CFB WEEK 6 NEWS AND NOTES
7 Replies | 724 ViewsOn 10/04/2011 07:01 AM in NCAA Football
The Sooners may have speed, they may have depth and they may have a not-so-difficult road to the national title game. But for many, that doesn't matter. To them, Oklahoma is still Oklahoma, a traditional powerhouse that can't get it done at crunch time.
And with several slip-ups in the Bob Stoops Era, perhaps the Sooners are deserving of their so-so status. But maybe this year is different. Maybe this group sees what lies ahead, and knows it's all up to them to see where they finish. Maybe they'll use a BCS bowl win last season, and a consistent Top 5 rating this year, to fuel them to drive for more this season.
If you listen to Stoops, for one, he certainly believes this year could be different. It may only be October, but these players are not resting on their laurels.
Not at all.
“I feel good that we've made good progress. I feel good that the players aren't overly joyed about anything," Stoops said Saturday night, after Oklahoma drilled Ball State, 62-6. "They know there is more to come and they are anticipating that. They know we need to keep getting better in some areas. I feel they are in a good spot. They are always excited about this game, everybody is. So, they'll work hard this week to get ready for it.”
That’s a good attitude to have, because Texas is up this week in the Red River Rivalry. And even if they weren't both ranked, even if they weren't both undefeated, it'd be a huge game. But parlay those aspects with national championship implications, and you have the makings of an absolute dandy in Texas.
Las Vegas certainly believes that.
"Traditional game, neutral site, and always a lot of action on it,” said Pete Korner of Esportclub, LLC, in Las Vegas. “But when we sat down to look at it, based on a lot of factors, we had to give more credit to Oklahoma.”
Korner, whose line consultant group advises multiple Nevada sportsbooks, established the Sooners as 10-point favorites. The Wynn, always the first Vegas book to post college football odds, opened with the Longhorns getting 10.5 points.
"They’ve been really good, and they’re playing like they have more work ahead of them,” Korner said. “Texas is OK, but let’s face it: This is Oklahoma’s game. More on the line for them.”
And with that, let’s take a look at some of next week’s other marquee games. We’ll show the Wynn’s odds and give you Korner’s perspective.
Cal (+20.5) at Oregon
Oregon got bet up almost immediately from 20.5 to 23.5 at the Wynn. The Ducks have scored 181 points in their last three games and allowed just 58.
“We really thought Oregon had the talent to pick things up after a slow start,” Korner, who suggested Oregon -21, told Covers.com. “And they’re getting there. With this being a marquee game by itself on a Thursday night, this should end up being a blowout.”
Boise State (-19.5) at Fresno State
“You have to go high on Boise, especially on a Friday night, when nothing else is going on,” Korner, who recommended Broncos -23, said. “When they play in the middle of a Saturday, tucked in with everyone else? Differentstory. But when they can showcase themselves all by themselves in front of the nation, they usually get it done.”
Kentucky (+20.5) at South Carolina
“We’re not big on Kentucky at all,” Korner said. “We’re not in love with South Carolina, either, and in the SEC, they’ll probably lose some more games this year. But this is a win for them, and they have to roll this team.”
Florida at LSU
The Wynn didn’t post odds on this game because of the uncertain status of Gators starting QB John Brantley. Korner’s group sent out LSU -11 but sportsbooks could go with a bigger spread if Brantley’s a no-go.
“There are quarterback issues at Florida, so we kicked it up from the seven number we originally thought about,” Korner said. “LSU rolls here, I think, and so we needed to figure double digits on this one. I think it’s a fair number.”
Air Force (+11) at Notre Dame
Here’s another game that drew attention early from sharp bettors. The Wynn moved this number up to 15.5 without much hesitation.
“Notre Dame has such a dynamic offense, it just took them a little while to get going,” Korner, who recommended Air Force +12, said. “They’re playing well now, and every game is important for them now. We expect them to play well.”
Miami (+6) at Virginia Tech
Early bettors like the home favorite here. The Hokies are now 7.5-point chalk against the Hurricanes.
“Miami can win this one straight up, no question,” said Korner. “We went with just below a touchdown (6.5), but two or three weeks ago, this would have been in double digits. But Virginia Tech has certainly lost some of their invincibility factor.”
Iowa (+2) at Penn State
“Close game with a couple of nondescript Big Ten teams,” Korner said. “We had anywhere from a pick up to four. Anything could happen here.”
Auburn (+8) at Arkansas
This game opened with the Razorbacks giving 8 points but the line was quickly bet up to 10 in only a few hours.
“Auburn’s kind of doing alright, and we didn’t think that was going to be the case early on,” Korner said. “Home field counts here a lot. But it’s the SEC, so it could be close.”
Ohio State (+10) at Nebraska
“We’re not big on Ohio State, as they haven’t shown much. Name recognition is big here for both schools, but that’s about it,” Korner said. “With these two programs, you would think national title implications, conference title implications, stuff like that.
“That’s just not the case. But we like the fact that it’s at Nebraska, and even though didn’t impress last week, they’re playing Ohio State, and there’s just not that much there.”