The top two teams in the AP Top 25 will be without their starting quarterbacks this week, starting with the Baylor Bears who visit the Kansas State Wildcats on Thursday as 17-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
No. 2 Baylor lost starting pivot and Heisman Trophy candidate Seth Russell to a season-ending neck injury in their 45-27 victory over Iowa State two weeks ago, and will hand the ball to freshman Jarrett Stidham for Thursday night’s Bears vs. Wildcats betting matchup at Snyder Family Stadium.
Russell had led the Bears to an eye-popping 61.1 points per game this season, tops in the nation, throwing an incredible 29 touchdown passes to lead them to a perfect 7-0 straight up record and against the spread wins in four of their last five outings.
Stidham has amassed 331 passing yards and six majors in spot duty this season, and gets the start against a Wildcats squad that is winless SU in their last four, all against Big 12 rivals, and also winless SU in their last three against the Bears.
No. 1 Ohio State will also be forced to make a quarterback change when they host the Minnesota Golden Gophers as heavy 23-point chalk on Saturday night.
Buckeyes starter J.T. Barrett will miss this week’s contest while he sits out a one-game suspension, thrusting last year’s hero, Cardale Jones, back under center. Barrett has shared playing time with Jones for much of the season, leading the club to a perfect 8-0 SU record and extending their current SU win streak to 21 games.
The Buckeyes have covered in their last two, holding opponents to just 17 total points, while the Gophers have squandered a strong 4-2 start with a pair of SU losses but kept things close in last weekend’s 29-26 loss to Michigan, covering as 11-point underdogs.
No. 3 Clemson will have starter Deshaun Watson at the helm this weekend when they battle No. 17 Florida State as 12.5-point chalk in a clash that will likely determine the ACC’s Atlantic Division title.
The Tigers’ 56-41 win over North Carolina State improved them to 14-0 SU in their last 14 games at home according to the OddsShark College Football Database, while the Seminoles bounced back from a stunning 22-16 loss to Georgia Tech with a dominant 45-21 win over Syracuse on Saturday.
In other college football betting action, the Wolverines host the Rutgers Scarlet Knights as 22-point favorites, while the Wolfpack travel to Boston College to face the Eagles as 3.5-point chalk, and the Cyclones take on the Oklahoma Sooners as 24.5-point underdogs.