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College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

NCAAF Week 1

South Carolina is 22-15-1 as a home favorite under Spurrier, 9-5-1 last two years; they’re 11-7-1 vs spread in last 19 non-SEC games. Gamecocks have two quality QBs, one a thrower, one a better runner- they play conference rival Georgia next, likely will hold some tactics back for that bigger game. Tar Heels have a quality senior QB but lost three starters on OL; they’re 15-9 vs spread in last 24 non-ACC games, but are 2-4-1 in last seven games as an underdog.

Minnesota (-8) won 30-27 at UNLV LY, outgaining Rebels 478-275; Gophers are 1-4 vs spread in last five tries as double digit favorites with two SU losses. UNLV is 4-15 in last 19 tries as a road dog; they finally have good QB in soph Sherry who had rough debut vs Gophers LY (16-35/116). Minnesota has all five starters back on OL but have soph QB with only seven starts- they’re 7-11 in last 18 games as a home favorite.

Tulsa-Bowling Green both have senior QB’s, but Falcons’ QB has 35 career starts, Tulsa’s only 18; Hurricane won last meeting 33-20 (-17) in 2010, after waxing Falcons 63-7 in a bowl three years before that. Tulsa covered seven of last nine as a road dog; they’re 20-15 in last 35 non-league games. BG is 6-5 as a home favorite under Clawson; they’re 9-9 in last 18 non-MAC tilts and have four starters back on OL (Tulsa has two).

Central Florida (-24) waxed Akron 56-14 LY; teams split six games in series, with four of six decided by 14 or less points. UCF is 21-12-1 as a home favorite since '05; they've got their QB back with three starters on OL, while Zips have new QB this year in Bowden's second year. Since 2004, Akron is 15-18-1 as road underdogs. UCF covered 13 of its last 21 non-conference games.

Utah State (+7) beat Utah 27-20 LY, its first win in last 13 series games, but Anderson is HC at Wisconsin now; Aggies have four senior starters on OL and prolific junior QB Keeton (21 starts) back- they've lost their last six visits here, but covered four of last five-- they're 14-2 vs spread in last 16 games as road dog. Utah is 17-14-2 as home favorite since '06; since '08, they're 11-9-1 in non-league games. Utes have soph QB and three new starters on OL. State ia 15-5 vs spread out of conference.

Underdogs are 20-10 vs spread in Ole Miss' last 30 road games; over the last decade, Rebels are just 4-12 vs spread as road favorites. Vanderbilt won four of last five games with Ole Miss; road teams won four of the five games; teams split last two meetings here. Both teams have veteran OLs and their QB back. Vandy is 4-1 as home dog under Franklin, after being 8-18 from '04-'10. Commodores are 11-2 vs spread at home under Franklin. Underdogs covered four of last five series games.

Fresno State was 6-0 as home favorite LY, after being 3-18-1 in that role before DeRuyter got to town ('06-'11); Bulldogs have senior QB with 26 starts, three starters back on OL. Rutgers is 15-7 in last 22 tries as road dog but is just 11-17 in last 28 non-league games. Knights have QB with 18 starts and veteran OL. Fresno is 11-9 vs spread in last 20 non-league games. Fresno (+3.5) won 24-7 at Rutgers in '08, only previous meeting.

USC hasn't named starting QB, which shouldn't matter here, but they're inexperienced under center, and have Pac-12 opener vs Washington State next. Trojans are thin because of probation, but have four starters back on OL- they're 7-17 in last 24 tries as road favorite after being 0-5 LY-- they're 2-9 vs spread in non-league games under Kiffin. Hawai'i fired its new OC during summer, a red flag, especially with an inexperienced QB; they covered once in last five tries as home dog. USC won last five series meetings by average score of 56-21.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

CFB: Streaks, Tips, Notes 

North Carolina at South Carolina

College Football season kicks off Thursday with South Carolina Gamecocks in a season lid-lifter against North Carolina Tar Heels. Gamecocks are returning QB Connor Shaw (1956 PY, 17TD, 7Int) and two of their top three receivers from last year's 11-2 (8-5 ATS) squad but will be missing one of their all-time greats in RB Marcus Lattimore. The Tar Heels finishing with a respectable 8-4 (6-6 ATS) mark last year return QB Bryn Renner (3356 PY, 27TD, 7Int) and like Gamecocks the Tar Heels lost their do-it-all RB Giovani Bernard. Gamecocks' running the table at home in 2012 posting a 7-0 (5-2 ATS) mark and now on a 11-0 (8-3 ATS) streak at Williams-Brice Stadium are the clear favorite in this game. The fact that the pointspread is nearly two touchdowns in favor of South Carolina shouldn’t dissuade anyone from taking Spurrier's troops, QB Shaw is 17-3 (12-8 ATS) as a starter, Gamecocks have a 13-0 (6-7 ATS) streak in season opener's, Tar Heels are ridding an 0-6 (1-5 ATS) skid as underdogs, 3-4 SU/ATS slump in it's last seven road openers. Best of luck this season but above all enjoy the games.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

North Carolina at South Carolina
By Joe Nelson

College football is back and the Thursday night schedule opens up with several big games. A theme of the opening weekend will be the SEC vs. the ACC with three big opening weekend games in the national spotlight, starting off with North Carolina visiting South Carolina. Here is a preview of the Thursday night game to kick off the season.

Match-up: North Carolina Tar Heels at South Carolina Gamecocks
Venue: Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina (grass)
Date: Thursday, August 29, 2013
Time/TV: 6:00 PM ET - ESPN
Line: South Carolina -12.5, Over/Under 56
Last Meeting: 2007, South Carolina (-7.5) 21-15 at North Carolina

After back-to-back seasons finishing up with a record of 11-2, expectations are extremely high for South Carolina heading into the ninth season for Steve Spurrier in Columbia. The Gamecocks were ranked as high as #3 in the nation last season and they soundly defeated eventual SEC East champion Georgia. Last season, South Carolina had to play LSU in the SEC West draw, this year they will face a more favorable path playing Arkansas and Mississippi State from the other side.

South Carolina boasts the most recognizable defensive player in college football in defensive lineman Jadeveon Clowney, a highly regarded junior that will be in contention for the #1 pick in the NFL draft next spring. The Gamecocks allowed just 18 points per game last season, but they actually allowed almost 50 more yards per game compared with the 2011 season. While Clowney and a few other notable defenders return including strong safety Brison Williams and both starting cornerbacks, the Gamecocks lost six of their top eight leading tacklers from last season.

On offense, South Carolina scored 31 points per game last season, but it came on just 377 yards per game as the Gamecocks ranked in the bottom half of the SEC in most offensive categories. Injuries did take a toll last season with star running back Marcus Lattimore lost late in the year and starting quarterback Connor Shaw in-and-out of the lineup at times, playing in just nine games. Shaw returns this season and the offensive line is a veteran group that should be successful. There is some experience in the receiving corps led by Bruce Ellington, but no receiver had more than 45 catches for South Carolina last season.

The Gamecocks will be led by its defense as despite some inexperience up front, there is elite talent with Kelcy Quarles and Chaz Sutton making an impact in limited time last season and expected to have big seasons with the attention that Clowney will draw. The secondary also figures to be one of the better units in the conference and they will be tested early in the season with two strong quarterbacks in opposition the first two weeks.

While no one disputes the supremacy of the SEC, the opening weekend provides a great opportunity for the new look ACC, expanded to 14 teams and seeking a more national presence. In addition to this game, Clemson will battle Georgia and Virginia Tech will take on Alabama in big non-conference games between the ACC and SEC. If the ACC wins even one of the games, it will have to be considered a success for the conference given the stature of the three SEC foes involved, a fair commentary on how dominant the SEC has been in recent years.

North Carolina has been a consistent football program in recent years, but the Tar Heels have not been able to breakthrough and compete for a major bowl spot. The Tar Heels actually would have won the ACC Coastal division last season in a three-way tiebreak, but they were not eligible for the postseason. Coach Larry Fedora is in his second season in Chapel Hill after a successful run at Southern Miss and he has a veteran team hoping to deliver that breakthrough season this year.

Bryn Renner is one of the more accomplished quarterbacks in the country, passing for over 3,000 yards with over 65 percent completions last season. In his two seasons as a starter, he has thrown for 52 touchdowns with just 20 interceptions. The Tar Heels will miss versatile running back Giovani Bernard, who was a great threat out of the backfield as well as on kick returns and now is currently rising up fantasy draft boards with the Bengals. A.J. Blue and Romar Morris both saw significant time last season, so there will be options for the Tar Heels. The offense also returns the top two receivers from last season with receiver Quinshad Davis and tight end Eric Ebron, who both possess great size that few defenses can match up well against. North Carolina scored over 40 points per game last season and the Tar Heels should again feature one of the most productive offenses in the conference.

The questions marks for North Carolina, especially in this matchup come on the offensive line and on defense. Three young starters with limited experience move into starting roles on the offensive line this season and this is a very tough first assignment with Clowney and the talent of the South Carolina front four. Renner may not get the time he needs to have a productive night and without Bernard's game changing explosiveness, the Tar Heels may struggle to keep the chains moving even though the overall outlook for this offense is excellent.

On defense, North Carolina has the biggest questions at the linebacker position, needing to replace three players that contributed heavily last season, led by Kevin Reddick who was a first-team ACC performer. The secondary does have some experience led by last season's leading tackler safety Tre Boston, but in this matchup, the front seven will likely be more important. Last season, North Carolina allowed almost 26 points per game and the run defense had big problems in several games late in the season.

Opening the season on the road in a very tough venue will be a great challenge for North Carolina, but last season was the first season under Spurrier in which the Gamecocks did not lose a home game. Next week's game at Georgia is a bigger game for South Carolina in the big picture and while there will be no lack of focus, the team could get caught looking ahead to that huge SEC clash that could determine the division championship. This is a season-making opportunity for a North Carolina team looking to make a splash and this would be a huge win to spark what looks like it could be the best Tar Heels football season since 1997. South Carolina is a legitimate national title contender and the Gamecocks have not lost an opening game under Spurrier.

Line Movement: The line opened at -10.5 before a steady climb to -12 or -12.5 at most outlets early this week. The total has been fairly steady falling at some spots from 56.5 to 56.

Last Meeting: As a road favorite in an awkward non-conference game in mid-October of 2007, South Carolina jumped out to a 21-3 lead at halftime. North Carolina led by future NFL players T.J. Yates, Greg Little, and Hakeem Nicks actually ended up with a 398-282 edge in total yards as North Carolina climbed back into the game in the fourth quarter. Three interceptions proved to be too much to overcome as South Carolina held on, though the Tar Heels did take the cover as a 7.5-point underdog in the 21-15 defeat with the last touchdown coming with about three minutes to go in the game. Prior to that game, these teams had not met since 1991 despite the schools being just over 200 miles apart. It is a bit bizarre with the NFL talent on that Tar Heels team that this loss sent the 2007 Tar Heels to 2-5 en route to just a 4-8 season, but that has really been the story of North Carolina football over the years.

Series History: South Carolina has a 5-2 S/U, 4-3 ATS edge since 1981.

North Carolina Historical Trends: Since 2006, North Carolina is just 15-20-1 ATS on the road, going just 14-22 S/U. North Carolina is just 3-7 S/U the last two seasons in road games with a 3-6-1 ATS mark. North Carolina is 18-10-1 ATS in the last 29 games as an underdog, including going 7-2 ATS in the last nine instances as a double-digit underdog. The Tar Heels have not been an underdog of this magnitude since 2009, winning outright at Virginia Tech as a 14.5-point underdog. The Tar Heels were an underdog only once last season, losing by five as a slight underdog early in the season at Louisville.

South Carolina Historical Trends: South Carolina is 25-3 S/U and 17-10 ATS at home since 2009. Under Spurrier, South Carolina is 7-1 S/U but just 4-4 ATS in home openers, winning each of the last six S/U with covers in four of the last five. This is currently the lowest favorite line of any of those games and the lone loss came as a home underdog against Georgia to open the 2005 season. Under Spurrier, South Carolina is 21-14-2 ATS as a home favorite, losing outright just three times in those 37 games.

There are seven additional games Thursday night this week - here is a quick look at two of the other prominent games:

Mississippi at Vanderbilt

Line: Mississippi -3.5, Over/Under 53

Vanderbilt won by a single point in this matchup last season, the third win in a row for the Commodores in this series. In the second season for Hugh Freeze at Mississippi, the program has gained a lot of credibility with a solid first season and big recruiting scores. The experience edge is certainly with the Rebels as Vanderbilt replaces several key players on offense including quarterback Jordan Rodgers and star running back Zac Stacy. Mississippi had a 458-371 yardage edge in the game last season in Oxford, but settled for field goals often and came up just short. Both teams have sights on another productive bowl season and this is a very important game in the SEC standings to open the season. Vanderbilt has covered in 11 of the last 13 home games the past two seasons, but is just 5-10 ATS in the last 15 games as a home underdog. Mississippi is only 2-11-1 ATS in this series since 1999 and Mississippi is just 5-14 ATS as a road favorite since 2001.

USC at Hawaii

Line: USC -23, Over/Under 54.5

USC makes another trip to the islands with many new faces a year after an incredibly disappointing season. USC was the #1 team in the preseason AP poll last season, but finished out of the poll by the end of the season, going 7-6 after posting only seven points in the Sun Bowl. USC plans to play two quarterbacks in the opener with no clear starter emerging and star running back Silas Redd is not making the trip due to a slowed injury recovery. Marqise Lee is coming off a historic season at wide receiver, making 118 catches for 1,721 yards and he will be the focus of the offense. In year two of the Norm Chow era for Hawaii, there are some positive signs emerging. The team has improved size and Ohio State transfer Taylor Graham is a promising option at quarterback. There is some experience on this team, but the rebuilding project is still in progress and this is mostly a young team and a team coming off a 3-9 season with ugly numbers on both sides of the ball last year. Hawaii has always been tough at home with a 21-16 ATS mark as a home underdog since 1999, while USC is just 7-17 as a road favorite since 2008. These teams met to open last season with USC winning, 49-10 in Los Angeles.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

Thursday's NCAAF Action: What Bettors Need to Know

North Carolina Tar Heels at South Carolina Gamecocks (-12.5, 57.5)

South Carolina has never received the amount of preseason publicity that's flooded its way this summer, putting the No.7 Gamecocks in the national conversation heading into their season opener Thursday against visiting North Carolina. South Carolina is at an all-time high in the preseason polls thanks to one of the country's premier players in junior Jadeveon Clowney, who was voted the nation’s top defensive end last season and finished sixth in the Heisman Trophy balloting. South Carolina also returns starting quarterback Connor Shaw, who has never lost at home as a starter for the Gamecocks.

North Carolina also returns a talented quarterback in senior Bryn Renner, who has thrown for more than 3,000 yards each of the last two seasons. Renner also welcomes back his No. 1 target in wide receiver Quinshad Davis, a South Carolina native who set freshman school records last season for receptions (61) and receiving yardage (776). Protecting Renner’s blind side will be 6-7, 305-pound left tackle James Hurst, while redshirt freshman Jon Heck won the starting job at right tackle. Both figure to be tested all night against Clowney, who recorded 13 sacks last season.

Key betting stat: Tar Heels are 1-5 ATS in their last six road games.

UNLV Runnin' Rebels at Minnesota Golden Gophers (-14, 51)

Minnesota, coming off its first bowl appearance since 2009, hosts UNLV on Thursday in the season opener for both teams. The Gophers doubled their win total from three to six last season, including a 30-27, triple-overtime win at UNLV in their 2012 opener. This matchup should have a similar feel as the teams combine to return 34 of their 44 starters from last season.

Highlighting the Gophers’ 16 returning starters is defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman, who had a breakout season as a junior in 2012. However, Hageman and the Minnesota defense will have their hands full with UNLV’s rushing attack, especially senior running back Tim Cornett. The Rebels enter this season with new coordinators on offense and defense, including Tim Hauck – the younger brother of  coach Bobby Hauck – running the defense.

Key betting stat: Under is 8-2 in Golden Gophers' last 10 home games.

Utah State Aggies at Utah Utes (-2.5, 51)

Utah will look for its 13th win in its last 14 games against visiting Utah State as the longtime in-state rivalry continues on Thursday. The Battle of the Brothers is the 12th-longest standing rivalry in college football and heads toward its 111th installment. The Utes are 77-29-4 all-time against the Aggies and had won 12 straight before Utah State won 27-20 in overtime last season.

Utah sophomore quarterback Travis Wilson will look to turn the program around this season after starting seven games last season and throwing for seven touchdowns and 1,311 yards. The Aggies, led by junior signal caller Chuckie Keeton, are trying to build off one of the best seasons in school history.

Key betting stat: Road team is 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.

Mississippi Rebels at Vanderbilt Commodores (+3.5, 53)

Vanderbilt looks to build on the most successful two-year stretch in school history when it hosts Ole Miss on Thursday in the season opener for both teams. Senior Austyn Carta-Samuels takes over at quarterback for the Commodores, who were picked to finish fourth in the SEC East preseason media poll after a tumultuous offseason. Expectations are also high at Ole Miss, which aims to end a nine-game losing streak in SEC openers.

The Rebels signed one of the top recruiting classes in the country last spring, and several freshmen figure to play in the opener, including highly touted defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. The game features two of the top wide receivers in the conference in Vanderbilt senior Jordan Matthews and Ole Miss junior Donte Moncrief, who caught 10 touchdown passes last season. Matthews had a season-high 153 receiving yards against the Rebels last year, when Vanderbilt won its third straight game in the series.

Key betting stat: Rebels are 2-10 ATS in their last 12 meetings.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Fresno State Bulldogs (-10.5, 54.5)

Thursday’s season opener against Rutgers can’t come soon enough for Fresno State, which has been eager to get back on the field since its embarrassing loss to SMU in the Hawaii Bowl. Rutgers is looking to build on coach Kyle Flood’s successful first year, when the Scarlet Knights claimed a share of the Big East title. The teams are meeting for the second time ever, with Fresno State winning 24-7 in Rutgers nearly five years ago to the day.

The Bulldogs feature the Mountain West preseason offensive and defensive players of the year in quarterback Derek Carr and safety Derron Smith, and they were a near-unanimous pick to win the West Division of the Mountain West in the preseason media poll. Expectations are also high at Rutgers, which is playing one year in the new American Athletic Conference before joining the Big Ten next season. The Scarlett Knights will be tested at Bulldog Stadium, where Fresno State went 6-0 last season and outscored opponents by a total of 190 points.

Key betting stat: Bulldogs are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 games overall.

USC Trojans at Hawaii Warriors (+23, 53.5)

The Matt Barkley era is over at Southern California and his replacement as quarterback is still in flux as the No. 24 Trojans visit Hawaii in Thursday’s season-opening contest. Coach Lane Kiffin said that sophomores Max Wittek and Cody Kessler will share the duties against the Warriors and that he won’t name a starter until after the squad arrives in Honolulu. Former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow is head coach of Hawaii and is also running the offense.

The Warriors also feature a new quarterback as Ohio State transfer Taylor Graham – son of former NFL signal caller Kent Graham – beat out incumbent Sean Schroeder (11 touchdowns, 12 interceptions in 2012) for the starting job and is being counted on to rev up an attack that ranked 118th out of 120 FBS teams in total offense (297.4 yards) and scored only 21.2 points per game last season. While the Trojans are sorting out the quarterbacking situation, there are no issues with junior Marqise Lee, who finished fourth in Heisman Trophy voting and won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation’s best receiver after setting a school record with 118 receptions. USC senior running back Silas Redd (905 rushing yards, nine TDs in 2012) will miss the contest after undergoing knee surgery five months ago to repair a meniscus tear.

Key betting stat: Trojans are 0-7 ATS in their last seven road games.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, August 29

Nice work !

ron argabrite
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