College Football Betting Lines – Some Real Blood Matches in Our Fab Five This Week
By Charles Jay
Our “Fab Five” College Football matchups for this week are kind of interesting because we are now in the midst of deciding who is going to come into the final month of the season with the best chance of playing for the national title, but we also have to figure out who is positioning themselves for the various conference titles as well. Those two are not necessarily mutually inclusive. Take our first matchup, for example.
Kansas State Wildcats at TCU Horned Frogs (7:30 PM ET)
- BetAnySports college football line: TCU -6, Total 57.5
Both of these teams have legitimate optimism about being in that final four if they can come out of this one with a victory, which probably makes this the biggest matchup of the week and one of the biggest of the year. In the playoff rankings, TCU is 6th and K-State is 7th, and considering that Auburn and Alabama will play each other, that Mississippi State still has to play Ole Miss, and that Oregon and Florida State will still have to go through a conference championship process, it is almost a virtual guarantee.
It would be very rare that a Bill Snyder-coached team would not be ready for a game like this, and they better be, since TCU, which has really opened things up on offense this season, is the second-highest scoring team in the nation (48 ppg). Kansas State is ranked 16th in total defense though, and the Frogs hit a snag at West Virginia, as quarterback Trevane Boykin, who has been so good, hit just 12 of his 30 passes. But the sign of a good team is that it can get through rough conditions, as they did, and still come back and win. Fundamentals are at work here; TCU leads the nation in turnover margin, while K-State has the second fewest penalty yards. If the Wildcats win this, they may eventually find themselves in a rematch with Auburn, the #3 team which dealt them their only loss (at Little Manhattan).
Alabama Crimson Tide at LSU Tigers (8 PM ET)
- BetAnySports college football line: Alabama -6.5, Total 45
The fourth-ranked Crimson Tide is undoubtedly in the running for a spot in the final four, and since the pollsters and everybody who makes these ratings seem to love them, we dare say that they might even contend regardless of the result of their game against Auburn, although we don’t necessarily think so. They are pretty good at winning on the road, with 14 victories in their last 16 tries, and it would seem that they have a matchup advantage, since LSU is limited in terms of what it can do with the pass and ‘Bama’s defense has been so good against the run (allowing 2.7 yards per carry). One must keep in mind, of course, that LSU, which checks in at #16 in the college playoff rankings, pulled that home upset over Ole Miss, and they have at least had a bye week to contemplate things.
Ohio State Buckeyes at Michigan State Spartans (8 PM ET)
- BetAnySports college football line: Michigan State -3 (-120), Total 58.5
This is a game where Michigan State has something of a scheduling advantage, since they had last week off while Ohio State had to play Illinois. You can’t find a heck of a lot of fault with the #14 Buckeyes since that unfortunate home loss to Virginia Tech (which hasn’t helped them much since the Hokies went into the tank), and JJ Barrett has nicely adapted to the quarterback spot in Urban Meyer’s spread offense after the injury to Braxton miller. He’s had a fine ratio of 23 touchdown passes to just seven interceptions, but he is facing a whole different animal this week as far as defenses are concerned. The Spartans are rated fifth in the nation in that category, and they are still harboring some hopes of making it into that last four in the playoff (they are #8 in those playoff rankings), provided they could win the Big Ten title.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Arizona State Sun Devils (3:30 PM ET)
- BetAnySports college football line: Arizona State -2.5, Total 59.5
This is one of two games this week that matches Top 10 teams in the college playoff rankings. Notre Dame won a wild one 37-34 last year at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, and who knows – maybe they got caught looking ahead last week against Navy. Everett Golson has demonstrated his progress as a passer, throwing for at least 300 yards in three consecutive games, and you get the sense that Taylor Kelly, who has recently come back from a foot injury that sidelined him for six weeks, is still kind of trying to get his rhythm back. The Irish are not going to give him a lot of time to feel comfortable. Currently Notre Dame is #10 in the playoff rankings, while Arizona State is actually ahead of them at #9, though the Irish are 8th in both major polls.
Baylor Bears at Oklahoma Sooners ( Noon ET)
- BetAnySports college football line: Oklahoma -6, Total 73
There was no “looking ahead” last week for the Sooners, who rolled up 510 yards on the ground against Iowa State. And Baylor seemingly felt an obligation to hang 60 points on relatively helpless Kansas. This is a huge revenge match for Oklahoma, which was humiliated by Baylor’s wide-open attack last year, giving up 255 rushing yards in a 41-12 defeat. But they are, by all accounts, more stable at the quarterback spot this year, although Trevor Knight’s numbers are not astounding (12 TD passes, eight INT’s). But they will need the assistance of wide receiver Sterling Shepard (957 yards), who strained his groin (yes, that’s painful) on the first offensive play last week. Coach Bob Stoops is very optimistic he’ll be in the starting lineup. No one is expecting that Baylor (#12 in the college playoff rankings) or Oklahoma (#15) will be competing for the national title, but this is going to be one of the weekend’s most entertaining games nonetheless.
You can wager on the Fab Five matchups while they are actually happening. Did you know that? Yes you can! Just open up an account at BetAnySports and you’ll find out how, with Live Betting Extra!