Welcome to the 14th and final regular season Saturday of the college football season. Today we have 45 games on the docket, led by several high-profile rivalry showdowns between ranked teams, including Ohio State-Michigan, Alabama-Auburn and Wisconsin-Minnesota. Next week we have conference championship games and then after that the real fun begins: Bowl Games.
For game-day analysis and betting updates be sure to join Michael Lombardi, Patrick Meagher and myself this morning from 9 a.m. ET to 12-noon on The Lombardi Line. We'll be breaking down all the late smart money leading up to kickoff.
One trend to keep an eye on today is windy unders. We have inclement weather all across the country today. When the wind blows 15 MPH or more the under is 21-11 (66%) this season and 292-215 (57.6%) since 2005 according to Bet Labs Sports.
Here are the top windy under matches for today
26 MPH: Kansas State-Iowa State
22 MPH: Air Force-Wyoming
21 MPH: Kansas-Baylor
19 MPH: Hawaii-Army
18 MPH: Duke-Miami Florida
17 MPH: Minnesota-Wisconsin
17 MPH: Oklahoma-Oklahoma State
17 MPH: San Jose State-Fresno State
16 MPH: Stanford-Notre Dame
16 MPH: North Texas-UAB
15 MPH: Indiana-Purdue
Now let's take a look at the top four games attracting big bets today, along with several others receiving smart money.
Noon ET: Ohio State (11-0, ranked 1st) at Michigan (9-2, ranked 13th)
One of the greatest rivalries in sports renews at the Big House. Ohio State just leapfrogged LSU to take over the #1 ranking in the country. The Buckeyes have outscored their opponents by an average margin 49-10. Ohio State beat Penn State 28-17 last week, but failed to cover as a 20-point favorite. Michigan has won four-straight and is surging at the right right, most recently crushing Indiana 39-14 as 9.5-point favorites. Ohio State is 8-3 ATS while Michigan is 7-4 ATS.
In the most heavily bet game of the day, the line opened with Ohio State listed as an 8.5-point road favorite. The public is hammering the top-ranked Buckeyes, with nearly three-out-of-four bets laying the points. This heavily lopsided action pushed the line up to 9.5 or even 10 at some shops. That's when sharps made their move on Michigan at an inflated price. The line has since dropped back down to 9. Essentially we are looking at a sharp reverse line move or line freeze on Michigan. The Wolverines have value as contrarian home dogs in a heavily bet conference game. The total has fallen from 52 to 50.5. The forecasts calls for 12-15 MPH winds. The under is 56% since 2005 when the wind blows 8 MPH or more and the line stays the same or falls.
3:30 p.m. ET: Alabama (10-1, ranked 5th) at Auburn (8-3, ranked 15th)
The latest edition of the Iron Bowl has huge stakes for Alabama. If they win, the door remains open for a spot in the 4-team College Football Playoff. If Alabama loses, they're out. Chief rival Auburn would love to play spoiler. The Crimson Tide are 6-5 ATS and have posted a pair of wins (outscoring their opponents 104-10) since falling to LSU 46-41 as 5-point favorites three weeks ago. Auburn (8-3 ATS) just beat Samford 52-0 as a 45.5-point favorite last week after falling to Georgia 21-14 as a 3-point dog two weeks ago. Both teams play stellar defense (both allowing only 16.18 PPG). The difference comes on offense where Alabama is averaging 48.55 PPG while Auburn is averaging 32.73.
This SEC showdown opened with Alabama listed as a 3.5-point road favorite. Despite more than two-thirds of bets laying the points with the Crimson Tide, the line has either stayed the same or fallen to 3. This sharp reverse line movement signals pro money coming down on Auburn plus the points. The key for sharps is getting the hook with the plus 3.5, that way they cover a 3-point Alabama win. Mac Jones will make his 3rd start at quarterback for the injured Tua Tagavailoa. This is Jones' first road start and he will be facing his toughest defensive front yet. Auburn will be playing its 5th top-10 opponent of the season. The total hasn't budged off of 50. The over is 6-5 in Alabama games, but the under is 7-3-1 in Auburn games. The forecast calls for 8 MPH winds.
3:30 p.m. ET: Wisconsin (9-2, ranked 12th) at Minnesota (10-1, ranked 8th)
The winner of this grudge match gets the Paul Bunyan Axe and a date with Ohio State in the Big Ten conference championship. Wisconsin is riding a three-game winning streak and just destroyed Purdue 45-24 (but didn't cover as 24.5-point favorites). The Badgers are 6-5 ATS, averaging 35.55 PPG on offense while giving up 14.36 PPG on defense. Minnesota rebounded from their first loss of the season two weeks ago to Iowa 23-19 as 3-point dogs with a 38-22 win over Northwestern as 16-point favorites. The Gophers are 6-3-2 ATS, averaging 35.91 PPG on offense while giving up 21 PPG on defense. Wisconsin looks to win back Paul Bunyan's Axe after losing to Minnesota 37-15 last year.
This line opened with Wisconsin listed as a 2.5-point road favorite. Spread bets are split down the middle and the public doesn't know who to take. But sharps have gotten down on the Badgers, pushing this line up from -2.5 to -3. Pros have also gotten down hard on this under. The total has dropped from 48.5 to 45.5 since opening. Weather is a huge reason. The forecast calls for 15-17 MPH winds along with possible rain and snow. The under is 6-5 in Wisconsin games, but the over is 7-4 in Minnesota games.
8 p.m. ET: Oklahoma (10-1, ranked 7th) at Oklahoma State (8-3, ranked 21st)
The Sooners have rebounded with three straight wins after suffering their only loss of the season to Kansas State 48-41 as 23.5-point favorites. However, Oklahoma has barely eked by in those three games, winning by a combined eight points and failing to cover each one. The Sooners are 4-7 ATS on the season, averaging 45.27 PPG on offense and allowing 25.45 PPG on defense. Oklahoma State is riding a 4-game winning streak, most recently beating West Virginia 20-13 as a 6.5-point favorite. The Cowboys are 9-2 ATS, averaging 35 PP on offense and allowing 26.36 PPG on defense.
This Big 12 showdown opened with Oklahoma listed as a 12-point road favorite. The public says these teams are relatively even and that's way too many points to lay with the Sooners, who have barely won their last three games. However, despite nearly three-out-of-four bets grabbing the points with the home dog, the line has moved to Oklahoma -13 or -13.5. This is a clear signal that pros are fading the trendy dog and backing the Sooners to win by two touchdowns or more. Oklahoma is also a favorite with a high total. High totals benefit favorites as the more expected points scored makes it easier for the favorite to cover the number. We've also seen some sharp money hit the under. It opened at 69.5 and has dropped to 69 despite two-thirds of bets taking the over. The forecast calls for 15-18 MPH winds.
More sharp action
Oregon -17.5 to -19.5 vs Oregon State
Oregon State-Oregon Under 68 to 66
Notre Dame -14 to -17 at Stanford
Notre Dame-Stanford Under 51 to 46.5
Iowa State -3.5 to -4.5 at Kansas State
Iowa State-Kansas State Under 49 to 45
Northwestern plus 10.5 to plus 7.5 at Illinois
UAB plus 1.5 to -3 at North Texas
North Carolina -8 to -11 at NC State
BYU -3 to -5 at San Diego State
Cal plus 2.5 to plus 1 at UCLA