After Week 9, the division between the top-four National Championship favorites and the rest of the field is bigger than ever. There was formerly a consensus top six that included Clemson, Alabama, Ohio State, LSU, Oklahoma, and Georgia. But both UGA and Oklahoma have been upset as double-digit favorites the last few weeks while the other four continued to roll. Alabama is the chalk at +275, followed by Clemson and Ohio State (+300) and then LSU (+450). No other team is shorter than +1200, now that we know the odds for all the Championship favorites it’s just as vital to know a safe place to wager on them. Most US sites listed here visa is still the most common option for depositing funds into your account, with the newest addition of Bitcoin being widely accepted, thus various eWallets are also increasing in popularity.
It’s the home stretch of the college football season! We have a calm slate this upcoming weekend before we have two matchups between 8-0 teams on November 9th: No. 2 Alabama vs. No. 1 LSU and No. 13 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Penn State. Despite the lack of intriguing games this weekend, there are some spreads that I do like this week.
Last week was a rough week, as I went 2-5 in my picks for the weekend, but for the season I’m still up 2.5 units. Now, it’s time to bounce back. Let’s get into my picks for this Saturday.
1. No. 14 Michigan (-21) @ Maryland
This is easily my favorite game of the week. The spread opened at 16.5 and has already moved to 21, as 86% of the money is going on Michigan (per The Action Network). They say to fade the public, but I won’t be doing that for this game.
This is a classic case of two teams going in polar opposite directions. Michigan looks the best they have all season, and have new-found hope for a 10-2 season after a 45-14 victory over Notre Dame. Maryland has lost their last three games by an average margin of victory of 24.7 points. They lost to Purdue by 26, Indiana by 6, and Minnesota by 42. After a promising start, the Terps are now 3-5 with Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State still left on the schedule. Let’s just say things aren’t great for them.
Maryland ranks 73rd in total offense this season, and that’s an inflated ranking from their 77-0 win over Howard in the first week of the season. Considering Michigan ranks 7th in total defense, that could be pretty problematic for Maryland. Maryland ranks 94th in total defense as well, so it’s not like they have a good defense to make up for their bad offense. I see this as a blowout all the way, and think Michigan wins this game 42-14 or 42-7.
2. Illinois (-20) vs. Rutgers
Through five Big Ten games, Rutgers has been outscored 207-14. That’s not a typo. They’ve been outscored by 197 points to five Big Ten opponents. This Rutgers team doesn’t belong anywhere near the Big Ten right now and there’s no doubt about that.
Prior to the Minnesota-Rutgers game, I said that I was going to bet against Rutgers in every game the rest of the season. Minnesota covered the 28.5- point spread. Last week, Liberty was 7.5-point favorites over Rutgers and I took Liberty. It turns out, Rutgers isn’t THAT bad as they beat Liberty 44-34.
Well guess what… Rutgers is back to Big Ten play and I’m sticking to my word. After being the second joke of the Big Ten behind Rutgers at the beginning of the season, Illinois all of a sudden finds themselves in a spot where they have a ton to play for. Following a huge 24-23 win over Wisconsin, and a 24-6 win over Purdue, they’re now 4-4. Their remaining schedule is vs. Rutgers, @ Michigan State, @ Iowa, and vs. Northwestern. If they can win two of those, then they’ll be bowl-eligible for the first time since 2014 where they lost in the Heart of Dallas Bowl to Louisiana Tech.
Expect this pumped up Illinois team to steamroll Rutgers at home, and move to 5-4 on the season. The 20-point spread is way too little if Rutgers’ track record is an accurate sign, which I think it is.
3. Kansas St. (-6) @ Kansas
I bet against Kansas twice this year, and I’m 0-2 in those bets. I had Boston College -19.5, and they lost to the Jayhawks 48-24. Then, I had Oklahoma -32.5, and the Sooners only won by 25. However, those were both very big spreads. Now, Kansas lost to Texas by two, 50-48, and then beat Texas Tech 37-34.
As a result, the spreads have began to shrink in Kansas games. Texas Tech, probably the second worst team in the conference behind Kansas, was favored by six in the game they lost in Lawrence last week. Now, a ranked Kansas State team is only favored by six. I see this as a situation where the line is based far too much on last week’s results.
Two weeks ago, Florida was only favored by four in South Carolina after the Gators lost to LSU and the Gamecocks beat Georgia. I had three units on Florida that game, and they ended up winning by 11.
If you look at the Kansas State offense, it’s by far their biggest weakness. They’ve only scored 97 points in four Big 12 games so far, 48 of which were scored last week vs. Oklahoma. However Kansas has one of the worst defenses in the conference, as they’ve allowed 209 points through five games. That’s 41.8 per game, the most in the conference so far. I don’t think offense will be a problem for the Wildcats in this one.
Kansas State’s defense is among the best in the conference, as they’re allowing 28.75 points through four Big 12 games (that’s the Big-12 for you). I just don’t see Kansas winning two straight Big 12 games. The last time they did that was 2008, which is also the last year they won more than one conference game! I think Kansas State wins, and Kansas’s defense just isn’t good enough to keep things close.