College Football Week 5 Betting News and Notes

College Football Week 5 Betting News and Notes

Week 5 Betting Notes
By Marc Lawrence
VegasInsider.com

According to our powerful database, it seems Game Four of the College Football season is often times a critical stepping-stone for teams who play with a week of rest. This is especially true for teams that are either playing at home off a win, or on the road off their first defeat of the season. Check out these numbers...

When these reinvigorated home teams take the field off a win with a week of rest in Game Four of the season they are a super-strong 69-40-1 ATS overall since 1980.

This week's finds will have smiles on their faces.

Iowa State vs. Texas Tech
Oklahoma State vs. Texas
Purdue vs. Marshall
UCF vs. Missouri
Washington vs. Stanford

Dress these rested Game Four hosts with a measure of revenge and they rocket to 25-9 ATS. And if it's a conference revenge affair they zoom to 23-3 ATS. With that, Washington will be looking to rise to new heights this week.

Meanwhile, Game Four rested road teams who find themselves off their first loss of the season show their muscle, having gone 19-9 ATS over the same span in this role. Indiana fits the bill this week.

And finally, if these rested Game Four road teams suffered an initial defeat as a favorite lost they zoom to 12-1 ATS.

Now, if you're either a Hoosier or Husky this week raise your hand if you're sure!

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Games to Watch - Week 5
By Christian Alexander
VegasInsider.com

Stanford at Washington

Stanford has won six of its last seven meetings against Washington including a 65-21 beat down last year. Yet after losing Andrew Luck to the NFL most people thought the Cardinal would take a significant hit this year. However that has not been the case so far as the Cardinal comes in ranked 8th and sitting at 3-0 after taking down PAC-12 favorite USC two weeks ago. Washington meanwhile has beat two lesser opponents but got demolished in Baton Rouge by a much faster and more talented LSU squad. The Stanford defense can't quite match the defensive intensity of LSU but if the Cardinal defense can provoke Husky QB Keith Price into the same mistakes they did against Matt Barley and USC then they should easily move to 4-0. However they are back at home in CenturyLink Field and the ESPN Thursday night games have occasionally proven to be costly to higher ranked teams in the past playing on the road, especially in the PAC-12, so the Cardinal will need to be on upset alert as a touchdown road favorite.

Baylor at West Virginia

After watching a phenomenal slate of games in Week 4 the scheduling gods took a break this week. If you have been putting off a weekend project, this might be the weekend to go ahead and knock it out. This is the only game of the week with both teams ranked in both polls. However, if you like offense, you will love this game. Both teams come in 3-0 having beaten less than stellar competition to date and it appears that Baylor senior QB Nick Florence has picked up where RGIII left off, as Baylor currently sits 5th in passing yards in the NCAA at 362 yards per game. Meanwhile WVU senior QB and Heisman hopeful Geno Smith is even better at 370 yards passing per game and 3rd in the NCAA. Both teams also currently rank in the Top 10 in points scored, but again the most impressive win either team has to date is Baylor beating ULM last Friday night. The biggest question in this game might be whether WVU will be looking ahead to their matchup next week in Austin against the Longhorns? If they do, the post RGIII Bears' could easily stroll into Morgantown and spoil the Big 12 debut of West Virginia. Unlike the Oregon/Arizona game last Saturday I don't see either of these teams getting shut down offensively due to suspect defenses on both sides. Points will not be a problem; in fact this game simply might come down to whoever has the ball last wins.

Tennessee at Georgia

Two weeks ago this game looked like it could be a huge swing game in the battle for the SEC East…and then Tennessee reminded us that it's not the 90's anymore and proceeded to get blown out at home by Florida. Now the Vols look to play the role of spoiler in-between the hedges in Athens. The Dawgs come in as a two-touchdown favorite and playing extremely well the last few weeks, however they have a huge road test next week against South Carolina and The Ole' Ball Coach…probably the most hated man in the state of Georgia from his days at Florida. If Georgia is already looking ahead and isn't focused on Tyler Bray and the Tennessee passing attack ranked 8th in the country, then that game next week against the Gamecocks might not mean near as much to the Dawgs. The key to this game will be the Georgia defensive line and if they can get pressure on Bray, if they can, look for Georgia to shut down the Tennessee passing attack; but if Bray has time to sit in the pocket this game might be a little closer than the Georgia faithful want.

Ohio State at Michigan State

Technically this game also has two ranked teams playing each other according to the AP Poll; however Ohio State has a one-year postseason ban that prevents them from playing in a bowl game, the Big Ten championship or consideration by the USA Today Coaches Poll. And more importantly the fact that Michigan State is ranked in any poll on the planet is almost as comical as the Big 10 as a whole. They trailed Eastern Michigan at halftime last week, barely pulled out a win over a clearly depleted Boise State team at home in Week 1 and got rolled by Notre Dame two weeks later; but hey, they did beat Central Michigan pretty impressively. However that is a big win in the Big 10 these days…just ask Iowa. Ohio State is probably the "best team" in the Big 10; however that's like being the skinniest person on The Biggest Loser. The Buckeyes are 4-0 so far but they also haven't left Columbus to play a football game and have been less than impressive in most of those. This week will be Urban Meyer's Big Ten debut and the first real "test" of the season for the Buckeyes. Can the Buckeyes contain Sparty RB Le'Veon Bell? If not it might be a long afternoon in East Lansing for Meyer, if so MSU might get shutout of the end zone like they did against the Irish. In either case the good news for the Big 10 is that at least one of them has to win.

Other Games to Watch

Florida State at South Florida


FSU doesn't play a ranked team again this year until the last weekend of the season when they host their intrastate rivals, The Florida Gators. However this weekend they are on the road against South Florida and need to avoid a letdown after their big win over Clemson in what should otherwise be an easy win as a two touchdown favorite for the Seminoles.

Texas at Oklahoma State

Texas is 22-4 all-time against Oklahoma State, however as mentioned earlier Texas has a big game at home next week against WVU so they will need to avoid looking ahead as a slight road favorite against a team that has beaten them the past two years.

Wisconsin at Nebraska

If you don't live in Nebraska or Wisconsin you can stop reading now. Nebraska got embarrassed last year at Madison in their first-ever Big Ten game losing 48-17. They will look for revenge this year in front of their ongoing NCAA record 322nd consecutive sellout home crowd. But again, at least another Big 10 team is guaranteed a victory.

Oregon State at Arizona

How good is Arizona? We may never know. They put up 59 points on Oklahoma State and then get shut out by Oregon. Meanwhile Oregon State may be much better than anyone thought beating two top 20 teams to start the season after coming in off a 3-9 2011 season. While neither team will likely challenge for the PAC-12 title, this game should answer quite a few questions for both teams and their fans.

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CFB: Streaks, Tips, Notes
Sportspic.com

Ohio State at Michigan State

Ohio State and Michigan State square off in East Lansing in a BIG-TEN conference opener for both squads. Urban Meyer's Buckeyes posting a double-digit win over UAB Blazers most recently to remain a perfect 4-0 (1-3 ATS) on the campaign will be hitting the road for the first time this season. Buckeyes defense giving up 403 yards to the Blazers last week including 144 on the ground will need an answer for Michigan State's powerful RB Le'veon Bell the nations second leading rusher grinding out 152.5 yards/game with five majors. Meanwhile, Spartans destroying Eastern Michigan 23-7 last time out enter conference play 3-1 (1-3 ATS) with the only blemish a 20-3 loss to Notre Dame. Michigan State is not exactly tearing it up offensively (21.0 PPG) behind QB Andrew Maxwell converting just 56.6% of his pass attempts but Spartans lead the conference with it's stingy defense giving up just 11.8 PPG on 233.5 total yards. Ohio State nipped 10-7 by MSU in Columbus last year marking they're first loss in eight meetings (5-2-1 ATS) should feel good about exactly pay-back. Buckeyes have won the last three in East Lansing (3-0 ATS) and four of five on Spartan's home field (4-1 ATS).


Texas at Oklahoma State

Texas was last seen spanking Ole Miss 66-31 with QB David Ash tossing three touchdowns in guiding Longhorns to a 3-0 (2-1 ATS) start to the campaign Longhorns behind a well balanced offense split between 255.7 passing, 258.7 rushing yards/game along with it's phenomenal defense allowing a lowly 16.0 points/game on 328.7 total yards get a chance to show if they're for real when they take on 'Pokes' at Boone Pickens Stadium Saturday. Longhorns have lost the last two against Oklahoma State but this group of 'Pokes' are without Brandon Weeden and his favorite receiver Justin Blackmon. True, 'Pokes' have racked up a ton of points (62.0) against some inferior teams but they also gave up a mess in their 59-38 loss to Arizona the only true test this season. The Texas air attack lead by Ash (703.0 PYG 7TD) and ground crew spearheaded by RB's Brown (238 RYG, 3 TD's), Bergeron (207 RYG, 3 TD) tear up a suspect OSU defense as Longhorns improve they're 6-0 (5-1 ATS) mark last six in Cowboys' back yard.

Oregon State at Arizona

Which Wildcat squad turns up Saturday night at Arizona Stadium ? The squad that got shut out 49-0 by Oregon or the one that put up 59 points in an upset over Oklahoma State. Coach Rich Rodriguez's troops had best hope it's the later as Beavers have knocked off two top 20 teams in Wisconsin (10-7) and UCLA (27-20) to open the campaign. If that were not enough to have Wildcats and their backers edgy, 'BEAVS' have won/cashed the last two encounters moving the spread mark to 9-2 last eleven encounters including a perfect 4-0 ATS last four visits to the desert.

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College Football Preview: Wisconsin at Nebraska
By Ian Cameron
Sportsmemo.com

Wisconsin at Nebraska

Wisconsin enters the start of Big Ten play with more questions than answers. They are 3-1 SU but none of their victories could be considered impressive. The Badgers barely got past FCS Northern Iowa at home, 26-21, lost outright at Oregon State, 10-7, as 6-point chalk, and notched two non-spread covering wins in rather lethargic fashion against Utah State and UTEP. Add it all up and Wisconsin is a money-burning 0-4 ATS. But the respect this team once had in the betting markets has clearly dissipated with the Badgers now catching double-digits for their showdown against the Cornhuskers.

A big key for Wisconsin is the health of running back Montee Ball who suffered a head injury early in last week's game. He’s listed as probable and I expect the Badgers to have success pounding the rock against a Nebraska defense that has had its fair share of issues. The Cornhuskers are allowing a mediocre 4.2 yards per carry despite playing against some average competition including a rebuilding Southern Miss squad, Arkansas State and Idaho State. The strongest team on Nebraska's slate was UCLA and the Bruins rolled up 344 yards on the ground.

Since taking over at Nebraska, head coach Bo Pelini is 3-13 ATS as a double-digit favorite against BCS conference opponents. Last year we saw Nebraska falter both times as double-digit home chalk in Big Ten play including a straight up loss to Northwestern. Wisconsin trounced Nebraska 48-17 last year in Madison as 9.5-point home chalk so this is a revenge spot for Big Red but I'm not sure the gap has closed enough to warrant this big of a pointspread adjustment (Note: Nebraska was a short home favorite earlier this summer according to the Golden Nugget’s CFB Game of the Year lines). No doubt this isn’t your typical Wisconsin outfit but I think we have a really good “buy low” opportunity with the road underdog.

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College Football Preview: Texas at Oklahoma St
By Rob Veno
Sportsmemo.com

Texas at Oklahoma State

Bettors took a strong, early stance with this matchup bumping Texas from a +2 underdog to a -2.5/-3 favorite. Texas has looked dominant thus far and then national media as well as the early bettors seem to be more than willing to jump on the bandwagon. However, this could be as much of an anti-Oklahoma State sentiment since the Cowboys were destroyed 59-38 by a still growing and slightly above average Arizona team. Each of those thought processes points toward Texas being the better team right now but are they good enough to go on the road, inside the conference, and defeat a team that is 19-8-1 ATS since 2010 (they are 0-3 ATS as a home dog L4Y). The Longhorns, for all the praise they are receiving right now, haven’t done all that much themselves defeating Wyoming, New Mexico and Ole Miss. Each team is obviously playing its toughest opponent of the season and each team had a week off to get ready so there shouldn’t be any lack of focus here.

The fundamentals show us an improving Texas passing game to this point as QB David Ash and his crew of talented receivers have rung up 255.7 passing yards per game against their defensively challenged schedule. The air prowess has allowed the offense to have extreme balance (260 ypg rushing). The 83 points OSU allowed to Arizona and UL-Lafayette suggest the Texas offense can duplicate its game averages in this contest but there are a couple of cautions. First off, Cowboys DC Bill Young just came back to coach in their game vs. UL-Lafayette (medical leave first 2 games). OSU shut ULL out for the first half and built a 44-0 lead before yielding 24 insignificant second half points. Under Young’s direction the past couple of years, Oklahoma State has evolved into an opportunistic, takeaway based defense and it will be interesting to see how Ash fares. Secondly, Texas does not play at the helter-skelter pace of Arizona. The Wildcats pedal to the metal style got into a groove and OSU could not stop the avalanche. With powerful RB Joe Bergeron back for this game, Texas will be more methodical and make use of their thunder-and-lightning (Bergeron-Malcolm Brown) backfield duo. Ash’s running ability will be a key here as well. 

For Oklahoma State offensively, it has been business as usual as they own the no. 1 total yardage unit in the land piling up 636 ypg. Their pace and run/pass diversity hasn’t seen any drop off from last year’s explosive unit and while they’ll easily face their toughest defensive opponent to date, they also give Texas a lot to prepare for. In addition to trying to stop and offense featuring RB Joseph Randle and a dynamic “spread” passing attack, the questionable status of starting freshman QB Wes Lunt presents Texas DC Manny Diaz with an additional problem. With Lunt (pocket passer) and backup J.D. Walsh (dual threat) being very different in style, Diaz must spend time preparing his defense for both. Each OSU QB has been extremely efficient this season.

Last year when Texas could not move the ball at all, the final score of this game played in Austin was 38-26 in favor of Oklahoma State. The Longhorns were just as good defensively last season as they are now and OSU appears to be every bit as good offensively so the Cowboys figure to score plenty of points again. The difference this season is that Texas is very much improved on offense and they are more than capable of 31+ this time around. With that as a premise, I find it difficult to not jump in and buck the downward movement in this total. Off an opener of 70, this game has been steadily brought down to its current spot at 66. Should Texas LB Jordan Hicks (leading tackler) not be able to go because of his hip injury, things open up even more for Oklahoma State which will test the youthful corps. The Texas defense, including star DEs Jackson Jeffcoat and Alex Okafor will get worn down by Oklahoma State’s frantic pace and the Longhorn’s own explosive offense (7.3 yards per play) won’t give them as much rest as some may think. Play here is going to be on the OVER in a contest where the 70-point barrier is likely to be cracked.

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ACC Report - Week 5
By Joe Williams
VegasInsider.com

Virginia Tech at Cincinnati

Virginia Tech bounced back from a shocking loss at Pittsburgh by thumping Bowling Green in Blacksburg last weekend. With the Hokies, they're developing a bit of a Jekyll & Hyde personality, as we really don't know what we're going to get - a Top 20 caliber team, or a middle-of-the-road club. For Cincinnati, the last time we saw them, they were struggling to get by Delaware State. QB Munchie Legaux, who looked great in an opening game win against Pitt, put the ball on the ground twice against Del State, and he tossed two more picks. This game will take place in Landover, Md., and that's generally bad news for Frank Beamer. The Hokies are just 12-18 in neutral site games with Beamer at the helm, including an 0-2 mark at FedEx Field. The Hokies are just 1-4-1 ATS in their past six games, and 1-6-1 ATS in their past eight non-conference tilts. However, the Bearcats are 1-4 ATS in their past five neutral site battles, although they have covered four straight games overall. The total might be a better play than the line. The under has cashed in six of Va. Tech's past seven, and the under is 6-1 in their past seven non-conference games. The under is 4-0 in Cincy's past four games against the ACC. The under is 8-3 in Cincinnati's past 11 games overall.

Florida State at South Florida

The Seminoles picked up a big win against Clemson at home, and now we'll find out quite a bit about the No. 4 team in the nation. FSU steps back out of conference, and down in competition, to meet a South Florida team that will be gunning for them. This is a huge measuring stick game for USF, who comes in a 17-point dog. The 'Noles are 6-2 ATS over their past eight games, including a loss against Clemson last week against the spread. The Bulls are 6-2 ATS in their past eight games against ACC opponents, but they are just 1-6 ATS in their past seven games overall, and 0-7 ATS in their past seven home games. Like the game above, the under could very well be the play. The under is 10-1 in Florida State's past 11 non-conference games, while the under is 4-1 in South Florida's past five games against the ACC. The under is also 11-4-1 in the past 16 non-conference matchups.

North Carolina State at Miami (Fla.)

If a football game is played at Sun Life Stadium, will anyone notice? This battle between 3-1 teams might be the most competitive game on the ACC schedule, but the apathetic South Florida fan base likely has much more to do than enjoy a good college football game. The Wolfpack struggled in their opening game loss to Tennessee in Atlanta before bouncing back with a road win at Connecticut. Then, they took out their frustrations on South Alabama and The Citadel at home. So far, the Pack is just 1-2-1 ATS, and the under has cashed in two of their three games. For Miami, they're coming off an impressive comeback at Georgia Tech, which very well could have turned around their season. If you take out their loss at K-State, the Canes have averaged 40.3 ppg. The last time these two battled, it was 2008 when NC State took down Miami 38-28. The Wolfpack haven't been as great on the road lately, at least against the spread. NC State is 1-4-1 ATS in their past six games, while Miami is 4-1 ATS in their past five ACC games.

Duke at Wake Forest

Duke has started out 3-1, taking care of business at home. While that's not a huge deal for most teams, a 3-1 mark for the Blue Devils is big news. More importantly, they are 3-1 ATS. However, in their only road game, they were blitzed by Stanford 50-13. Of course, knowing what we know now, after Stanford took down USC, perhaps that wasn't as bad of a loss as it looked at the time. Wake bounced back nicely with a fourth quarter cover against Army last weekend. That followed a 52-0 thumping at FSU. It's hard to get a gauge on the Deacs, as one weekend they look good, the next they look atrocious. Duke is 5-1 ATS in their past six September games, although they are 0-4 ATS in their past four road games, and 0-4 ATS in their past four road games against a team with a winning home record. Wake is 7-3 ATS in their past 10 home games, including 2-0 ATS this season. As far as the total, the over might be the play here, although 60 points seems a bit ambitious. The over has cashed in four of the past five meetings between these sides.

Clemson at Boston College

I actually attended last season's meeting when Clemson QB Tajh Boyd went down with a knee injury. You've never heard Death Valley so quiet. Now, the Tigers hit the road for Chestnut Hill. Clemson might be a favorable play as long as they do not have any emotional letdowns following their disappointing loss in Tallahassee last weekend. BC is just 4-12 ATS in their past 16 home games, and 2-8 ATS in their past 10 games in the month of September. BC lost at Northwestern in their last time out, as the Wildcats picked up a late cover. Remember, BC has had two weeks to prepare for this game, so that single-digit road number for Clemson might not be as attractive as it looks initially.

Idaho at North Carolina

I'll be taking my oldest son to Kenan Stadium Saturday, and we'll see an Idaho team which is winless in four games so far. The Vandals are just 1-3 ATS, including a home loss to Wyoming. The thing bettors will want to take note of is that Idaho has gone over the past two games. Still, it might be difficult scoring on a UNC defense which has allowed a total of six points in two home games. Look at those numbers, that 61.5 total might be a tad bit high. If you're looking to pick a side, UNC is 4-0 ATS in their past four home games, while Idaho is 1-4 ATS in their past five non-conference games.

Louisiana Tech at Virginia

This is a very underrated game, as Louisiana Tech heads to Charlottesville looking to remain unbeaten. In fact, La. Tech opened as a 3.5-point favorite. At first glance, this appears to be a slam-dunk play for the home team. Virginia is 3-1 all-time against WAC opponents, including a 2-0 mark at Scott Stadium. With that, a moneyline play on the Cavaliers might be warranted. However, the Bulldogs have a seven-game road winning streak working, and a 10-game win streak overall, which is third-longest in the nation. Louisiana Tech has rolled up 536.7 yards per game on offense, which is 11th in the nation. Louisiana Tech is 15-3 ATS in their past 18 road games, and 13-3 ATS in their past 16 games overall. However, they are 0-4 ATS in their past four games against ACC opponents. For UVA, they're 0-5-1 ATS in their past six games, and 0-6-1 ATS in their past seven non-conference tilts. All recent trends point to Louisiana Tech covering on the road, but all good things come to an end, too.

Middle Tennessee at Georgia Tech

Middle Tennessee got off to an underwhelming start, getting dumped by FCS opponent McNeese State at home. However, they bounced back with a home win and cover against Florida Atlantic, and a road win and cover at Memphis. Now, they've had two weeks to prepare for this trip to Atlanta. Georgia Tech hasn't had a tough time scoring the football, as they have averaged 50.3 ppg over their past three games. However, they're still licking their wounds after a shocking comeback win by Miami last Saturday. Their last two games have gone over, and it wouldn't be surprising to see the Ramblin' Wreck bounce back with a high-scoring game as they take out their frustrations on their Sun Belt visitors.

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Week five Random Thoughts
By Larry Ness
Sportspic.com

Thirty schools were still unbeaten entering last weekend's play and 27 remain unscathed when this weekend's play opens with No. 8 Stanford visiting Washington on Thursday night. The losers were Oklahoma (more on the Sooners in my closing thoughts), then-No. 19 UCLA and then-No. 22 Arizona. Both the Bruins and Wildcats had been early season surprises with UCLA opening 3-0 after back-to-back losing seasons and Arizona doing the same, coming off a 4-8 season in which Mike Stoops was fired. The Bruins lost at home 27-20 (as eight-point favorites) to another of this year's early surprises, Oregon St (just 2-0 in 2012 but with wins over then-No. 13 Wisconsin and now UCLA),. The Beavers jumped from being unranked to No. 18 in the latest AP poll As for the Wildcats, Rich-Rod's new team was a big underdog at Oregon (three TDs) but was expected to at least get into a shootout. Instead, Arizona was blanked, 49-0!

Oregon's impressive win and LSU's 12-10 'squeaker' at Auburn, saw the Ducks move into the 2nd spot behind Alabama in the latest AP poll (the Tide received 59 of 60 first-place votes). LSU fell to third but somehow got the lone other first-place vote. Oklahoma's loss dropped the Sooners to No. 16 in the latest poll, while both UCLA and Arizona dropped out. Michigan, ranked No. 8 in the preseason, but ranked 18th when it visited South Bend Saturday night, is now out of the top-25 after a 13-6 loss. The Irish forced six turnovers, five from Denard Robinson. Notre Dame is now 10th in the AP poll, while Rutgers (No. 23) and Baylor (No. 25) joined Oregon St as this week's newcomers. Georgia ranks 5th and South Carolina 6th, giving the SEC four of the AP's top-six teams.

Nineteen of the AP's top-25 are still unbeaten (No. 13 USC is the highest-ranked one-loss team), leaving eight schools unbeaten and unranked. Iowa St and Texas Tech are two of the Big 12's SEVEN unbeatens but neither is ranked. Minnesota and Northwestern of the Big Ten are both unranked, as are two WAC schools, UT-San Antonio (in its first season of FBS play) and Louisiana Tech. Throw in Cincinnati of the Big ast and Ohio U of the MAC (Bobcats are 4-0 for the first time since 1976) and the list is complete. Northwestern is the closest to breaking through, as the Wildcats had 89 points, just behind No. 25 Baylor's total of 92. La Tech deserves some mention, as the Bulldogs went 8-5 last year (11-2 ATS) and have opened 2012 at 3-0 (2-1 ATS), having scored at least 50 points in each win, averaging 54.7 PPG.

At the other end of the food chain we have nine schools which remain winless, after Colorado, Navy, New Mexico and UNLV got off the schneid with their first wins of 2012 last Saturday. Colorado deserves mention as the Buffs lost 69-14 the previous weekend at Fresno St but bounced back by winning 35-34 at Washington St, as 18 1/2-point underdogs. Let's also hear it for New Mexico, as the Lobos' 27-14 win at New Mexico St ended the nation's longest active road losing streak at 24. There was no good news for Tulane fans, as the Green Wave lost at home 39-0 to Ole Miss, extending the nation's longest active losing streak to 12 in a row, as well as also losing their seventh straight home game (also the longest active streak). Tulane hosts UL-Monroe on Saturday and the early number makes them an 18 1/2-point home underdog, meaning loss No. 13 in a row (and eight straight at home), is likely.

Two winless schools are worth noting, Southern Miss and Houston (both are 0-3). The Golden Eagles began 2012 with 18 consecutive winning seasons, while the Cougars were 13-1 (ranked No. 18 in the final AP poll), just last year. Southern Miss will host No. 19 Louisville on Saturday (early number has the Cardinals favored by 10 1/2 points) and Houston is at Rice, where the Cougars are early road favorites of 4 1/2 points (Owls are 1-3 but with a 25-24 win at Kansas and a 54-51 double-OT loss to Marshall on their resume).

No. 15 TCU owns the nation's longest active winning streak at 11 in a row (beat Virginia last week, 27-7) and the Horned Frogs will visit SMU on Saturday (early number makes them a 16 1/2-point favorite). TCU will be one of 14 ranked teams facing unranked opponents this weekend, with No. 8 Stanford at Washington on Thursday night being the first. As I've noted throughout September in my articles, ranked teams have struggled against unranked teams, ATS. They stand 70-7 (.910) SU but just 32-44 ATS (that’s 43.0 percent). Top-25 teams in danger of losing SU this weekend (by virtue of competitive pointspreads) would include No. 8 Stanford (minus-seven) at Washington on Thursday plus No. 12 Texas (minus-2 1/2) at Oklahoma St and No. 18 Oregon St at Arizona (Beavers are 2 1/2-point underdogs), both on Saturday.

Last weekend there were four games involving top-25 teams but this weekend it's just two (both on Saturday). No. 9 West Va hosts No. 25 Baylor (Mountaineers are favored by 12 1/2 points) and No. 14 Ohio St is at No. 20 Michigan St (Buckeyes are three-point road underdogs). West Virginia's Geno Smith may have emerged as the Heisman favorite, as he enters this game No. 2 in passer rating at 191.2 (81.4% with 12 TDs and 0 INTs plus 1,072 passing yards). Smith is also No. 2 in total offense (379.7 YPG) and ironically, Baylor's QB Nick Florence stands at No. 1 in total offense with 387.7 YPG. Ohio St's QB Braxton Miller is being called "the most talented player I've ever coached" by Urban Meyer and let's not forget, he coached Tim Tebow at Florida. Miller is completing 61.2 percent for 754 yards with seven TDs and two INTs plus leads OSU in rushing with 441 yards (6.6 YPC) with seven TDs.

Heisman Flameouts: Preseason favorite Matt Barkley ain't 'dead' yet but after going just 20-of-41 for 254 yards without a TD pass and two INTs in USC's 21-14 loss to Stanford (Trojans were shut out in the second half), his "bounce-back" effort vs Cal was underwhelming (22-of-34 for 192 yards with two TDs and two INTs). We can say bye-bye to Michigan's Denard Robinson, Wisconsin's Montee Ball, Oklahoma's Landry Jones and Arkansas long-shot Tyler Wilson. I'll do a more detailed Heisman update newt week, after September is over.

Closing thought: How long does one get to 'own' a nickname? Bob Stoops took over at Oklahoma prior to the 1999 season. He clearly 'rescued' this legendary program from six so-so seasons under Gary Gibbs, a one-year stay by Howard Schnellenberger back in 1995 (5-5-1) and the three-year 'reign of terror' inflicted by John Blake in Norman, in which the once-proud Sooners were an abysmal, 12-22. OU went 7-5 in Stoops' first season (including a bowl win) and the very next year, made it all the way to the BCS title game, where the Sooners upset Florida St 13-2, to cap a 12-0 season and give Oklahoma the school's 7th national championship. The Sooners followed by going 11-2 (won the Cotton Bowl) in 2001 and 12-2 (won the school's first-ever Rose Bowl appearance) in 2002 and he earned the nickname, "Big Game Bob."

However, he's turned into "Big Game Blob" in my estimation since 2003, and nobody seems to notice. How can one miss it. The first 'crack' in his armour came in the 2003 Big 12 championship game, when the Sooners lost 35-7 to Kansas St, as two-TD favorites. Oklahoma somehow still qualified for that season's BCS title game but as 6 1/2-point favorites, lost 21-14 to LSU (game was NOT as close as the score!). Oklahoma was 12-0 in 2004 and met undefeated and No. 1 USC in that year's BCS title game but in this pick'em affair, got blown out, 55-19. Oklahoma made Fiesta Bowl appearances the next two seasons, losing 43-42 to Boise St in the 2006 season (who could ever forget that ending in OT?) and 48-28 to West Virginia in the 2007 season (Sooners were seven-point favorites each year!).

Oklahoma returned to the the BCS title game in 2008 and entered its showdown with Florida averaging 54.0 PPG, having topped 60 points in each of its previous five games. What happened? The Sooners looked like a high school team on offense and lost 24-14. The 2009 team fell to 8-5 and while the team finished 11-2 with a Fiesta Bowl win in 2010, that win came 48-20 over a hopelessly overmatched UConn team, looking for a Final Four destination for its basketball program. Stoops' team was the AP's preseason No. 1 in 2011 but after a 6-0 start lost at home to Texas Tech 41-38, as a four-TD favorite. For good measure, the Sooners lost three games later 45-38 at Baylor, as two-TD favorites. Oklahoma was ranked No. 4 in the AP's preseason poll this year but didn't wait long to disappoint. In just its third game of 2012, Oklahoma lost 24-19 at home to then-No. 15 Kansas St, again as two-TD favorites. It marked Stoops' first home loss to a ranked team, after opening his career 14-0 in such situations. As Archie Bunker would say, "case closed!"

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NCAAF Week 5

Entire Illinois coaching staff was in Happy Valley trying to poach PSU players when NCAA sanctions came down (it was legal, just they were only ones to be so blatant about it)- they got one kid. Illinois gave up 45-52 points in losing last two games vs I-A teams, which is probably why they were trying to improve talent base quickly. Penn State beat Navy/ Temple last two games, after losing 17-16 at Virginia in only away game so far (outgained Cavs 330-295). Underdog covered five of last six series games, with Illini winning three of last five. Losing 52-24 at home to an improved (but still......) Louisiana Tech squad is red flag for Illini.

Iowa lost 32-31 at home to Central Michigan last week, giving up nine points in last 0:45; they're 10-12 SU in last 22 games- their three games this year vs I-A opponents were decided by total of six points. Gophers beat Iowa last two years, after losing eight of previous nine meetings-- both of those games were at home. Gophers lost their last five visits to Iowa City, with four of five losses by 12+ points (covered one of five). Minnesota is 4-0, with all three I-A wins by 7 or less points, and they used backup QB last two games- this would be only his second start on foreign soil. This is a big game for the Iowa coaching staff.

Maybe Derek Dooley should've stayed at Louisiana Tech; Bulldogs are 3-0, scoring 56-56-52 points vs pair of C-USA teams and Illinois. Dykes is 11-0 vs spread on road as HC-- Tech covered 10 of its last 11 games overall. QB Cameron is completing 69% of passes. Virginia gave up total of 1,032 yards in losing last two games (Ga Tech/TCU) after winning by point over Penn State in last home game. Cavaliers are 5-8-2 vs spread in last 15 home games. Fact of matter is that Tech ha the better QB here, and that gives them an obvious edge. WAC teams are 6-4 vs spread in non-league road games; ACC home squads are 5-4.

Oklahoma State beat Texas last two years, after losing previous 12 tilts to Longhorns, who've won last six visits to Stillwater (4-1-1 vs spread). Hard to gauge Cowboys, who lost 59-38 at Arizona (which lost 49-0 at Oregon last week) then crushed ULL last week- they gained 1,378 yards in those games, but are stepping way up in class here. Texas has scored 49.3 ppg vs suspect cast of opponents, but they crushed an SEC team on road last game (OK, it was Ole Miss, but still....). Both sides had bye last week to sharpen up. Over last 4+ seasons, Cowboys are 0-3 against spread as a home underdog.

First Big 12 game for West Virginia, which allowed 718 passing yards in I-A wins over Marshall (69-34), Maryland (31-21); Mountaineers have covered only five of last 19 conference home games, but Baylor is 1-4 in last five games as road underdog, and Waco-Morgantown commute can't be easy. Bears outlasted ULM 47-42 in Monroe last week, giving up 262 rushing yards, 298 thru air. Both teams run same offense; check weather before investing in total- rain expected in east this weekend. Hard to tell lot about either team, since this will be toughest opponent for both sides. Both teams have good QB, if weather is good, figures to be wild game.

First road game for Ohio State squad that struggled at home to beat Cal, UAB last two weeks; Blazers blocked punt for TD last week. Buckeyes won six of last seven visits to East Lansing, winning last three by average score of 38-11, but those games were while ago-- Buckeyes lost 10-7 to Michigan State LY and teams didn't play in '09-'10. Spartans struggled with lowly Eastern Michigan LW- they haven't scored a first half TD in either of last two games, but they're allowing only 70 rushing yards per game. OSU allowed 915 TY last two weeks; they're not as good as 4-0 record indicates.

Georgia has 633 rushing yards, 648 passing yards in last two games; this is best team they've had in while, already routing Mizzou/Vandy in SEC play. Dawgs beat Tennessee last two years, 20-12/41-14 in series where favorites are 9-5 vs spread last 14 meetings, with home side covering 4 of last 5. Vols were tied at half with Akron last week, not good sign; they're 2-4 as road dogs under Dooley, but Georgia has South Carolina game up next, and thats a bigger game at this point. Dawgs are 9-5 vs spread last 14 games as HFs- they won SEC games this month 41-20/48-3. Wasn't impressed by way Tennessee folded tents late against Florida.

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Big Ten Report - Week 5
By ASAWins.com

ESPN's College GameDay heads to East Lansing for this week's marquee game in College Football between Michigan State and Ohio State. ASA has the inside scoop on that game, as well as inside information in the battle of The Floyd of Rosedale (Iowa vs. Minnesota) and a budding rivalry as Wisconsin visits Nebraska. Get all the answers here!

Michigan State (-3) vs. Ohio State

MSU: Last week vs. Eastern Michigan: W 23-7
OSU: Last week vs. UAB: W 29-15

Last week's game against Eastern Michigan was supposed to be a tune-up for the Spartans. Instead, it took Andrew Maxwell, Le'Veon Bell and the Michigan State offense more than three quarters without reaching the end zone against one of the worst defenses in the FBS. MSU ranks 105th in scoring offense and Maxwell continues to struggle under center (just 56.6% completions this season with three touchdowns and three interceptions). The good news is that the Spartans defense is strong enough to keep them in most games. The defensive unit is allowing just 233.5 yards per game (6th nationally), 164 passing yards per game (13th), 69 rush yards per game (11th), and just 11.8 points per game (11th).
   
Ohio State overcame special-teams breakdowns, penalties and some shaky defense to escape with a win over UAB last Saturday. The Blazers outgained and had more first downs than the Buckeyes, but OSU QB Miller made enough plays to fuel the victory. Still, it's the third consecutive scare for the Buckeyes and now they have to play their first road game of the season in, what will be, a hostile environment with the ESPN College GameDay crew for this night game. Ohio State's offense will face its toughest test of the year by far. MSU nearly held the Buckeyes scoreless last year in Columbus. The Spartans held the Bucks to just 178 total yards, including 35 rush yards on 39 carries, and OSU's only score came with 10 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter. It'll be a big game in the Big Ten race and an emotional one for Michigan State, which has a ton of Ohio kids on its roster.

Michigan State's win over OSU last year broke a seven-game losing streak against the Buckeyes. They haven't won back-to-back games against OSU since 98-99 and they are just 2-5 ATS the last seven overall. Ohio State is 4-2 ATS its last six Big Ten road games as an underdog.

Injury Report: OSU coach Urban Meyer said that RB Carlos Hyde will likely play at Michigan State. If so, this would be the first time all season that Hyde and Jordan Hall have shared the backfield at the same time.

Nebraska (-12) vs. Wisconsin

UN: Last week vs. FCS Idaho State: W 73-7
UW: Last week vs. UTEP: W 37-26

Last year, the Huskers made their Big Ten debut in Madison and left with their tails between their legs after getting thumped. Nebraska was leading 14-7 early, but the Badgers outscored the Huskers 41-3 from that point on to take the 48-17 victory. QB Taylor Martinez had one of his worst games as a starting quarterback, completing just 11-of-22 passes with no touchdowns and three interceptions (that all led to Wisconsin touchdowns). The Huskers defense allowed Wisco to rush for 231 yards and five touchdowns. The Huskers have had this game circled on their calendars all season long and they are hungry for a bit of redemption.

The Huskers' offense is averaging 317.5 rush yards per game (5th nationally), 542 total yards (9th), and 48.5 points per game (8th). It's pretty clear that the Huskers boast plenty of weapons on offense, perhaps more than any other Big Ten team. Rex Burkhead's return only strengthens an already dynamic backfield. Defensively, other than the week two game where they allowed 653 yards and 36 points in a loss at UCLA, they've performed quite well. The Blackshirts have allowed just 252 yards per game and 13 points per game in three victories at home.

Wisconsin comes limping into Lincoln after a very shaky nonconference schedule. The Badgers put together their best overall offensive performance against UTEP but also lost running back Montee Ball in the process. Wisco still ranks near the bottom of every major offensive category and it's hard to imagine redshirt freshman QB Joel Stave leading the Badgers to a win in his first career road start. The defense has been holding this team together. They are allowing just 80.8 rush yards (14th) and 324 total yards per game (34th). The defense will have to put together a huge performance to seemingly keep Wisconsin in this game.

Wisconsin is 0-3-1 ATS since 2005 as a Big Ten road underdog of 10 points or more. Nebraska is just 4-13 ATS in its last 17 games as a home favorite of 10 points or more.

Injury Report: Star RB Montee Ball (concussion) had his status upgraded and could run and condition with the team on Tuesday. Ball will not return to contact drills until he passes more concussion tests. Bielema is hopeful that Ball will be cleared for full participation by Thursday and that he will play at Nebraska.

Iowa (-7.5) vs. Minnesota

UI: Last week vs. Central Michigan: L 31-32
UM: Last week vs. Syracuse: W 17-10

The battle for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy takes place at Kinnick Stadium this Saturday. The Hawkeyes can't seem to put it all together. When the offense plays well, the defense plays poorly. When the defense plays well, the offense plays poorly. Last week the offense put up 430 yards and 31 points, including 217 rush yards and three touchdowns from RB Mark Weisman. But the defense allowed Central Michigan to hang on to the ball for 36+ minutes - which allowed them to score a touchdown with 45 seconds remaining, corral the onside kick, and kick a game-winning field goal at the end of regulation.

Minnesota improved to 4-0 with a win over Syracuse on Saturday night. Defensively the Gophers played really well especially considering that they faced a dynamic quarterback in Ryan Nassib. Minnesota forced four turnovers and kept Syracuse out of the endzone until 46 seconds remaining in the game. This unit now ranks 22nd nationally in total yards allowed. Minnesota still has yet to face top of the line competition, but they'll face their stiffest test this Saturday in Iowa City, where they haven't won since 1999.

Minnesota has won two straight games over Iowa, both as a 15.5 point underdog. They are also 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings against the Hawkeyes. However, they've dropped five straight games in Iowa by an average of 15.4 points per game (four of five by 12+ points). Minnesota is 10-4 ATS in its last 14 games as a road underdog of seven or more points in Big Ten play.

Injury Report: Minny WR Andre McDonald, who was hospitalized last week for a reportedly minor heart problem, should be cleared to resume practicing this week, head coach Jerry Kill said. Kill also said offensive lineman Tommy Olson (ankle) is "a big question mark" for Saturday's game at Iowa. Iowa Running back Damon Bullock (concussion) is making progress and hopefully could be back this week versus Minnesota, head coach Kirk Ferentz said.

Illinois (-1.5) vs. Penn State

UI: Last week vs. Louisiana Tech: L 24-52
UM: Last week vs. Temple: W 24-13

Penn State will see some familiar faces on the sideline, as eight of the Illini assistants lurked around State College seeking some transfers this summer. Illinois was the only other Big Ten team to actively recruit PSU payers after the sanctions handed down. The Nittany Lions were not happy about that and now get a chance to do something about it.

Quarterback Matt McGloin continues to improve under the tutelage of new coach Bill O'Brien, passing for a career-high 318 yards in Saturday's win against Temple. It was Penn State's most complete performance of the season as PSU gained +254 more yards and +13 more first downs than Temple. Defensively the Nittany Lions continue to bend-but-not-break. They rank 51st in passing yards allowed, 60th in rush yards allowed, 56th in total yards allowed, but 25th in points allowed (just 15.2 PPG).

Illinois has lost its last two games against FBS opponents by a combined score of 97-38. Losing at Arizona State without starting QB Scheelhaase is one thing, but losing at home to LA Tech by 28 points is another issue. The Illini committed six turnovers against LA Tech and allowed Bulldogs QB Cameron to toss for 284 yards and four touchdowns. The defense is still a major work in progress. The "D" rankings look decent because the Illini allowed just seven total points against doormats Charleston Southern and Western Michigan. But they allowed 52 points to LA Tech and 45 points to Arizona State.

Illinois is 2-6 SU, but 6-2 ATS in the last eight meetings against Penn State. The Nittany Lions won a defensive battle against Illinois last season, 10-7. In a rather ugly game, both teams gained less than 290 yards and there were seven total turnovers.

Injury Report: PSU RB Bill Belton, who's been out since the opener against Ohio with an injured ankle, is listed as probable on the Nittany Lions' depth chart.

Northwestern (-11) vs. Indiana

NU: Last week vs. FCS South Dakota: W 38-7
IU: Last week :BYE

After recording wins against Big East, SEC and ACC foes, Northwestern took a step down in class and made quick work of FCS South Dakota. Northwestern now looks to move to 5-0 as Pat Fitzgerald's team has built its identity on running the ball and stopping the run. The Wildcats rank 27th in rush yards per game and 13th in rush yards allowed per game. Northwestern still needs more from its quarterbacks moving forward as Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian have been good but not great. They've combined to complete 68.4% of their passes for 731 yards (183 per game) with just three touchdowns.

The Hoosiers had last week off after losing at home to Ball State two weeks ago. This Hoosiers squad has had no problem moving the ball and scoring points - albeit against FCS Indiana State, UMass, and Ball State. IU ranks 12 nationally in yards per game, 14th in pass yards, and 34th in points per game. Northwestern has held its last three opponents to just 11 points per game, so this will be Indiana's stiffest test of the season. QB Cameron Coffman is expected back at quarterback for IU after exiting the Ball State game with an injury.

Indiana aims for its first Big Ten victory since 2010 this Saturday. These two teams combined to rack up 1,104 total yards and 97 total points in the Wildcats' 59-38 win a season ago. Both squads rushed for over 300 yards each and there were 13 combined offensive touchdowns scored. Indiana is 4-1 in its last five games as a Big Ten home underdog.

Injury Report: QB Cameron Coffman, who suffered a hip pointer and left the Ball State game two weeks ago, will be ready to go this week against Northwestern, head coach Kevin Wilson said.

Purdue (-16.5) vs. Marshall

PU: Last week: BYE
MU: Last week at Rice: W 54-51

Purdue had last week off after dismantling Eastern Michigan at home two weeks ago. The Boilers round out the nonconference slate this coming Saturday against Marshall. Purdue is 2-1 with two unimpressive wins over FCS Eastern Kentucky and Eastern Michigan. But they did perform better against Notre Dame than either Michigan or Michigan State, so there's that.

Marshall should test Purdue's defense, as the Thundering Herd lead the nation in passing yards (383.5 per game) and are averaging 41 points. Defensively the Herd is allowing 42.8 points, so Purdue's offense should have no problem putting up points here.

Purdue is 5-0 ATS in its last five games as a double-digit home favorite. Marshall is 0-4 SU & 1-3 ATS its last four games against the Big Ten. Injury Report: QB Robert Marve returned to practice last week despite a partially torn ACL.

Michigan - BYE

UM: Last week at Notre Dame: L 6-13

Michigan really hasn't proven much in the first four weeks, falling to two Top 15 teams, squeaking by Air Force and pounding UMass. The Wolverines showed some promising signs against Notre Dame, particularly on defense, but Denard Robinson's poor decisions caught up with Michigan. Robinson committed five turnovers against Notre Dame which ultimately kept the Wolverines out of the endzone and totaling just six points. The defense was spectacular, allowing just 239 total yards and 14 first downs. Next up is a road trip to Purdue on October 6th.

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College Football Preview: Tennessee at Georgia
By Alatex Sports
Sportsmemo.com

Tennessee at Georgia

Two weeks ago this looked like it would be a great matchup between with two evenly matched SEC East teams. But that was before the wheels fell off the Tennessee defense in the second half of its 37-20 loss to Florida. The Vols struggled again at home last week against Akron, trailing 23-20 late in the second quarter before blowing out the Zips in the second half in route to a 49-26 win. Questions definitely remain about the Vols’ defense, while Georgia has answered questions with its stop unit. The Bulldogs held Vandy to three points last week in their rout of the Commodores and put the clamps on Missouri back in Week 2. Georgia also gets two of its best defenders back this week as Alec Ogletree and Baccari Rambo have served their suspensions and will make their season debuts. Those two guys are difference makers, and will certainly take this defense up another notch.

Offensively, both teams have solid quarterbacks and receivers, and are certainly capable of scoring some points. I give Georgia a slight edge, however, as Aaron Murray has been much more consistent that Tennessee’s Tyler Bray as a passer. Georgia’s home field edge should come into play here as well, as this is UT’s first road game of the year.

Overall, Georgia has the much better defense, better offense, is playing at home and has more experience. The line certainly reflects those edges with the Bulldogs laying two touchdowns, and that keeps me from making this a full play. I’ll still lean to the home side to get the win and cover the big number.

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College Football Preview: South Carolina at Kentucky
By Andrew Lange
Sportsmemo.com

South Carolina at Kentucky

It is hard not to like what South Carolina has done thus far. They opened the season with a tough road win at Vanderbilt and then outscored their last three opponents 128-26. As a result, their stock in the betting markets has skyrocketed. Go back to last year and the Gamecocks were laying this identical price against Kentucky with the game obviously taking place in Columbia. SC ended up crushing 54-3 but Kentucky was simply awful with six turnovers and only 96 yards (and Morgan Newton at QB). Kentucky may be weak, but that type out outcome is unlikely to occur again on Saturday.

While they were able to rack up three big wins at home, let’s not forget that the Gamecocks barely came away with a win at Vanderbilt in Week 1. The Commodores were a sexy preseason pick but they've certainly been exposed with a 10-point loss (as chalk) at Northwestern and a 45-point defeat at Georgia. Here we have a pointspread that is simply unprecedented when we consider SC’s past history in SEC play. Two years ago, against what ended up being a 2-win Vanderbilt squad, SC was laying -11.5. Heck, the Gamecocks were laying -21 at home to East Carolina just three weeks ago.

Make no mistake, Kentucky isn't very good but I have a lot more confidence in them actually showing up with quarterback Maxwell Smith under center. Bottom line is after what SC accomplished the last three weeks, the value is gone. Now they get out of their comfort zone on the road, face a team they beat by nearly 50 last year, with arguably their biggest game of the season on deck (vs. Georgia). I understand if you aren't giddy over the prospects of supporting this ugly dog but that is where the value lies.

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Pac-12 Report - Week 5
By Joe Williams
VegasInsider.com

It's a rather light slate in the Pac-12 with four scheduled conference games for Saturday. We had the shocking upset of No. 8 Stanford Thursday night up in Seattle, as the Washington Huskies picked up that much-needed signature win, much to the chagrin of anyone (yikes, me!) laying that ever-so-tempting, and apparently very flawed, six-and-a-half point number. Let's hope everyone who took a bath on that Thursday game bounces back nicely with a big weekend in the Pac-12 action, and any other action.

Oregon at Washington State

When I look at this game, it screams to me most interesting of all the Pac-12 games, maybe not the 'best' matchup. It's a high-octane offense for Oregon against a Washington State team which aspires to be the Ducks one day. Head coach Mike Leach has to be extremely fond of the offense they run in Eugene. The Ducks are more than a four-touchdown favorite, but they still might be the play. Oregon is 4-0 ATS in their past four games away from Autzen Stadium, although just 2-5-1 ATS in their past eight overall. In addition, Oregon is only 1-5-1 ATS in their past seven on fieldturf. Still, the Cougs are not much better. They have a 0-3-1 ATS mark in their past four on fieldturf, and they're 0-4-1 ATS in their past five games overall. However, the big number to remember here is that WaZu is 11-5 ATS in their past 16 home games, and they've had some REALLY bad teams during that span, against team's with a winning record. Remember, a 40-10 win by Oregon would still mean a cover. The home team is 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings in this series. If you like betting totals, the over has cashed in four of the past five meetings on the Palouse, and seven of the past nine meetings overall.

Oregon State at Arizona

The Beavers are coming off an impressive win at UCLA last weekend, and they have taken down two Top 25 teams thus far. Now, they'll take it on the road again to Arizona, where they are a slight dog for the third consecutive game. Will the Beavers get any respect? Do they deserve it? The answer should be a resounding yes. In the past five meetings at Arizona, Oregon State is a perfect 5-0 ATS, and in the past 13 meetings in this series, the Beavs are 11-2 ATS. The road team is 6-2 ATS in the past eight meetings, and the dog is 4-0 ATS in the past four. OSU is 3-0-1 ATS in their past four overall, and 3-0-1 ATS in their past four games against teams with a winning record. The Beavers are also 16-6-1 ATS in their past 23 games overall. So what's Vegas doing? Those crafty handicappers are almost daring you to bet the road team, right? Consider that Arizona is 1-4 ATS in their past five Pac-12 games, and 4-10 ATS in their past 14 games against a team with a winning record, and Oregon State almost seems too good to be true. I guess we'll find out at 1:30am ET or so.

Arizona State at California

Cal enters the weekend with a 1-3 mark, yet still finds themselves as basically a pick 'em at home against AZ State. The Sun Devils pull into town at 3-1, although they lost their only road game (at Missouri) two weeks ago. The Sun Devils are 0-4-1 ATS in their past five road games, and 1-4 ATS in their past five conference tilts. For Cal, they haven't fared much better, going 1-4 ATS in their past five games overall. However, they are 4-1 ATS in their past five Pac-12 battles, and more importantly, 21-10 ATS in their past 31 home games. In the past seven meetings in the series, the home team is 6-1 ATS and the favorite is 5-2 ATS. AZ State is 0-6 ATS in their past six trips to Cal, and 2-7 ATS in their past nine meetings.

UCLA at Colorado

Colorado had been absolutely atrocious through the first three weekends, but they came alive with a much-needed win on the road at Washington State last Saturday, 35-34. Still, is it enough to trust the Buffaloes to stay within 20 points of an angry UCLA team? Colorado is still just 2-7 ATS in their past nine games against a team with a winning record, and 3-11 ATS in their past 14 games overall (including last week's cover). In addition, Colorado is just 1-5 ATS in their past six games overall. UCLA has stubbed their toes against underachievers lately, posting a 16-34-1 ATS mark in their past The total trends are a little mixed, too, as the under is 9-4 in UCLA's past 13 games, and 5-1 in their past six games following an ATS loss. Meanwhile, the over is 5-2 in Colorado's past seven games following a straight-up win, and the over is 14-6 in the past 20 games following an ATS win. It might be best to avoid dabbling in the total.

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Baylor at West Virginia: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Baylor at West Virginia (-11, 82.5)

Fans of the Washington Redskins and the University of West Virginia may be the only ones not lamenting the fact that Robert Griffin III opted to leave the college game following his junior year. No. 24 Baylor could certainly use the star quarterback as it prepares for a Big 12 Conference matchup with Geno Smith and No. 7 West Virginia on Saturday. Smith has been spectacular in leading the Mountaineers to a 3-0 start and is among the front-runners to succeed Griffin as the Heisman Trophy winner. Baylor moved into the Top 25 following last week's win at Louisiana-Monroe and is actually averaging four more points than West Virginia (51.3 to 47.3). The conference opener for both teams will also be the first matchup between the schools.

LINE: West Virginia -11, O/U 82.5.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the high-50s with partly cloudy skies at Mountaineer Field. Winds will be light out of the north.

ABOUT BAYLOR (3-0): Despite losing Griffin and first-round pick wide receiver Kendall Wright, Baylor owns the second-longest active winning streak in the FBS at nine games - second only to TCU (11) - and needs one more victory to tie the all-time school record set in 1936-37. Senior quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense, averaging 387.7 yards per game, and has tossed 11 scoring passes versus four interceptions. The Bears have scored at least 45 points in seven straight games after overcoming an early 14-0 deficit at Louisiana-Monroe, a team that has already beaten Arkansas and pushed Auburn to the wire. Defense has been a huge issue for Baylor, which is surrendering nearly 493 yards per game. Only eight FBS schools have yielded more.

ABOUT WEST VIRGINIA (3-0): The Mountaineers came back to earth a bit in last week's 31-21 victory over Maryland after amassing 111 points in their first two victories. Smith threw for 363 yards and three scoring passes despite not playing without leading rusher Shawne Alston, who missed virtually the entire game with a thigh bruise. Smith has thrown for 1,072 yards with 12 touchdowns and zero interceptions while connecting on 81.4 percent of his passes. He has dangerous threats in wide receivers Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey, who each have five touchdown receptions. Austin had 13 receptions for 179 yards and three scoring passes against Maryland. His 13 catches tied a school record set by Bailey the previous week against James Madison.

TRENDS:

*Bears are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games.
*Over is 4-0 in Bears’ last four September games.
*Mountaineers are 2-5 ATS in their last seven September games.
*Over is 4-1 in Mountaineers’ last five September games.

EXTRA POINTS

1. West Virginia is 9-1 in its last 10 homecoming games.

2. The Bears, who are playing the first of three straight Top 25 teams, have never beaten a ranked conference opponent on the road (0-25).

3. Baylor coach Art Briles and West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen were assistants on Texas Tech's staff from 2000-2002.

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Texas at Oklahoma State: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Texas at Oklahoma State (2.5, 65)

No. 10 Texas tries to regain its previous status as a Big 12 powerhouse and No. 22 Oklahoma State begins defense of its conference championship crown when the two teams meet Saturday in Stillwater, Okla. The Longhorns went just 6-11 in Big 12 play over the previous two seasons – including two home losses to the Cowboys, a program they had beaten in 22 of the previous 24 meetings. Oklahoma State is 20-5 in conference play over the past three seasons. The Cowboys will likely start redshirt freshman quarterback J.W. Walsh in place of injured Wes Lunt (leg). Both teams have had two weeks to prepare after being off last Saturday.

LINE: Texas -2.5, O/U 65.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-70s with partly cloudy skies at Boone Pickens Stadium. Winds will be light out of the north and shouldn’t be a factor.

ABOUT TEXAS (3-0, 0-0 Big 12): The Longhorns are clicking under sophomore quarterback David Ash. Texas accumulated 676 yards – second-most in school history – during a 66-31 victory over Mississippi two Saturdays ago as Ash passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns. Overall, Ash is completing 76.4 percent of his passes for seven touchdowns against no interceptions. Sophomores Malcolm Brown (238 yards) and Joe Bergeron (207) have split the rushing workload. Sophomore cornerback Quandre Diggs has three of the Longhorns’ six interceptions. Senior defensive end Alex Okafor has three sacks and junior defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat has a team-best four tackles for loss, including two sacks.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA STATE (2-1, 0-0 Big 12): The Cowboys lead the nation in scoring (62.3) and total offense (683.0). Walsh replaced Lunt early in a 65-24 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette and passed for 347 yards as Oklahoma State rolled up a school-record 742 yards. Lunt, a true freshman, had a cast removed from his leg on Sunday and is considered doubtful. Junior running back Joseph Randle (335 yards) has three straight 100-yard games and nine in his career. The Cowboys are allowing 27.7 points per game and surrendered a whopping 59 in a loss to Arizona. Oklahoma State has forced just three turnovers.

TRENDS:

* Longhorns are 5-1 ATS in their last six meetings in Oklahoma State.
* Road team is 5-0 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Oklahoma State.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. Oklahoma State has won eight consecutive home games, one shy of the school record set in 1984-85.

2. Texas’ only loss in Stillwater came back in 1997. The Longhorns routed the Cowboys 41-14 in 2009 in their most recent game at Boone Pickens Stadium.

3. The Cowboys have scored 30 or more points in 21 straight games, the longest streak in the nation.

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Re: College Football Week 5 Betting News and Notes

College Football Top 25 Betting Cheat Sheet: Week 5
By Covers.com

If you're looking to get some action down but only have a few minutes to handicap, let our Top-25 cheat sheet help you out. We grabbed some quick-hitting betting info on each of the Top 25 matchups with odds available in Week 5 of the season:

(24) Baylor at (7) at West Virginia (-11, 81.5)

Baylor moved into the Top 25 following last week's win at Louisiana-Monroe and is averaging four more points than West Virginia (51.3 to 47.3). Senior QB Nick Florence leads the nation in total offense, averaging 387.7 yards per game, and has tossed 11 TDs. The Bears have scored at least 45 points in seven straight games, but are 0-6 ATS in their last six road games.

(25) Virginia Tech at Cincinnati (6.5, 45.5)

The Hokies rebounded from their shocking loss to Pittsburgh with a 37-0 victory over Bowling Green last week. The rushing attack finally looked formidable, racking up 246 yards after it managed only 96 yards against Pittsburgh. The Bearcats committed six turnovers in a 23-7 victory over FCS foe Delaware State two Saturdays ago. Junior QB Munchie Legaux was the main culprit with two interceptions and two fumbles. Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in its last four non-conference games.

(16) Clemson at Boston College (9, 61.5)

The Tigers – especially their defense – must erase memories of Florida State's 49-37 comeback victory last Saturday night, when Clemson blew a 14-point third-quarter lead as the Seminoles amassed 667 total yards and 35 second-half points. The Boston College defense surrendered 293 rushing yards and 560 total yards in its last game against Northwestern, which doesn't bode well against Clemson's potent ground game. The under is 4-1 in the last five meetings between the schools.

Ohio State at (18) Michigan State (-3, 42)

Ohio State QB Braxton Miller has thrown for seven touchdowns and run for seven while ranking second in the Big Ten in rushing at 110.3 yards per game. The running game should receive an added boost with the expected return of Carlos Hyde, who has been sidelined for the past two games with a knee injury. Michigan State is leading the Big Ten in scoring defense (11.8 points per game), rushing yards allowed (69.2) and total defense (233.5 yards). The road team is 4-0 ATS in the last four meetings.

Tennessee at (5) Georgia (-13, 60)

No. 5 Georgia boasts its highest ranking since 2008 thanks to a ground game averaging 242.5 yards per game, third-most in the SEC. Freshman Todd Gurley leads the SEC in rushing (101.5) and averages a whopping 9.2 yards per carry. The over is 6-0 in the Bulldogs’ last six games overall.

(4) FSU at South Florida (17, 54)

Florida State is unbeaten through four games for the first time since 2005, when it last went to a BCS bowl and won its only ACC title. South Florida is one of the most undisciplined schools in the country with 35 penalties for 317 yards. The Bulls are 0-7 ATS in their last seven home games.

(6) South Carolina at Kentucky (21, 48.5)

The health of the starting quarterbacks on both teams will be a focal point when Kentucky hosts No. 6 South Carolina in an SEC game. Kentucky sophomore QB Maxwell Smith sat out last week’s 38-0 loss against Florida with a bruised joint in his throwing shoulder, but is expected to return for this one. Connor Shaw, a junior QB for the Gamecocks, played through a hairline fracture in his throwing shoulder last week against Missouri, an injury that caused him to miss one game this season and parts of two others. The over is 5-0 in the last five meetings.

Towson at (3) LSU (Odds N/A)

Towson's rushing attack has gained 509 yards over its last two games, with sophomore RB Terrance West leading the way with 251 yards and five touchdowns this season. LSU fell to No. 3 in the poll following its less-than-inspiring 12-10 victory at Auburn last week. The Tigers' defense is in usual form - they are fourth in the nation in yards allowed (199.5) after yielding 183 last week. They are also third against the run (56.8). LSU has won 40 straight regular-season non-conference games.

(14) TCU at SMU (16.5, 55)

TCU QB Casey Pachall passed for 305 yards and three TDs against Virginia, his second straight 300-yard game. Pachall leads the nation in passing efficiency with a 209.9 rating. SMU has also had some success through the air, averaging 273.7 yards, which ranks 36th in the FBS. However, they are 109th in rushing, averaging only 107.7 yards. The underdog is 5-1 ATS in the last six meetings.

(10) Texas at (22) Oklahoma State (1.5, 67)


The Longhorns are clicking under sophomore QB David Ash. Texas accumulated 676 yards – second-most in school history – during a 66-31 victory over Mississippi two Saturdays ago as Ash passed for 326 yards and four touchdowns. The Cowboys lead the nation in scoring (62.3) and total offense (683.0), but freshman QB J.W. Walsh will likely get the start Saturday in place of the injured Wes Lunt (leg). The road team is 5-0 ATS in the last five meetings.

(23) Wisconsin at (20) Nebraska (-11, 51)

Wisconsin senior RB Montee Bell left Saturday’s victory against Texas-El Paso with concussion symptoms, his second head injury since Aug. 1. However, he has been cleared to play Saturday. The Cornhuskers welcomed back all-Big Ten RB Rex Burkhead last week against Idaho State. Burkhead, who missed the previous two games with a sprained left knee, rushed for 119 yards and two touchdowns in the 73-7 victory. Nebraska is 4-0 ATS in its last four home games.

(17) Louisville at Southern Mississippi (10.5, 49.5)

Louisville looks to improve to 5-0 for the first time since 2006 when it visits Southern Mississippi. The Cardinals have featured a big-play offense early in the season with 16 snaps resulting in gains of 20 or more yards. The Golden Eagles are off to their first 0-3 start since 1976 and their string of 18 consecutive winning seasons could be in jeopardy. Louisville is 6-0 ATS in the last six meetings.

Mississippi at (1) Alabama (-30, 55)


The Rebels’ conference-best rushing attack (259.8 yards per game) is ranked 11th in the country and churned out 304 yards in last week’s romp over the Green Wave, but will be severely tested by an Alabama defense allowing 62.3 rushing yards per game – the sixth-lowest mark in the country. The Tide holds a 48-9-2 advantage over the Rebels all-time, including a 24-1 mark in Tuscaloosa.

(21) Oregon State at Arizona (-2.5, 56.5)

Both of Oregon State's wins this season have come against ranked teams and QB Sean Mannion was superb in both. The sophomore threw for a career-high 379 yards and two touchdowns last week in the upset over UCLA. The Wildcats moved the ball into the red zone six times against Oregon last week but came up empty. It was the first time in a calendar year that an Arizona quarterback failed to throw for 300 yards in a game. The Beavers are 11-2 ATS in the last 13 meetings.

(2) Oregon at Washington State (30.5, 71)

Senior linebacker Michael Clay was named Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Week after having 13 tackles, a sack and a forced fumble in Oregon’s 49-0 rout of Arizona. Washington State is coming off a humbling 35-34 home loss to Colorado after blowing a 17-point lead in the final eight minutes. The over is 7-2 in the last nine meetings.

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Re: College Football Week 5 Betting News and Notes

Tennessee at Georgia
By Brian Edwards
VegasInsider.com

With its SEC East hopes on the line, Tennessee hits the road Saturday to take on unbeaten Georgia at Sanford Stadium in Athens.

As of Friday afternoon, most books were listing Georgia (4-0 straight up, 2-2 against the spread) as a 14-point favorite with the total for ‘over/under’ wagers in the 58-59 range. The Volunteers are plus-450 on the money line (risk $100 to win $450).

Mark Richt’s team blasted Vanderbilt by a 48-3 count as a 14½-point home favorite last week. The Bulldogs were led by true freshman running back Todd Gurley, who rushed 16 times for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Keith Marshall also had a pair of touchdown scampers and finished with 82 rushing yards on 10 carries.
   
Junior quarterback Aaron Murray completed 18-of-24 passes for 250 yards and two TDs without an interception. Marlon Brown had five receptions for 114 yards and one TD against the Commodores.

UGA’s offense is averaging 47.5 points per game thanks to the stellar play of Murray, who has a 10/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The loss of Isaiah Crowell has turned into an addition-by-subtraction scenario, as Gurley has emerged as a force. Gurley has rushed for 406 yards and six touchdowns, averaging an eye-opening 9.2 yards per carry.

Prior to the win over Vandy, Georgia posted wins vs. Buffalo (45-23), at Missouri (41-20) and vs. FAU (56-20). The Bulldogs won their first two games without four defensive starters. In fact, they are going to be at full strength for the first time this year vs. UT.

All-SEC safety Bacarri Rambo and LB Alec Ogletree will make their season debuts after serving four-game suspensions.

Tennessee (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) has wins over N.C. St. (35-21), Ga. St. (51-13) and Akron (47-26), but the Vols let a second-half lead get away in a 37-20 loss to Florida as three-point home favorites in their SEC opener. They’ll be playing their first true road game of the year at UGA.

Junior QB Tyler Bray ranks third in the nation with an SEC-best 1,301 passing yards. He has connected on 63.5 percent of his passes with a 12/3 TD-INT ratio. Bray is tied with three others for the country’s lead in TD passes.

Tennessee has a pair of premier wide receivers in juniors Justin Hunter and Cordarrelle Patterson. Hunter is second in the SEC and sixth in the nation in receiving yards (410). Hunter, who tore his ACL in Week 3 at Florida last year, has 30 receptions and four TD grabs.

Patterson, a juco transfer, has 19 catches for 259 yards and two TDs. Patterson has also rushed for 102 yards and one TD on just five carries, and he’s second in the SEC in all-purpose yardage.

UT is led in rushing by junior RB Rajion Neal, who has 356 yards and three TDs with a 4.5 YPC average. Neal will face a UGA run defense led by All-American LB Jarvis Jones, who dominated in the win at Missouri with a spectacular performance. Jones is 10th in the SEC in tackles (24), third in sacks (4.5), second in tackles for losses (7.5) and second in forced fumbles (3). He also had a key interception in the win over the Tigers.

UGA owns a 9-5 spread record in its last 14 games as a home favorite since 2010. The Bulldogs have won three of the last four head-to-head meetings against UT, covering the spread the last two years. However, we should note that the Vols are 4-2 ATS in the last six encounters.

Dooley is winless in 11 career games against ranked opponents. UT is 2-4 ATS as a road underdog during Dooley’s three-year tenure.

The ‘over’ is 4-0 for UGA this year, 3-0 for the Vols.

When these teams met in Knoxville at Neyland Stadium last year, UGA captured a 20-12 win as a 2½-point road ‘chalk.’ Bray threw for 251 yards, while Murray had 227 passing yards. Neither QB had a TD pass or an interception.

CBS will have Saturday’s telecast from between the hedges at 3:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Re: College Football Week 5 Betting News and Notes

Betting totals with the four FCS newcomers
By Rob Veno
SportsMemo.com

With either three or four games under their belts and conference play either beginning or right around the corner, this seems like a good time to examine the four first-year FCS teams from a totals perspective. 

Massachusetts – The Minutemen have been simply abysmal on each side of the ball. Their 263.3 total yards offense per game has resulted in an average of 8.8 points scored while the 492.8 yards they’ve allowed has produced 43.0 points per game for their opponents. The one noticeable thing about UMass statistically is that they don’t do anything well. The closing totals on their four games have ranged from 47-55 with two going over and two staying under. Except for a trip to Vanderbilt the last week of October, all Massachusetts games will be against MAC opponents. This team is scoring one point for every 30 yards gained and against two of the nation’s worst defenses (Indiana and Miami-Ohio) those ratios were 1/44.0 and 1/29.4 respectively. The inept offense seems to be a larger factor in their current total of 54 this week versus offensive power Ohio. If the oddsmakers keep UMass totals in this vicinity then my remaining season projection for this team is going to be toward the OVER. The offense was obviously set back by the loss of starting QB Kellen Pagel (has not played this season due to concussion) and freshman replacement Mike Wegzyn should get better with experience. The defense on the other hand has already had a couple injuries and figures to wear down in the league full of up-tempo offenses.   

South Alabama – Having seen this team twice now, it’s evident to me that they are a pretty sound defensive team by Sun Belt standards. That being said, using those same game observations it’s apparent that they are far from dynamic on the offensive side. Five short field drives, four of which started inside their 30-yard line and one that started at midfield accounted for 27 of the 61 (44%) of the points scored against them by North Carolina State and Mississippi State. The Jaguars have been victimized by 12 turnovers in their first four games so they’ll need to shore that up, especially in their own territory. Their posted game totals have shown very little variance as all have been between 49 and 51 including this Saturday’s conference home opener against Troy. They’re 1-2 UNDER the total thus far with a non-totaled 9-3 victory over Nicholls State. There are six games on their remaining nine game schedule where the UNDER should be worth a look.   

Texas State – Head coach Dennis Franchione’s team has piled up an average of 63 point per game thus far which suggests we play the OVER. However, caution has to be used with these Bobcats since their three opponents this season all played an up-tempo, pass happy, style. Now, they get Nevada’s high proficiency “pistol” offense this week and if heavy rains don’t hamper the Wolf Pack, Texas State could be involved in their third straight game where 68+ points are scored. If that occurs, the Bobcats’ baseline number would likely be in the area of 61-62 which would make it tough to gain an advantage. Texas State has shown a vulnerability to high octane offenses (especially passing) and their schedule is loaded with teams of that nature. Their ability to potentially score 28+ consistently in this WAC conference adds to the desire to label this as an OVER team but a wait-and-see situational approach is probably best.         

Texas-San Antonio – I watched this team in their FCS debut at South Alabama and came away with a strong OVER opinion. Head coach Larry Coker has a dynamic quarterback in junior Eric Soza and other components that he uses in this one-back spread scheme. There have not been any totals opportunities with the Roadrunners since their opener because of three consecutive extra board opponents but they’re into their seven-game league slate now. With the WAC schedule comes a chance to capitalize since oddsmakers have to remain somewhat generic with them. In my estimation the Texas-San Antonio defense is a legitimate concern against these potent offenses they will face. They have allowed 12 drives of 49 yards or more this season against the weakest schedule of any FCS team. Expect UTSA games to provide lots of point scoring as their own offensive capabilities, combined with those of their opponents, lead to high scoring affairs.

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