Back on July 14, Las Vegas’ Westgate SuperBook released Game of the Year lines for the top games of the college football season. Since the last week of the regular season is filled with rivalries, they posted point spreads for 22 games in Week 14.
Here is a chart of every game and my takeaways from the matchups that stand out the most. It’s fun to see how our views of certain teams have changed since the summer by comparing July’s lines to the current market.
|Week 14 Matchup||G.O.Y Line in July||Current Line||Point Differential|
|Ole Miss at Mississippi State||Mississippi State -17||Mississippi State -3||14|
|West Virginia at TCU||TCU -10||TCU -12.5||2.5|
|Iowa at Nebraska||Nebraska -7||Iowa -5||12|
|Washington State at Washington||Washington -5||Washington -7||2|
|Virginia Tech at Virginia||Virginia -3||Virginia Tech -3||6|
|Arizona at Arizona State||Arizona State -3||Arizona State -13||10|
|Colorado at Utah||Utah -16||Utah -28||12|
|Oregon State at Oregon||Oregon -23.5||Oregon -19||4.5|
|Notre Dame at Stanford||Notre Dame -6||Notre Dame -15||9|
|North Carolina at NC State||NC State -5||North Carolina -8||13|
|UNLV at Nevada||Nevada -9||Nevada -7.5||1.5|
|Ohio State at Michigan||Michigan -3.5||Ohio State -8.5||12|
|Wisconsin at Minnesota||Wisconsin -1||Wisconsin -2.5||1.5|
|Indiana at Purdue||Purdue -5||Indiana -7||12|
|Alabama at Auburn||Alabama -13||Alabama -4||9|
|Florida State at Florida||Florida -10.5||Florida -17.5||7|
|Georgia at Georgia Tech||Georgia -25.5||Georgia -28.5||3|
|Louisville at Kentucky||Kentucky -9||Kentucky -3||6|
|Texas A&M at LSU||LSU -8||LSU -17||9|
|Clemson at South Carolina||Clemson -23.5||Clemson -26||2.5|
|Vanderbilt at Tennessee||Tennessee -7.5||Tennessee -21||13.5|
|Oklahoma at Oklahoma State||Oklahoma -10||Oklahoma -13.5||3.5|
• The first game on the chart is the matchup that moved the most in the last four months. Thanksgiving’s Egg Bowl showdown between Ole Miss and Mississippi State features a two-touchdown difference between the July line and the current market listing. While Mississippi State has disappointed this season, Ole Miss has improved since true freshman quarterback John Rhys Plumlee became more involved in the offense.
• Another big move is the 12-point difference in Iowa’s trip to Nebraska on Friday. Nebraska has failed to meet the high expectations that were set this summer, but I can see the ‘Huskers getting some betting action this week because they need to win to get their sixth victory of the season and become bowl eligible.
• Virginia Tech was a three-point underdog in the Game of the Year line, but now that has flipped to Virginia Tech -3. Keep in mind that the winner of the game will play in the ACC Championship Game against Clemson. This line opened at a pick ’em on Sunday afternoon, but the Hokies have received early money since then.
• There’s a double-digit difference from the summer in the Saturday night contest between Arizona and Arizona State. The Sun Devils are now laying 13 points in large part to their outright win over Oregon on Saturday. Herm Edwards’ team secured bowl eligibility with the win, so their motivation for playing their in-state rival might not be as large following the huge upset victory.
• Utah was only a 16-point favorite in the summer against Colorado and is now favored by 28 points. That’s because during this time of the year, numbers are inflated for teams that might need to impress the College Football Playoff committee in order to boost their resume.
• North Carolina and NC State have gone in different directions this season, as evidenced by the line change. Since they are 5-6, North Carolina will look for an outright win so they can get to a bowl game in Mack Brown’s first season back with the Tar Heels.
• It’s hard to believe that Michigan was a 3.5-point favorite over Ohio State in the summer, but that all changed thanks to Ryan Day leading a seamless transition from Urban Meyer — it also doesn’t hurt that Justin Fields is a serious Heisman contender. This line would’ve been a lot bigger before Michigan turned their season around in the second half of their loss to Penn State last month. If this line gets to Michigan +10 or better, I would be tempted to take the home underdog.
• Purdue was a five-point favorite against Indiana in the summer, but the combination of Purdue falling short of expectations and Indiana exceeding their outlook has this line at Indiana -7 early in the week.
• This summer, we were looking at Alabama as a 13-point favorite in the Iron Bowl at Auburn. Now the line has dropped to Alabama -4 in large part due to the injury to quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. My early lean in this game would be to take Auburn — especially if this line continues to climb after opening at Alabama -3 in some spots.
• Another in-state rivalry with a big line move is Tennessee going from -7.5 to -21 against Vanderbilt. Tennessee turned their season around and won the coveted sixth game in Week 13, while Vandy has been consistently underwhelming.