Michigan-Ohio State Lives Up to Hype
All eyes were on the Ohio State-Michigan game and the game did not disappoint with the Wolverines using a late interception to hold off Ohio State and punch their ticket into the Big Ten title game. Louisville and Kansas State were the only rankedTop 25 teams to fall to unranked foes as ranked teams went 14-10-1 against the college football betting lines.
Next up in the college football conference championship games, and the release of the updated College Football Playoff rankings will set the stage for the race for four CFP spots. Georgia and Michigan lead the way and figure to take two of the four spots, leaving a race for the final two CFP berths.
With Ohio State losing to Michigan, there are just five undefeated teams left and four of them (Michigan, Washington, Florida State and Georgia) hail from the Power-5 conferences.
The Oregon-Washington and Georgia-Alabama matchups will have the bigger impact on the battle for the four CFP spots. The Las Vegas college football odds currently have Oregon and Georgia as the favorites in those games.
The biggest surprise of the week was Cal, a 10-point underdog, going to UCLA and rolling to a 33-7 win.
Georgia remained No. 1 in both national polls with the Bulldogs receiving 111 of 125 first-place votes. Michigan moved into the No. 2 spot in both the Associated Press and American Football Coaches Association polls while Ohio State fell to sixth in both polls.
When looking at the college football picks this week, all five Power-5 conference title games feature matchups between ranked teams.
Michigan moved from +275 to +185 with Georgia going from +225 to +200 in odds of winning the national title. Oregon (+500), Alabama (+850) and Texas (+900) are the next closest competitors according to the college football championship odds.
Leader of the Pac
The Pac-12 is saving the best for last.
With most of the Pac-12 teams heading to other conferences, it is the end of an era. No team from the Pac-12 has played in the College Football Playoffs since Washington in 2016. The feeling is that will change with the winner of the Pac-12 title game securing one of the four spots.
While Washington is undefeated with one of the wins coming against Oregon, a string of close calls for the Huskies combined with some impressive efforts by Oregon has the Ducks favored by 9½ points in the Las Vegas NCAAF odds for a game being played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.
The surprising Arizona Wildcats finished third in the Pac-12 standings after rolling to a 59-23 win over rival Arizona State.
Oregon played its way into the Pac-12 title game with a 31-7 win over Oregon State. It was the final game at Oregon State for head coach Jonathan Smith, who was hired as the new coach at Michigan State. With Oregon State being left behind as one of the teams yet to land in a new conference, it is hard to find fault with Smith’s decision.
Washington remained undefeated on a 42-yard field goal by Grady Gross on the final play of the game. Following the game, Gross received quite the reward as he was given a scholarship.
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) November 26, 2023
When Oregon and Washington met during the regular season, both quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards and the Huskies held on for the three-point win when a late field goal was missed by Oregon.
What’s Next for Alabama
Game-deciding plays can’t be much more improbable than Alabama’s touchdown pass on fourth-and-goal from the 31-yard line in a 27-24 win over Auburn. That kept Alabama’s College Football Playoff hopes alive.
Alabama is going to need to hand two-time defending national champion Georgia its first loss of the season and hope that will be enough to get the Crimson Tide one of the four playoff spots.
It would help if Texas falls to Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game since Texas owns a win over Alabama this season.
Georgia hasn’t always looked dominant but the Bulldogs have found a way to win each time out. Georgia looks good to have a chance to win a third straight national title after fighting off a challenge from Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale.
Michigan Does It Again
It wasn’t always pretty but Michigan took care of business at home to beat rival Ohio State for the third season in a row.
Ohio State had the ball in Michigan territory in the final minute before a late turnover ended the Buckeyes’ hopes for a comeback.
Michigan’s 30-24 victory gave the Wolverines a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. It figures to be an anti-climactic event once again with the three best teams in the Big Ten (Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State) all playing in the East Division.
Iowa won the West Division and while the Hawkeyes have an outstanding defense, the offense has put up the fewest yards per game of any team at the Football Bowl Subdivision level. The college football spreads have Michigan favored by 23½ points.
FSU, Texas Have Plenty to Play for
Fans of Ohio State and Alabama will be pulling hard for Louisville and Oklahoma State to pull off the upsets.
Florida State tumbled in the national polls and in the College Football Playoff rankings after losing quarterback Jordan Travis to a season-ending injury. However, the Seminoles topped Florida to wrap up an undefeated regular season.
Next up for FSU is a matchup with Louisville in the ACC Championship Game. Our sportsbook only favors the Seminoles by 2½ points.
After a couple of close calls, Texas rolled to a 57-7 win over Texas Tech for its sixth win in a row. The Longhorns face Oklahoma State in the Big 12 Championship Game, needing to win to have any chance at a spot in the CFP field.
A Look at the Group of Five
The battle for the Group of Five spot in the New Year’s Six bowl game looks to come down to Tulane and Liberty.
Tulane will face Southern Methodist in the American Athletic Conference title game on Saturday with the Green Wave favored by four points.
Undefeated Liberty is a 10-point favorite versus New Mexico State in the Conference USA Championship Game on Friday.
Liberty trails Tulane in both national polls but there isn’t much to separate the two teams when it comes to the NCAA football predictions.
Toledo, which meets Miami (Ohio) in the Mid-American Conference title game, is lurking around in the event that Liberty and Tulane both stumble this weekend.
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 Toledo (+170) was the front-runner to win the MAC title when the season began.
NCAAF Week 13 Bad Beats
Two of the games with the highest profiles in Week 13 had the attention of those who bet online right down to the bitter end.
Alabama’s national title hopes appeared to be gone when Jalen Milroe had one more pass to throw and his touchdown with 32 seconds left pushed the game over the 47½-point total.
Ohio State, the three-point underdog, was looking to have a chance to take the lead late with a touchdown and extra point before quarterback Kyle McCord threw an interception that clinched the 30-24 win.
Middle Tennessee led Sam Houston with a minute to play before the Bearkats rallied for the 23-20 win. Middle Tennessee had a chance to send the game into overtime but a 47-yard field goal was no good.
Wake Forest, a two-point road underdog against Syracuse, had the ball inside the 10 in its final possession of the game. Wake Forest was stopped at the 4 on an interception to give Syracuse the 35-31 win.
The North Texas-UAB game was tied until North Texas hit the game-winning field goal on the last play of the game to win 45-42 as a 2½-point favorite.
Old Dominion took the lead on a Grant Wilson run on the game’s final play to go up 25-24. The Monarchs never attempted the extra point and that enabled Georgia State to cover as 1½-point underdogs. A PAT would have resulted in the game landing on the 50-point total.
Illinois had a chance to force overtime with a successful two-point conversion with 55 seconds left, but Northwestern won the game 45-43 and also covered as 6½-point underdogs.
Liberty led UTEP by 21 points in the final minute, but UTEP covered as an 18-point underdog on a touchdown pass with 17 seconds left to play to make the final score 42-28.
Tennessee, a 27-point favorite, was up by 21 points and had the ball inside the Vanderbilt 10. Tennessee kicked a field goal when the Vols would have covered with a touchdown.
Utah was leading Colorado 23-17 and had the ball inside the Buffaloes’ 30 with less than two minutes to play. With Utah leading, there was no need for the Utes to add to the lead as the game finished under the 43-point total. That brought an end to the season for Colorado. There has never been a four-win team that received the national attention of Colorado thanks to walking sound bite Deion Sanders coaching the Buffaloes.
Questions Of The Day
Which NCAAF team is most valued by the odds this season?
Michigan now has the best odds of winning the national title after its win over Ohio State.a
Which team will have the biggest opportunities to win this season?
Georgia and Michigan are in a position to return to the College Football Playoff field.