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College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

KENTUCKY (1 - 5) at MISSISSIPPI ST (3 - 3) - 10/24/2013, 7:30 PM

Top Trends for this game.
KENTUCKY is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all games over the last 2 seasons.
KENTUCKY is 5-13 ATS (-9.3 Units) in all lined games over the last 2 seasons.
KENTUCKY is 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) as an underdog over the last 2 seasons.
KENTUCKY is 2-9 ATS (-7.9 Units) against conference opponents over the last 2 seasons.

Head-to-Head Series History
MISSISSIPPI ST is 2-0 against the spread versus KENTUCKY over the last 3 seasons
MISSISSIPPI ST is 2-0 straight up against KENTUCKY over the last 3 seasons
1 of 2 games in this series have gone OVER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons

MARSHALL (4 - 2) at MIDDLE TENN ST (3 - 4) - 10/24/2013, 7:30 PM

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.

Kentucky is 2-14 SU in its last 16 games
Kentucky is 4-12 ATS in its last 16 games
Mississippi State is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games at home
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Mississippi State's last 6 games at home

The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Marshall's last 6 games
Marshall is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games   
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Middle Tennessee's last 7 games at home
Middle Tennessee is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home

Kentucky at Mississippi State
Kentucky: 2-11 ATS (-10.1 Units) as an underdog
Mississippi St: 15-5 ATS (+9.5 Units) after scoring 20 points or more in the first half in 2 straight games

Marshall at Middle Tenn St
Marshal: 10-23 ATS as a road favorite
Middle Tenn St: 31-15 UNDER after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

Kentucky at Mississippi State
By Joe Nelson

The SEC had a tough weekend last week with many of the high profile contenders taking losses as the league looks much closer top to bottom than in recent years. That theory will be tested Thursday with one of the clear bottom teams Kentucky getting a chance at an upset in primetime Thursday night. Mississippi State is at a critical juncture at 3-3 and this is a must-win game for the program to make a fourth straight bowl game. This is also a rare opportunity to shine on national television for both teams in this week’s Thursday ESPN game.

Matchup: Kentucky Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs
Venue: Davis Wade Stadium, Starkville, Mississippi (grass)
Date: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Time/TV: 7:30 PM ET – ESPN
Line: Mississippi State -10, Over/Under 56½
Last Meeting: 2012 at Kentucky, Mississippi State (-9½) 27-14

This SEC clash features nearly the exact same spread as each of the last two seasons. In 2011 Mississippi State won 28-16 as a 10-point favorite at Kentucky and last season the Bulldogs won 27-14, also in Lexington as a 9½-point favorite. Both teams were off last week and both programs are in dire need of a win with Mississippi State at 3-3 and Kentucky at 1-5 with both teams still winless in SEC play.

Mississippi State has been in a bowl game three straight seasons but with six games to go finding three wins in the remaining slate will not be easy. Following this game the Bulldogs have road games at South Carolina and Texas A&M in consecutive weeks before the next home game coming against Alabama. Closing the season at Arkansas and hosting Ole Miss might provide better opportunities for wins but the postseason is almost certainly impossible for the Bulldogs if they are upset this week.

While Mississippi State appears to be headed towards another unimpressive season in the fifth year behind Dan Mullen the statistics have been much better this season compared with the previous years. Compared with last season Mississippi State is posting 62 more yards per game on offense while holding foes to 23 fewer yards per game despite nearly identical scoring numbers. Those figures could deteriorate in the coming weeks however with several very difficult matchups ahead.

Mississippi State has an experienced offense with sophomore Dak Prescott seemingly taking on more and more snaps ahead of senior Tyler Russell at quarterback, though both continue to play substantially. The Bulldogs have a veteran offensive line but running the ball has not always come easily with senior running back LaDarius Perkins seeing his numbers drop off substantially from last season. The offense has often been reliant on Prescott to make plays with his legs rather than his arm as he has rushed for 457 yards this season. Leading receiver Jameon Lewis is the only player on the roster with more than 180 receiving yards as there have been few big plays in the passing game.

Mississippi State has allowed just 23 points per game and the numbers should be stronger as LSU’s 59-26 win featured 28 fourth quarter points in a misleading final. The Bulldogs just have not been able to win many of the big games in Mullen’s tenure losing 11 games in a row S/U as an underdog since a minor upset at Florida in 2010. Since 2011 Mississippi State is just 3-9 ATS as an underdog as well. Mississippi State was 6-1 S/U and 5-2 ATS at home last season but they have failed against the spread the last two home games with the loss to LSU and a lackluster win over Bowling Green for homecoming two weeks ago with no points in the second half.

While there is some renewed excitement behind the Kentucky football program with Mark Stoops taking over last winter the expectations were grounded in year one. Opening the season with a loss to Western Kentucky did not help the cause but in week 2 the Wildcats were dominant against Miami, Ohio in the home opener, though that win does not carry much weight. The schedule has been simply brutal since with four losses against prominent ranked teams, Louisville, Florida, South Carolina, and Alabama. Kentucky was out-gained by triple-digits in each game but outside of the 48-7 loss to Alabama the scores have been respectable, losing by 14, 17, and 7 in the first three games in that gauntlet.

Kentucky is only scoring 20 points per game this season but considering that the numbers were much worse the past two seasons it has been a sign of progress. The back end of the schedule is much lighter than the recent stretch of games that the Wildcats have faced but it will still be an uphill battle to top last year’s two-win season. Next week is homecoming against Alabama State which should allow Kentucky to get a second win and this week’s game is one of the best chances if Kentucky hopes to get a third win this year.

Kentucky is rushing for 150 yards per game this season, a slight improvement over last year with a 4.7 yards per rush average which is the best mark the program has had in many years. Maxwell Smith has had uneven results at quarterback with just 55 percent completions but he has thrown just one interception this season. He gave way completely to sophomore Jalen Whitlow in the South Carolina game after splitting time early in the season and the strong performance from Whitlow sealed the starting role. Whitlow was injured against Alabama however and is still a question mark for this week’s game but he seems to give the team the best chance to compete.

Senior linebacker Avery Williamson leads the SEC in tackles for Kentucky but the defense has struggled as a whole, allowing 6.5 yards per play and 427 yards per game with equal struggles against the run and pass. The defense is very young as a whole and it has shown but the matchups should get slightly easier down the stretch. The Bulldogs should have a fairly substantial edge on defense in this matchup but the Mississippi State offense has gone through a number of long scoring droughts this season so Kentucky should have opportunities to keep this game close.

Last Meeting: Mississippi State moved to 5-0 with a win at Kentucky last season and it was a more lopsided game than the 13-point margin suggests. Early in the third quarter Mississippi State was up 27-7 before Kentucky added a touchdown and neither team scored in the fourth quarter. Mississippi State out-gained Kentucky by almost 200 yards in the game as Tyler Russell had one of his best games.

Series History: Mississippi State is 14-11 S/U but just 11-13-1 ATS since 1984 against Kentucky. Mississippi State has won each of the last four meetings, going 3-0-1 ATS. The last meeting in Starkville was a 24-17 win in 2010 but Kentucky won in an upset 14-13 in 2008 at Mississippi State.

Line Movement: The line opened at -10 and has mostly stayed steady, with a few books jumping to -10½. The total opened at 57 and has fallen to 56½ at most outlets.

Kentucky Historical Trends: The Wildcats have not won S/U in a road game since early 2010 when they beat Louisville, losing 14 in a row with just three ATS road wins in that span. Kentucky is also just 7-16 ATS since 2009 when playing as an underdog of 10 or more points, though they are 2-2 this season.

Mississippi State Historical Trends: The Bulldogs are 9-2 ATS in the last 11 games as a home favorite and Mississippi State has not been upset as a home favorite since 2009 when they lost as a small favorite against Houston. The Bulldogs are 8-3 ATS the last 11 games when favored by double-digits but that has not been a strong historical role for the program, going 21-34 ATS since 1980.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

Kentucky at Mississippi State: What Bettors Need to Know

Kentucky Wildcats at Mississippi State Bulldogs (-10.5, 56)

Mississippi State looks for its fifth straight victory over Kentucky when the Southeastern Conference cross-divisional rivals square off in primetime Thursday. The Bulldogs are after the first five-game winning streak by either team in the series, which has seen the last five meetings decided by an average of eight points. "I know our guys look forward to this game and treat it as a little bit of a rivalry game for us," Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen said. "… You know it's a team you're playing every year."

The Wildcats have dropped four straight - all against teams that were ranked in the top 25 at the time - and had a week off following a 48-7 trouncing versus No. 1 Alabama on Oct. 12. "I think having a chance to recoup physically and mentally I think should help us going into this game," first-year Kentucky coach Mark Stoops told reporters. "I think our preparation has been very good. I feel like the team is in a good place right now." Mississippi State has alternated losses and wins all season and shoots for its first winning streak after a 21-20 victory over Bowling Green on Oct. 12.

LINE: Mississippi State opened as a 9.5-point home favorite and moved to -10.5. The total jumped from 55 points to 56.

WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 50s with partly cloudy skies and winds blowing WNW at 2 mph.

ABOUT KENTUCKY (1-5, 0-3 SEC, 2-4 ATS): The Wildcats expected quarterback Jalen Whitlow to miss at least one game after spraining his left ankle against Alabama, but he returned to practice Monday and could be ready to start. Fellow sophomore Maxwell Smith will get the nod if Whitlow can't play, taking the reins of an offense that has been balanced, but far from explosive. Kentucky has been tough against the pass but allows 213.3 rushing yards per game - 107th among the 123 FBS teams, which might spell trouble against the Bulldogs' strong ground game.

ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (3-3, 0-2, 3-3 ATS): The Bulldogs have been a bit of a one-man show on offense, with quarterback Dak Prescott leading the team with 457 rushing yards and eight touchdowns to go along with 890 passing yards and three TDs. Prescott splits time with Tyler Russell, who missed time with a concussion but has played the past two games and threw for 248 yards and two TDs in those contests. The defense was torched in a 59-26 loss to LSU on Oct. 5 but has held its own against dangerous offenses in losses to Oklahoma State and Auburn.


* Wildcats are 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings in Mississippi State.
* Road team is 6-1 ATS in their last seven meetings.
* Wildcats are 0-4 ATS in their last four meetings.


1. Mississippi State has rushed for 200 yards or more in five consecutive games for the first time since 2010. The Bulldogs rank 23rd in the nation with 214.3 rushing yards per game.

2. The Wildcats have been bold on fourth down, going for it 13 times and converting nine. The 69.2 percent conversion rate ranks 15th in the nation (eighth among teams with at least 10 attempts).

3. Prescott has topped 100 yards rushing in two straight games and three of the past four and has at least one rushing touchdown in five straight contests.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

Marshall at Middle Tennessee: What Bettors Need to Know

Marshall Thundering Herd at Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (+8.5, 56.5)

The Marshall Thundering Herd have plenty of momentum following a dramatic come-from-behind win over Florida Atlantic, and get a struggling opponent next as they face the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders at Floyd Stadium Thursday night. The Thundering Herd rode Justin Haig's last-second 41-yard field goal to a 24-23 triumph over Florida Atlantic on Oct. 12. The Blue Raiders have lost three in a row and were thumped 34-7 at North Texas in their last game.

The Middle Tennessee offense has scuffled mightily since a 42-35 overtime win over Florida Atlantic, scoring just 34 points during its skid. That's a bad omen for a Blue Raiders team facing off against a Marshall defense that ranks 14th in the nation in points against per game (18.8). It's the first-ever meeting between the teams in Murfeesboro, and the first time they've faced off since Marshall prevailed 49-14 back on Nov. 26, 1994.

LINE: Marshall has held steady as an 8.5-point favorite, with the over/under set at 56.5.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the high-40s under partly cloudy skies. Wind will blow diagonally out of the northwest at 5 mph.

ABOUT MARSHALL (4-2, 2-0 Conference USA, 4-2 ATS): Marshall is wrapping up a bizarre scheduling quirk that has it playing just its third game in a 33-day stretch Thursday - with a 34-10 win over UTSA on Oct. 5 and the victory over Owls a week later representing its only game action since Sept. 21. The players admit it's good to have everyone rested but they're itching to hit the field. "Sometimes in practice, you'd see a bunch of (non-contact jerseys)," center Chris Jasperse told the Charleston Gazette. "Now, hey, let's go play. It's good for us to have everybody out there, ready to go."

ABOUT MIDDLE TENNESSEE (3-4, 1-2, 2-5 ATS): The Blue Raiders know that the Marshall offense revolves around standout quarterback Rakeem Cato, who has looked ordinary since a five-touchdown outburst in Marshall's season opener but is still one of the conference's top QBs. "He is a very dynamic player," Middle Tennessee head coach Rick Stockstill told the team's official website. "He can make every throw and he's got a great arm. He's just a phenomenal player." The Blue Raider defense has been impressive, ranking second in the nation with 20 takeaways.


* Marshall is 2-9-2 ATS in its last 13 road games against teams with losing home records.
* Middle Tennessee is 4-0 ATS in its last four games following a bye week.
* Over is 11-4 in the Thundering Herd's previous 15 conference games.
* Under is 5-1 in the Blue Raiders' last six games against teams with winning records.


1. Marshall has won both head-to-head meetings.

2. Cato has thrown four touchdown passes and four interceptions in three road games so far in 2013.

3. Senior QB Logan Kilgore is expected to get the start for Middle Tennessee despite being replaced by Austin Grammer against North Texas.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

NCAAF Week 9

Mississippi State won its last four games vs Kentucky, with an average score of 27-18; State covered the last three meetings, but Wildcats won three of last five visits to Starkville, with losses by 1-3 points. Wildcats lost last four games, allowing 33.5 ppg; they're 3-10 in last 13 games as a road underdog, covering at South Carolina in only true road game in '13. Miss State is 11-5 in last sixteen games as a home favorite, 1-1 this year; they're 3-3, with best win by point over Bowling Green. Kentucky isn't stopping run well, allowing 241.4 yards/game on ground last four games.

Marshall is 4-2 with an OT loss at Virginia Tech; they're 1-10-2 against spread in last 13 games as a road favorite, with only cover in 2009. Herd is 19-35 vs spread overall in its last 54 road games. Middle Tennessee is 3-4, losing last three games while scoring only 11.3 ppg-- Blue Raiders covered twice in last ten games as a home dog- they split their two I-A home games this year, with games decided by total of nine points. MT has given up an average of 479 yards/game their last four games. C-USA home underdogs are 4-7 vs spread in conference play this season.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Thursday, October 24

SEC heats up Thursday

KENTUCKY WILDCATS (1-5) at MISSISSIPPI STATE BULLDOGS (3-3)    Line & Total: Mississippi State -11 & 55.5
Opening Line & Total: Bulldogs -10.5 & 56

Mississippi State and Kentucky, two of the SEC’s bottom feeders, each try to secure their first conference win of the season on Thursday night.

The Bulldogs have done well this year against schools that they are supposed to beat, with their three wins coming against the likes of Alcorn State, Troy and Bowling Green. But MSU was an 11.5-point home favorite versus Bowling Green in their last contest and eked out a 21-20 victory. On the other hand the Wildcats, 2-10 in 2012, have been overmatched and faced a team ranked in the top-20 each of their last four contests. They have not won an SEC game since Nov. 24, 2011 when they beat Tennessee.

When these two programs last met in Kentucky during last season, Mississippi State won 27-14, also covering the 10-point spread, and allowed a mere 228 total yards to the Wildcats. Overall, the Bulldogs are 13-8 SU (11-10 ATS) in their matchup against Kentucky since 1992, and have won (SU and ATS) each of the past four games in this series. Mississippi State has done well at home over its past 14 games (11-3 SU) and will look to make easy work against a team that is only 3-6 (SU and ATS) in its past nine at Davis Wade Stadium. Kentucky’s dual-threat QB Jalen Whitlow is doubtful for this game with a sprained ankle, and his replacement will be former starter Maxwell Smith.

Kentucky has been near the bottom of a very strong SEC for a while now. Over the past 10 seasons, the Wildcats have not been better than .500 in the conference, and only once were 4-4 (2006). QB Jalen Whitlow has helped the team this year both by not turning the ball over and threatening opposing defenses with his legs (238 rush yards, 3 TD). But Whitlow had to leave their previous game against Alabama with a sprained ankle and is doubtful for Thursday’s game, leaving all of the quarterbacking duties to Maxwell Smith. The sophomore Smith is strictly a pocket passer and has done well so far on the year with 710 yards on 92 attempts while throwing 5 TD to only 1 INT. With the passing game being more of an emphasis with Smith, WR Javess Blue will look to continue his solid season. So far, he has caught 24 passes for 319 yards (13.3 average) and 2 TD on the season.

HBs Jojo Kemp and Raymond Sanders have split time this year and have combined to carry the ball 96 times for 515 yards (5.4 YPC) and two touchdowns, but will miss Whitlow and his ability to pull defenders away from them. With 64 tackles this year, LB Avery Williamson will attempt to lead a defense that has given up 24+ points in 5-of-6 games and has forced a mere seven turnovers in six games this season.

After nearly suffering an embarrassing loss against Bowling Green in its last game, Mississippi State will need to step up its play. In that game, the Bulldogs did not score in the second half, and had to hold off the Falcons on a 4th and 11 in the final minutes and secure the win. The running game has been MSU’s forte this year, and attributed 245 of the 422 offensive yards in that game. QB Dak Prescott leads the Bulldogs in both rushing (457 yards, 8 TD) and passing (890 yards, 3 TD), but has been helped in both categories as well. Over the last two games, QB Tyler Russell has thrown the ball 25 times for 248 yards, including 12-for-14 for 102 yards against Bowling Green.

In the run game, HB LaDarius Perkins has been the main weapon besides Prescott, tallying 273 yards on 55 attempts (5.0 YPC) and scoring one touchdown. Seven different players have scored a rushing touchdown for the Bulldogs, with four of those players scoring at least two. When they do go to the air, WR Jameon Lewis has been the top target. Lewis has 393 yards receiving on 23 catches (17.1 avg.) and half (3) of the team's six touchdowns. The defense of the Bulldogs has not exactly excelled in any area, allowing 144 YPG on the ground and 220.5 YPG through the air. In two conference games, they have surrendered 83 points and 1,022 total yards.

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