NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 6 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
The College Football Playoff was created to appease the Power 5 conferences and, presumably, to assume that a conference champion from four of those five would reach the College Football Playoff.
And that was the case until last year when the SEC got two in and the Pac-12 and Big 12 were both left out. This year? We could see as few as two conferences represented: two teams from the SEC, one from either the Big Ten or ACC and Notre Dame.
If the No. 6 Irish win Saturday night at No. 24 Virginia Tech, which is on its backup quarterback, then Notre Dame is looking great for the playoff. Just look at the Irish's remaining schedule after Saturday: Oct. 13 vs. Pittsburgh, Oct. 27 vs. Navy (neutral site), Nov. 3 at Northwestern, Nov. 10 vs. Florida State, Nov. 17 vs. Syracuse (neutral site) and Nov. 24 at Southern Cal.
Am I saying that Notre Dame will run the table? No. FSU could get its act together. Syracuse is much better than anyone expected. Southern Cal is still loaded with talent. However, none of those schools are currently ranked, and the Irish should be solid favorites in all of them. And they don't have to worry about a conference championship game.
News flash: If there's an unbeaten Notre Dame team, it doesn't matter what happens in any other conference - the Irish are in the playoff. They still drive the needle from a popularity standpoint more than any school. There is one injury to note revolving the Irish, and that's to potential All-American guard Alex Bars, also a team leader. He hurt his knee in last week's rout of Stanford and is done for the year. Coach Brian Kelly called the news "devastating."
Saturday is only the second meeting between the Irish and Hokies and their first in Blacksburg so that place will be zoo. Of the last 10 schools to visit Lane Stadium for the first time, only one has come away victorious: Ohio State in 2015. Notre Dame is 1-8 in its past nine true road games vs. AP Top 25 schools.
One of the biggest line moves is from this game as Tech opened at +2.5 but is now +6.5. The total has jumped from 55.5 to 57. Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
Kansas at No. 9 West Virginia ( -29, 61.5): The biggest spread move as of this writing comes from this Big 12 matchup as the Mountaineers opened at -24. Not sure if it has to do with the Kansas quarterback news as embattled coach David Beaty will start Carter Stanley again. Previous starter Miles Kendrick (who himself replaced Peyton Bender) has been ruled out due to a shoulder injury suffered Week 4 that kept him out this past Saturday vs. Oklahoma State. Stanley didn't play at all in either of KU's first two games of the season, got some mop-up duty in the third game and replaced Kendrick vs. Baylor. Last week in the 48-28 home loss to the Pokes, the junior was 24 of 32 for 247 yards and three scores without a pick. WVU has no QB questions with Heisman candidate Will Grier. He is averaging 367.3 yards of total offense, No. 3 nationally. His passer rating is No. 2. West Virginia is 6-1 all-time in this series.
Boston College at No. 23 NC State (-5, 59.5): This line opened with Wolfpack at -3.5, and I'll be betting heavily on this game for NC State under a TD if Eagles star running back AJ Dillon doesn't play - he is their offense. The All-American and preseason ACC Player of the Year is being called a game-time decision with an ankle injury suffered last week against Temple. Dillon ranks third in the FBS with 652 yards rushing. He'd probably be first if he hadn't been pulled in a few blowouts and then leave vs. the Owls with that injury. This is actually a sneaky important game in the Atlantic for the primary challenger to Clemson. No one is talking about NC State, which might lose some money if it makes the ACC title game. Why? East Carolina and NC State have agreed to play at noon ET on Dec. 1 in Raleigh as long as neither team is in its respective conference championship game. In Week 3, the Wolfpack were to host West Virginia and ECU travel to Virginia Tech, but both games were canceled due to Hurricane Florence. So NC State and ECU decided to hook up.
New Mexico at UNLV (-9.5, 66.5): The Rebels opened at -13.5. They will be without starting quarterback Armani Rogers indefinitely (likely six weeks) due to a foot injury. The sophomore isn't much of a passer, completing just 41.5 percent for 369 yards, six touchdowns and four picks, but he's one of the best running quarterbacks in the nation. He has rushed for 488 yards and six scores on 71 carries and already is second in school history in rushing yards for a QB. The Rebels will turn to former touted Cal recruit Max Gilliam. He transferred out of Cal and landed at Saddleback College last year. UNLV needs to win four of its final eight games in order to qualify for a postseason bowl. Rogers missed three games due to a concussion last season and the team was 2-1 with a different backup. This continues an amazing trend for UNLV as the school hasn't started the same quarterback in every game of a season since 1996.
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