NCAA Football Week 7 Live Betting Weekend Preview at Bovada
South Carolina and LSU were big movers on the Bovada futures odds to win the BCS National Championship following their respective results in Week 6 - for different reasons.
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The move for the Gamecocks was a positive one following their very impressive 35-7 victory over then-No. 5 Georgia in a matchup of the past two SEC East champions. The win jumped the Gamecocks from No. 6 in the polls to No. 3, their highest-mark since 1984. And it moved South Carolina from 20/1 to win the national title to 10/1, now tied for the fifth-shortest odds.
South Carolina visits LSU this Saturday and the Tigers will be looking to avoid incredibly rare back-to-back losses under Coach Les Miles after they were beaten 14-6 at Florida last Saturday. That dropped LSU from No. 4 to No. 9 in the polls and from 5/1 second-favorites for the BCS title to 20/1.
The USC-LSU game could well feature a score like last season's 9-6 overtime win by LSU over Alabama; LSU opened as a 3-point favorite with the total at 40 and there will be live play-by-play betting at the book.
South Carolina is ranked No. 4 in the nation in scoring defense at 10.5 ppg and 12th in yards per game at 278.0. Georgia had been off to the best offensive start in school history, scoring at least 40 points in five straight games, a first in school history, and nearly 540 yards of offense. But against the Gamecocks, the Dawgs were held to 224 yards and the one score. And that touchdown came in garbage time on a 75-yard drive.
As for LSU, its defense is tied for No. 8 in the country in allowing 12.8 points and No. 4 in yards per game at 224.3. That unit did its job in the loss to the Gators, holding Florida to just 237 yards. But the LSU offense has struggled often this year under first-year starting QB Zach Mettenberger, and the Tigers managed 200 total yards on offense and were 1-for-13 on first down.
If South Carolina were to win Saturday night it would go against recent history in Baton Rouge. LSU has won 21 straight home games, the longest streak in the country. LSU hasn't lost back-to-back games in October in 13 years and has lost back-to-back games overall just once under Miles. The Tigers also are 35-1 in home Saturday night games under Miles. LSU and South Carolina haven't met since 2008 and this will be the only the second time in the series' history they meet as Top-10 teams. South Carolina has covered seven straight following a win overall.
Weekend's Other Live Betting Games
*-Friday, Navy at Central Michigan (-1.5, 59): It's Navy's first-ever trip to Central Michigan, although the Middies have faced the MAC school twice previously.
As usual, Navy (2-3) is among the nation's rushing leaders (No. 17 at 230.4 ypg) and near the bottom in passing (116.6 ypg). The Midshipmen don't win much when they can't run the ball. They are just 2-8 in their past 10 games when they don't reach 300 rushing yards. It's not yet clear if Navy starting QB Trey Miller will play. He hurt his left ankle in the fourth quarter of last week's win over Air Force. Freshman Keenan Reynolds directed the tying and winning touchdown drives and would start if Miller can't.
CMU (2-3), meanwhile, has one of the country's worst defenses in allowing 40.8 ppg. The Chips have allowed at least 50 in each of their past two games, both losses. They are just 3-14 ATS in their past 17 games after a loss.
*-Saturday, No. 15 Texas vs. No. 13 Oklahoma (-3.5, 61): The winner of the Red River Rivalry more often than not goes on to win the Big 12 championship, but both UT and OU enter this game with a conference loss and can't afford another to win the Big 12 with the way Kansas State (which beat Oklahoma) and West Virginia (which beat Texas) are playing. Certainly a defeat ends the losing team's slim hopes of a national title, with the Sooners currently 50/1 and the Longhorns 100/1.
This marks the seventh straight season these rivals meet at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas with both in the Top 25. Oklahoma QB Landry Jones can become just the fourth Sooners QB to finish his career 3-0 as a starter vs. Texas with a win. Oklahoma has won the past two years by a combined 83-37 margin. Jones played in the 2009 game that Texas won 16-13, but Sam Bradford started before leaving with an injury. Should Jones win, it would be career victory No. 33 at OU, breaking the school record of 32 he shares with Steve Davis (one of the three QBs with a 3-0 mark vs. Texas).
Texas has covered just once in its past eight neutral-site games overall, but OU has covered only once in its past five Big 12 games.
*-Saturday, No. 17 Stanford at No. 7 Notre Dame (-8, 45.5): Notre Dame also took a nice jump in BCS championship odds off last week's 41-3 rout of Miami, jumping from 20/1 to 12/1. Should the Irish win here, they at worst should finish the season unbeaten at home as there are no currently ranked teams left on the schedule that visit South Bend. The Irish still have to visit Oklahoma and Southern Cal.
The Irish probably are glad Andrew Luck is no longer at Stanford as he won all three of his career starts vs. Notre Dame - it's the longest winning streak for the Cardinal in this series. Prior to Luck's arrival, the Irish had beaten Stanford seven straight times.
New Cardinal starting QB Josh Nunes will have his work cut out against a Notre Dame defense that is nationally in the Top 20 in several categories, including second in scoring (7.8 ppg). The Irish defense has not allowed a touchdown over its last 12 quarters and Notre Dame has yet to trail this season, the only team in FBS that can claim that. The Cardinal have been excellent the past couple of years in non-conference games, covering nine of their past 10.
*-Saturday, No. 1 Alabama at Missouri (+22, 43.5): Perhaps Missouri can take some comfort in the fact the Ole Miss actually was leading Alabama 7-6 early in the second quarter in the top-ranked Tide's last game Sept. 29. Why was that notable? It was the first time Alabama had trailed in regulation of any game since Oct. 22, 2011 - 40 quarters.
So what happened after Ole Miss scored? Alabama's Christion Jones returned the following kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown as Bama went on to a 33-14 win. So Alabama has now trailed for all of 15 game seconds in regulation over the past nine games or so. The Tide have either held a lead or been tied entering intermission in 25 straight games.
Missouri doesn't figure to have much of a shot at 0-3 in the SEC and without injured starting QB James Franklin. Redshirt Corbin Berkstresser will be thrown to the wolves against the nation's top defense. This is the first meeting between these schools in 24 years. Missouri is 0-12 all-time vs. teams ranked No. 1 in the AP poll, although it did upset BCS standings No. 1 Oklahoma in Columbia two seasons ago.
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