Rivalry week is here, and we have a bunch of elite matchups in college football on tap this weekend. I want to get into some of my favorite games of the week that just happen to come in some of the biggest games of the weekend.
Ohio State Buckeyes (-9) at Michigan Wolverines
This line is getting a lot of talk on both sides because of different trends and such that are floating around. I think that this line is a few points too small, and I also think that the weather has gotten better since the initial line was posted.
The weather has gone from horrible to slightly better, and even though it does not seem great, it is much better for the Buckeyes than I thought on Sunday. While Ohio State is the much better team on the ground, I want to avoid bad weather and conservative play in two-possession spreads.
Ohio State’s only competition this season came against a team that beat Michigan while losing 17 points due to fumbles, which are generally random. I think that the Buckeyes should continue to dominate their opponents, and Michigan is no different.
Alabama Crimson Tide (-3.5) at Auburn Tigers
This game is a huge question mark for most, but I think that the line is still an overreaction to a single injury. While I have concerns surrounding Mac Jones against an elite defensive front, I think that claiming that Tua Tagovailoa is a 14-point player is insane.
Jones has shown general competence in this offense, and he should be able to operate this elite talent smoothly. Alabama’s issue is that five of their best five front-seven players are not going to be available in this game. However, Auburn has shown no capability to dominate inexperienced or bad opponents. Alabama’s elite athleticism should control the game here.
Wisconsin Badgers at Minnesota Golden Gophers (+2.5)
This game is a coin flip in Minnesota, so I’ll ride with the home team with more to play for. Minnesota has a real chance to control its own destiny by beating Wisconsin and then beating Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game next week. This motivation is only helping me get over the hump here.
Minnesota has better skill position players on the outside, and I think that is the biggest mismatch in this game. Otherwise, these teams are very similar when comparing production and talent. I will be watching the weather here, as better weather will benefit Minnesota.
Texas A&M Aggies (+17) at LSU Tigers
This is a game full of unknowns, but Texas A&M has offensive upside vs. a team that has shown major flaws against running quarterbacks. Kellen Mond is not a running QB, but he has the athleticism to hurt LSU if it does not respect him.
LSU has been playing up and down to competition all year long, and I think that this Texas A&M team will put up enough points to cover this spread and even scare the Tigers on Saturday night.
Oklahoma Sooners at Oklahoma State Cowboys (+12.5)
Oklahoma has been skating by for the past few weeks, and this line is still just giving the Sooners too much respect. Oklahoma has an elite offense, but it has issues with consistently producing at an elite rate. The Sooners often have drives or quarters where everything they do gets a first down, but they have also sputtered far too often.
Oklahoma State should be able to take advantage of a few mishaps that Oklahoma seems destined to have on a week-to-week basis. Oklahoma State at home should not be a double-digit dog to a team that hasn’t won a game by more than four in over a month.