By Charles Jay
Auburn Tigers vs South Carolina Gamecocks
The Auburn Tigers are a team that has covered eight of its last nine games at home and they are, to say the least, interested in bouncing back from their loss to Mississippi State. So it is with a sense of urgency that they are expected to approach their game against the South Carolina Gamecocks this coming Saturday (7:30 PM ET). Does Steve Spurrier have some surprises in store? He won’t necessarily have much that is going to put Gus Malzahn off-balance. South Carolina has lost seven straight meetings, although these teams have not met since 2011.
After turning the ball over four times in that defeat to the team that elevated itself to the #1 spot in the nation, Auburn had the week off. Certainly there are plenty in the BetAnySports audience who would expect that they’ll come out like a house afire. And they are listed as the 19-point favorite in the football odds.
Michigan Wolverines vs Michigan State Spartans
With the recent misfortunes suffered on the part of the Michigan Wolverines, where last week’s win over Penn State is not going to be enough to save Brady Hoke’s job for him, as expectations are a lot higher than that in Ann Arbor.
As any college football bettor is aware, Michigan’s biggest game, year in and year out, is against Ohio State, but this rivalry probably means the most to the Michigan State Spartans, who are still very much in the running for the conference championship, with that outside possibility that they could be right there in contention for the four-team college playoff. After all, they are ranked fifth in the coaches’ poll (albeit eighth by the Associated Press).
And their intensity about the rivalry is reflected in the way they have approached these meetings, as they have covered seven consecutive encounters in this series.
There are plenty of fundamental advantages for the Spartans here, including the better starting quarterback in Connor Cook (16 TD’s, five INT’s). Devin Gardner, who wears #98, very unusual for a quarterback, to say the least (an homage, obviously, to former Heisman Trophy winner Tom Harmon), has been unspectacular (six TD passes, eight INT’s). The Spartan are a 17-point favorite in the college football betting odds at BetAnySports (3:30 PM ET).
USC Trojan vs Utah Utes
It appears as if there is a chance that the USC Trojans will make it to the Pac-12 championship game. At least they hold the lead in the South division at the moment. But there are some land mines for Steve Sarkisian’s team to work its way through, and one of them comes this week, with a visit to Salt Lake City for a game against the Utah Utes, who have scored wins over Michigan and UCLA, with an overtime victory at Oregon State last week.
Two of the players in this game had monster efforts last week. Cody Kessler, USC’s quarterback, threw SEVEN touchdown passes against Colorado, bringing his total to 18 with just one interception. Utah’s Devontae Booker continued to be a load in the backfield, with 229 yards at Corvallis. USC is a one-point favorite at BetAnySports in this 10 PM ET start.
Mississippi State Bulldogs vs Kentucky Wildcats
In the Fab Five you always have to consider the #1 team in the country, although some doubt exists as to whether the Mississippi State Bulldogs will be sufficiently tested by the Kentucky Wildcats, who seemed poised to break into the national rankings, only to be obliterated by LSU last week (41-3), proving that they have a long way to go. There is little room for error for MSU in the ultra-competitive SEC, so they have to keep winning. As a 14-point favorite in the college football betting odds, they are likely to. And this game is important in the Heisman race as well, as Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott is the second favorite at +200 as listed at BetAnySports.
Ole Miss Rebels vs LSU Tigers
Is there a team that can put some pressure on the Ole Miss Rebels, who are #3 in both major polls? Well, maybe it is the LSU Tigers, who, as mentioned just a moment ago, manhandled Kentucky to the tune of 41-3 last week and have the ability to throw a slew of running backs at their opponents. The problem with LSU is that they can’t move the ball easily through the air, regardless of which quarterback they use. And let’s remember that Mississippi is the stingiest team in the country as they give up just 10.6 points per game. It’s not often that the Bayou Bengals are the underdogs in Baton Rouge, but they are here, as Ole Miss is a 3.5-point favorite in the NCAA football odds at BetAnySports, where you can benefit from reduced juice on college football games, not to mention the NFL!