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College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, December 28

College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, December 28

RUTGERS (6 - 6) vs. NOTRE DAME (8 - 4) - 12/28/2013, 12:00 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.

CINCINNATI (9 - 3) vs. N CAROLINA (6 - 6) - 12/28/2013, 3:20 PM

Top Trends for this game.
CINCINNATI is 6-0 ATS (+6.0 Units) in road games after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons.

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

MIAMI (9 - 3) vs. LOUISVILLE (11 - 1) - 12/28/2013, 6:45 PM

Top Trends for this game.
LOUISVILLE is 14-3 ATS (+10.7 Units) against ACC opponents since 1992.
MIAMI is 10-1 ATS (+8.9 Units) when the line is +3 to -3 over the last 3 seasons.

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

MICHIGAN (7 - 5) vs. KANSAS ST (7 - 5) - 12/28/2013, 10:15 PM

Top Trends for this game.
KANSAS ST is 25-12 ATS (+11.8 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
KANSAS ST is 25-12 ATS (+11.8 Units) in all lined games over the last 3 seasons.
KANSAS ST is 16-6 ATS (+9.4 Units) when playing on a Saturday over the last 2 seasons.
KANSAS ST is 12-4 ATS (+7.6 Units) after playing a conference game over the last 2 seasons.

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

Rutgers is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Rutgers's last 5 games
Notre Dame is 20-5 SU in its last 25 games
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Notre Dame's last 6 games

Cincinnati is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
The total has gone OVER in 5 of Cincinnati's last 7 games
The total has gone UNDER in 8 of North Carolina's last 12 games
North Carolina is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

Miami is 11-3 SU in its last 14 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Miami's last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Louisville's last 5 games
Louisville is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Michigan's last 5 games
Michigan is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games
Kansas State is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games

Rutgers at Notre Dame
Rutgers: 5-1 ATS in a bowl game
Notre Dame: 5-18 ATS after covering the spread in 5 or 6 out of their last 7 games

Cincinnati at N Carolina
Cincinnati: 3-11 ATS after gaining 300 or more passing yards in 3 straight games
N Carolina: 6-1 ATS after playing a conference game

Miami at Louisville
Miami: 1-5 ATS after playing 2 straight conference games
Louisville: 14-3 ATS after playing a conference game

Michigan at Kansas State
Michigan: 0-7 ATS off an extremely close home loss by 3 points or less
Kansas St: 16-6 ATS when playing on a Saturday

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College Bowl Betting Preview

Pinstripe Bowl

Rutgers (6-6, 4-7 ATS) vs. Notre Dame (8-4, 5-6 ATS)

Location: Yankee Stadium, New York, New York

Opening Line: Notre Dame -15.5
Current Line: Notre Dame -15.5
Percentage of Action: 61% Rutgers

Key Betting Trends:
Rutgers: 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games
Notre Dame: Under is 5-1 in last six games

Analysis: Last year, Rutgers lost in overtime in their bowl game, failing to cover as a one-point underdog. Fighting Irish were playing for the national title last year, losing badly as a dog. Potentially, the letdown factor may come into play for this contest. Early action gives the advantage to the Scarlet Knights, though no movement on the line. Taking the points could be the way to go here.

Lean: Rutgers

Belk Bowl

Cincinnati (9-3, 6-6 ATS) vs. North Carolina (6-6, 6-5 ATS)

Location: Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, North Carolina

Opening Line: North Carolina -3
Current Line: North Carolina -3
Percentage of Action: 61% Cincinnati

Key Betting Trends:
Cincinnati: 6-0 ATS last two seasons in road games after a conference matchup
North Carolina: Under is 6-3 as a favorite of less than a touchdown

Analysis: Cincinnati returns to the Belk Bowl for the second consecutive season, where they covered as nine-point favorites last year. Tar Heels’ last bowl game was two years ago, losing by double digits as a +5.5 underdog. Early money has moved in Cincy’s direction, though underdog North Carolina will be playing in their backyard. Still, the Bearcats are familiar with the surroundings, and are a good enough team that getting points is a reason to look at them.

Lean: Cincinnati

Russell Athletic Bowl

Matchup: Miami (9-3, 5-7 ATS) vs. Louisville (11-1, 5-7 ATS)

Location: Citrus Bowl Stadium, Orlando, Florida

Opening Line: Louisville -3
Current Line: Louisville -3
Percentage of Action: 74% Louisville

Key Betting Trends:
Miami: 10-1 ATS when line is three points or less either way
Louisville: 2-9 ATS against poor passing defenses over the past two seasons

Analysis: The Hurricanes return to bowl action after a three-year absence. Their last postseason matchup ended in a double-digit defeat as a -2.5 favorite. Louisville’s one defeat likely cost them a spot in a BCS bowl, so the letdown factor may be in play. Last season, the Cardinals were two touchdown underdogs, but pulled off a 10-point upset in the Sugar Bowl. Early action is on Louisville, but Miami seems to thrive when in the role of a small dog, so grabbing the points sounds like the best option.

Lean: Miami

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Michigan (7-5, 7-5 ATS) vs. Kansas State (7-5, 7-5 ATS)

Location: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, Arizona

Opening Line: Kansas State -3
Current Line: Kansas State -3
Percentage of Action: 61% Kansas State

Key Betting Trends:
Michigan: 0-7 ATS after losing home game by three points or less
Kansas State: 25-12 ATS over the past three seasons

Analysis: Both teams were mirror images of each other, with the exact same overall and ATS marks. In their last 10 trips to a bowl game, Michigan has won just three times. The Wolverines narrowly covered in their bowl matchup last year, losing by five as a +5.5 dog. The Wildcats have failed to win their last five trips to a bowl game. Getting eight points in last year’s bowl game didn’t help Kansas State, which lost by 18. Early money gives a slight edge to the Wildcats, and with the Wolverines coming up just short in their rivalry game, the favorite could be the better option.

Lean: Kansas State

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Bowl Previews

Pinstripe Bowl – Rutgers vs. Notre Dame (-14½) - Notre Dame may have the talent edge, but the Fighting Irish lost both their offensive coordinator and defensive coordinator in recent weeks and they have injuries on both lines, missing two starters on the offensive line and NFL draft prospect Louis Nix on the defensive side. That could allow the Scarlett Knights to hang inside this two-touchdown spot as they have a nice running back in Paul James that could attack the middle of the Irish line with Nix sidelined and the Rutgers defense ranks 25th in the country with 32 sacks. Rutgers is 7-2-2 ATS in its last 11 December games.

Belk Bowl – Cincinnati vs. North Carolina (-3) - There is a reason that the 6-6 Tar Heels are favored over the 9-3 Bearcats here as Cincinnati faced the easiest schedule in an already weak AAC that ranked just 120th in the nation in SOS. Bearcat quarterback Brendon Kay did not respond well to pressure in the regular season finale vs. Louisville and the Cincinnati offensive line is now tasked with trying to hold off a very physical UNC defensive line spearheaded by top NFL prospect Kareem Martin, who had 11 sacks and 20 tackles for loss this season. The Heels are also starting a dual threat quarterback in Marquise Williams, which Cincinnati is not used to facing in the AAC. North Carolina is 9-3 ATS in its last 12 games following a straight up loss.

Russell Athletic Bowl – Miami vs. Louisville (-3) - Louisville was nationally ranked all season, but the Cardinals also faced a weak AAC schedule and they were simply not the same after having their nationally title hopes dashed in their only loss vs. Central Florida. Louisville won its last three games by just seven points each, and while one win was against Cincinnati (in overtime), the others were vs. lightly regarded Memphis and Houston. The Hurricanes hit a lull after losing their first game vs. top ranked Florida State, but they recovered in time to win their last two games by double-digits, and the Canes finished second in the country in passing plays of 30 yards or more behind only high-powered Baylor. ACC Bowl underdogs (Miami) are 39-23-2, 62.9 percent ATS since 2000.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl – Michigan vs. Kansas State (-3½) - This is an interesting matchup because both teams could have success passing the ball vs. the opposing secondaries, so this may come down to Michigan having the better quarterback in Devin Gardner, who has only been a full-time quarterback since last season after previously being a favorite target of former Wolverine QB Denard Robinson as a wide receiver. But even with his limited experience, Gardner ended up passing for 2960 yards while completing over 60 percent of his passes with 21 touchdown passes, and he ended the season by throwing for 451 yards and four touchdowns vs. Ohio State. Yes the Michigan pass defense is terrible, but can the Kansas State duo of mediocre quarterbacks Jake Waters and/or Daniel Sams take advantage? Big 12 Bowl favorites (Kansas State) are 26-40-3 ATS since 2000 for a 60.6 percent fade.

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Bowl Betting Notes

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (+14.5, 52.5)

New Jersey-based Rutgers earned its pinstripes based far more on geography than football success. The Bronx-bound Scarlet Knights were a woeful 2-5 SU/ATS down the stretch, leading to the firing of their defensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach this week.

With Rutgers reeling, Notre Dame opened as high as a 17-point favorite before being bet down. The Irish are an impressive 15-0 SU dating back to Oct. 2011 when favored by 10 or more points, but are just 6-9 ATS over that span.

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Cincinnati Bearcats (+3, 56.5)

North Carolina may have overcome a 1-5 start to earn a bowl bid, but beware UNC playing on state soil in the postseason. The favored Tar Heels are 0-3 lifetime in bowl games played in Carolina.

Cincinnati returns to the Belk Bowl for the second straight year, defeating Duke 48-34 in last season’s game. The Bearcats only have one victory versus a team with a winning record this season.

Louisville Cardinals vs. Miami Hurricanes (+3, 57)

Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater wasn’t picked as a Heisman finalist after managing only five TD passes over his last four games. He threw for 24 touchdowns in the Cardinals’ first eight games.

Miami started the season 7-0 SU and finished it 1-6 ATS.

Kansas State Wildcats vs. Michigan Wolverines (+3.5, 55)

Slow start, solid finish. K-State opened the season 2-4, before winning five of its last six and ending the year on a 6-2 ATS run.

Solid start, bad finish. Michigan started 6-1, before losing four of its last five to close out the regular season. The Wolverines did finish, however, on a 3-0 ATS run, including their highly-publicized one-point loss to Ohio State at the Big House.

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Saturday's Bowl Action
By Brian Edwards

Russell Athletic Sports Bowl

The ACC and AAC will lock horns when these schools meet at the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando. However, bettors shouldn’t think of this as any sort of home game for Miami because it will be played in its home state. Louisville travels extremely well and its roster is stacked with players from the Sunshine State. In fact, I’m guessing there will be more U of L fans in the stands compared to UM fans.

As of Friday afternoon, most betting shops had Louisville (11-1 straight up, 5-7 against the spread) listed as a 3.5-point favorite with a total of 57. Gamblers can take the Hurricanes on the money line for a +155 return (risk $100 to win $155).

Miami (9-3 SU, 5-7 ATS) had failed to cover the spread in six straight games until winning its regular-season finale at Pittsburgh by a 41-31 count. UM hooked up its backers as a 1.5-point road favorite against the Panthers. Stephen Morris threw for 296 yards and three touchdowns without committing a turnover.

Charlie Strong’s team was a double-digit favorite in 11 of its 12 games. In its only single-digit ‘chalk’ spot in the regular-season finale, Louisville won 31-24 at Cincinnati in overtime. The Cardinals took the money as three-point road favorites. Teddy Bridgewater threw for 255 yards and three TDs against the Bearcats.

Bridgewater didn’t get invited to New York City as a Heisman finalist, but he had another outstanding season. Bridgewater completed 70.2 percent of his passes for 3,523 yards with a 28/4 touchdown-to-interception ratio.

Bridgewater’s favorite target is DaVante Parker, who has 46 catches for 743 yards and 11 TDs. Damian Copeland also made 52 receptions for 690 yards and five TDs.

With RB Michael Dyer ‘out’ with a hip injury, Louisville splits the bulk of the rushing load between Dominique Brown and Senorise Perry. Brown rushed for a team-high 783 yards and eight TDs, while Perry has 631 rushing yards and six scores.

UM’s Morris has a 21/12 TD-INT ratio. He completed 58.7 percent of his passes for 2,868 yards.

Al Golden’s team lost its best offensive weapon when RB Duke Johnson broke his ankle in early November. Johnson rushed for a team-high 920 yards and six TDs. Gus Edwards rushed for 64 yards and one TD at Pitt and will likely share most of the touches vs. the Cardinals with Dallas Crawford, who had a pair of 100-yard rushing games in the regular season.

Miami was an underdog twice during the regular season, going 1-1 both SU and ATS. The ‘Canes beat Florida 21-16 as three-point home ‘dogs, but they got smashed at Florida St. as double-digit puppies.

U of L will be without linebacker George Durant, who is suspended. Durant started seven games this year.

Miami will be without its third-leading receiver Herb Waters, who has an undisclosed injury. Waters had five TD grabs during the regular season.

The ‘under’ is 9-3 overall for U of L.

After cashing in each of its last four games, the ‘over’ is 7-5 overall for Miami.

Kickoff is scheduled for 6:45 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

The Big Ten takes on the Big 12 at the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, AZ. As of Friday afternoon, most books had Kansas St. (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) installed as a 5.5-point favorite with a total of 54.5. The Wolverines are +175 on the money line.

Michigan (7-5 SU, 7-5 ATS) has been an underdog four times this year, compiling a 3-1 spread record. The Wolverines will face K-St. without starting QB Devin Gardner, who is out with turf toe. Gardner had a 21/11 TD-INT ratio this year and also rushed for 11 TDs.

Brady Hoke will give the starting nod to true freshman Shane Morris, who has completed 5-of-9 throws for 65 yards in limited playing time this season. Morris, who was intercepted once this year, was considered one of the top-five QBs in the country by every recruiting service at this time last year.

Morris will need to get the ball to star WR Jeremy Gallon, who has 80 receptions for 1,284 yards and nine TDs.

Kansas St. was a single-digit favorite only once this year, failing to cover in a 41-31 loss to Oklahoma as a 5.5-point home ‘chalk.’

Bill Snyder’s squad utilizes a two-QB system with Jake Waters and Daniel Sams. Waters gets most of the snaps and he has a 15/9 TD-INT ratio. Waters also has six rushing TDs, while Sams has run for 785 yards and 11 TDs.

K-St. senior RB John Hubert rushed for a team-high 968 yards and nine TDs. Tyler Lockett is one of the Big 12’s top WRs. Lockett has 71 catches for 1,146 yards and eight TDs.

Totals were an overall wash for Michigan this season (6-6), but the ‘under’ went 4-1 in its last five games.

The ‘under’ is 7-5 overall for K-St., but the ‘over’ hit in three of its last four outings.

ESPN will provide television coverage at 10:15 p.m. Eastern.

B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets

Saturday’s action starts at noon Eastern in the Bronx, where Notre Dame and Rutgers will collide at Yankee Stadium for the Pinstripe Bowl. Most spots have the Fighting Irish favored by 14 or 14.5. Brian Kelly’s team went 1-3 ATS as a double-digit favorite during the regular season. On the flip side, the Scarlet Knights went 2-1 ATS as double-digit ‘dogs.

North Carolina won five of its last six games to get bowl eligible. The Tar Heels, who are 6-1 ATS in their last seven games, face Cincinnati at the Belk Bowl in Charlotte on Saturday. Most books have UNC listed as a 2.5-point favorite. Larry Fedora’s team enjoyed a late-season surge thanks to the play of dual-threat QB Marquise Williams, who has a team-high 490 rushing yards. Williams has six rushing scores and a 14/6 TD-INT ratio.

Cincy will be without both of its starting offensive guards against UNC. Sam Longo broke his ankle in the loss to Louisville, while Austen Bujnoch is out with a lingering foot injury.

Michigan State star LB Max Bullough has been suspended for the Rose Bowl. This is a huge loss for the Spartans in their showdown against Stanford.

According to a Thursday report at, Penn St. coach Bill O’Brien has agreed to meet with the Houston Texans about their vacant head-coaching position.

If O’Brien does bolt PSU, there was a report earlier this week that the agents for Titans coach Mike Munchak and Bucs coach Greg Schiano have reached out to the school to express interest in the job. Schiano was an assistant at PSU before building Rutgers into a solid program.

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Canes, Cards clash

MIAMI HURRICANES (9-3) vs. LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (11-1) Line: Louisville -3.5 & 57
Opening Line & Total: Cardinals -2.5 & 56

Two schools that were once ranked in the top-10 in the country this year collide in Saturday's Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando when an unranked Miami team will take on No. 18 Louisville in what will likely be star QB Teddy Bridgewater’s final collegiate game.

After a 7-0 start to the season, the Hurricanes lost three straight to Florida State, Virginia Tech and Duke before closing the season out with back-to-back wins against Virginia and Pittsburgh. They really missed star RB Duke Johnson (ankle), one of the country’s premier rushing threats who went down midway through the year. They finished the season 5-7 ATS. Playing a weak schedule, the Cardinals lost just one game this year, going down 38-35 to UCF in the middle of the season. They rebounded well to win their final five games of the year, including an overtime thriller in the finale against Cincinnati. Like the Tar Heels, they also went 5-7 ATS. Their schedule will likely get tougher in future seasons as they join Miami in the ACC next year. These two teams have met twice since 1992, splitting the two games while the Cardinals covered in both. 

Without Johnson, more of the Miami offense has fallen on QB Stephen Morris (2,868 pass yards, 21 TD, 12 INT) who has a strong enough arm to complete any pass, though he can be extremely inconsistent. Overall, he’s completing 58.7% of his passes. Allen Huns (60 catches, 1,138 yards, six TD) has been there as his No. 1 option all season while Stacy Coley leads the team with seven touchdowns, adding 559 yards on his 30 catches. Both of those receivers have TD receptions of longer than 80 yards. On the ground, Dallas Crawford (523 rush yards, 4.2 YPC, 12 TD) has taken over since Johnson’s season ended. Though he’s had his moments, he averaged just 2.6 YPC in the team’s final two games of the season. Miami’s defense allowed a poor 4.5 YPC and a mediocre 7.1 yards per pass attempt.

Louisville had one of the nation’s best scoring defenses, giving up only 12.4 PPG, third fewest in Division-I. And its passing offense also ranked among the best, throwing for 303 YPG, 18th-most in FBS. Bridgewater (3,523 pass yards, 28 TD, 4 INT) will likely be a top pick in the NFL Draft after putting up incredible numbers again this year, tallying 9.2 yards per pass attempt. He distributes the ball pretty evenly, though DeVante Parker (46 catches, 743 yards) leads the team with 11 TD. Damian Copeland (52 catches, 690 yards) and Eli Rogers (41 catches, 498 yards) are also threats in the passing game. On the ground, Dominique Brown (783 yards, 5.3 YPC, 8 TD) and Senorise Perry (631 yards, 4.7 YPC, 6 TD) share the ball-carrying duties, with Brown scoring four touchdowns in the team’s last three games. The Cardinals defense has been stout all season, allowing a mere 12.4 PPG (3rd in nation). They give up a miniscule 86 rushing YPG on 2.7 YPC, while allowing only 172 passing YPG on 6.0 YPA and 51% completions.

KANSAS STATE WILDCATS (7-5) vs. MICHIGAN WOLVERINES (7-5) Line & Total: Kansas State -6 & 55.5
Opening Line & Total: Wildcats -3 & 56.5

Two teams going in opposite directions will be in Tempe on Saturday night, as Michigan (1-4 in its past five games) will face Kansas State (5-1 in past six games) in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

The defending Big 12 champion Wildcats got off to a tough start this season, losing their opener to FCS school North Dakota State. The team then lost its first three Big 12 games and appeared to be on its way to missing a bowl. However, head coach Bill Snyder, as he has done throughout his career, got Kansas State (7-5 ATS) rolling and helped guide his team back to Tempe. He is also 23-10 ATS (70%) versus good passing teams (58%+ completion pct.) as KSU's head coach. Last season, the Wildcats fell to Oregon 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl, marking their fifth straight bowl loss (SU and ATS). They will be going up against a team that is looking to salvage its season as well. Things started off great for Michigan, as the team was 5-0 and appeared to be legitimate Big Ten contenders. However, a quadruple overtime loss to Penn State and a 1-4 record in November, with three losses coming by four points or less, gave the Wolverines a 7-5 record (SU and ATS) for the season. They had a chance to upset rival Ohio State in the final game of the season, but lost 42-41 after an incompletion on a two-point attempt in the game's final minute. QB Devin Gardner had a huge performance against the Buckeyes when he threw for 451 yards and 4 TD, but he is dealing with a turf toe injury and his status for Saturday is still uncertain. If he can't go, freshman Shane Morris would start under center. Wolverines head coach Brady Hoke has taken a lot of heat throughout the year for the disappointment of this season, but he is 34-19 ATS (64%) after an SU loss as a college head coach. Both of these teams are looking to end the season on a positive note, and have the abilities of making big plays on the offensive end.

Kansas State struggled early in figuring out how to run its offense, but the two-quarterback system started to show its potential for the Wildcats late. Junior QB Jake Waters (2,198 passing yards, 15 TD, 9 INT) has continued to improve as a passer with a hefty 9.4 YPA. When he is not on the field, the Wolverines will have to slow down sophomore QB Daniel Sams (452 pass yards on 73% completions, 4 TD, 4 INT), who the running threat of the two quarterbacks with 784 rushing yards (4.5 YPC) and 11 touchdowns on the ground. Sams does a terrific job of using his speed to run away from defenders, but is also extremely powerful at 6-foot-2 and 207 pounds. Senior RB John Hubert (968 rush yards, 5.3 YPC, 9 TD) is coming off a 220-yard effort in the season finale at Kansas, and is on pace for his first 1,000-yard season of his career, as he rushed for 947 yards last season and 970 yards in 2011. However, the star of the KSU offense is junior WR Tyler Lockett (71 catches, 1,146 yards, 8 TD) has emerged as one of the very best receivers in all of the country. What he lacks in size (5-foot-11, 175 pounds), he more than makes up for with his determination and his elite speed. Lockett has six 100-yard receiving games this year, including two 200-yard performances (237 at Texas, 278 vs. Oklahoma). The Wildcats should be able to put up points in this game, but although their defense (23.7 PPG allowed, 35th in FBS) played much better at the end of the season, it did struggle at times, allowing 240+ passing yards in five of its final eight games. However, DE Ryan Mueller (61 tackles, 11.5 sacks) emerged as one of the best defensive players in the country. While he is not the fastest defensive player on the field, he has an endless motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the quarterback, recording at least one sack eight different times this year. KSU's run defense allows 145 YPG on 3.9 YPC, but this unit has done an excellent job forcing turnovers with 18 takeaways in the past six games.

Michigan QB Devin Gardner (2,960 pass yards, 8.6 YPA, 21 TD and 11 INT) had a rocky season at times throughout the year, but showed at times he can be a dynamic offensive player. Against Indiana (503 passing yards, 5 total TD) and against Ohio State (451 passing yards and 5 total TD), Gardner absolutely dominated the game. He is also a threat to run the ball, as he rushed for 483 yards and 11 scores on the ground. If he is unable to start, little-used QB Shane Morris (5-for-9, 65 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT) will get the call, but whoever is taking the snaps will certainly be looking mostly for top WR Jeremy Gallon (80 catches, 1,284 yards, 9 TD). Gallon is a complete receiver that is able to make plays over the top, as well as the middle of the field. In that Nov. 19 game against the Hoosiers, Gallon set a Big Ten record with 369 receiving yards, while also grabbing two touchdowns. The Michigan offense is not just a passing attack, as senior RB Fitzgerald Toussaint (646 rush yards, 12 TD) forces defenses to give him respect. For the Wolverines to get the victory, he must average more than the 3.5 YPC he did throughout the season, with the team gaining a paltry 131 rushing YPG (101st in FBS) on 3.2 YPC. Like the Wildcats, the Wolverines at times had their problems on the defensive end, where they rank 66th in the country, allowing 26.5 points per game. Star CB Thomas Gordon has three interceptions in his senior season, and will be asked to cover Tyler Lockett a lot of the time during the game. Michigan allows 366 total YPG, broken down between 139 rushing YPG (3.8 YPC) and 227 YPG (6.7 YPA) through the air. The Wolverines have helped themselves out greatly with 25 takeaways this season, including 2+ forced turnovers in nine different contests.

Check out more College Football Odds and Props at

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New Era Pinstripe Bowl Betting: What Bettors Need to Know

Rutgers Scarlet Knights vs. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (-14, 52.5)


1. It’s a long fall from the BCS National Championship game to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, but Notre Dame will take it after dropping two of its final three in the regular season. The Fighting Irish will meet Rutgers at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx on Dec. 28. The Scarlet Knights managed to salvage bowl eligibility in their final regular-season game, snapping a three-game slide with a 31-6 triumph over South Florida to even their record at 6-6.

2. Notre Dame challenged itself with another tough schedule and didn’t quite have enough to knock off teams like Oklahoma and Stanford this season. The most crushing defeat came at Pittsburgh on Nov. 9, when Tommy Rees threw a pair of fourth-quarter interceptions in a 28-21 loss that knocked the Irish out of BCS bowl contention.

3. Rutgers allowed an average of 40.3 points in a three-game losing streak before the defense stepped up against South Florida and secured the school’s eighth bowl bid in nine years. The Scarlet Knights are attempting to gain some momentum for the program as they head into the Big Ten next season.

LINE: Notre Dame opened at -15.5 and have been bet down to -14. The total has stayed put at 52.5.

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low 40s with a nine mph wind blowing towards the Northeast end zone.

ABOUT NOTRE DAME (8-4, 5-6-1 ATS): Rees took over at the beginning of the season when Everett Golson was dismissed and put up three straight 300-yard passing games to begin the season before hitting the mark only once in the last nine contests. Rees ended up completing 53.7 percent of his passes for 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions but will go into the bowl game without offensive coordinator Chuck Martin, who took over the head coaching job at Miami (Ohio). Notre Dame was at times carried by its defense, which also lost its leader when coordinator Bob Diaco was hired as the head coach of Connecticut.

ABOUT RUTGERS (6-6, 4-8 ATS): The Scarlet Knights also saw a mass exodus on the coaching staff but in a less positive way, as head coach Kyle Flood let go of his defensive coordinator, quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach after the disappointing regular season. The defense allowed a school-record 3,737 passing yards and surrendered an average of 29.8 points, prompting the dismissal of coordinator Dave Cohen. The offense fully committed to quarterback Chas Dodd the last two games and was rewarded with an efficient 19-for-24 effort for 179 yards and a pair of scores in the season-ending win.


* Rutgers is 5-1-1 ATS in its last seven bowl games.
* Notre Dame is 4-1 ATS in its last five non-conference games.
* Under is 4-1 in Rutgers' last five games overall.
* Over is 5-1 in Notre Dame's last six games in December.

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Belk Bowl betting: What Bettors Need to Know

Cincinnati Bearcats vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (-2.5, 56.5)


1. North Carolina won five of its final six games to become bowl eligible after starting 1-5 and was rewarded with its fourth trip to the Belk Bowl on Dec. 28 in Charlotte, N.C., where it will meet Cincinnati. The Tar Heels became only the sixth team since the regular season expanded to 12 games in 2006 to start the season so poorly and make a bowl game. North Carolina, which did not participate in the postseason last year due to bowl sanctions, is searching for just its second bowl win since 2001.

2. Cincinnati will end its season in Charlotte for the second straight season against an opponent from the state of North Carolina after defeating Duke 48-34 in last year’s contest. With newly hired Tommy Tuberville acting as a “watching head coach” (as he called it in a recent press conference), the Bearcats won despite the departure of coach Butch Jones and both of his coordinators after they accepted similar positions at Tennessee.

3. Despite a decided home-field advantage (Charlotte is located about 2 1/2 hours southwest of Chapel Hill), the Tar Heels are still in search of their first Belk Bowl victory. North Carolina – which is 2-0 all-time against Cincinnati – fell to Boston College in 2004, West Virginia in 2008 and Pittsburgh in 2009 – the last two losses coming by a combined three points.

LINE: North Carolina opened at -3 and now sit at -2.5. The total has moved up slightly from 56 to 56.5.

WEATHER: There is a 29 percent chance of rain with temperatures in the high 40s.

ABOUT CINCINNATI (9-3, 6-6 ATS): The Bearcats – winners of six of seven – are striving for their sixth 10-win season in the last seven years after coming up short in an overtime loss to conference champion Louisville. Brendon Kay directs the country’s 15th-ranked passing attack while Cincinnati is one of five teams in the FBS holding opponents to fewer than 100 yards rushing per game. While Cincinnati has typically been proficient offensively, it hasn’t always been efficient, committing at least two turnovers in four straight contests and eight times overall this season.

ABOUT NORTH CAROLINA (6-6, 7-5 ATS): Marquise Williams filled in admirably once starting quarterback Bryn Renner was lost for the season in early November, accounting for 1,279 total yards and 13 total touchdowns while leading the Tar Heels to a 3-1 finish. Eric Ebron (55 catches, 895 yards), who has already announced he will enter May’s NFL Draft, is widely considered to be the best tight end in the country. Freshman Ryan Switzer tied the ACC single-season record with four punt return touchdowns in only three games.


* Cincinnati is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games.
* North Carolina is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games overall.
* Over is 4-1 in Cincinnati's last five neutral site games.
* Over is 4-1 in North Carolina's last five bowl games.

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Re: College Football Betting News and Notes Saturday, December 28

Pinstripe Bowl

6-6 Rutgers didn't beat any bowl teams, allowed 41+ points in five of 12 games and went 2-5 after 55-52 OT win at SMU in October, their only win in five road games. Scarlet Knights won four of last five bowl games, losing in OT to Virginia Tech LY- they're 2-0 in this bowl, located close to their New Jersey campus. Notre Dame should also have lot of fans in NYC area; Irish are 2-3 in last five bowls, scoring 14 points in all three of the losses. Only two of their eight wins this year were by more than 10 points; ND is 2-5 vs spread when favored this year. Rutgers is 2-1 as an underdog. Big East team is 7-0 in this bowl, but first four were against a weaker MAC foe; favorites are 3-2, with two games pick 'em. Only one of Notre Dame's last seven games was decided by more than 10 points. Irish are 5-4 this season against teams that went to a bowl game.

Belk Bowl

Cincinnati scored two TDs in last 0:44 of this bowl LY, turning a 34-34 tie and almost certain loss into a bizarre 48-34 win/cover over Duke in a brutal beat for Duke backers, as Blue Devils fumbled on Cincy 5 with 1:20 left and game tied. Don't like betting bowl teams who won the same bowl the previous year. Both teams lost their starting QB for year with an injury; Bearcats re 3-2 in last five bowls; Tuberville is 7-3 as a coach in bowls. North Carolina lost four of last five bowls, with three of last four decided by 3 or less points; Fedora was 1-2 in bowls at Southern Miss. Tar Heels will have crowd edge with game in Charlotte, not having played in bowl LY, when they were on probation; UNC was 1-5 at one point this year, rallied behind mobile backup QB Williams; they're 2-6 vs bowl teams this year. Cincy won two of three games vs bowl teams.

Russell Athletic Bowl

Could be last college game for Louisville QB Bridgewater; Cardinals' only loss was 38-35 to a good UCF team- last three wins were all by seven points, after first eight were all by 14+. Louisville covered only twice in last nine games; they're 2-2-1 vs spread on road. Miami is excited after not being allowed to play in bowls last two years; they're 1-4 in last five bowls, scoring 14.4 ppg- their last bowl win was 21-20 over Nevada in Idaho in '06. 'canes allowed 31+ points in four of last five games, was 1-5 vs spread in last six- they're 1-1 as an underdog. Miami allowed 273.7 rushing yards/game over last three games. Louisville, which joins ACC next year, won three of last four bowls, but lost two of last three when playing an ACC squad. ACC teams are 9-1 in this bowl last ten years, with Miami's 20-14 (-3.5) loss in '09 only ACC loss in last decade.

Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl

Michigan starts freshman QB Morris here, with Gardner (turf toe) out; Morris is 5-9 passing this year, tough spot for him. Wolverines are 1-1 in bowls under Hoke, splitting pair of close games; this isn't your normal Michigan team- they've allowed 42+ points in three of last seven games, lost four of six games decided by 4 or less points, with only wins over Akron/UConn-- playing close games with those teams isn't good. Kansas State lost last five bowls, allowing 34.4 ppg; their last bowl win was in 2002, over Arizona State, host of this bowl. Wildcats lost to I-AA team to start season, rallied to win five of last six games after a 2-4 start. Big Dozen teams are 2-5 in this bowl last seven years; as three of last four games in this bowl were decided by three or less points. Big X teams are 3-3 against the spread as favorites in this game.

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