College Football Rivalry Weekend: Biggest Line Moves From The Biggest Games

Written By FairwayJay on November 27, 2021

The stakes are high for college football rivalry weekend as some of the biggest games have conference championship implications and College Football Playoff (CFP) positions on the line. Big games mean big money coming into the betting markets too. Let’s take a look at some notable college football line movement.

There are nine conference championship berths at stake over Thanksgiving weekend. Let’s take a look at the biggest match-ups, betting lines and how they have changed from pre-season Game of the Year odds.

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Ohio State at Michigan

Both teams are 10-1 entering The Game with Ohio State No. 2 in the CFP rankings and Michigan No. 5. The winner takes the Big Ten East title and advances to the Big Ten Championship Game as a sizeable favorite. The loser is likely eliminated from CFP consideration as no two-loss team has ever made the College Football Playoff in its seven year history.

Ohio State has won eight straight over Michigan and 15 of the last 16 meetings. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh is still winless in the rivalry (0-5). Last year’s game was canceled due to COVID-19.

Ohio State leads the nation in scoring offense averaging 47.2 points per game. The Buckeye’s also top the charts at 560 yards per game and 7.9 yards per play. Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud passed for nearly 400 yards and 6 TD’s in the first half alone in last week’s 56-7 mauling of Michigan State. Michigan’s Aidan Hutchinson and David Ojabo are tied for the Big Ten lead in sacks with 10 apiece.

Tune in for kickoff on Sat., Nov. 27 at 12:00 p.m. ET on FOX to watch the Wolverines try to slow the Buckeye’s and end their losing streak against their biggest rival.

College Football Line Movement: Ohio State at Michigan Odds

The BetMGM trading team reported earlier this week that “the line in this one has moved in favor of the Buckeyes, opening at -7.5 and now trading at -8.5. Another worthy note is that CJ Stroud’s performance last week has vaulted him to the front of the pack for the Heisman Race sitting at -200 currently.”

The number Saturday morning has settled back towards Michigan +7.5.

Prior to the season, Las Vegas oddsmakers opened Ohio State -13 in May while DraftKings Sportsbook opened Ohio State -10.5 with a moneyline of Buckeye’s -480.

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

The Bedlam rivalry is a big one and these two Big 12 teams also enter 10-1 and Top 10 in the CFP rankings. Kickoff is Sat., Nov. 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ABC with home field hostility at Boone Pickens Stadium. This could be the last Bedlam series meeting in Stillwater, as Oklahoma may bolt from the Big 12 for the SEC in the near future.

History is one-sided with Oklahoma 90-18-7 over Oklahoma State and the Sooners riding a 6-game winning streak in the series. Oklahoma State has just two wins in the series since 2003.

But Oklahoma State is favored in this year’s Bedlam battle and the Cowboys are already secured to play in the Big 12 Championship Game. If Oklahoma beats Oklahoma State, then we’ll have a rematch in the Big 12 championship on Dec. 4. A Baylor win over Texas Tech sends the Bears to the championship game if Oklahoma State beats Oklahoma.

The winner keeps its CFP hopes alive while the loser is eliminated. BetMGM begs the question: “Can a 1 loss Big 12 champion do enough in the next two weeks to crash the top 4 and leapfrog Cincy, Notre Dame and a potentially 2-loss Alabama team?”

BetMGM notes that Oklahoma (+5000) and Oklahoma State (+5000) remain longshots in their odds to win the national championship.

Oklahoma State is allowing just 14.8 points per game to rank No. 2 in the country. The Cowboys also lead the Big 12 in in fewest yards allowed per play (4.34), and rank No. 1 in the country in sacks with 42 including 20 over their last three games. Oklahoma State has covered 9-straight games against the point spread while Oklahoma is 0-4 ATS on the road this season plus a neutral site win against Texas. The Sooners are an underdog for the first time this season.

College Football Line Movement: Oklahoma at Oklahoma State

BetMGM opened Oklahoma State -3.5 and moved to -4 with 64% of the early-week spread money supporting the Sooners. The total is 50.5 and Oklahoma State is -175 and Oklahoma +145.

Prior to the season, DraftKings Sportsbook posted an opening spread of Oklahoma -10.5.

Alabama at Auburn

The SEC Championship Game on Dec. 4 is set between Alabama and Georgia (-4). But first there is a score to settle in the Iron Bowl between Alabama and Auburn with Sat., Nov. 27 kickoff at 3:30 p.m. ET on CBS. Alabama dropped to No. 3 in this week’s College Football Playoff rankings.

Auburn beat Arkansas and Ole Miss to close October, but the Tigers have lost 3-straight since and are now 6-5 in head coach Brian Harsin’s first year in Auburn. Tigers QB Bo Nix is out for the second straight game (broken ankle). Alabama QB Bryce Young (+150) is a leading Heisman contender and he passed for 559 yards and 5 TD’s in last week’s 42-35 win over Arkansas.

Auburn upset Alabama in the two recent meetings at home, but the Tigers were ranked at the time and less than a touchdown underdog in each contest.

College Football Line Movement: Alabama at Auburn Odds

Alabama moved from a 19.5 to 20.5-point favorite across the board with a total of 55.5 at BetMGM and 56 at DraftKings Sportsbook. Alabama is -1200 on the moneyline and Auburn +700.

DraftKings preseason line was Alabama -16.5.

Other Rivalry Games Thanksgiving Weekend

  • Ole Miss at Mississippi State (-1.5) – 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN (Thursday)
  • No. 16 Iowa (-1.5) at Nebraska – 1:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network (Friday)
  • North Carolina at No. 20 NC State (-6) – 7:00 p.m. on ESPN
  • Washington State (-1) at Washington – 8:00 p.m. ET on FS1
  • Florida State at Florida (-2.5) – 12:00 p.m. ET on ESPN (Saturday)
  • No. 1 Georgia (-35) at Georgia Tech – 12:00 p.m. ET on ABC
  • Penn State at No. 12 Michigan State – 3:30 p.m. ET on FOX
  • Northwestern at Illinois (-6.5) – 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Indiana at Purdue (-15) – 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Oregon State at No. 11 Oregon (-7) – 3:30 p.m. on ESPN
  • Virginia Tech at Virginia (-7) – 3:45 p.m. ET on ACC Network
  • Vanderbilt at Tennessee (-31) – 3:45 p.m. ET on SEC Network
  • No. 14 Wisconsin (-7) at Minnesota – 4:00 p.m. ET on FOX
  • Arizona at Arizona State (-20) – 4:00 p.m. ET on Pac-12 Network
  • Kentucky at Louisville (-3) – 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2
  • No. 23 Clemson (-11.5) at South Carolina – 7:30 p.m. ET on SEC Network
  • No. 6 Notre Dame (-19) at Stanford – 8:00 p.m. ET on FOX
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FairwayJay

FairwayJay is a leading national sports and gaming analyst and is recognized as one of the sports industry's most insightful professionals. Jay has pursued his passions and maintained a pulse on the sports, gaming and poker industries while living in Las Vegas for nearly two decades. He's been a regular featured guest on sports and gaming radio shows, podcasts and produces sports betting and related industry articles and content for various sites and sources.

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