Stakes rising as Giants enter weekend favored over Packers
Conference championships, bowl berths, playoff spots and just plain pride are all on the line in football action across the spectrum this weekend. Here's a quick peek at some of what's going on, with betting lines as of Friday morning.
Saturday starts off with that Big Game in the Big Ten as 11-0 Ohio State hosts 8-3 Michigan (Noon ET, ABC). The Buckeyes can't win the Big Ten or play in a bowl, but they'd love to finish off an undefeated season with a win over the Wolverines. Michigan, meanwhile, could still be playing for a berth in the conference championship game, if it can get help in the form of an Iowa upset of Nebraska Friday.
For what looks like it could be a cold day at the Horsehoe in Columbus, Ohio State was favored by four points over Michigan.
Also in the Big Ten 7-4 Wisconsin, which has already secured a berth in the Big Ten championship game, was a two-point underdog at 7-4 Penn State (3:30 pm ET, ESPN2).
In the old Peach State rivalry 10-1 Georgia, on its way to the SEC championship game, was favored by 14 points over 6-5 Georgia Tech (Noon ET, ESPN), which is on its way to the ACC title game.
In the Big East 9-1 Rutgers, which can clinch its first conference championship with a victory, was a 1.5-point underdog at 4-6 Pitt (Noon ET, ESPN2).
In the in-state Civil War out in Oregon the 10-1 Ducks, coming off that shocking loss to Stanford, were favored by 10 points at the 8-2 Beavers (3 pm ET).
Down in Dixie 10-1 Alabama, with renewed hopes of playing in the BCS championship game again, was favored by 33 points at 3-8 and troubled Auburn for the latest edition of the Iron Bowl (3:30 pm ET, CBS).
In the Sunshine State showdown 10-1 Florida State, also on its way to the ACC championship game, was favored by seven points at home vs. 10-1 Florida (3:30 pm ET, ABC).
For the Bedlam game in Okie Country the 8-2 Sooners were favored by 6.5 points over the 7-3 Cowboys (3:30 pm ET, ESPN).
In a very interesting game out in the Pac-12 Conference 9-2 Stanford, which can clinch a spot in that league championship game with a win, was favored by 2.5 points at 9-2 UCLA, which has already clinched the other spot in Pac-12 title game (6:30 pm ET, Fox).
In the Palmetto Bowl 10-1 Clemson was favored by 3.5 points over 9-2 South Carolina (7 pm ET, ESPN).
In the marquee game of the day 11-0 Notre Dame, a victory away from a berth in the BCS title game, was favored by 5.5 points at 7-4 Southern Cal (8 pm ET, ABC).
And for a nightcap from the WAC 9-2 San Jose State was favored by 3.5 points over 9-2 Louisiana Tech (10:30 pm ET, ESPN2).
Moving on to Sunday's NFL betting action;
In a key game in a muddled NFC playoff race 7-3 Chicago, with a questionable quarterback situation, hosts division-rival and 6-4 Minnesota (1 pm ET, Fox).
In an important game in the NFC South 9-1 Atlanta was favored by one point at 6-4 Tampa Bay (1 pm ET, Fox).
In the best game of the weekend in the AFC 8-2 Baltimore was favored by one point at 4-6 San Diego (4 pm ET, CBS).
In a rematch of that fantastic NFC playoff game from last January 7-2-1 San Francisco was favored by one point at 5-5 New Orleans (4:25 pm ET, Fox).
And in another playoff rematch Sunday night the 6-4 Giants were favored by three points at home over 7-3 Green Bay (8:30 pm ET, NBC).