As sad as it is to admit, we’ve reached the end of the college football regular season – Rivalry Week is here. This is the last chance for teams that won’t be playing a conference championship game to make a bid for a bowl or impress the playoff selection committee. Be sure to check out Bodog for all of this week’s college football lines as there is a myriad of meaningful matchups, some of which are bound to turn nasty. Let’s get right into it and preview the most highly anticipated battles of what promises to be an entertaining conclusion to the regular season.
(1) Alabama Crimson Tide @ (6) Auburn Tigers
Favourite: Alabama -5
The most impressive team in the nation this year has undoubtedly been Alabama. The Tide has been dismantling their opponents by the widest margin in college football at 31.2 points per game. Fielding the No. 1 scoring defence in the land at just 10.2 points per game, Nick Saban’s squad is the oddsmakers’ top choice to win the National Championship at +120 odds as of press time. It’s thus no surprise that Alabama is a 5-point favourite going into their Iron Bowl rivalry in Auburn.
Auburn doesn’t mind being the underdog in this tilt as all the pressure is on the visiting team. It was just two weeks ago that another No. 1 team in the nation, the Georgia Bulldogs, came into town hoping to continue their excellent run. The Bulldogs’ hopes were smashed as underdog Auburn gained more than double the yards of their opponent in a 40-17 beatdown. The Tigers are hoping for a repeat performance from their star offensive playmakers: quarterback Jared Stidham and running back Kerryon Johnson, who have rushed for at least 130 yards in each of the last three weeks. If the Tigers can make sophomore quarterback Jalen Hurts uncomfortable, they have a chance at knocking off ‘Bama and booking a trip to Atlanta for a rematch with Georgia in the conference championship.
(9) Ohio State Buckeyes @ Michigan Wolverines
Favourite: Ohio State -12.5
When a rivalry is known simply as ‘The Game,’ you know it’s a big one. The first contest between these two legendary programs took place in 1897 and Michigan wouldn’t lose until 1919. The Wolverines lead the series 58-48-6, but the Buckeyes have gotten the best of Michigan in 13 of the last 15 meetings. However, seven of them were decided by less than a touchdown. Having been dealt two losses this season, Urban Meyer’s squad, favoured by 12.5 points this week, still has an outside chance for a playoff berth. Expect bad blood in this highly anticipated Big 10 clash.
(3) Clemson Tigers @ (24) South Carolina Gamecocks
Favourite: Clemson -14
Clemson’s job is simple – win out and they’re in. Having already booked a trip to the ACC championship game against Miami, things are looking bright for the Tigers. However, even though they’re 14-point favourites against in-state rival South Carolina, they should be wary not to get tripped up by the Gamecocks. Rivalry games are often tricky and Will Muschamp has done a solid job this year coaching his squad to an 8-3 record – their best since 2013. The battle of the Palmetto state promises to deliver high quality football, so you may want to book an appointment with your couch for most of Saturday.
*Odds as of November 24, 2017