A little shakeup in this week’s AP Top 25 Poll, but nothing of significance at the top. Wisconsin moved into the top 10 following a Badgers beatdown of Michigan, 35-14. The Wolverines suffered the biggest drop in the poll down nine spots to No. 20.
The top four teams remained the same with three of them blowout winners last Saturday – Clemson, Alabama, LSU – and each covered the huge point spreads. The other winner was No. 3 Georgia, who held off Notre Dame 23-17, dropping the Irish from No. 7 to No. 10.
Georgia received 1 first place vote in this week’s AP Poll. Alabama had 6 and Clemson 55 first place votes.
Here are this week’s betting lines and match-ups for the Top 25 college football teams.
Others Receiving Votes: Wake Forest 73, Oklahoma State 57, Southern Methodist 55, Army 46, Memphis 42, Iowa State 31, Appalachian State 24, Washington State 21, Missouri 14, Mississippi State 14, Pittsburgh 6, Arizona State 5, Minnesota 5, Colorado 5, Tulane 1
Washington State, Arizona State and TCU all lost and dropped out of the Associated Press (AP) Poll. They were replaced by No. 21 USC, No. 24 Kansas State and No. 25 Michigan State.
Kansas State is an underdog this week at Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys are knocking on the door and will crack the Top 25 with a victory over the Wildcats.
When Circa Sports in Las Vegas provided the opening college football lines early Sunday, Top 25 teams that took money to move the betting line up at least 1 point to current lines were Ohio State, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Cal and No. 2 Alabama, which moved up from -34 to currently -37.5 versus Ole Miss. The line on No. 1 Clemson opened -28.5 at North Carolina and dropped to -26 at Circa Sports.
Top 25 match-ups this week:
- No. 18 Virginia at No. 10 Notre Dame (-12.5) – 3:30 ET on NBC
First ever visit for a Virginia football team to South Bend. Virginia ranks top 15 in both total defense (287 YPG) and rushing defense (79 YPG).
- No. 21 USC at No. 17 Washington (-9.5) – 3:30 ET on FOX
The last time these two teams played was in 2016, when QB Sam Darnold led the Trojans into Seattle against the No. 4 Huskies. USC upset Washington 26-13 as a 7.5-point underdog.
Washington head coach Chris Peterson gave comments and insights on the Huskies at Monday’s press conference in preparation for USC.
“Our biggest challenge that we’ve had, for sure.”
Washington is currently taking 59% of the bets from seven leading online sportsbooks as tracked by Sports Insights.
Here is the full schedule of Top 25 College Football games for Saturday, Sept. 23 with kickoff times (ET) and TV schedule along with news and headlines at NCAA.com. Two Friday night games feature Top 25 teams with No. 12 Penn State at Maryland in a Big Ten opener with both teams off a bye week. That’s followed by a Pac 12 battle in Berkeley between No. 15 California and Arizona State. The Golden Bears are the only remaining unbeaten team in the Pac 12.
- No. 1 Clemson at North Carolina | 3:30 p.m. ET | ABC
- No. 2 Alabama vs. Ole Miss | 3:30 p.m. | CBS
- No. 5 Ohio State at Nebraska | 7:30 p.m. | ABC
- No. 6 Oklahoma vs. Texas Tech | 12 p.m.
- No. 7 Auburn vs. Mississippi State | 7 p.m. | ESPN
- No. 8 Wisconsin vs. Northwestern | 12 p.m. | ABC
- No. 9 Florida vs. Towson | 4 p.m. | SEC Network
- No. 10 Notre Dame vs. No. 18 Virginia | 3:30 p.m. | NBC
- No. 12 Penn State at Maryland | 8 p.m. Friday | FS1
- No. 14 Iowa vs. Middle Tennessee | 12 p.m. | ESPN2
- No. 15 California vs. Arizona State | 10:30 p.m. Friday | ESPN
- No. 17 Washington vs. No. 21 Southern California | 3:30 p.m. | Fox
- No. 19 Utah vs. Washington State | 10 p.m. | FS1
- No. 20 Michigan vs. Rutgers | 12 p.m. | Big Ten Network
- No. 22 UCF vs. UConn | 7 p.m. | ESPN2
- No. 23 Texas A&M vs. Arkansas (Arlington, Texas) | 12 p.m. | ESPN
- No. 24 Kansas State at Oklahoma State | 7 p.m. | ESPN+
- No. 25 Michigan State vs. Indiana | 3:30 p.m. | Big Ten Network
Last Weeks Top 25 in Review
The betting breakdown of the three Top 25 games last weekend turned out good for the sportsbooks.
No. 3 Georgia held off No. 7 Notre Dame 23-17. More money came in on the favored Bulldogs, closing at -16 in some places in Georgia’s 6-point win. The total yards and plays were close, but defenses were solid as both teams were held under 340 yards offense.
No. 17 Texas A&M also took money near kickoff with the line closing -4.5 against No. 9 Auburn. But Auburn bettors had it right with the Tigers 28-20 win. Auburn extended the lead to 21-3 early 3rd quarter before A&M tacked on late yards and points late in the fourth quarter to finish with 391 total yards and out-gain Auburn. But the stats were misleading, as Auburn dominated in the trenches on both sides of the ball, out-rushing A&M 193-56 for an impressive SEC road win.
More bettors did well when No. 14 Wisconsin whipped No. 11 Michigan 35-14. The Wolverines turnover troubles continued with two interceptions and two fumbles. But this was a complete domination, as Wisconsin rushed for 359 yards and out-gained Michigan 487-299 with Michigan forced to pass often after falling behind 28-0 at halftime.
Week 4 Upsets
The Pitt Panthers snapped Central Florida’s 27-game regular season winning streak with a stunning 35-34 home win over the previously No. 15-ranked UCF Knights. Pittsburgh closed a 10-point underdog, and used a trick play on 4th down in the final minute to pull the upset.
It was the biggest result of the college football weekend favoring Caesars sportsbooks. Same for William Hill sportsbooks, as Director of Trading Nick Bogdanovich told me “The Pitt game was the biggest win on any college game this year.”
William Hill also did very well and beat most bettors with Notre Dame covering against Georgia, and Auburn winning outright at Texas A&M. Losses for William Hill and many sportsbooks included on Wisconsin (-3.5) over Michigan, Oregon (-13) shutting down Stanford 21-6 with late money driving the number up, and a pair of underdog winners on SMU (+9.5) over TCU and Appalachian State’s (+2.5) mini-upset over North Carolina. SMU took down crosstown rival TCU and knocked the Frogs out of the Top 25. Big sharp betting action on SMU drove the line lower.
In case you missed the wildest game of the season out West last week, UCLA rallied from a 32-point second-half deficit to shock Washington State, 67-63. UCLA was a 19-point underdog, and the Bruins were being offered at 20-1 odds to win during in-game betting. Nick Bogdanovich and William Hill reported that 22 bettors took a flyer on UCLA to rally and win at various points when trailing, and the biggest bet of $320 was made at 16-1 odds in the second half and rewarded with a $5,120 return.
Other notable upsets included:
Colorado (+8) won 34-31 at Arizona State to knock the Sun Devils out of the Top 25.
Buffalo (+14) took down Temple 38-22 just a week after Temple had upset previous Top 25 entrant Maryland.
SMU’s win over TCU also knocked the Frogs out of the Top 25.
With more conference games this week, here are some additional games to watch with competitively-lined match-ups that will draw betting interest. Some of these teams could crack the Top 25 next week.
Wake Forest (-6.5) at Virginia Tech
NC State at Florida State (-6)
Duke at Virginia Tech (-3) – Friday
American Athletic (AAC)
SMU (-8) at South Florida
Iowa State (-3) at Baylor
Minnesota (-1) at Purdue
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