It wasn't a good Week 6 on the field for the Big 12's Texas schools, and in particular the failures of the University of Texas and Texas Tech were two of the book's biggest losses in college football betting last week.
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The West Virginia-Texas matchup was arguably the most-hyped and anticipated game of the weekend. It was the Mountaineers' first visit to Austin in 56 years and their first-ever trip as a Big 12 member. It also featured the nation's two top-rated quarterbacks in Heisman favorite Geno Smith of WVU and David Ash of Texas. Most everyone expected a shootout and it didn't disappoint as WVU won 48-45 behind four Smith TD passes. The 45 points are the most Texas has ever scored in a loss and it was the Horns' eighth straight defeat to ranked teams.
The total of 74 was the highest on the board in Week 6 and bettors still leaned heavily over it at nearly 70 percent. At +235 on the moneyline, the Mountaineers took more than 84 percent of the action. And at +7 on the spread, WVU took approximately 60 percent. You can almost start putting Smith's name on the 2012 Heisman. He has thrown for 1,996 and 24 touchdowns without a single interception. Smith's numbers are all better than Robert Griffin III's were in winning the Heisman last year.
Smith going over 3.5 touchdown passes was the bettors' top player prop win of the week as well. Other big winners were Miami quarterback Stephen Morris under 24.5 completions (18) in UM's loss to Notre Dame and Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez over 2.5 combined touchdown passes and interceptions in the Huskers' loss to Ohio State (4).
As for Texas Tech, it was beaten 41-20 at home by Oklahoma. TTU had given OU problems in recent years and hadn't lost at home to the Sooners since 2003. But it's wise to never bet against Oklahoma in its first game after a loss. Bob Stoops' team is now 19-0 in games following a loss in the past eight years.
Oklahoma closed as a 4.5-point favorite and took almost 73 percent of the action. At minus-190, OU got about 60 percent. The over 57 points also was a big win with more than 74 percent of the action on that side.
The book could count just one win among the week's five most-wagered games and it was UCLA getting pounded 43-17 at California thanks to six turnovers. It was Cal's seventh straight win in the series at home. The Bruins went off as 3-point favorites and took almost 72 percent of the lean. There was no moneyline.
The book's top player props wins were on Notre Dame's Theo Riddick under 91.5 combined receiving and rushing yards vs. Miami, Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas under 119.5 combined rushing and receiving yards vs. Washington, and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins under 94.5 combined receiving and rushing yards vs. Georgia Tech. It was the third straight game (and loss) that the Jackets allowed at least 45 points - a first in school history -- and it led to the firing Monday of defensive coordinator Al Groh.
Thursday's Live Betting Preview: Arizona State at Colorado
There is no ranked team in this week's Thursday night ESPN game for the first time since Week 3 as Arizona State visits Colorado in a Pac-12 matchup. The Sun Devils have opened as 23-point favorites at the book with the total at 57.
Neither team played Saturday. ASU (4-1, 2-0) leads the Pac-12 North and is the only team in that division without a conference loss. The Sun Devils last played Sept. 29 and won 27-17 at Cal. They are No. 12 in the country in scoring defense at 13.6 points per game and lead the Pac-12 in most major defensive statistics.
Colorado (1-4, 1-1) is certainly one of the worst BCS conference teams in the land. It needed a huge rally just to beat Washington State by a point for its only win. The Buffs also last played Sept. 29 and were beaten 42-14 by UCLA. CU is near the bottom of the country in offense (No. 102 at 21.6 ppg) and defense (No. 118 at 39.4 ppg).
Arizona State is 3-0 all-time vs. Colorado but hasn't visited Boulder in six years. Last year in Tempe, ASU beat Colorado 48-14 as the Buffs turned the ball over five times. CU is just 1-6 ATS in its past seven home games, while Arizona State has only covered once in its past six road games.
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