NCAA Football Week 5 Betting Recap at Bovada
It was an odd week in college football. There weren't any national championship altering upsets in Week 5, but it wasn't a good week for ranked favorites. In total, 15 Top 25 teams played unranked FBS opponents and only three covered. They were Clemson, 45-31 over Boston College, Texas, 41-36 over Oklahoma State, and South Carolina, 38-17 over Kentucky.
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The Horns-Cowboys game was the most-wagered of the week at the book and a nice win for players as Texas at minus-2 took more than 73 percent of the action. There was no moneyline, but the over 64 points also was a big win for players with more than 78 percent leaning that way. Behind a monster game from David Ash, the Horns became the first team to win in Stillwater since Oklahoma won the Big 12 South title there in 2010. It was arguably UT's biggest win since 2009.
Texas continued its climb up Bovada's odds to win the BCS National Championship Game as the Longhorns moved from 33/1 to 25/1 with the win. They have a huge game with record-setting Geno Smith, the Heisman favorite, and West Virginia this Saturday. Texas opened as a 6.5-point favorite.
Smith, incidentally, provided one of the bettors' top player props wins of Week 5 as he nearly doubled the 375.5 passing yardage total. The top game result overall for players was on Clemson winning at Boston College. The Tigers closed as 7-point favorites and took more than 81 percent of the action. At -270 on the moneyline, Clemson took almost 85 percent. The other top player prop results were on Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor over 2.5 receptions in Thursday's game vs. Washington (he had four) and Oregon running back Kenjon Barner over 103.5 rushing yards vs. Washington State (Barner had 195).
The book's top game results were both Pac-12 matchups: Washington upsetting Stanford 17-13 and Oregon beating Washington State 51-26. The Cardinal were 7-point favorites and took almost 67 percent of the action. The moneyline lean was even more pronounced as Stanford took more than 77 percent at -275. It was Washington's first win over a Top-10 team in three years. The Huskies' task gets tougher this week as they visit Oregon as opening 24.5-point dogs.
Speaking of the Ducks, they failed to cover as 31-point favorites vs. Wazzu in Seattle. Almost 79 percent of the lean was on Oregon. Players did do well on the over 73 points, which took a nearly 68 percent lean.
The book's top player prop result came on Stanford's Taylor. While he won for bettors on his receptions total, the big lean was on Taylor to go over 119.5 rushing yards vs. the Huskies, but he finished with 75. Other wins for the book were on Oregon's De'Anthony Thomas under 125.5 combined rushing and receiving yards (had a season-low 54 total) and Wisconsin receiver Jared Abbrederis over 71.5 receiving yards vs. Nebraska (finished with 142).
There was slight movement on the odds to win the national championship among the top three favorites following Week 5. Alabama, which beat Ole Miss 33-14, has moved from 8/5 to 3/2. LSU, which didn't look good in a win over Towson, shifted from 4/1 to 5/1. And Florida State, a 30-17 winner over South Florida, went from 6/1 to 11/2.
Thursday's Live Betting Preview: USC at Utah
It's one of the most anticipated games in Utes football history on Thursday as No. 13 Southern Cal (3-1) visits Utah (2-2) for the first time since 1917. The Trojans are 13-point opening favorites.
Bettors may remember last year's game in Los Angeles between these two. Utah was attempting a potential tying 41-yard field goal on the final play of the game with USC up 17-14. But Southern Cal's Matt Kalil blocked the attempt and Torin Harris returned it 68 yards for a presumed touchdown that allowed USC to cover the spread with a 23-14 win. But the score originally was waived off by officials because of an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty called when much of the USC bench ran onto the field to celebrate and mobbed Harris on the end zone. The touchdown wasn't officially added until a few hours later by the Pac-12, thus turning a Utah cover to a USC (minus-8) cover.
"All Unsportsmanlike Conduct fouls by substitutes (on the bench) are enforced as dead ball fouls," Pac-12 officiating consultant Mike Pereira said in a statement then. "Since the game was over, the penalty could not be enforced, and the referee stated it was declined by rule. The officials did rule it a touchdown, making the final score 23-14."
Southern Cal QB Matt Barkley is no longer the Heisman favorite after throwing two interceptions in back-to-back games and averaging just 223 yards in that stretch. By comparison the new Heisman favorite, West Virginia's Smith, had 656 yards passing and eight touchdowns with no interceptions in Saturday's win over Baylor. Barkley, who threw for 264 yards in last year's Utah game, faces a Utes defense that is No. 3 in the Pac-12 in allowing 218.3 ypg. Utah hasn't covered in its past four Thursday games.
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