Iowa Hawkeyes

Getty Images

Undefeated Hawkeyes Battle Spartans as Big Ten Betting Underdogs

Leave a comment

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.

How Oklahoma State and Iowa stack up vs. each other in CFP bid

Leave a comment

Pro Football Focus goes inside the numbers to decide which of the first two teams out of the College Football Playoffs – Oklahoma State and Iowa – have the better resume for a playoff bid.