No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes at Rutgers Scarlet Knights – Open: -52; Move: -52.5; Move: -53
Ohio State is 9-0 SU and tied for No. 1 in the nation with an 8-1 ATS mark. In Week 11, the Buckeyes boatraced Maryland 73-14 as 42.5-point home favorites, cashing for the eighth straight week.
On the flip side is a Rutgers squad that’s 2-7 SU and ATS, with six of those seven setbacks by 28 points or more. The Scarlet Knights are coming off a bye, after a 38-10 loss at Illinois as 18.5-point road underdogs.
While the full-game pointspread is certainly an issue at William Hill US, it’s actually the first-half spread that’s creating massive liability. Ohio State is 9-0 ATS in first halves this year.
“We need the Scarlet Knights, and we’re gonna need them big, especially in the first half,” Bogdanovich said of this 3:30 p.m. ET kickoff. “There are a zillion bets. It might be our biggest decision of the day, Ohio State first half.”
The first-half line went up Thursday morning at Ohio State -31.5. By Friday morning, the line was 35.5, helped along by a mid-five-figure Buckeyes spread bet.
“And we’ve got six figures in parlays and mounting, all first half,” Bogdanovich said.
No. 5 Georgia Bulldogs at No. 13 Auburn Tigers – Open: +3; Move: +2.5; Move: +3
Georgia is out to prove it’s the best one-loss team, in the event a one-loss team gains acceptance to the College Football Playoff. The Bulldogs (8-1 SU, 5-4 ATS) rolled over Missouri 27-0 as 18.5-point home favorites last week.
Meanwhile, Auburn and its two losses can only hope to play Southeastern Conference and CFP spoiler. The Tigers (7-2 SU and ATS) are coming off a bye week, after a lackluster 20-14 win over Mississippi as 17-point home faves.
“It’s dead even, and pretty good action,” Bogdanovich said of another 3:30 p.m. ET start. “I’d imagine we’ll need Auburn, but I doubt it’ll be one of our bigger decisions.”
No. 7 Minnesota Golden Gophers at No. 22 Iowa Hawkeyes – Open: -3; Move: None
Minnesota hopes to dodge the obvious letdown spot, after posting one of the biggest wins in program history last week to stay in the Big Ten title/CFP conversation. In a battle of unbeatens, the Golden Gophers (9-0 SU, 6-2-1 ATS) toppled Penn State 31-26 as 6.5-point home underdogs.
Much like Auburn in the SEC, Iowa is now in spoiler mode in the Big Ten, thanks to three losses in its last five games, by a total of 14 points. In Week 11 at Wisconsin, the Hawkeyes (6-3 SU, 4-5 ATS) rallied from a 21-6 deficit with 16 fourth-quarter points, but fell short 24-22 as 7.5-point pups.
“We’re dead even to this one, too, but we’ll probably need Iowa by kickoff,” Bogdanovich said of a 4 p.m. ET meeting. “The masses will be on Minnesota, sharps on Iowa.”
No. 8 Oklahoma Sooners at No. 10 Baylor Bears – Open: -10; Move: -10.5
Oklahoma needs to keep pace with Alabama, Georgia and Oregon among squads with one loss hoping to find a way into the four-team CFP. The Sooners came perilously close to bowing out of consideration last week, blowing a 35-14 halftime lead against Iowa State and eking out a 42-41 home victory laying 14.5 points.
Baylor gets a big chance to prove its perfect record is no fluke, as a win in this 7:30 p.m. ET meeting would surely keep it in the CFP chatter. The Bears (9-0 SU, 5-4 ATS) went to Texas Christian as 1-point favorites and exited with a 29-23 triple-overtime victory in Week 11.
“We’ll probably need Baylor, but it won’t be a monster decision,” Bogdanovich said. “It’s pretty even right now.”
No. 21 Navy Midshipmen at No. 16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish – Open: -8.5; Move: -9.5; Move: -9; Move: -8; Move: -7.5; Move: -7; Move: -7.5; Move: -7; Move: -7.5; Move: -7
Notre Dame has no shot at a second straight spot in the final four, having already suffered two losses. After getting waxed at Michigan and barely beating Virginia Tech, the Fighting Irish (7-2 SU, 5-4 ATS) thumped Wake Forest 38-7 as 7-point road favorites in Week 11.
Navy has just one loss this season, and that was on the road against a solid Memphis outfit. The Midshipmen (7-1 SU, 6-2 ATS) had a bye in Week 11, after thumping Connecticut 56-10 as 26-point favorites in Week 10.
“I’m not sure who we’ll need in that one,” Bogdanovich said of a 2:30 p.m. ET start. “The sharps are definitely on Navy. We’re dead even to it, and I think it’ll stay that way.”
Other noteworthy matchups:
• No. 4 Alabama at Mississippi State, noon ET: The Crimson Tide are coming off a home loss to Louisiana State in a monster game last week. Alabama opened -20.5, dropped to -18, then rebounded to -19. “We’re definitely gonna need Mississippi State. This is gonna be a big game for us,” Bogdanovich said.
• Tulane at Temple, noon ET: The visiting Green Wave opened -3.5 and got bet up to -6 midweek before Owls action began showing up. “Really good action on both teams, two-way action,” Bogdanovich said. “We’ll probably need the ‘dog, but it won’t be for much.”
• Southern California at California, 11 p.m. ET: As the latest kickoff on Saturday’s slate, this is the get-even-or-get-even-deeper game. The Trojans opened -6.5, but the line dropped 2 points Friday on the news that Cal starting QB Chase Garbers is returning from a shoulder injury after missing four games. “The sharps are definitely on the ‘dog, and the public will probably be on USC. We might need Cal small.”
Patrick Everson is a Las Vegas-based senior writer for Covers. Follow him on Twitter: @Covers_Vegas.