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College Football Betting News and Notes Friday January, 4

College Football Betting News and Notes Friday January, 4

TEXAS A&M (10 - 2) vs. OKLAHOMA (10 - 2)

Top Trends for this game.
TEXAS A&M is 5-19 ATS (-15.9 Units) in road games after a bye week since 1992.

Head-to-Head Series History
OKLAHOMA is 1-1 against the spread versus TEXAS A&M over the last 3 seasons
OKLAHOMA is 1-1 straight up against TEXAS A&M over the last 3 seasons
2 of 2 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

Texas A&M is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
Texas A&M is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma
Oklahoma is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Oklahoma's last 5 games

Texas AM vs. Oklahoma
Texas A&M: 2-14 ATS away off BB games with combined scores of 60+ points
Oklahoma: 11-2 Over with a total of 70+ points

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Friday January, 4

Cotton Bowl Preview
By Christian Alexander

Matchup: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
Venue: Cowboy Stadium, Arlington, TX
Date: Tuesday, January 4, 2013
Time/TV: 8:00 pm. ET – FOX
Line: Texas A&M -3½, Over/Under 72
Last Meeting: 2011, Oklahoma 41 Texas A&M 25

Simply put, this is the biggest game of the year for Texas A&M and its fan base.  Sounds crazy right?

Well, it’s not entirely crazy.  Here’s why:

This was the year that Texas A&M moved on to the SEC and put the 15 years of the Big 12 and its 54% conference winning percentage behind them.  This was its fresh start, and did it ever take advantage of it.

Texas A&M went 10-2 in their inaugural season in the SEC including knocking off the defending National Champion and current SEC Champion Alabama; in Bryant Denny stadium no less.  Go ahead and throw in the first freshman Heisman Trophy winner ever and any Aggie in the country would have signed off on that before the season started.  Hell, 99% of the country would have signed off on that for their alma mater before the season started.  And in any other year, for any other school, that would be more than enough.  The problem is, this isn’t any other year and this isn’t any other school.

Now the Aggies find themselves less than one year after leaving the Big 12 on the heels of their best season in decades facing a team and a coach that owned them for over a decade in the conference they wanted so badly to get away from in the first place.  Bob Stoops was 11-2 against the Aggies after he took over at Oklahoma.

This is about pride; this is about revenge on a team and a conference that use to feast on you for the better part of 15 years.  Texas A&M is like the little brother that left the family business to go out on his own and prove to his family and everyone else for that matter that he could succeed on his own.       

Beating OU in the Cotton Bowl would do just that.  It would send a message to the Big 12 that they are not only fine on their own; they are even more successful…at least for now.  It would be the perfect ending to the near perfect season for Texas A&M.

However, a loss to OU in a bowl game so soon after leaving the Big 12 and on the heels of such a successful season would be absolutely devastating to the Aggie alumni; and anyone that tells you differently is either lying or doesn’t understand the true ramifications behind this game.  Like I said…this is the most important game of the season for Texas A&M.

It’s also a big game for each conference.  Make no mistake, the SEC is still king of the hill winning six national championships in a row, and going for seven in a row three days after the Cotton Bowl.  But according to Jeff Sagarin, who has provided ratings for USA TODAY Sports since 1985 the Big 12 was the top rated conference in the NCAA this year overall.

In fact, the SEC was extremely top-heavy this year and was bad to awful from the middle of the conference down.  Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, Missouri went a combined 19-41 for the season and Mississippi, Mississippi State and Vanderbilt weren’t much better at 22-14.  In fact, those eight teams finished a combined 0-30 against the other six SEC teams.  The SEC actually couldn’t fill their bowl obligations this year because not enough teams were bowl eligible. 

As for the Big 12, other than Kansas, every other team went bowling, with Iowa State (6-6) the only team with less than seven wins.  However, the Big 12 has lost 8 of the last 9 Cotton Bowl games to the SEC with its sole win coming in 2008 when Missouri (who is now part of the SEC) beat Arkansas 38-7.

From the coaching side of things, it’s also a game which features Kevin Sumlin facing his old mentor Bob Stoops where he was a member of Stoops' staff from 2003-07 prior to leaving to become Houston's head coach.  Sumlin will also be without offensive coordinator Kliff Kingsbury who left to take the Texas Tech head coaching job.  It might not sound like much, but you take the offensive coordinator away from the Heisman trophy winner, any Heisman trophy winner, and that’s a huge impact.

Kingsbury was behind a Texas A&M offense that was third in the country in yards per game (552.3) and scoring average (44.8), while Oklahoma was not far behind on offense with averages of 505.9 yards per game and 40.3 points per game.

OU is led by senior quarterback Landry Jones, who is the Sooners' career leader in passing yards, TD passes, wins, completions and attempts and he is the first FBS quarterback to throw for at least 3,000 yards and 26 touchdowns in four seasons.

The Aggies are of course led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel who simply passed for 3,419 yards and 24 touchdowns while running for 1,181 yards and 19 TD’s as a freshman.  He is also the first freshman, first SEC player and fifth player overall to throw for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 in a season. Not a bad start to a career.

How does Johnny Manzeil’s Heisman factor into this game?  Probably not at all to be quite honest, but Heisman winners in bowl games went 2-7 from 2000 to 2009, the only two winners both played at USC.  Carson Palmer beat Iowa in 2002 and two years later Matt Leinart beat OU; both in the Orange Bowl. However the last three Heisman winners (Ingram, Newton and RGIII) all went on to win their bowl games, including two straight National Championships for Ingram and Newton.   

Oklahoma is 27-17-1 in bowl games and will be trying to match a school record with a fourth straight bowl win.  The Aggies are 14-19 in bowl games overall and Texas A&M is in the Cotton Bowl for the 13th time. They lost 41-24 to LSU following the 2010 season for their sixth straight Cotton Bowl loss.  This of course means absolutely nothing in my opinion.

Of the 35 bowl games that will be played this year the BCS Championship has the most at stake, and some would argue that the Fiesta Bowl between Oregon and Kansas State might be the most intriguing; but none will be more entertaining or have more subplots than the Cotton Bowl.

These two teams lost four game combined this season to teams currently ranked 1st, 3rd, 5th, and 8th in the BCS.  While I’m looking forward to watching Notre Dame and Alabama play grind it out, smash-mouth football for all the marbles, for my money, this is the game that I think will provide the most entertainment of all the major bowl games this year.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Friday January, 4

Cotton Bowl Betting Preview
By Alf Musketa

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma
CRIS Opener: Texas A&M -3.5 O/U 72
CRIS Current: Texas A&M -3.5 O/U 72
Rob Veno's Power Rating: Texas A&M -3.5

The Cotton Bowl will feature Oklahoma versus Texas A&M and at the start of the season the odds of one selecting these two teams for this game had to be 1000-1. Sure, Oklahoma was touted by many as a potential BCS Championship team, but to envision A&M in this bowl contest? Not a chance. Especially since they made the huge step up in class from the Big XII to the SEC.

Texas A&M is coming off a 7-6 2011 season where they lost nine starters including their stud quarterback Ryan Tannehill who was the 8th pick in the NFL draft. Also during last season Texas A&M amassed an impressive 11-game double-digit lead at the half, but only held on to win seven of those contests. So how did this team turn into a SEC winning machine that knocked off No. 1 ranked Alabama? It started with hiring a new coach. In came Kevin Sumlin who worked his magic at Houston and had a prolific quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate in Casey Keenum. Interestingly, prior to Sumlin coaching at Houston he was the co-offensive coordinator at Oklahoma for five years so he obviously would want nothing more than to beat his former colleagues. Next, Sumlin was blessed to find a quarterback that became a duel threat and went on to become the first freshman ever to win the Heisman Trophy. Johnny Manziel can do it all, but we must take note that four of the five offensive linemen that made Tannehill an NFL starter returned and now two of those linemen, both tackles, are considered potential first and second round draft picks. The defense was able to stop the run due to a stellar linebacking unit and they held on to wins in the second half. A&M's two losses were to Florida by three, which was their first game of the season, and first ever SEC game. The other was by five points versus LSU; a game where the Aggies had five turnovers. This team is still vastly underrated in my opinion. The question is how do they match up against the Sooners?

Oklahoma views this game as a rematch versus their old Big XII rivals – a rivalry that they dominated 11-5 but just 7-9 against the spread. The Sooners have the experience factor; they are playing in their 14th straight bowl game all under Bob Stoops. They have won eight of their last nine bowl games including three in a row. Oklahoma will key on Manziel, but this is where I believe they will have problems. The Sooners defense has been underachieving all season long. They give up a whopping 4.8 yards per carry and A&M has a strong trio of running backs – Ben Malena (752 yards), Trey Williams (5.7 ypc), and senior Christine Michael (12 TDs). Oklahoma had its own Heisman hopeful, quarterback Landry Jones, who was the second pre-season choice behind USC's Matt Barkley. Jones is a four-year starter who has produced 16,368 yards passing and 122 touchdowns. "Johnny Football" has a long way to go to match those numbers but he does have the Heisman, something Jones was projected to win the last two seasons and something the Sooners will use as motivation.

There is a popular go against the Heisman Trophy winner trend that most handicappers are aware of. In the past 37 years if you bet against the team with the Heisman Trophy winner present, you went 25-11-1 against the spread. However, over the last three years with Heisman winners Robert Griffin III, Cam Newton and Mark Ingram the trend is 0-3 ATS. This game is held at Cowboy Stadium, where the Sooners have already played two games and could have a tactical field advantage, but the Aggies from Texas will be well supported and considered the home team.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Friday January, 4

Cotton Bowl: What Bettors Need to Know

Texas A&M Aggies vs. Oklahoma Sooners (+3, 73.5)


1. Former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M are set to square off in the Cotton Bowl, which features the added attraction of Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel. The freshman quarterback accounted for 4,600 yards and 43 touchdowns and led the Aggies to a 10-2 record in their first season in the SEC.

2. Oklahoma has dominated the series against Texas A&M in recent years, with the Sooners going 11-2 under coach Bob Stoops, including wins in eight of the last nine meetings.

3. Texas A&M’s first 10-win season since 1998 was highlighted by a 29-24 victory over then-No. 1 Alabama on No. 10, while the Sooners’ two losses came by a combined eight points against opponents with a combined 21-3 record.

LINE: Texas A&M opened as a 3-point favorite and was bet up to as high as -4.5 before money on OU brought the spread back to -3. The total has moved from 71.5 to 73.5.


* Home team is 13-3 ATS in their last 16 meetings. Aggies are the Texas team in this matchup at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in their last five meetings.
* Aggies are 1-4 ATS in their last five meetings.

ABOUT TEXAS A&M (10-2, 6-2 SEC, 7-5 ATS): This figures to be a high-scoring contest with the Aggies ranked third in the country in scoring at 44.8 points per game and Oklahoma tied for 12th at 40.2 points. Both teams are riding five-game winning streaks, with the Aggies’ only losses coming to Florida and LSU. Manziel is a true duel threat for the Aggies, who are 7-0 when he rushes for more than 100 yards. Texas A&M ranks 13th in the country in rushing offense at 235.1 yards per game, and the Aggies will look to establish their ground game behind offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who received the Outland Award as the nation’s top interior lineman. Texas A&M allowed only 22.5 points per game, led by defensive end Damontre Moore's 12.5 sacks. The Aggies’ return game has been solid, but kicker Taylor Bertolet only made 13 of his 22 field goal attempts.

ABOUT OKLAHOMA (10-2, 8-1 Big 12, 6-6 ATS): Senior quarterback Landry Jones, who ranks fifth in the nation with 332.4 passing yards per game, is 3-0 in bowl games heading into his 50th and final career start. The Sooners scored 125 points in their last three games, and their offensive line allowed only six sacks in nine Big 12 contests. Wide receiver Kenny Stills has a team-high 11 touchdown receptions and junior Damien Williams led the ground attack with 902 yards rushing and 12 touchdowns. The Sooners boast the Big 12’s top pass defense, and safety Tony Jefferson led the team with 113 tackles. Oklahoma has forced 14 turnovers in the last nine games, with 11 coming off interceptions. The Sooners could be without wide receiver/punt returner Jalen Saunders, whose status is in doubt after he was arrested for marijuana possession on Dec. 2.

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