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  1. #401  
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    college football best bets aug-sept.


    total..........185 - 181-0.......50.54%....-64.35


    best bets................. ats ...............units................ o/u...............units...............days total


    total.....................77 - 72............-11.500...........49 - 40.............+25.00..........126 - 112.......+10.50


    PODS............RECORD.............0 - 2....................TOTALS....................... .-11.00



    ************************


    College Football Best Bets For October




    Date w-l-t % units record (ALL PLAYS BEST BETS AND OPINIONS )


    10/09/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    10/06/2018 32-39-0 45.07% -54.50
    10/05/2018 1-5-0 16.66% -22.50
    10/04/2018 4-0-0 100.00% +20.00


    Totals............37-46-0.......44.57%.....-68.00






    best bets................. ats ...............units................ o/u...............units...............days total


    10/09/2018............0 - 1................-5.50..............0 - 1................-5.50................-11.00
    10/06/2018............6 - 18..............-49.50.............8 - 6...............+7.00...............-42.50
    10/05/2018............0 - 3...............-16.50..............1 - 2..............-6.00.................-22.50
    10/04/2018............2 - 0...............+10.00.............2 - 0..............+10.00..............+20.00


    Totals....................8 - 22...............-61.50............11 - 9..............+5.50................-56.00
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    Wisconsin at Michigan
    October 10, 2018
    By BetDSI



    By Tom Wilkinson


    College Football Betting Preview – Wisconsin at Michigan



    A key matchup in the Big Ten this week has the Wisconsin Badgers visiting the Michigan Wolverines in a game that can be seen on ABC. Both teams come into this game ranked in the Top 20 in the country and each is unbeaten in the Big Ten. The Badgers are 2-0 and leading the West, while the Wolverines are 3-0 and tied with Ohio State for the lead in the East. Let’s look at the contest and college football picks.


    Date and Time: Saturday, October 13, 2018, 7:30 p.m. ET
    Location: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI
    College Football Odds at BetDSI: Michigan -7.5, O/U 48
    Wisconsin vs. Michigan TV Coverage: ABC



    The Wolverines are about to enter the most difficult part of their schedule, as they play the Badgers, Michigan State and Penn State in the next month. “This is one of those games that you see on the schedule,” star linebacker Devin Bush Jr. said to the media, “You got to get those first six games out of the way, but you know this game is coming. Now that it’s here, this is all you’ve been waiting for. Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh has not proven he can win big games consistently, as he is just 4-4 against those three teams. The Wolverines lost all three games against those teams last season.


    The Badgers have running back Jonathan Taylor and quarterback Alex Hornibrook and Wisconsin has won 17 straight Big Ten regular season games. Hornibrook is 24-4 as Wisconsin’s starter and he has won 18 of his 20 Big Ten starts. “He has really good stature in the pocket,” Harbaugh said to the media, “He can get hot. He throws those intermediate dig routes as well as anyone can. He’s a very experienced guy, played in big games. He’s a really good quarterback. Really good quarterbacks, players, they’re going to give you problems.”


    Michigan dropped their season opener against Notre Dame but they have rolled since, outscoring opponents by a combined 212-71. The Wolverines lead the country in overall defense and in pass defense. The offense is vastly improved with Shea Patterson at the helm, as the Wolverines are averaging 420.7 yards per game.


    Matchup to Watch


    This game will likely come down to whether or not Michigan can contain Taylor who rushed for 221 yards and three TDs last week against Nebraska. The Badgers have a good offensive line with center Tyler Biadasz, tackle David Edwards and guards Michael Deiter and Beau Benzschawel. Taylor is averaging 169.8 yards a game and 6.7 yards a carry and he has scored eight rushing touchdowns. The Michigan defense is 6th in the country in fewest rushing yards allowed, as they are giving up just 96.5 per game.


    Key Stats


    Wisconsin has won five of its last eight games against Michigan. The Badgers are 9-1-1 ATS in the last 11 meetings. The Badgers are 13-3 ATS in their last 16 road games. The Wolverines are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 home games. The Wolverines are 3-7-1 ATS vs. a team with a winning record.


    Looking at the total, the Over is 6-2 in the Badgers last 8 road games. The Over is 11-5 in the Badgers last 16 conference games. The Over is 6-1 in the Wolverines last 7 home games. The Over is 7-3 in the Wolverines last 10 conference games.


    Wisconsin vs. Michigan Picks


    When you look at this game there are a couple of things to consider. First, if the Wolverines can contain Taylor they should win this game. Despite Harbaugh gushing over Hornibrook, he is not that good and the Badgers are not going to win by throwing the ball. Second, the trends are overwhelmingly in favor of the Badgers in this contest, as they have dominated Michigan of late.


    I am tempted to take Michigan simply because I have no faith in Wisconsin being able to move the ball consistently, but I think the better choice is the total. I know that the trends support a high scoring game, but I just don’t see it. I think this game will be a slugfest and low scoring, so I will go under the total.


    Wisconsin vs. Michigan Pick: Under 48 at BetDSI
    Wisconsin vs. Michigan Score Prediction: Michigan 24, Wisconsin 17
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    Washington at Oregon
    October 10, 2018
    By Bookmaker



    By Kyle Markus


    NCAA Football Game Preview - Washington Huskies at Oregon Ducks



    The Washington Huskies have bounced back from a season-opening loss to Auburn to get themselves back in the College Football Playoff picture. Washington has won five consecutive games, including three in the Pac-12 as it has jumped to the clear favorite in the conference. However, the Huskies’ national title hopes could take a big blow if they are unable to come away with a win this week in a tough matchup against the Oregon Ducks.


    Washington has the superior talent but the Ducks have the home field advantage in this contest. The oddsmakers are giving Oregon respect as they believe this one should be a competitive matchup. The Huskies have a lot riding on this game as it is one of the toughest remaining on the schedule.


    Oregon only has one loss on the season itself and that came due to a stunning comeback by Stanford in a game the Ducks should have won. Oregon can turn some heads by picking up a victory in this matchup in NCAA football live betting.


    This NCAA football game between the Washington Huskies and Oregon Ducks will be held at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon at 3:30 p.m ET on Saturday, October 13th, 2018. The game will be nationally televised on ABC.


    We'll have NCAA football odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2018 NCAA season.


    Odds Analysis


    The Huskies are listed as 3.5-point favorites in this contest, a line that has gone up a half-point in recent days. Washington is the -165 favorite while Oregon is the +144 underdog on the moneyline. The scoring total is listed at 57.5 points.


    In addition to the standard pregame wagers, there will be live betting available for this matchup. The fact that both teams are nationally ranked makes this one a prime showing, which will allow bettors to put in bets as the game is going on. The new availability to bet during games is a boon to those gamblers who have a good eye for trends and who can figure out what is going to happen next based on recent events.


    Player To Watch


    Justin Herbert -- The Oregon quarterback is getting buzz as possibly the first signal-caller that will be chosen in the NFL draft next spring. For now he is hoping to keep dicing up college defenses. Herbert has been fantastic this season, completing 88-of-136 passes for 1,411 yards with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.


    Herbert has played well on the season but this will be quite the chore against an elite Washington defense. The Huskies are only allowing 13.7 points per game, including only 175 yards per game through the air.


    This is a matchup of strength against strength. The side that wins this chess match will have a big leg up in the showdown.


    Key Stat


    Four. That’s the number of years, including this one, that Jake Browning has been the starting quarterback for Washington. He has a ton of experience and will not be fazed by a road game showdown against a nationally ranked foe. Browning has not been dominant this season but he was great last year as a junior.


    If Browning can step up and play well against the Ducks, his team will have a good chance to come out with a hard-fought victory.


    Free NCAA Football ATS Picks


    The spread moving up a half-point is critical. The Huskies are the pick to win this game, but it should be close from start to finish as both of these teams are impressive. Oregon is the pick to cover the spread, with the “over” the call in a game that should become a shootout. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the live betting options as picking touchdowns on several drives could pay off nicely in NCAA football live gambling.


    NCAA Football Pick: Washington Huskies 34, Oregon Ducks 31
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    Big 12 Report - Week 7
    October 10, 2018
    By Joe Williams



    2018 BIG 12 STANDINGS


    Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under
    Baylor 4-2 2-1 1-4-1 5-1
    Iowa State 2-3 1-2 3-2 2-3
    Kansas 2-4 0-3 3-3 2-4
    Kansas State 2-4 0-3 3-3 2-4
    Oklahoma 5-1 2-1 2-4 5-1
    Oklahoma State 4-2 1-2 3-3 4-2
    Texas 5-1 3-0 3-3 3-3
    Texas Christian 3-2 1-1 2-3 2-3
    Texas Tech 3-2 1-1 3-2 4-1
    West Virginia 5-0 3-0 4-1 2-3


    Texas Tech at Texas Christian (Thurs. - ESPN, 7:30 p.m.)
    The Red Raiders and Horned Frogs are each rested after byes, so you can likely expect a high-scoring affair. Texas Tech heads to Fort Worth as a touchdown underdog as of Wednesday morning. Texas Tech is 5-1 ATS in their past six appearances on Thursday, while going 11-5 ATS in the past 16 games after a straight-up loss and 8-3 ATS in the past 11 following a cover. TCU enters just 2-6 ATS in the past eight games overall, while going a dismal 5-16 ATS in the past 21 games at home. They're also 1-5 ATS in the past six against teams with a winning record and 0-4 ATS in the past four league outings. The over has cashed in five of the past six for the Red Raiders, but the under is 4-1 in the past five road contests. For TCU, the under is 4-0 in their past four after a bye, and 21-6 in the past 27 inside the conference.


    Oklahoma State at Kansas State (ESPNU, 12:00 p.m.)
    The Cowboys look to rebound after suffering their second loss of the season at home against Iowa State, 48-42. Offense wasn't a problem, but the defense couldn't stop anyone. K-State has struggled mightily on offense, the Pokes should be able to make improvements on D. The Wildcats badly need a win or their hopes of bowl eligibility will be in serious jeopardy. The Cowboys are 6-1 ATS in their past seven on the road against teams with a losing home record, but they're just 2-5 ATS in the past seven inside the Big 12. K-State is a solid 4-0 ATS in their past four following a straight-up loss while going 34-16-2 ATS in the past 52 in the month of October. They have also handled their business against the Cowboys, going 5-2 ATS in the past seven meetings in Manhattan, and 6-1 ATS in the past seven meetings overall. The over is also 11-1 in the past 12 in this series, and 5-1 ATS in the past six at K-State.


    Baylor at Texas (ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)
    The Longhorns officially announced that they are back, topping Oklahoma in a thrilling Red River Rivalry game at the Cotton Bowl last season. Can they avoid a hangover against a lesser, but still dangerous, team from Waco? The Bears haven't had a lot of success against the number lately, going 4-9-1 ATS in their past 14 on the road and 1-4-1 ATS in their past six overall. Texas is 8-2-1 ATS in their past 11 against teams with a winning record, while posting an impressive 5-0-1 ATS mark in their past six games in the month of October. The total trends for both of these sides is quite contrasting. It's all about the over, going 6-1 in the past seven for Baylor, and 4-1 in their past five on the road. The under is 11-4 in the past 15 at home for Texas, and 39-14 in their past 53 conference battles. However, the over easily hit last week against Oklahoma. The road team is 14-6 ATS in the past 20 meetings in this series, with Baylor 4-1 ATS in their past five trips to Austin. The under is 5-0 in the past five meetings, too.


    West Virginia at Iowa State (FOX Sports 1, 7:00 p.m.)
    QB Will Grier leads his Mountaineers into Ames for a primetime battle, and West Virginia finds themselves as just a 6 1/2-point favorite as of Wednesday morning. Is this a trap game? The Cyclones are just 2-3 SU/3-2 ATS, but they won and covered as heavy underdogs at Oklahoma State last week. West Virginia has been hot against the number, going 4-1 ATS in their past five overall, and 14-3 ATS in the past 17 on the road against teams with a losing home record. I-State has also been good against the spread, going 13-3-1 ATS in the past 17 against winning teams, while cashing in four of their past five at home. They're also 21-6-1 ATS in the past 28 overall, and 20-6-1 ATS in their past 27 league games. West Virginia has dominated the series, going 3-0-1 ATS in the past four meetings, and the road team is 4-1-1 ATS in the past six.


    Teams On A Bye
    Kansas, Oklahoma
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  5. #405  
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    Texas Tech at TCU
    October 9, 2018
    By Joe Nelson



    This week’s Thursday night game is a prominent Big XII clash as Texas Tech and TCU face off. While both teams are closer to the bowl bubble than the Big XII title game at this point in the season, this will be a key game in the conference pecking order not to mention one of the main rivalry games of the season for both squads.


    Match-up: Texas Tech Red Raiders at Texas Christian Horned Frogs
    Venue: At Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas
    Time/TV: Thursday, October 11, 7:30 PM ET ESPN
    Line: TCU -7, Over/Under 62
    Last Meeting: 2017, TCU (-7) 27, at Texas Tech 3



    This line on this game was released late with questionable quarterback situations for both teams. Since the ‘West Texas Championship’ renewed on an annual basis in 2012 these squad have each won the Saddle Trophy three times with the road team now winning the past three years.


    Both TCU and Texas Tech are knotted at 1-1 in league play and while West Virginia and Texas are both 3-0 on top of the standings, those teams will need to face off and both have some difficult hurdles remaining as it is still a wide-open race for a spot in the Big XII title game. The Big XII has Texas back in the national spotlight rising to the top 10 of the polls but the conference as a whole is likely clinging to a long shot 13-0 run for West Virginia in regard to the national playoffs with Oklahoma upset last week.


    TCU looked the part of a Big XII contender and possible national sleeper with a 2-0 start and an 8-point lead over Ohio State well into the third quarter in a big mid-September game in Arlington. The Buckeyes scored three touchdowns in four minutes to send TCU’s season spiraling in the other direction. The Frogs lost to the Texas the following week with a combined seven turnovers in those two defeats before getting back on track in late September with a narrow 17-14 victory hosting Iowa State.


    A critical sixth season for Kliff Kingsbury coaching his alma mater started poorly with a 24-7 1st quarter deficit against Ole Miss in Houston on the opening Saturday, with starting quarterback McLane Carter injured. Freshman Alan Bowman was handed the offense from there and posted big numbers including leading notable wins over Houston and Oklahoma State. Bowman was seriously injured and hospitalized after taking a hit in the 42-34 loss to West Virginia with the Red Raiders down to sophomore Jett Duffey for the duration of that game. All three quarterbacks may be available for this week’s game.


    For TCU sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson has had mixed results with six interceptions in four FBS games but offering big play potential in the air and on the ground. Robinson was injured late in the win over Iowa State with a shoulder issue on his non-throwing arm and while he has been cleared to return, Gary Patterson has hinted that he may not start this week with sophomore Michael Collins likely to play in the game as well. Collins has only thrown 14 passes this season and not in any meaningful moments.


    Texas Tech was anticipating being a stronger defensive team this season as after years of being consistently involved in shootouts, the Red Raiders improved dramatically in the defensive numbers last season. This year the positive gains haven’t been there despite an experienced unit led by linebacker and future NFL draft pick Dakota Allen. Texas Tech has allowed nearly 450 yards per game and 31 points per game including allowing 42 or more points in three of four FBS games.


    Patterson has a reputation for defense and this year’s team has allowed fewer than 21 points per game, holding three of five foes to 14 or fewer points. Texas and Ohio State combined to score 71 points against the Horned Frogs but a 7-0 turnover deficit in those games contributed significantly. TCU has only surrendered 178 passing yards per game this season and that will be the key matchup against a Red Raiders offense averaging 408 passing yards per game. TCU is 14th nationally allowing only 5.7 yards per pass attempt while Texas Tech has allowed 7.7 yards per pass attempt although opposing quarterbacks have completed below 56 percent of throws against both teams.


    With Oklahoma up next this is a critical spot for TCU as a 1-3 Big XII start would be realistic with a loss this week. TCU will still have to play in Morgantown in November as a bowl bid could even be cast into a doubt for a squad that was projected to compete for a Big XII title after being the runner-up last season. The stakes may be higher for Texas Tech who still has Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas on the schedule. If the Red Raiders fall to 3-3 overall this week they might be in line for another dramatic run in late November with Kingsbury in danger of missing a bowl game for the third time in six seasons.


    Last season: TCU was 8-2 heading to Lubbock last November in the game following a 38-20 loss at Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs turned in a great performance with a 27-3 win on the road. The defense did the heavy lifting as TCU managed only 289 yards of offense and led just 10-3 late in the third quarter. TCU completed only six passes in the game in what was Robinson’s first career start and then added a late defensive score. That loss left Texas Tech at 5-6 but they beat Texas in the season finale to earn a bowl bid. The three-point showing was the lowest output for Texas Tech since losing 12-3 at TCU in 2006.


    Historical Trends:


    Texas Tech is 14-8 S/U and 14-10 ATS in this series since 1980, covering in 13 of the past 19 meetings.


    TCU has won S/U in three of the past four games but has lost S/U and ATS in two of the past three home games in the series.


    TCU has won S/U in eight consecutive home games since the start of last season but is just 3-12 ATS at home since the start of the 2016 season.


    TCU is 1-5 S/U and ATS in six instances since 2016 as a home favorite of 10 or fewer points.


    Texas Tech is 22-14 ATS on the road since 2011 including going 8-3 ATS as a road underdog since 2015 with five S/U upsets.
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    Georgia prepares to face Top 25 gauntlet
    October 9, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    ATLANTA (AP) The first half of the season was a breeze for No. 2 Georgia.


    No daunting opponents. No game closer than two touchdowns.


    Now the real season begins.


    The Bulldogs must run a gauntlet of four straight games against Southeastern Conference opponents currently ranked in the Top 25, beginning with Saturday's trip to No. 13 LSU.


    ''Anytime you go on the road in the SEC, it's an adventure,'' coach Kirby Smart said. ''We're going to play some good teams coming up, absolutely. It's tough everywhere in the SEC. Go talk to Tennessee and ask them the road they're dealing with. Go talk to LSU - they just played Florida . I mean, there's no time to cry about it. Nobody wants to hear that. You gotta get ready to go play.''


    Coming off a trip to the national championship game, Georgia (6-0, 4-0 SEC) has yet to be seriously challenged .


    But beating teams like Austin Peay and Vanderbilt by an average of nearly 30 points a game makes this a rather mysterious team. Even this deep into the season, no one is quite sure how the Bulldogs will react when inevitably faced with an opponent that can match up with them physically and hang around well into the second half.


    ''We just know that from this point going forward we need to be on our A game, because this is our meat of our schedule,'' receiver Terry Godwin said. ''We haven't played our best yet.''


    Making this stretch even more challenging: only one game is between the hedges.


    After traveling to LSU (5-1, 2-1), Georgia has an off week before heading to Jacksonville for their Cocktail Party game against No. 14 Florida (5-1, 3-1). That's followed by another true road game at No. 18 Kentucky (5-1, 3-1), before the Bulldogs finally return to Sanford Stadium to host No. 21 Auburn (4-2, 1-2).


    If the Bulldogs get through all that unscathed, they'll almost surely head to the SEC championship game with a perfect 12-0 record. The final two games are both at home against lowly Massachusetts and state rival Georgia Tech.


    ''Every week, the team gets better, they get more experience,'' tight end Isaac Nauta said. ''Obviously, we've got a tough stretch up ahead with a lot of good opponents, but our preparation's not going to change. If anything, we're going to push harder because we know the competition's going to get better. It's exciting knowing you're going to go into some of these big games and that's what you want to be a part of being a football player.''


    Missouri was the only team to remotely challenge Georgia, hanging within striking distance going to the fourth quarter before losing 43-29. In every other game, the final margin was at least 24 points.


    That's made it even more important for the Bulldogs to challenge themselves during the week.


    ''We've been tested,'' Nauta said. ''We believe that some of the best competition we're going to play is in practice.''


    This will be Georgia's first trip to Baton Rouge since 2008. While no one on the roster has played in Death Valley, they all have a sense of what they'll be up against in Tiger Stadium's notoriously raucous atmosphere.


    ''From everything I've heard, it's supposed to be an electric place to play in and they've really got the home-field advantage,'' Nauta said. ''I'm ready to see what it's like.''


    Smart already knows. He played there in 1998 during his senior season at Georgia, spent the 2004 season as an LSU assistant, and returned four more times while serving as Alabama's defensive coordinator.


    ''They have an incredible environment,'' Smart said. ''Their fan base is really second to none in the atmosphere they create from the time you pull in on the buses to play in the stadium. It's an awesome opportunity for our team to play on a national stage. It's an opportunity for a lot of our guys to play in a venue that a lot of Georgia players never got a chance to play in and some in the future won't get an opportunity to play in. So that part is good.''


    In some ways, it feels like a season opener for the Bulldogs.


    The beginning of the real season, for sure.


    ''That's why you come to the SEC,'' Smart said. ''You want to run the gauntlet of challenging teams, unbelievable atmospheres on the road. That's what SEC football is all about.''
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    Misfires plaguing Stidham, Auburn
    October 9, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    AUBURN, Ala. (AP) Darius Slayton was sprinting downfield without a Mississippi State defender in the vicinity.


    But on a trick play that otherwise worked to perfection, No. 21 Auburn's quarterback Jarrett Stidham badly overthrew his streaking wide receiver.


    It's been that kind of year for Stidham, who has struggled at times this season and knows it.


    ''I've got to make a throw,'' he said Tuesday. ''I can't tell you how many times I've made that throw in practice. And for whatever reason, I just didn't make it.


    ''Whether it's focusing more, or whatever it needs to be, I've got to make those throws and that's what it comes down to.''


    The Tigers head into Saturday's game with Tennessee ranked 11th in the Southeastern Conference in scoring offense and 13th in total yards.


    Auburn's offense has sputtered for a variety of reasons, including in that 23-9 loss to the Bulldogs. The offensive line has struggled . The running game hasn't been consistent.


    And Stidham hasn't been able to duplicate his second-team All-Southeastern Conference play from last season.


    If there's plenty of blame to go around, Stidham isn't shying away from taking his share.


    ''I'm the one with the ball in my hands every play,'' he said. ''And I've got to play a lot better. I think that's first and foremost. For our offense to be as successful as it's going to be, I've got play a lot better. And I know that, and I'm working as hard as I can to improve every week.''


    Even a top 10 defense hasn't been able to compensate for the struggles of Stidham and the offense.


    The Tigers dropped 13 spots in the rankings with the loss to the Bulldogs and most likely fell from SEC West contention . Stidham was 19-of-38 passing for 214 yards in that game and only has three touchdown passes in the past four.


    ''He's pretty tough on himself,'' Auburn coach Gus Malzahn said. ''If you ask him, he'd be pretty frustrated too. It's all of the above. It's everything that goes with it.


    ''It's not just one thing. He's a good quarterback and I really expect him and the offense to get better in the second half'' of the season.


    Stidham's numbers have plummeted pretty much across the board from his debut season at Auburn.


    - He's 74th in passing yards per game after throwing for the second-highest single-season yardage total in Auburn, 3,158.


    - His completion percentage has dropped from 66.5 percent and Top 10 nationally to 60.1 percent, 76th-best.


    - He was 19th in pass efficiency last season and is 86th at the midpoint this year.


    Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt faced Stidham last season as Alabama's defensive coordinator and pointed out that he's playing behind an inexperienced line. Stidham led the Tigers to the upset in that game against the top-ranked Crimson Tide.


    ''This guy's got great arm talent,'' Pruitt said. ''He has understanding of what he does, what they want him to do offensively. He's got good guys around him. He can make all the throws.


    ''He can hurt you with his feet. I think he's a tremendous quarterback and it definitely will be a huge challenge for us.''


    Stidham said he mostly avoids social media and the criticism it contains.


    Wide receiver Ryan Davis said he has the team's full support.


    ''I'm behind Jarrett 100 percent,'' Davis said. ''Everybody else is behind Jarrett 100 percent.''


    Malzahn opened his Tuesday news conference by acknowledging the frustration of fans, players and coaches. He didn't name Stidham directly but easily could have.


    ''No one needs to be blaming our players,'' he said. ''Any time a team is not playing at its potential, it's a coaching issue. That's my responsibility.''
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    VT defense shows growing pains
    October 9, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    When the Virginia Tech offense gave up a touchdown against Notre Dame, Hokies defensive coordinator Bud Foster said his defense reacted as though they had come up short.


    Late in the first half of Virginia Tech's 45-23 loss to No. 5 Notre Dame , Hokies quarterback Ryan Willis' fumble was scooped up by the Irish's Julian Love and returned for a touchdown.


    Foster said when the defense came off the field after the extra point, ''it was like they gave up the touchdown.''


    It was another teaching moment for one of the youngest defenses Foster has ever had to start a season.


    ''I pulled them together and said, `We're playing our tails off right now. Keep your head up. We've got a lot of football left,''' Foster said. ''That's where we've got to have some maturity. Go to the next play.''


    Foster's group has at times shown no signs of the inexperience expected with nine new starters. At other times, the defense has looked like a group getting intensive on-the-job training for the Hokies (3-2, 2-0 Atlantic Coast Conference).


    They hope they can regroup on Saturday when they play at North Carolina (1-3, 1-1).


    In its season-opener, Virginia Tech held Florida State without a touchdown at home for the first time in a decade in a 24-3 victory , but two weeks later, the Hokies were torched for 495 passing yards by a backup quarterback in a 49-35 loss at previously winless Old Dominion .


    Notre Dame's point total was the highest for an opponent at Lane Stadium since Houston beat Virginia Tech 49-12 in 1974.


    ''There are momentum swings,'' Foster said. ''How we handle those swings is where we have to be better.''


    The Hokies' youth is partly their own doing. After three starters graduated last season and three others left early for the NFL draft, coach Justin Fuente dismissed three more from the team for various infractions.


    Free safety Divine Deablo also missed the game against Notre Dame with a hamstring injury, forcing Tyree Rodgers into more extensive action than he'd seen before. Rodgers was badly beaten on what would have been a 62-yard touchdown pass in the first half, but quarterback Ian Book just as badly overthrew Chris Finke on the play.


    On what proved to be the most decisive play of the game, three defenders converged on Book as he scrambled toward the line of scrimmage, leaving Miles Boykin open behind them for an easy flip and a 40-yard scoring play.


    ''Those things are pretty frustrating from our part, but that's also what we're dealing with - young guys,'' Foster, in his 38th season, said. ''You rep those things in practice and you should be able to do it in a game.''


    There were other frustrations from the defensive side, including the offense's failure to punch the ball in on three tries from the 1 yard-line after Reggie Floyd's interception, and two missed field goals.


    The mistakes weren't major, Floyd said, but became glaring because the Irish pulled away after halftime.


    ''The small things, us paying attention to our own assignments, and it kind of got out of hand in the second half,'' Floyd, one of the last returning starters, said. ''We just shot ourselves in the foot.''
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    Notre Dame knocking on the door
    October 9, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Brian Kelly has learned to adapt over the years, even when it comes to the postgame music played in the Notre Dame locker room.


    ''As long as they do their job, I have no problem with having to listen to music that I'm not familiar with and routines that are a little bit different,'' said Kelly, whose musical tastes stop and end with Bruce Springsteen more than Jay-Z, Beyonce, Drake and Travis Scott.


    Kelly has had three of his Fighting Irish teams open the season 6-0 and they have all had their differences. The 2012 team reached No. 1 with a 12-0 regular season before getting hammered by Alabama in the national title game. The 2014 team won just two of its final seven games to finish 8-5.


    The latest version is now ranked No. 5 and is coming off impressive second-half performances over Stanford at home and against Virginia Tech on the road. There is plenty of talk about whether the Fighting Irish might be in the mix of the playoff rankings, the first of which comes out Oct. 30.


    But there is a lot of football left and the rest of Notre Dame's schedule is no cakewalk.


    ''(The 2012 team) was constructed differently,'' Kelly recalled. ''It was largely put together on the backs of a great defense and ball-control offense. Small ball, if you will. This one has (been) a much more complementary group in terms of offense, defense and the way they work.''


    After this Saturday, Kelly hopes the 2012 and 2018 teams will have something else in common - a victory over long-time nemesis Pittsburgh. The last time the rivals met in Notre Dame Stadium was in that 2012 season. The Irish survived a possible game-winning, 33-yard field goal by Pitt at the end of the second overtime to win 29-26 on quarterback Everett Golson's 1-yard sneak.


    ''That team was a very mature group with (offensive lineman Nick) Martin and (running back) Theo Martin and (tight end) Tyler Eifert, (linebacker) Manti Te'o - a very professional, older, veteran group,'' Kelly said. ''Not that this is a non-veteran group, but you know, we signed 27 players in our last class (and) 14 of them were on this trip. So this is a younger group that is a little bit looser in that sense, but very focused when it comes to doing their jobs.''


    First-year defensive coordinator Clark Lea's unit is led by senior linebackers Te'von Coney and Drue Tranquill, senior defensive tackle Jerry Tillery and junior cornerback Julian Love.


    The defense held down the fort in narrow home victories over Michigan (24-17), Ball State (24-16) and Vanderbilt (22-17). Then offensive coordinator Chip Long and Kelly switched to Ian Book at quarterback, and he distributed the ball to 15 different players in a 56-27 victory at Wake Forest. Book has averaged 291 yards and three touchdowns passing in three victories.


    The offense got a further boost when senior Dexter Williams returned from a university-imposed four-game suspension to rush for 161 yards against Stanford, including a 45-yard TD scamper on his first touch of the season, and 178 yards, 97 on a TD carry that ignited the 28-point second-half explosion at Virginia Tech.


    The special teams have been solid with accurate senior placekicker Justin Yoon, now the school's all-time leading scorer, and senior punter Tyler Newsome averaging 46.3 yards per kick.


    ''I don't know if I'm looking forward to playing the No. 5 team in the country because they're awful good,'' Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi said after his Panthers evened their record at 3-3 with a 44-37 overtime victory over Syracuse.


    Narduzzi's teams have beaten two ranked teams in recent seasons - 43-42 at No. 3 Clemson in 2016 and then knocking off No. 2 Miami 24-14 in Pittsburgh to close out last season at 5-7.


    Following Saturday's game, the Irish have an off week with five games against teams with a combined 14-13 record, four of them on the road: Oct. 26 at San Diego against Navy (2-3), Nov. 3 at Northwestern (2-3), Nov. 10 at home against Florida State (3-3), Nov. 17 against Syracuse (4-2) in Yankee Stadium and Nov. 24 at USC (3-2).
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    Big Ten Report - Week 7
    October 10, 2018
    By ASA



    2018 BIG 10 STANDINGS


    Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under
    Illinois 3-2 1-1 3-2 2-3
    Indiana 4-2 1-2 2-4 3-3
    Iowa 4-1 1-1 4-1 3-2
    Maryland 3-2 1-1 3-2 3-2
    Michigan 5-1 3-0 3-3 3-3
    Michigan State 3-2 1-1 1-4 4-1
    Minnesota 3-2 0-2 3-2 3-2
    Nebraska 0-5 0-3 1-4 3-2
    Northwestern 2-3 2-1 3-2 3-2
    Ohio State 6-0 3-0 3-3 3-3
    Penn State 4-1 1-1 4-1 4-1
    Purdue 2-3 1-1 3-2 3-2
    Rutgers 1-5 0-3 2-4 3-3
    Wisconsin 4-1 2-0 1-4 3-2


    Games Scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 13


    Minnesota at Ohio State (-29.5) - (FS1, 12:00 p.m. ET)


    MINNESOTA
    – The Gophers come into this game with a 3-2 record but 4 of those 5 games have been played at home. Their lone road game this year was @ Maryland in a game Minnesota was throttled 42-13. Last Saturday they returned home and lost 48-31 to Iowa as a 7-point underdog. So after allowing just 27 total points in their first 3 games, the Gopher defense has been shredded for 90 points in their 2 Big Ten contests. Now they face an OSU offense that ranks 6th in the nation averaging 49 PPG. There was a positive take on the defense last week and that was they controlled Iowa’s running game holding them to just 106 yards on 40 carries. It was something the Minnesota stop unit focused on during their bye week after allowing Maryland to rush for 315 yards in their most recent game. They did, however, help make Iowa QB Nate Stanley look like Tom Brady with 314 yards passing and 4 TD’s. Losing top safety Antoine Winfield Jr for the season has had a big effect. While they stopped the run on Saturday, running the ball well themselves has been an issue. Losing top RB Rodney Smith was a huge loss now averaging just 90 YPG on the ground in Big Ten play (13th ahead of only Northwestern). Not being able to run the ball is a huge problem for a team starting a freshman walk-on at QB.


    OHIO STATE – The Buckeyes were expectedly a little flat last weekend coming off their huge 27-26 win @ Penn State the previous Saturday. They were facing an Indiana team that had played them very tough as of late covering 6 of the last 7 meetings. Make that 7 of 8 as IU hung tough covering the 27-point spread in a 49-26 loss. It was a 35-26 game entering the 4th quarter when OSU shut the door with 2 TD’s to close it out. QB Dwayne Haskins Jr threw for a career high 455 yards and 6 TD’s. He now has 25 TD’s and just 4 interceptions this year. After the game Haskins stated that his team was tired after their win @ PSU and during their week of practice they had a lower energy level than normal. Must be nice to have a week like that and still win by 23 points. If there is one chink in this team’s armor it might be their pass defense. They have allowed 286 and 322 yards through the air in their last 2 Big Ten games. After the game Urban Meyer was a bit concerned. "We've been fine against the run, but the pass has been killing us and that's going to bite us, something we've got to get fixed," Meyer said. Their pass defense may get healthy this week facing a Minnesota team that averages just 187 YPG (105th nationally).


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – These two have not met since 2015. Since PJ Fleck took over this Minnesota program last year, the Gophs are only 2-9 ATS vs Big Ten opponents. Fleck has played 5 conference road games since taking over and his Minnesota team is 0-5 SU & 0-4-1 ATS in those games getting outscored by 112 points in those 5 games (average loss of 22 PPG). Buckeyes look a bit overvalued as they have lost 3 of their last 4 to the spread with their only money maker during that stretch coming by just 6 points vs Tulane.


    Rutgers at Maryland (-25.5) - (Big Ten, 12:00 p.m. ET)


    RUTGERS
    – The Scarlet Knights had to look at last week’s home game vs Illinois as their best remaining shot at a win. Rutgers mistake prone football again on Saturday shot down that hope once again. The Knights had 3 turnovers which led to 10 of Illinois’ 38 points. They also had 10 penalties for over 100 yards and missed a field goal. Freshman QB Artur Sitkowski threw for a career high 267 yards but also threw 3 interceptions. They are huge underdogs this Saturday @ Maryland, the Terps then host Northwestern before the gauntlet of Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State to end the season. This team is destined for a winless Big Ten season and head coach Chris Ash will firmly be on the hot seat after his 3rd season. Ash currently has a record of 7-23 since taking over at Rutgers. The Knights are currently last in the Big Ten in scoring offense, total offense, rush defense, pass efficiency offense, pass efficiency defense, and 3rd down conversion defense. Simply a season to forget in New Brunswick.


    MARYLAND – The Terps looked like they might have a shot @ Michigan last week leading 7-3 at the end of the first quarter. The Wolverines quickly shot down those hopes scoring an easy 42-21 win. Maryland relies as heavily on their running game as any team in the Big Ten. Their QB’s are not adept passers as Maryland ranks 123rd nationally at just 127 YPG through the air. They’ve only attempted 98 passes in 5 games this season which is ahead of only Army, Air Force, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Navy, and Coastal Carolina – all option based teams. They did OK last week vs Michigan running for 147 yards but with just 73 yards passing that wasn’t enough to get it done or even stay close. Stop Maryland’s running game and they are in big trouble. It doesn’t look like their opponent this week can do that as Rutgers allowed Illinois to rush for 330 yards last week and the Scarlet Knights rank 119th nationally at stopping the run. Maryland had 10 penalties vs Michigan and as with many of the Big Ten teams, that’s been a big problem this year. The Terps are the 4th most penalized team in the nation this year averaging just under 10 per game.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – Rutgers pulled off a 31-24 home win last year over Maryland as a 4.5 point underdog. The dog has covered 5 of the 6 meetings in this series. Rutgers has played 2 road games this season and been outscored by a combined 107-17 in those games (@ Ohio State & @ Kansas). The Terps have not been a favorite of this magnitude (-24 or more) since 2006 (vs FBS foes). Maryland’s largest spot as a Big Ten favorite before this game was in 2016 at home vs this same Rutgers team. The Terps were laying 15.5 in that game.


    Iowa (-5.5) at Indiana - (ESPN2, 12:00 p.m. ET)


    IOWA
    – The Hawkeyes bounced back nicely after their tough home loss to Wisconsin with a 48-31 road win @ Minnesota. That win gave Iowa 14 wins in their last 20 meetings with the Gophers. While they struggled to run the ball (just 2.7 YPC), QB Nate Stanley continued his impressive play throwing for 300+ yards and 4 TD’s. In his last 3 games Stanley has thrown for 880 yards and 8 TD’s as Iowa has relied more heavily on their passing game. The Hawks outgained the Gophers by 100 yards but were also helped out by 4 Minnesota interceptions, 3 of those coming on their final 4 possessions. The 17-point margin could have been much worse had Iowa taken better advantage of the turnovers as they led to just 3 points for the Hawkeyes. On the other hand, Iowa’s two turnovers turned into 14 points for the Gophers. While Iowa did have 4 interceptions, they also allowed freshman walk-on QB Zack Annexstad to throw for 218 yards and 3 TD’s. It was the first time he had thrown for over 200 yards since their opener vs New Mexico State. Iowa was forced to start to freshman corners, Jarius Brents & Riley Moss, as their two regular starters were both injured. Starting CB’s Matt Hankins and Michael Ojemudia have both been cleared to practice and may return to the line up on Saturday.


    INDIANA – Indiana (+27) gave a valiant effort in their 2nd of back to back road games last week but come up short 49-26 @ Ohio State. The Buckeyes came in flat off their PSU win and the Hoosiers actually held a 17-14 lead midway through the 2nd quarter. From that point on the Buckeyes outscored IU 35-9 and pulled away for the win. QB Peyton Ramsey threw for a career high 322 yards hitting 9 different receivers for over 12 yards per pass attempt. Their running game, however, has been lacking at best as they are averaging only 92 YPG and 2.9 YPC in their 3 Big Ten games. It may improve quickly if they get last year’s leading rusher Morgan Ellison back in the line up at some point. He was indefinitely suspended before the season began but has been cleared by head coach Tom Allen to start practicing with the team. No word on when Allen will let him get back into game action. This is the 2nd straight season the Hoosiers have looked very good during the non-conference slate only to struggle when the Big Ten season opens. They were 4-0 this year only to lose 2 of their first 3 conference games with their only win coming by a TD @ Rutgers. Last year Indiana was also undefeated during the non-conference slate but lost their first 6 Big Ten games.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – These two have not met since 2015. Since 1980, the Hawkeyes are 20-9 SU & 17-12 ATS vs Indiana. Iowa has been a big time money maker as a road favorite covering 14 of their last 17 in that spot dating back to 2011 (including last week @ Minnesota). Indiana has failed to cover the last 6 times they’ve been a Big Ten home underdog (including at home vs MSU this year). The Hoosiers are also 0-6 ATS their last 6 games following a SU loss.


    Nebraska at Northwestern (-4) - (ABC, 12:00 p.m. ET)


    NEBRASKA
    – The Huskers (+17.5) fell for the 9th straight time dating back to last season losing @ Wisconsin 41-24. The line on this game opened with Wisconsin north of 21 and dropped to 17.5 (some 18’s) giving Nebraska a tight cover. The defense continued to struggle allowing 40+ points for their 6th straight Big Ten contest dating back to last season. The Badgers dominated the ground game cruising to 370 yards on the ground on nearly 8 YPC. The offense played very well moving the ball consistently through the air vs a banged up Wisconsin secondary. Adrian Martinez threw for almost 400 yards and 2 TD’s. The freshman QB, however, continues to be turnover prone as he fumbled in Badger territory and while he didn’t throw an interception the UW secondary dropped a number of potential picks including 2 on one drive. This team is much better than their 0-5 record but mistakes have taken away whatever opportunities they’ve had to come away with a win. They had 10 penalties for 100 yards at Wisconsin which means the Cornhuskers have been penalized at least 10 times in EVERY GAME this season. With a team like Nebraska who currently has a small margin for error, those mistakes are killers. If they ever eliminate a majority of those mistakes, they will pull an upset. When will that be is the question.


    NORTHWESTERN – The Cats come home after pulling off a big upset last week @ Michigan State. Northwestern was a 10.5 point dog and won the game by double digits 29-19. The game was scoreless with under 2:00 minutes to go in the first quarter and the MSU & NW combined for 17 points in a 3:00 minute time frame spanning late first quarter into the second quarter. The Cats led 14-3 just 2:00 minutes into the 2nd quarter and they were up 14-6 at half. The game was still in doubt late when Michigan State, down 22-19, opted to go for it on 4th and 1 from their own 11 yard line with 3:59 remaining in the game. The Cats took over on downs after holding MSU short of the first down and then scored a TD 3 plays later to extend the margin to 29-19 and basically end the game. Northwestern continues to produce almost zero running game but QB Clayton Thorson is rounding into form the last few weeks making this a pass first and sometimes pass only offense. The Cats had just 8 yards on the ground on 20 carries vs MSU. Thorson had 47 pass attempts for 373 yards and 3 TD’s. It was the 2nd time in the last 3 games that Thorson had 47+ pass attempts and threw for 370+ yards. Northwestern now sits 2-1 in the Big Ten and with Nebraska and @ Rutgers on deck, they look to make a move toward the top of the West Division.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – Northwestern won this match in OT last year beating Nebraska 31-24 in Lincoln as a 2.5 point favorite. Now the Cats are at home basically laying the same number (currently -3.5 or -4). The road team has won 6 of the 7 meetings outright since the Huskers joined the Big Ten in 2011. The Wildcats have covered 70% of the time when favored coming off an outright win as a dog dating back to 2011 (7-3 ATS). Last week was Nebraska’s first cover of the year and they did so by just a half point (+17.5 @ Wisconsin).


    Michigan State at Penn State (-13.5) - (Big Ten, 3:30 p.m. ET)


    MICHIGAN STATE –
    The Spartans continue their disappointing season this weekend in Happy Valley. They’ve been favored in every game this year but are just 3-2 on the season and just 1-4 ATS. MSU is banged up on offense right now with their top RB out, top WR out, and a few injuries along the offensive line. It shows as this team is struggling offensively. They couldn’t get their running game going as their two RB’s combined for just 27 yards on 11 carries. Their leading rusher was WR Felton Davis who tallied 50 yards on two end arounds. Because of their lack of a running game, QB Brian Lewerke is having to carry much of the load. He attempted 51 passes last Saturday vs the Wildcats. The defense remains stellar against the run as they held Northwestern to just 8 yards on the ground. Sparty has now allowed only 71 yards on the ground the entire season and they’ve held 8 straight opponents to less than 100 yards. They have been a bit vulnerable to the pass ranking dead last in the Big Ten in pass defense allowing over 300 YPG. After the 2015 season when MSU made the College Playoff they were on a run of 36-5 from 2013 – 2015 and looked like they might be close to breaking into college football’s elite. However, they are just 16-14 since and have obviously taken a step back as a program.


    PENN STATE – The Nittany Lions have had two full weeks to try and recover from their disappointing 27-26 home loss to the Buckeyes. It was a game PSU should have won as they dominated the Buckeyes statistically with more first downs, a time of possession edge, and outgaining OSU by 103 yards. The offense was impressive putting up almost 500 yards on the Buckeyes with a great mix of run & pass. The defense was impressive for most of the game as they allowed OSU to gain only 219 yards and score just 14 points on their first 15 offensive possessions. The defensive problems started at that point as OSU gained 171 yards and scored 14 points on their final 2 possessions including the game winning TD with 2:03 remaining in the game. The Lions look pretty healthy heading into this match up and if they can put OSU behind them they should be motivated here after losing at MSU as a 9.5 point favorite last year.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – MSU was +9.5 at home last year in this match up and pulled the 27-24 upset. The favorite in this series has covered 6 of the last 7 with the lone outlier being last year Spartan upset. PSU has covered 6 of the last 8 times they’ve been coming off a bye. This line opened -14.5 and dropped to -13.5. If this number goes back to 14 or higher, the Spartans are 21-13 ATS as a dog of two TD’s or more since 1980. Surprisingly, the Nittany Lions are just 1-7 ATS at home coming off a SU home loss.


    Purdue (-10.5) at Illinois - (FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET)


    PURDUE
    – Purdue comes off a bye after their big win @ Nebraska two weeks ago. The Boilers picked up the 42-28 win in Lincoln despite being outgained for the first time this season. The defense had trouble slowing down Nebraska as the Huskers tallied 536 total yards. The bend but don’t break defensive game for Purdue worked well when it needed to as the shut out Nebraska on downs 3 times in Boilermaker territory. They have struggled as a whole on that side of the ball all season long ranking 13th in the Big Ten in total defense allowing 447 YPG. Offensively Purdue has been on a nice run since head coach Jeff Brohm decided to stick with QB David Blough and ditch the rotating QB system. In their last 3 games in which Blough has played from start to finish, the Boilers are 2-1 with their lone loss coming by 3-points to Mizzou. They have scored 37, 30, and 42 points in those games and Blough has thrown for 1,196 yards 398 YPG average) and 7 TD’s. Purdue is just 2-3 on the season but they have gained 6.9 YPP while allowing 5.9 YPP for a +1.0 YPP differential.


    ILLINOIS – The Illini were a rare road favorite last week @ Rutgers and they took care of business rolling over the Scarlet Knights 38-17. It was the Illini’s first road win since October of 2016 when the beat this same Rutgers team. It also ended a 13 game Big Ten losing streak. Starting QB AJ Bush returned to the line up after missing the previous two games and he made an impact. Bush threw for only 89 yards but ran for 116 yards and 2 TD’s. Illinois only completed 10 passes the entire game but they really didn’t need to do much more through the air as they rushed for 330 yards. This is becoming a very solid running team as they are 3rd in the Big Ten in rushing (260 YPG) and they have topped 200 yards on the ground in every game this season. Defensively the Illini rank in the bottom 3 of the Big Ten in both rush & pass defense and they allowed Rutgers freshman QB Artur Sitkowski to complete 29 passes for 267 yards which was easily the best game of his young career.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – Purdue rolled up an easy 29-10 home win vs Illinois last year outgaining the Illini by 185 yards. The Boilers have not been a double digit road favorite since 2007. They are 2-7 ATS their last 9 in that role dating back to 1999. The Illini are just 10-19 ATS their last 29 conference games played at home. The Illini are just 6-17 SU their last 23 games coming off an outright win.


    Wisconsin at Michigan (-8) - (ABC, 7:30 p.m. ET)


    WISCONSIN – The Badgers opened as 21.5 point favorites last week vs Nebraska however the line dropped throughout the week settling in at -17 to -18 at most spots. The game landed right in that range with Wisconsin winning 41-24. The Badgers dominated the ground game rolling up 370 yards on 48 carries (7.7 YPC). That was 260 yards more than the Huskers could muster on the ground and Jonathan Taylor had 221 yards on 9.2 YPC. However, UW had a very tough time slowing down Nebraska’s passing attack. The Huskers threw for 405 yards with a few big plays in the passing game but many coming on throws to the flat with Wisconsin DB’s playing well off the receivers. The 518 total yards Nebraska tallied were the most on a Wisconsin defense since the 2014 season. The Badger defense continues to struggle putting pressure on the opposing QB as Nebraska freshman signal caller Adrian Martinez often had all day to throw. The only 2 sacks they had came from LB TJ Edwards on the blitz as they young defensive line is not getting much push. We’ll keep an eye on a number of injuries in the defensive backfield for Wisconsin this week as they ended the game last week with 3 back ups in the game, including 2 freshman corners. Starting free safety Scott Nelson will also have to sit the first half here after getting ejected for targeting last Saturday. On top of that, their top DE, Isaiah Lowdermilk, was on crutches at the end of the game which would really hurt an already thin defensive line.


    MICHIGAN – The Wolverines (-17.5) got off a slow start last week and trailed Maryland 7-3 at home after the 1st quarter. They then ripped off 24 consecutive points en route to a 42-21 win. It really could have been worse as Michigan was forced to punt only once the entire game and that was on their opening possession. The defense continued to dominate holding Maryland to just 220 total yards and only two offensive TD’s. After rushing for 315 yards in their previous game vs Minnesota, the Terps were held to just 147 on the ground last Saturday. Michigan’s rush defense is now allowing only 96 YPG on 2.6 YPC and will be one of the key match ups of this game vs a Wisconsin team that loves to run the ball. After struggling in their season opener vs Notre Dame, the Michigan offense is peaking scoring 42+ in 4 of their last 5 games. In those 5 games the Wolverines have tallied 2,217 total yards for an average of 443 YPG. In last week’s win they put up 465 yards on 6.8 YPP. Michigan ran some plays from the pistol formation for the first time this season and when asked after the game how much of the playbook has been used thus far this season, QB Shea Patterson said he thought about a quarter was pretty accurate. More new wrinkles are expected this Saturday night at home vs the Badgers.


    INSIDE THE NUMBERS – Wisconsin played host and won last year’s game 24-10 outgaining Michigan by nearly 100 yards. The Badgers have dominated the cash in this series with a 12-3-1 ATS record since 1992. UW is also 5-3 SU in this series since 2004. Badgers are also 17-8 ATS the last 25 times they’ve been an underdog going back to the 2008 season. Barry Alvarez turned this program around in the early 90’s and since 1990 they have been fantastic as a dog of more than a TD going 30-9-1 ATS! Michigan is 6-2-1 ATS their last 9 home meetings vs Wisconsin.
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    ACC Report - Week 7
    October 10, 2018
    By Joe Williams



    2018 ACC STANDINGS


    ATLANTIC DIVISION



    Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under
    Boston College 4-2 1-1 4-2 4-2
    Clemson 6-0 3-0 2-4 3-3
    Florida State 3-3 1-3 2-4 4-2
    Louisville 2-4 0-3 1-5 3-3
    North Carolina State 5-0 2-0 3-2 2-3
    Syracuse 4-2 1-2 4-1-1 3-3
    Wake Forest 3-3 0-2 1-5 5-1


    COASTAL DIVISION


    Duke 4-1 0-1 3-2 3-2
    Georgia Tech 3-3 1-2 2-4 4-2
    Miami-Florida 5-1 2-0 3-3 5-1
    North Carolina 1-3 1-1 1-2-1 3-1
    Pittsburgh 3-3 2-1 2-4 3-3
    Virginia 3-2 1-1 4-1 3-2
    Virginia Tech 3-2 2-0 3-2 3-2


    Duke at Georgia Tech (ACC Network, 12:20 p.m. ET)


    The Blue Devils hit the road for Atlanta looking to slow down the Yellow Jackets' rushing attack. Georgia Tech has rolled up 64.5 points per game over the past two outings against Bowling Green and Louisville, running the ball at will. The Blue Devils head to Atlanta with a 4-0 ATS mark over their past four road games and 6-2 ATS in the past eight overall. However, they're just 2-5-1 ATS in the past eight ACC battles and 0-3-1 ATS in their past four games in the month of October. The Ramblin' Wreck is 8-3 ATS in the past 11 at home, but just 2-6 ATS in their past eight overall and 1-4-1 ATS in their past six tries against winning teams. In this series, Duke, the underdog in each of the past four meetings, is 4-0 ATS with the under going 4-1 ATS in the past five battles in Atlanta.


    Louisville at Boston College (ACC Network, 12:30 p.m. ET)


    Louisville has opened the conference slate with three straight setbacks and they're heavily favored to suffer a fourth loss in Chestnut Hill on Saturday. The Cardinals hit the road with an 8-20-1 ATS mark ove rtheir ;ast 29 games, 1-4 ATS in the past five road games and a dismal 2-10 ATS mark across their past 12 contests against winning teams. The Eagles hve posted a 9-1-1 ATS record in the past 11 conference games, while going 12-3-1 ATS in the past 16 overall. BC is also 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight home games, 10-3-1 ATS in the past 14 home outings against a team with a losing road mark and 5-1 ATS in the past six against losing squads. However, the road team is 4-0 ATS in the past four meetings in this series.


    Pittsburgh at Notre Dame (NBC, 2:30 p.m. ET)


    The Panthers head into South Bend in a rivalry game, although Vegas isn't expecting much resistance from Pittsburgh. Playoff-hopeful Notre Dame is installed as a three-touchdown favorite heading into Saturday afternoon. Pitt has posted a 5-2 ATS mark in their past seven against teams with a winning record, but they're 6-19-1 ATS in the past 26 non-conference battles. Notre Dame is 5-2 ATS in the past seven games overall and 5-2 ATS in their past seven against the ACC. The under has been popular for both sides lately, going 7-1 in Pitt's past eight road games, and 6-2 in their past eight against independents. The under is also 13-5-1 in the past 19 overall. The under is also 4-1 in Notre Dame's past five home games and 7-3 in their past 10 overall. In this series, the Panthers are 3-0-1 ATS in the past four meetings in South Bend, while the underdog is 8-1-1 ATS in the past 10 in this series. The road team is also 7-2-1 ATS in the past 10 meetings.


    Miami-Florida at Virginia (ESPN2, 7:00 p.m.)


    Miami arrives with a lot of confidence after erasing a 27-7 deficit at home last week against Florida State to pick up a one-point win against their rivals. Now, will there be any kind of hangover? The Hurricanes have held steady as a favorite in the neighborhood of 6 to 6 1/2 points this week. However, Miami is just 3-7 ATS in their past 10 overall, 1-4 ATS in their past five ACC games and 1-4 ATS in the past five road games while going 1-5 ATS in the past six against winning teams. Conversely, UVA is 4-1 ATS in their past five home games while going 8-3 ATS in the past 11 against winning teams. They're also rested, and they're 9-2 ATS in their past 11 coming off a bye week. The underdog is 12-2 ATS in the past 14 meetings in this series, while the road team is 6-1 ATS in the past seven in this series. Miami has cashed in just one of the past five in this series.


    Virginia Tech at North Carolina (ESPNU, 7:00 p.m.)


    The Hokies will be angry after failing a huge national test last week at home against Notre Dame. Now, they look to take out their anger on the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill, a team which has won just once in four tries overall this season. Virginia Tech is 2-9 ATS in the past 11 road games against teams with a losing home record, while UNC is 21-7 ATS in the past 28 at home against teams with a winning road record. The Tar Heels are an impressive 4-1 ATS in the past five ACC games, too, while going 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight overall. Va. Tech has dominated this series in the recent past, at least against the number, going 5-0 ATS in the past five and 5-1 ATS in the past six trips to Kenan Stadium. The 'under' is 9-2 in the past 11 meetings in this series, while going 4-1 in the past five in Chapel Hill.


    Teams On A Bye
    Clemson, Florida State, North Carolina State, Syracuse, Wake Forest
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    Pac-12 Report - Week 7
    October 10, 2018
    By Joe Williams

    2018 PAC-12 STANDINGS


    NORTH DIVISION



    Team SU Conference ATS Over/Under
    California 3-2 0-2 1-3-1 2-3
    Oregon 4-1 1-1 1-4 3-2
    Oregon State 1-5 0-3 2-4 5-1
    Stanford 4-2 2-1 3-3 3-3
    Washington 5-1 3-0 2-4 1-5
    Washington State 5-1 2-1 6-0 5-1


    SOUTH DIVISION


    Arizona 3-3 2-1 3-3 1-5
    Arizona State 3-3 1-2 4-2 3-3
    Colorado 5-0 2-0 4-1 1-4
    Southern California 3-2 2-1 1-4 3-2
    UCLA 0-5 0-2 2-3 3-2
    Utah 3-2 1-2 2-3 3-2


    Arizona at Utah (Fri. - ESPN, 10:00 p.m. ET)


    It's Friday Night Lights at Rice-Eccles in Salt Lake City, as the Wildcats and Utes tangle. It's an important game for both, too, as the Utes can ill afford a third loss in the conference if they're to have any hopes of representing the Pac-12 South in the Championship game, while the Wildcats do not need a fourth loss if they want to be bowl eligible. The Wildcats are just 3-13 ATS in the past 16 road games, while going 1-5 ATS in the past six road outings against a team with a winning home record. They're also 4-9 ATS in the past 13 games against teams with a winning record. Utah picked up a win at Stanford last week, but they're just 1-3-1 ATS in their past five following a straight-up victory. Arizona has posted a 4-1 ATS in the past five meetings in Salt Lake City.


    Washington at Oregon (ABC or ESPN, 3:30 p.m.)


    The Huskies and Ducks lock horns in a rivalry game, and it's a huge test for Washington. They're pretty much carrying the flag for the conference if the Pac-12 is going to have any hopes of a playoff team this season. Washington is 2-5 ATS in the past seven games overall, while going 1-5 ATS in the past six games on the road. Oregon hasn't been much better, however, going 1-5 ATS in the past six games overall while being blanked in their past five at home against the spread. However, they are an impressive 4-1 ATS in the past five outings following a bye week. Total bettors might like the fact the over has cashed in each of the past four meetings in this series, however the under is 7-3-1 in Washington's past 11 on the road and 4-0 in their past four against teams with a winning record. Oregon has dominated this series, at least against the number, going 11-2-1 ATS in the past 14 meetings, including 6-1-1 ATS in the past eight in Eugene.


    UCLA at California (Pac-12 Network, 7:00 p.m.)


    The winless Bruins head to Berkeley desperate for their first win of the season. While they didn't pull off the upset, they have plenty of positives after putting a scare into Washington in last weekend's cover at home. It was a rare cover, as UCLA is just 4-9 ATS in the past 13 Pac-12 battles, while going 2-5 ATS in the past seven overall. They're also a dismal 2-7 ATS in the past nine in this series. Cal is 4-1 ATS in the past five against teams with a losing record, while going 5-2-1 ATS in the past eight at home. They have also dominated this series against the spread, going 7-3 ATS in the past 10 meetings, including a perfect 5-0 ATS in the past five in Berkeley. The underdog is 15-6-1 ATS in the past 22, however, although the home team has cashed in seven of the past eight. The under is also 5-0 in the past five in this series.


    Colorado at Southern California (FOX Sports 1, 10:30 p.m.)


    The Buffaloes put their unblemished record on the line against the Trojans in #Pac12AfterDark. Colorado, in the ranks inside the Top 20, might look very attractive as a touchdown underdog against the Trojans, who are just 3-2 SU. The Buffs are 4-1 ATS in the past five overall, but they're just 1-4-1 ATS in the past six agains teams with a winning record. USC hasn't done very well against the number lately, however, failing to cover in four in a row at home, and they're also winless in four straight against the number vs. teams with a winning overall mark. So something has to give between these two as far as that trend is concerned. USC is just 5-15-1 ATS in the past 21 games overall, and 1-4-1 ATS in their past six inside the league. Bettors might like Colorado, since they're 3-1-1 ATS in the past five meetings and the underdog is also 3-1-1 ATS in the past five in the series. However, the home team is 4-1-1 ATS in the past six battles.


    Teams On A Bye
    Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, Washington State
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    College Football Picks: Why Pac-12 needs Washington to win
    October 10, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    If the Pac-12 wants to maximize its damaged hopes of placing a team in the College Football Playoff, No. 7 Washington needs to beat No. 17 Oregon on Saturday.


    The Huskies (5-1, 3-0) and Ducks (4-1, 1-1) meet in Eugene, Oregon, in a game that could go a long way to determining which team wins the Pac-12 North. After years of dominance by the Ducks, the Huskies flipped the rivalry the last two seasons, winning both games by a combined 108-24.


    The Ducks' lone loss this season was a heart-breaking giveaway to Stanford. The Huskies have not lost since the opener against Auburn in Atlanta.


    The best either team can do is ''12-1 Pac-12 champion,'' but Washington's resume would look much better than Oregon's. The Ducks, thanks to Texas A&M bailing on a series, were stuck with one of the weakest nonconference schedules in the country. They also, by luck of the draw, have a Pac-12 schedule that has neither Southern California nor No. 19 Colorado. Good for racking up wins, but not necessarily for impressing the selection committee.


    The Huskies, meanwhile, host unbeaten Colorado next week and have already won at Utah. The Auburn game was a loss, but traveling cross-country and playing a Top 25 team (for now) in its backyard is probably better than beating up a cupcake at home - which is all the Ducks have to show. The Huskies could also get a little boost from their win over BYU if the Cougars finish out the season strong.


    Colorado is the only unbeaten team in the Pac-12 but, again, the schedule gods did the Buffaloes no favors. Rival Colorado State is mediocre at best and their big nonconference opponent, Nebraska, is in the midst of a historically bad season. Colorado probably needs to run the table to get serious playoff consideration, and it would probably bolster the Buffs' case if Washington was as good as possible.


    Many wanted to bury the Pac-12 as soon as the Huskies lost to Auburn. That was premature. Even now there are enough twists and turns possible to pave the way for the conference to put its champion in the playoff - but the chances are much better if that champion is Washington.


    The picks:


    FRIDAY


    No. 23 South Florida (minus 7+) at Tulsa



    Charlie Strong is 15-2 coaching the Bulls ... USF 28-21.


    SATURDAY


    Missouri (plus 28+) at No. 1 Alabama



    Will this be the week Tua Tagovialoa throws his first fourth-quarter pass? ... ALABAMA 56-24.


    No. 2 Georgia (minus 7+) at No. 13 LSU.


    Tigers will need to conjure up the turnover magic they had during a 5-0 start to keep up with the Bulldogs ... GEORGIA 28-17.


    Minnesota (plus 29+) at No. 3 Ohio State


    Much talk about the Buckeyes' leaky defense, but the running game has been spotty, too ... OHIO STATE 45-20.


    Pittsburgh (plus 21) at No. 5 Notre Dame


    On Saturday, the Fighting Irish will play their second-to-last home game of the season ... NOTRE DAME 42-17.


    No. 6 West Virginia (minus 6) at Iowa State


    Mountaineers are 5-1 against the Cyclones since moving to the Big 12 ... WEST VIRGINIA 31-23.


    No. 7 Washington (minus 3) at No. 17 Oregon


    Huskies face star QB Justin Herbert with a pass rush that has generated just eight sacks, six from defensive backs ... OREGON 27-24.


    Michigan State (plus 13+) at No. 8 Penn State


    Spartans can't run (3.42 yards per carry) or stop the pass (64.5 completion rate against). Otherwise, everything is great ... PENN STATE 38-21.


    Baylor (plus 14) at No. 9 Texas


    After a big victory, the Longhorns better beware of improving Bears ... TEXAS 41-21.


    No. 10 UCF (minus 4+) at Memphis


    Knights and Tigers played a crazy AAC title game last season at UCF; Memphis looking for payback ... UCF 38-31.


    No. 15 Wisconsin (plus 7+) at No. 12 Michigan


    The winner brushes off its playoff hopes ... MICHIGAN 28-17


    No. 14 Florida (minus 7) at Vanderbilt


    Gators have lost to the Commodores just once since 1989 ... FLORIDA 27-17.


    No. 16 Miami (minus 6) at Virginia


    Hurricanes are still working that Turnover Chain, with a plus-five margin and 14 takeaways ... MIAMI 34-24.


    No. 19 Colorado (plus 7) at Southern California


    Virginia Tech grad transfer Travon McMillan is powering the Buffs' running game with 528 yards and 6.29 yards per carry ... COLORADO 34-28, UPSET SPECIAL.


    Tennessee (plus 14+) at No. 21 Auburn


    Can Tigers' stalled offense find some traction against the worst run defense in the SEC? ... AUBURN 27-7, BEST BET.


    No. 22 Texas A&M (minus 2+) at South Carolina


    Gamecocks expect to have QB Jake Bentley (left knee) back in the starting lineup ... TEXAS A&M 27-21.


    TWITTER REQUESTS


    Texas Tech (plus 7) at TCU, Thursday - (at)tbaum15



    The Big 12 race promises to be entertaining and messy ... TCU 31-28.


    Nebraska (plus 3) at Northwestern - (at)GBR1995


    Cornhuskers trying to snap a school-record nine-game losing streak ... NORTHWESTERN 27-25.


    Mississippi (minus 6+) at Arkansas - (at)WhiteCitrus-


    Rebels and Razorbacks have played a lot of wild games lately; Arkansas has won four straight and six of eight, average margin 34-29 ... ARKANSAS 34-29.


    Duke (plus 3) at Georgia Tech - (at)russomatty


    Blue Devils have won three of the last four meetings ... DUKE 23-21.


    ---


    Last week: 16-9 straight; 13-11-1 against the spread.


    Season: 105-31 straight; 72-62-2 against the spread.


    Upset specials: 4-2 (straight up).


    Best bets: 2-4 (against the spread).
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    Week 7 Upset Alerts
    October 10, 2018
    By Sportsbetting.ag



    NCAAF Week 7 Upset Alerts


    Last week's piece here kept the pattern of basically this entire season as the small underdogs continue to no-show for me, while the exact opposite is true for the 20+ underdogs. Those big dogs are now a perfect 6-0 ATS for me this year, but the joy of that mark is subdued with a 1-6 ATS record on underdogs +9 or less.


    In the middle we've got those mid-range dogs and we nearly got another SU winner there last week with Florida State, but as projected, that game was tight throughout and never really in danger of not covering that two-TD number. Wins are wins though and I'll gladly take them, so let's get right to this week's plays:


    Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag


    Upset Alert #1: Underdogs in the +1 to +9 range


    YTD: 1-6 SU; 1-6 ATS


    Oregon Ducks +3 over Washington



    The Oregon Ducks were able to bounce back from that embarrassing collapse vs Stanford with a big win over California the next week, and now they've got a bigger mountain to climb in hosting Washington. A win here would put the Ducks right back in the conversation for a Pac-12 North crown, and considering they are the ones having just had a week off, the situation sits in Oregon's favor as well.


    There are no excuses for that Stanford collapse, but the beginning of the end for Oregon in that game was a brutal overturned TD call on the basis of their guy being out of bounds. It was a bad call overall and Oregon would have been up 31-7 at that point, all but icing the game. Yet, the Ducks still had their opportunities to punch it in on the play(s) after – one that ended up turning into a fumble, scoop and score for Stanford – so the Ducks aren't void of blame either. Remember, that was the last time the Ducks played at home and I'm sure there is still some bitterness in the mouths of that team right now.


    It's been a rare thing for Oregon to lose more than once at home over the past decade or so, and given that this team led by QB Justin Herbert is the best the Ducks have had since QB Marcus Mariota left, I'm banking on the idea that the Ducks aren't going to lose two games at home this year. The extra week of prep time to prepare for this Washington team that's smoked Oregon the last two years (38-3 and 70-21) is always a bonus, and the fact that Washington may have shown some of their weaknesses a week ago against UCLA – a game no doubt Washington was looking past – will help the Ducks as well.


    There is the concern of a team like Washington, who was so clearly looking ahead to this game last week, being much sharper as teams who get “caught” looking ahead tend to play well when that lookahead spot arrives, but this Oregon team is ready to make waves again in the Pac-12 and it starts with an outright win this week. The last time the spread in this rivalry didn't have a double-digit favorite (seven of last eight have had lines of -10 or greater) it was Oregon catching about a FG on the road back in 2015 and it was the Ducks who left with the 26-20 victory. It should be a similar story this week, although, the Ducks will get to celebrate in front of their home crowd this time around.


    Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag


    Upset Alert #2: Underdogs in the +10 to +19 range


    YTD: 1-5 SU; 4-2 ATS


    Wyoming +18 over Fresno State



    Over in the Mountain West, the Wyoming Cowboys are learning that life can be tough when you lose a NFL-caliber QB from your program, as a 1-4 SU and 0-5 ATS run in their last five games has bettors wanting no part of Wyoming these days. However, there comes a point in all bad runs (and good ATS runs for that matter) where the line becomes too inflated one way or another, based on recent good/bad results and the perception of the two teams. Well, that appears to be what we've got here as Fresno State's been a great ATS wager all year (4-1 ATS, 3-0 ATS last three) and are coming off three straight wins where they won each by at least 18 points.


    Runs like that from both teams are why you get this number at it's current range, but let me point out it didn't open up there. This number actually opened up as Fresno State -19.5/20, and despite nearly 70% of the action on the Bulldogs at home, this number has moved in Wyoming's favor. That suggests to me that this line is one where Fresno's value is a little overinflated at the moment, and when you combine that with a low opinion of Wyoming in the betting markets because of their money-burning ways, you do get a number that is probably a few points too high.


    It's a move I've got to side with here because I don't believe that Wyoming is as bad as they've shown at times this season, nor do I think Fresno State is that great. The Cowboys – despite being 0-2 SU and ATS – in their last two weeks, haven't exactly had the easiest go of things in hosting Boise State and making a trip to the island to face Hawaii, but the fact that their defense was able to hold Hawaii to just 17 points on their own field was a big step forward for this 2018 team.


    Wyoming probably isn't going to get the SU win here as those struggles should continue, but this game should stay within two TD's here as Wyoming's offense should be able to score 17+ here and not allow more than 30. Fresno's defense may look good off a 21-3 win over Nevada, but they've allowed 14 or fewer points three times now in 2018, and in the two games played following those efforts, they have given up at least 21 points. With the total just in the mid-40's, a Wyoming scoreboard that shows 21+ should be a very easy ATS win if Fresno's defense holds true to form.


    Odds per - Sportsbetting.ag


    Upset Alert #3: Underdogs in the +20 and above range


    YTD: 6-0 ATS


    Minnesota +29.5 vs Ohio State



    Admittedly, these big underdogs are going to get harder and harder to pick in the coming weeks because with all those “cupcake” games gone from the schedules of Power 5 programs, there are fewer games out there being lined with these big spreads. This week there are only five games to choose from in this range and two of them are Big 10 battles. And while my initial reaction was to back Rutgers against Maryland because I don't believe Maryland should be laying that big of a number, after doing some digging, it's actually the other Big 10 game I like more.


    Stepping in front of Ohio State at home is not usually ideal, especially if you're not an offensive-minded team and can put up 24+ points in order to keep up with a Buckeyes team that typically scored 40+. Ohio State has scored 40 or more in all of their games but the battle with Penn State, and will probably hit that mark again this week against the Gophers. That means that Minnesota is going to need at least 20 points scored here to have a chance at staying within this number, and I do think that's quite attainable.


    For one, Minnesota freshman QB Zack Annexstad has settled into his role as the #1 guy for the program, and while he still needs plenty of work on his accuracy (52.1 completion percentage in 2018), his leading of the offense a week ago was impressive. Minnesota ended up losing 48-31 to Iowa, but hanging 30+ on an Iowa team that's always known for great defense is no joke. Granted, that was a Minnesota home game and this one is at the Horseshoe, but Annexstad already got those hostile environment nerves out of the way when he and Minnesota laid an egg @ Maryland. That was a game oddsmakers thought the Golden Gophers had a legitimate shot to win (closed +2.5) and it was just never meant to be.


    But this week, Minnesota is given no shot at winning SU (rightfully so), but that should actually help Annexstad play loose right from the beginning. If he and the Gophers go out and take some shots early and they don't connect or end up being turnovers, well, that's what everyone expected and then we've got to look for a backdoor ATS cover down the line; after all it's still basically 30 points they are getting.


    But if those aggressive shots end up paying off for Minnesota early – and Ohio State's defense has been had by suspect teams this year (Oregon State scored 31 on them) – well, then we've got a game, at least relative to the spread and shouldn't have to sweat this number much. Either way, a 30-point win for Ohio State seems like a bit much in this spot for the Buckeyes.
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    Saturday's Best Bets
    October 10, 2018
    By BetDSI



    College Football Best Bets – Week 7


    After the month of September treated these CFB Best Bets very well, the same can't be said for the start of October as last week's selections failed to provide a winner. Both Missouri and California couldn't get the job done in hostile territory as small road favorites and those results definitely put a damper on my day. But losing days will always happen in this business and you've just go to make sure they don't crush your bankroll (overextending yourself on a play) and move on to the next week/game. There is always going to be another game.


    Which brings me to Week 7 as mid-October has basically arrived and that means we are just a few weeks away from the first playoff field being announced by the selection committee.


    There are big matchups sprinkled all over this week's card and it's two teams that were in the playoffs a year ago, and would be playoff bound this year as of now that I'm siding with this week.


    Odds per - BetDSI.eu


    Best Bet #1: Alabama -28


    It's been an interesting couple of weeks for Nick Saban and his Alabama team as they've outscored their opponents 121 to 45 the past two weeks, yet Saban has not come to his post-game press conferences a happy man. Two weeks ago it was about taking shots at an “entitled” Alabama student fan base who didn't pack the stadium against Louisiana-Lafayette, and then last week it was about his defense letting up for the 3rd week in a row in the second half. Saban is really just battling himself and his program's success, but with this week being the first time they are back at home since his rant about the fans, and a week after calling out his defense (and team) publicly, all I can say is I feel very sorry for Missouri and what QB Drew Lock will be facing this week.


    I can understand Saban's rant about the lack of attendance because as a coach he wants to see his program supported blindly every week, but entitled or not, that week at Alabama was also Parents Weekend and you've got to give your student body a break with Louisiana-Lafayette – as a 49-point underdog – in town just to collect their massive paycheck from Alabama for beating them up on the gridiron. Yet, I'm sure the message got across through the Crimson Tide's campus and the home field advantage Alabama already enjoys should probably be bumped up another point or two.


    Secondly, it's the public shaming of his defense that has me liking all this chalk with Alabama this weekend and put me over the top on this play.


    Saban is never going to be happy when his team allows 30+ points to anyone so that's in play as well here, but for a guy like Saban who's constantly battling his own success within his program, I'd make a sizable wager that Saban is fully aware of these point spreads oddsmakers are lacing him with each week and uses those as a great barometer for his team's play/level of improvement. Well, if that's the case, an 0-3 ATS mark the past three weeks is probably behind some of these post-game rants from Saban, especially when you consider that Alabama has been outscored 7-0, 14-0, and 17-14 in the 4th quarters of those three games as well. Those backdoor covers by Alabama foes has got to be a big part of why Saban is feisty already in October, and I wouldn't expect it to happen this week -whether he leaves starters in or not – because Saban's always been a guy about “finishing” and that's something Alabama just hasn't done well of late.


    If Saban does use point spreads as a great way to evaluate his team, this week of practice at Bama likely hasn't been a fun one. Considering Alabama's offensive reserves weren't shy about pouring on the scores in the 4th quarter last week, those 17 points in the final frame suggest to me that covering that spread was something Saban really wanted to see from his team. The fact that the defense allowed a TD run in the final minute to lose ATS had to have been the thing to set him off on the defense just minutes later, and like I said earlier, I feel sorry for Drew Lock and his Missouri team because they are going to be the ones to feel all of that Alabama wrath.


    Three straight ATS losses in backdoor fashion has also forced oddsmakers to knock a bit of that “Alabama tax” off this line as it sits right at the four-TD range here. We all know the Crimson Tide's offense should have no problem scoring here, and with the tongue lashing the Alabama defense got, I'd be surprised to see Missouri score more than 10 points here.


    There will be no backdoor ATS covers possible for an Alabama foe this week as they storm out to that big lead as they always do and shut this thing down as tight as ever afterwards. This has all the makings of a 47-10 type blowout here, and with Missouri just 4-10 ATS in their last 14 on the road, I'll gladly lay this chalk.


    Odds per - BetDSI.eu


    Best Bet #2: Georgia -7.5


    With most of my plays this year (and basically every week) being more underdog centric, it was surprising to see both the #1 and #2 teams in the country pop up as play-on teams for me this week. But that's precisely what I'm doing, as Georgia goes into LSU this week and puts another stake in LSU's hopes of 2018 being a possible playoff campaign for the program.


    First off, I don't talk about this much, but I do suggest buying a half-point to get a flat -7 on this line just from a pure numbers standpoint. I don't believe it will matter in the end, but it never hurts to get into (and keep) a routine of using smart betting practices and taking strong numbers.


    Getting to the game though, LSU's perfect season was snapped in Florida a week ago, and fading teams after first losses in October for CFB teams is always something I like to do each year. All those hopes and dreams for the Tigers regarding the CFB playoff, a perfect campaign etc etc are all basically squashed now, as they are left to play the role of spoiler, hopefully doing that highly successfully and getting a few breaks along the way. But with Alabama and Georgia still left on the schedule for LSU, that was always going to be a tough task. Getting Georgia the first week after that reality set in is just a horrible spot for the home side here.


    Georgia still has all of their national title dreams in tact at 6-0 SU, and they know just how important and tough this game will be for them. I expect the Bulldogs to be intensely focused for this game – they did know this showdown was coming for a few weeks now – and their talent on both sides of the ball will simply be too much for LSU here. Georgia is 6-1 ATS in their last seven against a winning team, 14-3 ATS in their last 17 on the road against a team with a winning record at home, and 19-7 ATS on the road overall the past few years.


    Going into LSU and quieting that crowd down early shouldn't be that difficult a task for Georgia against this deflated LSU squad, and come the 2nd half, Georgia's dynamic ground attack and defense will salt away this two-TD win for the visitors.
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    T-Tech-TCU pits offense vs. defense
    October 10, 2018
    By The Associated Press



    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) TCU defensive guru Gary Patterson and Texas Tech offensive mastermind Kliff Kingsbury both express admiration for how the other coach excels at his specialty.


    ''Coach Kingsbury is probably one of the brightest offensive minds in college football, and really anywhere,'' Patterson said.


    Said Kingsbury of the Horned Frogs: ''No team is more prepared defensively. Year in and year out as the pieces change, the consistency on that side of the football stays the same. He is a phenomenal defensive coach.''


    The two head coaches will be on opposite sides of the field Thursday night when Texas Tech (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), with the nation's top-ranked offense at 591 yards and 48 points a game, plays at TCU (3-2, 1-1). The Horned Frogs have the Big 12's best defense.


    It was unclear who will take the snaps, with both teams playing for the first time in 12 days. Both starting quarterbacks got hurt when they last played Sept. 29.


    TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson was helped off the field and to the locker room in the final minute of TCU's game against Iowa State after taking a hit to his left (non-throwing) shoulder. Red Raiders true freshman Alan Bowman was the nation's top passer before a crushing blow against West Virginia left him with a partially collapsed lung and led to a short hospital stay.


    Bowman has already returned to practice and Kingsbury said he could be available to play, along with junior McLane Carter, whose high left ankle sprain in the first quarter of the season opener set up Bowman's early debut. They also have dual-threat player Jett Duffey.


    ''If you don't know who you're going to play, then you've got to prepare for a guy like Duffey that can run all over the place ... and you also have to have a game plan where you're playing the dropback guy,'' Patterson said. ''They're always hard to defend anyway.''


    The Frogs have allowed only 304 yards and 21 points a game this season. They held Texas Tech to three points last year.


    Patterson promised this week that Robinson, whose first start was a 27-3 victory as a freshman at Texas Tech last November, will play. But the coach was talking even before that injury about backup and former Penn transfer Michael Collins being more involved.


    ''We're going to have plans for both guys. Shawn is a tremendous athlete. The other kid, we haven't seen a ton of, but it sounds like he's a very talented player as well,'' said Kingsbury, expecting TCU offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, like him a former Red Raiders quarterback, to have both ready to play.


    LOT OF EXTRA TIME, LOT OF POINTS


    The Red Raiders are 2-1 in Fort Worth since TCU joined them in the Big 12. Both of those were extended wins: 27-24 in double overtime two years ago, and 56-53 in three overtimes in 2012. The Frogs won 82-27 at home in 2014, then a year later in Lubbock won 55-52 on a fourth-down catch of a tipped pass in the back of the end zone in the final minute.


    EARLY BLOWS


    One concern for Patterson is the extra time Kingsbury had to add something to the playbook.


    ''We've got to handle the knockout punches of the new plays,'' Patterson said. ''We've got to get ready to handle the first 25 (plays). You've got to get ready to slow them down.''


    GOOD TIMING

    While anxious to get back on the field after a loss in their last game, Kingsbury felt the break came a good time for the Red Raiders.


    ''About the midseason point where we could heal up, we could address some of our slow starts that have hurt us in our two losses,'' Kingsbury said. ''Our focus is starting faster, getting healthy and then getting those quarterbacks ready to go.''


    EXTRA POINTS


    Texas Tech junior receiver Antoine Wesley is second nationally at 124.2 yards receiving per game. He had only 12 catches for 146 yards in his first two seasons. ... TCU has an eight-game home winning streak. ... The Saddle Trophy was reinstated for the series last year after a replica was created. The original trophy was lost after the teams had played for it from 1961-70.
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    Thursday, October 11


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    TEXAS TECH (3 - 2) at TCU (3 - 2) - 10/11/2018, 7:30 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    TCU is 17-5 ATS (+11.5 Units) in home games after a bye week since 1992.
    TCU is 10-21 ATS (-13.1 Units) in all games over the last 3 seasons.
    TCU is 7-17 ATS (-11.7 Units) as a favorite over the last 3 seasons.
    TCU is 2-13 ATS (-12.3 Units) in home games over the last 3 seasons.
    TCU is 2-12 ATS (-11.2 Units) in home lined games over the last 3 seasons.
    TCU is 2-15 ATS (-14.5 Units) in games played on a grass field over the last 3 seasons.


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


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    GA SOUTHERN (4 - 1) at TEXAS ST (1 - 4) - 10/11/2018, 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.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Thursday, October 11


    Texas Tech @ Texas Christian

    Texas Tech
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas Tech's last 5 games on the road
    Texas Tech is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Texas Christian


    Texas Christian
    Texas Christian is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games at home
    Texas Christian is 14-5 SU in its last 19 games


    Georgia Southern @ Texas State
    Georgia Southern
    Georgia Southern is 5-0 ATS in its last 5 games
    Georgia Southern is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games


    Texas State
    The total has gone OVER in 5 of Texas State's last 5 games at home
    The total has gone OVER in 4 of Texas State's last 6 game




    *************************




    Thursday, October 11


    Texas Tech @ TCU



    Game 105-106
    October 11, 2018 @ 7:30 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Texas Tech
    93.205
    TCU
    103.318
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    TCU
    by 10
    54
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    TCU
    by 7
    61
    Dunkel Pick:
    TCU
    (-7); Under



    Georgia Southern @ Texas State


    Game 107-108
    October 11, 2018 @ 7:30 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Georgia Southern
    76.733
    Texas State
    61.289
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Georgia Southern
    by 15 1/2
    52
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Georgia Southern
    by 17 1/2
    49
    Dunkel Pick:
    Texas State
    (+17 1/2); Over





    **************************


    Thursday’s games


    TCU lost two of last three games; they were minus-9 in turnovers in those games, and were held to 16-17 points in last two games. Horned Frogs are 2-10-1 vs spread in last 13 games as home favorites. Texas Tech scored 46 ppg in its last three games; they’re 9-4 in last 13 games as road underdogs. Road team won last three Texas Tech-TCU games; Tech won two of last three visits here, with both wins by 3 points, the loss was 82-27 in ’14. Underdogs covered four of last six series games. Big X home favorites are 3-5 vs spread this season.


    Georgia Southern won both its games with Texas State 37-13/28-25, with last meeting in ’15. Eagles are 4-1 this season, 4-0 vs spread; their only loss was 38-7 at Clemson- this is GSU’s first road game since then. GSU covered only one of last five games as road favorites. Texas State is 0-4 vs I-A teams, with only one loss by less than 10 points; Bobcats gave up 327 rushing yards LW is 42-27 home loss to ULL. Under Withers, TSU is 3-8 vs spread as home underdogs. Three of four Georgia Southern games stayed under.




    ********************************


    Thursday, Oct. 11


    TEXAS TECH at TCU
    ...TCU 2-11-1 as Fort Worth chalk since 2016, 11-21-1 overall vs. spread since 2016. Tech 9-4 vs. spread last 13 as visiting dog.
    Texas Tech, based on team trends.




    GEORGIA SOUTHERN at TROY STATE...GS 5-0 vs. spread in 2018, 7-1 last 8 since late 2017. Also covered last four as dog. Troy 4-0-1 vs. line last five this season and has covered last 4 in 2018 but is 0-4 vs. line last 4 vs. Eagles.
    Georgia Southern, based on team and series trends.




    *************************************






    Texas Tech at TCU
    Joe Nelson


    This week’s Thursday night game is a prominent Big XII clash as Texas Tech and TCU face off. While both teams are closer to the bowl bubble than the Big XII title game at this point in the season, this will be a key game in the conference pecking order not to mention one of the main rivalry games of the season for both squads.


    Match-up: Texas Tech Red Raiders at Texas Christian Horned Frogs
    Venue: At Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas
    Time/TV: Thursday, October 11, 7:30 PM ET ESPN
    Line: TCU -7, Over/Under 62
    Last Meeting: 2017, TCU (-7) 27, at Texas Tech 3


    This line on this game was released late with questionable quarterback situations for both teams. Since the ‘West Texas Championship’ renewed on an annual basis in 2012 these squad have each won the Saddle Trophy three times with the road team now winning the past three years.


    Both TCU and Texas Tech are knotted at 1-1 in league play and while West Virginia and Texas are both 3-0 on top of the standings, those teams will need to face off and both have some difficult hurdles remaining as it is still a wide-open race for a spot in the Big XII title game. The Big XII has Texas back in the national spotlight rising to the top 10 of the polls but the conference as a whole is likely clinging to a long shot 13-0 run for West Virginia in regard to the national playoffs with Oklahoma upset last week.


    TCU looked the part of a Big XII contender and possible national sleeper with a 2-0 start and an 8-point lead over Ohio State well into the third quarter in a big mid-September game in Arlington. The Buckeyes scored three touchdowns in four minutes to send TCU’s season spiraling in the other direction. The Frogs lost to the Texas the following week with a combined seven turnovers in those two defeats before getting back on track in late September with a narrow 17-14 victory hosting Iowa State.


    A critical sixth season for Kliff Kingsbury coaching his alma mater started poorly with a 24-7 1st quarter deficit against Ole Miss in Houston on the opening Saturday, with starting quarterback McLane Carter injured. Freshman Alan Bowman was handed the offense from there and posted big numbers including leading notable wins over Houston and Oklahoma State. Bowman was seriously injured and hospitalized after taking a hit in the 42-34 loss to West Virginia with the Red Raiders down to sophomore Jett Duffey for the duration of that game. All three quarterbacks may be available for this week’s game.


    For TCU sophomore quarterback Shawn Robinson has had mixed results with six interceptions in four FBS games but offering big play potential in the air and on the ground. Robinson was injured late in the win over Iowa State with a shoulder issue on his non-throwing arm and while he has been cleared to return, Gary Patterson has hinted that he may not start this week with sophomore Michael Collins likely to play in the game as well. Collins has only thrown 14 passes this season and not in any meaningful moments.


    Texas Tech was anticipating being a stronger defensive team this season as after years of being consistently involved in shootouts, the Red Raiders improved dramatically in the defensive numbers last season. This year the positive gains haven’t been there despite an experienced unit led by linebacker and future NFL draft pick Dakota Allen. Texas Tech has allowed nearly 450 yards per game and 31 points per game including allowing 42 or more points in three of four FBS games.


    Patterson has a reputation for defense and this year’s team has allowed fewer than 21 points per game, holding three of five foes to 14 or fewer points. Texas and Ohio State combined to score 71 points against the Horned Frogs but a 7-0 turnover deficit in those games contributed significantly. TCU has only surrendered 178 passing yards per game this season and that will be the key matchup against a Red Raiders offense averaging 408 passing yards per game. TCU is 14th nationally allowing only 5.7 yards per pass attempt while Texas Tech has allowed 7.7 yards per pass attempt although opposing quarterbacks have completed below 56 percent of throws against both teams.


    With Oklahoma up next this is a critical spot for TCU as a 1-3 Big XII start would be realistic with a loss this week. TCU will still have to play in Morgantown in November as a bowl bid could even be cast into a doubt for a squad that was projected to compete for a Big XII title after being the runner-up last season. The stakes may be higher for Texas Tech who still has Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas on the schedule. If the Red Raiders fall to 3-3 overall this week they might be in line for another dramatic run in late November with Kingsbury in danger of missing a bowl game for the third time in six seasons.

    Last season:
    TCU was 8-2 heading to Lubbock last November in the game following a 38-20 loss at Oklahoma. The Horned Frogs turned in a great performance with a 27-3 win on the road. The defense did the heavy lifting as TCU managed only 289 yards of offense and led just 10-3 late in the third quarter. TCU completed only six passes in the game in what was Robinson’s first career start and then added a late defensive score. That loss left Texas Tech at 5-6 but they beat Texas in the season finale to earn a bowl bid. The three-point showing was the lowest output for Texas Tech since losing 12-3 at TCU in 2006.


    Historical Trends:


    Texas Tech is 14-8 S/U and 14-10 ATS in this series since 1980, covering in 13 of the past 19 meetings.


    TCU has won S/U in three of the past four games but has lost S/U and ATS in two of the past three home games in the series.


    TCU has won S/U in eight consecutive home games since the start of last season but is just 3-12 ATS at home since the start of the 2016 season.


    TCU is 1-5 S/U and ATS in six instances since 2016 as a home favorite of 10 or fewer points.


    Texas Tech is 22-14 ATS on the road since 2011 including going 8-3 ATS as a road underdog since 2015 with five S/U upsets.
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    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 11
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS



    TTU at TCU 07:30 PM
    TCU -7.5
    U 58.5

    GASO at TXST 07:30 PM
    GASO -17.0
    O 52.5
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    Duffey's QB draw for score pushes Texas Tech past TCU 17-14
    October 11, 2018



    FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) Jett Duffey scored on a 38-yard quarterback draw with seven minutes left, holding on to the ball just long enough for the go-ahead score in Texas Tech's 17-14 victory over TCU on Thursday night.


    Duffey took off on the first play after a punt, and the touchdown stood after a replay review. The ball rolled forward through the end zone after defender Trevon Moehrig-Woodard knocked it loose right at the goal line.


    It was the third time the Red Raiders (4-2, 2-1 Big 12) won in their last four trips to Fort Worth. They needed multiple overtimes in each of the previous two wins.


    TCU (3-3, 1-2) had its final drive ended when Shawn Robinson desperately scrambled from one side of the field to the other on fourth-and-1 before the ball appeared to slip out of his hands and was intercepted by Adrian Frye in the final minute.


    Duffey finished 13-of-24 passing for 190 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown in the third quarter to Ja'Deion High, who was wide open at the 30 and ran the rest of the way. Duffey also had 16 carries for 83 yards.


    Robinson was 26-of-45 passing for 290 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.


    The Frogs were up 14-10 when KaVontae Turpin streaked past a defender and into the end zone to make a 31-yard TD catch with 11 minutes left. Turpin had six catches for 120 yards.


    THE TAKEAWAY


    Texas Tech: The Red Raiders were held to 353 total yards, well below their national-best average of 591 yards a game. They had also scored 48 points a game. ... Duffey, the third quarterback to play for Tech this season, was inconsistent at times but made enough big plays. His start came with the other two quarterbacks still hurt.


    TCU: The Horned Frogs had their eight-game home winning streak snapped. They had 411 total yards, but couldn't overcome mistakes. They had three turnovers, including an interception in the end zone, and had a missed field goal attempt.


    UP NEXT


    Texas Tech is home Oct. 20 against Kansas.


    TCU plays its third consecutive home game Oct. 20 against No. 11 Oklahoma.




    ***************************




    Georgia Southern holds off Texas State 15-13
    October 11, 2018



    SAN MARCOS, Texas (AP) Wesley Fields rushed for 93 yards and a touchdown, helping Georgia Southern beat Texas State 15-13 on Thursday night.


    Georgia Southern led 15-0 before Texas State's second-half comeback.


    Texas State got on the board with 59 seconds left in the third quarter. Keenen Brown ran for 61 yards before getting tripped up at the 4 and he punched it in on second-and-goal to pull to 15-7.


    Jeremiah Haydel caught a 29-yard pass in the corner of the end zone to make it 15-13 with 2:20 left, but the Bobcats' 2-point conversion attempt fell incomplete. Georgia Southern recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock.


    Fields powered in a 5-yard touchdown run to open the scoring in the second quarter for Georgia Southern (5-1, 3-0 Sun Belt), which has won four straight.


    Freshman Tyler Vitt, who made his first start last week, threw for 132 yards with one touchdown and one interception for Texas State (1-5, 1-2).
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  20. #420  
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    college football best bets aug-sept.


    total..........185 - 181-0.......50.54%....-64.35


    best bets................. ats ...............units................ o/u...............units...............days total


    total.....................77 - 72............-11.500...........49 - 40.............+25.00..........126 - 112.......+10.50


    PODS............RECORD.............0 - 2....................TOTALS....................... .-11.00


    ************************


    College Football Best Bets For October




    Date w-l-t % units record (ALL PLAYS BEST BETS AND OPINIONS )


    10/11/2018 1-3-0 25.00% -11.50
    10/09/2018 0-2-0 0.00% -11.00
    10/06/2018 32-39-0 45.07% -54.50
    10/05/2018 1-5-0 16.66% -22.50
    10/04/2018 4-0-0 100.00% +20.00


    Totals............38-49-0........43.67%.....-79.50






    best bets................. ats ...............units................ o/u...............units...............days total


    10/11/2018............0 - 2................-11.00............1 - 1................-0.50................-11.50
    10/09/2018............0 - 1................-5.50..............0 - 1................-5.50................-11.00
    10/06/2018............6 - 18..............-49.50.............8 - 6...............+7.00...............-42.50
    10/05/2018............0 - 3...............-16.50..............1 - 2..............-6.00.................-22.50
    10/04/2018............2 - 0...............+10.00.............2 - 0..............+10.00..............+20.00


    Totals....................8 - 24...............-72.50............12 - 10..............+5.00..............-67.50
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    Friday’s six-pack


    NFL trends for Week 6:


    — Texans are 2-8 vs spread in their last ten games.


    — Pittsburgh is 3-8 vs spread in its last 11 games.


    — Tennessee is 11-3-1 vs spread coming off its last 15 losses.


    — New England is 17-6-3 in last 26 games as home favorites.


    — Buccaneers are 8-3 vs spread in last 11 post-bye games.


    — Kansas City covered its last nine games.


    Quote of the Day
    “Ron Adams told me that Tex (Winter) knew more about the history of the game and the fundamentals of the game than anybody he had ever met in his life. I was lucky enough to play for Tex for five years and learn from him.


    A lot of what I do here with the Warriors is patterned from things I learned from Tex. What a life he lived. He was a unique individual and touched thousands of lives. Today, the news was tough. Tex was a special person to me and everyone that played for him.”
    Steve Kerr


    Friday’s quiz
    Who did the Cincinnati Bengals beat the last time they won a playoff game, in 1990?


    Thursday’s quiz
    Milwaukee Brewers were last in a World Series in 1982, losing to St Louis in 7 games.


    Wednesday’s quiz
    Cam Newton played college football for both Florida and Auburn.


    **************************


    Friday’s List of 13: Random stuff with weekend here……..


    13) If you like/love basketball, the specials that ESPN is putting out on the history of the game seem to be very well done; saw a couple of them this week, one piece about the finals of the 1972 Olympic basketball tournament, another on the first ABA dunk contest. Lot of history there; it is well worth your time if you’re a basketball person.


    12) My hotel room at the Golden Nugget had free earplugs on the nightstand; didn’t come close to needing them until tonight, when there was a concert in the park next to the hotel. Very loud, but music from the 80’s, so I passed on using the earplugs.


    There is also a tattoo convention at the hotel this weekend, and a ton of motorcyclists; not sure if those two things are related, but the hallways look like a Duck Dynasty class reunion.


    11) Highly recommend the Golden Nugget by the way; great pool, food places are real good and people here are real nice. Its been a fun vacation.


    10) New restaurants I’ve tried/enjoyed for the last eight days in Las Vegas:
    — The Grotto (in Golden Nugget). Very good pizza and meatball sliders
    — Claim Jumper (in Golden Nugget). Open 24 hours, lot of good choices.
    — Chicago Joe’s. Old-fashioned Italian place that actually used to be someone’s house. Very good food, excellent prices; it is right next to a very sketchy-looking apartment complex.
    — Pizza Rock— Really good pizza, lot of TV’s, a little expensive.
    — Hash House a Go-Go (in Plaza Hotel). Big portions, very good scrambled eggs.


    9) Lakers-Warriors was an unusually intense exhibition game Wednesday; was watching end of the game in the sportsbook— guy on the Lakers stole the ball, went in for a dunk, and the only other guy in there with me says excitedly “That put the game over the total!!!”


    If you’re wagering on totals in NBA exhibition games, you’ve got a better stomach than I do.


    8) Doug McDermott is playing for the Indiana Pacers this season, 5th team he’ll play for in his fifth NBA season; he was also traded by the Nuggets the night he got drafted in 2014, so thats six teams for him in 4+ years.


    7) Eagles 34, Giants 13— Philly evened its record at 3-3 in game where their first two TD drives were only 16-44 yards. Giants have a porous offensive line, an aging, immobile QB and a 1-5 record, which should make the back page of the NY tabloids interesting.


    6) Why teams win/lose; looking back at the 2009 NBA Draft:


    2nd pick— Memphis, Hasheem Thabeet
    3rd pick— Oklahoma City, James Harden


    6th pick— Minnesota, Jonny Flynn
    7th pick— Golden State, Stephen Curry


    9th pick— New York, Jordan Hill
    10th pick— Toronto, DeMar DeRozan


    5) One weekend each year, the NBA should use red, white and blue basketballs in its games to honor the ABA, which closed shop after the 1975-76 season.


    Lot of terrific players in the ABA (George Gervin, Julius Erving, Rick Barry, Artis Gilmore, Dan Issel, even Wilt Chamberlain briefly). Their teams played an exciting style of ball.


    4) Shahid Khan owns the Jacksonville Jaguars; he is trying to buy Wembley Stadium in London and if he does, he may have the Jaguars play half their home games there every year. Would this be a good thing for the NFL? For the Jaguars? We may find out.


    3) Chicago Cubs fired hitting coach Chili Davis Thursday; if the Phillies or some other team has half a brain, they’ll sign Davis— he’s a damn good hitting coach.


    2) NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves cancelled practice and team activities Thursday, after the circus that was Wednesday, with Jimmy Butler taking the four worst players in camp and then beating the five starters in a scrimmage, while he yelled at the team’s coach and GM.


    1) Former Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze will be offensive coordinator for the Arizona team in the new AAF next spring. Lot of big names will be coaching in the 8-team league.
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    Friday, October 12


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    S FLORIDA (5 - 0) at TULSA (1 - 4) - 10/12/2018, 7:00 PM
    There are no Top Trends with records of significance that apply to this game.


    Head-to-Head Series History
    TULSA is 1-0 against the spread versus S FLORIDA over the last 3 seasons
    S FLORIDA is 1-0 straight up against TULSA over the last 3 seasons
    1 of 1 games in this series have gone UNDER THE TOTAL over the last 3 seasons


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    ARIZONA (3 - 3) at UTAH (3 - 2) - 10/12/2018, 10:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    ARIZONA is 5-14 ATS (-10.4 Units) as an underdog over the last 3 seasons.
    ARIZONA is 86-129 ATS (-55.9 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest since 1992.
    ARIZONA is 1-9 ATS (-8.9 Units) in road games after playing a conference game over the last 3 seasons.
    UTAH is 13-4 ATS (+8.6 Units) when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons.


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


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    AIR FORCE (2 - 3) at SAN DIEGO ST (4 - 1) - 10/12/2018, 9:00 PM
    Top Trends for this game.
    AIR FORCE is 4-14 ATS (-11.4 Units) against conference opponents over the last 3 seasons.
    SAN DIEGO ST is 9-1 ATS (+7.9 Units) when playing against a team with a losing record over the last 3 seasons.
    AIR FORCE is 10-2 ATS (+7.8 Units) as a road underdog of 7.5 to 10 points since 1992.


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


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------




    Friday, October 12


    South Florida @ Tulsa
    South Florida
    South Florida is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
    South Florida is 9-1 SU in its last 10 games on the road


    Tulsa
    Tulsa is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games at home
    Tulsa is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games


    Air Force @ San Diego State
    Air Force
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Air Force's last 5 games when playing on the road against San Diego State
    The total has gone OVER in 6 of Air Force's last 7 games on the road


    San Diego State
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Diego State's last 5 games when playing at home against Air Force
    San Diego State is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home


    Arizona @ Utah
    Arizona
    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Arizona's last 6 games
    The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Arizona's last 5 games on the road


    Utah
    Utah is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
    Utah is 17-7 SU in its last 24 games at home


    -------------------------------------------------------




    Friday, October 12


    South Florida @ Tulsa



    Game 109-110
    October 12, 2018 @ 7:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    South Florida
    83.525
    Tulsa
    79.356
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    South Florida
    by 4
    67
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    South Florida
    by 7 1/2
    61 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Tulsa
    (+7 1/2); Over


    Arizona @ Utah



    Game 111-112
    October 12, 2018 @ 10:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Arizona
    91.377
    Utah
    95.627
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    Utah
    by 4 1/2
    48
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    Utah
    by 13 1/2
    51 1/2
    Dunkel Pick:
    Arizona
    (+13 1/2); Under


    Air Force @ San Diego St



    Game 113-114
    October 12, 2018 @ 9:00 pm


    Dunkel Rating:
    Air Force
    84.133
    San Diego St
    93.028
    Dunkel Team:
    Dunkel Line:
    Dunkel Total:
    San Diego St
    by 9
    40
    Vegas Team:
    Vegas Line:
    Vegas Total:
    San Diego St
    by 11 1/2
    44
    Dunkel Pick:
    Air Force
    (+11 1/2); Under





    -------------------------------------------




    Friday’s games


    South Florida is 5-0 this season, despite giving up 38 points to Ga Tech, 42 to UMass; Bulls ran ball for 365 yards LW, after East Carolina outgained them by 116 yards in a 20-13 win. USF won its last two games with Tulsa, 27-20/38-30, with last visit here in ’14; under Strong, Bulls are 2-4 as road favorites. Tulsa is 0-4 vs I-A teams, 2-2 vs spread; all four games stayed under total. Under Montgomery, Golden Hurricane is 1-6 as home underdogs; they’re -6 in turnovers vs I-A teams, giving up 192+ rushing yards in all four games.


    Arizona won five of last six games with Utah, but they lost 36-23 in last visit here in ’16. Dogs are 4-3 vs spread in last seven series games. Arizona is 2-3 vs I-A teams; all five games stayed under total; since ’13, Wildcats are 3-14 vs spread as road underdogs- they’re 3-7 in last ten games as a double digit dog. Khalil Tate hasn’t progressed much as a passer, which hurts. Utah lost two of last three games but pulled upset at Stanford LW; Utes allowed 826 PY in last two games. Since Utah is 9-13 vs spread when laying double digits.


    Air Force ended 3-game skid by thumping rival Navy 35-7 LW; they allowed 827 PY in their first two road games- Navy can’t pass. San Diego State won its last seven games with Air Force, winning 30-14/28-9 in last two series games played here. Falcons are 0-2 on road, losing 33-27/42-32; they covered eight of last 11 games as road underdogs. Aztecs pulled a big upset in Boise LW; they’re 7-12 vs spread in last 19 games as home favorites. No one has run for more than 119 yards vs San Diego State this year- can Air Force move it enough to cover here?




    ----------------------------------------------------




    Friday, Oct. 12




    SOUTH FLORIDA at TULSA...USF 4-7 vs. points last ten since late 2017. Bulls 2-5 vs. line last seven laying points away from Tampa in reg. season. Tulsa however just 1-7 last 8 as home dog.
    Slight to South Florida, based on team trends.




    ARIZONA at UTAH...Utes 5-1 as home chalk since last season. Home team has won and covered last three in series. Cats on 3-7-1 spread skid since late 2017, also 2-10 last 12 as visiting dog. Sumlin teams are 4-9-2 last 15 as dog.
    Utah, based on team and series trends.




    AIR FORCE at SAN DIEGO STATE...Calhoun 15-6-1 last 22 as dog since 2014. Though Aztecs have covered 6 of last 7 in series. Rocky Long, however, just 2-8 last 10 as home chalk.
    Slight to San Diego State, based on series trends.




    -------------------------------------






    Arizona at Utah
    Brian Edwards



    Matchup: Arizona at Utah
    Venue: Rice-Eccles Stadium, Salt Lake City, Utah
    TV/Time: ESPN, 10:00 p.m. ET



    In multiple columns, guest radio spots and on my Games Galore podcast throughout the summer, I spoke at length about how Arizona’s Kevin Sumlin and Mississippi State’s Joe Moorhead were walking into the best new coaching gigs in terms of being able to win right away. Well, here we are in mid-October, and Moorhead’s fresh off a huge win over Auburn to avoid as three-game losing streak.


    As for Sumlin, his Arizona team (3-3 straight up, 3-3 against the spread) is a double-digit road underdog at Utah on Friday night. The Wildcats have quite a few games remaining in which they’ll be underdogs and it appears they’ll be fortunate just to go bowling.


    As of early Thursday afternoon, most betting shops had Utah (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS) installed as a 13.5-point ‘chalk’ with a total of 50.5. UA was available on the money line for a +415 return (risk $100 to win $415).


    Utah is off its best performance of the season, going to The Farm in Palo Alto and dominating Stanford in a 40-21 victory as a four-point road underdog. The 61 combined points jumped ‘over’ the 45-point total in the Utes’ highest-scoring game of the season.


    The game turned on Jaylon Johnson’s 100-yard pick-six early in the second quarter that gave Kyle Whittingham’s squad a 14-0 advantage. Zach Moss, who had a seven-yard TD run to allow Utah to draw first blood late in the opening quarter, ripped off a 35-yard TD run to put Utah ahead 21-0 late in the second quarter.


    Trailing 27-7 midway through the third quarter, Stanford scored back-to-back touchdowns to trim the deficit to 27-21 with more than 16 minutes remaining. Matt Gay’s 34-yard field goal put Utah back into a two-possession advantage. Then with 7:12 left, QB Tyler Huntley found Samson Nauca on a 57-yard scoring strike. Gay’s 37-yard FG put the game on ice with 3:34 remaining.


    Utah played turnover-free football and forced four Stanford turnovers. Huntley completed 17-of-21 passes for 199 yards and one TD without an interception. Moss had 160 rushing yards and two TDs on 20 attempts, while Nacua had a pair of catches for 70 yards and one TD. Britain Covey had six catches for 70 yards.


    The win at Stanford allowed Utah to avoid a three-game losing streak and remain alive in the Pac-12 South with a 1-2 league record. The Utes started the season with a 41-10 home win over Weber State before winning 17-6 at No. Illinois. However, they lost 21-7 vs. Washington as four-point home underdogs before dropping a 28-24 decision as 1.5-point road favorites at Washington State.


    Moss and Huntley are the catalyst for the Utah offense. Moss has rushed for 549 yards and six TD while averaging 5.8 yards per carry. He also has five receptions for 30 yards and one TD. Huntley has connected on 62.4 percent of his throws for 994 yards with a 5/2 touchdown-to-interception ratio. He has rushed for 143 yards and a pair of scores.


    Covey is Huntley’s favorite target, hauling in 32 receptions for 328 yards. Nacua has caught 13 balls for 146 yards and one TD.


    Utah is 26-23-1 ATS as a home favorite dating back to the start of the 2008 campaign. We should also note the Utes’ outstanding special-teams players. Gay, the junior kicker, was a first-team All-American and the Lou Groza Award winner in 2017. Senior punter Mitch Wishnowsky was a second-team All-American last year, but he was a first-team All-American choice in ’16 when he won the Ray Guy Award. Wishnowsky is averaging 44.0 yards per punt this year.


    Utah is ranked 10th in the nation in total defense, third at defending the run and 18th in scoring ‘D,’ giving up an average of 17.2 PPG.


    Senior LB Chase Hansen is the leader of the Utes’ stop unit. He has produced 43 tackles, seven tackles for loss, three sacks, one QB hurry and one interception that went for a 40-yard pick six to put the No. Illinois game away.


    Sumlin’s tenure started with back-to-back losses both SU and ATS, including a 28-23 loss to BYU as an 11.5-point home favorite. In Week 2, Arizona was trounced 45-18 at Houston as a 3.5-point road underdog. The Wildcats would bounce back to win 62-31 vs. Southern Utah and 35-14 at Oregon State.


    Since then, Arizona lost a 24-20 decision to USC as a 3.5-point home underdog and then beat California 24-17 last week as a two-point home underdog. Sumlin’s bunch was extremely fortunate to beat the Golden Bears, who enjoyed a 25-13 advantage in first downs and a 476-265 edge in total offense.


    So, how the hell did Arizona find a way to win? Well, it needs to hand out a no-look assist with some behind-the-back mustard on it to former South Carolina QB Brandon McIlwain, who threw three interceptions. Two of those were of the pick-six variety in the second half.


    Trailing 10-0, McIlwain put Cal-Berkeley in front 14-10 at intermission on TD runs of 25 and 23 yards in the second quarter. However, with 3:19 left in the third quarter, UA’s Azizi Hearn intercepted McIlwain and went 34 yards to the house to put the Wildcats ahead 17-14.


    Then with 3:13 remaining, Arizona’s Scottie Young produced a 24-yard pick-six. Cal added a 35-yard FG with 16 ticks left to provide the final score. In addition to the 14 points it scored, the UA defense also had a fumble recovery and a pair of stops on fourth-down plays.


    Arizona junior QB Khalil Tate was nothing short of sensational last season, averaging 9.2 YPC while rushing for 1,411 yards and 12 TDs despite not getting steady playing time until October. To say Tate’s production has slipped this year would be quite the understatement.


    Tate has run for just 110 yards and two TDs with a 2.5 YPC average. He has completed 54.0 percent of his passes for 1,412 yards with an 11/4 TD-INT ratio. RB J.J. Taylor leads the Wildcats with 600 rushing yards and three TDs with a 5.8 YPC average. Gary Brightwell has run for 308 yards and two TDs while averaging 5.6 YPC.


    Tate mostly looks to three different targets. Shawn Pointdexter has 21 receptions for 407 yards and two TDs, while Shun Brown has 27 catches for 342 yards and three TDs. Tony Ellison has 17 grabs for 311 yards and three TDs.


    Arizona is ranked 99th out of 130 FBS teams in total defense. The Wildcats are 103rd at defending the run and 70th in scoring ‘D,’ giving up 26.5 PPG.


    Since 2013, Arizona has limped to an abysmal 4-14 spread record in 18 games as a road underdog.


    The ‘over’ is 3-2 overall for the Utes, 1-1 in their home games. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 43.0 PPG.


    The ‘under’ is 5-1 for Arizona, 2-0 in its road assignments. The Wildcats saw their lone ‘over’ appearance in the blowout win over FCS foe, Southern Utah. They’ve seen their games average combined scores of 56.8 PPG.


    From 2012-15, Arizona won four games in a row over Utah both SU and ATS. Since then, however, Utah has won back-to-back games over the Wildcats both SU and ATS. The Utes won 36-23 as 9.5-point home favorites in 2016.


    When this rivalry was resumed in Tucson last year, Utah won a 30-24 decision as a 4.5-point road underdog. This was before Tate was inserted into the lineup ahead of former QB Brandon Dawkins, who threw for 248 yards and ran for 90 but was intercepted three times. Huntley completed 8-of-9 passes for 98 yards and one TD without an interception. Moss rushed for 73 yards on 14 attempts.


    Kickoff for Friday’s Pac-12 South showdown is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.


    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**


    --There are two other televised games on Friday’s card. Tulsa will play host to unbeaten South Florida at 7:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN, and San Diego State will take on Air Force as a double-digit home favorite at 9:00 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports College Network.


    --USF (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) was listed as a seven-point favorite at Tulsa as of early Thursday afternoon. The Bulls are 1-1 ATS in a pair of road situations, winning 25-19 at Illinois as 14-point ‘chalk’ and capturing a 58-42 triumph at UMass as 15.5-point favorites last week. USF is 2-4 ATS in six games as a road favorite since Charlie Strong took over in 2017. Tulsa beat Central Arkansas by a 38-27 count in its opener, but it has lost four games in a row since then. The Golden Hurricane hasn’t been getting blown out and has covered as a double-digit underdog twice, including a 28-21 loss at Texas as a 22.5-point ‘dog.


    --San Diego State is still playing without starting QB Christian Chapman and star RB Juwan Washington. Nevertheless, Rocky Long’s club has won four consecutive games since losing 31-10 at Stanford in its season opener. The Aztecs beat Arizona State 28-21 as five-point home underdogs and then went to the smurf turf and knocked off Boise State. 19-13 as 13.5-point road underdogs last week. As of early Thursday afternoon, most spots had San Diego State listed as 11-point home favorites with a total of 43.5 or 44. Air Force (2-3 SU, 3-2 ATS) ended a three-game losing streak last week by blasting Navy 35-7 as a 2.5-point home underdog. The Falcons, who have seen the ‘under’ go 4-1, are 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS in a pair of road outings. They lost 33-27 at FAU but covered as eight-point ‘dogs, but they failed to cover by the hook in a 42-32 loss at Utah State as 9.5-point puppies.


    --Boston College star RB missed last week’s 28-23 loss at N.C. State nursing a sprained ankle. Nevertheless, the Eagles took the cash as 6.5-point underdogs in Raleigh. BC is 4-2 both SU and ATS and as of Thursday afternoon, the Eagles were 13.5-point home favorites for a 12:30 Eastern kick vs. Louisville on Saturday. Dillon remains ‘questionable’ and will likely be a game-time decision versus the Cardinals, who are 2-4 SU and 1-5 ATS and can’t afford to fire Bobby Petrino even if they desperately desired to do so. Dillon has rushed for 652 yards and six TDs while averaging 6.2 YPC.


    --BYU has named true freshman QB Zach Wilson as its starter vs. Hawaii. Wilson has appeared in only two games this year in relief of Tanner Mangum. He completed 3-of-4 throws for 52 yards and one TD without an interception in mop-up duty during last week’s 45-20 home loss to Utah State. As for the Warriors, they went to great lengths to keep star QB Cole McDonald’s foot injury under wraps last week. In fact, Nick Rolovich sent another player out in McDonald’s jersey (with his name on it, obviously) to warm up prior to last week’s 17-13 home win over Wyoming. McDonald didn’t play but is listed as ‘probable’ this week (however, I’m not implying gamblers should trust that status). McDonald has been nothing short of sensational, throwing for 2,100 yards with an incredible 24/2 TD-INT ratio. As of early Thursday afternoon, the Cougars were installed as 11.5-point home favorites.


    --Toledo QB Mitchell Guadagni (head) is ‘questionable’ at Eastern Michigan. Guadagni has 745 passing yards and a 10/1 TD-INT ratio. The Rockets have seen the ‘over’ go 5-0 this year. They’re one or 1.5-point road favorites with a total of 63.5. Since winning outright at Purdue on a walk-off FG in Week 2, EMU has lost four consecutive one-possession games in a row. The Eagles, who are 4-2 ATS, lost 23-20 at San Diego State in overtime in Week 4. Next, they dropped a 26-23 decision to No. Illinois in triple overtime. EMU rallied for a backdoor cover with a last-minute TD in last week’s 27-24 loss at Western Michigan as a 4.5-point road underdog. The Eagles have seen the ‘under’ hit in three straight outings.


    --Iowa State owns a 6-3-1 spread record in 10 games as a home underdog during Matt Campbell’s three-year tenure. The Cyclones, who are off a 48-42 upset win at Oklahoma State as 10-point underdogs, were listed as 6.5-point home ‘dogs to West Virginia as of early Thursday afternoon. Campbell has named Brock Purdy as his starting QB this week with Kyle Kempt (‘doubtful’) not quite ready to return from the knee injury sustained in the team’s opener. ISU has an open date after hosting WVU. Purdy, a true freshman who had only appeared in one game and not yet attempted a pass before being inserted into the lineup last week in Stillwater, torched the Cowboys by completing 18-of-23 passes for 318 yards and four TD with only one interception. He also rushed for a team-best 84 yards and one TD on 19 carries. However, the Cyclones might be without star RB David Montgomery, who is ‘questionable’ against the Mountaineers due to an upper-body injury.


    --Disgraced former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze has been hired as the new offensive coordinator for the Arizona Hotshots of the new Alliance of American Football league that starts this spring. Freeze will work under Arizona head coach Rick Neuheisel, who is the former head coach at UCLA, Washington and Colorado.
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  23. #423  
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    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 12
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS



    USF at TLSA 07:00 PM
    TLSA +9.5
    O 61.0

    AFA at SDSU 09:00 PM
    AFA +11.0
    U 44.0



    ARIZ at UTAH 10:00 PM
    UTAH -15.0
    U 52.5
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  24. #424  
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    Total Talk - Week 7


    There weren't too many things that went well for this piece a week ago, as those early line moves on ASU/Colorado 'over' never came close to cashing, while the 'under' action for Michigan State was all washed away except for those that were able to get a push on that opener of 48.


    Even my Best Bet came up short in BC/NC State, so hopefully you were able to avoid some of that damage. That 'under' in the Michigan State seemed destined to lose for those following line moves and as I said in that piece, I am glad I sat on the sidelines there.


    A new week brings new prospects though and hopefully the totals I've isolated for discussion this week can bring more fruitful results, so let's get right to work:


    Biggest Movers to the 'Over'


    #10 UCF vs Memphis: Open: 78 – Current: 81



    I've long been a proponent of “siding with the crazy side” when it comes to totals wagering – ie take the 'over' on totals that appear to be crazily high – but these days it's become harder and harder to define what exactly a “crazy” total is for a football game. Seeing totals in the high-70's and low 80's is something we see a handful or more times a year now, as it's slowly started to creep into normalcy here.


    Now there is no question we can trust this UCF offense to pull their own weight in terms of scoring 40+ here as this team has averaged 48.6 points per game offensively. The Knights have become a victim of their own success in the betting market though – specifically with totals – because all of those points scored has just let to a 2-3 O/U record. That is partially on the defense as they seem to be holding the fort more often these days, and with just 24.5 points allowed per game this year, maybe we should expect UCF to slow down this Memphis attack somewhat.


    Memphis will be ready for a shootout if that's what it ends up being, as they average 46.2 points per game themselves, while their defense comes in allowing 17.7 a game. Granted, neither defensive side has gone up against a talented offense like they'll see here, but doing some cross comparisons with those points per game numbers (UCF offense vs Memphis defense and vice versa), you come up with a 35-33 score in favor of the underdog home side.


    More importantly, that final score is 10 points below the original number and 13 points below the current one. That's quite a spread of value on that general basis alone, and it's enough to keep me from following this move and expecting this total to get surpassed. But like I said before, I'm not really that interested in the 'under' either as the “crazy side” could come in here, especially if it's a tight game late and the possibility of OT is still on the table. These two teams might not need extra time to get 'over' this number, but it's not a move I'm interested in following.


    Biggest Movers to the 'Under'


    Michigan State vs #8 Penn State: Open 56.5 – Current: 53



    Now this is a move I am interested in following because 53 is still a key number in totals to go low on (for 31-21 or 28-24 type scores), and because it's Michigan State involved again and I do side with this general consensus that they should be an 'under' minded team.


    Seeing a Michigan State total take another leap down was something I expected given how last week's move on the 'under' was basically spoiled by poor final half of the 3rd quarter. 21 points were scored in those final seven minutes of the 3rd frame, and even then, it took a TD in the final three minutes for that opening number to get 'pushed' on, while bettors getting to the 'over' late got to cash a ticket. Whether it was a tough beat or not in the end, the reality is that this Michigan State team is one that should have trouble scoring all year long and has no other option but to rely on a very stout defense to do all the heavy lifting. That's the generic recipe for an 'under' team – especially when they are on the road – and it's the result I do expect to see from this Michigan State/Penn State tilt.


    For one, Michigan State hasn't allowed 30 or more points in any of their last four games overall, and in their two games on the road they've given up 16 and 21 points respectively, and they LOST one of those games. If that doesn't speak to both Michigan State's defensive play as well as their offensive play, I don't know what will, as this is not a team you can trust to score 17 points against any type of quality foe.


    Penn State is a quality foe whether they deserve to be ranked in the Top 10 now or not, and having had their season in 2017 spoiled by a road loss as a 10-point favorite in Michigan State last year, this is a game the Nittany Lions have had circled.


    So while the 'over' has cashed in four straight games between these two, three of those four games closed with totals at 47.5 or less. The last time they played at Penn State it was nearly an identical scenario as this year's game (Penn State was -11, Total: 53.5), and while the game did sail 'over' on the 45-12 Penn State win, it was a 10-6 game at half and Penn State needed to outscore Michigan State 35-0 in the final 30 minutes to just get 'over' that total.


    I don't think we see that type of scoring outburst late this time around and anything at 53 or higher I'd gladly follow here.


    Best Total Bet for Week 7: Middle Tennessee vs. FIU Over 56.5


    This week I'm heading to the first place showdown between FIU and Middle Tennessee as both teams look to remain perfect in Conference USA play. This total has taken some 'under' money earlier this week as I assume some bettors look at the stakes of this matchup and project it with a playoff-like atmosphere, but that never seems to be the case when these two teams square off.


    The O/U record between these teams the past six meetings is 4-1-1 O/U and that lone 'under' came in a 48-0 blowout win with the total closing at 49. Last year's push on 54 total points wouldn't help us on the 'over' play this year, but we had 77 and 76-point games in the two years prior and that's more of the style of game I think we get here.


    For one, FIU has scored an average of 48.6 points per home game this year, and although that number is clearly skewed based on the level of competition (games against UMass and FCS Arkansas Pine-Bluff), this Panthers team can score at home and should be able to at least threaten the 30-point mark in this contest. After all, Middle Tennessee does give up 36 points per game on the road this year.


    Secondly, Middle Tennessee is looking for more consistency in their offensive play right now and they are hoping that last week's breakthrough of 34 points scored @ Marshall was the start of them turning the corner in that regard. This FIU defense can be had, and considering the 'over' has gone 5-0-1 in Middle Tennessee's last six trips to FIU, the Blue Raiders program knows they've got to be prepared to win a shootout on this field.


    With Middle Tennessee on a 10-4 O/U run after covering the point spread, and FIU on a 13-5-1 O/U run after failing to cover the point spread, this game seemingly has quite a few things lining up for the 'over' here and it's a play I can't pass up in Week 7.
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    Essentials - Week 7
    Tony Mejia


    You know it's October when the wind start picking up, the leaves start changing colors and the college football schedule starts bearing more gifts. There are a number of games that will be among their conference's top matchups for the entire season this weekend. Here's what you need to know about the top tilts:

    Georgia (-7/50.5) at LSU, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS:
    This is a graduation game of sorts for the unbeaten Bulldogs. Win and they’ve made it to their bye week unscathed, avoiding three dangerous road obstacles. Winning in each Columbia, South Carolina and Missouri, is no picnic, but conquering Death Valley, especially this season, makes LSU like the boss on a video game level. Lose and you’re at the mercy of the BCS selection committee going forward, not to mention guaranteeing a long bye week before the Cocktail Party against Florida.


    The Gators turned back LSU last weekend to keep this from becoming a battle of unbeatens, knocking around Tigers QB Joe Burrow the way no team had previously. We get to see how he bounces back from his first career loss after throwing his first interceptions of the season, the last of which was returned for six. Georgia and LSU don’t play often, so this will be the first meeting since 2013 and first in Baton Rouge since ’09. Kirby Smart ran into the Tigers as a divisional rival when he was defensive coordinator at Alabama, and with Dave Aranda running things on the LSU side, points could be hard to come by. Ed Orgeron has taken some heat over the years, but he’s never lost consecutive games. Jake Fromm hasn’t lost a true road game in his career at Georgia but is expected to lose some snaps to freshman Justin Fields, whose speed offers a different look the Tigers have had to spend time preparing for.

    Wisconsin at Michigan (-10/49), 7:30 p.m. ET, ABC:
    Neither Jim Harbaugh nor Paul Chryst expected to lose two games all season given the talent returning, so the fact one of them will see it happen before the midpoint of October means we’re about to see two desperate teams square off. The Badgers put together their best offensive game of the season in a commanding 41-24 win over Nebraska and will look to run the ball to keep from being subjected to a fierce pass rush that has produced 18 sacks. The Wolverines are tremendous up front and will have DE Rashan Gary available to anchor the group. RB Chris Evans has also been upgraded to probable, so he and Karan Higdon should prove formidable in anchoring the ground game alongside Shea Patterson.


    This line opened a lot higher than I expected, so there’s certainly a dynamic of weighing taking an awful lot of points with a Badgers squad that doesn’t get blown out often against the danger that this particular group is unable to answer the bell in Ann Arbor. Safety Scott Nelson will miss the first half due to targeting and DE Isaiahh Loudermilk has been ruled out for Wisconsin, which has definitely seen its defensive depth compromised. It did get good news with D’Cota Dixon being expected to play despite sporting a walking boot mid-week, but he’s nowhere close to being 100 percent. The same can be said for key LB Andrew Van Ginkel, who is listed as questionable. Harbaugh lost last year’s game in Madison 24-10 after posting a 14-7 win in his first encounter with the Badgers back in ’16. The home team has won eight of nine in this series. The Badgers haven’t been this large an underdog since facing Michigan and Ohio State in consecutive weeks in ’16. Wisconsin lost but covered in both.

    Washington (-3.5/57.5) at Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2/ABC:
    Since Stanford is already out of the national title picture with two losses, the winner of this Pac-12 duel will carry the flag for the conference going forward. Although the Ducks lost to the Cardinal due to a memorable collapse, the presence of potential No. 1 overall pick Justin Herbert and an extremely manageable schedule going forward give them a chance to climb if they’re able to handle business at home over the Huskies. Washington’s loss to Auburn no longer looks as impressive as it was expected to, but it will have big home games against Colorado next week and Stanford to open November that should keep it in the national picture. So, who survives? Herbert can really improve his draft spot with a strong performance against a Huskies secondary widely respected as one of the nation’s best. He’ll have tight end Jacob Breeland to work with in addition to a stable of backs CJ Verdell, Tony Brooks-James and Darrian Felix all cleared to play.


    Washington will have Myles Gaskin available despite a shoulder issue as he looks to build on his 2-touchdown game at UCLA. So long as he holds up, the Huskies can match Oregon’s firepower even if the Quack Attack gets going. Mario Cristobal and his staff come in off a bye week, so they’ll have had ample time to dial up a few surprises for Chris Petersen, who has won the past two meetings with the Ducks after losing his first two contests against them. Jake Browning set a school-record with six touchdown passes the last time he visited Eugene as U-Dub won at Oregon for the first time since 2002. Washington has won the past two meetings by a combined margin of 108-24.

    Colorado at USC (-7/57), 10:30 p.m. ET, FS-1:
    The Trojans are looking up at the Buffs in the South Division, but it’s no surprise to see even this young version favored since they’re a perfect 7-0 against them in Pac-12 meetings. This is by far the best Colorado team in that span, even superior to the 10-4 2016 squad that lost just 21-17 at the Coliseum, covering in their only regular-season conference loss before being demolished by Washington in the title game. QB Steven Montez started in that loss as a sophomore and fared well, but he’s a much more polished product these days, ranking ninth in the FBS in pass efficiency (174.2). WR Juwann Winfree, who had a huge game against USC last season, is hoping to play after missing last week’s game with an ankle injury.


    Colorado needs all of its playmakers to prevail on the road given the recruiting advantages the conference power holds, but if it is going to get a win in this series, this appears to be the perfect opportunity. Clay Helton is just 3-2 coming off a bye week but did get a chance to get a number of banged up players healthier. RB Stephen Carr, guard Toa Leobendahan and DT Brandon Pili should all play, while the disruptive Porter Gustin is going to be spry given the time off to rest a gimpy ankle. Wins at USC and Washington next week would thrust the Buffs into the national conversation, but they were extended at home by Arizona State last Saturday and are underdogs in both of these huge tests.

    West Virginia (-6.5/56.5) at Iowa State, 7 p.m. ET, FS-1:
    Oklahoma’s loss at Texas officially made the Big 12 wide open, although I was leaning towards the Mountaineers as the team to beat in the conference before the season even started. The opportunity is going to be there for them, but it won’t come until November to prove it since a bye awaits next week before a Thursday home game with Baylor. That makes this visit to Ames the must biggest obstacle for West Virginia, which handled business on Homecoming against Kansas and hasn’t really been tested yet since a visit to N.C. State was canceled due to a hurricane.


    West Virginia's closest game, a 42-34 win at Texas Tech, was only cosmetically tight since the Red Raiders trailed 35-10 at the break. The Mountaineers haven’t trailed all season, so we’ll see how they handle a potentially tight game in Ames, where the Cyclones are known to be rude hosts. Kansas intercepted Will Grier three times in the end zone last week, so that’s where the primary focus for this matchup is. Iowa State held West Virginia at bay in last year’s 20-16 loss that represented the second-lowest scoring output of the season for the Grier-led offense. ISU tripped up Oklahoma State last week behind the passing of true freshman Brock Purdy, who wasn’t expected to be in the mix this season. The Cyclones have receivers who can do damage if Purdy can consistently deliver the ball, so this may certainly wind up as a live ‘dog situation if West Virginia fails to handle adversity well. Standout RB David Montgomery missed last week’s upset but is expected back here with fresh legs. The Mountaineers have won and covered in four straight meetings with Iowa State.

    Michigan State at Penn State (-13/53.5), 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN:
    Keeping Brian Lewerke in the pocket is a priority for the Nittany Lions, who have had a few weeks to stew over their disappointing loss to Ohio State. James Franklin’s priority was moving on from his “great to elite” rant and that game’s mistakes and should have his team ready to play. He’s just 4-5 coming off byes in Happy Valley and 9-7 overall, so history would say it’s no lock that his team will be perfectly refreshed entering this Homecoming game, which adds its own share of distractions. The Spartans lead the country in run defense and should get back RB L.J. Scott, who has been pulled back as a game-time decision due to a hamstring injury in each of the last two weeks. That suggests he’s been close to returning, so it would be a surprise not to see him out there in such a big game.


    Michigan State comes off a loss to Northwestern to spoil their own Homecoming and hasn’t looked sharp at all offensively. The defense was unexpectedly carved up last week and has been vulnerable against the pass, so McSorley will have a chance to build on throwing for a season-high 286 yards without being intercepted against the Buckeyes. Electric WR K.J. Hamler is expected to play after taking a hard hit and leaving the Ohio State game. Michigan State has won 25 of its last 35 Big Ten road games, which includes a solid win at improved Indiana two weeks ago. Mark Dantonio is 5-3 against Penn State and has won at Beaver Stadium twice. He’s 3-1 against Franklin. Inclement weather may factor in here since the current forecast calls for rain all morning that may or may not clear by the afternoon kickoff.

    UCF (-4.5/81) at Memphis, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC:
    TIf you’re tired of the Knights finding their way into the national conversation, the Tigers become your best bet to put a stop to it. The University of Central Florida owns the nation’s longest winning streak at 18 games and will make it to 20 if they survive at Memphis since there’s no way East Carolina can compete, even at home. Realistically, all that separates UCF from a Thursday night home date against Temple that would give them the college football spotlight on November 1 is finding a way to outscore the Tigers in what will likely be a track meet at the Liberty Bowl. Check out that total! It's above 80. Because a Sept. 15 road game at North Carolina was canceled by Hurricane Florence, the Knights are making their first appearance in an opposing stadium since an Aug. 30 rout of overmatched UConn.


    Memphis has lost at Navy and Tulane, so this is no longer the American Athletic Conference summit meeting it was expected to be when the Tigers were made the overwhelming West Division preseason favorite, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still dangerous. RB Darrell Henderson is the national leader in yards per carry at 11.69 and is a threat to score a touchdown whenever he touches the ball. The Knights have their own version of that in Adrian Killins and the better quarterback in Heisman Trophy candidate McKenzie Milton, but they’re going to need both to produce if they’re going to win a seventh straight road game that doubles as Josh Heupel’s biggest obstacle until he has to visit rival South Florida on Nov. 23. The Knights have beaten Memphis 11 consecutive times, but that means absolutely nothing here.

    Missouri at Alabama (-28/74), 7 p.m. ET, ESPN:
    The Tigers fell short at South Carolina last week and were also taken down by Georgia, so this game could’ve been potentially topped Georgia-LSU as the biggest game in the country had things gone differently. There is some intrigue in that we get to see how Drew Lock fares against a Tide defense that has been vulnerable threw the air at times, so the prolific senior QB could raise his draft stock significantly with a big game. Unfortunately, top threat Emanuel Hall won’t play due to a groin injury that has impacted the team the past few weeks. Nate Brown is out with a similar ailment, so Mizzou will be without key cogs who have combined for 30 catches and nearly 560 yards.


    Alabama will be playing its Homecoming game and have upgraded Tua Tagovailoa to probable despite him dealing with a slight knee issue. In looking like an NFL quarterback toying with kids, the Heisman front-runner has led his team to an average of 20.6 points in the first quarter, realistically ending games inside 15 minutes. It remains to be seen whether he throws his first fourth-quarter pass in this one since that would likely mean Lock is having success keeping the Tigers in this by executing a more balanced offense than Mizzou’s pass-happy approach. RBs Larry Roundtree and Damarea Crockett have combined for seven TDs and will play big roles in attempting to give the defense a breather by extending drives and keeping the Tide defense from keying on the passing game. You can’t hang with Alabama by being one-dimensional. Hanging with the Tide may prove to be a futile endeavor as is, although the last two teams have managed to cover the spread late. Missouri is making its first visit to Tuscaloosa and hasn’t played ‘Bama since losing the 2014 SEC Championship game 42-13.

    Miami (-7/48) at Virginia, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2:
    The Cavaliers are also a live home ‘dog this week, getting Miami on the heels of its comeback win over rival Florida State that may have taken its toll despite ending successfully. Virginia is well-coached by Bronco Mendenhall, who is 17-11 in his career coming off a bye and will have a Homecoming atmosphere to work with in Charlottesville. The Canes last lost there in 2014, getting blown out as a 5-point favorite in one of the uglier episodes of the Al Golden era. Mark Richt’s teams have rolled over Mendenhall’s in consecutive seasons by a combined margin of 78-42, overcoming a 21-14 deficit in last year’s game to remain undefeated. He ended a run of three straight UM losses at UVa in his first season, rolling 34-14. Malik Rosier led last year’s comeback in South Florida with some clutch throws, but he’s behind redshirt freshman N’Kosi Perry now. The entire team was terrible in the first half against the Seminoles but rallied from 20 points down behind Perry’s four touchdown passes. He’ll be making his first road start against a Virginia team that is perfect at home this season and has won four of five.


    QB Bryce Perkins and versatile WR Olamide Zaccheaus have burned their share of defenses and will be looking to burn a Miami defense that will be looking to create miscues in order to win their first league road game since defeating North Carolina last season. The ‘Canes lead the nation in tackles for loss and will have nose tackle Gerald Willis in the mix despite a finger injury as they look to add to their tally of 20 sacks. If Perkins can keep them off balance with his speed and limit mistakes, he can keep Virginia from being its own worst enemy, which should be enough to flirt with an upset. Miami will need its run game to keep pressure off Perry, who should have top receiver Jeff Thomas in the mix despite a knee injury that has affected him all week. Miami is 17-4 SU the week after facing the Seminoles, but has only covered one of those games.

    Others to watch:
    Baylor at Texas, Duke at Georgia Tech, Minnesota at Ohio State, Texas A&M at South Carolina, Pittsburgh at Notre Dame, Boise State at Nevada, Virginia Tech at North Carolina, Temple at Navy, Louisville at Boston College, Florida at Vanderbilt, Nebraska at Northwestern, Tennessee at Auburn, Iowa at Indiana.
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