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Akron is a bad football team and books underestimated how strong the appetite was to fade the Zips again this week. Zippy Chippy has been outscored 83-3 through two games and makes a compelling argument to be considered one of the worst teams in the FBS.
Cincinnati steam drove this number up four points already and with sharp and squares looking to back the Bearcats, this price may continue to soar. Lay it or don’t play it in this type of non-conference beatdown.
Penn State Nittany Lions at Temple Owls – Open: Penn State -10, Current: -7
Public wagering trend on Penn State - 71 percent
One book opened this game at 6.5 and I happen to believe that’s a better number than what offshores used since Temple has the most explosive playmaker on either side of the ball in Bernard Pierce. Grab the points in this one because if PSU doesn’t bring it, they’ll leave with a loss against a revenge-minded Owls team seeking to atone for a nine-point defeat last year.
Colorado State Rams at Colorado Buffaloes – Open: Colorado -7.5, Move: -10.5, Current: -7.5
Public wagering trend on Colorado - 52 percent
I wish I knew why this line has moved a total of six points right back to its original opener. I’m not sure either team deserves to be over a TD chalk and the betting marketplace echoes similar sentiments.
This used to be a proud rivalry with national implications, but I’m not sure if Colorado residents even care at this point. When two teams look to be the embodiment of mediocrity, lean the points like sharper bettors do because nothing good comes from laying lumber with bad teams.
Washington State Cougars at San Diego State Aztecs – Open: SDSU -7, Current: SDSU -5
Public wagering trend on SDSU - 72 percent
Every line doesn’t move from 7 to 5 without resistance. This is the definition of sharp money and public money latching onto an undervalued Cougars side that is 2-0 for the first time since 2005.
I’m not sure I believe this is a genuine line move to WSU and I actually anticipate some sharp money coming in on SDSU if the price drops any further before Saturday’s kickoff.
Arizona State Sun Devils at Illinois Fighting Illini – Open: ASU -2, Current: Illinois -1
Public wagering trend on ASU - 71 percent
Letdown time is in store for ASU headed to Champaign to face an underrated Illini team looking to control pace with their ground game. Illinois hasn’t been tested this year and benefits from their third straight home game to start the season.
Under the lights in Champaign the emotional angle heavily favors the home team and the three-point move reveals the marketplace feels the same way. Value in the opening number is gone but the situational advantage for Zook’s squad enticed plenty of sharp action initially.
Utah Utes at BYU Cougars – Open: BYU -6.5, Current -3.5
Public wagering trend on BYU - 74 percent
It feels a little different this year considering the Holy War won’t have conference implications. This line opened 6.5 and immediately drew heavy Utah money driving the price down.
BYU has shown it can’t score or move the football the first two weeks so that tends to be a problem when you’re installed as a favorite. Sure, this is the first game in Provo, but sharps appear intent on grabbing the points and making the Cougars prove their merits. I can’t see this game hitting -3 but there’s a good chance we see buyback as the price dips further.
Oklahoma Sooners at Florida State Seminoles (+3, 55)
THE STORY: Second-year coach Jimbo Fisher said this summer that high expectations are “why you come to Florida State.” Because Fisher has embraced those expectations, he has the Seminoles on the cusp of returning to national prominence. Fifth-ranked Florida State hosts No. 1 Oklahoma in the first meeting between top five teams in Tallahassee since 2000. The winner will emerge with a shot at an undefeated season and a BCS championship game appearance.
Florida State, which finished ranked in the top five an NCAA-record 14 straight seasons under the legendary Bobby Bowden (1987-2001), can re-emerge as a national power and boost its title hopes by avenging last season's 47-17 loss in Norman. It will be anything but easy. Oklahoma is 13-3 under Bob Stoops after a bye and 72-8 as the No. 1 team in the nation. Florida State, meanwhile, is 1-5 all-time against the nation’s top-ranked team.
LINE MOVEMENT: Oklahoma opened as a 3.5-point road favorite, but has been bet down to a field goal as of Friday afternoon. The total was climbed slightly from its opening of 54.5 to 55.
ABOUT FLORIDA STATE (2-0): Junior E.J. Manuel, coming off his first-career 300-yard game, will get a stern test from one of the best defenses in the nation. Junior cornerback/punt returner Greg Reid returns from a one-game suspension (team rules). Reid and promising sophomore cornerback Xavier Rhodes have a tough matchup against the prolific quarterback-wide receiver combination of Landry Jones and Ryan Broyles. The Seminoles’ defense, led by Stoops’ younger brother Mark, is looking to avenge last year’s poor effort (487 total yards) in Norman.
ABOUT OKLAHOMA (1-0): Jones (375 yards, one touchdown) and Broyles (14 catches, 158 yards one TD) were in mid-season form in a 47-14 victory over Tulsa on Sept. 3. The passing game will be even more dangerous upon the return of sensational sophomore wide receiver Kenny Stills, who served a one-game suspension for his DUI arrest in January. Highly regarded sophomore Corey Nelson continues to start in place of All-American linebacker Travis Lewis (broken toe).
- Sooners are 1-5 ATS in their last six games as road favorites.
- Seminoles are 4-0 ATS in their last four non-conference games.
- Under is 5-2 in Sooners last seven games as favorites.
- Under is 10-4 in Seminoles last 14 games overall.
1. “This is the test. … This is the game you want to live for.” - Florida State safety Lamarcus Joyner, on facing the No. 1 team.
2. Lewis, who has 362 tackles in three seasons, tweeted Monday: "Won't be playing this week. Still another week away. Sorry Sooner fans."
3. This is the first contest between top five teams at Doak Campbell Stadium since the No. 3 Seminoles pounded No. 4 Florida 30-7 in 2000
"That was probably one of the worst feelings we had, losing that game, letting that atmosphere effect us. We were really disappointed and almost embarrassed. I feel like this attitude this week is different." Oklahoma linebacker Tom Wort on the team’s 36-27 loss at Missouri last season after the Sooners moved to No. 1 in the country. The No. 1 Sooners are set as 3-point favorites at No. 5 Florida State.
Notes and tips
UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel could have a major problem on his hands if Saturday’s game against Texas turns into a kicking battle. With two kickers banged up with injuries, UCLA soccer manager Alex Gonzalez has been practicing with the football team this week, while punter Jeff Locke has also practiced taking field goals attempts. The Bruins are set as 3.5-point home underdogs to No. 25 Texas.
The Houston Texans are expected to feed reigning NFL rushing champion Arian Foster a healthy dose of touches Sunday as he returns to action following a hamstring injury. Foster is still officially listed as questionable against Dolphins, but coach Gary Kubiak is talking about getting him 25 touches. The Texans are currently set as 3-point road favorites.
Kentucky running back Raymond Sanders is expected to miss the next 2-3 weeks with a knee injury. Sanders aggravated the injury in practice and opted for arthroscopic surgery on the knee, which took place Thursday morning. Sanders has 21 carries for 95 yards for the Wildcats so far this season. Rookie Josh Clemons, who has rushed for 165 yards and two touchdowns, will get the bulk of the carries in Sanders' absence. Kentucky is a 4.5-point home favorite against Louisville.