We're 13 weeks through the college football season and things are getting tight for bowl placements.
The BCS bowls and those top-tier bowl games will work themselves out, there's no doubt about it. But the bigger question is who is left to consider for those final slots - or slot, we should say.
There are 35 bowls, which means 70 teams are needed. Thus far, there are 69 eligible teams for the postseason, after conference championship games. Here are some notes and betting trends for the five-win teams in action this week, and also Colorado State (6-6), which needs seven wins since it plays 13 games (odds are courtesy of 5Dimes, where applicable).
Mississippi State (NL) vs. Mississippi The home team has covered four of the last five meetings in this one, while the straight-up winner in the Egg Bowl has covered five in a row. Buyers beware on the must-win Bulldogs (5-6) against Ole Miss (7-4), who have failed to cover eight of their last nine Thursday night games.
SMU (NL) vs. Houston This Lone Star shootout has been won by the home team the last two years, while the home team has covered four of the last five. Houston had its six-game win streak in the series snapped last year, when SMU (5-5) obliterated the Cougars (7-4), 72-42.
CMU (NL) vs. EMU The Chippewas (5-6) catch a horrible Eagles team that is 2-9 on the year and has lost all six of its road games. Ironically, this series has been owned by the visitor, with the road team winning six of the last eight meetings. Central Michigan is on a 3-1 ATS run in this battle.
Troy (-6.5) vs. Texas State Since the Bobcats (6-5) became bowl eligible earlier this month, they've lost two straight both on the field and at the window. Troy, meanwhile, is hoping to snap a three-game losing streak. The Trojans (5-6) have lost four of their last six to the books.
FAU (-28.5) vs. Florida International FAU (5-6) should have no trouble becoming bowl eligible with what appears to be an easy win. Whether it covers the number or not remains to be seen, although it managed to cover 23.5 last week with a 55-10 win over New Mexico State. FIU (1-10) is mired in a 2-5 spread slide in this rivalry.
San Jose State (+9) vs. Fresno State The Spartans (5-6) may have lost their opportunity for a bowl game as they've lost three straight and close the season against undefeated Fresno State (10-0), which is hoping to bid for a BCS berth. Make note, San Jose has covered two straight meetings.
Rutgers (-3.5) vs. Connecticut Rutgers (5-5) was the last road team to win in this series, and the only visitor in this battle to do so the past seven years. And while the home team is on a 6-1 SU run in the series, the Scarlet Knights have covered three of the last four. UConn (1-9) is in after winning its first game of the season, last week at Temple.
Colorado State (-14.5) vs. Air Force Revenge should motivate the Rams (6-6) in this Mountain West Conference rivalry, as they've lost seven in a row to the Falcons. But be careful laying the chalk, as the road team is on a 5-2 ATS win streak in this game, while AFA (2-9) has covered five of the last six.
Wyoming (+20) vs. Utah State Wyoming (5-6) has a tough chore in one of the toughest venues out West, as Logan, Utah is never easy this time of year. These two last met in 2011, when the Aggies (7-4) hosted that game as well and won 63-19. The Cowboys are on a 1-4 skid both SU and ATS since mid-October.
Syracuse (+2.5) vs. Boston College The Orange better have basketball coach Jim Boeheim give a pre-game speech for this one as they've lost two straight on the field and at the window, while Boston College (7-4) is in on streaks of 4-0 SU and 3-1 ATS. Syracuse (5-6) has covered eight of its last 10 at the Carrier Dome.
La-Monroe (+14.5) vs. Lafayette Louisiana-Monroe has lost five straight to the Ragin' Cajuns, and rolls into this year's rivalry game having lost two in a row, both SU and ATS. The Warhawks (5-6) have won and covered two of their last three on the road, but Lafayette (8-2) has outscored its four guests this season by an average final of 52-25.5.