Brittany Burke

Early CFP Odds Have Clemson, Michigan State as Underdogs

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After winning their first ACC crown since 2011 and claiming the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff, the Clemson Tigers will start preparing for their Orange Bowl semifinal matchup with the Oklahoma Sooners as 4-point betting underdogs at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Clemson’s victory over North Carolina in the ACC title game extended their current straight-up winning streak to 16 games, including a 40-6 victory over the Sooners in last season’s Russell Athletic Bowl.

However, they have struggled at the sportsbooks all year, going 1-4 against the spread in their past five games, and enter the Sooners vs. Tigers Orange Bowl matchup at Sun Life Stadium with a middling 6-7 ATS overall record.

Since a 24-17 upset loss to Texas in Week 5 threatened to derail their season, Oklahoma has come to life, winning seven straight SU and going 6-1 ATS.

The Sooners have been an offensive force, averaging a whopping 51.3 points per game during their current winning streak, which features a pair of lopsided victories over nationally ranked squads including a crushing 58-23 win over rival Oklahoma State to claim the Big 12 title as 7.5-point chalk.

Not surprisingly, Oklahoma’s vaunted offense has consistently pushed the point total OVER this season, going 8-2 in their last 10, three times eclipsing totals of 70 or more. The Sooners have also enjoyed plenty of postseason success in recent years, winning four of their last six overall, and four of their past five when favored.

In the other College Football Playoff semifinal, No. 2 Alabama takes on No. 3 Michigan State as a 9.5-point betting favorite in this year’s Cotton Bowl.

The Crimson Tide have won 10 straight SU since an early-season 43-37 upset loss to Mississippi, surrendering more than 16 points on just one occasion and just 11.7 points per game during that stretch.

The Spartans defied expectations this season, marching to a 12-1 SU record with huge upset victories over Michigan and Ohio State, and are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven.

However, Michigan State came up well short in their only previous meeting with the Crimson Tide, suffering a 49-7 loss as an 8-point underdog in the 2011 Capital One Bowl.

In other early bowl game betting lines, the Buckeyes will battle Notre Dame as 6.5-point chalk in the Fiesta Bowl, while the Wolverines are favored by 4 over Florida in the Citrus Bowl, and Ole Miss takes on the Cowboys as 7-point chalk in the Sugar Bowl.

Report: Will Muschamp agrees in principle to take South Carolina job

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Auburn defensive coordinator Will Muschamp has agreed in principle to become the next head coach at South Carolina, according to a report from Sports Illustrated. This news comes shortly after Arizona’s AD announced that coach Rich Rodriguez had turned down the same offer.

Muschamp is only one season removed from being the head coach at Florida where he went 28-21 over four seasons, including a 17-15 mark in SEC play. Muschamp was also named the 2012 SEC Coach of the Year after leading the Gators to an 11-2 record and a Top 10 finish.

He will be leaving a 6-6 Auburn squad and taking over for legendary coach Steve Spurrier who abruptly decided to retire in October after racking up a school-record 86 wins since 2005.

Prior to his recent coaching stints at Auburn and Florida, Muschamp was defensive coordinator at Texas for three years (2008-10), defensive coordinator at Auburn (2006-07), defensive coordinator at LSU (2002-04; linebackers coach in 2001) and spent the 2005 season with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins as Assistant Head Coach for Defense.

Undefeated Hawkeyes Battle Spartans as Big Ten Betting Underdogs

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A coveted berth in the College Football Playoff will be on the line in Saturday’s Big Ten Championship Game, with the Michigan State Spartans facing the undefeated Iowa Hawkeyes at Lucas Oil Stadium as 3.5-point betting favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

After entering last weekend’s action at No. 5 in the College Football Playoff rankings the Spartans handed the Penn State Nittany Lions a 55-16 beating, extending their straight-up win streak to three games while improving their overall record to 11-1 SU.

It has been a slow steady climb up the national rankings for the 12-0 Hawkeyes, who finally reached No. 4 in the CFP rankings last week and solidified their position with a 28-20 victory over Nebraska on Friday.

But Iowa has struggled at the sportsbooks, entering Saturday night’s Spartans vs. Hawkeyes betting matchup in Indianapolis with just three ATS wins in their last seven outings despite averaging 34.7 points per game during that stretch.

The Spartans have also held the edge in recent meetings between these rivals, posting SU and ATS wins in two of their last three matchups.

The nation’s other undefeated squad, Clemson, will also look to nail down a CFP berth when they battle the North Carolina Tar Heels in the ACC Championship Game as 5-point betting favorites on Saturday.

Perched atop the national rankings since Week 10, the 12-0 Tigers escaped with a slim 37-32 win over South Carolina last weekend, failing to cover as 20.5-point favorites.

It was the fourth straight ATS loss for the Tigers, who have produced just 32.5 points per game over their last four games after averaging almost 48 points over their four previous contests.

The Tar Heels have built an 11-game SU win streak since posting a 17-13 loss to the Gamecocks in Week 1, going 8-3 ATS during that stretch, pegged as favorites in each.

Last week’s 45-34 win over North Carolina State will certainly boost North Carolina in the CFP rankings from their position at No. 14 for this week. However, they will need a big win over Clemson on Saturday plus possibly upset losses by other higher-ranked teams to climb into a top-four position.

North Carolina will also have to overcome a dismal record against the Tigers, which has seen them go 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS in their last six meetings according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

In other Week 14 college football betting action the Stanford Cardinal are favored by 4.5 points over the USC Trojans in the Pac-12 Championship Game, while the Alabama Crimson Tide are massive 17-point chalk in their SEC Championship Game matchup with the Florida Gators.