Most college football teams will be playing their last regular season games in Week 13, with a select few earning the opportunity to play in conference championship games next week.
Even fewer are still in the running for the four spots in the College Football Playoff field, and none of them may have more to lose than the third-ranked Iowa Hawkeyes (11–0), who visit the Nebraska Cornhuskers (5–6) as 2.5-point road favorites at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com this week.
The Hawkeyes have already clinched the Big Ten’s West Division and will be playing in the conference title game on Dec. 5 in Indianapolis. However, they have lost five of their past six meetings with the Cornhuskers, who will be looking to play spoiler while also trying to become bowl eligible and avoid a losing season.
The defending national champion Ohio State Buckeyes (10–1) possibly blew their chance at a second consecutive national title with a 17–14 home loss to the Michigan State Spartans (10–1) as 14.5-point chalk last Saturday.
However, the eighth-ranked Buckeyes can still win the Big Ten East with a road victory Saturday against the 12th-ranked Michigan Wolverines (9–2) combined with a home loss by the sixth-ranked Spartans versus the Penn State Nittany Lions (7–4).
The Michigan State game is currently off the board pending the status of quarterback Connor Cook, who did not play at Ohio State due to a shoulder injury. The Wolverines have moved to 1.5-point favorites against the Buckeyes since the odds opened despite dropping four of their past five home meetings straight-up and against the spread.
The race for the Big 12 conference championship is also a mess, especially since there is no title game. The fifth-ranked Oklahoma Sooners (10–1) figure to have the best shot at winning it as they visit the ninth-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys (10–1).
The Sooners are listed as four-point road chalk at the sportsbooks and will remain favorites as long as quarterback Baker Mayfield is deemed good to go. Mayfield suffered a concussion in last Saturday’s 30–29 home win over the 15th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs (9–2), who were playing without quarterback Trevone Boykin due to an ankle injury.
The Cowboys lost their first game last week at home to the seventh-ranked Baylor Bears (10–1), who visit TCU on Friday in what looked to be a matchup for the Big 12 championship earlier in the season. Boykin practiced on Sunday and is expected to return, with hopes of preventing the Bears from possibly winning the conference.
Baylor quarterback Jarrett Stidham (ankle, shoulder) may not play, so the game remains off the board at many sportsbooks. The Bears could end up taking the Big 12 with a victory against TCU and an Oklahoma loss, plus a home win the following week against Texas.