The first four weeks of the 2012 college football season have already produced some big wins, big losses, and plenty of big plays, but all our energy remains focused on producing a big payday for our picks. The following is a look at the biggest line moves, biggest underdogs, and biggest battles on tap for this week’s college football schedule.
Biggest College Football Line Moves - Week 5
The betting public must be having a hard time believing that Northwestern is for real at 4-0 both straight-up and against the spread. The Wildcats were opened as 14.5-point home favorites at in their Big Ten opener against 2-1 Indiana, but that line has been whittled down to 11 points.
Penn State’s back-to-back victories over Navy and Temple have obviously not instilled any real confidence in its chances in the Big Ten this season. The opening line had the Lions originally favored by four points on the road against Illinois in their Big Ten opener, but most of the early money has been on the Fighting Illini, who are now 1-point favorites.
Oklahoma State still has one of the most potent offenses in the nation, but the betting public must still see the Cowboys as just a mere shell of last season’s 12-1 squad. They were opened as 1-point home favorites against No. 12 Texas, but the current line has the Longhorns favored by 1.5-points on the road in this Big 12 showdown.
Biggest College Football Underdogs - Week 5
The top two teams in the nation continue to be favored by huge spreads heading into their fifth game of the season. No. 1 Alabama’s tightest spread so far was 13 points on opening day against Michigan and the result was a 41-14 romp. Since that game, the Crimson Tide have scored 127 points while giving up seven, so it is easy to see why they are 30-point favorites at home at against Ole Miss this week.
Oregon claimed the No. 2 spot in the latest AP poll with last Saturday night’s 49-0 shutout of then-No. 22 Arizona as a 20-point favorite at home. This week, the Ducks are on the road as 30.5-point favorites against the 2-2 Washington State Cougars.
A couple of other hefty spreads on Saturday’s slate has North Carolina favored by 27 points at home against Idaho, while No. 24 Boise State is a 26-point road favorite against New Mexico.
Biggest College Football Battles - Week 5
There are only two head-to-head matchups between ranked teams in Week 5 starting with a huge Big Ten showdown between No. 14 Ohio State and No. 20 Michigan State. Urban Meyer’s Buckeyes are 4-0 straight-up but just 1-3 against the spread. They are currently 3-point road underdogs at against the 3-1 SU (1-3 ATS) Spartans with the total set at 42. Michigan State’s only setback was a 20-3 loss to No. 10 Notre Dame as a 4.5-point favorite at home.
The other game pits No. 25 Baylor on the road against No. 9 West Virginia as 11-point underdogs with the total set at 82 (that is not a misprint). This Big 12 tilt will be West Virginia’s first game in its new conference.