BetMGM currently has college football betting odds for 66 notable games for the 2021 season. From Georgia squaring off against Clemson on Sept. 4 to Notre Dame playing Stanford on Nov. 27, it’s fascinating to see what the spreads are months in advance.
But just because you can bet online for these noteworthy games doesn’t necessarily mean they are all going to be fantastic, must-see matchups. In fact, if the college football betting lines are correct, some of the more standout games on the calendar may not be all too competitive.
Here are the biggest point spreads for the key games this season:
|Notre Dame @ Florida State||Notre Dame -10|
|Oregon @ Ohio State||Ohio State -10|
|Georgia @ Auburn||Georgia -10|
|Oklahoma @ Texas||Oklahoma -10|
|UCF @ Cincinnati||Cincinnati -11|
|Notre Dame @ Stanford||Notre Dame -11|
|Penn State @ Ohio State||Ohio State -11.5|
|Oklahoma @ Oklahoma State||Oklahoma -12|
|Ohio State @ Michigan||Ohio State -13.5|
|Stanford @ USC||USC -14|
|Alabama @ Florida||Alabama -14.5|
|Georgia Tech @ Notre Dame||Notre Dame -14.5|
|Michigan State @ Indiana||Indiana -16|
|Tennessee @ Florida||Florida -16.5|
|Alabama @ Auburn||Alabama -17|
|Alabama @ Miami||Alabama -17.5|
|Western Michigan @ Michigan||Michigan -17.5|
|Michigan State @ Miami||Miami -17.5|
|Nebraska @ Oklahoma||Oklahoma -18|
|Ball State @ Penn State||Penn State -20.5|
|LSU @ Alabama||Alabama -21.5|
|Michigan State @ Ohio State||Ohio State -27|
3 Most Likely Covers
Some of these spreads just seem too big, right? I might not be calling for an upset here, but these three games are the most likely for the underdog to at least cover the spread.
Michigan State +16 @ Indiana
I mean, Michigan State has been bad recently. But this bad? For a program with double-digit wins six times from 2010-2017, the Spartans have gone 7-6, 7-6, and 2-5 in the last three seasons. But improvements are on the horizon. Or at least enough improvements to stay within 16 points of Indiana.
Indiana has been trending in the opposite direction in recent years compared to Michigan State. In 2019, the Hoosiers had their first winning season since 2007 with an 8-5 record. They went 6-2 overall last year with a 6-1 finish in the East Division. One of those wins was a 24-0 victory at Michigan State.
Indiana will get some preseason Top 25 love. Michigan State, well, will not. But the Spartans have plenty of talent coming back offensively, and the defense will be settled into its 4-2-5 defensive scheme in Mel Tucker’s second season as head coach. An improved season is expected for Michigan State, and another decisive loss to Indiana would be a surprise.
Miami +17.5 vs. Alabama
Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta hosts one of the best games of the season. Alabama is the favorite to win the national title once again, but Miami also has big expectations after going 8-3 last year and returning just about every starter.
One of those starters is quarterback D’Eriq King, who threw for 2,686 yards, 23 touchdowns, and five interceptions along with four TDs and 500-plus yards on the ground. He did suffer a torn ACL in the first half of the Cheez-It Bowl. Miami appears confident he’ll be ready to go for this big Week 1 game, though.
On the flip side, this will be the first career start for new Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. First-game QB jitters, a neutral-site game, an opponent coming in with confidence … this may not be a Miami win, but a close game is expected.
Penn State +11.5 @ Ohio State
The betting odds suggest Penn State will be Ohio State’s biggest challenger for the Big Ten title. The Buckeyes hold a four-game winning streak in the series, but it’s been a mostly competitive matchup (39-38 in 2017, 27-26 in 2018, 28-17 in 2019, and 38-25 in 2020).
While those scores suggest the gap is widening, there is optimism and big expectations for Penn State entering this season. The Nittany Lions won their final four games in 2020 (all by double-digits) after an 0-5 start.
Ohio State, as always, is loaded with talent. There is an open competition for the new starting quarterback, though. The Buckeyes remain the heavy favorite to win the conference. They will be pushed, and the matchup versus Penn State looks to be the most competitive.
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Sam Herder is a writer for BetMGM and HERO Sports. A North Dakota State journalism grad, he spent several years in the print media industry before writing for online outlets. Sam has covered sports at all levels — high school, college, and professional — since 2011.