What’s up and welcome back to Rivalry Week, aka the perfect time of year where you have an excuse to sit around on the couch all day, eat way too much food, watch way too much football, and drink way too much beer (or Crown if you’re name is Miller… whoops!).
So, regardless if you’re watching for the Iron Bowl, the Egg Bowl, Bedlam, the Game, Clean Ole Fashioned Hate, the Governor’s Cup, the Civil War, or any of the other insanely entertaining names of rivalry games, you are guaranteed to have a blast… or at least tell off your annoying and overly drunk uncle who never shuts up about how much of “a God Nick Saban is” (we get it Randy, just shut the hell up already).
That said, before we look into the festivities, we must always reflect on what happened in the past week.
- Ohio State is the new number 1,
- Georgia’s offense is abysmal,
- Justin Herbert couldn’t handle the heat in the desert,
- Texas is nowhere near back, and
- It is very, very tough for Oklahoma to cover
Now that that is out of the way, let’s get into the real action!
1 Ohio State at 13 Michigan at 12:00 on FOX
LINE: Ohio State -8.5 – O/U: 50.5
— Ohio State Football (@OhioStateFB) November 28, 2019
If you’re from the Midwest, you will forever and always know this as “the game.” The problem is that lately this hasn’t really been a game at all. Instead, it has been Urban Meyer owning Michigan over and over and over again. Michigan fans may talk about the infamous 4th and 1 in recent memory to tell me that I don’t know anything, but Urban Meyer went 7-0 against Michigan. It doesn’t matter how close some games were. He. Owned. Them.
BUT it’s a new (Ryan) Day in Columbus, and they are headed to the Big House with a new leader. The issue for Michigan? This is the best Ohio State team we have seen in a long time, and maybe ever. JK Dobbins is running like Ezekiel Elliott, Justin Fields is better than any quarterback in Ohio State’s recent history, and Chase Young is the best defensive talent in college football. This is such a complete team that it’s scary, and it is the reason that they got noted as the number one team in the country.
On the other side? It’s been a very up and down season for Michigan. Sure, they are a top-15 team in the country, but Harbaugh and company thought this would be the year they finally topple Ohio State and win the East. Unfortunately for them, and for Harbaugh, that has not been the case and they have looked awful in a lot of big games. The good news is that it can all turn around with a win today, but if we’re being honest, that just ain’t happening.
As for the trends, unfortunately, they don’t paint a great picture for us. Ohio State is 8-2 ATS in their last ten games and 12-6 ATS in their last 18 games versus Michigan. Meanwhile, Michigan is also doing incredibly well of late as they are 7-1 ATS in their last eight games. Because of this, you just have to roll with common sense. Go Buckeyes.
FINAL BET: OHIO STATE +8.5
5 Alabama at 15 Auburn at 3:30 on CBS
LINE: Alabama -3.5 – O/U: 50
— Alabama Football (@AlabamaFTBL) November 29, 2019
The Tua-less Tide look to have their first actual tough match-up in the Mac-Attack era, which comes against one of, if not the best, defenses in the country. Yes, I have that much faith in this Auburn team on the defensive side of the ball. And, why shouldn’t I? Their numbers have been unbelievable this year, as they are allowing under 17 points per game, and only gave up 23 to one of the best offenses we’ve ever seen in LSU. This game will be a tough one for them, as the Alabama receiving corps is incredible, but given the fact that Mac Jones has never truly been pressured, I like their odds.
Additionally, for Bama, it looks like they have an outside chance to get into the Playoff after all hope looked lost recently, BUT they have a big issue and it is that they have serious injuries all around the squad, including 7 or 8 to starters. Sure, people will make a big deal about not having Tua, but the real issue comes from having multiple holes in their starting front lines, something that has made Bama into the monsters they have been in past years. This will help Auburn to keep this one close and potentially capitalize. It is Jordan-Hare after all.
The trends also favor Auburn, as they are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 games including 6-1 ATS in their last seven games at home, and while Alabama is 4-2 ATS in their last six games, they are only 2-5 ATS in their last seven games at Auburn. Weird stuff happens at Jordan-Hare, and you just can’t explain it.
Go with them Tigers
FINAL BET: Auburn +4
12 Wisconsin at 8 Minnesota at 3:30 on ABC
LINE: Wisconsin -3 – O/U: 46.5
TAKE. IT. BACK.
Chapter 12: AXE pic.twitter.com/f3wRZdPBdy
— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) November 29, 2019
Wisconsin was the apple of everyone’s eye for a couple of weeks this season but then the wheels started to fall off. Losses in back to back weeks to Illinois and Ohio State had the Badgers reeling into what seemed to be a season of mediocrity. HOWEVA, they have completely bounced back and now have a shot to win the Big Ten West today.
The issue? They have to go into what will be an incredible atmosphere. College Gameday will be there, and Minnesota (as proven by the Penn State game) will be sure to pack the stadium with incredibly loud and obnoxious Gopher fans.
Aside from the atmosphere in this game, this will be a real treat, as the Gophers and PJ Fleck will be rolling out their vaunted offense which has more movement and wide receivers running open all over the field than one can count. BUT, Wisconsin has a defense that (other than Ohio State) has shut everyone down this year and has looked incredible. This Includes a secondary that is second to none.
You put all of this together and you get a GREAT game, but you cycle in the fact that Minnesota will be home dogs and will have this atmosphere backing them, and you really give me faith in them. There is nothing like a home dog.
Additionally, Minnesota is 6-1-1 ATS in their eight games, meanwhile Wisconsin is 2-4 ATS. This just adds more fuel to that fire. Go with Fleck and go with them Gophers!
FINAL BET: MINNESOTA +3
7 Oklahoma at 21 Oklahoma State at 8:00 on FOX
LINE: Oklahoma -13.5 – O/U: 69.5
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) November 30, 2019
Oklahoma and their newly appointed number 7 ranking has put faith into the Sooner faithful that they can, and will, be in the Playoff. The good news and the bad news for Oklahoma is that they have a great Strength of Schedule remaining. This is very key for their chances to get into the Playoff if they win out, BUT it also means that this lackluster Oklahoma team could lose and be out of the Playoff altogether (not that I’d ever hope for that or anything….).
Oklahoma State however is quietly putting together a great season, and would love the cherry on top to be a win in Bedlam. Part of this is because, yet again, Mike Gundy is putting up electric numbers with his offense. How electric? Oh, just averaging over 475 YPG and 35 PPG. Their issue will be their defense (per usual in the Big 12), but seeing as Oklahoma has no defense either, this only creates a recipe for a game of “keep up” where both of these teams light up the scoreboard and it could turn into the scenario of whoever has the ball last wins the game.
As for the trends here, Oklahoma is an abysmal 1-6 ATS in their last seven games and Oklahoma State is 10-2 in their last 12 games. Additionally, the total has gone over in 15 of the last 19 game Oklahoma State has played in November and in six of Oklahoma’s last eight games played in November. Those two trends speak volumes, and lead me to stick with my gut and think Oklahoma State keeps it close and the minimal defense allows the over to hit.
Go with that over and the Pokes to cover!
FINAL BET: OKLAHOMA STATE +13 AND OVER 69.5
And there you have it folks, the preview of a week that tears families apart every year, but is always worth its billing. As always, the best of luck to each of your teams and your wallets and Go Dawgs.