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College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

OREGON (6 - 0) at ARIZONA ST (5 - 1) - 10/18/2012, 9:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
ARIZONA ST is 20-8 ATS (+11.2 Units) in home games after 2 or more consecutive straight up wins since 1992.
ARIZONA ST is 28-14 ATS (+12.6 Units) in home games in weeks 5 through 9 since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
ARIZONA ST is 1-0 against the spread versus OREGON over the last 3 seasons
OREGON is 2-0 straight up against ARIZONA ST over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

HOUSTON (3 - 3) at SMU (2 - 4) - 10/18/2012, 8:00 PM

Top Trends for this game.
HOUSTON is 9-2 ATS (+6.8 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 8-1 ATS (+6.9 Units) off a win against a conference rival over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 8-0 ATS (+8.0 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 2 seasons.
HOUSTON is 14-4 ATS (+9.6 Units) as a favorite over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
HOUSTON is 2-0 against the spread versus SMU over the last 3 seasons
HOUSTON is 2-0 straight up against SMU over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Houston is 16-4 SU in its last 20 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston's last 7 games
Southern Methodist is 13-6 SU in its last 19 games at home
Southern Methodist is 0-5 SU in its last 5 games when playing Houston

Oregon is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games when playing Arizona State
Oregon is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Arizona State
Arizona State is 9-2 SU in its last 11 games at home
Arizona State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

Oregon at Arizona State
Oregon: 6-1 Over after forcing 4+ turnovers
Arizona State: 20-8 ATS at home off BB wins

Houston at SMU
Houston: 9-1 ATS off a conference game
SMU: 3-13 ATS off a loss by 3 points or less

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

Oregon at Arizona State
By Joe Nelson

Thursday Night Pac-12 games have provided entertaining football this season and this week is the game many have been waiting for as Oregon heads to Arizona State. Oregon has been a national power in recent years but they have had close games with Arizona State the last two seasons. The Sun Devils look better than anyone expected so far this year and this will be the first big test for one of the top ranked teams in the nation. Take a look at this week’s Thursday match-up and the history between these teams.

Matchup: Oregon Ducks at Arizona State Sun Devils
Venue: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona
Date: Thursday, October, 18 2012
Time/TV: 9:00 PM ET – ESPN
Line: Oregon -8½, Over/Under 68½
Last Meeting: 2011, Oregon (-14) 41-27, at Oregon

Oregon sits in the #3 spot in the initial BCS standings, looking to return to the title game for the second time in three years. The Ducks have been dominant in their 6-0 start, outscoring foes 314-120 but the early schedule has been weak. This will be the first true road game of the season for the Ducks as they have played five home games and a neutral site game in Seattle. The toughest games on the schedule are still ahead as Oregon will head to USC in a few weeks as well as having to play Stanford and Oregon State in the final two games of the season.

Freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota was a question mark early in the year for the Ducks but he has performed admirably so far, completing nearly 68 percent of his passes and throwing for 15 touchdowns against five interceptions. His completion percentage has dropped below 62 percent in Pac-12 play however and this should be the toughest defense he has faced yet this season.
The Ducks have great weapons in the backfield led by senior running back Kenjon Barner, who already has over 700 yards rushing on the season. Sophomore De’Athony Thomas has received just 41 carries but he is posting 9.2 yards per rush and has also been the leading receiver on the team with 20 catches. Oregon has scored at least 42 points in every game this season and the 52.3 points per game average is even higher than the last two years.

Oregon is considered a more serious threat to run the table this season not because of the offense, but because of the defense. Oregon has allowed 20 points per game this season but over 30 percent of the scoring has come in the 4th quarter, after the Ducks have built big leads and reserves have entered the games. Oregon is allowing almost 360 yards per game but it has not been easy to run against the Ducks and the statistics are a bit misleading as no game has been very close.

The expectations for Arizona State this season were quite grounded. Dennis Erickson was released after four straight mediocre seasons following his 10-3 debut season in 2007. Expectations were high for Arizona State last year as many thought they could win the South division of the Pac-12 with USC on probation but after a 5-1 start the Sun Devils won just once the rest of the year. After a one-year stint in Pittsburgh Todd Graham abruptly left to take this position and the move was met with lukewarm national reactions. Only eight starters returned for the Sun Devils and a rebuilding year seemed in order but the early results have changed those goals.

Arizona throttled Illinois in the first FBS game of the season and then played very competitively at Missouri for the only loss of the year. In Pac-12 play the Sun Devils are perfect with a 3-0 start but the schedule features a brutal gauntlet the next four weeks. This season could easily spiral the other direction just like last year, making this the biggest game of the season.

The Sun Devils have received great play from sophomore quarterback Taylor Kelly so far this season as he has passed for 1,600 yards on over 68 percent completions so far this season. Kelly also is a threat on the ground and most impressively he has thrown just two interceptions in 164 pass attempts and he is yet to throw a pick at home this season. Early in the year freshman Michael Eubank also saw some snaps but Kelly has played well enough to firmly hold the starting job.

The Sun Devils would like to see more from the running game as a clear hierarchy in the backfield has not been established with three players getting significant carries in the backfield but the reason for the strong start this year has been defense. Arizona State has allowed just 14 points per game on the season and even lower numbers in conference games. Arizona State is holding foes to just 273 yards per game with great numbers against the pass. No one has illusions about holding Oregon to those types of numbers but the Sun Devils could disrupt the Ducks enough to have a chance to win this game and Oregon is a team that has not had to play in many tense situations of difficult environments this season.

Both teams were ranked when these teams met in Eugene last season and this should be a game where a lot is discovered about these squads and the potential for each team this season should become clearer. After a less enticing game last week on Thursday night with Arizona State eventually winning easily against Colorado the Pac-12 has a great showcase game this week to kick off the college football weekend.

Line Movement: Oregon opened as high as a 10-point favorite but this line has steadily dropped the last two days. The total briefly ticked up to 69½ but has settled back to 68½, where it opened.

Last Meeting: Arizona State was ranked #18 in the nation and Oregon was #9 when these teams met at a similar point in the season last year. LaMichael James did not play for Oregon in this game last year and it was evident early that this would be a back-and-forth high scoring affair even though Oregon had a fumble and a punt on its first two possessions. Arizona State scored first and carried a 14-7 lead into the 2nd quarter but by halftime Oregon had taken the lead 21-17. The Sun Devils showed some fight with a touchdown drive on the first possession of the 2nd half but things went downhill from there and Oregon had a 14-point lead by the first minute of the 4th quarter. Arizona State managed just a field goal on its final six possessions of the game as Oregon’s defense stepped up to take control of the game.

Series History: Oregon has won the last seven meetings in this series but they have a push and a loss ATS the last two years following five consecutive covers from 2005 to 2009. Going back to 1989 Oregon is 16-7 S/U and 13-10 ATS in this match-up but Arizona State won and covered in the seven years prior to that in the ‘80s. Oregon is just 1-3 ATS in the last four meetings when favored in Tempe but Oregon has posted big numbers in each of the last four trips there, averaging nearly 44 points per game.

Oregon Historical Trends: Oregon is 21-10 S/U with a winning ATS record in road games since 2006 and the Ducks won and covered in every true road game last season. Oregon is 9-6-1 ATS as a road favorite since 2008 and 20-13-1 ATS since 2001 in that role. Oregon is just 6-6-1 ATS in the last 13 games as a road favorite of more than a touchdown however. Oregon has not lost S/U in a conference road game since 2009, falling 51-42 at Stanford.

Arizona State Historical Trends: Arizona State is on a 15-7 ATS run in home games since 2009 and the Sun Devils have won and covered in all five instances as a home underdog in that span. Going further back Arizona State is on a 15-7-1 ATS run as a home underdog since 1995, though the Sun Devils are just 7-16 S/U in those games. Arizona State has not had a S/U home underdog win since 2003, beating Oregon 59-14 as a 2-point underdog.

There is an additional game Thursday night this week:

Houston at SMU (FSN-Regional, 8:00 p.m. ET)
Line: Houston -5½, Over/Under 60

After an ugly 0-3 start Houston has evened its record with three straight wins. The competition has been pretty light but the offense is gaining confidence and has posted at least 35 points in five straight games. SMU is 2-4 after inexplicably losing against Tulane last week. The Mustangs had a big yardage edge but could not overcome a big early deficit. SMU lost by 30 in this match-up last season with Houston nearly doubling the yardage for the Mustangs. Houston has put up some big numbers but the defense is highly suspect, allowing nearly 470 yards per game through a very weak schedule. SMU has had to play some stiff competition so a bounce back is possible hosting this primetime match-up. Last season Houston won 37-7 at home in this series as a 20-point favorite and has won six in a row in this series. Houston has struggled as a road favorite however going just 14-26-1 ATS since 1991.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

UH Cougars improved, but can bettors trust them yet?
By Jon Campbell

If it weren't for a Thursday night primetime game on FSN, the Houston Cougars might have continued to fly under the betting radar after winning and covering the spread in their past three games.

The Cougs stumbled out to an 0-3 SU (straight up) and ATS (against the spread) start to the season - not really unexpected considering they have a new coach (Tony Levine), a new offensive coordinator (Mike Nesbitt resigned after the first game), new schemes and a young team that features just four seniors in the two-deep on offense.

The question is heading into Thursday on the road at SMU, has Houston now hit full stride after it had a chance to jell in the first three games or are their more growing pains to come?

“I do not expect the Cougars to start lighting up the scoreboard like they did throughout the Case Keenum era, when they averaged 42 points per game over a four year span,” says Covers Expert and professional handicapper Teddy Covers. “(Quarterback) David Piland is still very green, particularly with his red zone decision making, and the Cougs don't have the same level of playmaking ability from their wide receivers that they've had in recent years.”

That’s largely due to the fact Houston lost five of its top six receivers at the end of last season. But some of the younger players have had big performances in recent weeks and new offensive coordinator Travis Bush, who took over after Week 1, has this scoring unit on a steep upward path.

According to, Houston has averaged of 575.6 yards per game over its past five, which would rank second nationally. The Cougars have won their last three games by an average of 21 points and they covered three straight games while favored by 8 points or more each time.

Piland also set the NCAA record for most attempts in a game without an interception against Louisiana Tech when he finished 53-of-77 for 580 yards.

More betting notes for Thursday’s game (SMU +5, O/U 60):

Teddy Covers watched Houston’s 39-17 win (at -13.5) over UAB last Saturday closely:

“Houston's defense was the dominant unit against the Blazers, notching eight sacks in the game, the third straight game they've shut down their opponent,” he said. “If their D continues to play like that, they should get past each of their next three opponents before the Tulsa game.”

The line opened at 4 or 4.5 at the earliest books, then jumped to as high as 6 through the week. It sat at 5 as of early Wednesday evening.

“Nothing unusual about the line move here. Early money poured in on Houston, then we saw some modest buy-back, locking in both ways around the key number of 3. I don't see any early indicators that this line is likely to shift significantly from the current number of -5.”

Houston hasn’t scored more fewer than 37 points in the past six meetings with SMU, all wins. Cougs went 4-2 ATS.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

Oregon at Arizona State: What Bettors Need to Know

Oregon Ducks at Arizona State Sun Devils (+9.5, 69.5)

The computers were unkind to No. 2 Oregon on Sunday when the first BCS rankings were unveiled. The Ducks can’t worry about perception right now, though. The reality is they have a tougher-than-expected road test Thursday against No. 24 Arizona State, which will try to snap a seven-game skid against Oregon in Tempe.

The unbeaten Ducks, who haven't played since Oct. 6, are ranked third in the BCS rankings behind Florida because of the Gators’ impressive strength of schedule. Therefore, coach Chip Kelly's second-ranked offense (52.3 points per game) will likely try to make a statement against the surprising Sun Devils.

In Todd Graham’s first season, Arizona State is atop the Pac-12 South thanks to efficient quarterback play and the nation’s eighth-ranked defense (272.6 yards per game). The Sun Devils, however, haven’t faced a team with anywhere near the type of speed Oregon possesses. In the most recent meeting, the Ducks cruised to a 41-27 victory in Eugene last October.

LINE: The Ducks opened as 10-point favorites and have been bet off the key number to -9.5. The total has moved from 68.5 to 69.5.

WEATHER: The forecast in Tempe is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 80s. Winds are expected to blow west at 5 mph.

ABOUT OREGON (6-0, 3-0 Pac 12, 2-4 ATS): The Ducks obliterated Washington 52-21 prior to their week off, running the second-longest winning streak in the FBS to nine games. Redshirt freshman Marcus Mariota threw four touchdowns and the dynamic backfield duo of Kenjon Barner and De’Anthony Thomas totaled 197 yards and two scores. Barner (727 yards, nine touchdowns) is 12th in the nation in rushing after racking up 122 yards. Meanwhile, Thomas - arguably the fastest player in the nation - averages 136.6 all-purpose yards, including an outrageous 11.3 yards every time he touches the ball. The Ducks aren’t all glitz and glamor, either. Oregon is fifth in red-zone defense (58 percent), seventh in turnovers forced (17) and 10th in third-down conversion rate allowed (29.7).

ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (5-1, 3-0 Pac 12, 5-1 ATS): Few people expected the Sun Devils, coming off a 6-7 campaign, to be in position to put a dent in Oregon’s national title hopes at this point. But they are vastly improved and one reason is because Taylor Kelly (1,600 yards, 14 touchdowns, two interceptions) is third in the nation in passing efficiency (175.9). The sophomore was 20-of-28 for 308 yards and five touchdowns in a 51-17 rout of Colorado last week – Arizona State’s third straight win. Rashad Ross sparked a run of 31 unanswered points by returning the second-half kickoff 100 yards. The defense, led by junior defensive tackle Will Sutton (8.5 sacks), is second in the nation in sacks (4.3 per game). The unit is also fifth in the nation against the pass (144.1 yards per game).


* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.
* Ducks are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Over is 4-1-1 in the last six meetings in Arizona State.
* Favorite is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Home team is 3-1-1 ATS in their last five meetings.


1. Arizona State has lost 17 straight to top 10 teams.

2. Oregon has won nine straight conference games, eclipsing the 40-point mark in each victory.

3. Oregon is ranked sixth by the computers, but games against ranked foes Southern California, Stanford and rival Oregon State will boost its strength of schedule.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday 10/18

NCAAF Week 8

6-0 Oregon is offensive machine, scoring 42+ points in every game this season; closest game they've had was 42-25 over improved Fresno State, but this is their first true road game- Ducks beat Washington State 51-26 in Seattle, a "road" game but cross-state from Wazzu's campus (23-19 at the half). Oregon won last seven games vs Arizona State (5-1 vs spread), winning last four visits here by average score of 44-20. 5-1 Arizona State is lot better this year, losing only 24-20 at Missouri; Sun Devils waxed Illinois/Utah in first two at home; they're 4-0-1 as home dog since '09. Pac-12 home underdogs are 7-5 against the spread.

Houston won its last six games vs SMU by average score of 40-23, with last three wins by 30-25-24 points; they won last their three visits here by average score of 42-28. Cougars rallied from an 0-3 start to win last three games, by 21-23-22 points; they lost 37-6 at UCLA in only other road game this year. Mustangs lost three of last four games, including a horrific 27-26 loss at Tulane last week, when they outgained Wave by 129 yards and still lost. Oddly, both SMU wins are shutouts, 17-0 at UTEP, and 52-0 over I-AA SF Austin. C-USA home teams are 9-6 vs spread this year, home dogs are 3-3.

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