Rivalry week is upon us, and as is the case every year, there are plenty of high-stakes games taking place around the nation. The Oregon Ducks’ inexplicable loss to the Arizona State Sun Devils might have eliminated the Pac-12 from playoff consideration, opening the door for some intriguing possibilities in the closing weeks of the regular season.
Here’s a look at the marquee betting slate for the week ahead.
No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes (-9.5) at No. 10 Michigan Wolverines
The Ohio State Buckeyes wouldn’t be eliminated from College Football Playoff contention even with a loss this week at Michigan. They already clinched the Big Ten East with their 28-17 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions last Saturday, improving to 11-0 SU on the season in the process. The Buckeyes failed to cover the spread as 20-point favorites, but they are still 8-3 ATS in 2019 and did prove that they could overcome adversity; something they haven’t had to do much of with an average margin of victory of 38.9 points per game this season.
Michigan is 7-1 SU and ATS over its last eight games including a perfect 4-0 SU and ATS over its last four games. The Wolverines will be trying to snap a seven-game losing streak against the Buckeyes.
No. 13 Wisconsin Badgers (-2.5) at No. 9 Minnesota Golden Gophers
Over in the Big Ten West, the Minnesota Golden Gophers host the Wisconsin Badgers in a play-in game to the Big Ten Championship Game. Minnesota is 10-1 SU in 2019 and 6-1-1 ATS over its last eight games; if the Golden Gophers were to win this game, would a win over Ohio State send Minnesota to the College Football Playoff? They’d have a pretty strong case with wins over Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.
But this may be a big “if”; Wisconsin is 14-1 SU in its last 15 games against Minnesota including a 7-0 SU record in its last seven road games against the Golden Gophers.
No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide (-4) at No. 16 Auburn Tigers
What would the College Football Playoff committee do with an 11-1 Alabama Crimson Tide team that went on the road and defeated the Auburn Tigers without Tua Tagovailoa? Alabama hopes to put the committee into that tricky spot with a win behind quarterback Mac Jones this Saturday in the Iron Bowl.
Auburn is 9-3 SU and ATS over its last 12 games. The Tigers are 3-2 SU and 4-1 ATS in their last five games as a home underdog, including a 26-14 win at home over the Crimson Tide as 5-point home underdogs in 2017.
No. 7 Oklahoma Sooners (-13) at No. 21 Oklahoma State Cowboys
The Oklahoma Sooners might have been the biggest beneficiaries of Oregon’s loss as the 10-1 SU and 4-7 ATS Sooners could potentially earn a playoff spot as a one-loss Big-12 champion. But to keep their chances intact, they’ll need to defeat the Oklahoma State Cowboys this Saturday. Oklahoma State is 9-3 SU and 11-1 ATS in its last 12 games as a betting underdog and 4-0 SU and ATS in its last four games overall.