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Per, Alabama, Clemson remain double-digit favorites

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The Clemson Tigers are 12.5-point favorites against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish with a 56.5-point total on the Cotton Bowl odds at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday at sportsbooks monitored by

Support for No. 3 Notre Dame has led to some adjustment in the betting line, and now the favored Tigers have lost defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence to a failed drug test. That might make life easier for Notre Dame’s offensive line and quarterback Ian Book, but No. 2 Clemson is 6-2 against the spread (ATS) in its last eight games as a double-digit favorite for reasons that go beyond one player.

With that said, Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in its last five games against the Atlantic Coast Conference according to the OddsShark College Football Database.

Clemson ranks fourth in the country in both total offense and total defense, while Notre Dame ranks 28th and 22nd in those categories. The total has gone OVER in six of Notre Dame’s last eight games in December.

Orange Bowl Odds: No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 1 Alabama (-14)
The Alabama Crimson Tide are 14-point favorites against the Oklahoma Sooners with a 77-point total on the Orange Bowl odds at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, which is the second CFP semifinal.

The Sooners lead the country in scoring (49.5 points per game) with Alabama second (47.9). However, the Crimson Tide, who expect to have Heisman Trophy runner-up quarterback Tua Tagovailoa healthy after an ankle injury four weeks ago, finished 98 places ahead of Oklahoma in the total defense rankings and are 30-0 straight up (SU) and 18-12 ATS in their last 30 games as a favorite of 13.0 or more points.

Oklahoma, led by Heisman-winning quarterback Kyler Murray, is 2-4 both SU and ATS in its last six postseason games as the underdog.

The total has gone OVER in six of Alabama’s last eight games in December. The total has gone OVER in four of Oklahoma’s last five games, with an average combined score of 93.6 points.

Peach Bowl Odds: No. 10 Florida vs. No. 7 Michigan
The Michigan Wolverines are 6-point favorites against the Florida Gators with a 51-point total on the Peach Bowl odds at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Michigan is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games as a favorite, but quarterback Shea Patterson has a diminishing supporting cast with leading rusher Karan Higdon, defensive end Rashan Gary and linebacker Devin Bush sitting out to prepare for the NFL draft.

However, Florida, led offensively by quarterback Feleipe Franks, is 0-4 SU in its last four games against Michigan (with an average losing margin of 16 points) and is also 3-8 ATS in its last 11 games as the underdog. The total has gone OVER in six of Florida’s last seven games, with an average combined score of 58.86 points.

Elsewhere Saturday, the South Carolina Gamecocks are 5-point favorites against the Virginia Cavaliers with a 54-point total in the Belk Bowl at U.S. Bank Stadium in Charlotte. South Carolina is 12-4 ATS in its last 16 games against the ACC.

And the Nevada Wolf Pack are 1-point favorites against the Arkansas State Red Wolves with a 56.5-point total in the Arizona Bowl at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Arizona. Nevada is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games in December.

For more odds information, betting picks and a breakdown of this week’s top sports betting news check out the OddsShark podcast with Jon Campbell and Andrew Avery. Subscribe on iTunes or Spotify or listen to it at

Matthew Baldwin’s decision leaves Ohio State with two scholarship QBs

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And then there were two.

Seeing the Justin Fields writing on the wall, Tate Martell transferred from Ohio State in mid-January and ultimately landed at Miami.  Three months later, another OSU signal-caller, Matthew Baldwin, confirmed on Twitter Thursday night that he too has decided to take his leave of the Buckeyes and place his name into the NCAA transfer database.

“[S]pring was a tough time for me personally. My family and I have prayed and talked a lot about where I belong and what is best for me,” Baldwin wrote as part of a very classy Twitter post revealing his decision. “In the end, we feel like it’d be better for me to step away from Ohio State.”

A four-star member of OSU’s 2018 recruiting class, Baldwin was rated as the No. 12 pro-style quarterback in the country coming out of high school in Austin, Texas.  Baldwin didn’t play a down for the Buckeyes as he continued his rehab from an ACL injury he suffered late in his high school career at Lake Travis.

With the twin departures of Baldwin and Martell, OSU is now down to two scholarship quarterbacks — the Georgia transfer Fields (HERE) and West Virginia transfer Chris Chugunov (HERE).  Fields was widely expected to be the Buckeyes’ starter under center in the 2019 opener; Baldwin’s decision ensures that, barring injury, that will indeed be the case.

Arkansas to add former Notre Dame OL Luke Jones

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A week and a half after word broke Luke Jones was intending to leave Notre Dame comes the announcement Jones is going to be playing closer to home. The Arkansas native announced with a message on Twitter he is coming home to play for the Arkansas Razorbacks.

“I would like to thank the University of Note Dame for giving me the opportunity to pursue my dream of playing college football,” Jones said in a brief message on his Twitter account. “However, I have decided to transfer and play football for the University of Arkansas. I will be enrolling in the summer and am excited for this new chapter in my life!”

Jones spent a brief moment with the Notre Dame program as he was a member of the Class of 2018 in South Bend. Prior to committing to the Fighting Irish, Jones had been committed to the Arkansas football program in his recruiting process, but Notre Dame emerged victorious in the recruiting game during a coaching change with the Razorbacks.

Jones will be required to sit out the 2019 season under standard NCAA transfer rules, although those seem to be more like guidelines these days, so we’ll wait to see if there is a chance Jones gets to jump into the mix in the offensive line for the Razorbacks this fall.

Ex-Pitt TE Tyler Sear announces transfer to Temple

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Tight end Tyler Sear is hopping on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and heading from one metropolitan corner of the state to the next. Sear announced on his Twitter account on Thursday he is transferring from Pitt to Temple.

The Class of 2017 recruit of the Panthers left the program last October for what was simply described as personal reasons. It was unknown if the leave of absence was a short-term or long-term plan as the decisions about the status were being kept close to the vest within the Pitt program.

Sear did battle some injury concerns during his time at Pitt that prevented him from potentially reaching his full potential for the Panthers. He caught two passes for nine yards last season prior to his stepping away from the team.

Perhaps a clean slate with a new program will do Sear good as he steps in to try contributing with the Owls in the AAC. Sear will have to sit out the 2019 season due to standard NCAA transfer rules, unless an exception is granted by the NCAA. It is unknown if a waiver will be filed by Sear and Temple for immediate eligibility.

Sear has not used a redshirt year yet so he could burn that in 2019 while waiting to get back on the field if he is forced to sit out the 2019 season. That ould leave Sear with two years of eligibility remaining beginning with the 2020 season.

Michigan CB Myles Sims enters transfer portal

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Add another name to the growing list of players entering the transfer portal. This time it is Michigan cornerback Myles Sims. According to a report from 247 Sports, the former four-star prospect in Michigan’s Class of 2018 is evaluating his options.

Any player who adds his name to the transfer portal is allowed to make contact with potential programs of interest, but it does not automatically mean that player is gone for god. Sims will have the option of pulling his name out of the portal in the event he decides to stay in Ann Arbor. How quickly Sims will make any decision one way or the other remains to be seen.

Sims did not see the field last season for Michigan so he can use the 2018 season as his redshirt year. That gives the former four-star recruit four years of eligibility remaining, although he will likely have to burn one year of eligibility by sitting out the upcoming 2019 season.

Standard NCAA transfer rules require a player to sit out a full season before being ruled eligible to play again, although exceptions have been made a bit more frequently over the past year. Whether or not Sims will have the chance to play right away this fall will have to wait to be determined when he decides what his plans will be moving forward.