Competitive matchups according to oddsmakers may involve teams residing outside the Top 10 in college football this week. But for those schools ranked within the AP Top 10, there look to be a lot more mismatches before they start playing the heart of their conference schedules in the coming weeks.
Odds courtesy of OddsShark.com
For example, the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (5-0) are 27-point road favorites visiting the Texas A&M Aggies (4-1) on Saturday. The Tide’s average margin of victory in two SEC games so far is 61 points.
Of course it does not stop there. The second-ranked Clemson Tigers (5-0) are 22-point home favorites hosting the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (4-1). The Tigers have won the past eight meetings with the Demon Deacons, but they have failed to cover the last three.
Both Alabama and Clemson have seen slight betting movement in their favor, and sportsbooks will most likely need their opponents to cover to beat the public.
However, the biggest favorite among the Top 10 this week is the 10th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes (4-1), who have averaged more than 49 points since suffering a 31-16 home loss to the third-ranked Oklahoma Sooners.
Ohio State is listed as 31-point chalk hosting the Maryland Terrapins (3-1), down slightly after opening at -32. Part of that has to do with the fact that the Terrapins started a fourth-stringer at quarterback last week.
The third-ranked Sooners (4-0) also return from an early bye week as massive 28-point home favorites hosting the Iowa State Cyclones (2-2). Oklahoma is led by Heisman Trophy hopeful Baker Mayfield, as the senior quarterback is currently the second choice to win it at +225 behind Penn State Nittany Lions running back Saquon Barkley (+125).
Barkley and the fourth-ranked Nittany Lions (5-0) might have the toughest matchup of any Top 10 team this week, visiting the Northwestern Wildcats (2-2) as 15-point road chalk. Penn State has lost the previous two meetings with Northwestern both SU and ATS, although the last one came in 2015 on the road as well.
The Nittany Lions have gotten some early support after opening at -14.5, so the books may again need the dog.