Rovell: Alabama vs. LSU, BYU vs. Coastal Carolina & More Intriguing Week 14 Matchups
Loren Orr/Getty Images. Pictured: BYU RB Tyler Allgeier.
The most intriguing college football games of the week include a quickly scheduled cross country matchup in Conway, S.C, a matchup of the bottom of the Big Ten and the LSU-Alabama game, but not for the same reasons.
BYU at Coastal Carolina is the site of College GameDay and tickets for the matchup are selling for $700 a pop on StubHub.
But how do you handicap this one?
This matchup is between two undefeated teams who have played no one. BYU has a strength of schedule in the 70s. Coastal Carolina’s slate has been a rung below that.
BYU opened as a 10-point road favorite and bets have been made on both sides of the number, says Circa’s Matt Metcalf.
“The public is on Coastal and the wise guys are on BYU,” Metcalf said Friday. “I would bet this line could go even higher. BYU hasn’t played anyone, but I think they’re a really good team.”
Alabama vs. LSU
Alabama-LSU is always a worthy game to bet, though this year, it’s an odd one.
The Crimson Tide, who have Nick Saban back on the sidelines, opened as a 27.5-point favorite, and the line has since moved up to 29.5. That’s the largest spread between the two teams since at least 1975.
In fact, in the history of this matchup, which started in 1895, Alabama has won by at least 29.5 points only four times. From 1922 to 1930, the Crimson Tide played the Tigers four times and shut them out every game, scoring 44, 42, 31 and 33, respectively.
This year, Alabama is 6-2 against the spread, covering by an average margin of 13.3 points per game.
Last season with Joe Burrow, LSU scored 726 points, an all-time team season record, which breaks down to 44 points per game.
This year? They are scoring just over 30 points per game.
Indiana vs. Wisconsin
Indiana-Wisconsin is an interesting game to handicap.
Although Indiana’s only loss is a narrow one against Ohio State, they lost quarterback Michael Penix Jr. for the year with a torn ACL.
On rumors that Penix Jr. would be out, Metcalf said he moved the game from -10 to -13 in the Badgers’ favor.
“I could easily see this at -15,” Metcalf said. “Given the time the Badgers have had since they lost to Northwestern, they have the potential to run them out of the stadium.”
Big Ten Notes
Two Big Ten games have been affected by not really knowing personnel.
Purdue was a favorite against Nebraska until Boilermakers coach Brian Brohm announced that some players would be leaving the team to turn pro.
Ohio State was at -23.5 against Michigan State, but Metcalf said if he knew who would be affected by COVID-19, Ohio State could easily be -27.
Metcalf has Penn State-Rutgers as one of the most intriguing matchups of the week. Yes, the 1-5 Nittany Lions against the 2-3 Scarlet Knights.
“Michigan was a 7- to 8-point favorite against Rutgers and Penn State is 5 to 6 points better,” Metcalf said. “This is easily -12 or -14 in my book.”