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 11 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Really no big surprises in this week's College Football Playoff Top 25 because there were no major upsets in Week 10. Those things go hand-in-hand. Alabama remains No. 1 and Clemson No. 2. Notre Dame moved up to No. 3 to take the spot of LSU, which dropped to No. 7 following its 29-0 home loss to Alabama. Frankly, No. 7 seems high, but we'll get to that.
Michigan is now in the playoff as things stand sitting at No. 4 following its impressive blowout of Penn State. However, the Wolverines' margin is razor-thin over No. 5 Georgia, which already is locked into the SEC title game vs. the Tide. What I'd like to see there is a Dawgs win; what would the committee then do with Alabama? Probably would depend on what the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 champs finish at.
Oklahoma also moved up a spot to No. 6, then there's LSU, No. 8 Washington State, No. 9 West Virginia and No. 10 Ohio State. I don't see why the two-loss Tigers are above those three one-loss schools. Yes, LSU has played a tough schedule and has a win over Georgia, but that schedule doesn't look quite as good now with the likes of Miami, Auburn and Florida (which also beat LSU) fading big time. LSU also has no ranked teams left on its schedule.
Both OU and West Virginia can't win out as they play each other in the regular-season finale and then potentially the Big 12 title game. I think Washington State could either lose this Saturday at Colorado or in the Apple Cup in a few weeks vs. Washington. Once again, the big loser in the rankings is unbeaten UCF as it stayed at No. 12 after a wild win over Temple. The Knights won't get any strength of schedule help this week, either, as they host Navy.
In addition, Bovada has released potential national championship odds for Alabama vs. the other three top teams. The Tide would be -21 vs. Notre Dame, which is just crazy, -14.5 vs. Michigan and -9 vs. Clemson. So in theory, Bama could be a double-digit favorite in every game this year. That's just not good for college football … unless someone beats Nick Saban, that is.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
UNLV at San Diego State (-23, 53.5): This has the biggest line move on the board as the Aztecs opened at -18. This game means squat for the Rebels, who are 2-7 overall and the only team without a conference victory in the Mountain West. San Diego State could be caught looking ahead to next Saturday's potential winner-take-all game for the West Division against current leader Fresno State. The Rebs should see the return of run-heavy QB Armani Rogers. He hasn't played since Sept. 22 due to injury but was cleared to in last week's blowout loss to Fresno State … but was held out. UNLV coach Tony Sanchez says he's planning to start Max Gilliam, who is a prototypical drop-back guy, but get Rogers some playing time. San Diego State quarterback Christian Chapman (knee) and running back Juwan Washington (clavicle) returned from injuries in backup roles last week, but both were key in a 31-23 comeback win at New Mexico. Both should start this week.
No. 4 Michigan at Rutgers (+39, 47.5): This line has risen from an opening of 37. The total is funny because obviously oddsmakers don't expect Rutgers to score double-digit points if they are +39 (largest home dogs on board) and the total is less than 49. One wonders if Michigan sleepwalks through this game after just finishing the gauntlet of Wisconsin, Michigan State and Penn State with double-digit victories and ahead of next week's home finale. Most coaches wouldn't run up the score on a hapless conference foe like Rutgers, but most coaches aren't UM's Jim Harbaugh, who just doesn't give a crap. In 2016, the Wolverines won 78-0 at Rutgers. It was the Wolverines' largest margin of victory since 1939, and the Knights had 22 yards and two first downs. If you are wondering, UM is 1-1 ATS as at least a 39-point favorite. It last was in 2016 vs. Illinois and won 41-8. Rutgers is 3-3 ATS as at least a 39-point dog. It was in 2016 vs. Ohio State and lost 58-0.
Florida State at No. 3 Notre Dame (-17.5, 54.5): Not much movement here, but a few notable items involving Florida State (one with involving ND). First off, embattled first-year coach Willie Taggart, who was only hired because he's such a good offensive mind, has relinquished play-calling to offensive coordinator Walt Bell for the rest of the season. Bell did call plays in last week's 47-28 loss to NC State in which FSU had 445 yards and averaged 6.54 yards per play. Still it's the first time in his eight-plus seasons as a head coach (Western Kentucky, USF and Oregon previously) that Taggart will not be calling plays from the sideline. It's also the first time in forever that an FSU head coach won't do so because Jimbo Fisher did from 2010-17. Starting QB Deondre Francois missed the Wolfpack game due to injury. He's probable here but may not start. Should FSU lose as expected, it would then need to upset Boston College and Florida, both in Tallahassee, to extend its record bowl streak to 37 straight seasons. Meanwhile, Irish QB Ian Book (rib) is also out, but they have a pretty capable backup in Brandon Wimbush as he opened the year as the starter. Book, only expected to miss one game, is the much better passer and Wimbush more of a dual-threat.
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