The first month of the college football betting season has held a few stunners and a number of teams have dropped in the rankings or out altogether. Week 5 is headlined by the Big Ten, which will kick things off early on Saturday.
Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan State Spartans
Saturday, 3:30 PM ET
College Football Betting Odds: Michigan State -2.5
The No. 20 Spartans are ahead in the betting lines by a field goal, but in East Lansing, the No. 14 Buckeyes have won and covered in four of their last five. Michigan State’s 10th-ranked defense has to slow down Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller and the Buckeyes’ ground game, but this game could be won on the sidelines and Urban Meyer has Ohio State playing hard for a team that can’t go to the postseason because of violations. That hasn’t stopped Meyer from building the foundation for his next empire after his time at Florida and abrupt (but short) retirement.
Pick: Ohio State +2.5
Texas Longhorns @ Oklahoma State Cowboys
Saturday, 7:50 PM ET
College Football Betting Odds: Texas -3
The offense has finally caught up to the defense for the No. 12 ‘Horns, who have installed David Ash as the full-time starter at quarterback and he has an outstanding running game to back him up. The Cowboys’ No. 1 rankings in points and total offense have been inflated by games against Savannah State and Louisiana-Lafayette, and they showed who they really were in a loss at Arizona: a team with an incredibly suspect defense and that needs to spark a shootout to have any chance of victory. The Longhorns are college football betting favorites of almost a field goal for a reason, and that is because they are balanced on both sides of the ball and they’ll slow down the home team.
Pick: Texas -3
Ole Miss Rebels @ Alabama Crimson Tide
Saturday, 9:15 PM ET
College Football Betting Odds: Alabama -31
Alabama now stands alone as the college football betting favorite to win their third national title in four years thanks to a defense that has allowed 21 points in four games, and 14 of those were Michigan in Dallas in Week 1. Ole Miss already has more wins (three) than they did in 2011, but they came against Central Arkansas, UTEP and Tulane; when the Rebels hosted Texas, they got smacked 66-31 and Alabama is a much better team than Texas. Ole Miss hasn’t won outright in eight trips to Tuscaloosa, but they’ve covered in the last three (the lowest spread was 12.5 points). The question is whether the Ole Miss defense can stop Alabama’s offense, which isn’t explosive, but it is efficient. Their offense is going to have a tough enough time going against Alabama’s No. 3-ranked defense, which may be the best over this phenomenal four-year stretch that Nick Saban has put together. These betting lines seem outlandish, but Alabama has the ability to strangle and suffocate a team.
Pick: Alabama -31