Betting throughout the week has moved most of the spreads off the opening numbers. Navigate to Maddux Sports college football lines page to see the opening numbers, as well as where top sportsbooks are currently listing the games. Here’s a brief sampling of some of the bigger games.
Virginia Tech (-6 ½) at Wake Forest – The Virginia Tech Hokies opened as 7 point road favorites against Wake Forest but the line recently came down to 6 ½. The Demon Deacons have been a big surprise this year. If not for a week 1 meltdown in the fourth quarter against Syracuse, Wake would be 6-0. They’re coming off a big win against Florida State and could really make a national statement with a win against Va Tech.
South Carolina (-3) at Mississippi State – Sharps have moved this line a fair amount off the opening. South Carolina started at -5 ½ but that’s been bet all the way down to 3. The Gamecocks’ offense looked much better without Stephen Garcia, and considering the fact that he’s been kicked off the team, that’s the only way to go at this point. The cowbells will be loud in Starkville. This is an intriguing SEC matchup.
Pittsburgh (-6) vs. Utah – The Panthers and Utes have an interesting nonconference matchup in Pittsburgh – the back half of the home-home series from last year. Pitt opened as a 7 ½ point favorite and that has come down to 6 with most books. Utah has been unimpressive since moving to the Pac 12, but the Panthers haven’t exactly lit the world on fire. Should be a good game.
Texas A&M (-8) vs. Baylor – The Aggies opened at -8 ½, and after getting bet up to 9 ½, some buyback on Baylor has moved the line to 8. A&M rebounded from their two crushing collapses with a win against Texas Tech last week. Baylor pulled away from Iowa State in the second half to win going away. There will likely be a lot of offense in College Station.
Michigan State (-3) vs. Michigan – The Spartans opened as 3 point home favorites against their instate rival, and after getting bet down to a single point, some buyback on Michigan State has moved it back up to the opening number. This seems like the best game of the day. Both teams have played well so far this season. Michigan needed a big second half to win at Northwestern last week, while Sparty had the week off. The Wolverines better not get down big this week because Michigan State’s defense is decidedly better than Northwestern’s.
Illinois (-3 ½) vs. Ohio State – The Illini opened at -6 against Ohio State but sharps have pulled that down to 3 ½ points. Ron Zook and Illinois are still riding a perfect season, but this might be their toughest test to date. The Illini have had some success against the Buckeyes even before the whole Jim Tressel fiasco. It’ll be interesting to see how Ohio State rebounds from last week’s disaster in Lincoln.
Oklahoma State (-7) at Texas – The Cowboys opened as 7 ½ point road favorites for their game in Austin but that has recently come down to 7. Texas got brought back down to earth last week by Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout, but they get to regroup on their home field, which should help. The problem, of course, is that Oklahoma State is very good and has already won at Texas A&M. The Longhorns should have learned a lot from last week. We’ll see if that translates into a competitive game.
Iowa (-6 ½) vs. Northwestern – Iowa opened as a 5 ½ point favorite against Northwestern and betting has bumped the line up to 6 ½ at most sites. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses – Northwestern fell apart at home against Michigan and Iowa never got on track in Happy Valley. In the last three games in this series, Northwestern has won straight up as an underdog. The secondary will have to get considerably better if they hope to contain Iowa’s talented wide receivers.