Three huge games are part of this week's College Football betting card, and we're looking at each one to see if the odds might be inflated based on action last Saturday.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Arizona State Sun Devils
Let's face it; anytime Notre Dame takes the field, the Fighting Irish are more than likely carrying inflated College Football odds with them. However, early action on their upcoming trip to face Arizona State indicates John Q. Public believes it's the Sun Devils who are sporting an exaggerated spread.
This battle between a pair of 1-loss squads can be seen on ABC beginning at 3:30 PM (ET), and ASU went out as 2 point chalk before that was quickly cut in half. SBR's live College Football odds will have the total just as soon as it is released.
Notre Dame placed 10th in the initial College Football Playoff Rankings, the Sun Devils four spots lower, so the critical nature of this clash is obvious. Should the Irish win out -- adding victories over Louisville and Southern Cal along to beating Arizona State -- that will be enough to get them in the gridiron Final Four. The Sun Devils' chances would appear to be slimmer even if they finish 12-1, which would include beating rival Arizona and then Oregon in the Pac-12 Championship.
It's the fourth time these schools have met, Notre Dame owning victories and covering the spread each time. I've already heard from a few folks who believe the spread is a trap, trying to coax money in on the Irish who are playing just their second true road game of the season, but that argument doesn't fit for me since it is a very evenly matched contest.
We're going to see the thermometer climb into the upper-80s according to the current forecast, so late-season conditioning will play a big role. Count me among those who believe this number is indeed inflated towards ASU, and it wouldn't surprise me to see it correct even further with Notre Dame closing as a 1½ point favorite, like it currently shows at BetOnline.
Kansas State Wildcats vs. TCU Horned Frogs
The Big 12 might not have an official championship game, but Week 11's collision between the Kansas State Wildcats and TCU Horned Frogs might as well be thought of that way. The top two teams from the conference in the CFP poll -- TCU 7th and KSU 9th -- get underway on FOX at 7:30 PM (ET), and the Frogs are -5 on the early college football betting board.
Texas Christian's hopes almost died last Saturday in Morgantown before a field goal at the very end lifted the Horned Frogs to a 31-30 triumph. A win this week would put Gary Patterson's troops in great shape to finish 11-1 with Kansas, Texas and Iowa State remaining on the slate.
Kansas State is also coming off a win, scorching Oklahoma State by a 48-14 count for its 5th-straight dubya, but now Bill Snyder's crew begins a very tough close to the regular season. The Wildcats follow this trip to Ft. Worth with a bye before road games at West Virginia and Baylor sandwich a home tilt vs. Kansas.
Five points at home for a team might not seem like much for a team that is 7-1 against the spread this season, but I do believe it's a couple of points too high. I'll take K-State and 3½ or more all day long.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers
Talk about a tough schedule to end the regular season, no team may have a more difficult closing slate than the Alabama Crimson Tide. Ranked fourth in the latest AP poll, 'Bama hits the highway this week to face the LSU Tigers before drawing top-ranked Mississippi State at home in Week 12 and the No. 3 Auburn Tigers 14 days later.
Saturday's prime-time matchup on CBS (8 PM ET) opened with the Crimson Tide giving up 6 points, but we're seeing movement to -6½ at several shops monitored by SBR's live college football odds.
Winning by just one point in Baton Rouge is never easy, much less leaving town with a victory by at least a TD, but I believe the inflation here is on the Tigers for simply being at home. Just like Les Miles and LSU, Nick Saban and the Tide have had two weeks to prepare for this one, and I'm expecting college football bettors to eventually drive this one up to 7½ or 8 on Alabama with their College Football picks.
Willie Bee's NCAAF Handicapping Record for the Season: 49-29-1 (+17.10)