Seth Russell

Baylor, Ohio State big favorites in Week 10

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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.

Irish see uptick in national title odds

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(Oddsshark.com) – The Notre Dame Fighting Irish enjoy a bye this week after posting a 41-31 win over the USC Trojans last week to improve to 6-1 straight up and keep their College Football Playoff hopes alive.

The win improved the Irish’s AP Top 25 ranking to No.11 but the team still has work to do to strengthen their national championship betting odds, which currently sit at 20/1 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Fading down the stretch last season, with just two straight-up and against-the-spread wins in their final seven games, Notre Dame tumbled out of the national rankings after climbing as high as No. 5.

The team’s second-half swoon last year did little to impact this year’s Notre Dame national championship odds, which were pegged at a respectable 14/1 following their 38-3 Week 1 victory over the Texas Longhorns.

With the loss of quarterback Malik Zaire, whose season was ended by an ankle injury in the team’s slim 34-27 win over Virginia in Week 2, Notre Dame’s odds slid to 33/1.

However, with a narrow 24-22 loss to Clemson as the only blemish on the team’s record, and upcoming matchups with three currently-ranked schools still on the schedule, the Fighting Irish remain in the College Football Playoff conversation.

No. 1 Ohio State continues to lead the way as favorites to repeat as national champions with 12/5 odds. Faced with an embarrassment of riches at quarterback the Buckeyes have posted 20 straight SU victories, but they have been a betting disappointment going 2-5 ATS this season.

No. 2 Baylor has tallied an eye-popping 63.8 points per game this season, and has climbed to 11/2 after opening at 14/1, while No. 8 Alabama sports strong 6/1 title odds ahead of No. 5 LSU, who rounds out the list of betting favorites with 15/2 odds.

On the Heisman Trophy odds, LSU running back Leonard Fournette leads the way as a -200 favorite. The sophomore has averaged over 200 rushing yards per game, including a trio of three-touchdown performances, and has 14 major scores on the season.

Baylor Bears pivot Seth Russell is Fournette’s closest competition on the Heisman Trophy odds, pegged at +650. The sophomore has averaged 317.8 passing yards per game, and has thrown an incredible 27 TD passes in just six outings this season.

TCU Horned Frogs passer Trevone Boykin rounds out the top three with +850 odds, followed by Buckeyes running back Ezekiel Elliott at +1200, and Crimson Tide rusher Derrick Henry at +1600.