Sports

College Football Bowl Games: Opening Odds, Betting Analysis

Nick Saban’s Alabama Crimson Tide don’t lose often when they have a line similar to the one set ahead of their matchup with the Washington Huskies in their College Football Playoff semifinal. Undefeated Alabama opened as a 16.5-point favorite on the Peach Bowl odds against Washington for December 31 at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Defending national champion Alabama is 7-2 straight up in its last nine postseason games, while Washington is 4-0 against the spread in its last four December games. Alabama has won its last 11 games when favored by 14 to 21 points, but is just 6-5 ATS in those matchups.

The Ohio State Buckeyes are favored by three points on December 31 against the Clemson Tigers on the Fiesta Bowl odds, which is the second CFP semifinal. Clemson won when the teams played in the Orange Bowl at the end of the 2013 season and Ohio State is 11-1 SU in its last 12 games after losing the previous game in a matchup. Ohio State is 2-6 ATS in its last eight games. Clemson is 1-5 ATS in its last six games against teams with winning records.

The Michigan Wolverines are seven-point favorites against the Florida State Seminoles in the Orange Bowl, which is set for December 30 in Miami. Florida State is 8-0 SU in its last eight games against the Big Ten. Michigan, whose regular season (and College Football Playoff hopes) ended with an overtime defeat against Ohio State, is 0-4 ATS in its last four games after an ATS win.

The Wisconsin Badgers are 7.5-point favorites against the Western Michigan Broncos in the Cotton Bowl, the first of the three New Year’s Six games slated for January 2. Western Michigan is 8-0 SU and 6-2 ATS in its last eight games against teams with winning records. Wisconsin is 17-0 SU in its last 17 games against the Mid-American.

The USC Trojans are favored by seven points against the Penn State Nittany Lions on the Rose Bowl odds. Southern Cal is 7-1 SU and ATS in its last eight games in January, but 0-5 ATS in its last five games against the Big Ten. Penn State is 8-0 ATS in its last eight games.

And the Oklahoma Sooners are 4.5-point favorites against the Auburn Tigers on the Sugar Bowl odds. Auburn is 7-2 SU and ATS in its last nine games, as well as 10-3 SU in its last 13 postseason games. Oklahoma is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games played on December 1 or later. The Sooners are also on a 5-0 ATS streak in games against teams with winning records.

The Alabama-Washington and Clemson-Ohio State winners will then play for the national championship on January 9 in Tampa.

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