Rivalry Games Dot the College Football Landscape Today



Miller and Meyer look to extend their winning streak against Michigan.

Its rivalry week which means anything can happen in games in Auburn, Ann Arbor and Chapel Hill but do I like the dogs or the favorites in today’s action? Check it below.

Ohio State (-16) at Michigan – It’s amazing how cyclical this rivalry has been over the last two decades. Under Lloyd Carr, Michigan dominated the series with the Buckeyes while Ohio State behind Jim Tressel turned the tables. OSU Head Coach Urban Meyer is 1-0 against the team from ‘up north’ while Brady Hoke is 1-1 against the team from ‘Ohio.’

For the Buckeyes, the stakes are simple. They already have a date with Michigan State next week in the Big Ten Championship Game but in order to have any chance of reaching the BCS National Title game they must win in Ann Arbor and win convincingly. Because Michigan has drastically under-achieved this season, a slim victory over the Wolverines probably won’t sit well with pollsters.

Michigan has struggled to run the ball and has struggled even more in protecting quarterback Devin Gardner whose play has declined in recent weeks. The Wolverines are 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home versus the Buckeyes. Meanwhile, OSU is 4-2 straight up in their last six trips to Michigan Stadium. I see a big time beat down by the Buckeyes in the Big House. Take Ohio State to cover.

Cutcliffe has worked wonders at Duke and has them on a seven-game winning streak.

Duke (+6) at North Carolina – It isn’t the same as the rivalry on the hard-court down on Tobacco Road but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot at stake in this match-up. The Blue Devils can clinch a spot in the ACC Championship Game with a victory over their rivals. A loss would create a three-way tie with Duke, Virginia Tech and Miami who won their season finale yesterday.

The over/under is 58 and I’m loving the over as both teams average over 32 points per game and each gives up about 24 per game defensively. Duke has won seven straight games and is riding a wave unseen in these parts in a long, long time. UNC is 8-1 straight up in their last nine home games with the Blue Devils and that concerns me.

What also concerns me is Tar Heels’ tight end Eric Ebron who could find himself as the top tight end entering the 2014 NFL Draft. If Duke cannot handle or at the very least contain Ebron it could be a long day for their defense. With that said, Duke is too much to pass up at +6. Take the Blue Devils in this one.

Alabama (-11) at Auburn – I’ve struggled to get a grip on this one all week but I finally feel like I’ve got some things to go on. The knock on Alabama has been the fact that they don’t win dynamically enough or put up the points that Florida State and/or Ohio State do. That won’t mean a lick to Nick Saban and it never has. He knows a win means a trip to Atlanta to play either South Carolina or Missouri in the SEC Title Game.

Auburn and first-year coach Gus Malzahn also know what is at stake for them. They’ve already completed the season’s biggest turnaround in terms of wins and losses versus the previous season but now they can take another step. A win sends them to Atlanta and puts a bitter end to their rivals’ tremendous streak of success.

The Iron Bowl will be a vicious battle but I think it comes down to two things; big game experience and defense and both of those favor the Crimson Tide. In order for the Tigers to have any success they must run the ball early. It will help them set up their passing game which is typically not much of a threat. Can Auburn handle the pressure of this type of game? It’s a fair question.

The Tigers are 3-6 against the spread in their last nine games at home against the Tide which bears some thought but I really like Alabama to win this game but 11 is just too big so take Auburn getting those points.

Sports Books Could Take Big Hit with Leftovers

The NFL games from Thursday could hurt the sports book industry heading into the weekend due to leftovers. No, not the ones you ate on Friday from Thanksgiving, but the owns left over from the very heavy action that took place on both Thursday and Friday.

The entire season has seen college football very consistent with the sports books grinding out a win. For the most part the NFL has been good for books as well, but sports books like Bovada, sportsbook.com, topbet or betonline have not had to deal with that many (3) NFL games as they head to Sunday. Those three games attract a handle close to the amount of a Monday Night game.

The majority of books were fortunate on Thursday getting a push, Both Pittsburgh and Oakland scored late in their games to keep the games from going 6-0 for favorites and OVER.

In addition, the books escaped that day, but could end up paying out big time on Sunday. Not all the tickets for the bettors from Thursday are finalized. Therefore, when the final leg of the parlays hit on Sunday, sports books could be looking at having to pay out 10 to 1 or as much as 20 to 1 odds to start the day in just the early 1:00 pm games.

One game that has been popular heading into Sunday is the Panthers vs. the Buccaneers. The public loves Carolina since they have been victorious in seven straight games. The larger money however has sided with Tampa Bay taking the opening line of +9.5 all the way to +7.5.

New England is also a popular public choice since everyone watched them come from behind to beat Denver in overtime. Add to that the losing streak of Houston of nine consecutive games and that goes a long way in helping bettors shape their bets for the week.

Through late Friday, New England laying 7 playing at Houston was the most popular play by the public for the week.

What is good for the books this week however is most of the teams they will be cheering on this Sunday will be playing at home. That in itself is enough to knock down a great deal of the parlays.

The books will need a few dogs to win outright if they hope to be ahead by Sunday night.

Iron Bowl

Thus far the betting action for the Iron Bowl this week has been for the most part Alabama. However, no big bets mostly smaller ones, parlays and ticket counts.

Another NFL Rule That Needs a Swift Adjustment

Goodell and the league must take a more common sense approach with regard to a helmetless player.

It seems about once every month or two I need to smack down National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s assault on the game of football. That’s exactly where I find myself again today after a ridiculous rule nullified a touchdown for the Pittsburgh Steelers in their loss to the Baltimore Ravens last night.

To be clear, the Steelers would score two plays later but this is a rule that needs a very swift alteration because it has significant flaws.

Let’s set this up shall we? The Steelers had the ball on the Ravens’ one and a half yard line first and goal. The ball was handed to Steelers’ rookie Le’Veon Bell who was met near the half yard line by two Ravens’ players. There was a violent collision in which Bell’s helmet went flying into the end zone. He was knocked unconscious and the Ravens’ Ladarius Webb was shaken up as well.

Bell should have been awarded a touchdown despite his helmet being knocked off.

Despite being out of it, Bell fell into the end zone with an unmistakable touchdown and it was signaled as such. Thankfully, Bell came to with the help of the trainers and walked off the field probably not knowing what city he was in. He was diagnosed with a concussion. Webb also appeared to be OK as well.

NFL rules in this age of ‘player safety’ stipulate that if a ball carrier’s helmet comes off then the play is immediately whistled dead at that spot. Makes sense right? We wouldn’t want a player being tackled without a helmet would we? The league just spent three quarters of a billion dollars on former players who raised concerns about head injuries so how it look if the helmet-less ball carrier were getting crunched?

There’s a very important flaw in this rule however. In the 21st century world of football that favors offense way more than defense; this rule actually favors the defense. That’s flaw one. Flaw two is that is prohibits the offense from advancing the ball because the player no longer has a helmet. Where’s the flaw you may ask?

Under almost any situation, who would be responsible for removing a ball carrier’s helmet? It sure as heck isn’t the popcorn vendor. Le’Veon Bell was robbed of a touchdown last night. The play should have continued until he was down or had given himself up.

Want another flaw? The play was reviewed by the on-field referee who saw that the helmet came off at the half-yard line. Why can that be judged but the fact that Bell’s helmet was sent flying by a very obvious helmet-to-helmet hit cannot be?

We see officials huddle on a weekly basis to pick up flags after they’ve been thrown for what are believed to be helmet-to-helmet hits but a penalty cannot be called when one is so blatantly obvious?

The National Football League and it’s system of rules are not perfect. Major League Baseball, the NBA and the NHL are flawed as well. Fact of the matter is that no system is perfect. That does not mean however that each of those rule systems cannot be made better.

Roger Goodell has created a monster. His efforts to make the game safer are to be applauded especially at youth levels where proper tackling techniques must be taught and then re-emphasized throughout a player’s career. In those efforts however, he has made the game a shell of what it once was and has made a farce of the rules of common sense.

Football players know there are risks on every single play. Allow them to decide what is just and unjust in terms of safety and what it means for their long-term health and for crying out loud, it’s time to establish rules that are based on common sense not swift reactions.

Gamecocks Rule the Roost versus Clemson

The Thanksgiving Weekend is loaded with rivalries and great matchups and one takes place at Williams Brice Stadium when the Clemson Tigers visit the South Carolina Gamecocks in a matchup of two teams in the top 10.

Clemson is ranked No. 6 and has a record of 10-1 SU and 6-5 ATS, while South Carolina is ranked No. 10 with a record of 9-2 SU and 5-6 ATS. The line at Bovada has the Gamecocks favored by 5.5 points with the point total on 58 for the over/under.

However, make sure to check prior to kickoff on sites like betonline, topbet and sportsbooks.com for the latest up to the minute information about each game.

Last year the two played in Clemson and South Carolina was able to upset Clemson 27-17 as a road dog of 6.5 points. South Carolina is 4-0 SU and ATS over the last four games head to head with Clemson.

In the past five Clemson games, the OVER is 4-1. South Carolina has a record of 6-1 ATS over its past seven games against opponents from the ACC.

Despite being blown out by Florida State, Clemson has enjoyed an excellent season. Tajh Boyd at quarterback is the leader of the Tigers. He is averaging over 9.4 yards per touch on offensive and has a 67% completion rate. He has 3,248 yards passing and 27 touchdown passes. Boyd has also scored eight rushing touchdowns.

South Carolina lost in Week 8 to Tennessee and since they have been impressive. They defeated Missouri on the road, Florida and Mississippi State at home and then routed Coastal Carolina last weekend 70-10.

Connor Shaw the South Carolina quarterback has thrown 20 touchdown passes and only one interception. Mike Davis is the workhorse running and has gained 1113 yards with 10 touchdowns.

The Gamecocks are ranked No. 10 overall on offense, and No. 19 overall on defense, making them a very well balanced team on both sides of the ball.

South Carolina has won as well as covered the past four games against Clemson. That means the seniors on Clemson have not beaten the Gamecocks in their career. The defense for South Carolina has been the game changer in the past four games against Clemson

The Gamecocks do not turn the ball over often and can control the clock with their running game. Playing at home also gives them a point or two on the spread.

The UNDER in the past six Clemson games is 5-1 after they scored over 40 points in the previous game. Overall, the OVER is 4-1 in the past 5 games for Clemson. In Clemson’s past five games versus SEC opponents the UNDER is 4-1.

Pick: South Carolina 24-21

Three Great NFL Games to Add to Your Thanksgiving Table

Megatron will need a monster day in order for the Lions to beat the Packers.

Happy Thanksgiving!! Enjoy the turkey and the football and of course good luck in your Turkey Day betting!

Green Bay (+7) at Detroit – Here’s the one stat you need to know heading into this one; Detroit has lost nine straight Thanksgiving Day contests and of course those are all at home. Whatever you choose to do with that is up to you but this is the one time to be extremely cautious. The Packers have not won a game since Aaron Rodgers went down on the Lambeau Field grass with a broken collarbone.

Despite this, the team showed some offensive gumption when Matt Flynn was inserted into the game last week. Ironically, the last time Flynn started a game for the Packers was against the Lions and he threw for over 480 yards that evening.

The Lions’ secondary is weak so they must get pressure from the front four. If not, Flynn could have another one of those days but don’t sleep on rookie Eddie Lacy though either who was over 100 yards last week.

The formula for the Lions is simple; take care of the ball and rely on Calvin Johnson and Reggie Bush. Detroit is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games at home against the Packers while Green Bay is 6-1 straight up against the Lions in Detroit over that same span. With the over/under at 50, take the over with confidence (both teams average about 25 per game) and take the Packers with that hefty touchdown advantage.

Against a tough Raiders' run defense, the game could fall on the arm of Tony Romo.

Oakland (+9) at Dallas – I really hate that new stadium that Jerry Jones has built in Arlington. The old Texas Stadium offered the perfect backdrop to the numerous Thanksgiving shenanigans that seemed to happen back in those days. Now we’re stuck with a perfectly pristine field and video boards bigger than an aircraft carrier.

Oh well…. The Raiders enter the Turkey Day showdown with Matt McGloin at quarterback and he has been OK but the Cowboys might be peaking right now and that spells trouble for him and the Oakland offense. If the Raiders have any chance it’s to expose the Dallas defense which gives up over 25 points per game and over 133 yards per game on the ground.

Tony Romo and the Cowboys’ offense ran the ball pretty well last week against the Giants but the Raiders have been good against the run all season allowing less than 100 yards per game. That means Romo will take to the skies more and when that happens his chances for mistakes rises as well.

Oakland is 2-4 against the spread in their last six trips to Dallas while the Cowboys are 5-11 against the spread in their last 16 home games. The over/under is 47.5 and I actually like the under today. I also like the Cowboys to win, but love the Raiders getting nine.

Pittsburgh (+3) at Baltimore – What a way to rekindle the NFL’s best rivalry. Both teams sit at 5-6 and have their eyes on the final wild-card spot. Pittsburgh defeated the Ravens by three back in Heinz Field several weeks back and now Baltimore looks for revenge. Neither team has run the ball well most of the season and that will be a key today. Keeping the opposing defense unbalanced can help keep the QBs clean.

Since starting 0-4, the Steelers have ripped off five of seven. Since being destroyed by Tom Brady four weeks ago, the defense has been outstanding over their last three games with the exception of the second quarter against Detroit where they gave up 27 points. The other 11 quarters they’ve only surrendered 21 total.

The Ravens will need Ray Rice to get going and need Joe Flacco to take care of the ball which is something he hasn’t done real well in 2013. Flacco will try to get Torrie Smith deep which is an area the Steelers’ defense has been poor at covering.

The Ravens are 1-4 against the spread in their last five home games against the Steelers while Pittsburgh is 5-13 against the spread in their last 18 road games. The over/under is 41 and I love the over. I will also take the Steelers and the three.

Texas -4.5 hosts Texas Tech in Battle of the Lone Star State

The battle of the Lone Star State takes place in the Big 12 on Thanksgiving night, when the Texas Longhorns host the Texas Tech Red Raiders.

Both teams enjoyed bye weeks heading into this week and the line currently has Texas favored by 4.5 points with the point total sitting on 66.5.

The spread of 4.5 points in favor of Texas has been the prominent number on most books such as Bovada and topbet. Although some sites such as betonline and sportsbook.com opened it at 4 points. Nevertheless, it has been bet up to the current 4.5.

Texas has won each of the past four meetings against Texas Tech. Over the past three, the Longhorns have also won ATS, including last year’s road win 31-22 when the Longhorns were a road ‘dog by 6.5 points.

This season, Texas Tech is 0-4 SU and ATS over its past four games. Over the past seven games Texas Tech has played, the OVER is 7-0. During the seven games, Texas Tech gave up 40 points per game and scored 36.7 per game.

Texas still has hopes for a title in the Big 12 this season, despite a 38-13 loss to Oklahoma State in their last outing. The loss snapped the Longhorns six game winning streak. The six wins had all been conference games, but now the coaching demise of Mack Brown has started again.

Case McCoy threw three interceptions versus the Cowboys and has 8 over his past four games. Texas lost Johnathan Gray its leading rusher with 780 yards, two games ago for the rest of the season. Against Oklahoma State, the Longhorns ran for 151 yards but averaged just 3.5 yards a carry. Rushing in this game is important for the Longhorns, as the Red Raiders have allowed nearly 300 yards a game over their past four games.

Texas Tech has lost four straight with 3 being to ranked teams and the worst to Kansas State.

Texas Tech owns the nation’s best passing offense averaging 400 yards per game. They use two quarterbacks that are true freshmen in Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb. The two have combined for 28 touchdowns and 17 interceptions.

Texas is 3-0 SU and ATS in its past three head-to-head encounters with Texas Tech. The Red Raiders are 0-4 SU and ATS over their past four games played.

The game should be high scoring with the Red Raiders trying to force the tempo. The OVER has cashed in all seven of the Red Raiders last seven games.

Pick: Texas Longhorns 35-30

Bryant and Rose are the Top Stories in the NBA

While Bryant's return is imminent, the Lakers went ahead and made the 35-year old the highest paid player in the game.

I’m pretty confident that Kobe Bryant has already cemented his place in National Basketball Association history regardless if he takes another shot or not. Nearing his return from a ruptured Achilles’ tendon, Bryant will go down as one of the top five to seven players in league history.

Rankings such as these are always debatable but what is also up for debate is the new deal Bryant has signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this week.

At the age of 35, the Lakers and Kobe Bryant agreed to a two-year $48.5 million extension on Monday night. This deal will make Bryant the highest-paid player in the NBA and keeps in the purple and gold for two more years.

While I respect and congratulate the Lakers and owner Jim Buss for the loyalty shown, I can’t help but believe that this is a very risky move for a franchise that is already in a bit of transition.

I should probably applaud the loyalty more than I am because it something so seldom seen in professional or even collegiate sports today. Unfortunately, I can’t stop fixating on the money involved in this deal.

Because the new deal takes up about a third of the Lakers’ salary cap, this will limit them in terms of being able to pursue top free agents although it appears they may be able to sock enough money away to go after at least one of the top free agents in 2014 or 2015.

That list by the way could include LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. In 2015 Kevin Love will hit the free agent market and in ’16 Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook look to be available.

We can’t forget that Lakers’ big man Pau Gasol is in the final year of his contract and reportedly has had no discussions with the team regarding his contract.

It’s no secret that Bryant would desperately love to get his 6th NBA Title tying Michael Jordan, but the cast around him is not going to help much. This signing was about loyalty and I get that and I like that, but I’m not sure it was the best thing for the Lakers in the long run.

Bulls Lose Rose Again

Derrick Rose
Derrick Rose is out for the season again following an injury to his other knee.

The other big story in the NBA of course is the loss of Derrick Rose to yet another knee injury. Rose underwent surgery on Monday where he had his medial meniscus repaired. The procedure was done by the same doctor who repaired his left knee in 2012.

For the Bulls’ it means yet another season without their top player. The team was valiant in playing without him last season but a year later it is doubtful they can repeat the same success. Their first game following the injury resulted in a 121-82 drubbing at the hands of the Los Angeles Clippers.

For a team that was around .500 prior to Rose’s injury, I can’t help but think this could be just too much to overcome.

For Rose himself, the questions about his future have to be creeping in more than ever. If you recall he was medically cleared to return to action last season but did not. That led to questions about his confidence with the injury.

Those sentiments are likely to return in 2014 for which he is scheduled to be ready but can he return to the form that once made him the most valuable player in the NBA?

I certainly have my doubts and I’m guessing the Bulls do too.

Traditional Rivalries Highlight NCAA Holiday Schedule

This past week Baylor was eliminated from any hope of a national title in the NCAA. However, Missouri remained in the mix with its 24-10 victory over Ole Miss on the road.

Alabama and Auburn had the weekend off to prepare for the upcoming Iron Bowl. The game quite possibly could be the most important in the long history the rivalry.

The Crimson Tide led by head coach Nick Saban is currently between 10.5 to 11-point favorites depending up the book you look at. The winner will take home the SEC West title and face South Carolina or Missouri in the championship game of the SEC.

If the Tide can win out, it would face the Florida State Seminoles in the BCS National Championship game in Pasadena, unless the Seminoles lose to Florida or in the championship game of the ACC.

If FSU were to lose, then Ohio State moves in to take on the Tide. If both Ohio State and Florida State stumbled then Oklahoma State might possibly be in the mix.

Heisman Look

On many sports books such as Bovada and topbet, the Heisman Trophy race is down to just Jameis Winston and A.J. McCarron.

At present, on betonline Winston is chalk at -200. However, each one has two games to separate themselves from one another.

Nevertheless, if Winston plays well over the next two games and is not arrested for an alleged sexual assault, then he should win the trophy hands down.

Early Look

Mississippi State hosts Ole Miss (-3). The Mississippi State problem at quarterback remains a problem for the team. Under Huge Freeze, the Rebels have a road record of 7-3 ATS. Take Ole Miss less the points.


The era of Aaron Murray as quarterback at Georgia came to an end in the Bulldogs 59-17 win against Kentucky. However, he could not enjoy his final game between the hedges, as he suffered a torn ACL.

Hutson Mason will take over for Murray when the Bulldogs taken on Georgia Tech in Atlanta. The Bulldogs are favored by 3 points on sportsbook.com and have won four straight against the Yellow Jackets.

South Carolina is 4-0 SU against Clemson in their past four matchups. The Gamecocks are favorites by 4.5 points for their showdown on Saturday.

Keith Price the Washington quarterback has 19 touchdowns and 4 interceptions, but is doubtful for the annual rivalry matchup between Washington and Washington State.

Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott their talented running quarterback will miss his third consecutive game due to an injured elbow.

One on the Gridiron and Two on the Hardwood

Rod Carey has the Huskies in position for another BCS berth in his first full season as head coach.

With the number of college football games now starting to dwindle during the week, I have to start turning my attention to the National Basketball Association a little more now. It’s pretty clear to see who is winning and who is losing in the NBA right now but will you benefit from this?

A couple of NBA games are below but first, the only college football game in town is up next.

Western Michigan (+33) at Northern Illinois – There is one college football game to wager on this evening and the spread alone is enough to scare many bettors away. Unbeaten Northern Illinois will host 1-10 Western Michigan.

This will be senior night in DeKalb and besides the emotions that go along with that, the Huskies are playing for all kinds of stakes.

Next week, they will play either Bowling Green or Buffalo in the Mid-American Conference Championship game and should they win that, they will be headed back to a BCS bowl for the second straight season.

Bowling Green and Buffalo meet on Friday in Western New York with the winner going to the MAC title game.

For Western Michigan and first-year head coach P.J. Fleck this is a game where you just ‘get through it.’ The Broncos are over-matched at nearly every position and will continue to play younger players in hopes of building for the future.

I expect WMU to play hard as the game is on national television. They will not want to be embarrassed. Look for them to establish the run early in an effort to keep Jordan Lynch and the Huskies’ offense on the sideline.

Northern Illinois is 7-0-1 against the spread in their last eight homes games against Western Michigan. The Broncos meanwhile are 4-9 against the spread in their last 13 road games.

If you’re looking for over/under advice, the number is 63.5. The number has gone under in four of the Huskies’ last five meetings with Western Michigan in DeKalb so keep that in mind. I’m going to buck that trend because the Huskies give up about 25 points a game and for a Broncos’ team that averages about 17 points per game that is welcome news.

Of course the bigger factor is that NIU scores just under 43 points per game too. I like the over tonight and I like Northern Illinois to cover the monster spread.

Two From the Association

Jason Kidd is off to a rough start in his first season Brooklyn's head coach.

Brooklyn (+1) at Toronto – The Raptors lead the Atlantic Division at 6-7. Yes, I said, “Lead the division at 6-7.” They host the extremely disappointing Brooklyn Nets who are currently in the Atlantic Division cellar.

Both teams are in the bottom half of scoring in the NBA but the difference is on the defensive end where the Raptors are tied for fifth and the Nets for 25th. I like the Raptors to cover tonight.

New York (+8) at Portland – The Knicks are 3-9 while the Blazers are 12-2. This shouldn’t be too difficult should it? Both teams play pretty comparable defense but the offensive end is a different story.

The Knicks rank just 24th in scoring at 93.3 points per game while the Blazers are averaging 104 points per contest. New York Head Coach Mike Woodson has said his team is not in panic mode and frankly they shouldn’t be.

When the division leader is under .500 you begin to feel better about yourself. That said, I still look for a Blazers’ win in Portland tonight and I like them to cover.

Alabama Opens -11 at Auburn in Iron Bowl

The opening lines for college football are out for Thanksgiving Day weekend. These numbers are for the final week of this year’s regular season for many teams.

This weekend Alabama visits Auburn in the Iron Bowl and the Crimson Tide has started as an 11-point favorite. The game at Auburn will have national championship implications, with the winner headed to the SEC championship game.

The 11-point spread was also joined by spreads as low as 10.5 and as high as 11.5. Check on topbet, betonline, sportsbook.com and Bovada for all the updated prices and point totals.

The 10.5 to 11 spread is much less than just a week ago when sites had the spread up to 15.5 points.

The West crown of the SEC will be won by the winner of Saturday’s game. That winner will face off against either South Carolina or Missouri in the SEC championship.

Behind Alabama is Florida State in the latest BCS standings. The Seminoles visit Florida this week, which should be an easy winner for Florida State.

Last Saturday Willie Meggs a State Attorney in Florida said a decision about whether Jameis Winston, the quarterback from Florida State will be charged or not in an alleged sexual assault is unlikely to take place prior to the Thanksgiving holiday.

At first, said one bookmaker, the problem for the Florida State – Florida game was a quarterback, but not Winston it was Tyler Murphy the Gators quarterback who is unlikely to be able to play.

Most odds makers have Florida State at -22½ if Winston plays. For FSU, bookmakers believe Winston changes the spread by six points or more.

Third in the latest BCS standings is Ohio State and if they win their two final games at Michigan this Saturday and then versus Michigan State in the championship of the Big 10, they should be in the national title game should Florida State or Bama falter.

At this time, Ohio State is -12.5 playing this weekend at Michigan.

So many things could still happen as Alabama not only needs to win this weekend’s game but then its SEC championship before entering the BCS Championship game.

What is sure to happen however, is the amount of bettors that will be looking at the Alabama/Auburn game this weekend. The game will showcase one of the best defenses in the NCAA against Auburn’s potent offense of both running and passing.

Here are some opening spreads for notable games this week. Note: Second team is home team.


  • Texas Tech vs Texas -4.5


  • Iowa vs Nebraska -3
  • Miami vs Pitt EVEN



  • Ohio State -12.5 vs Michigan
  • UCLA vs USC -3.5
  • Arizona vs Arizona St. -12
  • Notre Dame vs Stanford -13.5