|Date||Match Up||Rating||Score||Result||Profit||Lead Time||Analysis|
|08-29-14||Texas-San Antonio +11.5 v. Houston||Top||27-7||Win||100||171 h 11 m||Show|
20* CFB Friday Undervalued Underdog on UTSA +11.5
|08-29-14||Bowling Green v. Western Kentucky +8||31-59||Win||100||170 h 39 m||Show|
15* CFB Friday Night Line Mistake on Western Kentucky +8
|08-28-14||Tulane v. Tulsa -4.5||Top||31-38||Win||100||146 h 13 m||Show|
20* 2014 College Football Season Opener on Tulsa -4.5
|02-02-14||Seattle Seahawks v. Denver Broncos -2||Top||43-8||Loss||-105||307 h 10 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/Broncos Super Bowl XLVIII No-Brainer on Denver -2
The Denver Broncos have looked absolutely dominant all season and in the playoffs. An amazing 14 of their 15 wins have come by a touchdown or more, and they are outscoring opponents by an average of 13.1 points per game. That is the best margin in the league. They have done so behind a record-setting year from Peyton Manning, who desperately wants to win at least one more Super Bowl before he retires. His teammates will be laying it on the line to get it for him.
Indeed, Manning has led the league's top offense this season. The Broncos rank 1st in scoring offense at 36.4 points per game, and 1st in total offense at 454.9 yards per game. During the regular season, Manning completed 68.3 percent of his passes for 5,477 yards with 55 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. Those yardage and touchdown marks are new single-season NFL records, and it's going to be hard to see them every getting broken.
The two playoff games that Denver played weren't nearly as close as the final scores would indicate. It outgained San Diego 363-259 in a 24-17 victory in a game that was 17-0 until the fourth quarter. It also outgained New England 507-320 in a game that was 23-3 early in the fourth quarter. So, the Broncos have outgained their two playoff opponents a combined 870-579, or by 291 total yards.
Taking a look at Seattle's two playoff games, I would argue that it is lucky to be in the Super Bowl. It was outgained 277-409 by New Orleans in a 23-15 victory in the Divisional Round. It then tied San Francisco with 308 total yards apiece, but needed three 49ers' turnovers in the fourth quarter to come away with a 23-17 victory. The Seahawks have been outgained 585-717, or by a total of 132 yards.
There's no question that the Broncos are playing the better football leading up to the Super Bowl. While the offense is the best in the league, the defense has really stepped it up at the end of the season. In fact, Denver has allowed 17 points or fewer in four straight games, giving up just 15.0 points per game during this span.
The Broncos have no problem stopping a mediocre Seattle offense that averages just 333.8 total yards per game and relies heavily on the run. Well, the Broncos' biggest strength defensively is their ability to stop the run. In fact, they are giving up just 97 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry this season. They have held each of their last four opponents to 87 or fewer rushing yards and an average of 70.0 yards per game during this span.
Denver is 8-1 ATS vs. mistake-prone teams that average 60 or more penalty yards per game over the last two seasons. Seattle is 6-17 ATS in its last 23 games when playing on two weeks or more of rest. Denver is 15-2 ATS in its last 17 games when playing with two or more weeks of rest. The Broncos are 22-11 ATS in all games over the past two seasons. Bet the Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII.
|01-19-14||San Francisco 49ers +4 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-23||Loss||-105||116 h 58 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs GAME OF THE YEAR on San Francisco 49ers +4
The San Francisco 49ers have had to go on a much more difficult path to reach the NFC Championship Game. Despite winning 12 games during the regular season, they had to go on the road in the first two rounds. After dominating Green Bay in the box score but only winning 23-20 in the Wild Card Round, they continued their momentum with a 23-10 win at Carolina in the Divisional Round.
San Francisco has now made the NFC Championship Game for a third consecutive season in the first three years under Jim Harbaugh. It is more prepared to handle the pressure of this game than Seattle, which hasn
|01-19-14||New England Patriots v. Denver Broncos -4||16-26||Win||100||113 h 37 m||Show|
15* Patriots/Broncos AFC Championship No-Brainer on Denver -4
Denver got the monkey off its back by beating the San Diego Chargers in the Divisional Round. This game wasn
|01-12-14||San Diego Chargers v. Denver Broncos UNDER 55||17-24||Win||100||75 h 24 m||Show|
15* Chargers/Broncos Divisional Round BAILOUT on UNDER 55
If the first two meetings between the Broncos and Chargers this season are any indication, oddsmakers have inflated this total set in their grudge match in the Divisional Round Sunday. I'll take advantage and back the UNDER folks.
Denver beat San Diego 28-20 on the road on November 10 for 48 combined points. The Broncos were held below their season average with just 397 total yards, while the Chargers were held well below their season average as well with 329 total yards.
The second meeting was even more of a defensive battle. San Diego beat Denver on the road by a final of 27-20 for 47 combined points on December 12. That was the most points that could have been scored considering the Chargers were held to 337 total yards, while the Broncos were limited to a season-low 295 yards.
San Diego knows the formula to beating Denver it to control the ball, which is something it has done remarkably in those two games and all season. It held the ball for 38 minutes in the first meeting, and 39 minutes in the second. The Chargers will implement the same ball-controlled plan that that they did in the first two games to try and keep the ball out or Peyton Manning's hands as much as possible.
The reason the Chargers have been able to control the ball so much down the stretch of the season is a new-found running game. Indeed, they have rushed for 144 or more yards in five straight games, including 196 against a very good Bengals' run defense last week. Philip Rivers no longer has to do it all as the running game has really held up its end of the bargain of late.
San Diego's defense has also improved as the season has gone on. In fact, it has allowed 24 or fewer points in six straight games, including 17 or less in four of those. The Chargers are allowing a mere 16.3 points per game in their last six games overall.
While there's no question that Denver has a potent offense, its defense has really got untracked over the last couple of weeks. The Broncos have allowed an average of just 13.5 points per game in victories over Houston and Oakland to close out the season. They held their own against the Chargers in the first two meetings, and I look for them to limit them to around 300 yards once again in the grudge match.
The Chargers are 7-1 to the UNDER vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 61% or better this season. The UNDER is 10-2 in Chargers last 12 vs. AFC opponents. The UNDER is 4-1 in Broncos last five vs. AFC West foes. The UNDER is 9-4 in Chargers last 13 games overall. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|01-12-14||San Francisco 49ers v. Carolina Panthers||Top||23-10||Win||100||72 h 44 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Panthers NFC No-Doubt Rout on San Francisco PK
The San Francisco 49ers are the hottest team in the league that
|01-11-14||New Orleans Saints +8 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||15-23||Push||0||51 h 19 m||Show|
20* Saints/Seahawks NFC Saturday No-Brainer on New Orleans +8
The New Orleans Saints finally gotten over the hump while winning an important road game last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. That game wasn
|01-06-14||Auburn v. Florida State -8||Top||31-34||Loss||-110||74 h 39 m||Show|
25* BCS Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Florida State -8
The Florida State Seminoles have been the most dominant team in the country all season. All 13 of their victories have come by 14 points or more, including 12 by 25 or more. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 42.3 points per game on the season to simply destroy the opposition. The result has been a very profitable 11-2 record against the spread for bettors who have been willing to lay these big numbers on the Seminoles all season.
Florida State is putting up 53.0 points and 531.7 yards per game to rank 6th in the country in total offense. Jameis Winston won the Heisman Trophy winner after completing 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,820 yards with 38 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while also rushing for 193 yards and four scores. The offense has been impressive, but the Seminoles have been even better on the other side of the ball. They are giving up just 10.7 points and 269.3 yards per game to rank 3rd in the country in total defense.
The extra time to prepare for this game will favor FSU more than it will Auburn. That
|01-05-14||Arkansas State v. Ball State -6.5||Top||23-20||Loss||-110||50 h 9 m||Show|
20* Arkansas State/Ball State Go Daddy Bowl BAILOUT on Ball State -6.5
The Ball State Cardinals are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They have been crushing opponents due to a high-powered offense en route to a 10-2 campaign heading into this bowl game. I look for them to roll against Arkansas State by a touchdown or more.
First and foremost, Ball State is going to be extra motivated to get its first bowl win in school history. It is 0-7-1 in eight previous bowl games, and there's no question this team represents their best chance to put an end to this horrid streak.
Ball State is lead by senior quarterback Keith Wenning, who is the all-time leader in touchdown passes (91), passing yards 11,187) and completions (1,012) in school history. He threw for career highs of 3,933 yards and 34 touchdowns while tossing only six interceptions this season.
Wenning leads a Ball State offense that ranks 18th in the country in total offense at 486.3 yards per game. While the defense has been giving up a lot of yards, it is among the nation's leaders in forcing turnovers at 2.5 per game. It has 18 fumble recoveries alone.
Arkansas State is one of the worst bowl teams in the country. It is gaining just 413 yards per game against opponents that allow 441 yards per game on the season. It is giving up 418 yards per game against opponents that only average 388 yards per game. As you can see, it has underachieved on both sides of the football this season when you compare its numbers to its opponents season averages.
The Red Wolves will find it hard to be motivated Sunday knowing that they will have a fourth head coach in four years next season. For a second straight year, defensive coordinator John Thompson will be leading this team in their bowl game. These players have to be getting really, really sick of all the changes, and it's certainly a distraction.
Arkansas State has some performances this season that were really head scratchers. It lost at Memphis 7-31 while getting outgained 155-505 for the game. It lost 7-23 at home to Louisiana-Lafayette while gaining a mere 168 total yards in the loss. It also barely beat Georgia State 35-33 at home as a 24-point favorite late in the year, getting outgained by the Panthers 290-432.
Ball State's two losses both came on the road to bowl teams in North Texas (27-34) and Northern Illinois (27-48). The game against NIU was close the entire way until a couple of garbage touchdowns late. Indeed, it was a 27-27 game with less than six minutes to play in the fourth quarter.
The Red Wolves are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 non-conference games. The Cardinals are 7-2 ATS in their last 9 non-conference games. Ball State is 22-9 ATS in its last 31 games overall. The Cardinals are 26-9 ATS in their last 35 games after accumulating more than 280 yards passing in their previous game. Take Ball State Sunday.
|01-05-14||San Francisco 49ers -2.5 v. Green Bay Packers||Top||23-20||Win||100||68 h 39 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Packers NFC Wild Card No-Brainer on San Francisco -2.5
Given the 49ers
|01-04-14||New Orleans Saints +2.5 v. Philadelphia Eagles||26-24||Win||102||47 h 9 m||Show|
15* Saints/Eagles NFC Wild Card BAILOUT on New Orleans +2.5
|01-04-14||Kansas City Chiefs v. Indianapolis Colts UNDER 46.5||Top||44-45||Loss||-110||44 h 34 m||Show|
25* NFL Playoffs TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Chiefs/Colts UNDER 46.5
The books have set the bar too high in this contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC Wild Card Round. I'll take advantage by backing the UNDER in what I believe is going to be a low-scoring, defensive battle.
I was on the UNDER when these teams just met in Week 16 as the total was inflated then and closed at 47. Indianapolis won by a final of 23-7 in an important game for both teams. The Colts outgained the Chiefs 367-287 in the win as neither offense was dynamic.
Now, the books have failed to adjust enough and have set basically an identical total to the first meeting. I believe we'll see a similar combined point total of 30 points between these teams. They are very familiar with one another after playing two weeks ago, which clearly favors a defensive battle.
Both teams have been solid on defense as the Chiefs are yielding just 19.1 points per game, while the Colts are giving up 21.0 points per contest. Neither team has been dominant offensively this season as the Chiefs rank 21st in total offense at 337.3 yards per game, and the Colts rank 15th at 341.7 yards per contest. Indianapolis has really been hurting on this side of the ball since losing Reggie Wayne as well.
Indianapolis and Kansas City have gone UNDER the total in five of their last six games overall. They have combined for 33 or fewer points in five of those six meetings. That's impressive when you consider that three of those came with Peyton Manning under center for the Colts.
Kansas City is 7-0 to the UNDER when playing against a good team (Win Pct. 60% to 75%) in the second half of the season over the last 3 seasons. The Chiefs are 6-0 to the UNDER after allowing 175 or more rushing yards last game over the last 3 seasons. The Colts are 10-0 to the UNDER when playing on a Saturday since 1992. The UNDER is 5-0 in Chiefs last 5 Saturday games. The UNDER is 4-0 in Colts last 4 Wild Card Games. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing the UNDER. Bet the UNDER in this game Saturday.
|01-04-14||Houston +3 v. Vanderbilt||Top||24-41||Loss||-105||41 h 29 m||Show|
20* Houston/Vanderbilt Compass Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Houston +3
The win total for the Houston Cougars coming into the season was just five. They exceeded expectations and could have finished even better than their 8-4 record win you look at all of their impressive, close losses. I'll gladly back the Cougars as an underdog to Vanderbilt in the Compass Bowl Saturday.
Indeed, Houston lost four games this season by a touchdown or less to four bowl teams in BYU (46-47), UCF (14-19), Louisville (13-20) and Cincinnati (17-24). UCF beat Baylor in a BCS bowl, while Louisville rolled Miami. Both of those losses to the Knights and Cardinals were on the road, too.
The Cougars are putting up 33.9 points per game offensively behind freshman quarterback John O'Korn. The freshman threw 26 touchdowns against eight interceptions on the season. His favorite target was standout wide receiver Deontay Greenberry, who caught 76 balls for 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns.
"It was just an amazing experience and such a blessing to start as a true freshman for the majority of the season," O'Korn said. "Going into the season, our motto was 'Something to Prove' and I think we proved a lot, as coach preached by our entire body of work. Those close to the program know we haven't even reached our full potential yet, so we are really excited about this coming game obviously and next season moving forward."
Vanderbilt had a great season as well, finishing with eight wins on the year. However, the Commodores were very fortunate to win eight games because they played one of the easiest schedules in the SEC. Also, two of their wins were against injury-plagued Florida and Georgia teams. I believe blowout losses to Missouri (28-51) and Texas A&M (24-56) are a much truer indication of how good this team is.
Making matters worse for the Commodores is that they will be without starting quarterback Austyn Carta-Samuels, which is a huge blow to the offense. Carta-Samuels had 2,268 passing yards and 11 touchdowns on the season, while also rushing for 115 yards and five scores.
Backup Patton Robinette started the two games that Carta-Samuels missed. He completed 21 of 40 passes for 273 yards and a touchdown with two interceptions in a blowout loss to Texas A&M (24-56) and a fluke win over Florida (34-17). The Commodores were outgained 183-344 by the Gators and should have never won that game.
The Cougars are 12-2 ATS in their last 14 games overall. Houston is 8-1 ATS vs. awful passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse over the last three seasons. The Cougars are 6-0 ATS in their last six non-conference games. Houston is 5-2 ATS in its last seven vs. SEC opponents. Roll with Houston Saturday.
|01-03-14||Clemson +3 v. Ohio State||Top||40-35||Win||100||26 h 42 m||Show|
20* Clemson/Ohio State Orange Bowl No-Brainer on Clemson +3
The Clemson Tigers are certainly happy to be playing in a BCS Bowl Game after capping off a 10-win regular season. Sure, they lost by double-digits to both Florida State and South Carolina, but a closer look into those games shows that they gave them away. They committed a combined 10 turnovers in the two losses, including six against the Gamecocks. It
|01-03-14||Oklahoma State v. Missouri +2||31-41||Win||100||25 h 27 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma State/Missouri Cotton Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Missouri +2
The Missouri Tigers never really got the respect they deserved all season. Picked my most to finish near the bottom of the SEC East, the Tigers wound up winning the division to earn a trip to the SEC Championship Game. Had they beaten Auburn, they would likely be playing in the BCS Championship. They fought tough, compiling 534 yards of total offense, but lost in the end by a final of 42-59. This team is very excited with their season and more than happy to be playing in the Cotton Bowl, looking to end the year on a positive note.
The same may not be the case for the Cowboys, who let a tremendous opportunity slip through their fingertips. They controlled their own destiny against Oklahoma in the season finale, needing to win to capture the Big 12 Title and a BCS Bowl game. They would lose by a final of 24-33 at home despite being a 9.5-point favorite. That kind of loss is going to be much more difficult for the Cowboys to get over because they were actually one of the favorites to win the conference this season. Missouri was an underdog all year, and it is a dog again in the Cotton Bowl, showing tremendous value.
Missouri boasts an explosive offense that is putting up 39.0 points and 492.9 yards per game to rank 17th in the country in total offense. Few teams in the land have the kind of balance that the Tigers do, which makes them so difficult to contain. They average 236.5 yards per game on the ground and 256.5 through the air. Dual-threat quarterback James Franklin has been awesome when healthy, and the senior certainly wants to go out a winner. Franklin is completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,254 yards with 19 touchdowns against five interceptions, while also rushing for 474 yards and four scores.
An SEC team should almost never be an underdog to a Big 12 team on a neutral field, especially when it's one of the top teams in the SEC. There's no doubt that the Tigers played the tougher schedule this season, and that will work in their favor as they'll be more battle-tested in this one. Their only losses came to South Carolina and Auburn, and they even blew a 17-0 lead against the Gamecocks or they'd be 12-1 right now.
The Tigers are 10-2-1 against the spread in all games this season. Missouri is 9-0 against the number after allowing 375 or more rushing yards last game since 1992. The Tigers are 22-9 against the spread in their last 31 games after allowing 42 or more points last game. Missouri is 33-16 against the spread off a loss by 17 points or more since 1992. Head coach Gary Pinkel is 15-3 against the spread off a loss by 17 points or more as the coach of Missouri. The Tigers are 25-4 ATS in their last 29 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Take Missouri in the Cotton Bowl Friday.
|01-02-14||Oklahoma v. Alabama UNDER 52||Top||45-31||Loss||-105||10 h 8 m||Show|
20* Oklahoma/Alabama Sugar Bowl Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 52
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between the Oklahoma Sooners and Alabama Crimson Tide. These are two of the better defensive teams in the country and that will be on display tonight in the Sugar Bowl.
Alabama is giving up just 11.3 points and 274.7 yards per game to rank 4th in the country in total defense. Oklahoma is yielding 21.3 points and 336.3 yards per game to rank 14th in total defense.
Both teams rely heavily on the run, which will keep the clock moving. I have a hard time seeing Oklahoma doing much offensively against an Alabama defense that is yielding just 108 yards per game on the ground and 3.4 per carry.
Plays on the UNDER on neutral field teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (OKLAHOMA) - in a game involving two top-level teams (>= 80%), in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 46-14 (76.7%) since 1992.
Alabama is 26-11 to the UNDER in its last 37 games versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game. The Crimson Tide are 34-14 to the UNDER in their last 48 games as a favorite of 10.5 to 21 points. The UNDER is 4-0 in Sooners last four vs. SEC opponents. Bet the UNDER in this game Thursday.
|01-01-14||Michigan State +7 v. Stanford||Top||24-20||Win||100||22 h 32 m||Show|
20* Michigan State/Stanford Rose Bowl No-Brainer on Michigan State +7
The Michigan State Spartans have been disrespected all season. They are legitimately a couple blown calls by the refs in a loss to Notre Dame away from being undefeated and playing in the BCS Championship.
I believe the Spartans should be the favorite in the Rose Bowl against Stanford. They will be all jacked up to prove their doubters wrong once again, especially when you consider that they have not been to the Rose Bowl in 26 years.
"It's going to be a special moment when we walk out on that field," head coach Mark Dantonio said. "When you set down and write down your goals and think about the goals in whatever job that you take or occupation, you're going to have some different things that you want to try to accomplish. That was one of the things we were trying to accomplish."
Michigan State is winning behind a defense that ranks 1st in the nation at 248.2 yards per game allowed, including an FBS-low 80.8 rushing. Stanford relies heavily on its running game to move the football, so having that type of run defense will be crucial in this game.
The Spartans don't get a lot of credit for how their offense performed this season, but they still managed 29.8 yards per game and have been revived since a switch at quarterback. Connor Cook threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns in a 34-24 win over Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship to earn MVP honors.
Running back Jeremy Langford has rushed for 1,338 yards and 17 touchdowns this season. He has amassed 104 or more rushing yards in eight straight games, which is largely due to the improved play of Cook, making this offense no longer one-dimensional.
Michigan State is 7-0 ATS in road games when playing against a team with a winning record over the last two seasons. The Spartans are 7-0 ATS vs. good passing teams with a completion percentage of 58% or better this season. Michigan State is 6-0 ATS vs. good offensive teams that score 31 or more points per game this season. The Spartans are 8-0 ATS in their last eight road games off two straight conference games. Michigan State is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games. These five trends combine for a perfect 32-0 system backing the Spartans. Take Michigan State Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Wisconsin -1 v. South Carolina||24-34||Loss||-110||18 h 47 m||Show|
15* Wisconsin/South Carolina Early ANNIHILATOR on Wisconsin -1
The Wisconsin Badgers suffered three losses this season by a touchdown or less to some very good teams. They should have beaten Arizona State, but had that game stolen away from them by the referees. They also played Ohio State very tough inside the shoe and could have won that game, falling by a touchdown. Sure, the loss to Penn State to close out the season is concerning, but it will only have head coach Gary Anderson and his team more determined to make amends and close out the season on a positive note.
The numbers show that the Badgers have been one of the best teams in all of college football this season. They are putting up 35.7 points and 486.7 yards per game to rank 19th in the country in total offense. They boast a rushing attack that is putting up 283 yards per game and 6.6 per carry, and one that cannot be stopped. Both Melvin Gordon (1,466 yards, 12 TD, 8.1/carry) and James White (1,337 yards, 13 TD, 6.4/carry) have topped the 1,000-yard mark this season. Joel Stave has made the plays when he has needed to at quarterback as well.
What gets overlooked is a Wisconsin defense that is only giving up 14.8 points and 294.4 yards per game to rank 6th in the country in total defense. If not for the dominant Michigan State defense, this would have been the best stop unit in the Big Ten this season. As you can see, they are outgaining their opponents by a whopping 192.3 yards per game on the season, which is one of the best marks in the land.
The Gamecocks have a solid defense as well, but they have been relying on turnovers all season. They forced a combined 11 turnovers in wins over Clemson and Mississippi State in games they probably should have lost. Wisconsin only turns it over 1.2 times per game, so it won
|01-01-14||Iowa +8 v. LSU||Top||14-21||Win||100||18 h 47 m||Show|
25* College Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Iowa +8
The Iowa Hawkeyes represent my strongest bowl release for the entire 2013-14 postseason. I look for them to not only give LSU a run for their money in the Outback Bowl, but to likely win outright as well.
Iowa was arguably the best eight-win team in the country this season. Its four losses came against the likes of Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin, who are all ranked in the Top 25. It had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter in every one of those contests, not once getting blown out from start to finish.
This isn't the same dominant LSU team we have become accustomed to in years' past. That could not have been more evident in the season finale as the Tigers needed to drive 99 yards for a game-winning touchdown to beat Arkansas (0-8 in SEC) by a final of 31-27 at home despite being a 28-point favorite.
Anthony Jennings led that 99-yard drive against Arkansas due to a season-ending injury to Zach Mettenberger earlier in the game. I believe he is getting way too much respect from oddsmakers because of that one drive. The loss of Mettenberger is absolutely huge, but I don't believe it's being reflected in this line at all.
Iowa plays a very similar style to LSU which makes this a good match-up. Both teams like to pound the rock with their running game, and each is pretty solid defensively, though Iowa has been the superior team on that side of the ball. LSU had the edge offensively before the injury to Mettenberger, and now I believe there is no edge there whatsoever. Jennings has thrown just 10 passes all season.
The Hawkeyes were improved offensively this year which was the biggest reason for their turnaround. They scored a respectable 27.3 points per game this season. They only gave up 18.7 points and 303.2 yards per game to rank 7th in the country in total defense. The key is their run defense, which ranks 16th at 120.8 yards per game and 3.5 yards per carry allowed.
These teams met in the 2005 Capital One Bowl with the Hawkeyes beating the Tigers 30-25. They held them to just 118 rushing yards in the win, and they have the kind of run D that is going to take away LSU's strength again, which is its rushing offense now that Mettenberger is down.
Kirk Ferentz is 28-9 ATS versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more rushing yards per game as the coach of Iowa. Iowa is 14-3 ATS in its last 17 games vs. good offensive teams that average 37 or more points per game. The Hawkeyes are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Tigers are 1-5-1 ATS in their last seven games following a win. Bet Iowa in the Outback Bowl Wednesday.
|01-01-14||Nebraska +9 v. Georgia||24-19||Win||100||17 h 47 m||Show|
15* Nebraska/Georgia Gator Bowl Rematch on Nebraska +9
It has to be deflating for Georgia players to be playing in the Gator Bowl as they came into the season with aspirations of winning a BCS Championship. Those hopes have been crushed due to injuries and poor play as the Bulldogs have lost four games this year after nearly beating Alabama in the SEC Title game last year. Their reward? How about a rematch with a team that they beat by 14 in the exact same bowl game last year. Georgia cannot be excited one bit to play Nebraska in the Gator Bowl again.
Meanwhile, the Cornhuskers will come into this game the more motivated team wanting revenge from last year
|12-31-13||Duke v. Texas A&M -11.5||Top||48-52||Loss||-108||22 h 17 m||Show|
20* Duke/Texas A&M Chick-fil-A Bowl BAILOUT on Texas A&M -11.5
The Duke Blue Devils were a tremendous story this season. David Cutcliffe won Coach of the Year due to leading the Blue Devils to their first 10-win season in school history. While it was a nice story, the result is that Duke is overvalued heading into this bowl game with Texas A&M.
I would certainly make the argument that Duke did not have many good wins this season as its 10 victories came against NC Central, Memphis, Troy, Navy, Virginia, Virginia Tech, NC State, Miami, Wake Forest and North Carolina. It was very fortunate to win many of those games, too, as four came by a touchdown or less.
Duke's true colors shows in a 7-45 loss to Florida State in the ACC Championship Game. I believe a similar beat down is in store at the hands of Texas A&M this week. No matter what happens for the Blue Devils, this will be considered their best season in school history. They will find it hard to be motivated because of it, and even if they are, they're way out-classed in this one talent-wise.
Texas A&M played the 29th-toughest schedule in the country this season with its only losses coming to current No. 2 Auburn, No. 3 Alabama, No. 8 Missouri and No. 16 LSU. Duke played the 62nd-toughest schedule in the country this year to compare. The fact of the matter is that Duke is one of the easiest opponents that Texas A&M will have faced all year.
Johnny Manziel wants to go out a winner in likely the final college football game of his career. Quietly, Manziel had another monster season this year, completing 69.1 percent of his passes for 3,732 yards with 33 touchdowns and 13 interceptions, while also rushing for 675 yards and eight scores.
Manziel leads a Texas A&M offense that ranks 4th in the country at 538.2 yards per game. This is an offense that put up 42 points against Alabama, and one that will put up a big number against a Duke defense that ranks 70th in the country at 408.5 yards per game. I don't believe the Blue Devils have anywhere near the firepower to keep up. They rank just 67th in total offense at 408.1 yards per game. As you can see, they are actually getting outgained on the season and managed to win 10 games. Something does not add up.
Duke is 0-6 ATS in road games versus excellent offensive teams that average 6.25 or more yards per play over the past three seasons. The Blue Devils are 3-12 ATS in their last 15 road games after covering the spread in four of their last five games coming in. The Blue Devils are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a S.U. loss. The Aggies are 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games following a S.U. loss. It's also worth noting that Duke has suspended leading rusher Jela Duncan (562 yards, 3 TD) heading into this bowl game. Bet Texas A&M in the Chick-fil-A Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Mississippi State -7 v. Rice||44-7||Win||100||18 h 35 m||Show|
15* Mississippi State/Rice Liberty Bowl Line Mistake on Mississippi State -7
I'll take the SEC over Conference USA any day of the week, especially when the SEC has to lay a touchdown or less. I look for this to be an absolute blowout as Mississippi State rolls to a double-digit victory over Rice.
I really like the Bulldogs' mindset heading into this one as well. They had to win their final two games of the season against Arkansas and Ole Miss to become bowl eligible, so they were clearly fighting hard for that honor. You can bet they will not squander it, either.
Rice has had a great season no matter what happens in this bowl game. It won the Conference USA Championship with a 41-24 victory over Marshall to close out the season. Sure, it wants to win this game, but its season is already made. There's no doubt that Mississippi State wants this victory to finish with a winning record.
One of the biggest reasons I like the Bulldogs to roll is that quarterback is recovered from a nerve injury in his non-throwing arm suffered late in the season. He was forced to sit out two games before returning in the second half against Ole Miss to lead the team to victory. This guy is one of the most underrated players in the country, finishing 11th in the SEC with 751 rushing yards, which put him second among SEC quarterbacks ahead of Johnny Manziel.
These teams have a common opponent in Texas A&M. Mississippi State only lost by a final of 41-51 at Texas A&M, while Rice lost 31-52 at Texas A&M. The difference was that Manziel was actually suspended for the first half of the Rice game, so he didn't play until after intermission. The Bulldogs had to face Manziel for a full four quarters.
Speaking of schedule, the Bulldogs played a much tougher slate than the Owls, which will make a huge difference in this one as well. Mississippi State played the eight-toughest schedule in the country, while Rice played just the 104th-toughest. The Bulldogs didn't have one bad loss as their six came to Oklahoma State, Auburn, LSU, South Carolina, Texas A&M & Alabama. You'll find all six of those teams currently ranked in the Top 21.
Rice is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 road games after having won 5 or 6 of its last 7 games. The Owls are 2-5 ATS in their last seven games after scoring more than 40 points in their previous game. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games overall. Mississippi State is 5-1 ATS in its last six games following an ATS win. The Bulldogs are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Mississippi State in the Liberty Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Virginia Tech +7.5 v. UCLA||12-42||Loss||-105||16 h 17 m||Show|
15* VA Tech/UCLA Sun Bowl No-Brainer on Virginia Tech +7.5
The Virginia Tech Hokies were closer to being a 12-0 football team than most might realize. Three of their four losses came by a combined 13 points, while the other came to then-No. 1 Alabama by a final of 10-35 in a game that was much closer than the score would indicate. The Hokies held the Crimson Tide to just 206 total yards in the loss, but gave up three non-offensive touchdowns.
Virginia Tech clearly has one of the best defenses in all of college football. In fact, it ranks 4th in the country in total defense at 269.6 yards per game allowed. The Hokies also gave up a mere 17.4 points per game. I believe their defense will keep them in this game against UCLA, which ranks 54th in total defense at 391.5 yards per game.
UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley has been sacked 33 times. Virginia Tech leads the ACC in sacks (37) while ranking among the nation's top 10 against the rush (103.8 yards/game), the pass (168.5 yards/game) and in interceptions (19). The Bruins, meanwhile, gave up an average of 193.6 rushing yards per game over their final seven games.
The Bruins are 3-12 ATS in thier last 15 road games off an upset win over a conference rival as an underdog. UCLA is 6-17 ATS in its last 23 road games following a bye of at least one week. The Hokies are 5-1 ATS in their last 6 games in December. The Bruins are 3-9 ATS in their last 12 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Roll with Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl Tuesday.
|12-31-13||Boston College +7.5 v. Arizona||Top||19-42||Loss||-115||15 h 57 m||Show|
20* Boston College/Arizona AdvoCare Bowl Early ANNIHILATOR on Boston College +7.5
The Boston College Eagles were one of the most underrated teams in the country this season. I look for that to show once again in their bowl game against the Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday, December 31.
Boston College managed to win seven games this year when it was only projected to win 4.5 coming into the season. While those seven wins were solid, I was actually more impressed with what I saw from the Eagles in two losses this season than anything.
They played Florida State tougher than anyone this year, losing by afinal of 34-48 as a 24-point underdog. They put up 407 total yards in the loss, including 210 on the ground to prove that they can run against anyone. They also lost 14-24 at Clemson as a 24-point underdog.
Arizona is getting too much respect for its win over Oregon at the end of the year. That Ducks team quit down the stretch, so instead of getting respect for that win, the Wildcats should be getting a lot less respect for losing three of their final four games. Two of those came at home, while the other was a 21-58 beat down at the hands of Arizona State.
Both teams love to run the football, which makes stopping the run huge. Boston College averages 219 yards per game and 5.5 per carry on the ground, while Arizona averages 266 yards per game and 5.3 per carry. Well, the Eagles only allow 154 yards per game and 3.9 per carry, while the Wildcats allow 170 yards per game and 4.2 per carry.
Arizona is 0-6 ATS vs. poor passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse over the last two seasons. Boston College is 17-4 ATS in its last 21 games after three consecutive games where it forced one or less turnovers. Arizona is 15-31 ATS in its last 46 games as a favorite of 3.5 to 10 points. The Wildcats are 2-7 ATS in their last nine vs. a team with a winning record. The Eagles are 5-0 ATS in their last five vs. a team with a winning record, and 6-0 ATS in their last six games following an ATS loss. Take Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl Tuesday.
|12-30-13||Texas Tech +14.5 v. Arizona State||Top||37-23||Win||100||100 h 52 m||Show|
25* Pre-New Year's Bowl GAME OF THE YEAR on Texas Tech +14.5
The Texas Tech Red Raiders represent my strongest bowl release of all prior to January 1st. I absolutely love this team catching two touchdowns against Arizona State, and I believe they not only have an excellent chance to cover the spread, but to win outright as well.
Texas Tech wants to be here after a seven-win season in head coach Kliff Kingsbury's first year on the job. This team played very well in the first half of the season before a brutal schedule and costly turnovers did them in down the stretch. As a result, they come into this season way undervalued due to their finish.
Arizona State does not want to be here. It was beaten 14-38 by Stanford in the Pac-12 Championship Game on December 7. So, instead of going to the Rose Bowl, the Sun Devils have to settle for the Holiday Bowl. There is absolutely no chance they get up for this game, and as a result they are very vulnerable despite the clear edge they have in talent on the field.
UCLA was in the same position last year. It had just lost to Stanford 24-27 in the Pac-12 Championship Game to miss out on the Rose Bowl. What did the Bruins do in the Holiday Bowl? How about get blown out 26-49 by Baylor despite being a 3-point favorite in that contest. They weren't motivated for that game, and neither will Arizona State be.
The numbers show that Texas Tech is an elite team. It is outgaining opponents by an average of 93.7 yards per game on the season thanks to an offense that ranks 10th in the country at 512.9 yards per game, including 2nd in passing at 392.0 yards per game.
Plays on any team (TEXAS TECH) - poor rushing team (100-140 RY/G) against an average rushing defense (140-190 RY/G) after 7+ games, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS since 1992. The Sun Devils are 1-4 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Red Raiders are 27-11-3 ATS in their last 41 games after scoring less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Texas Tech Monday.
|12-30-13||Texas +14 v. Oregon||7-30||Loss||-110||95 h 22 m||Show|
15* Texas/Oregon Alamo Bowl No-Brainer on Texas +14
This is a classing 'Win one for the Gipper' game. While there's no question that Oregon is the supremely talented team, I believe Texas' will to win for Mack Brown will be the reason it easily covers this two-touchdown spread and possibly wins outright.
Brown will resign after 16 seasons in Austin as this will be the final game of his coaching career. He has a National Championship under his belt, and while this season didn't go exactly as planned, the Longhorns still had a chance to win the Big 12 in the final week of the season.
"The standard is really high here," said the 62-year-old Brown, whose 158 victories at Texas rank behind only the late Darrell Royal's 167. "We set a standard at this place. You'd better win all of them. I understand that. ... The standard is really high here and I'm proud of being part of setting that standard."
While Texas will continue to fight to the finish for Brown, Oregon packed it in a long time ago. After its loss to Stanford that killed its BCS Championship hopes, it has simply refused to give good effort. The Ducks would go 0-4 ATS over their final four games of the season, which included a 16-42 loss at Arizona.
This team is still good enough to win when it just goes through the motions, which was evidenced in a 36-35 home victory over Oregon State as a 24-point favorite to close out the season. However, the Ducks are not good enough to beat Texas by two touchdowns just going through the motions. With the way that they finished out the season, the Ducks will not be showing up in the Alamo Bowl, either.
Brown is 8-1 ATS in road games off a loss by 10 points or more to a conference rival as the coach of Texas. Brown is 16-4 ATS after a game where his team forced no turnovers as the coach of Texas. The Longhorns are a perfect 6-0 ATS when playing with two weeks or more of rest over the last three years. Roll with Texas Monday.
|12-30-13||Ole Miss -3 v. Georgia Tech||Top||25-17||Win||100||92 h 52 m||Show|
20* Ole Miss/GA Tech Music City Bowl No-Doubt Rout on Ole Miss -3
The Ole Miss Rebels from the SEC should be a much bigger favorite over the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets from the ACC. These were two middle-of-the-pack teams in their respective conferences, and there's no question that the SEC was far and away the superior conference.
Ole Miss faced a similar situation in last year's bowl game. It was only a 3-point favorite over Pittsburgh in the Compass Bowl, yet prevailed in blowout fashion by a final of 38-17. I was all over the Rebels in that game, and I'm on them again for many of the same reasons.
First and foremost. the Rebels underachieved this year because they had a whopping 19 starters back from last year's team. However, what hurt them most was a brutal schedule. They played the 10th-toughest schedule in the country, while Georgia Tech played the 42nd-toughest.
Ole Miss still managed to win seven games this year, including a 27-24 victory over LSU, as well as road wins over Vanderbilt (39-35) and Texas (44-23). However, it was not very lucky in some close games against good competition. It lost to Auburn (22-30), Texas A&M (38-41) and Mississippi State (10-17) all by a touchdown or less.
I look at Georgia Tech's schedule and I don't see one good won. It's seven victories came against Elon, Duke, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia, Pitt and Alabama A&M. It lost all of its tough games, including blowout losses to Miami (30-45), BYU (20-38) and Clemson (31-55). In fact, Georgia Tech is 0-6 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record this season.
Triple-option teams like Georgia Tech are at a huge disadvantage in bowl games. That's because teams have nearly a month to prepare to defend the triple-option, which is a tough system to defend if you only have a week to do so. It's an easy system to defend when you get a month, and Ole Miss will be ready for it.
Ole Miss is 35-19 ATS in its last 54 road games vs. a team with a winning record. The Rebels are 7-0 ATS after having lost two of their last three games over the past two seasons. The Yellow Jackets are 0-6 ATS in their last six vs. at team with a winning record as stated before. Georgia Tech is 1-11 ATS in its last 12 games after failing to cover the spread in two of its last three games coming in. Ole Miss is 3-0-1 ATS in its last four bowl games. These last four trends combine for a 27-1 system backing the Rebels. Take Ole Miss Monday.
|12-29-13||St. Louis Rams v. Seattle Seahawks UNDER 43||9-27||Win||100||47 h 26 m||Show|
15* Rams/Seahawks NFC Total DOMINATOR on UNDER 43
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is one of them.
These are two of the better defensive teams in the league. Seattle ranks 1st in total defense at 280.7 yards per game and 2nd in scoring defense at 14.8 points per game. St. Louis is a respectable 17th in total defense at 350.1 yards per game. The Rams have the NFL's best run defense since Week 10, allowing just 68.0 yards per game over the past six games.
I look for this game to follow a similar path to the first meeting between these teams in which Seattle won by a final of 14-9 in St. Louis. The Seahawks had not business winning that game as they were outgained 135-339 for the game, but took advantage of two turnovers to win an absolute defensive battle.
This has been a very low-scoring series throughout the years. Seven straight and nine of the last 10 meetings in this series have seen 43 or less combined points. The Rams and Seahawks have combined to average just 32.2 points per game in their last 10 meetings, which is 10.8 points less per game than today's posted total of 43. As you can see, there is a ton of value with the UNDER given the low-scoring nature of this series.
The UNDER is 21-7 in Rams last 28 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. The UNDER is 17-8-1 in Rams last 26 road games overall. The UNDER is 19-6-1 in Rams last 26 December games. The UNDER is 5-0 in Seahawks last five December games. The UNDER is 6-1 in the last seven meetings in this series. Roll with the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-29-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Arizona Cardinals +1||Top||23-20||Loss||-110||47 h 46 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Cardinals Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Arizona +1
You would be hard-pressed to find a team playing better than the Arizona Cardinals in the second half of the season. Indeed, the Cardinals have won seven of their last eight games overall with their only loss coming at red-hot Philadelphia by a final of 21-24 as a 3.5-point underdog. That loss is starting to look more and more acceptable as the Eagles are one of the only teams that can rival how well Arizona has played down the stretch.
In a must-win situation at Seattle last week, Arizona rose to the occasion and beat the Seahawks 17-10 as an 8-point underdog to put an end to their perfect 14-0 home record over the past two seasons. They outgained the Seahawks 307-192 for the game and managed to win despite turning the ball over four times. That
|12-29-13||Carolina Panthers v. Atlanta Falcons UNDER 46||Top||21-20||Win||100||44 h 1 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Panthers/Falcons UNDER 46
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is my favorite of the bunch.
I look for a low-scoring, defensive battle between Carolina and Atlanta Sunday. Both teams have something to play for here as the Panthers have an outside shot at the No. 1 seed, and would clinch a first-round bye with a win. Atlanta wants to send out Tony Gonzalez with one last victory in the final game of his career.
Carolina ranks 1st in the league in scoring defense at 14.7 points per game, and 2nd in total defense at 300.9 yards per game. It limited a high-powered New Orleans offense to just 13 points in a huge 17-13 win last week that put it in position to win the NFC South and a first-round bye.
Atlanta hasn't played that great defensively this season, but I like its chances of being successful this week on that side of the ball. The Panthers rank just 25th in the league in total offense at 319.1 yards per game. Now, they are expected to be without leading wide receiver Steve Smith (64 receptions, 745 yards, 4 TD) due to a knee injury. For an offense that was already lacking weapons, this is a huge blow.
These teams combined for 44 points in their first meeting of the season as the Panthers won 34-10 at home, outgaining the Falcons 373-289 in the process. I look for a much better effort from the Falcons defensively this time around given the circumstances, and I sill expect the Panthers to hold Atlanta in check again.
Carolina is 40-14 to the UNDER off a win over a division rival since 1992. The Panthers are 7-1 to the UNDER in their last eight games overall. Carolina is 7-0 to the UNDER in its last seven games following a win. Atlanta is 6-1 to the UNDER after allowing more than 150 yards rushing in its previous game. Bet the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-29-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +11 v. Indianapolis Colts||10-30||Loss||-110||44 h 1 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Jacksonville Jaguars +11
The Jacksonville Jaguars clearly have not quit on their season and are not worried about draft picks. These players continue to play out the string for head coach Gus Bradley, which will probably save his job going into next year. They have won four of their last seven games overall while going 5-2 against the spread in the process. Their two non-covers during this stretch came by exactly three points. Two of their three losses came by a touchdown or less, so they have been very competitive in the second half.
Indianapolis just has a way of playing to the level of its competition. When you look at its numbers, it
|12-29-13||Baltimore Ravens v. Cincinnati Bengals UNDER 45||17-34||Loss||-110||44 h 1 m||Show|
15* Ravens/Bengals AFC North No-Brainer on UNDER 45
The books have been forced to set the totals in the NFL much higher than they are comfortable with late in the season due to the OVERS cashing in so frequently up to Week 16. However, UNDER bettors really rolled in Week 16 due to the value as 11 of 16 games went UNDER the total. I believe there are many more inflated totals in Week 17, and this is one of them.
There is a lot at stake in this AFC North rivalry between Baltimore and Cincinnati to close out the season. The Ravens are playing just to get into the playoffs, while the Bengals are playing for playoff positioning. They could move up to the No. 2 seed if everything goes right, but they could also drop to the No. 4 seed with a loss, which would mean they'd have a tough first-round match-up with Kansas City. It's safe to say that both teams will be laying it all on the line given the circumstances.
These are two of the best defensive teams in the league squaring off Sunday. Cincinnati ranks 5th in the league in total defense at 311.1 yards per game, while Baltimore is 9th at 331.7 yards per game. The Ravens, who rank 29th in total offense at 313.1 yards per game, will have a hard time moving the football and putting up points against a Bengals' defense that is allowing just 16.7 points per game at home this year.
This has been a very low-scoring series to say the least. Ten of the last 12 meetings in this series have seen 40 or fewer combined points. Only two of those 12 games exceeded this total of 45 points. Baltimore beat Cincinnati 20-17 in overtime in their first meeting of the season on November 10. The Ravens won despite only gaining 189 total yards in the game.
The UNDER is 17-3-1 in Bengals last 21 games following a SU win of more than 14 points. The UNDER is 22-9 in Bengals last 31 December games. The UNDER is 7-3 in Raven's last 10 vs. AFC North foes. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-28-13||Rutgers +14 v. Notre Dame||Top||16-29||Win||101||41 h 56 m||Show|
20* Rutgers/Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl No-Brainer on Rutgers +14
There's no denying that the Rutgers Scarlet Knights struggled in the second half of the season. However, those struggles have them way undervalued as they head into the Pinstripe Bowl against Notre Dame as a two-touchdown underdog.
This team could have packed it in, but they showed they wanted to go to a bowl game by winning their final game of the season in dominant fashion. They beat South Florida 31-6 as a 4-point home favorite to get their elusive sixth win to earn a trip to this bowl game. They held the Bulls to just 151 total yards in the triumph.
"We came out today and it was do or die," said running back Paul James, who rushed for 113 yards and two touchdowns. "We were fighting to get to that bowl game. Now that we are there everyone is excited and happy to get there."
Notre Dame, which went to the BCS Championship Game last year, cannot be excited to be going to the Pinstripe Bowl this season. Sure, the Fighting Irish have a decent fan base in New York, but the proximity of Rutgers to Yankee Stadium should have the Scarlet Knights with a slight home-field advantage.
This is a classic 'who wants to be there more' game. Rutgers clearly wants to be here after the way it finished out the season with a win over South Florida, and with an opportunity to go up against a big program like Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish do not want to be here at all and feel like they deserve a better both after an eight-win season.
Plays on any team (RUTGERS) - poor rushing team (100-140 RY/G) against an average rushing defense (140-190 RY/G) after 7+ games, in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences are 43-15 (74.1%) ATS since 1992. Rutgers is 23-9 ATS when the total is between 49.5 and 56 since 1992.
Notre Dame is 5-18 ATS in its last 23 games after covering the spread in five or six of its last seven games. The Scarlet Knights are 5-1-1 ATS in their last seven bowl games. Rutgers is 8-3 ATS in its last 11 games vs. Independent teams. Notre Dame is 2-5 ATS in its last seven bowl games. Bet Rutgers Saturday.
|12-27-13||Washington v. BYU +3.5||Top||31-16||Loss||-110||28 h 49 m||Show|
20* Washington/BYU Fight Hunger Bowl BAILOUT on BYU +3.5
The BYU Cougars played a very respectable schedule this season and managed to get through it at 8-4. They were in every game that they played as all four of their losses came by 10 points or less, including setbacks on the road to both Wisconsin and Notre Dame.
Bronco Mendenhall has gone 6-2 in bowl games as the coach of BYU with four straight victories coming in after last season's 23-6 triumph over San Diego State in the Poinsettia Bowl. He'll have his players ready to go in the Fight Hunger Bowl Friday.
The same cannot be said for Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian, who bolted for the USC job. Replacing him will be interim head coach Marques Tuiasosopo, and this will be a major distraction for the team. The players who are coming back will be going through a mix of emotions as they await the arrival of new head coach Chris Peterson next year.
I've been very impressed with the offense of BYU, which is averaging 495 yards per game and 5.9 per play. Quarterback Taisom Hill does it all, rushing for 1,211 yards and nine touchdowns while also throwing for 2,645 yards and 19 scores. Jamaal Williams is right behind him with 1,202 rushing yards and seven touchdowns on 5.9 per carry.
BYU has been solid defensively as well, yielding just 384 yards per game and 4.8 per play. They key to stopping Washington is slowing down its rushing attack, and BYU has the perfect antidote. It is allowing an average of only 3.8 yards per carry this season despite its 12 opponents averaging 4.5 per carry on the year.
The Cougars are a sensational 9-1 ATS as an underdog over the last three seasons. Mendenhall is 17-4 ATS when playing against a good team with a winning percentage from 60% to 75% as the coach of BYU. Mendenhall is 9-2 ATS in road games versus good rushing teams that average 200 or more yards rushing as the coach of the Cougars. Bet BYU Friday.
|12-27-13||Marshall v. Maryland +3||31-20||Loss||-120||21 h 49 m||Show|
15* Marshall/Maryland Military Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Maryland +3
The Maryland Terrapins are ecstatic to be going to a bowl game for the first time since 2010. After going a combined 6-18 in Randy Edsall's first two years on the job, the Terrapins rebounded for a 7-5 record this season.
They really had to play well down the stretch just to get in. They were at 5-4 before going 2-1 over their final three games. That included a surprising 27-24 overtime win at Virginia Tech, and a blowout 41-21 victory at NC State to close out the season. Their only loss came to Boston College by a final of 29-26 after the Terps squandered an 11-point fourth quarter lead.
Now, the Terrapins will be jacked up to be playing in this bowl game. They will have a huge home-field advantage as they will be playing just 27 miles from their campus inside the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. There's no way they should be an underdog here given the circumstances.
Marshall had a solid season as well, but it lost in the Conference USA Championship to Rice, which cost it a better bowl game. The Thundering Herd won't be nearly as excited to be playing in this game as Maryland will be.
The Thundering Herd played their worst football on the road this season, going 3-4 SU & 1-5-1 ATS in all games played away from home. Maryland played its best football on the road, going 4-2 SU & 4-2 ATS in six games away from home. The four wins came against VA Tech, NC State, West Virginia & UConn.
I believe teams that played a tougher schedule during the regular season have a much better chance of being successful in the bowl game. I love when these teams are an underdog, too. Maryland played the 69th-toughest schedule in the country, while Marshall played the 126th.
Maryland's offense has been very good when quarterback C.J. Brown has been healthy, and he'll be ready to go for this bowl game. Brown is completing 58.9 percent of his passes for 2,045 yards with 11 touchdowns against six interceptions, while also rushing for 538 yards and 12 scores. The defense has played admirably all season, ranking 31st in the country in total defense at 367.7 yards per game.
The Terrapins are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 non-conference games. Maryland is 4-0 ATS in its last four neutral site games. The Terrapins are 4-1 ATS in their last five bowl games. The Thundering Herd are 2-5 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 200 yards rushing in their previous game. Bet Maryland Thursday.
|12-26-13||Utah State v. Northern Illinois +1||21-14||Loss||-106||31 h 35 m||Show|
15* Utah State/Northern Illinois Poinsettia Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Northern Illinois +1
Sure, Northern Illinois missed out on a chance to play in a BCS Bowl game due to its first loss of the season in the MAC Championship against Bowling Green. Many folks believe they will not show up because of these circumstances, but I am not one of them.
Northern Illinois has one of the best leaders in the entire country at quarterback in Jordan Lynch, and I have 100% confidence he'll rally the troops and go out with a victory in the final game of his collegiate career. You think this senior is just going to pack it in in his final game? No chance.
Lynch was as deserving as anyone to win the Heisman Trophy. He was worth more wins to his team than any player in the country. Lynch has completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,676 yards with 23 touchdowns and seven interceptions, while also rushing for 1,881 yards and 22 scores. No player put up better numbers than that.
The Huskies still have plenty to play for. They can set a single-season school record for victories despite the loss to Bowling Green. "(That) game doesn't define us - we're not going to let it," coach Rod Carey said. "We've got another game. We still have a lot to play for."
I give Utah State a lot of credit for the way that it has fought after losing starting quarterback Chuckie Keaton for the season. However, this guy is simply irreplaceable, and the Aggies are much worse off without him. Keaton had thrown 18 touchdowns against two interceptions before going down with injury.
Backup Darell Garretson has nine picks against five interceptions on the year for a comparison. He is also completing just 60.3 percent of his passes compared to 69.4 for Keaton. The massive edge the Huskies have at the quarterback position in this one will be the reason that they win as Lynch won't be denied in his final game.
Northern Illinois is 8-1 ATS after allowing 325 or more passing yards in its last game over the past three seasons. It is coming back to win 47-9 to 20.9 in this spot, or by an average of 27.0 points per game. Take Northern Illinois Thursday.
|12-26-13||Pittsburgh +5 v. Bowling Green||Top||30-27||Win||100||27 h 56 m||Show|
20* Pittsburgh/Bowling Green Pizza Bowl No-Brainer on Pittsburgh +5
The Bowling Green Falcons feel very accomplished. They won the MAC this season with a win over previously unbeaten Northern Illinois in the title game. No matter what happens in this bowl game, the Falcons will have had a great season.
The success that Bowling Green had this year lead to head coach Dave Clawson leaving to become the head coach at Wake Forest. Assistant head coach Adam Scheier will be the interim coach for the bowl game. This will be a distraction for the Falcons as well as they probably feel betrayed by Clawson for leaving.
Pittsburgh (6-6) will be motivated to finish with a winning record for the first time since 2010. Only once was Pittsburgh really blown out all season, and that came in the opener against Florida State, which is clearly the best team in the country. The other five losses all came by 11 points or fewer.
The Panthers played the 32nd-toughest schedule in the country this season according to strength of schedule ratings that I trust. Bowling Green played the 124th-toughest schedule in the country this year. So, there's no question that the Panthers are more battle-tested heading into this one.
I believe that will pay off and I'll gladly back a dog from the ACC over a favorite from the MAC, which is arguably the weakest conference in the country. Bowling Green went 0-2 this season against teams from BCS conferences, including a 10-42 loss at Indiana.
The Panthers are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. Pittsburgh is 5-0 ATS in its last five December games. The Panthers are 21-6 ATS in their last 27 games following a loss. Bet Pittsburgh Thursday.
|12-24-13||Oregon State -3 v. Boise State||Top||38-23||Win||100||28 h 59 m||Show|
20* Oregon State/Boise State Hawaii Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Oregon State -3
The Oregon State Beavers played an absolute brutal schedule this season and will come into the Hawaii Bowl a lot more battle-tested than Boise State. They will be hungry to make amends for a five-game losing streak to close out the regular season and to gain back some momentum heading into next year.
According to some ratings that I trust, the Beavers played the 12th-most difficult schedule in the country, while the Broncos played the 94th-toughest schedule. Only three Pac-12 teams played a tougher schedule, and it comes as no surprise that four of the top 11 teams are from the Pac-12 considering how tough that conference was this season.
Oregon State's five losses to close out the season came against Stanford, USC, Arizona State, Washington, and Oregon. It only lost by a final of 35-36 at Oregon as a 24-point underdog in the season finale to really show what it is capable of. USC crushed Fresno State in their bowl game, and Boise State lost to Fresno State earlier this season.
Boise State did get a taste of the Pac-12 to open the season. It lost by a final of 6-38 at Washington in what was every bit the blowout that the final score would indicate. The Broncos were outgianed 346-592 by the Huskies in the loss. They also fell to Fresno State, BYU and San Diego State this year in what was a down year for them given their expectations over the past decade.
The Broncos suffered a big blow when starting quarterback Joe Southwick was suspended for the Hawaii Bowl after urinating off a hotel balcony. He has gone as far as to take a polygraph test to prove his innocence, which he passed. However, Boise State issued a statement late MOnday afternoon standing by the decision to dismiss Southwick.
"We investigated the matter with university administrators, coaching staff, a law enforcement official, hotel security and student-athletes," the statement said. "We made the decision to send the student-athlete home, and we stand by this difficult decision."
Backup Grant Hedrick played well in place of an injured Southwick earlier this season, so in all honesty it doesn't make that big of a difference. I do believe Southwick is slightly better, but the big thing is that this is going to be a distraction for the team. Not to mention that head coach Chris Peterson left to take the Washington job, leaving Bob Gregory as the interim coach. That's another distraction that the players have had to deal with leading up to this game.
Oregon State ranks 3rd in the country in passing offense at 382.1 yards per game. It is led by Sean Mannion, who is having a monster season. He is completing 66.0 percent of his passes for 4,403 yards with 36 touchdowns against 14 interceptions. Boise State's biggest weakness has been against the pass as it has allowed opposing quarterbacks to complete 64.1 percent of their passes for an average of 248 yards per game.
The Beavers are 11-1 ATS in their last 12 road games vs. awful passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 62% or worse. Oregon State is 15-5 ATS in its last 20 road games following a bye week. The Beavers are 7-0 ATS after allowing 450 or more total yards in two consecutive games since 1992. The Broncos are 1-6 ATS in their last 7 games after allowing less than 20 points in their previous game. Bet Oregon State Tuesday.
|12-23-13||Atlanta Falcons +14 v. San Francisco 49ers||Top||24-34||Win||102||33 h 54 m||Show|
20* Falcons/49ers MNF GAME OF THE MONTH on Atlanta +14
The Atlanta Falcons clearly have not quit on their season. They have won two of their last three games, and each of their last four games have been decided by four points or less. That includes losses to playoff contenders in New Orleans (13-17) and Green Bay (21-22) for their only two setbacks during this stretch. In fact, this team has been very competitive all season as 10 of their 14 games have been decided by eight points or fewer. Unlike last year, they simply have not gotten the breaks in close games.
Atlanta has every reason to show up Monday to try and avenge last year
|12-23-13||Ohio +14 v. East Carolina||Top||20-37||Loss||-106||26 h 4 m||Show|
20* Ohio/East Carolina Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl No-Brainer on Ohio +14
The Ohio Bobcats certainly looked terrible in losing three straight games down the stretch in blowout fashion. However, they showed tremendous character by coming out on Senior Day and destroying Massachusetts by a final of 51-23 to really take out their frustration. That effort was led by senior quarterback Tyler Tettleton, who has had a tremendous career here. He came into the season as the school
|12-22-13||Chicago Bears +3 v. Philadelphia Eagles||11-54||Loss||-103||45 h 28 m||Show|
15* Bears/Eagles NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on Chicago +3
The Bears have picked up two huge wins over the past two weeks to stay alive for the NFC North Title. If they win out, they will be crowned your division champions. After throttling Dallas 45-28 at home on December 9, the Bears went on the road and knocked off Cleveland 38-31 last week. Jay Cutler started shaky in his first start back from injury, but led the Bears to 21 points in the fourth quarter and a confidence-building come-from-behind victory.
Chicago has been dynamite on offense under first-year head coach Marc Trestman no matter who has been under center. It is averaging 29.0 points per game and 393.4 yards per contest to rank 7th in the league in total offense. The Bears should have their way with a Philadelphia defense that ranks 30th in the league, giving up 402.2 yards per game. The Eagles allowed 370 passing yards to Matt Cassel and the Minnesota Vikings last week in a humbling 30-48 road loss. If they would have won that game, they could have clinched the NFC East with a victory this week.
Now, the Eagles can afford to lose this game and still clinch the division with a win over the Dallas Cowboys next week. That could have them not even showing up knowing that next week
|12-22-13||Arizona Cardinals +10.5 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||17-10||Win||100||61 h 23 m||Show|
25* NFL GAME OF THE YEAR on Arizona Cardinals +10.5
The Arizona Cardinals are still getting no respect. They are 40/1 to win the NFC and 75/1 to win the Super Bowl. Sure, they have to win out and get some help to make the playoffs, but this is a team that deserves more respect than they are getting. They could finish with 11 wins and not make the postseason, and I believe they are under the radar because they aren't considered a playoff team due to their situation in the stacked NFC.
The Cardinals will want revenge not only from their 22-34 home loss to the Seahawks earlier this season, but from their 0-58 loss in Seattle last year en route to losing 11 of their final 12 games. However, this team has done a complete 180 in 2013 and has finished the season playing its best football of the year.
Since the loss to Seattle, Arizona has won six of its last seven games overall with its only loss coming as a 3.5-point underdog at Philadelphia by a final of 21-24. Carson Palmer's 106.0 passer rating is among the NFL's best during this stretch. He has made a huge difference on this team by giving head coach Bruce Arians a legitimate passing attack to work with.
However, it's the Arizona defense that really has me believing they can not only stay with Seattle, but possibly put an end to the Seahawks' home winning streak. The Cardinals rank 7th in total defense, 8th in scoring defense, 1st in rushing yards allowed per game, 2nd in rushing yards allowed per play, 5th in passing yards allowed per play, 7th in opponent passer rating, T-7th in sacks, 4th in takeaways and 5th in interceptions.
As you can see by these impressive stats, this is a defense that will keep you in the game. That's why the Cardinals went out and signed Palmer because he was the missing link. The organization knew they had a top-notch defense, but Palmer has made a huge difference in giving the Cardinals their first winning season since 2009. Malcolm Floyd and Larry Fitzgerald have benefited from a passing game that the Cardinals have not seen since Kurt Warner was here.
There's no question that Seattle is one of the best teams in the league, but it is getting too much respect here. The books are putting too much stock in the Seahawks' 23-0 win over the New York Giants last week. The Giants have clearly quit on the season. While this is a must-win situation for Arizona, Seattle knows that it can afford to lose this game and then beat St. Louis at home next week to secure the No. 1 seed and home-field advantage in the NFC. There's no question in my mind that Arizona wants this game more, and that will show on the field Sunday.
Plays against favorites of 10.5 or more points (SEATTLE) - outgaining their opponents by 1.75 or more passing yards/attempt, after allowing 5.5 or less passing yards/attempt in 2 straight games are 38-12 (76%) ATS since 1983. The Cardinals are 39-17 ATS vs. good teams who outscore their opponents by 6-plus points per game since 1992. Arizona is 37-21 ATS revenging a same season loss vs. opponent since 1992. The Cardinals are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 games overall. Bet Arizona Sunday.
|12-22-13||Tennessee Titans v. Jacksonville Jaguars +5||20-16||Win||100||38 h 59 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Jacksonville Jaguars +5
It has been fun to watch the way that the Jaguars have rallied in the second half of the season after a winless first half. They have won four of their last six games overall with victories at Tennessee, Houston and Cleveland, as well as a home triumph over the Texans. They did play pretty well last week given the circumstances, but lost 20-27 to Buffalo due to committing four turnovers to give the game away.
Chad Henne has played well at quarterback, and the defense has improved under the defensive-minded Gus Bradley as the season has gone on. Henne is completing 60.0 percent of his passes for 2,673 yards and 10 touchdowns on the season. Jordan Todman played well in place of an injured Maurice Jones-Drew last week, rushing for 109 yards on 25 carries to give the offense some nice balance. In fact, the Jaguars have rushed for 112 or more yards in four straight games to take some of the pressure off of Henne.
Tennessee has completely fallen apart down the stretch, losing five of its last six games overall to take itself right out of the playoffs. Now, officially eliminated from the playoffs after last week
|12-22-13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5 v. St. Louis Rams||13-23||Loss||-110||38 h 59 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +4.5
After an 0-8 start where nothing went right and they lost every close game, the Buccaneers have really showed some pride in the second half of the season. This team has been given the toughest schedule in the league, having to play Carolina and New Orleans twice, while also having to go up against the entire NFC West division. They have been done no favors from the schedule makers, which clearly has them battle-tested heading into the final two games of the season.
Tampa Bay has gone a very profitable 5-2 against the spread in its last seven games overall. It has beaten Miami, Atlanta, Detroit and Buffalo outright during this stretch. All three of its losses during this span have come against arguably the three best teams in the NFC in Seattle, Carolina and San Francisco. It even took the Seahawks to overtime on the road back on November 3, losing 24-27 as a 16-point underdog to rally show what it is capable of.
Given the difficult schedule, the Bucs have actually played very well defensively this season. They only give up an average of 344.5 yards per game to rank 13th in the league in total defense. The Rams have been more vulnerable on this side of the ball, ranking 21st in total defense at 362.9 yards per game. They aren
|12-22-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Kansas City Chiefs UNDER 45.5||Top||23-7||Win||100||38 h 58 m||Show|
20* NFL TOTAL OF THE WEEK on Colts/Chiefs UNDER 45.5
The books have set the bar too high in this game between the Indianapolis Colts and Kansas City Chiefs in Week 16. To be fair, they had it right when they opened it at 41.5, but they have been forced to move it a full four points to 45.5 in some places due to so much action on the over. This has created a ton of line value for us to swoop in and catch the UNDER at a great number.
I believe this line is an overreaction from Kansas City's huge point totals over the past two weeks against Washington and Oakland on the road. Those are two terrible defenses, and both the Redskins and Raiders gave the Chiefs a bunch of cheap points. Now, they'll be up against a playoff team, and the Colts aren't about to give them easy scores Sunday.
Kansas City ranks 4th in the league in scoring defense at 18.2 points per game, while Indianapolis is a respectable 12th at 22.8 points per game. I look for both defenses to have their way with two below-average offenses this week. The Colts rank 22nd in total offense at 337.3 yards per game, and they just haven't been the same since losing Reggie Wayne. The Chiefs rank 17th in total offense at 341.3 yards per game.
Plays on the UNDER on all teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 points (KANSAS CITY) - after a game where they forced 3 or more turnovers against opponent after 4 consecutive games where they committed 1 or less turnovers are 23-6 (79.3%) since 1983. Kansas City is 6-0 to the UNDER when playing against a team with a winning percentage from 60% to 75% in the second half of the season over the past three seasons. Take the UNDER in this game Sunday.
|12-21-13||Buffalo v. San Diego State -1||24-49||Win||100||44 h 39 m||Show|
15* Buffalo/SDSU Potato Bowl No-Doubt Rout on San Diego State -1
The books really missed their mark in this game when they opened Buffalo as a 3.5-point favorite over San Diego State. There is a reason this line has moved to the Aztecs actually being the favorite, and it's a good reason at that. I am going to side with this line movement in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday.
San Diego State played a brutal schedule this season and has shown me enough to know that it is every bit as good as its 7-5 record, and probably better. It has had to face the likes of Ohio State, Oregon State, Fresno State, San Jose State and Boise State this season.
The Aztecs held their own against four of those teams, beating both San Jose State (34-30) as a 6.5-point dog and Boise State (34-31) as a 6-point dog. They only lost to Oregon State (30-34) as a 6.5-point dog and Fresno State (28-35) as a 6.5-point dog. Those four performances right there show me that this team is for real.
Buffalo did not beat anyone of any significance all season. The Bulls' eight wins came against Stony Brook, UConn, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, UMass, Kent State, Ohio and Miami (Ohio). Only one of those eight teams will be going to a bowl game, and that is Ohio. The Bobcats barely made it into a bowl game at that.
In their four toughest games of the season, they were thoroughly outmatched. The Bulls lost to Ohio State (20-40), Baylor (13-70), Bowling Green (7-24) and Toledo (41-51) in a game that was a bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. Buffalo trailed 38-0 before scoring 41 points all in the second half in garbage time.
The Bulls rely heavily on running back Branden Oliver to carry their offense. Well, Oliver averaged no more than 2.8 yards per carry in each of the team's losses to Ohio State, Baylor and Bowling Green. He was held to a combined 151 yards on 57 carries against those three teams for an average of 2.6 yards per carry.
Things won't get any easier for Oliver against San Diego State's stout run defense. The Aztecs rank 21st in the country against the run, giving up just 132.9 yards per game and 3.7 per carry. That's impressive when you consider that the 12 opponents they have faced average 187 yards per game and 4.6 per carry on the season.
San Diego State is 19-8 ATS in its last 27 road games following a road loss. The Aztecs are 4-1 ATS in their last five games after allowing more than 40 points in their previous game. The Bulls are 1-5 ATS in their last six games vs. a team with a winning record. Buffalo is 5-11 ATS in its last 16 non-conference games. Roll with San Diego State in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Saturday.
|12-21-13||USC v. Fresno State +6.5||Top||45-20||Loss||-110||41 h 29 m||Show|
20* Fresno State/USC Las Vegas Bowl ANNIHILATOR on Fresno State +6.5
Sure, Fresno State had its BCS Bowl hopes crushed with a loss to San Jose State in the regular season finale. However, if they were going to pack it in, they wouldn't hav ecome back the next week and beaten a very good Utah State team 24-17 in the Mountain West Championship.
"Any time Fresno State gets a chance to play against BCS teams like USC we get up for it and our fan base gets up for it," coach Tim DeRuyter said. I believe him, and I look for the Bulldogs to be fully engaged in this one to show what they can do against a BCS opponent like USC.
The same cannot be said for the Trojans, who will be playing under a third different head coach in this game. Ed Orgeron did a tremendous job in bringing this team back from the dead, but once he learned it wasn't enough to get the job next year, he decided to step down.
That leaves offensive coordinator Clay Helton to lead the Trojans in Las Vegas before Steve Sarkisian takes over next year. These players won't even want to show up for this game with all they have been through. That's especially the case for those players who will be playing under Sarkisian next year.
Fresno State boasts the nation's top-ranked passing attack at 411 yards per game, and the fifth-ranked scoring offense at 45.3 points per game. Derek Carr leads the nation with 4,866 passing yards to go along with 48 touchdowns against a mere seven interceptions. Davonte Adams has caught 122 balls for 1,645 yards and 23 scores.
USC is 0-7 ATS in road games after failing to cover the spread in two out of their last three games over the last 2 seasons. The Trojans are 1-7 ATS in their last eight non-conference games. USC is 2-6 ATS In its last eight games following a double-digit home loss. Bet Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl Saturday.
|12-21-13||Colorado State v. Washington State OVER 66||48-45||Win||100||40 h 59 m||Show|
15* Colorado State/Washington State Bowl Season Opener on OVER 66
What a game the bowl committee has chosen to lead off the 2013 bowl season. I expect plenty of offensive fireworks in this New Mexico Bowl showdown between Colorado State and Washington State. The books have not set this total high enough.
These are two of the most explosive offensive teams in the land. Colorado State ranks 29th in the country in total offense at 462.1 yards per game, while Washington State ranks 54th in total offense at 423.2 yards per game against what USA Today called the toughest schedule in the nation.
It's clear that neither team has been able to stop anyone with any consistency this year. The Cougars rank 99th in total defense at 446.7 yards per game allowed, while the Rams rank 78th in total defense, giving up 417.6 yards per game.
The key here is that both team's offensive strengths should have their way with the opposing defense's weaknesses. Washington State ranks 4th in passing offense at 364.5 yards per game, and Colorado State ranks 99th against the pass at 265.4 yards per game. The Rams rank 31st in rushing offense at 202.7 yards per game, and the Cougars rank 78th in rushing defense at 184.0 yards per game.
Jim McElwain is 8-1 to the OVER in road games played on turf as the coach of Colorado State. Mike Leach is 23-6 to the OVER versus excellent offensive teams who average 6.25 or more yards per play in all games he has coached. Leach is 7-0 to the OVER in road games off three or more consecutive ATS wins in all games he has coached. Take the OVER in the New Mexico Bowl Saturday.
|12-16-13||Baltimore Ravens +7 v. Detroit Lions||Top||18-16||Win||100||10 h 35 m||Show|
20* Ravens/Lions ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Baltimore +7
The Baltimore Ravens come in playing their best football of the season. They have won three straight and four of their last five to put themselves in prime position to make the playoffs. Their only loss during this stretch came at Chicago as a 3.5-point underdog by a final of 20-23 in overtime. They now control their own destiny in the AFC Wild Card race, knowing that if they win out they will be in the playoffs. They also still have a chance to catch Cincinnati for the AFC North Title.
Baltimore has played in so many close games this season that this 7-point spread is simply too much to pass up the underdog Ravens. Indeed, nine of the Ravens
|12-15-13||Green Bay Packers v. Dallas Cowboys OVER 48||Top||37-36||Win||100||44 h 24 m||Show|
25* NFL TOTAL OF THE YEAR on Packers/Cowboys OVER 48
The books have set the bar too low in this contest between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys. These are two of the worst defenses in the NFL, and playing in perfect conditions in the dome at Cowboys Stadium, I fully expect both offenses to light up the scoreboard.
The Cowboys give up 26.8 points and 426.8 yards per game to rank last in the league in total defense. They should never have gotten rid of Rex Ryan, but once again injuries have decimated them on this side of the football.
Green Bay hasn't been much better, giving up 25.1 points and 369.4 yards per game to rank 21st in the league in total defense. The Packers have been at their worst on this side of the ball on the road, yielding 30.5 pints and 381 yards per game away from home.
Both offenses have played well this season. Dallas ranks 3rd in the league in scoring offense at 27.5 points per game. It is putting up 34.0 points per game at home this season. Green Bay ranks 12th in scoring offense (24.3 points/game) and 5th in total offense (394.5 yards/game).
The OVER is 5-1 in Dallas' last six games overall. Five of those six games have seen 50 or more combined points, and all four games that were played in a dome went OVER the total. Green Bay has combined with two of its last three opponents for 50 or more points.
This has been a very high-scoring series in year's past. The OVER is 11-3 in the last 14 meetings overall. The OVER is 8-1 in the last nine meetings in offense-friendly Dallas dating back to 1993. Six of those nine meetings have seen 50 or more combined points. Bet the OVER in this game Sunday.
|12-15-13||Arizona Cardinals -2.5 v. Tennessee Titans||Top||37-34||Win||100||28 h 48 m||Show|
20* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Arizona Cardinals -2.5
The Arizona Cardinals have been one of the most underrated teams in the league all season. Once again, they are not getting the respect they deserve as only a 2.5-point road favorite at Tennessee in Week 15 Sunday.
The Cardinals have gone 5-1 straight up and 5-1 against the spread in their last six games overall. Their only loss during this stretch came by a final of 21-24 as a 3.5-point dog at Philadelphia, which might be the only team that is playing better football than the Cardinals right now. Four of Arizona's five wins during this stretch have come by 13 points or more.
While Arizona has a lot to play for as it trails San Francisco and Carolina by one game for the final Wild Card spot, Tennessee has nothing to play for. The Titans have lost four of their last five games overall, including a 28-51 setback at Denver last week. They now have no chance to make the playoffs. It's going to be hard for them to get back up off the mat after last week's beat down knowing there's no reason to.
Arizona has one of the best stop units in the league. It is giving up just 19.8 points and 311.7 yards per game to rank 5th in the league in total defense. Tennessee will have a hard time doing much of anything offensively. The Titans rank 20th in the league in total offense at 328.7 yards per game.
While the defense has been dynamite for the Cardinals, the offense has been equally as important to the turnaround this season. Carson Palmer has completed a league-high 70.4 percent of his passes for an average of 326.0 yards with eight touchdowns and two interceptions over the past four weeks. He has two dynamic receivers in Michael Floyd (57 receptions, 899 yards, 4 TD) and Larry Fitzgerald (67, 774, 10 TD), who have both benefited from Palmer signing with the team.
The Cardinals are 6-0 ATS vs. poor passing defenses that allow a completion percentage of 61% or worse this season. Tennessee is 0-7 ATS when playing against a team with a winning record in the second half of the season over the last three seasons. The Cardinals are 6-0 ATS in their last six road games vs. a team with a losing home record. The Titans are 0-4 ATS in their last four home games. These four trends combine for a perfect 23-0 system backing Arizona. Take the Cardinals Sunday.
|12-15-13||Green Bay Packers +7 v. Dallas Cowboys||37-36||Win||100||28 h 48 m||Show|
15* Packers/Cowboys Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Green Bay +7
The Packers picked up a huge 22-21 win over Atlanta last week to keep their playoff hopes alive. They remain just a half-game back of the Detroit Lions and Chicago Bears for first place in the NFC North, so they are very much still in this thing. That was a win they desperately needed, and one that they can build off of. Matt Flynn has played well in place of Aaron Rodgers, and he should be looking forward to the opportunity of facing this soft Dallas defense Sunday.
The Cowboys are reeling off a 28-45 loss to Chicago on ESPN
|12-15-13||Philadelphia Eagles -5 v. Minnesota Vikings||30-48||Loss||-110||24 h 23 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Afternoon Line Mistake on Philadelphia Eagles -5
The Eagles are one of the hottest teams in the entire league. They have won five straight while going 4-1 against the spread in the process with their only non-cover coming in a 24-21 home win over Arizona as a 3.5-point favorite. That victory has proven to be a pretty impressive one considering how well the Cardinals have been playing of late. The Eagles also have wins over playoff contenders in Green Bay (27-13) and Detroit (34-20) during this stretch.
|12-15-13||Washington Redskins +7 v. Atlanta Falcons||26-27||Win||100||24 h 23 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Washington Redskins +7
The Redskins could not be viewed any worse in the eyes of the betting public right now. After five straight non-covers, oddsmakers have really had to adjust the power ranking on this team. It is at an all-time low dating back to the beginning of last season, so there will be some value with this team going forward. After getting embarrassed by Kansas City last week, I look for the Redskins to come back and show tremendous pride this week and to lay it all on the line.
Atlanta has to be pretty demoralized after losing two of its last three games by a combined five points. It
|12-14-13||Army +13 v. Navy||Top||7-34||Loss||-105||96 h 31 m||Show|
20* Army/Navy Rivalry GAME OF THE MONTH on Army +13
|12-12-13||San Diego Chargers +10.5 v. Denver Broncos||Top||27-20||Win||100||53 h 7 m||Show|
20* Chargers/Broncos AFC West ANNIHILATOR on San Diego +10.5
The Chargers are right in the thick of the AFC Wild Card race, but they really cannot afford to lose another game if they want to make it into the playoffs. They trail both Baltimore and Miami by just one game for the 6th and final seed in the AFC. They
|12-09-13||Dallas Cowboys v. Chicago Bears +1.5||Top||28-45||Win||100||10 h 40 m||Show|
20* Cowboys/Bears ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Chicago +1.5
The Bears are essentially in a must-win situation Monday as they trail the Detroit Lions by two games for first place in the NFC North. That
|12-08-13||Carolina Panthers v. New Orleans Saints -3||Top||13-31||Win||100||51 h 10 m||Show|
20* Panthers/Saints NBC Sunday Night BAILOUT on New Orleans -3
Rarely will you ever get the opportunity to back the New Orleans Saints as a favorite by a field goal or less at home. I'm going to take full advantage and back the Saints Sunday as they host the Carolina Panthers with first place in the NFC South on the line.
The reason this line has been set so low is a combination of the Saints looking horrible at Seattle on Monday Night Football, and the Panthers coming in on an eight-game winning streak. These two factors have created some excellent line value for us, and we'll take advantage.
The Saints haven't lost consecutive games in a single regular season under coach Sean Payton since 2009. They are 8-1 ATS in home games following one or more consecutive losses over the past three seasons. Payton is 15-4 ATS off a road loss as the coach of New Orleans.
Simply put, New Orleans does not lose at home. It is a perfect 6-0 straight up and 5-1 against the spread at home this season, outscoring opponents 33.2 to 15.8, or by an average of 17.4 points per game. Their only non-cover came in a 23-20 win over the 49ers as a 3.5-point favorite in a game that was a much bigger blowout than the final score would indicate. The Saints outgianed the 49ers 387-196 for the game.
New Orleans is a ridiculous 17-4 ATS as a home favorite over the past three seasons, winning by an average of 16.8 points per game in this spot. The Saints are 12-2 ATS as a home favorite of 7 points or less over the last three seasons. New Orleans is 21-6 ATS in its last 27 home games overall. Bet the Saints Sunday.
|12-08-13||St. Louis Rams v. Arizona Cardinals -6||10-30||Win||100||47 h 4 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on Arizona Cardinals -6
The Arizona Cardinals have been one of the best teams in the league over the past five weeks. They have gone 4-1 straight up and 4-1 against the spread during this stretch to put themselves right in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race. They have been dominant in their last five contests, outgaining all five of their opponents by 43 or more yards. Their only loss during this stretch came at Philadelphia by a final of 21-24 last week.
While the Cardinals have a realistic shot to make the playoffs, the Rams really do not. They have lost four of their last six games coming in to drop to 5-7 on the season. They needed to make their stand last week, but fell flat on their faces in a 13-23 loss at San Francisco. The reason that loss was so huge is because the 49ers are the team they are trailing for the 6th and final seed in the NFC. St. Louis trails San Francisco by three games, but that
|12-08-13||Seattle Seahawks v. San Francisco 49ers -2.5||Top||17-19||Loss||-110||47 h 3 m||Show|
20* Seahawks/49ers NFC Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on San Francisco -2.5
This is a statement game for the San Francisco 49ers. They were embarrassed by a final of 29-3 at Seattle in their first meeting this season for their second straight blowout at the hands of the Seahawks on the road. It's revenge time for the 49ers.
San Francisco simply needs this win more. It is barely hanging on to the 6th seed in the NFC and needs to come close to winning out to make the playoffs. It also needs the win for a shot of confidence, proving to itself that it can beat a good team.
Seattle is in a huge letdown spot here off its biggest win of the season. It blew out the New Orleans Saints on ESPN's Monday Night Football by a final of 34-7 to all but wrap up home-field advantage in the playoffs. Having already beaten the Saints (9-3) and Panthers (9-3), the Seahawks (11-1) now hold a three-game lead over both teams since they own the tiebreaker.
Seattle can afford to lose two more games this season and still get the No. 1 seed. Plus, coming off a Monday Night game, the Seahawks will now have one fewer day to prepare for San Francisco. They are outscoring opponents by 10.0 points per game less on the road than they are at home this year.
"Any time you play a team and you lose, the next time you face them is definitely a statement game," San Francisco tight end Vernon Davis said. "Not just for us, but for anybody."
San Francisco is a perfect 9-0 ATS when playing against a top-level team with a winning percentage of 75% or better over the past three seasons. Seattle is 5-18 ATS off a home blowout win by 21 or more points since 1992. The 49ers are 7-1 ATS in their last 8 games after allowing less than 15 points in their previous game. San Francisco is 34-16-1 ATS in its last 51 games overall, and 19-8-1 ATS in its last 28 home games. Take the 49ers Sunday.
|12-08-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Cincinnati Bengals -6.5||28-42||Win||100||44 h 39 m||Show|
15* AFC Sunday PLAY OF THE DAY on Cincinnati Bengals -6.5
The Cincinnati Bengals have been one of the best teams in the AFC in 2013. Their numbers really show their dominance as well. They are putting up 24.3 points and 363.7 yards per game to rank 12th in the league in total offense. They are giving up just 18.0 points and 314.8 yards per game to rank 6th in the league in total defense. As you can see, they are outgaining opponents by roughly 49 yards per game, which is the sign of a dominant team.
While Cincinnati has been every bit as good as its record, Indianapolis has been a complete fraud. The Colts have managed to go 8-4 this season despite getting outgained by roughly 34 yards per game on the season. They really miss Reggie Wayne, and they simply have been fortunate to win their share of close games to this point. Indianapolis ranks 20th in the league in total offense at 333.5 yards per game, and 21st in total defense at 367.2 yards per contest.
Home-field advantage has been absolutely huge in this series between Cincinnati and Indianapolis. In fact, the home team has won four straight meetings all by six points or more. Dating back further, the home team has won seven of the past eight meetings with all seven of those wins coming by six points or more as well. The Bengals are a perfect 5-0 straight up and 5-0 against the spread at home this season, outscoring opponents by a whopping 16.4 points per game.
Andrew Luck is being asked to do too much. Any time you take a dome team like the Colts and move them outside, you have to be concerned. Luck has thrown 18 touchdowns against 14 interceptions outdoors in his career. Away from Indianapolis, Luck has thrown 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. He has only played in one game where it was less than 40 degrees out, and he completed less than 50 percent of his passes. Luck is much better in warmer weather dating back to his time at Stanford.
Darrius Heyward-Bey hasn't been able to fill in for Wayne as he continues to have problems with the drops. Rookie left guard Hugh Thornton and tackle Jeffrey Linkenbach II are both questionable to play Sunday. The Colts were already without guard Donald Thomas for the season, so they are clearly banged up along the offensive line.
The strength of the Bengals' defense is their front seven, and I look for them to dominate the point of attack in this one. The Bengals only allowed San Diego into the red zone once in 11 drives last week, forcing a fumble. They won 17-10 in a game that was an even bigger blowout than the final score would indicate.
|12-08-13||Buffalo Bills +3 v. Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6-27||Loss||-120||44 h 38 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Non-Conference KNOCKOUT on Buffalo Bills +3
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are getting too much respect from the books as a field goal favorite over the Buffalo Bills Sunday. The Bucs have won three of their last four games overall, but had a couple of those games handed to them. Their true colors showed in a 6-27 loss at Carolina last week.
The Bucs' win over the Dolphins was legit, but their wins over the Falcons and Lions were not. Tampa was +8 in turnover differential against the Lions and Falcons combined. They were outgained by Detroit 229-391 and should have never won that game. They weren't as fortunate against the Panthers, getting outgained 204-426 in their 21-point loss last week.
Now, the momentum that Tampa Bay had built up has come to a complete halt, yet they are still getting respect from the books. Buffalo is one of the best teams in the league that has a losing record. They are much better than their 4-8 mark would indicate, but seven of their eight losses have come after blown leads in the game.
Tampa Bay is only putting up 295.2 yards per game to rank 31st in the league in total offense. It is getting outgained by an average of 57.5 yards per game, so it is every bit as bad as its 3-9 record would indicate. Buffalo is only getting outgained by 16.9 yards per game, which is very impressive when you consider that it has played a quarterback carousel all season.
However, E.J. Manuel is finally healthy and ready to lead this team to a big finish. Manuel has thrown for 1,595 yards with nine touchdowns and four interceptions, while also rushing for 120 yards and a score. He has clearly been their best quarterback. C.J. Spiller (656 yards, 2 TD) and Fred Jackson (633 yards, 7 TD) form a great 1-2 punch in the backfield, and they lead the league's fourth-best rushing attack at 139.2 yards per game.
The Bucs have allowed 104 or more rushing yards in five of their last six games overall. That includes 198 yards to Seattle, 152 to Atlanta and 163 to Carolina. Clearly, the Bills have an excellent chance to move the ball on the ground in this one to take some of the pressure off of Manuel. Another key fact is that the Bills are still alive for the playoffs, while the Bucs are not. So, you can expect Buffalo to fight until the finish line.
Plays against home teams where the line is +3 to -3 (TAMPA BAY) - after scoring 14 points or less last game are 82-46 (64.1%) ATS over the last five seasons. Tampa Bay is 0-8 ATS when playing against a bad team (winning percentage of 25% to 40%) over the last three seasons. It is losing by an average of 17.1 points per game in this spot.
The Bucs are 1-9 ATS in their last 10 December games. Buffalo is 14-4 ATS in its last 18 road games after failing to cover the spread in four of its last five games. The Bills are 7-2 ATS in their last nine games following a loss. Tampa Bay is 12-28-1 ATS in its last 41 home games. Roll with the Bills Sunday.
|12-07-13||UL-Lafayette v. South Alabama -3||Top||8-30||Win||100||49 h 3 m||Show|
20* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on South Alabama -3
The South Alabama Jaguars are one of the most underrated teams in the country. They should be a much heavier favorite Saturday at home against the Louisiana-Lafayette Rajin' Cajuns. However, this team continues to get disrespected by the books, while the Rajin' Cajuns continue to get too much respect.
The situation really favors South Alabama in this one. It will be playing to become bowl eligible and to pick up its all-important 6th win of the season. Meanwhile, Louisiana-Lafayette has already wrapped up the Sun Belt Title due to its head-to-head victory over Arkansas State. Plus, it has already been decided that Lafayette will play in the New Orleans Bowl against Tulane, so its fate is already decided. The Rajin' Cajuns will have a hard time being motivated for this game given the situation.
Lafayette really hasn't been playing well for weeks. It has gone 0-4 ATS in its last four games overall heading in. It beat New Mexico State (49-35) as a 32.5-point favorite, beat Troy (41-36) as a 14-point favorite, beat Georgia State (35-21) as a 20.5-point favorite, and lost at home to Louisiana-Monroe (28-31) as an 18-point favorite.
South Alabama has saved its best football of the season for laste. It is coming off back-to-back blowout victories with a 36-14 home win over Louisiana-Monroe as a 3.5-point favorite, and a 38-17 win at Georgia State as an 8-point favorite. The Jaguars outgained the Warhawks 424-274 in their home win, and outgained the Panthers 522-345 in their road victory. Those two wins have put them in position to become bowl eligible Saturday with another victory.
Even if Lafayette was fully healthy, I believe this line would be off. However, the Rajin' Cajuns are expected to be without starting quarterback Terrance Broadway Saturday, who is listed as doubtful with a wrist injury. That would be a huge loss considering Broadway is completing 62.3 percent of his passes for 2,276 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions, while also rushing for 421 yards and eight scores. Without his dual-threat ability, the Rajin' Cajuns will be much easier to defend.
The Rajin' Cajuns are 0-5 ATS in their last five games vs. a team with a losing record. The Jaguars are 5-1 ATS in their last six games following a S.U. win. South Alabama is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games after allowing more than 280 passing yards in its previous game. The Jaguars are 4-0 ATS in their last four games after allowing less than 100 yards rushing in their previous game. These four trends combine for a 20-2 system backing the Jaguars. Bet South Alabama Saturday.
|12-07-13||Stanford v. Arizona State -3||38-14||Loss||-105||49 h 51 m||Show|
15* Stanford/ASU Pac-12 Championship ANNIHILATOR on Arizona State -3
The Arizona State Sun Devils have put together a tremendous run to make the Pac-12 Title Game and to host it as well. They have won seven straight games coming in, which includes road wins at Utah and UCLA, and blowout home wins over the likes of Washington (53-24), Oregon State (30-17) and Arizona (58-21). When you compare common opponents, it
|12-07-13||Marshall v. Rice +6.5||Top||24-41||Win||100||41 h 7 m||Show|
25* Conference Championship GAME OF THE YEAR on Rice +6.5
The public perception of Marshall right now is at an all-time high, while the public perception of Rice is certainly wavering. That
|12-07-13||Oklahoma +10 v. Oklahoma State||33-24||Win||100||41 h 6 m||Show|
15* Oklahoma/Oky State Big 12 No-Brainer on Oklahoma +10
This is a rivalry game, and Oklahoma would love nothing more than to spoil Oklahoma State
|12-06-13||Bowling Green +5 v. Northern Illinois||47-27||Win||100||44 h 46 m||Show|
15* Bowling Green/Northern Illinois MAC Championship No-Brainer on Bowling Green +5
The Bowling Green Falcons could be the toughest team that Northern Illinois has faced all season. This is a team that could easily be 11-1 right now if not for losses to Toledo and Mississippi State by a combined four points. This team is the real deal and playing its best football of the season coming in. It has gone 4-0 straight up and 4-0 against the spread in its last four games overall, which is what it took to get a trip to the MAC Championship Game in Detroit.
Not only have the Falcons been winning, they
|12-05-13||Houston Texans -3 v. Jacksonville Jaguars||20-27||Loss||-124||21 h 10 m||Show|
15* Texans/Jaguars AFC South ANNIHILATOR on Houston -3
The Texans might be the best 2-10 team in the history of the NFL. If you looked at all of their statistics and not their record, you would think that this is a playoff team. The Texans rank 3rd in the league in total defense at 303.9 yards per game allowed, and 10th in total offense at 365.2 yards per game gained. The problem is that the Texans have lost seven games by a touchdown or less, so they simply haven
|12-05-13||Louisville v. Cincinnati +3.5||Top||31-24||Loss||-110||20 h 15 m||Show|
20* Louisville/Cincinnati ESPN Thursday No-Brainer on Cincinnati +3.5
The Bearcats have saved their best football of the season for last. They have won six straight games coming in with four of those victories coming by double-digits. They now still have a shot to win the American Athletic with some help from SMU this weekend, which would put them in a BCS Bowl. No matter what Louisville does, it won
|12-02-13||New Orleans Saints +6 v. Seattle Seahawks||Top||7-34||Loss||-115||112 h 15 m||Show|
25* Monday Night Football GAME OF THE YEAR on New Orleans Saints +6
The Saints are well-rested coming into this one. They played last Thursday in a hard-fought win at Atlanta, which is a big division rival and a solid win no matter how poor the Falcons have been this season. Getting that extra rest negates most of the advantage that the Seahawks would have had coming off their bye week. I believe the rest factor is probably a non-issue because of this.
New Orleans is playing its best football of the season heading into this contest. It is coming off three straight victories, including home wins over both the Dallas Cowboys (49-17) and San Francisco 49ers (23-20). Sure, the Saints do have two road losses, but they essentially gave both of those games away in setbacks against New England (27-30) and New York (20-26). The Patriots scored the game-winner with five seconds left, while the Jets managed to win despite getting outgained 407-338 for the game.
Looking at the numbers, it
|12-01-13||St. Louis Rams +9 v. San Francisco 49ers||13-23||Loss||-110||84 h 40 m||Show|
15* Rams/49ers Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on St. Louis +9
The Rams have fought back to put themselves in position to pull within one game of the 49ers for the 6th and final wild card spot in the NFC. You know they will be laying it all on the field Sunday with their season essentially on the line in this one. That
|12-01-13||Tennessee Titans +4.5 v. Indianapolis Colts||14-22||Loss||-110||81 h 36 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday Undervalued Underdog on Tennessee Titans +4.5
If the season were to end today, the Tennessee Titans would be in the playoffs. They clearly have a lot to play for the rest of the way, and would love nothing more than to pull within one game of Indianapolis for first place in the AFC South. That
|12-01-13||Jacksonville Jaguars +7 v. Cleveland Browns||Top||32-28||Win||100||81 h 35 m||Show|
20* AFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Jacksonville Jaguars +7
The Jaguars are playing their best football of the season of late. They have also played their best football on the road this year. They are 2-0 straight up and 2-0 against the spread in their last two road games, beating Tennessee (29-27) as an 11.5-point underdog, while also topping Houston (13-6) outright as a 10.5-point dog. The betting public wants nothing to do with this team, and as a result their lines have been inflated.
Asking the Browns to lay a touchdown to any team is asking a lot. That
|12-01-13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8.5 v. Carolina Panthers||Top||6-27||Loss||-108||81 h 35 m||Show|
25* NFL Situational GAME OF THE YEAR on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +8.5
This is a great spot to fade the Carolina Panthers. They overcame a double-digit deficit last week in a big letdown spot against the Dolphins to win by a final of 20-16. If they would have lost that game, they would have come back focused.
Now, I fully expect them to have a mental lapse this week considering they have their biggest game of the season on deck next week against the New Orleans Saints. They will be overlooking the Buccaneers in this one, allowing Tampa to not only stay within the spread, but likely win this game outright.
Overlooking the Bucs has been a trend for every team they have faced over the past three weeks. They have rolled off three straight victories over the Dolphins (22-19), Falcons (41-28) and Lions (24-21). However, their solid play started a week before this winning streak started in a 24-27 overtime loss at Seattle as a 16-point underdog.
Tampa Bay might be the most underrated team in the league right now. Its 0-8 start was an absolute fluke as it found a way to lose several close games, including setbacks against the Jets (17-18), Saints (14-16) and Cardinals (10-13). Five of its eight losses this season have come by 8 points or less.
The biggest reason for the Bucs turnaround has been the play of quarterback Mike Glennon, who is completing 62.5 percent of his passes for 1,782 yards with 13 touchdowns and four interceptions on the season. In his last six starts, Glennon has thrown nine touchdowns against only one interception. His only poor start came back in his first start of the season in Week 4 against the Cardinals.
Carolina only averages 317.9 yards per game to rank 26th in the league in total offense. It relies heavily on its running game, which ranks 9th in the league at 126.3 yards per game. Well, the Bucs have the perfect antidote, boasting a run defense that ranks 9th in the league at 101.6 yards per game. The key to slowing down the Panthers is stopping their running game, and the Bucs have the personnel to do it, especially with the likely return of linebacker Mason Foster (shoulder) this week.
Having already beaten the Bucs earlier this season in their first meeting, and with the Saints on deck, it's only human nature for the Panthers to not bring their full focus to the field Sunday. This team was way undervalued midseason due to a slow start, but after seven straight victories, the Panthers are now overrated, and that is reflected in this line. We'll take advantage.
The Buccaneers are 5-0-1 against the spread in their last six games following a win. Tampa Bay is 6-1 against the number in its last seven games vs. at team with a winning record, time and time again stepping up its game when playing what is perceived to be a superior team. The Buccaneers are also 19-7 against the number in their last 26 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Tampa Bay is 9-4 against the spread in its last 13 road games overall. Take the Buccaneers Sunday.
|12-01-13||Miami Dolphins v. NY Jets -121||23-3||Loss||-121||81 h 35 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on New York Jets Money Line (-121)
The Jets will certainly be motivated for a win Sunday following back-to-back blowout road losses where they simply gave the games away by committing a combined seven turnovers. The good news is that the Jets are still tied for the 6th and final playoff spot in the AFC, so they still have a ton to play for. Even better news is the fact that they will be returning home, which is where they have clearly played their best football of the season.
Indeed, New York is 4-1 straight up and 4-1 against the spread at home this season. It has beaten some very good teams at home, too. The Jets beat the New England Patriots by a final of 30-27 at MetLife Stadium back on October 20. They also knocked off the New Orleans Saints at home by a final of 26-20 on November 3. With how well they have played at home, getting them as less than a field goal favorite is certainly be a gift from oddsmakers.
Both teams are pretty evenly-matched offensively, but there
|11-30-13||UCLA v. USC -3||Top||35-14||Loss||-110||62 h 25 m||Show|
25* College Football GAME OF THE YEAR on USC -3
The USC Trojans have been revived under interim head coach Ed Orgeron. They have gone 6-1 straight up and 5-2 against the spread with Oregeron at the helm with their only loss coming at Notre Dame by a final of 10-14. They have beaten some very good teams along the way, topping Arizona (38-31), Utah (19-3) and Stanford (20-17) at home, while also going on the road and knocking off Oregon State (31-14). No team in the country wants to play this team right now.
While the Trojans come into this game with a ton of momentum, the Bruins will be in a tough state of mind following their 33-38 home loss to Arizona State last week. That game was essentially for the Pac-12 South Title, and I foresee UCLA suffering a hangover this week because of it. I also expect that USC will be motivated to avenge last year
|11-30-13||Notre Dame +16 v. Stanford||20-27||Win||100||20 h 27 m||Show|
15* Notre Dame/Stanford Rivalry Play on Notre Dame +16
This is an awfully big number for a rivalry game like this one. That
|11-30-13||Boston College v. Syracuse +3||Top||31-34||Win||100||17 h 58 m||Show|
20* ACC GAME OF THE WEEK on Syracuse +3
The Syracuse Orange have plenty of reason to be motivated for a win at home Saturday. First, they need one more win to become bowl eligible. Secondly, this is Senior Day, so they want to send their seniors out with a victory in their final home game.
Boston College is one of the most overrated teams in the country, and it should not be favored here. It is 7-4 on the season but nowhere near as good as its record. The Eagles rank 89th in the country in total offense at 370.4 yards per game, and 76th in total defense at 417.1 yards per game. As you can see, they are getting outgained by roughly 47 yards per game, which is a number more indicative of a team with a losing record than one that is 7-4.
The biggest strength of Boston College is its running game, which averaged 221 yards per game and 5.5 per carry. The biggest strength of the Syracuse defense is its ability to stop the run. The Orange rank 27th in the country against the run, giving up just 133.5 yards per game and 3.7 per carry this season.
Syracuse is 3-2 at home this season, outscoring opponents 29.8 to 16.6, or by an average of 13.2 points per game. Boston College is just 2-3 on the road this year, getting outscored 21.6 to 30.6, or by an average of 9.0 points per game. Its only wins came at Maryland (29-26) as a 2-point favorite and at New Mexico State (48-34) as a 25-point favorite.
The Orange are 18-3 against the spread in their last 21 home games after allowing 75 or less rushing yards in their previous game. The Eagles are 8-22 against the spread in their last 30 games vs. a team with a losing record. Boston College is 2-9 against the number in its last 11 road games. Syracuse is 7-2-1 against the number in its last 10 home games. Roll with Syracuse Saturday.
|11-30-13||Penn State +24.5 v. Wisconsin||31-24||Win||100||17 h 57 m||Show|
15* Penn State/Wisconsin ESPN No-Brainer on Penn State +24.5
The Wisconsin Badgers were undervalued all season up to this point. As a result, they have gone 9-1-1 against the spread in their 11 games this season. The betting public has jumped all over this team because of it, and now their numbers have been inflated over the past two weeks.
Wisconsin was overvalued as a 15.5-point favorite at Minnesota last week, winning by a final of 20-7 to miss the cover. Now, it is certainly overvalued again as a 24.5-point favorite against a quality Penn State team that will give it a run for its money.
Remember, Penn State was only a 15-point underdog at Ohio State on October 26. Now, oddsmakers are giving the Nittany Lions nearly 10 more points against Wisconsin, which lost to Ohio State. That fact alone shows you how there is a ton of value in backing the Nittany Lions in this game Saturday.
The key to stopping Wisconsin is stopping its running game. The 11 opponents that Penn State has faced this season average 179 rushing yards per game and 4.6 per carry. The Nittany Lions have held those 11 opponents to well below their season average, yielding just 146 rushing yards per game and 3.9 per carry. That shows you that Penn State is solid against the run.
Last year, Penn State beat Wisconsin by a final of 24-21 as a 1-point home favorite. It held the Badgers to just 158 rushing yards on 43 carries in the win, giving up a mere 3.7 yards per carry in the win. I don't believe there is that much difference between these teams from last year to this year, so there's no way the Badgers should be laying 24.5 points in the rematch.
Plays on road underdogs (PENN ST) - average rushing team (3.5 to 4.3 YPR) against a good rushing defense (3 to 3.5 YPR) after 7+ games, in conference games are 31-9 (66.7%) ATS over the last 10 seasons. The Nittany Lions are 7-1 against the spread in their last eight games following a S.U. loss. They have not lost two straight games this season, bouncing back from each of their first four losses with a victory in their next game. Take Penn State Saturday.
|11-30-13||Temple +9 v. Memphis||41-21||Win||100||13 h 27 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday Undervalued Underdog on Temple +9
The Temple Owls are vastly underrated due to their 1-10 record right now. I have no doubt this is much better than a 1-10 team, and they have proven it in the second half of the season by playing several very good teams close.
Since a 33-14 home win over Army on October 14, the Owls have lost each of their last four games by 10 points or fewer. They fell on the road to SMU (49-59) as a 14-point dog and at Rutgers (20-23) as an 11.5-point dog. They also lost at home to UCF (36-39) as a 17.5-point dog, and against UConn (21-28) as a 6-point favorite. They obviously should not have lost to the Huskies, outgaining them 372-235 for the game, but their three turnovers gave that game away.
The reason for the improvement of this team has been quarterback P.J. Walker, who has been an absolute playmaker for this offense since being inserted into the starting role against Louisville. Walker has completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 1,756 yards with 16 touchdowns against seven interceptions, while also rushing for 273 yards and three scores. His dual-threat ability adds a dimension to this offense that it did not have before. The Owls are 6-1 ATS with Walker as their starter.
Memphis has no business being more than a touchdown favorite here. While it has some solid performances against good teams like Temple does, the fact of the matter is that its only three wins this season have come against Arkansas State, Tennessee-Martin and South Florida. Off a heartbreaking loss to Louisville last week by a touchdown, the Tigers could easily suffer a hangover effect this week, which was similar to what Temple suffered last week in a loss to UConn after falling to UCF by a field goal the previous week.
Temple is 8-0 against the spread in its last eight games following two straight games with 40 or more pass attempts. The Owls are 7-1 against the number as an underdog this season. Memphis is 5-11 against the spread in its last 16 home games vs. a team with a losing road record. Bet Temple Saturday.
|11-29-13||South Florida +27 v. Central Florida||20-23||Win||100||12 h 37 m||Show|
15* South Florida/UCF ESPN No-Brainer on South Florida +27
The Central Florida Knights are way overvalued right now due to their 9-1 start. The betting public has been all over them of late, which has inflated this number. At 2-8 on the season, the South Florida Bulls come into this game undervalued. I look for this to be a much closer game than oddsmakers are anticipating Friday night.
While South Florida has lost four straight coming in, I've seen enough from this team against quality competition to know that the Bulls can hang tough in this one. They beat Cincinnati 26-20 at home despite being a 10.5-point underdog. They also went on the road and only lost 23-35 at Houston, throwing for 311 yards in the loss. That's the same Houston team that nearly beat UCF, losing 14-19 on the road.
South Florida has really turned up its pressure defensively the past two weeks, limiting Memphis to just 242 total yards, and SMU to a mere 280 total yards. The Bulls rank 29th in the country in total defense at 355.8 yards per game allowed. UCF will have a hard time scoring 27 points, let alone winning by 27.
The Knights have played in several close games this year and are really fortunate to be 9-1 right now. Six of their 10 games have been decided by a touchdown or less, but they've gone 5-1 in those contests. That includes victories over lowly Memphis (24-17) and Temple (39-36). If Memphis (3-7) and Temple (1-10) can compete with UCF, then South Florida can, too.
Plays on a road team (S FLORIDA) - after scoring and allowing 17 pts or less points against opponent after scoring 24 points or more in the first half last game are 30-10 (75%) ATS over the last five seasons. UCF is 0-6 ATS off a home win against a conference rival over the past two seasons. The Knights are 2-10 against the number off a home win over the last three years. Roll with South Florida Friday.
|11-29-13||Fresno State -7.5 v. San Jose State||Top||52-62||Loss||-110||7 h 10 m||Show|
20* CFB Friday No-Doubt Rout on Fresno State -7.5
The Fresno State Bulldogs are fighting for a BCS bowl. Not only do they need to continue to win, but they need to do so impressively. A blowout road victory against a quality San Jose State team would certainly help their cause. Winning by big margins has been no problem for the Bulldogs all season. They are outscoring opponents by an average of 19.8 points per game on the season. They have been at their best on the road, outscoring foes by 24.3 points per game away from home.
Fresno State boasts an offense that ranks 2nd in the country at 575.6 total yards per game, including 46.8 points per game. Quarterback Derek Carr deserves serious Heisman Trophy consideration. The senior is completing 69.7 percent of his passes for 3,948 yards with 39 touchdowns against four interceptions. Carr and company should have their way with a San Jose State stop unit that is giving up 33.5 points and 442.3 yards per game to rank 98th in the country in total defense.
San Jose State has certainly taken a step back from last season. They are starting to really feel the pressure of trying to become bowl eligible, losing each of their last three games while going 0-3 against the spread in the process. That includes home losses to San Diego State (30-34) and Navy (52-58), as well as a blowout road loss at Nevada (16-38). That setback against Nevada was the fourth blowout loss suffered by the Trojans this season. They were also beaten by Stanford (13-34), Minnesota (24-43) and Utah State (12-40).
Fresno State is 15-2 straight up in its last 17 meetings with San Jose State. Plays against any team (SAN JOSE ST)
|11-29-13||Miami (Florida) v. Pittsburgh +3||41-31||Loss||-115||7 h 0 m||Show|
15* Miami/Pittsburgh ABC ANNIHILATOR on Pittsburgh +3
The Pittsburgh Panthers have played their best football of the season over the past three weeks coming in. They have picked up a home win over Notre Dame (28-21) as well as a road win at Syracuse (17-16). They did lose to North Carolina (27-34), but few teams in the country are playing as well as the Tar Heels right now. This is a team that will be really motivated to put an end to Miami
|11-28-13||Pittsburgh Steelers +3 v. Baltimore Ravens||Top||20-22||Win||100||25 h 24 m||Show|
20* Steelers/Ravens Thanksgiving Night DESSERT on Pittsburgh +3
The Steelers are playing their best football of the season over the past three weeks to get right back into the thick if the playoff race in the AFC. They have won three straight and five of their last seven games overall to get to 5-6 on the season and tied with several teams for the 6th and final Wild Card spot in the conference.
All three of their wins during this streak have come by double-digits with home victories over Buffalo (23-10) and Detroit (37-27), as well as a road win at Cleveland (27-11). The Steelers are playing mistake-free football now unlike they were at the beginning of the year, turning the ball over just once int heir last three contests.
Ben Roethlisberger has really stepped of his game of late. The veteran has thrown for an average of 297.0 yards per game with 11 touchdowns against three interceptions in his last four games overall. Antonio Brown is one of the top receivers in the game, catching 80 balls for 1,044 yards and six touchdowns.
While the Steelers have been very impressive offensively of late, the Ravens have taken a big step back on that side of the ball this year. They rank 29th in the league in total offense at 308.8 yards per game. They
|11-28-13||Oakland Raiders +9 v. Dallas Cowboys||24-31||Win||100||21 h 24 m||Show|
15* Raiders/Cowboys Mid-Afternoon FEAST on Oakland +9
Believe it or not, the Raiders are still very much alive in the AFC playoff race. They only trail the Tennessee Titans (5-6) by one game for the sixth seed. Sure, they will probably have to almost win out to make it, but they aren
|11-28-13||Green Bay Packers +7 v. Detroit Lions||10-40||Loss||-115||17 h 24 m||Show|
15* Packers/Lions NFC Early ANNIHILATOR on Green Bay +7
|11-26-13||Western Michigan +36.5 v. Northern Illinois||14-33||Win||100||7 h 52 m||Show|
15* WMU/NIU MAC PLAY OF THE DAY on Western Michigan +36.5
The betting public has been all over Northern Illinois this season, especially over the last several weeks. The betting public wants nothing to do with a 1-10 Western Michigan squad. When oddsmakers realize this, they are forced to set a number higher than it should be to try and get even money on both sides. There
|11-25-13||San Francisco 49ers v. Washington Redskins +6||Top||27-6||Loss||-110||9 h 14 m||Show|
20* 49ers/Redskins ESPN Monday No-Brainer on Washington +6
The Redskins put together a big run at the end of last season by winning their final seven games to capture the NFC East Title. With the division as wide open as ever, they still have to feel like they have a shot with another big finish in 2013. They only trail the Philadelphia Eagles by 2.5 games for first place within the division.
Washington has fallen victim to a pretty tough schedule thus far as six of its first 10 games have been on the road. It is 2-2 at home with its only losses coming to the Eagles and Lions by a combined 13 points. It has played well in its last two home games, beating both Chicago (45-41) and San Diego (30-24). San Francisco
|11-24-13||Indianapolis Colts v. Arizona Cardinals -3||11-40||Win||100||36 h 44 m||Show|
15* Colts/Cardinals Late-Afternoon ANNIHILATOR on Arizona -3
The Arizona Cardinals are one of the most underrated teams in the league. They continue to get no respect from oddsmakers this week as only a 3-point favorite over the Indianapolis Colts, who are one of the most overrated teams in the league. I'll take advantage and back Arizona at home as it rolls to a blowout victory over the Colts.
The Cardinals come in playing their best football of the season. They have won three straight overall with home victories over the Falcons (27-13) and Texans (27-24), along with a road victory over the Jaguars (27-14). Carson Palmer threw for over 400 yards last week and appears to be hitting his stride as the offense tries to keep up with the excellent play of the defense.
Arizona is giving up just 21.2 points and 324.9 yards per game to rank 9th in the league in total defense. This stop unit has really dug its teeth in during their 3-game winning streak. The Cardinals have held their last three opponents to 45.0 yards per game on the ground and 267.0 yards per game overall.
It's easy to see that Indianapolis is nowhere near as good as its record would indicate. It ranks 13th in the league in total offense at 349.9 yards per game, and 24th in total defense at 365.0 yards per game. As you can see, it is getting outgained by 15.1 yards per game. That is a number more indicative of a team that would be 4-6 right now rather than 7-3. However, the Colts have simply been fortunate in close games for a second straight year.
After going 9-1 in games decided by a touchdown or less last season, the Colts have gone 5-1 in such games this season. The good news is that I don't believe this game will be close at all as the Cardinals win going away. That being said, there's no question that these records in close games come close to evening out over time, and the Colts aren't going to continue being this fortunate for long. That's especially the case now that they are without leading receiver Reggie Wayne for the rest of the season, and the offense hasn't been nearly as effective without him.
Arizona is 4-1 at home this season. The Cardinals are 24-9 ATS in their last 33 home games vs. good passing teams that average 235 or more yards per game. Arizona is 40-23 ATS in its last 63 games versus poor defensive teams that allow 5.65 or more yards per play. The Cardinals are 6-0 ATS versus poor defensive teams that allow 5.65 or more yards per play in the second half of the season over the past three seasons. Bet the Cardinals Sunday.
|11-24-13||San Diego Chargers +5 v. Kansas City Chiefs||Top||41-38||Win||100||33 h 40 m||Show|
20* AFC West GAME OF THE MONTH on San Diego Chargers +5
|11-24-13||Tampa Bay Buccaneers +9.5 v. Detroit Lions||24-21||Win||100||33 h 39 m||Show|
15* NFC GAME OF THE WEEK on Tampa Bay Buccaneers +9.5
The Buccaneers have showed a ton of pride over the past couple of weeks by beating Miami (22-19) and Atlanta (41-28) at home. They have shown that they are not going to pack it in, and would love nothing more than to play the role of spoiler going forward. There
|11-24-13||Carolina Panthers v. Miami Dolphins +5||Top||20-16||Win||100||33 h 39 m||Show|
20* NFL Non-Conference GAME OF THE MONTH on Miami Dolphins +5
The Miami Dolphins (5-5) are still very much alive for the 6th and final playoff spot in the AFC. They beat San Diego 20-16 at home last week to keep themselves in a good position with only six games to go. I look for them to not only cover against Carolina Sunday at home, but to likely win this game outright as well.
Carolina is in a massive letdown spot. It is coming off two nail-biting wins over the 49ers (10-9) and Patriots (24-20). The Panthers are feeling very good about themselves after those two wins against quality teams, but their about to be knocked off their pedestals against a motivated Miami squad. Plus, that game against New England was on Monday Night Football last week, so the Panthers will be working on one less day of rest than the Dolphins.
Miami has played in so many close games this season, and that fact alone shows that there is some value here with the Dolphins as a home underdog. Three of their five losses have come by 3 points or less, while four of their five wins have come by 4 points or fewer. That means that seven of their 10 games thus far have been decided by 4 points or less.
The Dolphins are a perfect 6-0 against the spread in home games after having lost four or five of their last six games over the past three seasons. They are winning in this spot 24.2 to 11.0, or by an average of 13.2 points per game. This has clearly been a resilient bunch over the past three seasons when times have been tough, especially when playing at home. Miami is 7-2 ATS in its last nine home games overall, and 13-6 ATS in its last 19 vs. a team with a winning record. Roll with the Dolphins Sunday.
|11-24-13||Chicago Bears v. St. Louis Rams -1||21-42||Win||100||33 h 39 m||Show|
15* NFL Sunday No-Doubt Rout on St. Louis Rams -1
The St. Louis Rams are a gritty team that will not give an inch under Jeff Fisher. They are coming off their most impressive win of the season, a 38-8 victory at Indianapolis to get back to 4-6 on the season. This team still believes there is a shot to make the playoffs with a big finish, and they won't give in until they are eliminated. Now, the Rams have had two full weeks to prepare for Chicago as they are coming off their bye week.
This is a team that has been playing well for a while now, going 3-3 in their last six games overall. Even in their three losses they played solid football. The Rams actually outgained the Panthers 317-282 in a 15-30 road loss. They outgained the Seahawks 339-135 in a 9-14 home loss in a game they obviously should have won. They were even in yards against the Titans 363-363 in a 21-28 home loss as well.
St. Louis has stayed relatively healthy outside of quarterback Sam Bradford, but backup Kellen Clemens has played very well in his place. Defensively, the Rams are very healthy. Chicago is also on to its backup quarterback in Josh McCown, which hasn't been much of a step down from starter Jay Cutler, either. However, the Bears have been ravaged by injuries defensively. Starters Lance Briggs (shoulder), Charles Tillman (triceps), Henry Melton (knee) and D.J. Williams (chest) are all out. Stephen Paea (toe) is doubtful as well.
The interior of Chicago's defense has been extremely vulnerable due to these injuries. Indeed, the Bears have given up an average 174, 145, 199, and 209 rushing yards in their last four games, respectively. They rank 31st in the league against the run, giving up 133.9 yards per game, and have allowed a 100-yard rusher in three straight and four of five.
St. Louis running back Zac Stacy will be in line for a big day on the ground. The Rams have rushed for 140, 160 and 200 yards in their last three games, respectively, with Stacy doing most of the work over that stretch. Stacy has rushed for 323 yards and three touchdowns in his last three games overall. I look for St. Louis to control the game with its rushing attack, while its underrated defense keeps McCown and company in check.
Plays on favorites (ST LOUIS) - after covering the spread in 2 out of their last 3 games, a bad team (25% to 40%) playing a team with a winning record are 40-13 (75.5%) ATS since 1983. The Rams are 6-0 ATS versus good offensive teams - averaging >=5.65 yards/play in the second half of the season over the last two seasons. The Bears are 5-15-1 ATS in their last 21 games overall. Chicago is 1-7 ATS in its last eight games following a win. St. Louis is 7-0-1 ATS in its last eight home games vs. a team with a .500 road record or better. Roll with the Rams Sunday.
|11-23-13||Missouri v. Ole Miss +3||Top||24-10||Loss||-115||27 h 12 m||Show|
20* Missouri/Ole Miss ESPN Saturday No-Brainer on Ole Miss +3
Ole Miss is still one of the best teams in the country despite suffering three losses this season. Two of those losses have come on the road against Alabama and Auburn, which are arguably the two best teams in the SEC. The other came at home against Texas A&M by a field goal, which is probably the third-best team in the conference. The Rebels proved they could beat an SEC power by knocking off LSU 27-24, which was the start of a four-game winning streak heading into this one.
|11-23-13||Vanderbilt v. Tennessee -2.5||Top||14-10||Loss||-110||41 h 11 m||Show|
25* SEC GAME OF THE YEAR on Tennessee -2.5
The Volunteers come in on two weeks of rest having last played on November 9 and in need of a victory. They have to win their final two games against Vanderbilt and Kentucky to become bowl eligible, and it
|11-23-13||California +32 v. Stanford||Top||13-63||Loss||-105||23 h 26 m||Show|
20* Pac-12 GAME OF THE MONTH on California +32
The betting public wants nothing to do with 1-10 California. As a result, I believe this line is way out of whack and inflated. This is the final game of the season for the Golden Bears, and their last chance to redeem themselves. I fully expect them to put their best foot forward Saturday because of it.
Stanford is going to be in a terrible state of mind coming into this one. It just lost at USC last week after a big win over Oregon in its previous game. That loss to the Trojans likely cost Stanford the Pac-12 Title, and they know it. I look for the Cardinal to suffer a bit of a hangover effect because of it.
The Cardinal are not an explosive offensive team. It's going to take a lot of points for them to cover this big number, and I just don't believe they have it in them. Stanford is only scoring 30.4 points and averaging 384.2 yards per game to rank 84th in the country in total offense. They are a running team who does not up the tempo offensively, which favors getting big points when going against them.
California has only beaten beaten by more than 32 points twice this season. One was a 16-55 loss to Oregon, which is a team with an explosive offense that can cover these big spreads consistently. The other was a 28-62 loss to USC. That game was much closer than the final score would indicate as the Trojans scored three special teams touchdowns. Take those away, and it's a 41-28 game.
Stanford only has one win by more than 21 points this season. That was a 55-17 win over Washington State. This isn't a team known for blowing out the opposition simply because of the style of football it plays. In fact, the Cardinal have only scored more than 34 points twice all season.
Cal has found a running game in recent weeks to compliment its dynamic passing attack. The Bears rushed for 195 yards on USC, and 197 yards on Colorado. They rank 11th in the country in passing offense at 333.4 yards per game. Stanford's biggest weakness is a pass defense that ranks 96th in the country at 253.9 yards per game. Opposing quarterbacks are completing 63.7% of their passes against Stanford.
Plays on road underdogs (CALIFORNIA) - average rushing team (3.5 to 4.3 YPR) against a good rushing defense (3 to 3.5 YPR) after 7+ games, in conference games are 31-7 (81.6%) ATS over the last five seasons. Stanford is 6-20 against the spread in its last 26 games off an upset loss as a favorite. Bet California Saturday.
|11-23-13||Nebraska v. Penn State -1.5||23-20||Loss||-110||22 h 22 m||Show|
15* CFB Saturday No-Doubt Rout on Penn State -1.5
The Penn State Nittany Lions want revenge from two very close defeats to the Nebraska Cornhuskers over the past two seasons. I believe they get it at home this Saturday, where they have been dominant all season long.
Nebraska beat Penn State 17-14 on the road in 2011. Then, after blowing a 20-6 halftime lead, the Nittany Lions would lost 23-32 at Nebraska in 2012. They certainly have had this game circled on their calendars after those two defeats, and there's no question they will be the more motivated team Saturday because of it.
The Cornhuskers will be in a fragile state of mind heading into this one. They just lost at home to Michigan State by a final of 28-41 in a game that was pretty much for the Big Ten Legends Division Title. They will have a hard time bouncing back from that kind of a loss, and I look for them to suffer a hangover because of it.
Nebraska's strength is its rushing attack, which averages 240 yards per game. Penn State has been stout against the run this season, giving up just 144 yards per game and 3.9 per carry. I look for the Nittany Lions to hold up against the run, which will be the key to winning this contest.
Penn State boasts one of the more underrated offenses in the country. It is putting up 29.3 points and 434.6 yards per game this season, including 37.0 points and 478.8 yards per game at home where it is 5-1 on the season. It is outscoring opponents by an average of 17.2 points per game at home this year.
Freshman quarterback Christian Hackenberg has been solid, completing 59% of his passes for 2,399 yards with 14 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Bill Belton has rushed for 796 yards and five touchdowns, while Zach Zwinak has added 725 yards and 12 scores.
Nebraska has played a quarterback carousel all season, playing three different quarterbacks at times this year. It has not allowed the Huskers to get into any kind of rhythm offensively. Whoever has been under center of late has turned the ball over a ton. The Huskers have committed 16 turnovers in their last five games overall for an average of 3.2 per game.
The Nittany Lions are 9-3 ATS in their last 12 home games. The Cornhuskers are 3-9-1 ATS in their last 13 road games. Nebraska is 1-8-1 ATS in its last 10 road games vs. a team with a winning home record. Take Penn State Saturday.
|11-23-13||Georgia State +24 v. Arkansas State||33-35||Win||100||22 h 53 m||Show|
15* Sun Belt GAME OF THE WEEK on Georgia State +24
The betting public wants nothing to do with an 0-10 team like Georgia State. This forces oddsmakers to set inflated spreads this late in the season, and there's no question in my mind that this line has been inflated Saturday as the Panthers take on the Arkansas State Red Wolves.
Georgia State is nowhere near as bad as its record would indicate. As a result, there has been a ton of value on this team all season. In fact, Georgia State is 7-1 ATS in its last eight games overall, which means that it has been playing teams much tougher than it was expected to.
Since losing 3-45 at No. 1 Alabama, the Panthers have been playing their best football of the season. They only lost 28-35 as a 15-point home dog to Troy. The lost at Texas State 17-24 as a 16-point dog, and they also covered as a 19-point dog in a 28-44 home loss to Western Kentucky, and as a 20.5-point dog in a 21-35 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette.
To compare, Arkansas State only beat Troy 41-34 at home as a 6-point favorite. Arkansas State also lost to Louisiana-Lafayette 7-23 at home. It was outgained 168-470 by the Rajin' Cajuns in that defeat. The Red Wolves simply aren't the same team they were the past two years when they won back-to-back Sun Belt Titles. However, they continue to get treated like it by oddsmakers.
Indeed, Georgia State has played its best football of late. It was only outgained 410-444 in that loss to Western Kentucky two weeks ago. Quarterback Ronnie Bell threw for 325 yards and two touchdowns in the loss. Last week, the Panthers were only outgained 481-482 by Louisiana-Lafayette last week. Again, Bell threw for 229 yards and two touchdowns.
Bell should continue to have success against an Arkansas State defense that is simply not very good. The Red Wolves have allowed 417.8 total yards per game this season, which is very poor when you consider that the 10 opponents that they have faced only average 389 yards per game on the season.
Also, offensively, the Red Wolves are averaging a solid 431 yards per game. However, their 10 opponents combine to give up an average of 445 yards per game, so that 431-yard number is not very impressive at all. I would argue that with those numbers, the Red Wolves are below average on both sides of the football.
Georgia State is 6-0 ATS after allowing 31 or more points in two straight games this season. Arkansas state is 0-9 ATS after gaining 300 or more rushing yards last game since 1992. The Panthers are 6-0 ATS in their last six games on fieldturf. These three trends combine for a perfect 21-0 system backing the Panthers. Take Georgia State Saturday.