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College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

Games to Watch - Week 14
By Christian Alexander

Alabama vs. Georgia

Pretty simple actually; the winner will meet Notre Dame for the National Championship in Miami. Lose and you don't even get to go to a BCS game. My question is, are these even the two best teams in the SEC? Florida is also 11-1 but has a much better resume than either of these teams. Sure, the Gators are painful to watch at times, and lost to Georgia head-to-head on a neutral field but I'm not so sure the Gators aren't the best team in the SEC. And before 'Bama fans start sending me hate mail, look no further than 365 days ago when you weren't in this game either but were arguably the best team in the SEC, and the country for that matter, but happened to lose to an LSU team you later went on to dominate. As for the two teams that are playing though? Obviously both of these teams are very good, great in fact; but truth be told, both of these teams managed to get the easiest possible schedule you can ask for in the SEC. Both teams played only two currently ranked teams, and both teams went 1-1 in those games. In fact Georgia lost by 28 points to South Carolina, while Alabama got beat at home by SEC newcomer Texas A&M. The good news for both teams is that none of that matters right now. All that matters now is "win and you're in." This game will come down to one key matchup; the Alabama defense against the Georgia offense. The 2012 'Bama defense is good, but it's no secret that are not nearly as good as some of Nick Saban's previous squads. As I said earlier, the Tide have only faced two good teams all year and in back-to-back weeks they gave up 298 yards passing to LSU QB Zach Mettenberger (his season high) and 345 total yards to the Aggies' all-world QB Johnny Maziel. This week they face Georgia QB Aaron Murray who became the first quarterback in SEC history to pass from more than 3,000 yards in three straight seasons. But as I said earlier, the Dawgs have only faced two quality teams all year as well, and in those two games Georgia only managed 224 total yards against South Carolina and 273 yards against Florida. So whoever wins the battle between the Bama defense and the Georgia offense should have a major advantage in this game. Alabama comes in an 8-point favorite and one major reason might be in the coaching department where Alabama has a decisive advantage before they even kick off. Mark Richt is good, but Nick Saban may be the best.

Stanford vs. UCLA

Same song, different verse. These two teams just met over the weekend and now go right back at it, only this time in Palo Alto, and this time with a Rose Bowl berth on the line. Stanford might actually be one of the most underrated teams in the country having just beaten former No. 2 Oregon at Auzten Stadium in overtime two weeks ago, and UCLA last Saturday, 35-17. The two losses sustained by The Cardinal are at No. 1 Notre Dame in overtime after a controversial goal-line stand and at Washington 17-13, which is one of the hardest places to play in the country. With that said, UCLA has actually been one of the biggest surprises of the season and these two Pac-12 schools are actually very similar in a number of ways. Each has a top tier running back, an emerging redshirt freshman quarterback, and an NFL caliber tight end. In fact, Stanford only managed to outgain the Bruins by 47 yards (381 to 334) despite winning by 18 points. On top of everything, David Shaw and Jim Mora have done two of the best coaching jobs in the country behind Brian Kelly and Bill O'Brien (in my opinion). The biggest difference is the Stanford defense, specifically their front seven, which might be as good as anyone in the country. The Cardinal rank 10th in the nation in points against at 16.9 points per game, including only allowing 14 points to an Oregon team that averages 51.1 points. Back in August everyone thought for sure this game would be Oregon vs. USC for the PAC-12 title. In fact Stanford was picked to finish second in the North while UCLA was picked to finish third in the South. Instead, these two teams will meet for the Pac-12 Championship on Friday where Stanford comes into this game a 10-point home favorite.

Texas vs. Kansas State

The Longhorns come in off a disappointing Thanksgiving night home loss to TCU. Prior to its Thanksgiving Night letdown, Texas was looking at a possible two-game stretch that could have gotten them a shot to claim a place at the BCS at-large table. Now they are just trying to save their season. Sitting at 8-3, Texas has already matched last season's win total, but there are a handful of concerns in Austin among fans and boosters. Throughout the season, Texas has been probably the biggest Jekyll and Hyde team in the country with impressive wins over Texas Tech and Iowa State, but also embarrassing efforts against Oklahoma, Kansas and TCU. Win or lose Texas has a lot of questions going into next season. Meanwhile Kansas State returns to the field for the first time since they blew their National Championship hopes two weeks ago after getting stunned in Waco as a two touchdown road favorite against Baylor. Despite the loss, Kansas State is still the class of the Big 12 and can clinch the Big 12 title and an automatic BCS spot with a win against the Longhorns. Collin Klein also looks to right his Heisman ship after his worst performance of the year against Baylor in his last outing. Klein will face a Texas defense that is ranked dead last in the Big 12 in rushing defense and gives up almost 450 yards a game, including 607 total yards to Baylor earlier in the year. The Wildcats are an 11-point home favorite and Texas is just 1-4 in Manhattan while Kansas State also has the 7-5 edge in this series' overall history.

Oklahoma vs. Wisconsin

Oklahoma will head into its final game of the season coming off one of the more exciting game of the entire college football season. The Sooners won a thrilling 51-48 overtime game in the Bedlam Rivalry over Oklahoma State despite never leading the game until the final play of overtime. The Sooners are 9-2 on the season, and if they are able to defeat TCU as a 7 1/2-point road favorite, they would be in place for a possible BCS at-large bid. Oklahoma has one of the more intriguing resumes in the country at 9-2 with their only two losses this season coming against Kansas State and Notre Dame, both of whom have been ranked #1 in the BCS this season and are a combined 22-1. However both of those losses were in Norman. The flip side is their last four wins where they struggled against Iowa St, hung on for dear life against Baylor, beat West Virginia by only 1 point and beat Oklahoma State in overtime in a game they never lead. Then again the Sooners are also still in the hunt for the Big 12 title, which would earn them an automatic bid into the Fiesta Bowl, but here's the catch…in order for that to happen they will have to beat TCU that morning and then swallow their pride and root for their hated rival, Texas, to beat Kansas State later that night.

Louisville at Rutgers

Louisville at Rutgers, (Thursday Night) - This is the de facto Big East Championship….kind of. That's right, one of these two powerhouses are probably going to steal a spot in a BCS game. With Rutgers and Louisville falling on Saturday the Big East has a logjam at the top of its standings. If Rutgers wins, they represent what's left of the Big East in the BCS. If Louisville wins and Cincinnati falls to Connecticut then there would be a 3-way tie for the Big East championship. In that scenario, Rutgers, Louisville, and Syracuse would all technically be Big East Champions…for whatever that's worth. But who would earn the conference's automatic BCS bid? Well, the short answer is; who cares? The technical answer is; whoever has the highest BCS rank among the three schools would head to the BCS (most likely the Orange or Fiesta Bowl). Heading into the weekend Syracuse was #43 in the BCS while Louisville and Rutgers were 20th and 18th respectively. Great system.

Northern Illinois at Kent State

Northern Illinois vs. Kent State (MAC Championship Game - Friday) - This could actually be a very entertaining game. The Golden Flashes (that's Kent State for you non MAC followers) are going to their first MAC title game ever after piling up the most wins in school history. In fact, Kent State and Northern Illinois both finished the season 8-0 in conference and 11-1 on the year. This is only the 2nd time in the 67 year of existence of the MAC that two teams had 11 wins in the same season. The other was in 2003 which featured Bowling Green and a 13-1 Ben Roethlisberger lead Miami (OH) team. These two teams also combine to average 75 points per game this year. Like I said, if you don't have anything else to do Friday night, this could actually be a very entertaining game.

Georgia Tech at Florida Sate

Georgia Tech vs. Florida State (ACC Championship Game) - These two teams lost to their respective interstate rivals on Saturday by a collective score of 70-36. Overall the ACC ends the regular season 7-19 vs. AQ non-conference teams, including 1-5 vs. SEC with that win coming against Auburn. The six teams they beat for those seven wins? UConn, USF, Auburn, Army and Temple. Ladies and gentleman…The 2012 ACC. Florida State finished 7-1 in the ACC tying Clemson for the Atlantic Division title but won the tiebreaker beating Clemson earlier in the year. The Yellow Jackets "took" the Coastal Division berth by finishing 5-3 in the conference combined with Miami's decision to self-impose a postseason bowl ban for the second straight year, and North Carolina being ineligible. How do I say this nicely…at least people will care about the ACC Championship played in March?

Wisconsin vs. Nebraska

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (Big Ten Championship Game) - One of these two schools will earn the right to lose to the Pac-12 winner in the Rose Bowl. Nebraska won the Legends Division title with a riveting 13-7 victory over the Iowa Hawkeyes on Friday and Michigan losing on Saturday. The Cornhuskers finished the regular season 10-2 overall and 7-1 in Big Ten play. Wisconsin is looking to return to the Rose Bowl for the third straight season. The Badgers have lost the last two seasons to TCU in 2011 and Oregon in 2012. The Badgers finished the season 7-5 overall and 4-4 in conference play but will represent the Probation Division despite finishing third since Ohio State and Penn State are both ineligible for postseason play. These two met in the regular season with Nebraska winning a come-from-behind 30-27 game. The real winner in this game though? College football fans in general as we are spared from a 12-0 Ohio State team getting to play for a National Championship that they would have no chance at all of winning. Can we just take the top 8 teams from the SEC, PAC-12, Big 12 and Notre Dame and let them play it off. I know no one would want to watch that right?!

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Trend Leans to Georgia
By Marc Lawrence

High Expectations

When Alabama defeated Florida, 28-21, to win the first ever SEC championship game in 1992, it signaled the start of Division-1 college football conference title games.

This week finds a total of six FBS conference championship games on tap, with no less than four teams each owning one loss on the season.

Satisfyingly enough, these four one-time losers – all 11-1 on the year - find themselves paired against one another as upstart Kent State squares off against Northern Illinois in the MAC title game, while Alabama meets Georgia in the SEC championship game.

In addition to the pressure of being a defending national champion looking to get back to the BCS Championship Game, Alabama must also overcome exceedingly high expectations of its own.

The staggering effect of what happens in conference championship games with teams who have dominated on the playing field the last two seasons is eye-opening, to say the least.

Our database confirms the notion, finding that teams in conference title games who managed to win 19 or more of their last 22 games are just 6-15-2 ATS when installed as favorites in these games.

Worse, when favored by 21 or less points, and playing off a win of 3 or more points, these ’pips’ dip to 1-14-1 ATS in these title game roles.

The Tide may be high in Tuscaloosa these days but expectancy of rewarding their backers is low this week.

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C-USA Championship Preview: UCF at Tulsa
By Ian Cameron

Central Florida at Tulsa 
Saturday, 9 am PT - ESPN2
CRIS Opener: Tulsa -1 O/U 56
CRIS Current: Tulsa -2 O/U 55
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Tulsa -1.5

In what will be their swan song as part of Conference-USA, the UCF Knights will look to exit with the league crown as they travel to Tulsa to battle the Golden Hurricane in Saturday’s conference title game.

UCF wasn’t sure earlier this season if they’d even get the chance to participate in a bowl game. They were banned from bowl participation in August due to recruiting violations but the school elected to appeal the ruling and their fate won’t be decided until next season. The Knights finished 9-3 and 7-1 in C-USA play with their lone conference loss coming against Tulsa on this field a few weeks back, 23-21. Tulsa squeaked out the pointspread cover as a 1-point home and the game stayed under the total of 54. Tulsa finished with identical 9-3, 7-1 marks with their only C-USA loss coming in last week’s meaningless finale – they had clinched the West Division – at SMU.

UCF is in position to earn a conference championship thanks in large part to its stout defense which ranks first in the league in scoring defense (21.6 ppg allowed) and second in yards allowed (374.9 ypg allowed). The Knights excelled at forcing turnovers with 24 on the year. In his first full season as a starter, quarterback Blake Bortles completing 64% of his passes for 2,593 yards, 20 TDs and just 7 INTs. Running back Latavius Murray, despite missing three games in September, racked up 964 yards rushing, 179 yards receiving, and 15 TDs. The passing game isn’t as big of a factor but four players have at least 340 receiving yards led by J.J. Worton.

The Tulsa defense is ranked right behind UCF in the C-USA rankings in scoring defense (23.9 ppg), but first in total defense (355.9 ypg). Tulsa’s stop unit made big plays in the backfield with 98 tackles for loss, 45 sacks, and 23 forced turnovers. Tulsa’s method of attack on offense has been their ground game which has three capable backs with Trey Watts (825 yards, 3 TDs), Alex Singleton (665 yards) and Ja’Terian Douglas (837 yards, 6 TDs). Although they run a predominantly run-first offense, quarterback Cody Green evolved into more of a downfield throwing threat as the season progressed. Over his last two games, Green completed 58% percent of his passes for 665 yards and 6 TDs giving Tulsa far more production in the passing game than at any point earlier in the season.

In the regular season meeting between these teams, the Golden Hurricane completely shut down the UCF offense. Blake Bortles completed 42% of his passes and threw for just 169 yards. The usually potent UCF rushing attack was grounded. Tulsa held Murray in check with just 60 yards rushing on 2.7 yards per rush.  TU’s Green threw for 252 yards and 3 TDs with 1 INT and Watts and Singleton combined to rush for 186 yards on 4.9 yards per rush. Tulsa was able to win that game essentially due to dominating in the trenches. The Golden Hurricane had a 209-66 rushing yardage edge and a 252-169 passing yardage edge over the Knights.

From a historical standpoint, the home team has gone 4-2 SU and ATS in the Conference USA Championship game dating back to 2006. It may not steal America’s attention the way Alabama vs. Georgia in the SEC title game will but it has the makings of a hard fought, competitive contest between two teams that were the class of Conference-USA from start to finish in 2012.

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College Football Betting Cheat Sheet: Week 14

If you're looking to get some action down but only have a few minutes to handicap, let our college football cheat sheet help you out. We grab the best quick-hitting betting info on each of Saturday’s games with odds available in Week 14 of the season.

(23) Oklahoma State at Baylor (4, 87)

This a matchup of two of the nation's most balanced offenses and it shows in the total - the highest ever for a major football game. Both teams are among four FBS schools that average more than 300 passing yards and 200 rushing yards (Louisiana Tech and Texas A&M are the others). The Bears have won two straight and three of four to gain bowl eligibility, and the offense has led the surge with 52 points in each of the past two games. But Baylor has lost 15 of the last 16 meetings and hasn’t beaten the Cowboys since 2005. Oklahoma State is coming off a 51-48 overtime loss to rival Oklahoma. The Cowboys are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings.

(11) Oklahoma at TCU (6.5, 60.5)

Oklahoma has won seven Big 12 titles since 2000 but needs a win and some help to secure another. The Sooners have won four straight, including a wild overtime victory over Oklahoma State last week. Landry Jones threw for 500 yards and three touchdowns on a school-record 71 pass attempts in the win. The Horned Frogs relied on their defense, which held the Longhorns to season lows in points and yards, in their 20-13 win last week over Texas. TCU is 0-4 ATS in its last four games following a win.

Central Florida at Tulsa (-2, 55)

The UCF Knights take on the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the 2012 Conference USA Championship game. Both schools finished with identical overall (9-3) and conference records (7-1). UCF is in position to earn a conference championship thanks to its stout defense, which ranks first in the league in scoring defense (21.6) and second in yards allowed (374.9). Tulsa is 6-0 at home this season and has played under the total in all six of those wins. The team is dealing with the off-field distraction of Tulsa A.D. Ross Parmley being named in a betting scandal this week. According to reports, Parmley admitted to the FBI he previously bet on college and NFL football.

Kansas at West Virginia (-19.5, 71)

Kansas will conclude its woeful campaign on the road against West Virginia. The Jayhawks are winless against Big 12 foes this season and have dropped 20 conference games in a row. West Virginia is likely looking at a bid to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego should it win Saturday's contest. A loss would likely put the Mountaineers in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. West Virginia snapped a five-game losing skid with a 31-24 triumph over Iowa State last Friday but is just 1-4 ATS in its last five home contests.

Middle Tennessee at Arkansas State (-9.5, 62.5)

The Sun Belt Conference doesn’t have a championship game, but Week 14’s tilt between the Arkansas State Red Wolves and Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders will determine the conference champ. ASU, which is coming off a bye week, has won six straight games and has covered in each of its last four contests. The Blue Raiders have also been excellent against the spread recently, going 3-0-1 in their last four.

UL Lafayette at Florida Atlantic (9, 60)

Louisiana-Lafayette cruises into the final regular season game riding back-to-back wins and victories in three of four with the only blemish being a seven-point loss at Florida. FAU may have a 3-8 record, but the Owls have beaten both Troy and Western Kentucky in league play in the past four weeks. The Ragin’ Cajuns are just 1-6 ATS in their last seven meetings and the Owls are 6-0 ATS in their last six vs. a team with a winning record.

(20) Boise State at Nevada (10, 60)

A win by the Broncos would give them a share of the Mountain West Conference title with San Diego State and Fresno State. And Nevada has already accepted a bid to the New Mexico Bowl. Boise State’s defense has been stellar all season and has forced 32 turnovers – 16 interceptions and 16 fumbles. The Broncos are fifth in scoring defense (14.4 points per game) and eighth in rushing defense (293.3 yards). The Wolf Pack are the only team in the country to score 30 or more points in each game but a leaky defense has allowed more than 30 six times. Nevada has played over the total in four of its last five games and the over is 4-0 in Boise State’s last four road games. Nevada also needs a win to go over its season win total of 7.5 games.

Cincinnati at Connecticut (5, 40.5)

With a win here and a loss by Rutgers on Thursday, Cincy would gain a share of the Big East title for the fourth time in five years. Connecticut, meanwhile, is a win away from gaining bowl eligibility for the fifth time in six seasons. The Huskies scored a total of 33 points during a four-game losing streak from Oct. 6 to Nov. 3. They've scored 47 in two wins since, although 13 of those points came in overtime against Louisville. The home team is 6-1 ATS in the last seven meetings between the schools.

New Mexico State at Texas State (-13, 57)

The first-ever meeting between a couple of disappointing WAC programs takes place on Saturday, as the Texas State Bobcats play host to the New Mexico State Aggies. Back on Aug. 30, the Aggies began the season with a 49-19 win over FCS Sacramento State at home, but have since dropped 10 straight. New Mexico State has struggled mightily on offense recently, having been limited to 14 points or less in its last five games. Texas State has also been brutal, dropping five straight contests, but showed some life in a 38-31 defeat to Texas-San Antonio last week. The Bobcats are 4-0 ATS in their last four games.

(2) Alabama vs. (3) Georgia (7, 50.5)

A berth in the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame is at stake when Alabama and Georgia clash in Saturday’s SEC title game in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. Alabama leads the nation in points allowed (9.3) and total defense (233.7). The Bulldogs rank 17th in points allowed (17.7) but have been especially stingy the last five games, allowing an average of 8.6 points. The schools have played over the total in their last four meetings and the Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last six neutral site games.

Pittsburgh at South Florida (6.5, 46.5)

The Panthers have shown a tendency to play to the level of their competition this season. Pitt is coming off a huge victory over Rutgers (its second win against a ranked opponent at the time), just two weeks after taking Notre dame to triple overtime. The Panthers have an opportunity to become bowl eligible with a victory and won’t be lacking motivation this weekend. South Florida is devastated by injuries at the QB position. Freshman Matt Floyd has yet to throw a touchdown pass in two starts and has led the offense to a total of 19 points in back-to-back losses at Miami and Cincinnati. The Panthers are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.

(18) Texas at (6) Kansas State (-11, 63.5)

The Wildcats need to beat the Longhorns to clinch their first BCS berth since the 2004 Fiesta Bowl and at least a share of their first Big 12 title since 2003. The Longhorns fell out of the conference title picture with a 20-13 loss to TCU on Thanksgiving and are now simply trying to improve their bowl pecking order and play spoiler for a Kansas State team that has won the past four meetings with Texas. The Longhorns have won their last five road games, including all four this season, and they've beaten two ranked teams away from home this campaign (then No. 22 Oklahoma State, then-No. 20 Texas Tech). The underdog is 7-0 ATS in their last seven meetings.

(13) Florida State vs. Georgia Tech (14, 62)

Both teams are coming off disappointing losses to their in-state rivals, with Florida State losing 37-26 to Florida and Georgia Tech falling 42-10 against Georgia. The winner of this contest advances to the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day, possibly against the Big East champion. The Seminoles boast the nation’s second-best defense, allowing 249.42 yards per game, but they’ll be without senior DE Cornellius Carradine (ACL) for the rest of the season. The prognosis for Georgia Tech’s leading rusher Orwin Smith is unclear for Saturday’s ACC title game. Smith was held out of practice again Wednesday because of his ankle injury suffered in the Duke game Nov. 17. The Seminoles are 0-2-2 ATS in their last four meetings.

(12) Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (3, 49)

With a Rose Bowl berth on the line Saturday, the Badgers are the only obstacle that remains in the way of the Cornhuskers winning their first Big Ten conference championship. Wisconsin is appearing in this game only because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible for postseason play this season. The Badgers have dropped three of their last four games, but all three were in overtime. In fact, all five of Wisconsin’s losses this season have been by seven points or less and have come by a combined 19 points. The Cornhuskers have played over the total in their last eight neutral site games.

South Alabama at Hawaii (-6.5, 52.5)

The South Alabama Jaguars are 0-6 on the road this season, allowing 35.2 points per game away from home. And now the Jaguars face a long and difficult road trip to Hawaii for their season finale. "We're going to lose a day in travel, so we have had to kind of tighten our belts coming straight off the last game and get the game plan in even earlier than we normally would,'' Jaguars defensive coordinator Bill Clark said Wednesday. "It's a different feeling this week. You're at the end of a long season; as a player, you just have to fight through that. From a preparation standpoint, it's a time crunch trying to get ready.” South Alabama has failed to cover in its last four games overall. Sharps and the public are on Hawaii and have driven this line up a field goal since it opened.

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Role Changing Home Dogs At Their Best
By Robbie Gainous

Play ON a home underdog of 3½-23½ points off a non-Saturday favorite SU loss.

Trend Analysis

We return to these pages following the Thanksgiving Holiday and we hope each of you had a great week and weekend. Cajun Sports Wire’s NFL and NCAA Selections continue their red-hot run this season at Killer Cappers. They won their NCAA 6* SEC Platinum Play of the Year with the Texas A&M Aggies defeating the Missouri Tigers 59 to 29 last Saturday to move their career record on that play to 18-5-1 ATS.

That was just one of many big play winners for Cajun Sports this season make sure you join them for their College Bowl Selections and the NFL Playoffs.

This week our database research looks at a rare but simple situation that has produced a perfect record since 1983. We wanted to know how teams responded after playing as a favorite on any day other than Saturday and lost, what happened their next time out. Once again, the SDQL came through and produced a powerful system that is active this week.We want to Play ON College football home underdogs of 3.5 to 23.5 points coming off a non-Saturday favorite straight up loss their last time out. These home underdogs have produced a record of 13-0 ATS covering the spread by an average of 12.9 points per game since 1983.

Even though the system has only been active thirteen times since 1983 we have been fortunate this season, as it has already produced two big winners for us. Back on September 15, the Utah Utes +3.5 qualified in the system against the BYU Cougars and not only covered the spread but also won straight up 24 to 21. Then on November 8, we had another qualifying team in Virginia Tech +13.5 at home versus FSU and in that contest they did not win straight up but they easily covered the doubledigit spread losing 22 to 28.

This week all the system parameters have been met and this week’s Cajun Sports Wire NCAA Football System of the Week qualifies a play ON the Florida Atlantic Owls plus the points at home versus the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

We recommend a Play ON the Florida Atlantic Owls on Saturday

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CFB: Streaks, Tips, Notes

Texas vs Kansas State

Kansas State returns to the field for the first time since they blew their National Championship hopes two weeks ago getting stunned 52-24 in Waco as a two touchdown r oad favorite against Baylor. K-State with extra time to stew over their disappointing loss and facing a Texas squad that gives up almost 420 total yards a game and ranked dead last in the Big 12 in rushing defense the Wildcats behind QB Collin Klein (2306 PY, 14 TD, 787 RY, 20 TD), RB John Hubert (826 RY, 12 TD's) should easily topple Longhorns clinching the Big 12 title along with an automatic BCS spot. Wildcats 13-3 ATS following a loss of 20 or more points, 16-4 ATS vs the Conference, 5-0 ATS vs Longhorns including two with Klein taking snaps cover the expected 10.5 point spot.

Georgia vs Alabama

The Crimson Tide and Bulldogs play Saturday in Atlanta for the SEC championship with the winner set to advance to the National Championship game in Miami against the Fighting Irish. Tide off a second consecutive 49-0 victory, this time vs. Auburn have been pegged 7.5 point favorite over Bulldogs who are off a monster 42-10 thrashing of Georgia Tech. Alabama's balanced offense lead by A.J. McCarron with 2507 passing yards (25 TD) and ground game spearheaded by Eddie Lacy (1007 RY, 14 TD), T.J. Yeldon (847 RY, 10 TD) and Kenyan Drake (273, 5 TD) will be too much for Georgia. Although, Mark Richt's Bulldogs have the ability to move the chains both on the ground (190.8 RYG) and through the air (272.9 PYG) keeping up offensively vs Nick Saban's troops ranked first nationally in scoring defense (9.2 PPG), second in rush defense (77.0 RYG), third in pass defense (156.7 PYG), first in total defense (233.7 yds) will be a huge challenge. Stick with 'Bama' ridding a 15-2 (12-5 ATS) stretch vs the conference, 6-0 ATS streak in neutral site games, 8-4 ATS mark laying eight or less away from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

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Alabama vs. Georgia: What Bettors Need to Know

Alabama vs. Georgia (7.5, 50)

A berth in the BCS Championship Game against Notre Dame is at stake when No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia clash in Saturday’s SEC title game in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The Crimson Tide are making their eighth appearance (3-4) in the game, most of any SEC West team, while the Bulldogs are making their fifth (2-2). Alabama leads the nation in points allowed (9.3) and total defense (233.7). The Bulldogs rank 17th in points allowed (17.7) but have been especially stingy the last five games, allowing an average of 8.6 points. Two Georgia defensive backs proclaimed this week that they have the nation’s top defense, providing Alabama some bulletin-board material.

LINE: Alabama -7.5, O/U 50. The Crimson Tide opened as 8.5-point favorites at most books.

ABOUT ALABAMA (11-1, 7-1 SEC): Seeking their third national title in four years, the Tide are dominant on defense and balanced on offense. Quarterback AJ McCarron (25 touchdown passes, two interceptions) spreads the ball around to a talented group of targets led by freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper (45 catches, 767 yards, eight touchdowns), but the wideout corps took a hit last week when Kenny Bell broke his leg against Auburn. That might prompt coach Nick Saban to pull the redshirt off freshman Chris Black. Running backs Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon have combined for 1,848 rushing yards and 24 touchdowns. They run behind the nation’s top offensive line, which is anchored by center Barrett Jones. The senior is a finalist for the Lombardi Award and Outland Trophy.

ABOUT GEORGIA (11-1, 7-1): This is arguably Georgia’s best team in coach Mark Richt’s 12-year tenure. Quarterback Aaron Murray leads the nation in passing efficiency (177.2) and has 89 career touchdown passes, tied for second in SEC history. The three-year starter opted not to talk to the media this week, possibly an indicator he’s tired of explaining his struggles against elite defenses. For Murray to exploit Alabama’s beatable secondary like LSU’s Zach Mettenberger did, freshmen running backs Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall must keep the Tide honest. They’ve combined for 1,858 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns. Outside linebacker Jarvis Jones (24 career sacks), linebacker Alec Ogletree (team-high 87 tackles in only eight games) and safety Bacarri Rambo (16 career interceptions) lead a defense loaded with playmakers.


* Crimson Tide are 6-0 ATS in their last six neutral site games.
* Bulldogs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 6-0 in Bulldogs’ last six games overall.
* Over is 4-0 in the last four meetings.


1. Alabama leads the series 36-25-4 and won the most recent meeting 41-30 in Athens in 2008.

2. Gurley’s 14 rushing touchdowns are one shy of Georgia’s freshman record, set by Herschel Walker in 1980.

3. Alabama is plus-14 in turnover margin, Georgia plus-9.

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Florida St. vs. Georgia Tech: What Bettors Need to Know

Florida State vs. Georgia Tech (14, 61)

Fortunately for Florida State and Georgia Tech, neither team needed a win last week to reach Saturday’s ACC Championship Game in Charlotte, N.C. Both teams are coming off disappointing losses to their in-state rivals, with Florida State losing 37-26 to Florida and Georgia Tech falling 42-10 against Georgia. The Yellow Jackets won the ACC Coastal Division despite three conference losses, while the Seminoles blew any chance of reaching the BCS title game when they committed five turnovers in their loss to Florida. The winner advances to the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day, possibly against the Big East champion. Florida State leads the all-time series 12-9-1, with the last four meetings decided by a combined 16 points.

LINE: Florida State -14, O/U 61.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the mid-50s with partly cloudy skies. Winds will be light out of the SE.

ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (10-2, 7-1 ACC): The Seminoles are led by the nation's fourth-most efficient passer in quarterback EJ Manuel, who needs 33 passing yards to reach 3,000 this season. The 6-5 senior threw a season-high three interceptions in the loss against Florida. The Seminoles boast the nation’s second-best defense, allowing 249.42 yards per game, but they’ll be without senior defensive end Cornellius (Tank) Carradine for the rest of the season. Carradine, who leads the Seminoles with 80 tackles, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against the Gators. The secondary is led by cornerback Ronald Darby, who was named the ACC’s top defensive freshman.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (6-6, 5-3): The Yellow Jackets rank third in the nation in rushing at 323.3 yards per game, with senior guard Omoregie Uzzi leading an impressive offensive line. Senior quarterback Tevin Washington has 18 rushing touchdowns this season, and the team is hoping to get leading rusher Orwin Smith back after he missed last week’s game against Georgia with a sprained right ankle. Smith, who leads the ACC with an average of nine yards per carry, expects to practice this week and play in the title game. The Yellow Jackets are not as strong on the other side of the ball, where they rank 84th nationally in scoring defense while allowing an average of 31 points.


* Over is 3-0-1 in Seminoles’ last four games overall.
* Seminoles are 0-2-2 ATS in their last four meetings.
* Yellow Jackets are 4-0 ATS in their last four conference games.
* Over is 5-1 in Yellow Jackets’ last six games following a loss.


1. Georgia Tech has lost five straight games against nationally ranked teams.

2. Florida State defensive coordinator Mark Stoops was named the University of Kentucky's new coach Tuesday, but will remain with the Seminoles at least through Saturday’s game.

3. The Yellow Jackets have requested a bowl-eligibility waiver from the NCAA in case they lose Saturday and fall to 6-7, which would make them ineligible for a bowl game.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin: What Bettors Need to Know

Nebraska vs. Wisconsin (3.5, 48.5)

Wisconsin played a significant role in ushering No. 12 Nebraska into the Big Ten Conference prior to the start of last season. Now, with a Rose Bowl berth on the line Saturday, the Badgers are the only obstacle that remains in the way of the Cornhuskers winning their first Big Ten conference championship. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez – a Nebraska graduate – was a key figure in brokering talks with the Big Ten for the Cornhuskers, easing their transition from the Big 12 in the process. In only its second season in the Big Ten, Nebraska will play for its 44th conference championship overall against the Badgers. Wisconsin, winner of the inaugural Big Ten championship last season, finished third in the Leaders Division, but is appearing in this game only because Ohio State and Penn State are ineligible for postseason play this season.

LINE: Nebraska -3.5, O/U 48.5.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-50s with partly cloudy skies. Winds will blow out of the south at 13 mph.

ABOUT NEBRASKA (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten): The Cornhuskers, playing in their first conference title game since winning the Big 12 in 1999, lead the conference in total offense (460.9 yards per game), rushing (252.2) and rank second in scoring (35.4). They should also get a boost from the fresh legs of Rex Burkhead, the team’s leading rusher from last season who has missed six games this year because of knee injuries. Burkhead returned from a four-game absence last Friday and rushed for 69 yards and a touchdown in Nebraska’s 13-7 victory over Iowa.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (7-5, 4-4): The Badgers have dropped three of their past four games, but all three were in overtime. In fact, all five of Wisconsin’s losses this season were by seven points or less and have come by a combined 19 points. Wisconsin is led by running back Montee Ball, who rushed for 90 yards and three touchdowns the Badgers’ 30-27 loss at Nebraska on Sept. 29. Ball set a FBS record last week with his 79th career touchdown in the team’s 24-21 setback at Penn State.


* Under is 8-0 in Cornhuskers’ last eight neutral site games.
* Over is 4-1 in Badgers’ last five vs. a team with a winning record.
* Cornhuskers are 3-0-1 ATS in their last four vs. a team with a winning record.
* Over is 7-1 in Badgers’ last eight games following a loss.


1. Nebraska is in the midst of a six-game winning streak, its longest such same-season run since 2001.

2. Ball is 162 yards shy of becoming the 17th player in FBS history to rush for 5,000 yards in a career.

3. The Huskers were the only team to score more than 26 points against the Badgers this season.

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NCAAF Week 14

Home side won last five Cincinnati-UConn games; Bearcats lost last two visits here, 38-17/40-16; average total in last four is 67.5. Cincy lost two of its three road games this year, winning only at Temple- they covered four of last five games overall, winning two of last three. UConn needs a win to be bowl eligible; they've covered last three games, won last two-- Huskies are 3-2 at home this year, with both losses by a field goal.

Pitt won its last four games with South Florida, winning 17-10/26-21 in last two visits here; Panthers covered four of last five series games as the favorite. Pitt is 1-4 on road, with only win at Buffalo- they lost by point at Syracuse, by 3 at Notre Dame; they need this win to be bowl eligible. USF lost six of last seven games overall, three of last four at home; they got beat 40-9/27-10 last two games, in extremely disappointing season.

Oklahoma won its last four games; they allowed 49-48 points in last two games, 43.7 ppg in last three; they're 2-2 as road favorite, winning road games by 17-21-1-15 points. TCU is 7-4 despite losing last three home games, allowing 39.3 ppg; Horned Frogs split last six games, despite being underdog in all six games. Three of last four TCU games stayed under total, seven of last eight Sooner games went over.

Kansas State is playing for BCS bowl/huge payday; they upset Texas in last two meetings, 39-14/17-13. Curious to see how Wildcats recover in wake of getting hammered in Waco last week- they scored 23-24 points in last two games, after scoring 51.3 ppg in previous three. Longhorns allowed 48-63-50 points in consecutive games in middle of season, but last four games, playing lesser teams, they've allowed average of only 16.5 ppg. Texas is 4-0 in true road games this year; they lost to Sooners on neutral field, are 1-1 as underdog this season.

Total on Oklahoma State-Baylor game is 86, highest one I can remember; State won last six series games by average score of 49-17, with 27 points closest game of the six. Bears KO'd Kansas State from ranks of unbeaten last week, are 4-1 as a home favorite this year, with only non-cover in game they won by 14 vs North Texas. Cowboys scored 55-59-48 points in last three games; they are 7-4, scoring 30+ points in all four losses (allowed 48.8 ppg in those games).

Boise State won 11 of last 12 games vs Nevada, but lost last visit here and covered only one of last five in series overall; 31-30 they scored the last two years vs Wolf Pack are lowest in last dozen meetings. Broncos won four of last five visits here, winning by 7-31-37-37 points. Nevada is 7-4 this year despite scoring 31+ points in every game; they're 1-3 at home this year vs I-A foes, with two OT games and a 32-31 loss. Boise covered three of four as a road favorite this season.

Tulsa (-1.5) beat Central Florida 23-21 at home two weeks ago, running ball for 206 yards; they outgained UCF 461-235, overcoming -2 turnover ratio and 14-10 halftime deficit. Hurricane got upset 35-27 at SMU last week; they're 5-0 SU at home vs I-A opponents, with three wins by four or less points. Knights scored 16-16-21 points in their three losses, 31+ in their wins; loss at Tulsa is their only loss in last eight games. UCF lost last three series with Tulsa, losing 49-19 in only other visit here in '10.

Alabama caught breaks it needed to get back in national title hunt after its loss to Texas A&M; Tide are 4-1 as road favorite this year, winning five games by average score of 40-11. Georgia won its last six games since 35-7 loss at South Carolina; they allowed total of 43 points in their last five games (8.6 ppg). Teams haven't met since Bama's 41-30 win in 2008; Dawgs won year before in OT. This is first time in three years Alabama is in this game; Georgia lost it LY.

Florida State-Georgia Tech didn't meet last two years, but Jackets won last two meetings, 31-28/49-44; last time Seminoles beat Tech was 2003. State had 5-game win streak snapped by Florida last week; Seminoles are 2-7 vs spread in last nine games (were double digit favorite in eight of the nine). Tech fired its DC during season, allowed 41+ points in six of last nine games; they're 2-2 as underdogs, could still go bowling even if they lose here and wind up with 6-7 record.

Nebraska (-11) outrushed Badgers 259-56, beat Wisconsin 30-27 Sept 29 in Lincoln, avenging a 48-17 loss in Madison LY. 30 points are most any team scored vs Badgers this year. Cornhuskers won last six games since 63-28 loss at Ohio St- they won last three road games by 1-4-6 points. Wisconsin lost its last two games, both in OT; they're 1-5 vs I-A teams this year in games decided by 7 or less points- their other five I-A wins were all by 11+ points.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

SEC Championship Game
By Brian Edwards

We already know Notre Dame will play in Miami at the BCS Championship Game. What we don’t know but will figure out today is who the Fighting Irish will face at Dolphins Stadium.

Alabama and Georgia will clash this afternoon in a de-facto national semifinal contest at the Ga. Dome in Atlanta. Most betting shops have the Crimson Tide installed as a 7 ½-point favorite with a total of 50 ½. Gamblers can take the Bulldogs to win outright for a plus-275 payout (risk $100 to win $275).

Alabama (11-1 straight up, 6-6 against the spread) has won back-to-back games by identical 49-0 scores since losing to Texas A&M. Nick Saban’s squad sent Gene Chizik to Pink Slip-ville with the most lopsided victory over Auburn since the 1948 Iron Bowl.

Alabama delivered its third shutout of the season and easily covered the number as a 34-point home favorite. A.J. McCarron torched the Tigers for 216 passing yards and four touchdowns without an interception. Eddie Lacy rushed for 131 yards and a pair of scores.

For the season, McCarron has completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,507 yards with a 25/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. However, the junior quarterback won’t have one of his favorite targets this week. Kenny Bell, the starting junior wide receiver, is ‘out’ with a leg injury. Bell has 17 receptions for 431 yards and TDs.

Due to Bell’s injury, Alabama has decided to take the redshirt off of freshman WR Chris Black, who sustained a shoulder injury back in August. According to Saban, Black was the catalyst in the decision. He is healthy and expected to get plenty of playing time

The Alabama offense features a pair of explosive running back in Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Lacy has rushed for 1,007 yards and 14 TDs, averaging 6.1 yards per carry. Yeldon has rushed for 847 yards and 10 scores with a 6.6 YPC average. His touchdown catch on a screen pass was the game-winning score in a come-from-behind win at LSU.

Alabama leads the country in total defense and scoring defense, allowing only 9.2 points per game. You have to give the ‘Bama defensive line a considerable edge in the matchup with UGA’s offensive line.

Georgia (11-1 SU, 6-6 ATS) has won six in a row since getting blasted 35-7 at South Carolina on Oct. 6. Mark Richt’s team has covered the spread at a 4-1 ATS clip the last five times out, including last Saturday’s 42-10 win over Ga. Tech as a 14 ½-point home favorite.

Aaron Murray completed 14-of-17 throws for 215 yards with two TDs without an interception. Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley ran for two TDs apiece.

The emergence of Marshall and Gurley has made the loss of Isaiah Crowell a long-forgotten strory. The freshmen RBs have combined to rush for 1,858 yards and 22 TDs.

Murray has connected on connected on 67.3 percent of his pass attempts for 3,193 with a 30/7 TD-INT ratio.

This will be the signature moment of Murray’s UGA career. The junior has enjoyed a very solid career but has demonstrated a propensity for failing to perform in the biggest games of his career. In fact, Georgia has lost 10 of 11 games against Top 25 foes with Murray as its starting signal caller.

UGA has won three of last four head-to-head meetings with ‘Bama both SU and ATS, but these schools haven’t met since 2008. On that night, Alabama enjoyed its first true ‘statement-game victory’ of Saban’s tenure that has already netted a pair of national championship with another currently in reach.

With the UGA fans wearing all black, Alabama raced out to a 31-0 halftime lead and hung on for a 41-30 victory as a 6 ½-point underdog in Athens. In Saban’s first year in Tuscaloosa, Matthew Stafford threw a game-winning TD pass in overtime to lift the Dawgs to a 26-23 win.

The ‘under’ has hit in six consecutive UGA games after the Dawgs saw five straight ‘overs’ to open the season. Total have been an overall wash in Alabama games (5-5-1). The Tide has had four games with totals in the 50s. The ‘under’ is 3-1 in those games.

CBS will have the telecast at 4:00 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

This is the first time Alabama has faced a conference rival not named Florida in the SEC Championship Game. The Tide and Gators have hooked up to settle the league six times. Four of those games were at the Ga. Dome in Atlanta and two were at Legion Field in Birmingham in 1992 and ’93.

The ‘over’ is 6-1 in the last seven head-to-head meetings between Alabama and Georgia dating back to 1985. I found it interesting, however, that the total was 32 in the ’85 encounter in Athens.

Georgia hasn’t won an SEC title since 2005. The Dawgs lost to LSU in last year’s title game, allowing 42 unanswered points after leading 10-0 late in the second quarter.

FSU has gone 3-7 ATS in 10 games as a double-digit favorite this year. The Seminoles take on Ga. Tech tonight in the ACC Championship in Charlotte. As of early this morning, most books had the ‘Noles as 14-point favorites.

Stanford survived a game effort from UCLA by rallying for a 27-24 win in the Pac-12 title game last night. The Bruins took the cash as nine-point underdogs, but money-line backers came up empty in attempt to cash plus-300 tickets (risk $100 to win $300). A bad snap appeared to be the cause of a potential game-tying field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn in the final minute.

UCLA freshman quarterback Brett Hundley didn’t get much help from his teammates in the final drive. Three incomplete passes were very catch-able balls.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

ACC Championship Game
By Joe Williams

On Saturday night at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., the Florida State Seminoles (10-2 straight up, 3-8 against the spread) look to claim another championship banner and punch their ticket to a BCS bowl game in the process. Standing in their way is an unlikely opponent, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-6 SU, 7-5 ATS), but someone had to win the Coastal Division in the ACC, right?

Georgia Tech must not be too confident in their own chances in this one, as they petitioned the NCAA for a bowl-eligibility waiver in the event they slipped to 6-7, which would be under the .500 winning percentage requirement for a bowl bid.

Georgia Tech is an outstanding rushing team, ranking third in the nation with 323.3 yards per game on the ground. It is difficult to run on Florida State, but the Yellow Jackets will have to do so if they wish to remain in the game. If they fall behind, they will have a difficult time playing catch-up since they rank 119th in the nation in passing with just 135.4 yards per game through the air.

Yellow Jackets QB Tevin Washington (wrist) is probable for the game. He has managed 1,097 passing yards this season, throwing seven touchdowns and just three interceptions. Washington does most of his damage on the ground, running 151 times for 618 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns. His rushing yardage total is third on the team behind just RBs Zach Laskey (124-623-1) and Orwin Smith (75-673-5). It is looking more and more like Smith, the team's leading rusher, will not be available for Saturday's game due to an ankle injury suffered back on Nov. 17 in a win against Duke. If Smith cannot go, more responsibilities will fall upon the shoulders of the less proven Robbie Goghigh, B.J. Bostic, Synjyn Days and Deon Hill. Officially, Smith is considered doubtful to play, or, as we know from the NFL, he has about a 1-in-4 chance of suiting up.

Georgia Tech and Florida State did not square off this season. For what it's worth, the Yellow Jackets knocked off the Seminoles 49-44 in the last meetings back on Oct. 10, 2009.

The Seminoles are outstanding across the board on defense, ranking second overall in the nation by allowing just 249.4 yards per game. FSU ranks sixth in passing yards allowing, giving up 164.3 yards per game through the air. The Seminoles rushing defense gives up just 85.1 yards per game on the ground, ranking fourth in the nation in the category. That will be the key to the game, as it is strength vs. strength. The Georgia Tech prolific rushing offense against the Florida State prolific rushing defense. Whoever wins that battle will likely will the game, or at least cover the two-touchdown spread.

When Florida State has the ball on offense, look for RB James Wilder Jr., son of the former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great, to get it done. He really came on down the stretch, running 89 times for 514 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He added two receiving scores for a team-leading 11 total visits to the end zone. Wilder Jr. and RB Devonta Freeman took right over for the injured RB Chris Thompson (knee), who is out for the season. Thompson is still the overall rushing leader with 687 yards and five scores, but don't let that fool you. Freeman and Wilder Jr. are RBs 1B and 1C, and there is no dropoff whatsoever.

The passing game is also strong for Florida State, as QB E.J. Manuel will go over 3,000 passing yards in this one. He is 221-for-328 with 2,967 yards, 22 TDs and nine INTs this season, and Manuel is a threat to run, too. He posted 235 rushing yards with three touchdowns. WR Rashad Greene led the team with 614 receiving yards with five touchdowns, while the speedy WR Kelvin Benjamin has managed 479 yards with four scores.

On the defensive end, Florida State DB Tyler Hunter has managed three interceptions to lead the team. He is a Georgia guy, so he might be playing with a little extra incentive. DLs Bjoern Werner (13 sacks) and Cornellius Carradine (11 sacks) have no problem getting to the quarterback. Watch out for Ga. Tech DB Jemea Thomas, who led the team with three INTs.


The Seminoles are 10-1-1 ATS in their past 12 neutral site games, and they are 6-1-1 in their past eight games in the month of December. However, FSU is just 2-5 ATS in their past seven ACC battles, 1-4 ATS in their past five games overall, and 1-4 ATS in their past five battles on a grass surface.

The Yellow Jackets are 4-0 ATS in their past four ACC games, but just 1-5 ATS in their past six neutral site games. Georgia Tech is also an underwhelming 1-6 ATS in their past seven games in the month of December.

In head-to-head matchups, the Seminoles are 0-2-2 ATS in the past four meetings against the Ramblin' Wreck, and the underdog is 2-0-2 ATS in the past four meetings.

As far as the total is concerned, the over might be the play. The over is 3-0-1 in Florida State's past four games overall, and the over is 3-1-1 in their past five ACC contests. In addition, the over is 5-2 in FSU's past seven games in the month of December. For Georgia Tech, the over is 6-2 in the past eight games against a team with a winning record, and 5-2 in their past seven ACC tilts. The over is also 7-3 in the past 10 games overall. However, with Florida State's defense, and the fact Smith, Georgia Tech's leading rusher, is likely to be sidelined, that total of 61 points might be a bit ambitious.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

College Football Value Plays
By: The Linemakers

Each week we look at the biggest differentials between what The Don Best/Linemakers College Football Power Ratings say a point spread should be and what the actual market price is. A lot of the differences lay within the proper rating of a home-field advantage, and sometimes we have a number that is way off the charts relative to the actual point spread.

It doesn't mean ours is necessarily the right number, but we're usually closer to being right than wrong.

As sports book directors, we used these ratings to help shade the numbers in our books. We'd be crazy to post our exact thoughts against the market line, but we would shade the numbers to ensure we at least got our first few bets on the desired team. If we thought Alabama should be -5.5 against Georgia, but the betting market everywhere else had Alabama -7, we may open the game ‘Bama -6 or -6.5.

We'd eventually get pushed to the market price, but at least we had bets on the side we hoped for.

We simplify this process for you by calculating the biggest differentials each week and relaying to you which teams present the best value. It saves you the work, and gives you a nice tool as you're finalizing your betting strategies for Saturday.

On the left are the bet number and team that offers the best value relative to the current Las Vegas line.

312 South Florida (+7) vs. Pittsburgh. We like Pitt by only 2.

313 TCU (+6.5) at Oklahoma. We think the Sooners should be just 1-point favorites.

317 Baylor (+5) vs. Oklahoma State. OSU -1 is the better line.

322 West Virginia (-19.5) vs. Kansas. WVU should be laying 23 here.

323 New Mexico State (+13.5) at Texas State. We saw Texas State by only 10.5.

327 UL-Lafayette (-9) at Florida Atlantic. Lafayette should be -11.5.

334 Georgia (+7.5) vs. Alabama. Bama should be, at most, -5 for this game.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

Championship Saturday

ALABAMA CRIMSON TIDE (11-1) vs. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (11-1) Line & Total: Alabama -7.5 & 50
Opening Line & Total: Crimson Tide -7.5 & 49.5

No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia meet for the first time since 2008 on Saturday night with an SEC title and BCS Championship berth on the line.

Alabama is playing in its eighth SEC Championship Game, while Georgia was thumped 42-10 by LSU in last year's conference title game. This matchup features the two most efficient quarterbacks in the nation with UGa's Aaron Murray (177.15 rating, 30 TD, 7 INT) and Alabama's AJ McCarron (176.26 rating, 25 TD, 2 INT). The Bulldogs have allowed 8.6 PPG in the past five games, but the Tide have given up an FBS-low 9.3 PPG for the season. With Georgia averaging 38.0 PPG and Alabama scoring 39.0 PPG, a debate can be had on which offense is better. But the Crimson Tide defense is in a class of its own. Both schools have played five common opponents this season with the Bulldogs allowing a strong 18.8 PPG and 328 total YPG. But 'Bama has given up just 8.8 PPG and 180 total YPG to these five teams (four SEC foes). Not only is Georgia 1-8 ATS as an underdog in the past three seasons, but favorites of 3.5 to 10 points, after a win by 35+ points against an opponent after scoring 24+ points in the first half last game, are 28-6 ATS (82%) in the past 10 seasons.

McCarron has been outstanding this year, especially away from home where he's completed 69-of-107 passes (65%) for 1,030 yards (206 YPG), 8 TD and 0 INT in five non-home games. But he won't have his best deep threat as WR Kenny Bell (team-best 25.4 yards per catch) suffered a broken leg in last week's 49-0 drubbing of Auburn. He still has his top receiver though, Amari Cooper, who has 767 receiving yards and 8 TD this season, including 295 yards and 3 TD in the past three contests. After failing to gain 180 rushing yards in three straight games, Alabama has rushed for 567 yards on 6.5 YPC in the past two contests. Both Eddie Lacy (1,001 rush yds, 6.1 YPC, 14 TD) and T.J. Yeldon (847 rush yds, 10 TD) have proven themselves more than capable of running through opposing defenses. Lacy rushed for 131 yards and 2 TD last week, while Yeldon has scored a touchdown in seven straight games, totaling 9 TD (8 rushing, 1 receiving). Although much is made of the Tide's No. 2 ranked rushing defense (77 YPG), they also rank third in the nation in defending the pass (157 YPG). Alabama has forced 27 turnovers this season (16 INT and 11 fumbles), giving it a +14 turnover margin.

Since tossing three interceptions against Florida, Murray has been remarkably accurate with his throws, completing 71-of-97 passes (73%) for 1,137 yards (284 YPG), 13 TD and 0 INT over the past four games. He's also looking to redeem himself from a subpar performance in last year's SEC Championship when he completed just 16-of-40 passes for 163 yards, 1 TD and 2 INT. Murray is helped by a quality ground game led by the two-headed freshman monster of Todd Gurley (95 rushing YPG) and Keith Marshall (60 YPG). Gurley has 516 rushing yards and 5 TD in his past five games while Marshall has 6.7 YPC this season with 8 TD despite just 107 carries. On the defensive side of the ball, the Bulldogs have held their past seven opponents under 200 passing yards, and forced 2+ turnovers in each of the past five contests (15 total). Although Georgia has allowed 608 rushing yards in the past two games to run-heavy offenses of Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech, it has held the past three SEC opponents to a mere 61 rushing YPG on a paltry 1.9 YPC.

NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS (10-2) vs. WISCONSIN BADGERS (7-5) Line & Total: Nebraska -3 (-115) & 49
Opening Line & Total: Cornhuskers -3 &49

No. 14 Nebraska looks for its first-ever Big Ten Championship when it faces a Wisconsin team that has claimed the past two conference titles.

Wisconsin can still win its conference despite five losses on the season and three defeats (all in OT) in its past four games. Nebraska is riding a six-game win streak (3-2-1 ATS) and also beat the Badgers 30-27 on Sept. 29, scoring the final 20 points and outrushing them 259 to 56. QB Taylor Martinez had 288 total yards and 3 TD in that game while Rex Burkhead, who is now back on the field after missing time with a sprained knee, had 86 rushing yards. Wisconsin's Montee Ball scored 3 TD in the loss, but was held to 31 yards (2.1 YPC) after halftime. However, Ball had 151 rushing yards and 4 TD in last year's 48-17 win over the Huskers. Wisconsin is certainly not in good shape with stud LB Chris Borland bothered by a hamstring injury and starting QB Joel Stave out for the season with a shoulder injury. That puts unimpressive senior Curt Phillips under center, a player completing 52.6% of his passes and taking seven sacks over the past two weeks, both SU losses. Meanwhile Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez has been strong throwing the football during the win streak with 202 passing YPG on 61% completions, 9 TD and 4 INT. And versus four common opponents this season, the Huskers are 3-1 SU (2-1-1 ATS), while the Badgers are just 1-3 (SU and ATS).

Martinez has been throwing well this season with a 63% completion rate, 21 TD and 8 INT, but he is coming off a terrible performance at Iowa where he totaled just 104 yards on 30 plays (16 carries, 14 passes). He is a speedy runner though (5.3 YPC), who will look even faster on the Lucas Oil Stadium turf on Saturday. The good thing about Burkhead missing the majority of five of the past six games is that the Nebraska coaches got to see just how well Ameer Abdullah runs the football. In the past six games, he has rushed for 557 yards (93 rushing YPG). But Burkhead has been strong in two career games against the Badgers, rumbling for 182 yards on 36 carries (5.1 YPC) and a touchdown. No team in the nation has been stingier against the pass than the Blackshirts defense that has given up just 152 passing YPG. The rushing defense has also flexed its muscles in the past two games, holding Minnesota and Iowa to a combined 195 rushing yards on 68 carries (2.9 YPC). The Huskers have also been very opportunistic with 2+ turnovers forced in each of the past five games (12 total).

Curt Phillips will start under center for the third straight game, eager to improve on his 52.6% completion rate in his senior year. He connected on just 12-of-25 passes for 191 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT in last week's loss at Penn State. But it's no secret that the Badgers are going to try to pound the football with Montee Ball. He has 110+ rushing yards and at least 1 TD in six of his past seven games. Ball has scored 18 times on the ground this season, giving him 73 rushing touchdowns for his brilliant career. But teammate James White will also be used on the fast surface. He has three 120-yard rushing performances and 6 TD over his past six games and averages 6.7 yards per carry for the season. Wisconsin's defense surrendered a season-high 30 points at Nebraska, but has been consistently strong all year, allowing less than 17 points in seven games this season. The Badgers also rank 11th in the nation in total defense (308 YPG allowed), able to stop both the run (111 YPG, 12th in FBS) and the pass (197 YPG, 24th in FBS) with nearly equal effectiveness. Wisconsin doesn't have a whole lot of playmakers though, forcing just 12 turnovers (6 fumbles, 6 INT) for the entire 12-game season.

FLORIDA STATE SEMINOLES (10-2) vs. GEORGIA TECH YELLOW JACKETS (6-6) Line & Total: Florida State -14 & 61
Opening Line & Total: Seminoles -13.5 & 63.5

The ACC Championship Game in Charlotte features two teams coming off lopsided defeats to in-state rivals with No. 13 Florida State heavily favored over 6-6 Georgia Tech.

FSU lost 37-26 at home to Florida, while Tech fell 42-10 at Georgia last weekend. The Yellow Jackets have won the only two meetings between these schools since 2004, most recently prevailing 49-44 in 2009. FSU has beaten ACC foes by an average score of 40 to 16 this season, but is just 3-5 ATS in these games. Georgia Tech has a four-game ACC win streak (SU and ATS) with 45.0 PPG and 368 rush YPG in this span. Both quarterbacks are dealing with injuries, with EJ Manuel (head) hurting for the 'Noles and Tech QB Tevin Washington injuring his wrist last week. Both players are expected to start on Saturday though. The Yellow Jackets have the ability to control the pace of this game with its triple-option attack that has four straight 300-yard rushing outbursts. The Seminoles were completely run over last week, allowing 244 yards on 5.2 YPC against Florida.

Manuel ranks eighth in the nation in passing efficiency with 2,972 yards (9.1 YPA), 22 TD and 9 INT. However, the senior has been terrible in his past two games, throwing for a combined 331 yards (5.9 YPA), 3 TD and 4 INT. The Gators picked him off three times last week. The team has also been hurt by the loss of top rusher Chris Thompson (knee) who suffered a season-ending knee injury on Oct. 20. In four games since, FSU has just 149 rushing YPG, a far cry from the 233 rushing YPG before Thompson's injury. Sophomore RB Devonta Freeman has tried to pick up the slack, but he has been up-and-down in the past four weeks, rushing for 104 yards, minus-5 yards, 148 yards and 37 yards in the last game. FSU continues to be its own worst enemy in terms of ball protection, committing 2+ turnovers in each of the past six weeks, totaling 17 giveaways over this stretch. Defensively, the 'Noles remain one of the better units in the country, ranking second in FBS in total defense (249 YPG), fourth in rushing defense (85 YPG), sixth in passing defense (164 YPG) and seventh in scoring defense (15.1 PPG allowed). Florida State also leads the ACC with 2.7 sacks per game.

The senior Washington is looking to prolong his career that has seen him score 32 rushing touchdowns over the past two seasons. He also threw for 3 TD in his last ACC game two weeks ago against Duke. Washington may get a few more carries than usual with top RB Orwin Smith (673 rush yds) questionable with an ankle injury. Smith did not play in last week's loss to Georgia, a game where seven different Yellow Jackets had 5+ carries. David Sims led the team with 71 yards on 14 attempts (5.1 YPC), marking his third straight game with 60+ rushing yards and a touchdown. Georgia Tech's defense has struggled all year, allowing 40+ points in six of the past nine games. The Jackets also allow 392 total YPG, and have just 5.1 Tackles For Loss per game (88th in FBS). And for a team that runs the ball as much as Tech does, its +3 turnover margin (19 takeaways, 16 giveaways) isn't very special.

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Re: College Football Week 14 Betting News and Notes

College FB Tech Notes
By Bruce Marshall

CINCINNATI at UCONN...Pasqualoni gets bowl-eligible with win! Pasqualoni now has two SU wins and three covers in a row. Bearcats have covered 5 of last 6 away from Nippert Stadium, and 4 of last 5 this season for Butch Jones. Huskies four straight covers in series! Tech edge-UConn, based on series and team trends.

PITTSBURGH at SOUTH FLORIDA...Panthers also get bowl-eligible with win. Skip's spread slump continues, he's 3-8 vs. line TY, 4-16 last 20 on board since early 2011. Skip had previously been a top-notch pointspread coach. Bulls 1-8 vs. spread last nine in Tampa. Pitt has covered 3 of last 4 away TY, and Panthers have won and covered last four meetings. Tech edge-Pitt, based on team and series trends.

OKLAHOMA at TCU...These two met famously in home-and-home in 2005 and '08 with Frogs scoring major upset in '05 opener at Norman then suffering only loss of '08 campaign in return game vs. Sooners, also at Norman. Stoops so-so 5-6 vs. line TY and no covers last three or four of last five in 2012, though 3-2 vs. line (all as chalk) away this season. Frogs no wins or covers in three Big 12 home games this season, Patterson 3-3 as dog TY after 3-2 in role previous five seasons. Tech edge-slight to TCU, based on recent trends.

TEXAS at KANSAS STATE...KSU has covered last four in series including wins by Bill Snyder over Mack each of past two seasons. Mack just 3-4 vs. line immediately after a SU loss the past two seasons. Snyder 5-1 vs. spread at home TY and 9-3 vs. spread last 12 at home. He's also 17-7 overall vs spread the past two seasons. Mack 1-1 as dog TY, 5-8 in role since 2008. Tech edge-Kansas State, based on team and series trends.

OKLAHOMA STATE at BAYLOR...Absolute blowout series in recent years, with OSU winning and covering last six, scores of 59-24, 55-28, 34-7, 34-6, 45-14, and 66-24 the last six years! Win margin 31.7 ppg the last six meetings! Gundy 26-11 vs. spread since 2010 season. Cover last week at OU was first on road TY after three straight losses, but Gundy still 13-5 vs. points away since 2010. Art Briles 3-2 vs. line in Waco TY, now 9-2 in role since LY, also 4-1 as dog TY though only 3-7 as "short" the previous two seasons. Tech edge-Oklahoma State, based on series and team trends.

BOISE STATE at NEVADA...Series has turned around a bit in recent years as Pack has covered last three and four of last five meetings. Only once since 1999 decade has Nevada actually beaten Broncos SU, however, and that was epic 34-31 OT win in 2010 that knocked Boise out of BCS. But Pack enters this season-ender in midst of wicked 7-game spread losing streak, and Ault 1-9 vs. line last 10 this season. Broncs 4-1 vs. line away in 2012, 15-4 since 2010, 20-6 since 2009, 26-7 vs. number away since 2008. Tech edge-Boise State, based on team trends.

KANSAS at WEST VIRGINIA...Holgorsen 1-4 vs. line last five at Morgantown, 2-6 against number last 8 at home since early last season. Although WVU enters this finale with spread covers in its last two after dropping previous four vs. line. Also with a win at ISU after five SU losses in a row. Weis only 2-3 vs. line away Ty but 3-2 getting 20 or more. Tech edge-slight to Kansas, based on team trends.

NEW MEXICO STATE at TEXAS STATE...DeWayne Walker no SU wins last 10 since opener vs. Sac State, 2-8 vs. line last ten this season. Fran 4-2 vs. line last six TY, and has covered last three at San Marcos in 2012. Bobcats 1-0-1 as chalk TY. Tech edge-Texas State, based on team trends.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE at ARKANSAS STATE...Gus Malzahn hot with wins and covers last four for Ark State this season. Red Wolves 17-6 vs. spread in regular season the past two seasons. MTSU also soaring with 7-2-1 spread mark last ten this season and SU wins last four. Stockstill has lost and failed to cover last two vs. Ark State. Tech edge-slight to Arkansas State, based on team trends.

UL-LAFAYETTE at FLORIDA ATLANTIC...FAU 8-1 vs. line last nine this season, although the L was in most-recent game vs. FIU. Ragin' Cajuns 3-2 vs. line away TY, but 10-3 vs. line away since LY and 16-4 since 2010. Tech edge-slight to FAU, based on recent trends.

SOUTH ALABAMA at HAWAII...Road team is 9-2 vs. line in USA games this season, though 0-2 last two, and USA has failed to cover its last 2 on road or last 4 overall. Hawaii turning things around with easy covers last two this season. Tech edge-Hawaii, based on recent trends.

UCF at TULSA (Conference USA title game)...This is the third time these two have met in CUSA title game, with the teams splitting the first two. Quick rematch of Tulsa's 23-21 win and very narrow cover on Nov. 17. O'Leary 3-3 vs. line away TY after 1-5 mark in 2011. O'Leary 1-1 as dog TY but 16-9 in role since 2007. Tech edge-slight to UCF, based on O'Leary's extended dog marks.

GEORGIA vs. ALABAMA (SEC title game at Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA)...Teams haven't met since 2008, when Bama won at Athens. Nick only 6-6 vs. line TY after 26-13 mark the past three seasons against number. Richt 1-0 as dog TY but was 0-6 in role the previous two seasons. Tech edge-Bama, based on team trends.

GEORGIA TECH vs. FLORIDA STATE (ACC title game at Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC)...Jackets back into title game with 6-6 SU record. Paul Johnson 2-0 vs. FSU but hasn't faced Noles since 2009. FSU only 2-7 vs. line last nine this season, GT had covered last three in 2012 prior to Georgia game. Noles 0-5 vs. spread away from home this season. Tech edge- Georgia Tech, based on team trends.

NEBRASKA vs. WISCONSIN (Big Ten title game Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN)...Rematch of Huskers' 30-27 win (but non-cover) at Lincoln back on Sept. 29. Badgers have covered the last two reg. season games vs. Huskers. Bo Pelini had covered last four TY prior to Iowa season-ender, he's also won last 6 SU. Though NU just 1-4 vs. line away TY and 1-6-1 last 8 away from Lincoln. Bielema 4-7-1 vs. line away since LY but 3-2 in role this season. Bielema 3-1 as dog this season, 6-2 since LY in role. Tech edge-slight to Wisconsin, based on team trends.

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