Many of the upper-echelon teams in the Power Five conferences schedule weaker non-conference foes in the first few weeks of the season, but we do have a few high profile matchups this Saturday, including the first matchup of Top Ten teams of the season.
That would be #7 Oregon visiting #5 Michigan State –a rematch of the game won by the Ducks in Oregon last year by a big 19-point winning margin. That final score is very misleading, however, as MSU actually held a nine-point lead late in the third quarter before they completely fell apart. Oregon scored the final 28 points of the game to make the game seem more lopsided than it actually was.
Not only to the Ducks not have the benefit of home field advantage for this rematch, but they also don’t have QB Marcus Mariota anymore. Instead, Adams makes his road debut for the Ducks after looking good against his former team – FCS Eastern Washington – last week.
But while Adams looked good behind center, the defense looked awful and will likely be the determining factor in the outcome of this marquee game. Michigan State opened as a three-point home favorite but they have been bet up to a 4-point choice at the online sportsbooks.
Besides Oregon vs. Michigan State, there are two more game featuring both teams ranked in the Top 25. LSU is a four-point road favorite against Mississippi State while Oklahoma is a small 1.5-point road favorite at Tennessee.
The SEC has ten teams ranked in the Top 25 this week, but while the pollsters hold the SEC in high regard we’re not sure some of those teams are deserving of that ranking. Mississippi State returns just seven starters total on both sides of the ball, while Tennessee’s defense looked very weak last week against Bowling Green – especially against the pass – and faces an elite passing offense this week in the Sooners.
All of the other teams ranked in the Top 25 are listed as favorites – many of them against inferior competition. In fact, Boise State is the only ranked team not to be favored by double-digits as they are just -2.5 at BYU. Tough matchup for the Cougars, as they are coming off a big high after beating Nebraska on a Hail Mary and also lost their starting QB in that victory.
We’ll be back next week to look over some of the key College Football betting lines for Week 3.