NCAA Football Betting Odds: Week 13 Line Movements & Last-Minute News
Another week of college football is upon us, and there is yet another College Football Playoff ranking debate to be had despite the Top 4 teams remaining as they were two weeks ago. From the top, LSU, Ohio State, Clemson and Georgia remain as the final four teams, but there are plenty of talking points outside the CFP bubble.
For example, how will the committee view Alabama without Tua in the lineup? Make no mistake about it, Tagovailoa was the driving force behind a good Alabama team, but his absence, or him playing at less than 100 percent, doesn't mean Alabama will be given an olive branch to sneak into the Top 4. It'll be interesting to see how they view the Crimson Tide with Mac Jones under center after they beat Western Carolina before their showdown against Auburn in the Iron Bowl.
Outside of Tuscaloosa, another team is in serious peril of missing out on the CFP, and that's the high-powered Oklahoma Sooners. After pulling off the largest comeback in OU football history, the Sooners rose just one spot from No. 10 to No. 9. The Sooners remain behind five one-loss teams: Georgia, Alabama, Oregon, Utah and Penn State. However, in reality they will need Oregon and Utah to lose another game. Only one team (Michigan State, 2015) has risen from lower than No. 7 to reach the playoff with three weeks to go in the CFP era.
Here are notes for some of Saturday's games around the country, in no particular order.
Nebraska Cornhuskers @ Maryland Terrapins (+5, 62): Before the season started, both of these programs had high hopes and expectations of making a good and respectable bowl game. Both teams got off to hot starts, with the Huskers going 3-1 and the Terps outscoring their first two opponents 142-20. Since then, it's been nothing but misery for both of these teams, and it's unlikely that either of them will be bowling come late December. Coming into this game, however, the oddsmakers opened up Nebraska as 7.5-point favorites over the Terps, but that number has quickly been bet down to just five points with the majority of the money coming in on the rested Terrapins. I'm still not too sure why that's happened as Maryland has lost five straight and has been outscored in the last three games alone, 163-21. That's some bad football. As for the total, this game opened up at 66, and that's been bet down as well to where it currently sits at 62. Nebraska has a lot of question marks on the offense side of the ball, so it'll be interesting to see if they can keep up with a Terps team that we know can score points in bunches.
UCLA Bruins @ No. 23 USC Trojans (-13.5, 65.5): UCLA was rolling high heading into last week's game against Utah before they got steamrolled by a score of 49-3. Now they have to regroup in a hurry and take on No. 23 USC, which is a proposition we don't see them handling well. This spread opened up at USC -10 but has been quickly bet up to 13.5, and with good reason. The Trojans are just cruising right now, having won two straight, including a rout of California and a good win at Arizona State. They are led by freshmen quarterback Kedon Slovis, who has thrown for more than 400 yards in three of the last four games. With their winning streak, USC remains in contention for the Pac-12 title. As for the total of this game, it opened up at 63.5 points but has seen an uptick to 65.5, and with good reason. Both teams can score plenty of points, and both teams play little to no defense.
Oregon State Beavers @ Washington State Cougars (-10.5, 76.5): Both Oregon State and Washington State sit at 5-5, and one of them will emerge victoriously and reach that very important six-win mark. For Oregon State, they've had a great season by their standards, and they've beaten some quality teams to get to where they are today. They have very little by way of injuries to deal with, and as such the number has been bet down to 10.5 from its opening of 15.5. On the other hand, Washington State enters this game after a convincing home win vs Stanford and with high hopes of winning one of these last two games. It should come as no surprise to see a Cougars game slapped with one of the highest totals of the weekend as the number currently sits at 76.5, which is up from the opening number of 75.
Tennessee Volunteers @ Missouri Tigers (-4, 45.5): Can Tennessee do it again and win for the fourth-straight game and get them to the coveted six-win mark? It's quite possible as this team is playing with a lot of confidence right now on both sides of the ball, and they come off a great road win against a good Kentucky team. This number opened up as Missouri -7 but with the way the Volunteers have been playing lately, it's been bet all the way down to -4, and we expect it to fall closer to the field-goal mark come kick-off. Everyone loves a good wager on the Volunteers, and the books are going to try and entice that any way they can. From a Missouri perspective, they also need to find a win over their last two games to reach six wins, although they've had four straight shots at it, losing all four and getting outscored 79-13 over their last three games. It shouldn't come as a surprise to see this total in the mid-40s as it opened up at 47 but has been bet down to 45, and with good reason.
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