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NCAAF Betting Rewind/Lookahead: Another Unbeaten Goes Down

Rough ATS Week for Ranked Teams

In a wild Week 9 of the college football season, national title contenders Washington and Penn State escaped spirited upset bids by unranked teams and heavy underdogs according to the college football betting lines. Meanwhile, the previously undefeated Oklahoma Sooners were not as fortunate. 

Heading into Week 10, those four teams are still very much in contention in the NCAA football championship race.

NCAAF Betting Rewind/Lookahead: Another Unbeaten Goes Down
Quarterback Jason Bean #9 of the Kansas Jayhawks throws a pass during the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners | Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images/AFP

Five of the eight remaining undefeated Football Bowl Subdivision teams hail from the Power-5 conferences. The Big Ten leads the way with two teams with perfect records as Michigan and Ohio State set to meet on Nov. 25. Sam Houston State is the only winless FBS team.

Ranked teams went 9-12 against the college football sportsbook on Saturday with Oklahoma, Duke, North Carolina, Oregon State, and Utah all suffering outright losses. 

The big news was Kansas handing Oklahoma its first loss of the season. However, the Jayhawks were not the biggest underdog to win outright in Week 9.

Northwestern, listed anywhere from the 14½-15½ point underdog, sent Maryland home with a 33-27 loss.

Georgia Tech, an 11½-point underdog, scored 22 points in the fourth quarter to stun North Carolina, while North Carolina State toppled defending ACC champion Clemson as a double-digit underdog.

In the national polls, the top five teams remain the same with Georgia followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, and Washington in the Associated Press poll. Oklahoma dropped from sixth to 10th. The Sooners fell to 11th in the American Football Coaches Association poll.

When looking at the college football picks this week, there are four Week 10 matchups between teams ranked in the Top 25 in the Associated Press poll. 

LSU travels to Alabama and Missouri plays at Georgia in games that could result in yet another Alabama-Georgia showdown in the SEC Championship Game. Kansas State heads to Austin to meet up with Texas while Washington is on the road to meet up with USC and reigning Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams.

Michigan and Georgia are tied at +250 in the odds of winning the national title. Florida State (+600), Ohio State (+700), Alabama (+1400), and Oregon (+1400) are the next closest competitors according to the college football championship odds

Florida State Rolling Along

While some of the other title contenders have been playing with fire or in some cases getting burned, Florida State has been cruising right along since its overtime win over Clemson.

Wake Forest was the most recent team that couldn’t hang with Florida State as the Seminoles put up 34 first-half points on the way to the 41-16 victory.

The Seminoles have just two conference games left as they are closing in on their first ACC Championship Game appearance since winning back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014. First up is a 2-6 Pittsburgh team that just lost to Notre Dame 58-7.

With Louisville and Virginia Tech, who are both sitting with just one conference loss, playing each other in Week 10, there should be even more clarity in the ACC race by the end of the weekend.

Leader of the Pac

It has not been easy for Washington over the last four games. Three straight one-score contests were followed by a harder-than-anticipated matchup with Stanford. The Cardinal only trailed by two points late in the game before the defense came up with a stop on fourth down.

Washington’s offense only needed to go 28 yards to put the game away on a Dillon Johnson 13-yard run with 1:36 left to play in the 42-33 win.

While USC’s national title hopes ended with back-to-back losses, the Trojans are very much in contention for a spot in the Pac-12 title game.

USC welcomes Washington to town on Saturday after barely escaping with a 50-49 win over California.

If USC wins out,  the Trojans will play for the Pac-12 title. It won’t be easy for one of the worst defensive teams in the country and matchups coming up against ranked Washington, Oregon, and UCLA teams.

Oregon is listed as a 24-point favorite by our sportsbook against visiting California on Saturday and the Ducks are flying a bit under the radar in the national title race.

Oregon is 6-1-1 against the college football betting lines this season. Only Arizona, which has covered in seven of eight games, has a better mark in the Pac-12. Arizona and Oregon joined Rutgers (6-1-1 ATS) with the top marks among teams from Power-5 conferences this season.

A Look at the Group of Five

Conference USA-leading Liberty and Mountain West front-runner Air Force, along with Tulane out of the American Athletic Conference, lead the way in the battle to receive the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six bowl games. It is worth keeping an eye on those teams when it comes to the 2023 college football bowl projections

Not including Notre Dame, Air Force is the top team not in the Power-5 conferences in the two national polls. The 8-0 Falcons are 17th in both the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association. Tulane’s lone loss came to Ole Miss and the Green Wave are 21st in both polls.

James Madison is 8-0 and leading the Sun Belt Conference. However, the Sun Belt is not waiving the two-year transition period for James Madison. The Dukes moved from the Football Championship Subdivision level to playing as a FBS team so they are not eligible for the Sun Belt title or a bowl game.

When looking at the college football schedule, the final four opponents for Tulane have a 13-19 record. Liberty’s final four games are against teams with a combined 12-23 mark. Air Force still has to face a 6-2 UNLV squad, but the other three foes are 8-17. 

Tulane (+210) came into the season as the favorite to win the American Athletic Conference title. Liberty (+250) trailed only Western Kentucky in the Conference USA title odds while Air Force (+380) was behind Boise State and Fresno State in the Mountain West odds when the season began.

Take A Look At These Other 2 NCAAF Special Articles

NCAAF Week 9 Bad Beats

Shock waves could be felt around the college football world when Devin Neal scored on a 9-yard run with 55 seconds left to lift Kansas to the upset against Oklahoma. That score also pushed the game over the 66-point total.

Louisiana Monroe’s touchdown and ensuing two-point conversion pushed the game with South Alabama over the 55½-point total.

Texas A&M, the 17-point favorite, missed a field goal with just under three minutes to play while leading 30-17 and had the ball in the red zone with 2:15 left, but never punched for the score that would have enabled the Aggies to cover against South Carolina.

UTSA was leading by 21 points with less than 30 seconds to play and looked good to cover as 17½-point favorites against East Carolina. The Pirates converted three times on third down, the last one coming on a touchdown pass from Alex Finn to Chase Sowell with 15 seconds left to give East Carolina the back-door cover in a 41-27 loss.

Just a few folks might have had some interest in the two-point conversion pass after South Alabama scored with 16 seconds to play. The Jaguars were 12½-point underdogs against Louisiana Lafayette. Had the pass for two points been successful, the final score would have been 33-22. Instead, ULL covered by the narrowest of margins.

Kentucky got the ball inside the Tennessee 15 with less than five minutes to go with a chance to pull within two points with a touchdown and an extra point. The Volunteers, who were favored by four points, forced a field goal and won 33-27.

Colorado, the 14-point underdog, got a Shedeur Sanders touchdown pass with 2:37 left and that was enough to cover against the Las Vegas College Football odds in the 28-16 loss at UCLA.

On the Move

There were some significant line movements in games involving Power-5 conference teams in Week 9.

Georgia opened as 19½-point favorites against Florida before the line closed at 14½. Those who grabbed that early number were a little anxious late in the game with Georgia leading 43-20. That ended up being the final score as the top-time defending national champions covered.

Purdue went from being a 4½-point underdog to a 1½-point favorite in the span of a week against Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had no trouble covering with a 31-14 win.

Oregon State went from being favored by 6½ to 2½ points, but it didn’t matter since Arizona came away with a 27-24 win.

USC was favored by seven points before it closed at 11½ against California. The Bears not only covered but narrowly missed handing the Trojans their third loss in a row.

The Pittsburgh-Notre Dame, Colorado-UCLA, Indiana-Penn State, South Carolina-Texas A&M, and Oklahoma-Kansas matchups all moved by 2½-3 points, with Notre Dame the only favored team to cover.

Let’s take a closer look at some NCAA football odds and College football lines worth considering.


Questions Of The Day

What is one of the most common mistakes bettors make when analyzing NCAAF betting?

Not looking at this year’s trends and results and simply going with big-name programs to take care of business can be a costly mistake.

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