It's the final full week on the college football betting schedule, and our handicapper is taking a look at three big rivalry matchups that may have inflated odds.
Michigan Wolverines vs. Ohio State Buckeyes
There has been no final decision in Ann Arbor on the future of Michigan head coach Brady Hoke, but the odds of him returning to the sidelines with the Wolverines next season appear longer than the odds of them beating the Ohio State Buckeyes this Saturday. Those college football odds find the Buckeyes favored by 20 points in a game at sportsbooks like 5Dimes.
What has already been a long season for Hoke and the Wolverines got even worse this past Saturday when the Maize & Blue watched a second half lead evaporate in a 23-16 loss to the Maryland Terrapins. The defeat was the sixth this year for Michigan who needs to pull off the upset to become bowl eligible and avoid its first losing season since 2009.
The Wolverines will have to post the upset without one of their top defensive lineman after Frank Clark was dismissed from the team recently due to a domestic violence charge. The senior tackle was fourth on the team with 42 total tackles, 13.5 of those for a loss.
Ohio State, meanwhile, is shooting for its third consecutive undefeated regular season in the Big Ten and a trip to the conference title tilt as the East Division champion. A victory would also be the third straight in this series for the Buckeyes who saw a string of six consecutive covers against Michigan end with last year's 42-41 squeaker in Ann Arbor. That one easily skipped past a 57 point total on the NCAA football odds, and left the Wolverines with a 58-45-6 record vs. OSU in the previous 110 meetings.
Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes need some help if they are going to make it into the College Football Playoff, and there's not really any danger of them falling to Michigan. The Wolverines haven't shown any signs of helping Hoke out up this point, and I don't see them getting up for this one either. The spread is not inflated, and even with a 30% chance of rain in the Columbus forecast, I'll gladly lay the 20 for my free College Football pick.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs. Mississippi Rebels
The Mississippi State Bulldogs and Mississippi Rebels will also be getting together for the 111th time this week, their 3:30 PM (ET) boot in Oxford carried by CBS. Ole Miss leads the series 61-43-6, but it's Mississippi State that has won and covered four of the last five Egg Bowls.
The college football oddsmakers see this one as a very tight affair, and may be giving a slumping Rebels squad a little too much respect for playing in front of the home fans. The Bulldogs opened as 1 point chalk, but very early action pushed that up to -1½.
Mississippi State can clinch at least a share of the SEC West Division with a victory, plus stay in contention for the playoffs with a decisive triumph. The Bulldogs rebounded from that tough loss at Alabama with an easy 51-0 blanking of Vanderbilt this past Saturday, all while Ole Miss was being run over in Arkansas in a 30-0 whitewashing.
The College Football odds are indeed inflated towards the Rebels, and I like the Bulldogs to take this one by 7 or more.
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Kansas State Wildcats
Two teams that have already met 111 times are the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats. Their 112th clash is set for a 4 PM (ET) kickoff Saturday on FOX Sports 1, and the Wildcats are giving up 27 points after opening -28 on SBR's live college football odds.
Bill Snyder and K-State will have a couple extra days of rest to prepare for this one following their mild 26-20 upset at West Virginia this past Thursday. I still can't believe the Wildcats were getting points in that one, and they'll be shooting for their sixth straight win and cover in this series.
The victory should come with no problem at all, but I'm hesitant to lay nearly four touchdowns since Kansas State has one last regular season contest on deck at Baylor (Dec. 6). In this case, the odds appear correct, but I'm still expecting the Jayhawks to stay inside the number.
Willie Bee's Season: 57-37-1 (+16.30)