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College Football Betting News and Notes Monday 12/31

College Football Betting News and Notes Monday 12/31

NC STATE (7 - 5) vs. VANDERBILT (8 - 4)

Top Trends for this game.
VANDERBILT is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
VANDERBILT is 17-8 ATS (+8.2 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


GEORGIA TECH (6 - 7) vs. USC (7 - 5)

Top Trends for this game.
GEORGIA TECH is 17-32 ATS (-18.2 Units) after a bye week since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


IOWA ST (6 - 6) vs. TULSA (10 - 3)

Top Trends for this game.
IOWA ST is 22-40 ATS (-22.0 Units) in road games in games played on turf since 1992.
TULSA is 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) off a win against a conference rival over the last 3 seasons.
TULSA is 17-7 ATS (+9.3 Units) after playing a conference game over the last 3 seasons.

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


CLEMSON (10 - 2) vs. LSU (10 - 2)

Top Trends for this game.
CLEMSON is 26-12 ATS (+12.8 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
There were no past matchups in this series during this time period.


NORTH CAROLINA STATE vs. VANDERBILT
North Carolina State is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of North Carolina State's last 7 games
Vanderbilt is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

GEORGIA TECH vs. SOUTHERN CAL
No trends available
Southern Cal is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Southern Cal is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games

IOWA STATE vs. TULSA
Iowa State is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
Iowa State is 2-5 ATS in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Tulsa's last 7 games
Tulsa is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games

CLEMSON vs. LSU
Clemson is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Clemson's last 6 games
LSU is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
LSU is 22-3 SU in its last 25 games


NC State vs. Vanderbilt
NC State: 14-5 Under in the second half of the season
Vanderbilt: 26-10 ATS away off a road game

Georgia Tech vs. USC
Georgia Tech: 17-32 ATS playing with rest
USC: 25-10 ATS away off a SU loss

Iowa State vs. Tulsa
Iowa State: 3-13 ATS away off a conference loss by 7 points or less
Tulsa: 11-3 ATS after winning 4 or 5 of their last 6 games

Clemson vs. LSU
Clemson: 0-7 ATS after winning 8+ of their last 10 games
LSU: 16-3 ATS away after having 100 or less rushing yards

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Music City Bowl

NC State fired Tom O’Brien after 7-5 year with senior QB that was expected to be better; have to believe Wilson’s success with Seahawks (he was basically cut by O’Brien before his senior year with Wolfpack) had something to do with it. Interim coach is OC Bible; interesting to see if he turns senior QB loose more than conservative O’Brien did. Vandy gets home game after winning last six games; they’re 2-2-1 in bowls in school history; this is first time they’ve gone to bowls in consecutive years. Commodores won this game 16-14 (+3.5) over Boston College four years ago, ending BC’s long bowl winning streak- their QB now is Jordan Rodgers, Aaron’s little brother. Vandy scored 17 or less points in all four of its losses; they scored 40+ points in four of last five games, and are 4-2 vs spread when favored this year. State is 2-4 away from home, allowing 35-44-43-62 points in the losses, 7-18 in wins. ACC teams are 3-4 in this game last seven years, 3-0 vs spread as an underdog; overall, dogs covered six of last eight Music City Bowls.

Sun Bowl

Look at USC’s schedule this year and tell me who their best win is; 38-17 over Arizona State Nov 10? That was also their only win in last five games, as they closed regular season with losses to UCLA/Notre Dame- they allowed 38+ points in three of last five games, so HC Kiffin fired DC Kiffin, his dad (And highly respected NFL DC). Trojan players making noise about not liking El Paso area; team showed up hour late for banquet planned by bowl, so no faith that favored USC (3-7 as favorite this year) will show up and play solid game; then again, Georgia Tech is rare bowl team with losing record coming in- they fired their DC during year, have trouble coming from behind because their passing game isn’t good. Jackets scored 33+ points in all six wins; they’re 3-2 vs spread as underdog, but are 0-6 SU when scoring less than 33 points, with three losses by 6 or less points, four more by 16+ points. Pac-12 teams won six of last Sun Bowl appearances (weren’t here in ’10); Tech lost this game 30-27 (-2) to Utah LY, its fourth straight bowl loss (0-4 vs spread) under option-loving Johnson.

Liberty Bowl

Bowl rematches are rare, but because Iowa State travels well (sold their 10,000 tickets for this quickly) we have one here; Cyclones outgained Tulsa 441-358, beat Golden Hurricane 38-23 in season opener. Tulsa wound up as C-USA champs, beating UCF twice in three weeks, while 6-6 State is only here because bowls need to make money so they can stay in business. Golden Hurricane won six of seven games decided by seven or less points. With revenge on their side, hard to buck Tulsa; they won three of last four bowls, scoring 63-45-62 points in wins, 21 in loss LY to BYU. Iowa State split last four bowls, with three of them decided by 4 or less points- they scored 14-13 in bowls under Rhoads. C-USA clubs lost four of last six appearances in this bowl, but Tulsa won last 31-24 (+7) over Fresno State in ’05. No Big X team has played here in last nine years. Iowa State is 5-0 when it scores 35+ points, 1-6 when it does not; Tulsa held six of last seven opponents under 28 points.

Chick-fil-A Bowl

Vandy/LSU are first SEC teams to play in bowls this year; problem for LSU backers is whether Bayou Bengals are excited to be here after being in national title game LY. LSU was 5-0 before losing at Florida; seemed liked they lost confidence after that, with only one of its last five wins by more than seven points. LSU covered only two of last seven games as a favorite. Clemson gave up 70 points to West Virginia in its bowl LY, fourth loss in last five bowls for Tigers, despite being favored in all five games; they lost 23-20 to Auburn in this game five years ago (-2). LSU is 3-2 in last five bowls, beating Georgia Tech 38-3 in this game four years ago. Underdogs covered five of last seven in this bowl, with SEC teams 5-2 vs ACC squads. Clemson won three games this year where they gave up 31+ points- that won't workhere vs defensively-stout LSU. Clemson is 5-2 vs spread as an dog under Swinney, who is Alabama grad. LSU won/covered five of seven bowls under Miles (four of five that weren't for national title).

Armadillosports.com

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Music City Bowl Betting Preview
By Andrew Lange
Sportsmemo.com

NC State vs. Vanderbilt
CRIS Opener: Vanderbilt -6.5 O/U 51.5
CRIS Current: Vanderbilt -7 O/U 51.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Vanderbilt -5

Fundamentally, Vanderbilt is deserving of being a touchdown favorite in Monday's Music City Bowl against NC State. The Commodores sport the significantly stronger defense and are actually not that far removed from the Wolfpack offensively. NC State can sling it around with quarterback Mike Glennon but have had difficulty running the football (109th, 116.9 ypg). And Glennon isn't much of a runner which suggests if NC State is going to compete, they'll have to have a lot of success in the passing game. Statistics tells us that won't be easy. According to our ACCU-Stats, Vanderbilt ranks 10th in the country in yards per pass allowed. I go back to their complete domination of Tennessee's Tyler Bray, who like Glennon, doesn't run but rather sits back in the pocket. In Vanderbilt's 41-18 win, Bray was held to 11-of-29 for 103 yards and was at one point benched. So as I see it, one of NC State's few on-paper strengths is likely to be offset.

As for Vanderbilt, I'm not sure what to make of its late season offensive "explosion." Part of it had to do with the development of quarterback Jordan Rodgers who threw for 1,190 yards and 10 touchdowns his final five games. Another contributing factor was the competition with only one team (Ole Miss) of the five playing in the postseason. Nevertheless, with things seemingly clicking and facing a sub-par NC State defense (79th, 419.7 ypg allowed), Vandy's offensive improvement could continue.

The Commodores have a stigma of being a tough team to bet on as chalk.  However, their defense isn't exactly smoke and mirrors and even though I'm still not sold the offense will be able to march up and down the field in this matchup, they remain the preferred side.

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Sun Bowl Betting Preview
By Rob Veno
Sportsmemo.com

Georgia Tech vs. USC
CRIS Opener: USC -10 O/U 66
CRIS Current: USC -7.5 O/U 64
Rob Veno's Power Rating: USC -9

Not real sure of the interest level that will be exhibited by the entire USC squad here so Georgia Tech is likely to have a motivational advantage. The season ending nine-point home loss to Notre Dame doesn’t look terrible on paper, but the way it unfolded seemed to be the decisive final straw in defining the Trojans campaign as a total bust. Since then, the negativity surrounding the program has continued to grow. Beleaguered defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is out the door after this game and on his way back to the NFL. Head coach Lane Kiffin is currently viewed by fans and media in a completely negative fashion and his competence is especially being questioned. Quarterback Matt Barkley’s career seems to be eroding more and more each day and his shoulder injury won’t allow him to try and change that in this game. Wide receiver Robert Woods has already stated that he’ll announce his NFL entry decision on Monday which makes that more anticipated by everyone than his game performance. And now this week their etiquette as an invited guest to El Paso has been worse than childish. With so many extenuating black marks, how can USC be ready to play, let alone win this meaningless bowl game?       

Despite the clouds surrounding them as they enter this game, on the field there do figure to be some positive for USC. First off, confident and talented freshman quarterback Max Wittek is going to be eager for a second chance in front of the national audience. There’s no doubt he’ll be out to perform well and show the nation that he is capable of spearheading the Trojans future. Have to believe that his NFL caliber skill position mates will also want to rack up numbers versus this porous Georgia Tech defense. Woods needs a standout game to raise his NFL stock if indeed he’s planning on leaving while counterpart Marquise Lee can start the 2013 Heisman campaign right here. Explosive freshman wideout Nelson Agholor (17.9 yards per reception), sophomore Xavier Grimble (27 catches, 5 TDs) and junior running back Silas Redd will all look to capitalize against Georgia Tech which allowed 40+ points six times this season. The loss of free safety and secondary leader Isaiah Johnson (26 consecutive starts) leaves Georgia Tech even more vulnerable to the USC passing attack. One more plus for the Trojans offense here should be the play calling of Kiffin. He’s heard enough since the night of November 24th about what a buffoon he is in this aspect of coaching and will surely be looking to light up the scoreboard.

Although a strong argument can be made to lay the points with USC based on the matchup of their offense vs. Georgia Tech’s defense, that’s where the case ends. The Trojans defense has been problematic all season and having to face this option offense is likely to cause even more headaches. Head Paul Johnson’s system is as foreign to USC as any could possibly be and the Trojans polar opposite offensive personnel and philosophy make it impossible to simulate in practice. The Yellow Jackets have been razor sharp with their execution the past seven games losing only three fumbles in 425 rushing attempts. Georgia Tech will have the services of leading rusher A-back Orwin Smith after not having him the final two weeks of the year due to an ankle injury. Tech has lost leading receiver Jeff Greene (transferring) but the way they plug in wide outs the loss could be minimal. Overall, with the experience of their offensive line and their multitude of rushing weapons including quarterback Tevin Washington, this offense could explode and tear off large chunks of yardage against this USC defense.     

Georgia Tech returns to the scene where they lost a heartbreaker last year when Utah stormed back and won the Sun Bowl 30-27 in OT. They’ll look to atone for that and conclude this season on a high note. Their mid-season firing of defensive coordinator Al Groh and subsequent shift of defensive philosophies hasn’t really paid any dividends yet and probably won’t in this game. Weather projections show the possibility for wind in the 20 MPH range which might help GT slightly. They did however go 5-2 ATS down the stretch which gives them some positive handicapping momentum. The line was pushed down to USC -7.5 upon the announcement that Barkley won’t play which seems to be fair. If they can avoid fumbling the ball away, Georgia Tech’s offense may confuse USC’s defense enough to get them under the number.

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Liberty Bowl Betting Preview
By Ian Cameron
Sportsmemo.com

Iowa State vs. Tulsa
CRIS Opener: Iowa State -1 O/U 52
CRIS Current: Iowa State -1.5 O/U 51
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Tulsa -2

Iowa State and Tulsa hook up for a second time this season after the Cyclones prevailed in Ames back in Week 1, 38-23, as 2-point underdogs. Iowa State (6-6, 3-6 Big XII) will be playing in its second consecutive postseason after losing to Rutgers, 27-13, in the Pinstripe Bowl. Tulsa (10-3, 8-1 C-USA) went 10-2 after their season opening loss to Iowa State. They’ve been to back-to-back bowl games –losing to BYU last year, 24-21, as 2.5-point favorites and defeating Hawaii 62-35 in 2010 as 10-point underdogs. Motivation might be a question mark for Iowa State considering they are playing a team they already beat while Tulsa obviously doesn’t want to lose to the same squad twice.

Iowa State faced eight bowl bound foes aside from Tulsa but went 2-6 SU, 2-5-1 ATS with the two wins coming against TCU and Baylor. Tulsa took on four bowl teams this season aside from Iowa State going 4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS with wins against Fresno State, Rice, SMU and two wins over UCF. C-USA teams are 2-1 SU and ATS so far this bowl season at the time of this write-up with UCF and SMU romping to easy blowout bowl victories and East Carolina falling to UL-Lafayette 43-34.

Iowa State started the season as a very solid defensive team. If fact, defense was the one of the reasons they beat Tulsa. They held the Golden Hurricane to 23 points including a lone touchdown in the second half. But injuries to the stop unit started to pile up for the Cyclones and they were outgained in seven of their last nine games due to their inability to get stops. There is good news on the injury front however particularly in the secondary. The Cyclones will get safety Durrell Givens and CB Jansen Watson back from injuries. Defensive coordinator Wally Burnham is excited about the returnees: “This is going to be big. There is no doubt about it. You can’t lose that many people that have gotten all those reps in practice and gotten all those reps in games and expect to be where you need to be.”

In the first meeting, Iowa State had one of its best games of the season offensively but never really showed that type acumen on a consistent basis the remainder of the season whereas Tulsa’s defense steadily improved. Without running back Shontrell Johnson (knee), Iowa State quarterback Sam Richardson (projected to start) will need to make things happen in the passing game. Richardson threw for 412 yards and seven touchdowns without an INT in the last two games albeit against the woeful pass defenses of Kansas and West Virginia. He can also run with 187 yards on 31 carries in those two starts. Tulsa quarterback Cody Green got better as the season progressed showing more confidence as a passer. He threw 7 TDs and just 3 INTs in his last three games leading Tulsa to wins over UCF twice and SMU.

As the current line suggests, this is a fairly even contest on paper. I think it will come down to Iowa State’s passing game and whether or not they can duplicate the success they had back in Week 1. The Cyclones went 5-1 SU when they passed for 200 yards or more. When they failed to reach that mark, only 1-5 SU.

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Chick-fil-A Bowl Betting Preview
By Alatex Sports
Sportsmemo.com

Clemson vs. LSU
CRIS Opener: LSU -3.5 O/U 58.5
CRIS Current: LSU -6 O/U 59
Rob Veno's Power Rating: LSU -1.5

At first glance, this seems like one of the better bowl matchups of the season, with both teams 10-2 and ranked in the top 15. However, barring a complete no show by LSU, this might not be much of a game, especially by the end of the night. It must be considered that LSU might be disappointed in not playing for the national title, and could simply go through the motions in a New Year’s Eve Bowl game. However, under Les Miles that simply has not been the case. Two years ago they thumped Texas A&M 41-24 in the Cotton Bowl and they have dominated ACC opponents in the Chick Fil-A Bowl twice in recent years. They crushed Georgia Tech 38-3 in 2008’s game and beat Miami 40-2 in 2005. Miles seems to have his teams ready to play, even when they fall short of preseason goals.

If LSU does come to play, and I see no reason that they won’t, I feel that they will beat Clemson easily. Clemson averaged 40 ppg this year with their high-flying offense led by quarterback Tajh Boyd, but they weren’t facing SEC defenses week in and week out. In fact, when they did play one, they were manhandled by South Carolina, 27-17. The Tigers managed just 328 yards of offense and were repeatedly held to three-and-outs by the Gamecocks. The only ACC team that even resembled an SEC team was Florida State, and the Tigers lost in Tallahassee, 49-37. Other than South Carolina and Florida State, Clemson did not face a quality team all year. Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech and NC State would compromise the next three best teams they played, which is hardly saying much.

LSU on the other hand, played one of the toughest schedules in college football, beating Texas A&M and South Carolina while falling short against Florida and Alabama. LSU’s defense held up well against Heisman winner Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M, shutting the Aggies down in the second half of a 24-19 road win. They might give up a drive or two early to Boyd, but by the second half, their front four should have him making mistakes and running for his life. LSU picked off 18 passes on the year, and two or three more interceptions are likely here.

On offense, LSU should control the line of scrimmage and run the ball well against a Clemson defense that allowed 5.28 yards per rush to its ACC foes. LSU is by no means a dynamic passing team, but quarterback Zach Mettenberger grew up tremendously in their loss to Alabama and had solid numbers in his last three games. The run game should open some play action passes for Mettenberger against the Clemson defense.

The Chick-Fil-A Bowl representative from the SEC is usually not this strong and LSU should prevail against the overrated Clemson Tigers. To beat LSU, it takes a great defense, something Clemson clearly does not possess.

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Monday's Bowl Action
By Joe Williams
VegasInsider.com

Music City Bowl at LP Field from Nashville, TN

The North Carolina State Wolfpack (7-5 SU, 5-6-1 ATS) heads to the Music City Bowl in Nashville, Tenn. with an interim head coach in Dana Bible, after the team dismissed Tom O'Brien. They started this season against an SEC opponent, Tennessee, in Atlanta, and they'll end it against an SEC opponent, the Vanderbilt Commodores (8-4 SU, 8-4 ATS).

The Wolfpack have been a hard team to figure this season, which is why the faithful back in Raleigh had been so impatient with the coach affectionately known as 'T.O.B.' This team was good enough to pull off an upset of then-No. 2 and unbeaten Florida State at Carter-Finley Stadium Nov. 6, but they were also inexplicably smashed by ACC doormat Virginia 33-6 at home four weeks later. They held Wake Forest to six points in a mid-November win at home, and then allowed 62 points at Clemson the following week. And perhaps the most disappointing part of their season was when they allowed a game-winning 74-yard punt return for score to North Carolina RB Giovani Bernard to lose 43-35.

Keep an eye on QB Mike Glennon, who reminds many of the great passers of NC State recent past, such as Philip Rivers and Russell Wilson. Glennon managed 3,648 passing yards with 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. He became even more effective once the team starting to produce consistently on the ground. Freshman Shadrach Thornton ran for 329 yards over his final three games of the regular season. He might have a difficult time against a Vandy defense which ranked 17th overall in the nation, allowing just 326.4 total yards.

So, who can bettors expect to show up? Well, NC State is 7-3-1 ATS in their past 11 games against a team with a winning record. And, they are 5-1-1 ATS in their past seven neutral-site games, although that lone loss came Aug. 31 in Atlanta against the SEC's Volunteers to open this season. The Pack covered three in a row to close out the regular season.

For the 'Dores, they simply need to take a bus ride across town to LP Field. The line for this game opened at 5 1/2 points, but quickly rose to seven points with the public laying down bread on the 'home' team. Vanderbilt has a stout defense, and a talented offensive attack as well.

After a bit of an uneven start at 1-3 straight-up, Vanderbilt won seven of their final eight regular season games with the only setback coming in a 31-17 loss against Florida Oct. 13. That game was actually much closer than the score would indicate, too. Since failing to cover Oct. 20 against Auburn, Vandy has covered five consecutive games. They also had six consecutive straight-up victories, their longest such streak since 1955. If they're able to pick up a ninth victory in the Music City Bowl, it would match the single-season school record for wins (1904, 1915). The last time Vandy picked up a road victory came right here in the 2008 Music City Bowl against another ACC team, the Boston College Eagles.

The Commodores are 6-2 ATS in their past eight non-conference tilts, and the under is 5-2 in their past seven games against ACC opponents.

Vanderbilt has a three-pronged attack on offense. QB Jordan Rodgers leads the offense, passing for 2,431 yards, 13 touchdowns and just five interceptions. If the name sounds familiar, it should, as he is the little brother of Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. The quarterback's favorite target is WR Jordan Matthews, who piled up 87 receptions, 1,262 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. Lastly, RB Zac Stacy managed 1,034 rushing yards and nine touchdowns despite facing the rugged competition of the SEC.

Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium from El Paso, TX

The Southern California Trojans (7-5 SU, 3-9 ATS) heads east on Interstate 10 all the way to El Paso, Tex. for the Hyundai Sun Bowl. We've seen weather serve as a factor in this game before, and Monday will be no exception. While there is just a 20 percent chance of precipitation, the winds will be howling out of the west at 20-25 mph, wreaking havoc on passing games. For the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-7 SU, 8-5 ATS), primarily a ground-based team, that will not be a problem. For USC, it could change the way they approach things.

The Trojans will be using freshman QB Max Wittek, as QB Matt Barkley (shoulder) is still suffering from a sprained shoulder suffered Nov. 17 against UCLA. Wittek made his first career start against Notre Dame Nov. 24, and he wasn't terrible. Still, the wind won't do Wittek any favors as he tries to spread the ball around to WRs Marqise Lee and Robert Woods, perhaps one of the best receiving tandems in college football. Lee rackied up 112 receptions, 1,680 yards and 14 scores, while Woods snagged 73 catches for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns. Remember, though, most of the production came with Barkley at the helm. With a more inexperienced QB, look for the two-headed rushing attack of RBs Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal to factor more into the plan.

USC was a tough team to figure, although generally they were overrated when it comes to Vegas. The Trojans covered just three of their 12 games this season. And, based upon weather, their use of a backup QB and the general feeling that they don't really want to be in El Paso for this game, they could very well be on their way to a 3-10 ATS mark. Some of the players took to Twitter after their postseason destination was announced, ranking on El Paso. And, upon arriving, at least one player was chided for posting less-than-complimentary comments about the city on Twitter. We've seen in the past that teams unhappy with their destination tend to be sluggish and unenthusiastic.

The Trojans return to El Paso for the third time, and first since 1998 when they were happy and proud to appear in the game.

For Georgia Tech, they're just happy to be anywhere for the holiday. They received a special waiver from the NCAA to allow them to play in a bowl game despite a sub-.500 overall record. They were the surprise Coastal Division representatives in the ACC Championship Game, just getting edged out by Florida State for an unlikely crack at a BCS Bowl. Upon losing, they slipped below .500, but won their appeal and are glad to be in El Paso.

Head coach Paul Johnson and his team have said and done all of the right things leading up to this game, and they felt slighted and disrespected when USC failed to show up to the Sheriff's Posse Dinner on time, leading Johnson to take his team and leave after waiting on head coach Lane Kiffin and the Trojans for over 90 minutes. While USC said a practice injury led to the delay, and claimed bowl officials were notified, Johnson and the Yellow Jackets were clearly miffed by the disrepect, ratcheting up the interest a bit when these teams finally take to the gridiron.

The Yellow Jackets are making a second straight appearance in El Paso, losing last season to Utah in overtime by a 30-27 score. While Georgia Tech has lost seven straight bowl appearances, they are making a 16th straight appearance in the postseason. They get RB Orwin Smith (ankle) back after a two-game absence. He is the team's leading rusher, and will team with QB Tevin Washington to give the USC defense fits against the triple option attack. As mentioned, the winds will be whipping in El Paso Monday, but the Yellow Jackets rarely put air under the ball, so the weather conditions might favor Ga. Tech.

Georgia Tech heads into this game 4-1 ATS in their past five games, including the ACC Championship Game, but they are 0-5 ATS in their past five bowl appearances and 2-5 ATS in their past seven neutral-site battles. The over is 5-2 in Ga. Tech's past seven non-conference contests, and 4-0 on turf. USC is 4-0 ATS in their past four bowl games, and 4-1 ATS in their past five neutral-site affairs. However, they are just 1-4 ATS in their past five games, and 2-5 ATS in their past seven non-conference outings, and we mentioned their 3-9 ATS mark overall on the season. As far as the total, the over is 5-1 in USC's past six bowl games and 6-1 ATS in their past seven neutral-site games. The under is 7-2 in their past nine non-conference tilts, though, and 4-1 in their past five against ACC opponents. Plus, the under is 13-6-1 in USC's past 20 games against a team with a losing record.

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Music City Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt (-7, 52)


FRANKLIN AMERICAN MORTGAGE MUSIC CITY BOWL STORYLINES


1. North Carolina State boasts one of the top passing offenses in the nation, ranking 20th nationally with 304 passing yards per game, while Vanderbilt ranks 10th in the nation against the pass (175.8).

2. With six straight wins, Vanderbilt is riding its longest winning streak since 1955 and trying to match the program's single-season record of nine victories set in 1904 and tied in 1915. The Commodores' last bowl victory was a 16-14 win against Boston College in the 2008 Music City Bowl.

3. Offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Dana Bible will serve as N.C. State's acting coach. The Wolfpack hired Dave Doeren away from BCS-bound Northern Illinois, but Doeren will be a spectator on New Year's Eve.


LINE: Vandy opened as a 5.5-point favorite at some offshores and is now a touchdown fave at most shops.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-40s with a 30 percent chance of showers. Winds will blow out of the south at 5 mph.

TRENDS:

* Wolfpack are 4-0-1 ATS in their last five bowl games.
* Commodores are 5-0 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Over is 8-2 in Commodores’ last 10 games following a win.
* Under is 5-2 in Wolfpack’s last seven games overall.

ABOUT N.C. STATE (7-5, 4-4 ACC): The Wolfpack are one of only 12 schools from BCS automatic-qualifying conferences who have won bowl games each of the past two years. N.C. State's ability to extend that streak likely depends on which defense shows up - the one that allowed 33 or more points five times, including 62 against Clemson, or the one that shut down high-powered Florida State. Quarterback Mike Glennon (3,648 pass yards, 30 touchdowns, 14 interceptions) leads the offense, and while the run game hasn't consistently produced, freshman Shadrach Thornton rushed for 329 of his 655 yards in the final three games of the regular season.

ABOUT VANDERBILT (8-4, 5-3 SEC): The Commodores enjoyed their best regular-season in nearly three decades on the strength of a stout defense that ranked 17th in total yards allowed (326.4) and 15th in scoring (18.2). The offense is unremarkable but steady and balanced, with running back Zac Stacy (1,034 yards, nine touchdowns) leading the ground game and Jordan Rodgers (2,431 pass yards, 13 touchdowns, five interceptions) and Jordan Matthews (87 catches, 1,262 yards, seven touchdowns) providing a prolific passing connection.

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Sun Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

USC vs. Georgia Tech (7.5, 64)


HYUNDAI SUN BOWL STORYLINES


1. USC coach Lane Kiffin on Thursday said senior quarterback Matt Barkley will not play because of a sprained shoulder he suffered Nov. 17 against UCLA. Barkley missed the Trojans’ 22-13 loss to Notre Dame the following week. Barkley passed for 3,273 yards and 15 touchdowns, but also threw a career-high 14 interceptions. Freshman Max Wittek, who made his first career start against Notre Dame, will replace Barkley.

2. Georgia Tech obtained an NCAA waiver to play in a bowl game with a losing record. But aside from a blowout loss at Georgia on Nov. 24, the Yellow Jackets were impressive down the stretch, scoring 68 points in a victory at North Carolina and nearly upsetting Florida State for the ACC title. In that game, Georgia Tech shut out the Seminoles in the second half.

3. Both teams have been brutal defensively and are looking for defensive coordinators. USC’s Monte Kiffin will resign after this game. The Trojans, who give up an average of 24.6 points, lost consecutive games to Arizona and Oregon despite scoring a combined 87 points. The Ducks shredded Kiffin’s defense for 62 points and 730 yards. Georgia Tech fired Al Groh after a 2-4 start, and secondary coach Charles Kelly serves as interim DC. Tech gave up at least 40 points six times, and averaged 29.9 points allowed.

LINE: USC opened as high as 10-point favorites but has since been bet down to -7.5.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-40s with a 25 percent chance of rain. Winds will be strong out of the WSW at 22 mph.

TRENDS:

* Trojans are 4-0 ATS in their last four bowl games.
* Yellow Jackets are 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
* Under is 6-0 in Trojans’ last six games in December.
* Yellow Jackets are 0-5 ATS in their last five Bowl games.

ABOUT USC (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12): The Trojans make their third Sun Bowl appearance, first since losing to TCU in 1998. USC entered the season ranked No. 1 and started 6-1 before a 1-4 collapse ruined its BCS hopes. USC ranks 37th nationally in scoring (34.2) and boasts perhaps the nation’s finest collection of skill players: incomparable sophomore wide receiver Marqise Lee (112 catches, 1,680 yards, 14 touchdowns), wide receiver  Robert Woods (73 catches, 813 yards, 11 TDs), running back Silas Redd (817 rushing yards, nine TDs) and running back Curtis McNeal (696 yards, two TDs, 6.2 yards per carry). The Trojans have won two of three meetings with the Yellow Jackets, but they haven’t met since 1973.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH (6-7, 5-3 ACC): The Yellow Jackets lost 30-27 in overtime to Utah in last year’s Sun Bowl, their seventh straight bowl defeat. Georgia Tech is making its 16th straight bowl appearance, the fourth-longest active streak. With their triple option attack, the Jackets rank fourth nationally in rushing (312.5) and have run for more yards than any FBS team since 2008. Senior quarterback Tevin Washington, operating behind a line led by All-ACC guard Omoregie Uzzi, ran for 19 touchdowns this season. His 37 career rushing touchdows are the most in ACC history by a quarterback. Redshirt freshman quarterback Vad Lee, who has a stronger arm, has been rotating with Washington the second half of the season. The offense should get a boost with the expected return of senior A-back Orwin Smith (career 9.4 yards per carry), who missed the last two games with an ankle injury. Sophomore kick returner Jamal Golden could be an X-factor - he ranks ninth nationally with 29 yards per return and took two back for scores.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Monday 12/31

Liberty Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

Iowa State vs. Tulsa (1, 51)


AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL STORYLINES


1. Tulsa and Iowa State will end their seasons the same way they began four months ago - playing each other. The Cyclones beat Tulsa 38-23 in the season opener on Sept. 1 behind three touchdowns from senior quarterback Steele Jantz. It is the second time the Golden Hurricanes are playing a rematch this season. Tulsa beat Central Florida twice in a two-week span, including the Conference USA title game, to earn the bowl berth.

2. The Cyclones used three starting quarterbacks this season and redshirt freshman Sam Richardson will likely start the Liberty Bowl. Richardson came off the bench to throw four touchdowns in the 51-23 victory against Kansas in Week 12 that gave Iowa State its sixth win. Jantz and sophomore Jared Barnett combined for 19 touchdowns and 15 interceptions.

3. Tulsa is ranked 11th in the country in rushing, averaging 240.2 yards. Most of the yardage is divided up between juniors Trey Watts and Ja'Terian Douglas and senior Alex Singleton, although Singleton has scored 21 of the team's 37 rushing touchdowns. Watts and Douglas average six yards per carry.

LINE: This game opened as a pick at some shops and now Iowa State is a 1.5-point favorite at some offshores.

WEATHER: Forecasts are calling for temperatures in the low-40s with a 75 percent of rain. Winds will blow out of the south at 5 mph.

TRENDS:

* Under is 3-0-1 in Cyclones’ last four Bowl games.
* Under is 5-1 in Tulsa’s last six Bowl games.
* Tulsa is 4-1 ATS in its last five games overall.
* Cyclones are 0-3-1 ATS in their last four vs. a team with a winning record.

ABOUT IOWA STATE (6-6, 3-6 Big 12): Richardson didn't attempt a pass until the Kansas game and is 36-of-80 for 412 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in less than two full games. Richardson rushed for 119 yards in a 31-24 loss to West Virginia in the regular-season finale. That was the Cyclones' second 100-yard performance of the season. Junior Shontrelle Johnson picked up the other with 120 yards against Tulsa. Johnson leads the team with 504 rushing yards and two touchdowns and James White adds 469 yards and two scores. All-Big 12 linebacker A.J. Klein (98 tackles) leads the Cyclones' defense that is allowing 23.2 points. The Cyclones have forced 25 turnovers, including Durrell Givens' FBS-leading six fumble recoveries.

ABOUT TULSA (10-3, 7-1 C-USA):
The Hurricane are looking for the second 11-win season in school history. Watts had a 54-yard punt return that tied the C-USA title game in the fourth quarter and Singleton scored the winner with a 1-yard plunge in the 33-27 overtime victory. Watts, named the championship game's MVP after a 134-yard performance, leads the team with 959 yards on 161 carries. He rushed for 125 yards against Iowa State in the season opener. Junior quarterback Cody Green went 217-of-396 for 2,499 yards, 17 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Sophomore Keyarris Garrett (64 catches, 826 yards, nine touchdowns) is his favorite target. The Hurricane allow 24.2 points and 353.9 yards.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Monday 12/31

Chick-fil-A Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know
By Covers.com

LSU vs. Clemson (6, 58.5)


CHICK-FIL-A BOWL STORYLINES


1. The third all-time meeting between No. 7 LSU and No. 13 Clemson on New Year’s Eve in the Georgia Dome will be the first between 10-win teams in Chick-fil-A Bowl history. LSU and Clemson last met in the Peach Bowl in 1996, which was later retitled the Chick-fil-A Bowl. LSU won 10-7.

2. Clemson will bring the nation’s 13th-ranked passing offense to Atlanta. The Tigers are led by junior quarterback Tajh Boyd, who has thrown for 3,550 yards and 34 touchdowns and rushed for another 492 yards and nine scores. He’ll face a tough test against LSU, which ranks 20th in the nation in pass defense.

3. Every team in the SEC had a running back who totaled more yards this season than LSU’s leading rusher, but the Tigers still managed to finish fifth in the conference in team rushing. Jeremy Hill led the way with 631 yards and 10 touchdowns, with Spencer Ware, Michael Ford and Kenny Hilliard combining for 1,207 rushing yards and 10 scores.

LINE: LSU opened as 3.5-point favorites at some offshores and could be a touchdown favorite by kick-off Monday.

TRENDS:

* Clemson is 1-6 ATS in its last seven bowl games.
* LSU is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four December games.
* Over is 4-1 in LSU’s last five neutral site games.
* Under is 6-1 in Clemson’s last seven vs. SEC foes.

ABOUT LSU (10-2, 6-2 SEC): Zach Mettenberger hasn’t played to the expectations many envisioned when the Tigers opened the season ranked No. 1 in the USA Today coaches’ poll. Mettenberger, a third-stringer at LSU last season after beginning his college career at Georgia, finished the regular season with 2,489 passing yards and 11 touchdowns, leaving the Tigers 11th in the SEC in passing offense. LSU coach Les Miles has remained firmly committed to Mettenberger as no other player has attempted a pass this season.

ABOUT CLEMSON (10-2, 7-1 ACC): Boyd has had an assortment of targets to choose from this season. DeAndre Hopkins has been atop the pecking order, hauling in 69 passes for 1,214 yards and 16 touchdowns. If Hopkins is covered, Boyd usually looks to his other starting receiver, Sammy Watkins, who has caught 57 passes for 708 yards and three touchdowns, or tight end Brandon Ford, who is third on the team with 31 catches for 411 yards and eight touchdowns. The team’s fifth-leading receiver, Martavis Bryant, is suspended from the bowl game for academic reasons.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Monday 12/31

Where the action is: New Year's Eve Bowl Games
By Covers.com

There are four bowl games for bettors to choose from New Year’s Eve. We talk with online sportsbook BetDSI.eu about the biggest line moves on the board.

Music City Bowl

North Carolina State vs. Vanderbilt (-7, 51.5)


Public action set the tone in this game and it currently sits at a 2-to-1 bet count and 2-to-1 money position. Some respected money did back NC State at the +7.5 number giving it a slight nudge to 7, but the line has held pretty steady to this point. If late public wagering backs Vandy, then it’s possible that value could get back to where it opened.

Sun Bowl

Southern California vs. Georgia Tech (7.5, 64)


The side on this matchup has not attracted a lot of betting action and the line availability has been on and off due to injury reports. The current betting position on this game is at 3-to-1 in both wager count and money wagered in favor of the Trojans. Those counts were built on the strength of solely public action. Sharp money did chime in early on the total at under 66, creating the 2-point move to 64.

Liberty Bowl

Iowa State vs. Tulsa  (1, 51)


Sharp money did back Iowa State at PK pushing the value to -1. However, that did get some respected money buying back Tulsa at the +1 value and creating two-sided action on this game.

Chick fil-A Bowl

Louisiana State vs. Clemson (5, 58.5)


This will be a game to watch as it has become a perfect storm from a betting point of view. It is currently a lopsided affair with both sharp and public money backing LSU. Sharp money came in early at the 3.5 to 4 line values and has been bolstered by the public money piling on at the 4 and 4.5 values pushing the current line to LSU -5. The bet count is currently 5-to-1 in favor of LSU and showing no signs of slowing down. The money wagered is currently a staggering 8-to-1 in favor of LSU. This line could possibly see some more movement late.

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