The Clemson Tigers entered last Saturday’s game against the North Carolina Tar Heels as 27.5-point road favorites. They were 19-0 over their last 19 games, 11-3 against the spread over their last 14 games, and had won those 14 games by an average margin of 35 points per game.
The Tigers defeated the Tar Heels by a single point, escaping Chapel Hill with a 21-20 victory after North Carolina failed on a go-ahead two-point conversion attempt in the final 80 seconds of the game. Clemson survived, but the game served as a nice reminder that in college football, even the biggest favorites in the nation can receive a scare on any given Saturday.
The No. 7 Auburn Tigers and the No. 10 Florida Gators are both off to 5-0 starts in 2019, but something has to give on Saturday when the Gators host the Tigers in the Swamp. With the Tigers going off as 3.5-point favorites, this will be just the sixth time since the start of the 2015 season Florida is going off as a home underdog. The Gators are 3-3 SU and 4-2 ATS over that stretch.
Florida lost starting quarterback Feleipe Franks for the season with a dislocated ankle. Junior Kyle Trask has passed for 481 yards, four touchdowns, and two interceptions through his first two college starts against Tennessee and Townson, but this matchup against Auburn will be his first real test.
As well, the Michigan Wolverines bounced back from a disastrous 35-14 road loss to the Wisconsin Badgers in Week 4 with a 52-0 win over Rutgers in Week 5. It’s a nice win, but it comes against a hapless Rutgers program that is 12-40 over its last 52 games.
The difficulty level goes up several notches for the Wolverines (-4.5) this Saturday as they host the Hawkeyes, who are off to an impressive 4-0 start to the season and are 7-0 SU and 4-3 ATS over their last seven games. Iowa has won each of its last two games against Michigan.
And in a less-compelling Big Ten matchup between ranked foes, the 5-0 Ohio State Buckeyes (-21) host the 4-1 Michigan State Spartans. Ohio State is playing on another level right now, outscoring its last four opponents 217 to 22 across a perfect 4-0 ATS run. With 1,092 passing yards, 16 passing touchdowns, 222 rushing yards, and seven rushing touchdowns, Justin Fields has been sensational this season and is a potential Heisman Trophy contender.
The No. 6 Oklahoma Sooners and the No. 11 Texas Longhorns meet next Saturday in the Red River Showdown. Five of the last six games in this heated rivalry have been decided by a touchdown or less. It’s always an exciting game, but it’s even more exciting when both programs are playing at a high level, which they are now.
It’s so exciting that staying focused on this week’s opponents might prove to be difficult. The Sooners are a 35.5-point favorite on the road against the Kansas Jayhawks, and the Texas Longhorns are an 11.5-point favorite on the road against the West Virginia Mountaineers.