cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
On 10/02/2012 12:27 AM in NCAA Football

Cnotes October College Football Best Bets !

USC Trojans Hit Road For Pac-12 Date With Utah

Let’s hope we don’t have a repeat ending of last year’s Utah-Southern Cal game at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Well, maybe we should be more specific: Las Vegas sports book operators sure don’t want a replay of the final moments from the last time the Trojans and Utes tangled on the gridiron.

For those who can’t remember, or simply chose to forget what happened last September in L.A., Utah was ready to try a last-second, 41-yard field goal to level the score at 17 apiece and force an overtime period against the Trojans. But Coleman Peterson’s field goal try was blocked and returned for a TD by Southern Cal’s Torin Harris...or was it a TD? Officials threw a flag on the USC bench for streaming onto the field in celebration, apparently nullifying the TD, but nonetheless keeping the final score at 17-14 in favor of the Trojans.

That is, until a couple of hours later, when the referees clarified their call and stated that the blocked FG return TD was always meant to count, thereby giving SC a 23-14 win. Of course, with the pointspread having floated between 8-9½ points the entire week, the decision caused apoplexy at many Las Vegas wagering outlets, many of which already having paid out on the original 17-14 scoreline. In the aftermath, some books honored the new 23-14 score, others continued to pay out on 17-14, and a handful decided to pay out on both sides.

No wonder the sports books are in no hurry to see Utah-USC history repeat itself anytime soon!

We doubt similar dynamics take place on Thursday night in Salt Lake City, where the Trojans and Utes will meet again at picturesque Rice-Eccles Stadium. A check of the early-week numbers on the Don Best college football odds screen notes USC as a 13-13½ point favorite at the majority of Nevada wagering outlets. Totals have yet to be released, but when they do, the Don Best Pro Odds will have them immediately.

Kickoff time will be 9:00 p.m. (ET). National TV coverage will provided by ESPN, with its normal Thursday night crew of Rece Davis, Jesse Palmer and David Pollack describing the action.

The 2012 campaign has not started as smoothly as either expected, with both suffering straight-up defeats (two of them for Utah, in fact) in September. For the Trojans, their BCS title hopes have already taken a big hit after the loss at Stanford on September 15. For the Utes, their ledger includes a pair of painful defeats vs. Utah State and Arizona State, not to mention another injury to QB Jordan Wynn.

Indeed, the latest shoulder injury suffered by Wynn, his third in his Utah career and the second to his non-throwing (left) shoulder) in the past two seasons, was enough to force him to retire from the sport. Fortunately for Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham, backup QB Jon Hays had considerable experience from a year ago when stepping into the breach after Wynn’s 2011 injury, so the Utes retain some experience at the position.

Hays, however, lacks real arm strength, and is not much more than a serviceable alternative. Whittingham has also been spotting 6-foot-7 true frosh Travis Wilson, whose style has reminded some of Tim Tebow, into the lineup. Yet it’s worth noting that Hays has recorded a decent 7-4 mark as the starter over the past two seasons.

Still, the Utes are lacking dynamism offensively, ranking in triple digits nationally in most relevant categories, and not even gaining 300 ypg, ranking a poor 110th. Utah barely gained 200 yards total in its last outing, a 37-7 beating administered by Arizona State on September 22.

The running game is also suffering, as last year’s leading rusher John White IV – who gained 1,519 yards rushing a year ago – is averaging just 67 ypg thus far, although White has been slowed by a recurring ankle sprain. Last week’s bye will hopefully have allowed the ankle to fully heal.

Fortunately for the Utes, their defense remains stingy (ranks 29th nationally), and a typically thick defensive front, led by 300-lb. DTs Star Lotulelei and Dave Kruger, will be looking to take away the USC infantry diversion and pressure Trojan QB Matt Barkley, who has often been under pressure in the early going.

Indeed, Barkley’s Heisman trophy hopes seem to have taken a real hit, especially after the loss at Stanford when Barkley didn’t throw a TD pass. Barkley has also thrown four picks his last two outings, as head coach Lane Kiffin’s desire to get Barkley as many TDs as possible to boost his Heisman hopes has not been working as planned.

Barkley would certainly benefit from more of a complement from the run game which has only appeared in fits and spurts thus far. The potential is there with explosive Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd, who both cracked the 100-yard mark in their most-recent game vs. Cal on September 22, yet were held to a combined 54 yards in the previous week’s loss at Palo Alto.

The Trojans have also sprung some leaks defensively, with a rebuilt defensive front not bringing consistent pressure, and the secondary continuing to appear vulnerable and a bit uncomfy in vet coordinator Monte Kiffin’s pet 'Tampa 2' cover schemes. The Trojan pass defense ranks in the middle of the national stats and would seem to provide an opportunity for Ute QBs Hays or Wilson to look downfield. If, that is, either is up to the task.

A concern for Utah backers, however, is the recent pointspread downturn experienced by the Utes since the middle of the 2010 campaign, as Whittingham’s team has dropped 15 of 22 vs. the number since. Kiffin’s Trojans, however, are only 1-3 vs. the line themselves this season, and have failed to cover their first two as road chalk in 2012.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 12:30 AM

Football Lines To Watch This Week - Monday Market Report

Brian Blessing and Todd Fuhrman take a quick look at the betting market this week with early analysis about spreads that have already moved, and some that could.

An SEC collision in Oxford, Mississippi where the Ole Miss Rebels host the Texas A&M Aggies is first up on the docket. Texas A&M opened as 8½-point chalk for its first SEC road game, but that number has been boosted quickly to an 11-point spread. Fuhrman points to several reasons why the number may have moved, from the Aggies' prolific offensive showing last week in a rout of Arkansas to the Rebels' struggles against Texas and Alabama.

"Texas A&M, though, starts a stretch with five of their next six games on the road," Fuhrman notes. "We'll know a lot more about them very soon."

The Pac-12 battle at Stanford between the Cardinal and Arizona Wildcats has also seen a sharp correction from the opening spread. The Cardinal opened as 12½ favorites before the line dropped as many as three points at some shops monitored by the Don Best Pro Odds. Both teams are coming off losses with Arizona losing a heartbreaker at home to Oregon State, 38-35, while Stanford was upset 17-13 on the road at Washington who was a touchdown underdog.

Oklahoma comes off its bye week that was preceded by a loss at Kansas State, and now the Sooners go to Lubbock to take on the Texas Tech Red Raiders and their top-rated defense. Tommy Tuberville's team is off to a 4-0 start behind a defense that ranks No. 1 in the country in total yardage (167.5 ypg) and fifth in points allowed (10.8 ppg). This game begins a string of five straight games against ranked opponents for the Red Raiders, while the Sooners have their big Red River Rivalry game with the Longhorns next week.

The Sooners opened as 7-point favorites vs. Tech before being bet down as low as -3½.

Another monster SEC game this week finds the LSU Tigers at the Swamp to take on the Florida Gators. Louisiana State opened -4 but was down to -2½ on Monday.

Turning to the NFL, the Minnesota Vikings come off a 20-13 win in Detroit on Sunday to host the Tennessee Titans this week. Minnesota is off to a surprising 3-1 start while the Titans come in 1-3 after being manhandled by the Houston Texans. Still, early money on Tennessee has pushed the opening 6½-point spread in favor of the Vikes down to 5-5½.

Fuhrman points to Minnesota's inability to consistently move the ball on offense as a reason why bettors don't think the Vikings can cover a 6-point spread.

One more NFL contest that has seen early movement is the matchup in Kansas City between the Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens. The line opened Ravens -6½ with the number now down to 4-4½. The money on the home 'dog is a bit perplexing considering the Chiefs have started 0-2 at Arrowhead Stadium.

"When you don't have a defense," Fuhrman said of the Chiefs, "and you can't get the fans into the game, it makes things awfully tough. Kansas City has struggled in the first half against everybody this year. I think this is a pump-fake early in the week, and would be surprised if there's any real wise-guy money coming in on the Chiefs."

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 12:35 AM

Games to Watch - Week 6

September 30, 2012

Saturday - LSU at Florida (CBS, 3:30 p.m. ET)
Matchup Skinny

Two questions will be answered in this game. Is LSU really as bad as they have played so far this year and is Florida really as good? This is arguably the biggest game to date for Will Muschamp as the Gators head coach. LSU has won the last two meetings, 33-29 at Florida in 2010 and 41-11 at home last year, and Florida gets what appears to be an LSU team that is struggling in The Swamp. Last year LSU had more yards rushing (238) than Florida had total yards (213). This year it may come down to LSU QB Zach Mettenberger who has played poorly (even for LSU QB standards) against a Florida defense that has shown to be much tougher this year than anytime under Muschamp. The Florida defense ranks 10th in the country in points allowed and have faced two solid quarterbacks in Tyler Bray and Johnny Manziel to date. The Florida offense was also a big question coming into the year and RB Mike Gillislee has Florida in the top 20 in rushing with 225 yards a game. History however tells us that LSU steps up the most when the lights are the brightest under the Mad Hatter Les Miles as they are 31-14 against top 25 teams and 41-15 in SEC regular season games. LSU opens as a 3 point road favorite in this game as history and reputation supersede the short term success thus far this year for Muschamp and the Gators.

Saturday - Georgia at South Carolina (ESPN, 7:00 p.m. ET)
Matchup Skinny

Remember back in the day when the SEC used to play defense? Well, that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. Georgia comes in off a 51-44 win at home over Tennessee and these two teams put up almost 90 points last year when South Carolina went in-between the hedges in Athens and beat Georgia 45-42. Despite the loss, the Dawgs rebounded to win the SEC East before getting waxes by LSU in the SEC Championship. This year the loser might not have that chance however. South Carolina has won the last two meetings, although Georgia has never lost three in a row in this border rival. Not only do the two fan bases not particularly care for each other, as mentioned last week Steve Spurrier and the Georgia faithful simply do not like each other from his days at Florida. Georgia all but handed South Carolina the game last year giving up essentially four touchdowns on defense and a fake punt. But the man that sealed the deal was Marcus Lattimore and his fourth quarter performance. He will most likely be the difference maker this year as well if South Carolina wants to keep its SEC and National Championship hopes alive. However Georgia has the same aspirations and has won four of the last five in Columbia. South Carolina opens as a field goal favorite and the winner will definitely have the inside track to represent the SEC East in the Georgia Dome at the end of the year.

Saturday - West Virginia at Texas (FOX, 7:00 p.m.)
Matchup Skinny

The schools' only previous meeting was also in Austin; however it was back in 1956 with WVU winning 7-6. I'm going out on a limb and making a very bold prediction; the 2012 version will be higher scoring than 7-6. Just remember you heard it here first. WVU QB Geno Smith is coming off a game where he threw for a mere 656 yards and 8 TDs in WVU's wild 70-63 win over Baylor. Texas is coming off an equally entertaining, yet "low scoring" 41-36 win against Oklahoma State Saturday night. The early line has Texas listed a touchdown favorite and they are still buying calculators to try and figure out the total in this game. Not surprising Smith and the Mountaineers rank first in the NCAA in passing with over 440 yards a game and third in points scored with 53 a game. Another big game by Smith may vault him to the top of the Heisman list just under the midway point of the season. Defensively…well they don't actually have a defense. Texas doesn't have the eye popping offensive stats that WVU has, however they have been very consistent both on the ground and with QB David Ash showing monumental improvements from last year. While the Texas defense at least shows a pulse they have also struggled this year giving up big plays to Ole Miss and Oklahoma State. This back and forth game will simply come down to which teams defense is able to make a stop or force the opposing offense into a turnover. This should be another entertaining game and the team with the ball last may come out victorious.

Other Games to Watch
Matchup Skinny

USC at Utah (Thursday): Last week Stanford traveled to Washington on Thursday night and was upset 17-14. Could we see back to back PAC-12 Thursday night upsets? Last year when these two teams met in the Coliseum the Utes were lined up for a game-tying field goal in the final seconds but the Trojans not only blocked it but returned it for a touchdown to seal a 23-14 win. The loser will essentially be eliminated from the PAC-12 South division title. If that happens to be USC I'm sure Lane Kiffin's post game press conference will be extremely long and detail oriented.
at Miami, Fl. at Notre Dame (from Soldier Field): This was a bitter rivalry back in the late 80's when Dr. Lou was still just a head coach at Notre Dame and the Miami Hurricanes still ran South Beach. This obviously doesn't quite have the feel or relevance of the old days but a win by ND will move them to 5-0 for the first time since the Internet started tracking those types of things. ND leads the all-time series 16-7-1, although ND's 33-17 win in the 2010 Sun Bowl is the teams' lone meeting since 1990.

Washington at Oregon: Can the Huskies pull off back to back top 10 upsets? Well no, as they are 24 point underdogs, but they will definitely get the Ducks attention as a result of their upset win over Stanford last week. The only real question in this game is whether the Oregon starters will have to play the entire four quarters. However it should be interesting to watch Washington QB Keith Price and their passing attack against the contrasting style of Oregon QB Marcus Mariota and their running attack.
at Nebraska at Ohio State: I feel like I need to include a Big 10 game each week just in case people that like boring football read this article. After their painful to watch 17-16 "classic" win Saturday night, new Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer said something along the lines of, well, that is just a classic Big 10 football game right there. Exactly Urban…no thanks. Ohio State blew a 21-point lead in last year's 34-27 loss at Lincoln, so the Buckeyes will be looking for revenge at home under the lights.



Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 10:51 PM

Pitt And BYU Favored In Friday Night College Twinbill

College football bettors have a couple of interesting matchups to consider on Friday night when the Pittsburgh Panthers visit the Syracuse Orange and the Brigham Young Cougars host the Utah State Aggies.

Both contests will be carried nationally by ESPN, beginning with the 7:00 p.m. (ET) Big East clash at the Carrier Dome. Pittsburgh opened as a 3-point favorite before the spread was quickly bet down to 1½. The total began at 55 before being pushed up to 57.

Pitt facing Syracuse generally conjures up visions of a hardwood battle, and this gridiron clash isn't going to do much to change that between the 1-3 Orange and 2-2 Panthers, those straight-up records also identical to their marks against the spread. Still, it's at least interesting from the standpoint that the next time they meet on a football field, it will be as members of the ACC, not to mention there's money to be won on the outcome of this meeting.

Syracuse's lone win was a 28-17 decision at home over Stony Brook, the Orange favored by 21½ and needing two second-half TDs to overcome a 17-14 halftime deficit. Doug Marrone's boys then followed that up last week with a 17-10 loss at Minnesota where they were giving up three to the Golden Gophers.

The Orange were at least able to move the ball in the first three games of the season, that win over Stony Brook preceded by 42-41 and 42-29 losses to Northwestern and Southern Cal respectively. Syracuse is in the top 30 nationally averaging over 487 yards per game offensively, but dropped off considerably in the Minnesota setback. Four turnovers, two of each type, after six combined the first three games played a big part.

Pittsburgh could present another defensive challenge this week with a unit that is 28th in the country allowing under 325 yards per game. Head coach Paul Chryst and defensive coordinator Dave Huxtable got off to a rough start in an upset loss to Youngstown State and follow-up embarrassment at Cincinnati. But the Panthers 'D' stepped up in an upset win over Virginia Tech and an easy shutout of Gardner-Webb two weeks ago.

The Panthers have won seven straight in this series, covering five of those. The 'over' is 3-1 the last four, and 4-1 the last five in the Carrier Dome.

Pitt and 'Cuse will be followed at 10:15 p.m. (ET) when the Aggies and Cougars kick it off at LaVell Edwards Stadium in Provo. College football oddsmakers sent BYU out at -9 with the line immediately tumbling to -7. A little movement on the total has also taken place, inching up to 45 after opening a point lower.

The contest will feature two of the top defenses in the nation, with BYU fifth in total 'D' (226.6 ypg) and Utah State 11th (280.8 ypg). The Cougs are also fourth in fewest points allowed (10.0 ppg) while the Aggies are 18th (14.2).

We followed BYU (3-2 SU & ATS) last week in a matchup against Hawaii, and wondered if Bronco Mendenhall's squad could break out offensively after a couple of tough road losses at Utah and Boise State. The Cougars did get indeed move the ball well, rolling up 540 yards of 'O' with an easy 47-0 win and cover against the Warriors.

How much of that was BYU's own execution and how much credit goes to a weak Hawaii team is open for debate. But freshman Taysom Hill did have a good showing in relief of injured QB Riley Nelson, and fellow frosh Jamaal Williams stepped in at tailback for Michael Alisa with a big game (15 carries, 155 yards, 2 TDs).

Nelson (back) is currently listed as doubtful for Friday's tussle with the Utags, while Alisa (broken arm) will remain sidelined well into November.

Utah State (4-1 SU, 4-0-1 ATS) can complete a Beehive State sweep with a win over BYU after beating the Utah Utes earlier this season with a 27-20 triumph as a 7-point home 'dog. The Aggies are coming off a 35-13 decision against UNLV last week, the final margin 'pushing' the 22-point spread.

The game against UNLV marked Utah State's fourth 'under' of the season, and that segues well into the recent trend in this series with four of the last five battles between the Aggies and Cougars failing to reach the total. The lone game in that span that didn't cash for 'under' bettors was last year when BYU's 27-24 win landed smack-dab on the 51-point total.

Brigham Young has won 10 of the last 11 vs. Utah State to take a 44-34-3 lead in the all-time series. However, the Aggies have covered the last four and eight of the last 10.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 10:54 PM

Improved Florida Gators Host LSU Tigers

The Florida Gators appear to be a much-improved team in the second year under coach Will Muschamp. They have their toughest test of the season so far when the powerful LSU Tigers visit on Saturday afternoon.

The Don Best Pro Odds screen has LSU as surprisingly low 2½-3 point road favorites. The total is 44½ and CBS will have the 3:30 p.m. (ET) national telecast from Ben Hill Griffin Stadium, otherwise known as ‘The Swamp.’

The Gators (4-0 straight up, 3-1 against the spread) just snuck into the AP top-10 for the first time this year despite coming off a bye-week. Their last game was September 22nd versus Kentucky, a 38-0 win as 23½-point home favorites, improving them to 3-0 SU and ATS in the SEC.

Quarterback Jeff Driskel has helped the team turnaround after a subpar 7-6 SU (4-8-1 ATS) season last year. The sophomore ranks sixth in the conference in passing efficiency (158.0), but can also make plays with his legs with 148 rushing yards.

Senior Mike Gillislee (402 yards) has already surpassed his season-high in rushing. He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry and at 210 pounds is a much bigger back than the two main ball carriers last year, Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps.

The Florida defense was supposed to be good with 10 returning starters and Muschamp’s storied background as a d-coordinator. That’s come to fruition with the scoring defense down to 12.75 PPG, tied-for-10th in the country and helping the ‘under’ start 3-1.

The Tigers (5-0 SU, 2-3 ATS) are also undefeated and rank fourth and third respectively in the AP and Coaches Poll. However, they seem to have a bit of a hangover after losing the national title game to Alabama and then the dismissal of star cornerback / returner Tyrann Mathieu in August.

Coach Les Miles guys have had an easy schedule with the smallest spread -18 at Auburn on September 22. That was also the only road game, with LSU barely holding on for a 12-10 victory. The team was 5-0 ATS in true road games last year.

LSU’s win versus Towson last week was a second consecutive failure to cover, 38-22 as 43-point favorites. The FCS squad somehow managed to out-gain the Tigers in rushing (188-158) and even led 9-7 in the second quarter. It’s fair to say a far more determined effort will be needed against Florida.

Miles thought he had an upgrade at quarterback this year with Zach Mettenberger, but he hasn’t been great (150.5 rating), especially given the quality of competition. The running game ranks 18th in the country (229.6 YPG) and has several studs left even with Alfred Blue (knee) out indefinitely.

LSU is going to make Florida prove it can stop the run with Mettenberger taking occasional shots down the field to Odell Beckham and Kadron Boone. Defensively, LSU has the speed to contain Driskel’s running as well as bring the heat via the pass rush. Florida will need to establish Gillislee early if it hopes to pull off the upset.

Florida will be looking for revenge after losing the last two against LSU (0-2 ATS). Last October was a 41-11 debacle in Baton Rouge as 14-point road ‘dogs. LSU gashed the Gators via the run (238 yards).

The Gators are just 1-7 SU and ATS over the last two years in October.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 10:57 PM

Top Rushing Attacks Meet When Air Force Hosts Navy

Run left, run right, run up the middle and then run some more just for good measure. That is what awaits college football bettors and fans alike in the Saturday morning tilt at the Up, Up & Away Academy outside Colorado Springs.

Though he was in the US Army, it's difficult not to think of that "running fool" Forest Gump as Air Force and Navy get together for an early Saturday kickoff at Falcon Stadium. Those backing the flyboys are being asked to lay 10 points according to the Don Best Pro Odds, and an initial 55-point total has remained stale in early betting.

Ken Niumatalolo brings the Midshipmen into the contest averaging an impressive 219.3 yards per game rushing, good enough to rank 24th in the country. However, that figure pales in comparison to Troy Calhoun's Falcons who lead the nation with nearly 400 yards per game on the ground. That has translated to 21 touchdowns in four games for Air Force (2-2 straight up & against the spread), 19 of them on the ground, and a 37.8 scoring average which is 27th nationally.

Navy's offense, meanwhile, has scored just six TDs with the defense adding a seventh, and the Midshipmen (1-3 SU & ATS) are way down near the bottom in scoring at 14.5 ppg.

Quarterback Trey Miller has accounted for four of Navy's six offensive scores, three of them via the ground. The Middies failed to push the pigskin across the goal line last week in a 12-0 setback to San Jose State. In fact, neither team registered a TD with all of the Spartans' points coming on field goals. The shutout was the first for Navy under Niumatalolo, and the 144-yard offensive showing was the lowest for a Navy squad since being held under 100 in a 38-0 shellacking by Connecticut in 2002.

One thing the Midshipmen have to do this week is get running back Gee Gee Greene more touches. The senior has averaged close to eight yards a tote this season, but has only 25 carries combined in the first four games. San Jose State's defensive effort last week limited Greene to just 13 yards on six attempts.

Both of the Falcons' setbacks came on the road, a fine showing at Michigan where they fell 31-25 as big 21½-point 'dogs and an inexplicable 38-35 defeat at UNLV where Air Force was laying 10½ in the Mountain West opener for each school. Calhoun's crew was able to run almost at will against the Rebels, but the defense couldn't stop UNLV's offense that recorded a very balanced effort with almost 200 yards rushing and an even 250 yards passing.

The pass defense was again vulnerable last week against Colorado State, but the Falcons were still able to grab the 42-21 win and cover as 14-point favorites. Air Force QB Connor Dietz only completed two passes, but both went for touchdowns (his only TD passes this season), while Cody Getz tallied almost half of the Falcons' 459 yards on the ground with 25 carries for 222 yards.

This game kicks off the annual Commander-in-Chief Trophy race with both Navy and Air Force scheduled to meet Army later this season. The Falcons have won those honors each of the past two seasons and lead the series with Navy by a 27-17 margin.

Last year's battle in Annapolis was a classic with Air Force taking a 35-34 overtime win that was not without controversy. Navy staged a furious fourth-quarter rally to force OT, then scored the first touchdown in extra play. However, the Middies were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, and their extra point attempt from 35 yards out was blocked. Air Force went on to score on their OT possession with the extra point providing the final margin.

Air Force was a 3-point underdog in that game and will be gunning for its third straight win in the series. Six of the last eight, and four of the last five played at Air Force, have gone 'under' the total.

Saturday's kickoff will come at 9:30 a.m. local time, and current forecasts call for partly cloudy skies and the thermometer remaining in the 30s for most of the contest.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 10:57 PM

Top Rushing Attacks Meet When Air Force Hosts Navy

Run left, run right, run up the middle and then run some more just for good measure. That is what awaits college football bettors and fans alike in the Saturday morning tilt at the Up, Up & Away Academy outside Colorado Springs.

Though he was in the US Army, it's difficult not to think of that "running fool" Forest Gump as Air Force and Navy get together for an early Saturday kickoff at Falcon Stadium. Those backing the flyboys are being asked to lay 10 points according to the Don Best Pro Odds, and an initial 55-point total has remained stale in early betting.

Ken Niumatalolo brings the Midshipmen into the contest averaging an impressive 219.3 yards per game rushing, good enough to rank 24th in the country. However, that figure pales in comparison to Troy Calhoun's Falcons who lead the nation with nearly 400 yards per game on the ground. That has translated to 21 touchdowns in four games for Air Force (2-2 straight up & against the spread), 19 of them on the ground, and a 37.8 scoring average which is 27th nationally.

Navy's offense, meanwhile, has scored just six TDs with the defense adding a seventh, and the Midshipmen (1-3 SU & ATS) are way down near the bottom in scoring at 14.5 ppg.

Quarterback Trey Miller has accounted for four of Navy's six offensive scores, three of them via the ground. The Middies failed to push the pigskin across the goal line last week in a 12-0 setback to San Jose State. In fact, neither team registered a TD with all of the Spartans' points coming on field goals. The shutout was the first for Navy under Niumatalolo, and the 144-yard offensive showing was the lowest for a Navy squad since being held under 100 in a 38-0 shellacking by Connecticut in 2002.

One thing the Midshipmen have to do this week is get running back Gee Gee Greene more touches. The senior has averaged close to eight yards a tote this season, but has only 25 carries combined in the first four games. San Jose State's defensive effort last week limited Greene to just 13 yards on six attempts.

Both of the Falcons' setbacks came on the road, a fine showing at Michigan where they fell 31-25 as big 21½-point 'dogs and an inexplicable 38-35 defeat at UNLV where Air Force was laying 10½ in the Mountain West opener for each school. Calhoun's crew was able to run almost at will against the Rebels, but the defense couldn't stop UNLV's offense that recorded a very balanced effort with almost 200 yards rushing and an even 250 yards passing.

The pass defense was again vulnerable last week against Colorado State, but the Falcons were still able to grab the 42-21 win and cover as 14-point favorites. Air Force QB Connor Dietz only completed two passes, but both went for touchdowns (his only TD passes this season), while Cody Getz tallied almost half of the Falcons' 459 yards on the ground with 25 carries for 222 yards.

This game kicks off the annual Commander-in-Chief Trophy race with both Navy and Air Force scheduled to meet Army later this season. The Falcons have won those honors each of the past two seasons and lead the series with Navy by a 27-17 margin.

Last year's battle in Annapolis was a classic with Air Force taking a 35-34 overtime win that was not without controversy. Navy staged a furious fourth-quarter rally to force OT, then scored the first touchdown in extra play. However, the Middies were penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct after the TD, and their extra point attempt from 35 yards out was blocked. Air Force went on to score on their OT possession with the extra point providing the final margin.

Air Force was a 3-point underdog in that game and will be gunning for its third straight win in the series. Six of the last eight, and four of the last five played at Air Force, have gone 'under' the total.

Saturday's kickoff will come at 9:30 a.m. local time, and current forecasts call for partly cloudy skies and the thermometer remaining in the 30s for most of the contest.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/02/2012 10:59 PM

Georgia & South Carolina In Battle Of SEC Unbeatens

Coach Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks host the Georgia Bulldogs on Saturday night in a game that could ultimately decide the SEC East champion.

The college football odds list South Carolina between a 1½ and 2½ point favorite. The total is a lofty 56½ and ESPN will broadcast from Williams-Brice Stadium at 7:00 p.m. (ET).

Georgia and South Carolina rank fifth and sixth respectively in the AP and Coaches Poll. Each is a perfect 5-0 straight up and 3-0 in the conference. SEC East Florida is also in the division mix at 3-0 in the conference.

The Gamecocks (4-1 against the spread) have covered their last four games, but it wasn’t easy last week. They trailed 17-7 at halftime at Kentucky before a 31-0 second-half whitewashing. The 38-17 final covered the 20-point spread by the slimmest of margins.

Spurrier is known for being extremely tough on quarterbacks going back to his Florida days. However, even he can’t complain about Connor Shaw the last two weeks. The junior was an incredible 35-of-39 (89.7 percent) passing with four TDs and no picks in those games, including a stretch of 20 consecutive completions in the win vs. Missouri.

Shaw only threw for 198.5 YPG the last two contests (31-10 home win vs. Missouri the first), but he added 117 more on the ground and Marcus Lattimore is still one of the nation’s best rushers even coming off knee surgery.

The Bulldogs (2-3 ATS) have an explosive offense with their 48.2 PPG ranked eighth in the country. The passing game was supposed to be good with junior quarterback Aaron Murray and that hasn’t disappointed at 285.6 YPG (29th nationally).

The running game has been the bigger surprise after the preseason dismissal of Isaiah Crowell. The freshman duo of Todd Gurley (536 yards) and Keith Marshall (428 yards) have more than compensated in leading the nation’s 11th-ranked attack (250.4 YPG).

Georgia’s defense has elite talent, but hasn’t matched the offense at 370.2 YPG (ranked 55th) and 22 PPG (tied-for-46th). The 4-game suspensions of All-American safety Bacarri Rambo and linebacker Alec Ogletree hurt, but the two returned last week and the team still surrendered 44 points at home to Tennessee.

Better defensive continuity should be seen this week as the Bulldogs get used to their stars being back.

Note the ‘over’ is 5-0 in Georgia’s games this season and 7-0 in the last seven overall.

The Bulldogs' only road tilt this year was at Missouri on September 8th, a 41-20 win as 1-point favorites after scoring 24 unanswered points starting late third quarter. They’re 4-1 ATS in their last five true road games overall.

South Carolina has one of the stingiest defenses in the country at 11.2 PPG. Jadeveon Clowney is an elite pass rusher and the d-line in general is going to make life much harder for the frosh running backs. Murray is going to need to make a lot of plays in the passing game to warrant being under a 3-point ‘dog.

The Gamecocks have beaten Georgia the last two years (45-42, 17-6) and are 4-0-1 ATS in the last five. The ‘under’ is 8-0 in the last eight meetings between the teams in South Carolina.

This game is arguably more crucial for South Carolina as it has to play at SEC West power LSU next week. Georgia doesn’t face LSU this year, while Georgia and South Carolina both avoid No. 1 Alabama (also out of the SEC West).

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/03/2012 06:37 PM

Football lines that make you go hmmm...


NCAAF

UCLA Bruins at Cal Golden Bears (+3, 54)

The Bruins are giving only a field goal to their state rivals, despite the fact that Cal has one win on the year - over an FCS program.

The Golden Bears, 1-4, are coming off a 27-17 loss to Arizona State and the chair in Jeff Tedford’s office is starting to resemble the Human Torch’s La-Z-Boy. Cal has crumbled down the stretch, giving up 37 percent of its 151 total points against in the fourth quarter, and will have a tough time slowing down the Bruins’ fourth-ranked offense no matter what frame it is.

Vanderbilt Commodores at Missouri Tigers (-6.5, 45.5)

A 1-3 start to the schedule has erased the Commodores from the minds of most bettors. Vanderbilt was the sleeper of all sleepers heading into the season, bringing back a surplus of talent on both sides of the ball.

However, a tough opening slate that featured three teams currently ranked in the Top 25 has oddsmakers discounting Vandy heading into Week 5’s showdown in Missouri. Vanderbilt had a bye week to put those losses in the rearview but hasn't fared well following the week off, going just 2-6 SU off the bye the past 10 seasons. (They had two seasons during that stretch without a bye.)

The Tigers are almost giving a touchdown despite being tagged as 1.5-point dogs at Central Florida last weekend. Missouri’s offense is stumbling, not giving James Franklin - who is still not 100 percent - time to hit his receivers. Franklin was sacked five times versus UCF.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:25761 Followers:33
10/03/2012 06:40 PM

Geno Smith, West Virginia In Texas To Meet Longhorns

The Iowa Barnstormers vs. the San Jose Sabercats?

Excuse us for mistaking West Virginia’s games for the Arena Football League. Or maybe Bob Huggins’ Mountaineer basketball team, which might have trouble scoring as many points as Dana Holgorsen’s WVU footballers are doing this season.

This week, however, West Virginia is best advised to start playing some defense, too. Because the Big 12 schedule is going to start getting a lot harder for the Mounties as the calendar moves into October.

This weekend, the calendar has West Virginia (4-0. No. 12 Don Best Linemakers Poll) traveling to Austin to face a revved-up Texas (4-0, tied for No. 5 in Don Best Linemakers Poll) side at Darrell Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium. A quick check of the Don Best Pro Odds screen notes a midweek shift in money floating to the Longhorns, with Texas a 6½-7 point favorite at most Las Vegas sports books. The midweek total is posted at 75 after opening as high as 79 earlier in the week.

Kickoff time on Saturday has been moved to 7:00 p.m. (ET) with big FOX providing national TV coverage.

While West Virginia is drawing a lot of attention for its considerable pyrotechnics in the first few weeks, and has scored an astounding 10 touchdowns three different times in its last five games since the Orange Bowl demolition over Clemson, the road is going to start getting harder for the Mountaineers in the Big 12 race. Last week’s victim Baylor, which lost by a basketball-like 70-63 count at Morgantown, might not even be a top division side in the conference. Plenty of heavyweight sides, including Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas State and this week’s foe Texas still remain on the West Virginia slate.

No matter the offensive output, however, the Mountaineers are going to be asking for trouble if they can’t shore up some of the leaks in their defense. Granted, the pace and tempo of early West Virginia games has been brisk, but the Mountie stop unit ranks in triple digits nationally (106th in total defense at 474 yards per game conceded). Eventually this shortcoming figures to cost Holgorsen’s crew.

Unless, of course, WVU simply keeps outscoring everybody, and QB Gene Smith continues to set a blazing pace in his race for the Heisman Trophy, of which he is now the acknowledged frontrunner. Smith’s stats after four games, including 83.4 percent completions, 20 TD passes and no picks, are the stuff of video games. Incredibly, Smith has thrown almost as many TD passes (20) as incompletions (28) thus far, creating a new TD pass/incompletion ratio applicable only to himself.

Indeed, the Holgorsen spread offense is almost impossible to defend, more so because Geno’s receivers can also do damage after they catch the ball. Last week against Baylor, Mountie wideouts gained over 300 yards after the catch, an astounding statistic. Tavin Austin (48 receptions) and Steadman Bailey (45 catches) rank 1-2 in national pass receiving stats for a strike force scoring an astounding 53 ppg.

Texas, however, figures to offer much more of a roadblock than any foes Gene Smith & Co. have faced thus far in 2012. In fact, it can be argued that Texas has the best collection of defensive athletes that West Virginia has seen since LSU dismantled the Holgorsen spread by a 47-21 count on September 24 of last year.

Longhorn defensive coordinator Manny Diaz will also have noted that Maryland was able to somewhat slow Gene Smith two weeks ago when attacking the Mountie “O” with blitz pressure (much unlike Baylor, which was helpless as it played on its heels a week ago). To that end, it might behoove West Virginia to develop a viable infantry diversion for this game, and getting top rush threat Shawne Alston (who has missed the last two games with a thigh bruise) in a healthy state will be crucial as the Mounties begin to face an upgraded cast of opponents.

Developments at Texas have been no less noteworthy thus far in 2012, especially with head coach Mack Brown on the hot seat after two straight subpar seasons and a 13-13 record in his previous 26 games entering this campaign.

For the 'Horns to forge a turnaround this season, they had to get the QB position right after struggling with it the past two years, or since Colt McCoy graduated following the 2009 campaign.

Fortunately for Mack, soph David Ash has emerged as the answer, growing up in a hurry this season and making few mistakes. Ash has tossed only one pick compared to 10 TD passes in the first four games and ranks second nationally (behind only Geno Smith) in passing efficiency.

Ash, however, has plenty of help offensively, especially with soph RBs Joe Bergeron and Malcolm Brown (combining for almost 130 ypg) providing consistent production. Bergeron also scored the winning TD in the last minute a week ago at Oklahoma State, even though it looked like he might have fumbled the ball before he crossed the goal line.

The Long horns will move the ball and score. The question is if their defense, allowing a respectable 21 ppg, can slow down Gene Smith and the4 Mountaineers.

Note that the underdog role has suited West Virginia well in recent years, back to the later days of the Rich Rodriguez regime; since 2007, the Mounties are 8-2 as an underdog, including 3-1 vs. the number when receiving points with Holgorsen last season. As for Texas, it is only 5-10 vs. the line at Austin since 2010, although it is 4-4 the past two seasons after dropping six of seven vs. the spread at home two years ago.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs: