The dust is beginning to settle in the eastern regions of College football, as some teams are showing chinks in their armor. After 7 weeks of football, what have we learned? Our betting expert analyzes.
Louisville Proves Group of 5 Conferences Not College Football Playoff-Worthy in 2016
We learned on Friday night that Louisville is more hype than contender, when the Cardinals survived a 24-14 win over Duke at home at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville with QB and Heisman Trophy candidate Lamar Jackson also showing many flaws as the Blue Devils almost upset the 35-point favorites on their own home turf. So any talk of the best emerging team from the Group of 5 conferences making it to the CFP should dissolve with big boys Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State, Michigan, Washington and maybe Texas A&M or Baylor fighting for those four coveted New Year's Eve bowl spots.
NCAAF Week 7 Exposes Louisville, QB Jackson in Near-Miss Loss in Louisville
There were casualties east of the Mississippi River in NCAAF Week 7 as #7 Louisville (5-1 SU, 3-2-1 ATS) might have survived the game, defeating Duke, 24-14 at Papa John's Cardinals Stadium in Louisville on Friday night, but Cardinals QB Lamar Jackson looked very poor, despite the numbers, showing many mental and physical flaws as the 35-point underdog Blue Devils pushed Louisville to the limits and made it clear there's a clear chasm between the Power Five conferences (ACC, B1G Ten, Pac-12, Big 12, SEC) and the Group of 5 (G5) conferences (AAC, C-USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt).
Deshaun Watson and #3 Clemson (7-0 SU, 4-3 ATS) also survived a close call at Death Valley, defeating NC State, 24-17 in OT on Saturday afternoon for the Tigers 20th straight Home win as the Wolfpack (+950 Moneyline, at 5Dimes) missed a last-second FG from 33 yards to pull off the upset (CLEM -20, at BetDSI). Clemson (+550 to win NCAA Championship, BookMaker) faces #14 FSU Oct. 29 in Tallahassee (CLEM -2½, Games of Year, SuperBook). Jalen Hurts and #1 Alabama (+300 to win NCAA Championship, Bovada) defeated #9 Tennessee in Knoxville, 49-10 as the Crimson Tide (5-2 ATS) rolled scored a Non-Defensive TD (Interception) for a 9th straight game, demonstrating again how offensive a good defense can be.
And, JT Barrett and #2 Ohio State (+300 to win NCAA Championship at BookMaker—a sportsbook with an A+ grade and which offers a 50% Free Play Bonus—had a big obstacle in its path, facing #8 Wisconsin in Madison on Saturday night, and the Buckeyes also survived OT, 30-23, as Ohio State (6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) rallied from a 10-0 deficit to keep its CFP hopes alive (OSU -10½ -115, BookMaker) while #4 Michigan (10/1 to win NCAA Championship, at Bovada) was idle. The Wolverines (4-2 ATS, Over 5-1) still have very tough Road dates at Michigan State (10/29) and at Iowa (11/12) before that much-ballyhooed B1G Ten showdown with the Buckeyes at The Horseshoe in Columbus Nov. 26—as well as possibly the B1G Ten Championship Game at Lucas Oil Stadium Dec. 3 in Indianapolis—so, maybe your Big Blue baby done made some other plans?
Alabama, Clemson, the Ohio State-Michigan winner and Washington still look to have the inside track to the Fiesta Bowl and Peach Bowl on New Year's Eve to try to advance to the CFP championship Jan. 9 in Tampa. The top five ranked teams are now a combined 17-11 ATS.