A look, now, at some of the big NCAA football games to be played this Saturday. All college football betting lines are courtesy of Sports Interaction’s online sportsbook.
No. 11 Oregon (8-2) at Arizona (6-3) Ducks -6.5, Over/Under 60.5
It’s a simple formula for Oregon this weekend – win and you’re in.
The Ducks are the only remaining Pac-10 team left with just one loss in conference play, and a win at Arizona on Saturday would lock up the title and send them to the Rose Bowl – ending USC’s five-year reign atop the conference.
All eyes will be on Oregon QB Jeremiah Masoli this weekend, as they’ve been through most of the regular season. The athletic, dual-threat option has been great in leading the ninth-best offense in the country this year. Masoli has thrown for 11 TDs and ran for nine, and is arguably the biggest reason why Oregon is on the verge of making its first trip to Pasadena since 1995.
Arizona has been in and out of the Top 25 this year, highlighting the inconsistently that’s plagued the team all season. Last Saturday, the Wildcats again tumbled out of the rankings after a 24-16 loss to California, a game where they were ripped for a season-worst 176 yards on the ground. If Oregon can keep the run game churning with LaMichael James (1,193 rushing yards) and the recently-reinstated LeGarrette Blount, they should be Rose Bowl-bound.
No. 10 LSU (8-2) at Mississippi (7-3) Bulldogs -4.5, Over/Under 42.5
It’s rare to see a Top-10 team getting points this late in the season, but the +4.5 is a testament to how tough it is to play at Mississippi. Here’s the deal for LSU: a 24-15 loss to Alabama killed any chances for the SEC crown, but a shot at finishing in the Top-5 nationally for the third time in four years is still very much alive.
And the deal for the Bulldogs: Reports indicate that, should they win out, there’s a shot at a Capital One Bowl berth in Orlando on New Year’s Day. So, obviously, both schools have much to play for this Saturday.
The big question for LSU this weekend is who’ll start at QB. Sophomore Jarrett Lee played last Saturday and completed just 7 of 22 passes, which led to coach Les Miles saying he “expects” sophomore Jordan Jefferson to be behind center. Jefferson hasn’t played since the Alabama loss (sprained right ankle). The QB questions aside, LSU still seems like a nice bet as an underdog this weekend, but tread carefully.
No. 9 Ohio State (9-2) at Michigan (5-6) Buckeyes -12.0, Over/Under 47.5
What was once “The Game” should now be considered “A Game.” Harsh? Yes. But to put it bluntly, Michigan hasn’t held up its end of the bargain in 2009. After a stellar 4-0 start to the season, the Wolverines have completely unraveled. They’ve lost six of seven, including routs at the hands of Illinois (38-18) and Wisconsin (45-24).
This classic rivalry game takes another knock when you consider Ohio State doesn’t have a ton to play for. The Buckeyes have already assured themselves a spot in the Rose Bowl and at least a share of the Big Ten title. Michigan is probably a more desperate team (trying to salvage something from this lost season) and a big home dog – but even then, it’s tough to like the Wolverines from a sports betting perspective. The Over/Under could be worth a play, though, as Michigan’s porous defense and Ohio State’s ability to score points could make for a high-scoring affair.