Each week we explore both NFL and NCAAF odds, dissecting those lines that make bettors go “hmmm…”. This week we asked our Covers Community on Twitter (@Covers) to tell us which odds have them scratching their heads this week.
Houston Texans at Detroit Lions (+3, 50.5)
Houston didn’t look great in a classic letdown spot versus Jacksonville in Week 11. That poor showing should serve as a wake-up call for the Texans as they prepare to face the Lions on Thanksgiving Day.
Detroit, coming off back-to-back losses to divisional foes, is all but dead in the water when it comes to the playoffs. But somehow, books are only giving the Lions a field goal at home versus one of the best teams in the league looking for redemption.
Baltimore Ravens at San Diego Chargers (-1, 47)
The Chargers haven’t done anything all season to warrant being a 1-point favorite at home to Baltimore Sunday. San Diego has dropped back-to-back games and five of its last six, leaving the coaching staff on life support heading into Week 12.
Baltimore has won three in a row and should be a solid road fave in this contest, especially after Ed Reed won his suspension appeal on Tuesday. The Ravens have been efficient on offense this season and now it seems their defense is finally starting to show up, allowing only 45 total points over the past three contests.
Michigan Wolverines at Ohio State Buckeyes (-3.5, 54.5)
These types of rivalry games demand a certain amount of give and take, but this spread has dropped from its opener of -5 to as low as OSU -3.5. That early move stinks of steam and you can expect heavy buyback on the Buckeyes if it goes to a field goal.
Ohio State, which many think is the top team in the nation, is banned from postseason play, leaving this showdown with “that team up north” as its bowl game. Head coach Urban Meyer is more than familiar with college football’s biggest rivalry, growing up in Ohio, and is even going after Michigan head coach Brady Hoke – a fellow Ohio native.
“He was born in the state of Ohio - which I still don't get,” Meyer told the Detroit Free Press of Hoke. “That's another story. But I guess it adds to the intensity.”
Even with Michigan QB Denard Robinson back under center, the spread seems too low against the 11-0 Buckeyes.
Kentucky Wildcats at Tennessee Volunteers (-13, 61)
This SEC toilet bowl features two teams that have canned their head coaches and would love to just have the season over with. Somehow, books are tagging the Vols as 13-point favorites in the wake of Derek Dooley’s termination following a 41-18 loss to rival Vanderbilt last weekend.
“Tennessee ain't gonna come close to covering against UK. They have quit, and should outright lose that one,” says Covers Twitter follower @JHB4UK.
Tennessee has come up short against the spread in three straight games and is just 3-8 ATS on the year. Kentucky announced that it was letting head coach Joker Phillips go at the end of the season, prompting the Wildcats players to rally behind Phillips in his final game.
“It would be huge. To send him out on a high note like that, it would be huge for us and the seniors as well,” linebacker Avery Williamson told reporters. “I feel like he deserves it. He gave his all even though we didn't get the results we wanted this year. I feel like him and his staff, they gave it all and put it all on the line for us to have a good season."
Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Pittsburgh Panthers (-2, 43.5)
Rutgers, which announced it would be joining the Big Ten in 2014 this week, is in the hunt for a chunk of the Big East regular season title versus Pitt this weekend.
Books are dealing the motivated Scarlet Knights as 2-point road dogs at Heinz Field, facing a Panthers team coming off back-to-back losses, including a 24-17 stinker against UConn last week. Pitt has covered only twice in its last seven home games with Rutgers.
“I don't understand why Rutgers is an underdog at Pitt. Looks like easy $,” @Bix99 Tweeted @Covers.
The Scarlet Knights RB Jawan Jamison has been slowed by a sprained ankle but backup Savon Huggins was more than capable of towing the load, rushing for 179 yards versus Cincinnati last week. A possible look-ahead spot may have books playing it cool with Rutgers, which faces Louisville with a potential BCS bowl appearance on the line next week.