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College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

LOUISVILLE (10 - 2) vs. FLORIDA (11 - 1)

There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.

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

Louisville is 10-2 SU in its last 12 games
Louisville is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Florida is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Florida is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games

Louisville vs. Florida
Louisville: 8-1 ATS after losing 2 of their last 3 games
Florida: 22-10 Over off a road win by 10+ points

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

Sugar Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know

Louisville Cardinals vs. Florida Gators (-14, 45.5)


1. No. 4 Florida looks to cap a near-perfect season with its fifth consecutive bowl victory as it faces No. 18 Louisville in the Sugar Bowl. This will be the seventh time the Gators have played in a BCS bowl - the highest number of BCS appearances among SEC teams and tied for third-best in the nation. With a win, Florida's all-time BCS bowl win total would increase to five, giving it the highest total in the history of the BCS.

2. The Cardinals edged out Rutgers in the Big East title game on a late field goal by freshman John Wallace to secure their first appearance in the Sugar Bowl and the second BCS appearance in school history. With an upset over Florida, Louisville will reach 11 wins for the first time since 2006 and will move to 2-0 all-time in BCS bowls.

3. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and Florida running back Mike Gillislee figure to be focal points in a matchup that features a stifling Gator defense on one side and its Cardinal counterpart that struggled against the run. Bridgewater led the Big East with a 161.6 passer rating that ranked seventh in the nation, tossing for 3,452 yards and 25 touchdowns. Florida ranked fifth in the nation in total defense and limited opponents to an average of just over 186 yards per game through the air. Gillislee averaged 92 yards on the ground and had 10 touchdowns for Florida, which ranked third in the SEC in rushing offense, while only Temple (199.4 yards per game) allowed a higher rushing average than Louisville (151.1) among Big East schools.

LINE: Florida opened at -15 and was bet up to -15.5 before coming down as low as -13.5. The total has stayed steady at 45.5.


* Cardinals are 35-17 ATS in their last 52 non-conference games.
* Gators are 22-9 ATS in their last 31 non-conference games.
* Over is 4-1 in Cardinals last five bowl games.
* Over is 5-2 in Gators last seven bowl games.

ABOUT LOUISVILLE (10-2, 5-2 Big East, 5-7 ATS): The Cardinals were 10-game winners for the fifth time in school history and on each of the previous four occasions, they have gone on to win their bowl game. They stand a chance against the Gators, if for no other reason than the fact that Florida had legitimate scares against the likes of Bowling Green, Missouri and Louisiana-Lafayette this season. The Cardinals led the Big East, averaging 31 points per game but obviously face a stiff test against the Gators' defense. Running back Jeremy Wright, who took over when Senorise Perry was lost for the season, managed only 89 yards in Louisville's final three games. The Cardinals will hope for a turnaround, and establishing a semblance of a run game would go along way toward opening things up for Bridgewater under center.

ABOUT FLORIDA (11-1, 7-1 SEC, 7-5 ATS): The Gators played six games this season decided by one score and prevailed in all but one. In their win over Florida State, the defense was the difference, forcing a season-high five turnovers in a 37-26 final. Florida led the SEC in turnover margin, tied with Mississippi State at plus-17, ranking fifth in the nation. If the Gators force trouble for Louisville, the odds are decidedly in their favor. Florida, which committed only 12 turnovers this season, was plus-20 in 11 wins and minus-3 in a 17-9 loss to Georgia. In a tight game, the Gators have a big weapon in kicker Caleb Sturgis, whose 23 field goals ranked fourth among FBS kickers.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

Florida vs. Louisville
By Brian Edwards

After a pair of disappointing seasons for Florida football, Year 2 of the Will Muschamp Era was a crucial one. As a Gator fan and alum, we always have sky-high expectations, but back-to-back clunker campaigns had humbled the goals for 2012 to some extent.

Put differently, if I could have staked claim to a 9-3 record in August, I would’ve taken it with very little hesitation. But the Gators exceeded expectations and then some in rolling to an 11-1 straight-up record with the only loss coming to Georgia by a 17-9 count in Jacksonville.

No team in America can display as many quality wins as Florida can. The Gators went on the road and won by double-digit margins against Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Also, they beat Texas A&M in College Station.

UF also won in convincing fashion over arch-rival Florida St. at Doak Campbell Stadium. It wasn’t always sexy. Certainly there were games when Muschamp reigned in offensive coordinator Brent Pease and made games ugly with conservative play-calling and a reliance on one of the nation’s premier defenses.

The 2012 Gators announced themselves as contenders by beating LSU at its own game. They played defense and wore down the Tigers with a steady between-the-tackles ground game led by senior running back Mike Gillislee. The result was a 14-6 win. Two weeks later, UF pounded a South Carolina squad that finished 11-2 by a 44-11 count.

The only blemish came against UGA when UF committed an uncharacteristic six turnovers. Still, if Southern Cal had upset Notre Dame in the regular-season finale, Florida would be facing Alabama in the BCS Championship Game.

Instead, Muschamp’s bunch will face unranked Louisville, the Big East champion, on Jan. 2 at the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Most books are listing Florida (11-1 straight up, 7-5 against the spread) as a 14-point favorite with a total of 47. Gamblers can U of L to win outright for a plus-450 payout (risk $100 to win $450).

Florida has been a double-digit favorite five times this year, limping to an abysmal 1-4 spread record. Under Muschamp, UF is 4-6 as a double-digit ‘chalk.’

The Gators are ranked third in the nation in scoring defense, giving up only 12.9 points per game. They are a unit that’s fifth overall in total defense and is led by All-American junior safety Matt Elam, who had a team-high four interceptions and had a crucial forced fumble in the win over LSU.

The defensive line is filled with future NFL players like Dominique Easley, Omar Hunter and Sharrif Floyd. Unfortunately for UF, it will be without starting linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who broke his foot against FSU.

Florida doesn’t get a lot of big plays out of the passing game, but it runs the ball for nearly 200 yards per game. Gillislee rushed for 1,104 yards and 10 touchdowns with a 4.7 yards-per-carry average.

UF sophomore quarterback Jeff Driskel is also a threat with his scrambling. Driskel ran for 404 yards and four TDs. To his credit, Driskel has taken care of the football with the exception of the UGA game. He has completed 64.7 percent of his throws for 1,465 yards with an 11/3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Outside of Driskel and Gillislee, UF has two main weapons that need touches. Jordan Reed, a junior tight end, has a team-high 44 receptions for 552 yards and three TDs. Trey Burton has a package of plays from out of the Wildcat formation and he is also used at FB, RB, TE and WR. Burton has produced 367 all-purpose yards with two rushing TDs and one TD catch.

Louisville (10-2 SU, 5-7 ATS) raced out to a 9-0 record, only to drop two straight before winning the conference title thanks to a 20-17 win at Rutgers in the regular-season finale. The Cardinals won outright as three-point underdogs.

Teddy Bridgewater overcame a broken bone in his non-throwing wrist and a sprained ankle to play out of shotgun-only formations. The results were outstanding, as Bridgewater connected on 20-of-28 passes for 263 yards and two third-quarter scoring strikes in a 16-second span.

RU had led U of L by a 14-3 score at intermission.

Charlie Strong’s team suffered its first loss the Carrier Dome on Nov. 10 when Syracuse smashed the Cards in a 45-26 win as a one-point home underdog. Bridgewater threw for 426 yards and three TDs but it wasn’t nearly enough against the Orange, who led 38-13 early in the third quarter.

Following an open date, U of L was in a classic look-ahead situation at home against UConn with the showdown vs. Rutgers looming the next Thursday. The Huskies took advantage and won a 23-20 decision over Louisville in overtime as 10-point underdogs. Bridgewater suffered the wrist injury in the third quarter and missed several series, only to return and help get the game to OT.

For the season, Bridgewater is completing 69 percent of his passes for 3,452 yards and a 25/7 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He doesn’t scramble much, but the Miami Jackson High School product is athletic and elusive and is dangerous looking downfield when he escapes the pocket.

Louisville is ranked 50th in America in scoring offense with a 31.0 points-per-game average. The Cards are 36th in scoring defense, surrendering 23.8 PPG.

During Charlie Strong’s three-year tenure, Louisville has thrived in 14 underdog situations, compiling a 10-4 spread record with five outright victories. The Cardinals are 4-0 versus the number as double-digit underdogs.

The ‘over’ is 6-5 overall for the Cards, although they saw back-to-back ‘overs’ their last two times out. The ‘under’ is 7-4 overall for UF, cashing in three straight before the win over the ‘Noles saw the ‘over’ emerge.

These schools haven’t met since 1992 when Howard Schnellenberger brought U of L into The Swamp. I was there that afternoon as the Gators captured a 31-17 win as 14-point home favorites.

In Wednesday’s rematch at the Superdome in the Big Easy, we have the same spread. Louisville is hoping for a different result.

ESPN will provide television coverage at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

Sugar Bowl Betting Preview
By Alatex Sports

Louisville vs. Florida
CRIS Opener: Florida -13.5 O/U 45.5
CRIS Current: Florida -14 O/U 45.5
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Florida -13

One of the keys to winning the early season bowls, which involve teams with three, four, five or even six losses, is to figure out what the motivation, if any, of the participants. As the calendar flips to the New Year, however, the more prestigious bowls generally have two teams that are happy to be there, and motivation is not as much of an issue. There are exceptions of course, such as Alabama losing in the Sugar Bowl to Utah a few years ago, but for the most part, both teams show up to play on New Year’s Day. That appears to be the case with these teams, as Louisville will unquestionably be enthused to play an SEC foe in the Sugar Bowl. On the other hand, Florida has been saying the right things and has no reason to be let down. However, a two loss Big East opponent may have them overconfident and not as focused as they should be, something that the Florida coaching staff has been working on.

On paper, Florida’s big edge is on defense. Despite playing in the rugged SEC, the Gators allowed just 14 ppg on the year and only Florida State topped 20 points in a game against them. They were very tough to run or throw on, allowing just 3.96 yard per rush and 4.63 yards per pass play. No team topped 200 yards rushing or 250 yards passing in a game against the Florida defense. Louisville had a much weaker schedule, but their defense came nowhere close to matching the Gators’ numbers. Louisville was torched for 5.36 ypc on the ground and allowed a respectable 5.77 yppp. They allowed five opponents to gain over 200 yards on the ground against them and four different teams put up 30 points or more. Clearly, they must come up with one of their better efforts on defense to have a chance at a victory in New Orleans.

Where Louisville excelled this year was throwing the football, as quarterback Teddy Bridgewater put together a solid season. Louisville averaged 7.73 yards per pass play and had at least 297 yards passing in its last five games. They were decent on the ground for most of the year, but had just 191 yards in their last three games which dropped their season average to 4.40 ypc. Florida was the opposite of Louisville; effective running the ball and terrible through the air. The Gators ran for 5.69 ypc and threw for just 4.86 yppp. If somehow Louisville can stack the line of scrimmage and stop the Gators on the ground, they will have a chance. Let’s not forget that despite the good rushing numbers, Florida had trouble scoring points in several games this year. They managed just 23 against Jacksonville State, 27 against UL-Lafayette, 14 against Missouri and 9 against Georgia.

Don’t expect to see multiple 80-yard scoring drives in this one. Florida is the better team, but Louisville is no slouch and capable of winning outright if Florida sleepwalks through the game. More than likely, the Gators will be solid on defense, choppy on offense and will force a turnover or two to help them win a close, low scoring game.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Wednesday January, 2

Sugar Bowl

Louisville covered seven of last eight games as an underdog; overall, they are 9-5 vs spread as dogs under Strong. Florida won/covered its last four bowls, all as favorites; they won 51-24 over Cincinnati (-12.5) in Sugar game three years ago. After a great September, Gators struggled later in year, before winning 37-26 (+7) at Florida State; they're 3-4 vs spread as a favorite this year, but also covered 16 of last 22 as road faves. Cards' best wins this year were Cincy/Rutgers, both by FG- they lost in OT to UConn and lost 45-26 at Syracuse. Since 2003, SEC teams are 5-3 in this game, 3-3 when favored; favorites covered Louisville's last four bowls; Cardinals are 3-2 in last five, 0-2 vs spread as an underdog. Average total in last seven Sugar Bowls is 57.4; domed stadium, no weather worries. Underdogs are 3-0 in Big East bowl games this season; SEC clubs are 3-2 in bowls so far. Under is 17-12 in bowls this season, favorites are 13-15 against the spread.

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