cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:25 PM

NCAAF
Armadillo's Write-Up


Thursday, September 28

Tough scheduling spot for Pitt, which lost tough game to Notre Dame on Saturday (15-12); Pitt won its last three games vs South Florida by 7-22-5 points; they're 5-2 vs spread in last seven series games. Bulls split last four visits here, with favorites covering last three. USF won easily in last three games- they won previous road game at Notre Dame, but needed five takeaways (+5) to do it. Panthers lost last two games 31-27/15-12, and struggled to beat I-AA Maine 35-29 in game before that.

Houston won four of last five games vs UTEP, with dogs covering four of last six in series; average total in last six series games is 77.8. Cougars lost two of last three visits here, with average total 83, but Houston has senior QB Keenum this year- they scored 83 points in apir of road wins at North Texas (48-23), La Tech (35-34). Miners covered their last three games, but lost twice, at SMU (28-17, +14), South Florida (52-28, +29). UTEP needed OT to beat I-AA Stony Brook in its first home game.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:26 PM

NCAAF


Thursday, September 28

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South Florida at Pittsburgh: What bettors need to know
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South Florida Bulls at Pittsburgh Panthers (+2.5, 52)

THE STORY: Pittsburgh will try to knock off the final undefeated team in the Big East as it hosts No. 16 South Florida on Thursday night. Led by quarterback B.J. Daniels, the Bulls currently boast one of the most prolific offenses in the country. The Panthers, meanwhile, are mired in a two-game losing streak and haven’t won since the university announced its pending departure to the ACC.

TV: ESPN

LINE MOVES: USF opened as a 2-point road favorite and has been bet up as high as -3 at some books. The total opened at 51.5 and has jumped to 52.

ABOUT USF (4-0, 0-0 Big East, 3-1 ATS): Daniels already has topped 300 yards passing twice this season and has 1,071 yards through the air—16th in the Football Bowl Subdivision. USF entered the week ranked 10th in the FBS in total yardage (523.25 ypg) and scoring (43.5 ppg), totals bolstered greatly by defeating Florida A&M and UTEP by a combined margin of 122-41. USF leads the Big East in total offense and ranks second in the league in every other major statistical offensive category.

ABOUT PITT (2-2, 0-0 Big East, 1-3 ATS): Defeats to Iowa and Notre Dame have Pitt saddled with its first two-game losing streak since the end of the 2009 season. The Panthers accounted for a season-low 268 yards of total offense in last week’s 15-12 loss to Notre Dame. The Panthers averaged less than 3 yards per carry and yielded six sacks against the Irish in the first game since senior offensive guard Chris Jacobson went on the shelf with a season-ending knee injury.

TRENDS:

- Favorite is 5-2 ATS in their last seven meetings.
- Bulls are 2-5 ATS in their last seven meetings.
- Panthers are 12-4 ATS in their last 16 conference games.
- Bulls are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games as a road favorite.

WEATHER: The forecast for Heinz Field is calling for a 57 percent chance of showers and game-time temperatures in the mid 50s.

EXTRA POINTS:

1. USF planned ahead for the short week leading into the Pitt game. Last week, Skip Holtz and his staff spent an hour every night after completing game-week preparations for UTEP, and Holtz kept his staff home last Friday to work on the gameplan for the Panthers. USF also had to practice at 9:30 p.m. Monday, its typical off day, due to the loaded class schedule of its players and inclement weather that cancelled Sunday’s practice.

2. Pitt is seeking its fourth consecutive victory over USF.

3. Ray Graham is off to the best start for a Pitt rusher in nearly a quarter century. Graham currently has 508 yards rushing—the highest total for any Pitt player since Craig "Ironhead" Heyward had 537 yards through four games in 1983.

PREDICTION: USF 31, Pitt 21 – Both teams face a short week of preparation, which mitigates Pitt’s home-field advantage. The Bulls have more weapons and a much more potent offense. Expect USF to improve to 5-0.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:28 PM

NCAAF


Week 5

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College football Top 25 betting cheat sheet: Week 5
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South Florida Bulls at Pittsburgh Panthers (2.5, 52.5)

Why South Florida will cover: The Bulls won at Notre Dame and have dominated the rest of their competition, going 3-1 ATSwith the lone miss being a 28-point win versus a 30-point spread. USF is one the nation’s top passing teams (294 ypg, 23rd) while Pitt is 115th against the pass.

Why Pittsburgh will cover: Pitt has struggled late in games. If it can straighten out that trend, a win is very attainable, especially at home. The Panthers come to play against top competition; they’re 5-1 ATS in their last six against teams with a winning record.

Points: Both teams are 2-2 on the over and the total is about where it should be.

Texas A&M Aggies at Arkansas Razorbacks (3, 62.5)

Why Texas A&M will cover: The Aggies want to bounce back from the heartbreaking home loss to Oklahoma State, and no better way than to show up a future SEC rival. Arkansas has faced one tough team this year and got blown out, although it was at Alabama.

Why Arkansas will cover: The Razorbacks also have something to prove to themselves, especially on offense. When clicking, it can overwhelm opponents.

Points: Both offense are top 20 in passing and both defenses have struggled against it, especially Texas A&M. Points will be easy to come by, though the under has hit more often when Texas A&M faces the SEC and when Arkansas takes on the Big 12.

Minnesota Golden Gophers at Michigan Wolverines (-20.5, 54)

Why Minnesota will cover: The Gophers are 0-2 ATS in games they were the favorite, but 2-0 ATS in the underdog role. They’ve been strong against the run, which may help against electric Michigan QB Denard Robinson. Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in its last seven road games.

Why Michigan will cover: Nobody’s truly stopped Robinson yet. Eventually, he’ll break lose. The Wolverines are simply a much better team. Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill is questionable after suffering another seizure last weekend.

Points: Neither team lights up the scoreboard, but the Wolverines have the potential to do so on this day.

Northwestern Wildcats at Illinois Fighting Illini (-8, 50)

Why Northwestern will cover: Illinois had to rally in the fourth quarter for home wins over Arizona State and Eastern Michigan. Northwestern’s run game can grind out wins, and it is 11-2 in its last 13 as road dogs.

Why Illinois will cover: Illinois runs the ball and stops the run for success. Northwestern can run the ball, but has not stopped the run yet.

Points: Both teams’ defenses have slowed the competition, helped by dominant run attacks on offense. Points may be at a premium.

Kentucky Wildcats at LSU Tigers (-29.5, 45.5)

Why Kentucky will cover: LSU is ranked just 80th in pass defense. One missed tackle, and a UK receiver could be gone. That’s a big spread, despite UK’s miserable effort vs. Florida last week (L, 48-10).

Why LSU will cover: UK’s offense has scored over 20 points just once in four games. How is it going to do anything against this defense? While overshadowed by the awesome defense, LSU does average 38.8 ppg - 18th best in the nation.

Points: UK is going to struggle to put points on the board. LSU’s defense may have to help to hit the over.

Nevada Wolf Pack at Boise State Broncos (-27.5, 62.5)

Why Nevada will cover: If Nevada’s defense can keep it close in the first half, the offense can grind out and avoid a blowout. The team is 5-1 ATS in its last six as an underdog.

Why Boise State will cover: Nevada’s defense struggled against Oregon’s similar high-octane offense (69 pts), and its run-first offense isn’t geared toward a comeback. Once the Broncos get ahead, they’ll pour it on.

Points: Both defenses have struggled, which suggests a shootout. Boise State will certainly do its part.

Michigan State Spartans at Ohio State Buckeyes (-3, 44)

Why Michigan State will cover: The Spartans have the nation’s top-ranked defense, allowing just 172 yards, 101 pass yards and 11 points per game. The door could be open for an upset at the end of a low-scoring game.

Why Ohio State will cover: The Buckeyes seemingly got back on track by throttling Colorado last week. MSU has played one decent opponent this year, Notre Dame, and got trounced 31-13. The Buckeyes are 17-4 ATS in their last 21 home games.

Points: The under is 3-1 for both teams this season and points could be very tough to come by once again.

Bowling Green Falcons at West Virginia Mountaineers (-20.5, 60.5)

Why Bowling Green will cover: The Falcons haven’t faced such stiff competition, but they’ve been impressive so far. BGU is 3-1 ATS, while WVU is just 1-3. An improved offense can keep them in the game.

Why West Virginia will cover: The Mountaineers hung with LSU before faltering late thanks in part to self-inflicted wounds. BGU is less likely to take advantage of those mistakes than LSU.

Points: The over is 3-1 in both teams’ games.

Baylor Bears at Kansas State Wildcats (3.5, 63.5)

Why Baylor will cover: BU’s offense has been unstoppable, averaging 51.3 ppg (third) and 594 ypg (second). K-State may not know what hit it by halftime.

Why Kansas State will cover: Confidence must be sky-high after leaving Miami with a 28-24 win. KSU’s defense has been tough to break through, ranking in the top 25 in every major category. The Wildcats have won two close games and want to prove last week wasn’t a fluke.

Points: These two teams combined for 89 points in last season’s meeting, and both teams have been hitting the over this season. Fireworks are expected.

Auburn Tigers at South Carolina Gamecocks (-10.5, 59.5)

Why Auburn will cover: South Carolina is 4-0, but has been on the brink several times. Auburn can grind it out and, at the least, keep it close until the finish.

Why South Carolina will cover: The Gamecocks, at home, won’t give the Tigers a break. The Gamecocks’ pass defense (13th) keeps teams down, while USC’s offense could impose its will on Auburn’s shaky defense.

Points: Both teams have shown the ability to score points. The over has been consistent for the Gamecocks.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets at North Carolina State Wolfpack (9.5, 65)

Why Georgia Tech will cover: Georgia Tech’s offense ranks tops in the nation in points (53.2 ppg), tops in yards (630.5) and is No. 2 in rushing (398.8), and N.C. State’s defense ranks in the bottom half nationally in all those categories. GT is 4-0 ATS, N.C. State is 0-4 ATS.

Why North Carolina State will cover: The Wolfpack average 279 pass ypg and are at home. Cut down on the turnovers that have sabotaged the team, and a close game is very possible.

Points: The over is 4-0 for Tech. N.C. State must find a way to keep up.

SMU Mustangs at TCU Horned Frogs (-11.5, 56.5)

Why SMU will cover: SMU throws for 321 ypg - 18th in the nation. TCU is ranked 87th in pass defense, keeping open the chance for a close game. The Mustangs’ defense has actually been its strength, especially against the run (ninth).

Why TCU will cover: The Horned Frogs average 219 yards passing and 219 yards rushing. Try and stop that. Nobody has yet.

Points: The over is 4-0 in TCU’s games, but the under is 3-1 in SMU games.

Clemson Tigers at Virginia Tech Hokies (-7, 49)

Why Clemson will cover: The Tigers are 3-1 ATS, and that includes wins over Auburn and Florida State. Virginia Tech is 1-3 ATS, and that includes no wins of note. Clemson’s offense has lit teams up, especially the pass game (318 ypg).

Why Virginia Tech will cover: Nobody’s done much of anything against the Hokies’ defense, which ranks No. 2 against the rush, No. 4 in yards allowed and No. 6 in points allowed. VT is great at running the ball, which is Clemson’s chief area of concern.

Points: The under is 7-1 in Clemson’s last eight ACC games, and 9-2 in Tech’s last 11 overall. VT’s defense is going to put up a tough fight for Clemson’s offense.

Ball State Cardinals at Oklahoma Sooners (-37.5, 60)

Why Ball State will cover: The Cardinals have beaten Indiana, Army and Buffalo. They have confidence and that’s a big spread. OU’s been susceptible against the pass.

Why Oklahoma will cover: OU is not Indiana, Army or Buffalo. Ball State’s defense is shoddy against the run, so once the Sooners get up big, it’s only going to get worse. The Sooners are 6-2 ATS in its last eight overall and eight at home.

Points: The over has hit in OU’s last game and BSU’s last two.

Texas Longhorns at Iowa State Cyclones (9.5, 48)

Why Texas will cover: The Longhorns changed QBs and became an offensive juggernaut, rushing for 280 and throwing for 200-plus in a 49-20 win at UCLA. Texas is eager to show it’s still a Big 12 bully and get some revenge for a shocking loss to the Cyclones last year.

Why Iowa State will cover: ISU is 2-1 ATS, including SU wins as an underdog over Iowa and UConn. The Cyclones aren’t great in any statistical category, but aren’t terrible, either.

Points: The under is 1-2 for both teams so far, part of a larger under trend for both teams.

Alabama Crimson Tide at Florida Gators (3.5, 44.5)

Why Alabama will cover: The Tide has run roughshod over everyone, and that includes an Arkansas squad similar to Florida. While Alabama was expected to be this good, Florida has seemingly overachieved. UF is 2-5-1 in its last eight vs. teams with a winning record. Bama is 7-1-1 ATS in the last nine meetings.

Why Florida will cover: The offense ranks 15th in scoring, and the defense is second in points allowed. The Gators don’t lose primetime games in The Swamp. They have something to prove.

Points: Both defenses have been stellar and both teams have trended toward the under.

Nebraska Cornhuskers at Wisconsin Badgers (-9, 56.5)

Why Nebraska will cover: The Huskers have had this game circled on their calendars since February. While they’ve been largely unimpressive in a 4-0 start, that’s a big spread for the nation’s eighth-ranked team, especially one with an offense that could break out at any moment. NU is 6-2 in its last eight road games and 5-0 ATS in its last five as an underdog.

Why Wisconsin will cover: Nobody has figured out a way to stop an offense that averages 286 yds passing and 246 yds rushing per game, and Nebraska’s defense has been shaky against far worse competition. NU is 1-3 ATS, UW is 3-0-1. The Badgers remain the best bet in the game, 10-0-1 ATS in its last 11.

Points: Both teams can score 40-plus in a hurry.

UCLA Bruins at Stanford Cardinal (-20.5, 54)

Why UCLA will cover: Stanford has given up passing yards, which bodes well for a Bruins team that will likely be throwing more than usual.

Why Stanford will cover: UCLA likes to run the ball and Stanford’s defense is the best in the nation at stopping it. Stanford is 3-0 ATS so far, while UCLA is 1-3 and 2-9 in its last 11 conference games.

Points: Stanford can score with the best of them, and UCLA will spend much of the night trying to catch up, which could make for a high-scoring contest.


Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:32 PM

South Florida at Pittsburgh

September 28, 2011

Matchup: #16 South Florida (4-0) at Pittsburgh (2-2)
Venue: Heinz Field – Natural Grass
Date: Thursday, Sept. 29
Time/TV: 8:00 pm ET - ESPN
Line: South Florida -2.5, o/u 52

Two in a row is a certified streak!

Unfortunately for NC State, their team is not nearly as potent without QB Russell Wilson and the results proved that last Thursday. Cincinnati (-7) was a relatively easy call playing at home against the Wolfpack and looking for revenge for a defeat in Raleigh in 2010. When the final gun sounded the scoreboard read 44-14 and it might not have been that close.

That win accompanied by LSU the previous week and Western Kentucky in Week 1, brings me to 3-1 on Thursday nights this season. My one blemish – taking Arizona and the points at Oklahoma State in Week 2 – looks even more foolish after the Cowboys’ impressive win at Texas A&M last weekend but I won’t make that mistake again.

Looking to push my record to 4-1, let’s turn the page to Week 5 in College Football. This Thursday night, 16th ranked South Florida travels to Pittsburgh in the Big East opener for both teams. Of course, with the way conferences are realigning, this won’t be a Big East matchup for long. Heck, it’s only been a Big East game for a couple years now and with Pittsburgh having signed a deal to move to the ACC, this matchup probably doesn’t have much shelf life left.

That doesn’t mean much to either of the coaches involved in this game. South Florida’s Skip Holtz and Pittsburgh’s Todd Graham tangled several times in Conference USA when Graham was with Rice and Tulsa and Holtz was with East Carolina. Now they are both in the Big East and regardless of how the conferences realign, this probably won’t be the last time these rising stars in the coaching ranks face off. (For those scoring at home, Holtz has beaten Graham twice, while Graham only has one win against Holtz)

As for this game specifically, it sure appears as if Holtz holds the upper hand this Thursday night. The Bulls are a perfect 4-0 and sport the 10th ranked offense in the nation. South Florida made their presence felt right out of the gate when they bolted to a 16-0 halftime lead at Notre Dame. Severe weather in the form of rain and lightning caused halftime to last 2 hours and 10 minutes but the Bulls managed to keep their heads and held on for a 23-20 win. It was not only a huge win for the South Florida program but also for Holtz, a Notre Dame graduate and son of former Irish head coach Lou Holtz, who led Notre Dame to its last national title in 1988.

Since that win the Bulls have been rarely been tested in games against Ball State (37-7), Florida A&M (70-17), and UTEP (52-24). As mentioned, the offense has been the story for South Florida and the main reason for that is quarterback B.J. Daniels. The junior signal caller is one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and combined with weapons such as RB Darrell Scott and WR Sterling Griffin, can cause quite a headache for opposing defenses. Need proof? Just look at the stats: The Bulls average 45.5 points per game and Daniels has 1,071 passing yards with eight touchdown passes against just one interception.

Not that the South Florida defense is just along for the ride. The Bulls rank an impressive 26th on that side of the ball while they might lack a dominant force like DE George Selvie – now with the St. Louis Rams –they have plenty of talent on defense.

While the last three week haven’t really tested the Bulls, that figures to change against Pittsburgh. The Panthers are 2-2 and while neither win – Buffalo & Maine – has been impressive, both losses have been very close. Pitt led at Iowa by 17 with about 12 minutes left in the game but couldn’t hang on as the Hawkeyes rallied for a 31-27 win. After that heartbreaker, the Panthers came home to face Notre Dame and were leading with under seven minutes to go only to lose 15-12.

It’s certainly not a stretch to say the 2-2 Panthers could be the undefeated 4-0 Panthers with a few bounces of the ball. Thursday offers the opportunity to get the season on the right track for Pitt. To do so, Pitt will need much more consistent play from their offense (ranked 80th in the nation) and their defense (ranked 93rd in the nation).

Predictably, the offense flows through QB Tino Sunseri and if any one player needs a dose of consistency it’s the redshirt junior whose father Sal was an All-American at Pitt and is now the assistant head coach/linebackers coach at Alabama. Sunseri has been sharp at times but as his TD/interception ratio (4/4) would indicate, he has made his fair share of mistakes. Pitt seems best off when the offense runs through RB Ray Graham, who leads the team with six touchdowns, and Sunseri is not pressured to make throws.

It’s worth noting that South Florida went 3-4 in Big East play last year, dropping their first two games in conference play, while Pitt went 5-2 in 2010, including a 17-10 win at South Florida. Each team returns 13 starters this year and both QB’s are clearly experienced.

Head to head, Pitt has won three straight in the series (5-3 overall) and is 1-3 ATS this year. South Florida is 3-1 ATS in 2011.

Bonus Game:

Houston Cougars (-16) at UTEP Miners (CSTV, 8:00 p.m. ET)


The Cougars are 3-1 ATS in 2011
UTEP is 2-2 ATS in 2011
Averaging 446 passing yards a game, Houston has the #1 passing offense in the nation
The series is tied 4-4 but UTEP holds a 4-1 advantage in El Paso
Houston’s defense is ranked 72nd in the nation
The Cougars are 4-0 for the seventh time in school history
The Miners are 6-0 in Conference USA home openers
Houston QB Case Keenum has 1,311 yards and nine TDs against UTEP in four games
In last six games in this series, the Miners have scored 211 points (35.2 avg.), and the Cougars have scored 246 (41.0 avg.)
Houston RB Bryce Beal rushed for 195 yards against UTEP in 2010
UTEP starting QB Nick Lamaison has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury but could play this Thursday (check status)

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:35 PM

Big 10 Report - Week 5

Wisconsin (-9.5) vs. Nebraska - 8:00 PM ET, ABC

UW: 4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS - Last week: vs. South Dakota St, W 59-10
UN: 4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS - Last week: at Wyoming, W 38-14

This is quite possibly the game of the year (and possibly a preview of the Big Ten Championship) for the Big Ten as two Top-10 teams matchup at Camp Randall. ESPN's College Gameday crew will be on hand as Nebraska plays its very first conference game as a member of the Big Ten. Wisconsin opened at -7, but that number quickly rose and now sits at -9.5.

Wisconsin has been the league's only consistently dominant team through four weeks, albeit against a fairly weak schedule. Wisconsin ranks 8th in total offense and 6th in scoring offense with QB Wilson completing 75.8% with 11 touchdowns and RB's White and Ball with 663 rush yards and 12 touchdowns combined. Defensively the Badgers are allowing just 247 yards per game (8th nationally) and 8.5 points per game (3rd). The competition level goes up significantly this week at home, where Wisconsin is 45-4 since the start at the 2004 season and 34-3 under coach Bielema. Those three teams to beat Wisconsin at home all went on to play in BCS Bowls.

The Huskers have been quite one-dimensional on offense thus far. QB Martinez and RB Burkhead have combined for 841 rush yards (7.6 YPC) and 14 touchdowns. But Martinez is completing just 50% of his passes with four touchdowns and two interceptions. The Huskers haven't needed an effective passing attack yet as their rushing game has been sufficient through four games. Nebraska's defense hasn't been as dominant as it was supposed to be this season as it ranks 52nd in total defense and 48th in scoring defense. However, the Huskers haven't been at full strength yet as three preseason All-American candidates - DT Crick, LB David, and CB Dennard - will all play together Saturday for the first time this season.

Something to consider: Wisconsin is 10-1 ATS in its last 11 games overall - a run started with a 13-point win over then-No. 1 Ohio State at home last October.

Ohio State (-3) vs. Michigan State - 3:30 PM ET, ABC regional

OSU: 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: vs. Colorado, W 37-17
MSU: 3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: vs. Central Michigan, W 45-7

The fact that both of these squads suffered non-conference losses makes this game more intriguing. The winner will get off to a strong start in conference play while the loser has more questions to answer. The Spartans have lost seven straight to the Buckeyes and haven't won in Columbus since 1998. Only one meeting has been decided by single digits and the average win margin for OSU is 18 points per game. OSU is a much different team this time around, yet is favored by 3 points at home. MSU has yet to register a quality win, but their defense has looked dominant. Not only are the Spartans limiting yards (1st in total defense) and points (9th in scoring defense), but they're making big plays, as they showed last week by intercepting CMU's QB four times. The Spartans are averaging 39 points per game at home, but scored just 13 points in their only road game so far (a 18-point loss to Notre Dame).

OSU ranks 91st in total offense and 69th in scoring offense. Freshman QB Braxton Miller got the first start of his young career last weekend. He completed just 5-of-13 passes for 83 yards, but had two touchdowns while also rushing for 83 yards. How he reacts against a Big Ten opponent will determine how well the Buckeyes perform on Saturday. OSU plays Michigan State, Nebraska and Illinois in its next three games, so a loss could send the Buckeyes reeling. Expect a big effort at home from OSU.

Something to consider: Michigan State is just 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games as an underdog. Ohio State is 17-4 ATS in its last 21 home games (16-5 ATS as a home favorite).

Illinois (-8) vs. Northwestern - 12:00 PM, ESPN2

ILL: 4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: vs. Western Michigan, W 23-20
NU: 2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS - Last week: BYE

Last year this game was played at Wrigley Field in November. Northwestern was off of a huge win vs. Iowa and was playing its first game without QB Persa (injured the previous week). Illinois netted 519 rush yards and won by 21 points. Prior to that game NU had won six of the previous eight meetings. Illinois opens as an 8.5 point favorite for this year's matchup.

Northwestern QB Persa should finally make his return for the Land of Lincoln Trophy showdown. How Persa performs in his first action since last November remains to be seen, but his presence alone should be a rousing factor for the Wildcats. Northwestern figures to be super motivated for this game: with Persa back, off of a loss with an extra week to prepare, and the fact that this is a rivalry game with a chance to knock Illinois off its pedestal.

Illinois had a flat performance against Western Michigan last week - understandable after a huge win against Arizona State the week prior - but found a way to remain unbeaten and at 4-0 for the first time since 1951 with a three-point victory. Illinois lost one 1st and one 2nd round talent from its 2010 defense. Still, the Illini rank 6th in rush yards allowed, 12th in total yards, and 13th in scoring defense.

Something to consider: Northwestern is just 1-7 ATS in its last 8 Big Ten games, but is 11-2 ATS in its last 13 games as a road underdog. The Wildcats have also covered eight of the last 11 meetings against Illinois.

Michigan (-20) vs. Minnesota - 12:00 PM ET, Big Ten Network

Mich: 4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS - Last week: vs. San Diego State, W 28-7
Minn: 1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: vs. North Dakota St, L 24-37

Minnesota is off of a terrible loss to North Dakota State and now has to play a team that has beaten it 19 of the previous 20 meetings (since 1987). Michigan has outscored Minnesota by 22 points per game in that 20 game span and only four games were decided by less than 10 points. Michigan was favored by 20+ points in seven of those games and was 6-1 ATS. Again the Wolverines are favored by 20 points heading into this weekend.

Minnesota fell to an FCS opponent for the second consecutive year and the third time in the past five seasons with its 13-point loss to North Dakota State last week. The Gophers now have a quarterback dilemma on their hands with Marqueis Gray and Max Shortell. Gray (50.6% with 3 TD & 3 INT) remains the starter, but freshman Shortell will see time.

The Wolverines are 4-0 for the third consecutive year after a 21-point win over head coach Brady Hoke's former team - San Diego State. QB Robinson again had a big game on the ground with 200 rush yards and three touchdowns, but his deficiencies in the passing game could come back to haunt UM. The defense continues to make strides, as it has now forced 17 turnovers in four games and is allowing just 13 PPG (11th nationally).

Something to consider: Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games as a road underdog. Michigan is just 3-23 ATS in its last 26 conference games.

Indiana (+16.5) vs. Penn State - 12:00 PM ET, ESPNU

IU: 1-3 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: at North Texas, L 21-24
PSU: 3-1 SU, 0-4 ATS - Last week: vs. Eastern Michigan, W 34-6

Indiana fell behind 24-0 to winless North Texas last week before mounting a rally in the final minutes. UNT ranks at or near the bottom of every major offensive and defensive category and Indiana couldn't get a W. First-year coach Kevin Wilson still has a lot of questions heading into Big Ten play, most notably at quarterback. Wright-Baker has started every game thus far, but freshman Kiel remains neck-and-neck.

The Nittany Lions rank 8th nationally in total defense, 7th in passing defense, and 10th in scoring defense. However, this unit took a big hit last week as defensive captain and team leader LB Mauti tore his ACL and will miss the remainder of the season.

The Nittany Lions had their best offensive game of the season last week against Eastern Michigan when they tallied 468 yards and 34 points. Co-starting QB's McGloin and Bolden combined to complete 21-of-30 passes for 335 yards and four scores. Both could see some success against this Hoosier defense that allowed passing touchdowns of 17, 32, and 83 yards to North Texas last week.

Something to consider: Penn State has never lost to the Hoosiers with a 14-0 all-time record (average margin of victory 17 PPG). PSU is 6-0-1 ATS its last seven games as a double digit road favorite.

Purdue (+12) vs. Notre Dame - 8:00 PM ET, ESPN

PU: 2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS - Last week: BYE
ND: 2-2 SU, 1-3 ATS - Last week: at Pittsburgh, W 15-12

The Boilers beat up on FCS Southeast Missouri State two weeks ago before spending the bye week preparing for Notre Dame. QB Marve returned after an ACL injury last season delayed his comeback. He completed 7-of-8 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown while splitting time with TerBush. TerBush will start against the Irish, but both will get playing time.

Purdue really needed that bye week to prepare for this, as QB Marve put it, "program defining game." Notre Dame is more battle-tested, having played three teams in the Top-25 so far. But this Irish offense has 15 turnovers through four games, and that most certainly cost them two wins. Purdue will need to convert on any forced turnovers to upset ND.

Something to consider: Purdue has lost three straight and is just 5-20 against the Irish since 1986. The Boilers have won four out of its last five games as a double digit home underdog and is 9-4-1 ATS its last 14 as a home 'dog.

Iowa - BYE

3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS - Last week: vs. UL Monroe, W 45-17

The Hawkeyes enter the bye week after an easy win against Louisiana-Monroe. QB Vandenberg has caught fire, tallying 1,095 pass yards with 10 TDs and only one INT through four games. Iowa will spend the off week preparing for a date with Penn State in Happy Valley

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:37 PM

Utah St. at BYU

September 29, 2011

For the second time in as many weeks, Friday Night Lights takes us back to Provo and the home of the Brigham Young Cougars, who rallied to capture a 24-17 win over Central Florida as 1 ½-point home favorites last Friday.

This time around, the visitor will be Utah State, a program that has lost 15 consecutive road games at BYU.

Most books have installed BYU (2-2 straight up, 2-2 against the spread) as a 7 ½-point favorite with a total of 51. Bettors can take Utah St. (1-2 SU, 2-1 ATS) to win outright for a plus-260 return (risk $100 to win $260).

Bronco Mendenhall’s team was coming off an embarrassing 54-10 home loss to arch-rival Utah when UCF came calling last week. The Knights drew first blood with a field goal early in the first quarter and had a 10-3 advantage at intermission.

Central Florida QB Jeff Godfrey ran for his second touchdown midway through the third quarter to put his team up by a 17-10 count. But the Cougars drew even again on the ensuing kickoff when Cody Hoffman found a seam and went 93 yards to paydirt.

BYU took the lead for the first time at the 10:29 mark of the final stanza thanks to a six-yard touchdown run by Bryan Kariya, who finished with 52 rushing yards on 14 carries. UCF was threatening for a tying score in the waning moments, but Godfrey made several terrible decisions that ruined the last-gasp drive.

BYU was out-yarded 399-260 by UCF, but the Cougars created three turnovers (two fumbles, one interception) and only committed one and that was the difference.

Utah St. nearly pulled a stunning upset in Week 1 when it faced the defending national champions on The Plains. The Aggies took a commanding 38-28 lead with a little more than three minutes remaining, but Auburn responded with a TD drive that cut the deficit to three at the two-minute mark.

From there, AU recovered an onside kick and marched down into the red zone. On a second-and-goal play with 50 ticks left, Michael Dyer plunged one yard to the goal line and the play was ruled a touchdown. However, video replays seemed to clearly indicate that Dyer came up short of the plane. Nevertheless, the call was not overturned and Auburn pulled out a fortunate 42-38 win.

But the Aggies easily took the cash as 23-point road underdogs.

Since then, Utah St. has demolished Weber St. 54-17 as a 14-point home ‘chalk.’ After an open date, Utah St. dropped a 35-34 double-overtime decision to Colorado St. last Saturday as a 13-point home favorite.

Andersen’s team had a 21-13 lead until the Rams scored a TD and converted a two-point conversion with 42 seconds remaining in regulation. After both teams matched TDs in the first extra session, Colorado St. went ahead 35-28 by scoring on its possession to start the second OT.

Utah St. answered on Robert Turbin’s fourth rushing touchdown of the night from 25 yards out. Sensing that his defense was tiring, Andersen opted to go for two and the win, but the conversion attempt came up short and CSU escaped Logan with an upset win.

Turbin rushed for 115 yards and four scores against the Rams. For the season, Turbin has rushed 64 times for 365 yards and eight TDs, averaging 5.7 yards per carry.

True freshman QB Chuckie Keeton has played well from the get-go. In his first start at Auburn, Keeton ran for a pair of TDs and threw for 213 yards without an interception. In fact, Keeton has yet to be picked off while completing 40-of-60 passes for two touchdowns.

As for BYU sophomore QB Jake Heaps, he has a mediocre 3/5 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Heaps has 855 passing yards, completing 55 percent of his throws to date.

Utah St. has been an incredibly lucrative team to support as a road underdog since Gary Andersen took over in 2008. The Aggies have cashed tickets at a 9-2 ATS clip in such spots since 2009. If we go all the way back to 2007, Utah St. is 18-7 ATS in its last 25 games as a road ‘dog.

As a home favorite on Mendenhall’s watch, BYU owns a 17-13 spread record.

The ‘under’ has cashed in four straight head-to-head meetings between these in-state rivals. As for this year, the ‘over’ has hit in all three Utah St. games, while the ‘under’ is 3-1 for BYU.

Kickoff is slated for 8:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN.

**B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

--Clemson owns a 4-1 spread record as a home underdog during Dabo Swinney’s four-year tenure.

--Here’s the stat line on Mike Locksley’s tenure as head coach at New Mexico: 2-26 overall record, one lawsuit for sex and age discrimination, one fight with an assistant coach who went on ESPN detailing Locksley’s violent temper tantrum, one recruit arrested in Locksley’s car for DUI while visiting campus and, at last, one pink slip before the end of September in his third season. What a legacy Locksley leaves behind in Albuquerque!

--Hot Seats:
1-Houston Nutt (Ole Miss)
2-Rick Neuheisel (UCLA)
3-Mark Richt (Georgia)
4-Neil Callaway (UAB)
5-Mike Stoops (Arizona)

--Florida hasn’t been a home underdog since the Ron Zook Era. To be exact, the Gators haven’t been catching points in Gainesville since 2003 when referee Jack Childress led FSU to a 38-34 win as a one-point favorite in The Swamp Swindle. UF is a four-point home ‘dog vs. Alabama on Saturday night.

--Alabama hasn’t won at The Swamp since 1999 when Shaun Alexander’s 25-yard TD run in overtime lifted the Tide to victory. This is an extremely misleading mention because ‘Bama has only played at UF once since ’99.

--This, however, is not a misleading factoid: Mississippi St. hasn’t prevailed between the hedges in Athens since 1956. The Bulldogs are seven-point ‘dogs Saturday at UGA.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:45 PM

Thursday, September 29

Game Score Status Pick Amount

South Florida - 8:00 PM ET Pittsburgh +2.5 500

Pittsburgh - Under 51.5 500

Houston - 8:00 PM ET Houston -16.5 500

Texas El Paso - Over 66 500

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:46 PM

Stanford Cardinal, UCLA Bruins Pac-12 Betting Preview

The Stanford Cardinal (3-0) are coming off a bye week and return home to face the UCLA Bruins (2-2). It's the second Pac-12 Conference game of the season for both teams, and kickoff from Palo Alto is scheduled for 10:30 p.m. (ET) on Saturday.

Stanford is currently sharing the No. 3 spot in the Don Best Linemakers Poll with the LSU Tigers, and the betting odds certainly reflect that ranking. Oddsmakers sent out the Cardinal as 21-point home favorites, but the number has fallen off by at least a half-point in most spots, while the total sits at 55.

The Cardinal will enter with the nation’s longest winning streak of 11 games, while fans have seen the team come away with 18 victories in its last 20 home games. Offensively, the squad is averaging 38.6 points a game over its last 19 contests inside Stanford Stadium, while allowing just 22.1.

Bettors may elect to back Stanford in the first half Saturday night, outscoring its last 16 opponents by a considerable 361-110 margin.

Quarterback Andrew Luck receives most of the media attention surrounding this team, as his .821 (23-5) winning percentage ranks second nationally behind Boise State’s Kellen Moore (.952; 40-2).

One concern that first-year head coach David Shaw will face Saturday is the program’s lack of success coming out of a bye week, posting a 6-9 SU mark in such contests since the 2000 campaign.

Bettors will find that the Cardinal have covered the last two meetings and the ‘under’ has cashed in eight of the last nine in the series.

UCLA leads Stanford 45-33-3 in a series that dates back to 1925, including a 19-19-2 mark in games played in the Bay Area. The Bruins dropped a 24-16 contest to the Cardinal as 5-point underdogs in their last visit in 2009.

Head coach Rick Neuheisel will lean heavily on a rushing attack that ranks second in the Pac-12 averaging 214 yards per game. The backfield of Derrick Coleman and Johnathan Franklin make up the only duo in the conference to rank in the top 10.

It could be a winning combination due to Stanford losing star linebacker Shayne Skov (knee) in its 37-10 win over Arizona as 9 ½-point road favorites on Sept. 17. The Cardinal lead the nation in rush defense, but that distinction will be severely tested this week.

The Bruins have suffered some ups and downs already this season, but last week’s 27-19 win over the Oregon State Beavers as 4 ½-point road underdogs could be a real jumping off point. UCLA has gone on to become bowl eligible the last seven times it has started the conference schedule in the win column.

Be cautious in backing the travelers in this contest, as they’ve dropped five of their last six games as road underdogs.

Weather forecasts suggest clear skies and game-time temperatures in the lower-60s.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:48 PM

Ball State Big 'Dogs On Road At Oklahoma Sooners

After two straight tough games, the Oklahoma Sooners finally get a breather with the Ball State Cardinals coming to town.

This is one of those games that sports betting makes so much more interesting. Ball State has little to no chance of beating Oklahoma outright, but as a 38-point underdog on the Don Best odds screen, the Cardinals do have a chance of covering the spread.

Kickoff from Memorial Stadium in Norman is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. (ET).

The USA Today Coaches Poll currently ranks Oklahoma at No. 1, but the Don Best Linemakers Poll is in line with the AP Poll, ranking them at No. 2. No matter where they are ranked, there is little doubt that the Sooners are among the nation’s elite.

Oklahoma (3-0) overcame an early 14-3 deficit to the Missouri Tigers at home last week to win 38-28, failing to cover the spread as a 19 ½-point favorite to fall to 2-1 ATS. The slow start was somewhat understandable coming off of the big road test the week before at Florida State.

Perhaps the most interesting side story in this game – and one that could play a big role in whether or not Oklahoma covers the spread – is the play of Landry Jones. The 6-foot-4 junior came into the year a Heisman trophy favorite, and while he has accumulated the yardage (1022 yards through three games), his touchdown-to-interception ratio of 5-to-4 isn’t nearly good enough.

Will Coach Bob Stoops pull Jones to protect him from injury once the Sooners take a comfortable lead, or will Jones use this game against a MAC opponent to pad his stats? That decision may be the difference in Ball State’s ATS chances.

Ball State (3-1) is actually off to a solid start this season, picking up upset wins against Indiana (as a 4 ½-point underdog) and Army (as a 4-point underdog).

Of course, both of those games were at home and against fairly weak opponents. In their only road game this season against a strong South Florida team, the Cardinals lost 37-7, failing to cover as a 20 ½-point underdog.

The Cardinals have averaged 27 ½ points per game this season, so they could feasibly score once or twice even on Oklahoma’s stingy defense. But in the end, this game will come down to how seriously Oklahoma takes it.

If the Sooners decide to pad Jones’ stats and pick up style points with a huge blowout win, Ball State won’t be able to do much to stop it. But with the Red River Rivalry against Texas coming up next week, Oklahoma may opt to pull the starters after taking the lead to stay fresh and healthy for that game, leaving the door open for the Cardinals to cover.

The ‘total’ for Saturday’s game is set at 60 ½. The ‘total’ has gone ‘under’ in six of Ball State’s last eight games on the road and five of Oklahoma’s last seven at home.

Weather should not affect this game with a nice evening in store. Clear skies in temps in the 70s are forecast for kickoff.

Always remember the 3 G's Girls,Golf, Gambling not in any particular order......:2thumbs:
cnotes Posts:24860 Followers:33
09/29/2011 05:49 PM

Nebraska In Big Ten Debut At Wisconsin Badgers

The Nebraska Cornhuskers look to avoid a rude welcome to the Big Ten when they visit the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday night in the crazed town of Madison.

The Don Best college football odds have Wisconsin between nine and 9 ½-point home favorites, with a total of 57 points. ABC will have 8:00 p.m. (ET) telecast from Camp Randall Stadium.

The Cornhuskers (4-0 straight up, 1-3 against the spread) decided to leave the unsettled Big 12 for the safer pastures of the Big Ten and that’s looking like a solid move as they make their conference debut.

Coach Bo Pelini’s squad is ranked eighth in the AP, with the Don Best Linemakers Poll far more skeptical at 15th. A couple of relatively close home wins over Fresno State (42-29) and Washington (51-38) could be a reason why.

The offense definitely hasn’t been a problem at 42.8 PPG (13th nationally). Taylor Martinez is a dual-threat quarterback who has rushed for 421 yards on 6.7 yards per carry. Those numbers are almost identical to running back Rex Burkhead, who is a great complement.

Nebraska doesn’t pass the ball a lot (166.5 YPG, ranked 106th) with the sophomore Martinez having exactly 21 pass attempts in three games and 22 in the other. His accuracy is a problem at just 50.6 percent and he has two interceptions versus just four touchdown throws.

Martinez will have a chance to make plays against this Wisconsin defense that isn’t as good as its 246.5 YPG allowed, seventh nationally. The Badgers will likely put an extra man in the box and force the still-young signal caller into some tight throws, trying to force an interception.

The Nebraska defense was hyped big-time before the season, but hasn’t lived up to its billing (349.8 YPG, ranked 52nd). The expected return of defensive tackle Jared Crick is very important. He missed last week’s 38-14 win at Wyoming with a head injury.

The defense once again had problems last week in allowing 305 total yards, but held Wyoming to just the two touchdowns. Nebraska was 0-3 ATS in the first three games at home, but ‘covered’ on the road as 20 ½-point favorites.

The 52 combined points scored went ‘under’ the 55-point total.

Nebraska went 4-1 SU and 3-2 ATS in road games last year. The ‘over’ was 4-1 in those contests.

The Badgers (4-0 SU, 3-0-1 ATS) are getting a lot of respect here as almost double-digit favorites, but that’s what happens when you have a diversified offense scoring 48.5 PPG (sixth nationally) and have an average margin of victory of 40 points.

Critics will point out that Wisconsin hasn’t played a true road game and its toughest opponent was arguably a banged-up Oregon State team that is currently 0-3. The soft schedule hasn’t hurt at the polls, with the team seventh in the AP and fifth at Don Best.

Coach Bret Bielema’s offense is so dangerous because of its balance. Quarterback Russell Wilson has the nation’s second-highest quarterback rating (218.4) and is completing 75.8 percent of his passes. He has 11 TDs versus one pick and the senior looks like he’s been in this system four years instead of just transferring from NC State this summer.

Wilson has a great luxury with two outstanding running backs in James White and Montee Ball. They’ve combined for 663 yards and Nebraska can’t afford to send too many defenders to the line of scrimmage or risk being shredded by Wilson.

Wisconsin is pretty healthy overall, with starting right tackle Josh Oglesby (knee) probable after missing last game. The offensive line is very big and physical per usual and the Cornhuskers have gotten pushed around some this year. That sounds ominous for Saturday.

The Badgers are 5-0-1 ATS in their last six home games and 10-0-1 ATS in their last 11 games overall.

This is the first meeting between the schools since 1974, but there are some ties with current Wisconsin Athletic Director (and former coach) Barry Alvarez having played collegiately at Nebraska. He helped pattern the modern day Badger program around what he learned there.

Weather is expected to be clear, but could dip into the 40s during the game. Still, that’s not too bad for an October night game in Madison.

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