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College Notebook - Week 13

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NCAA Football Week 13 Betting Recap

As was projected last week, Saturday night's big Notre Dame-Southern Cal matchup not only was easily the most-wagered college football game of last week but also among the top three all season at the book.

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The Irish punched their ticket to the BCS National Championship Game on January 7 in Miami with a 22-13 victory over the Matt Barkley-less Trojans. It concluded Notre Dame's first perfect regular season since 1988, the year of the Irish's last national title.

The result was a win for bettors as Notre Dame closed as a 4.5-point favorite and took more than 74% of the action. At -200 on the moneyline, the Irish took more than 76%. Certainly both lines were affected by Barkley sitting out injured and USC starting redshirt freshman Max Wittek.

The book's top two player prop wins of the week came from the game: Southern Cal quarterbacks under 255.5 yards passing and Notre Dame QB Everett Golson under 15.5 completions. Its top game result was Arizona at -3 losing 41-34 to Arizona State. The Wildcats had taken more than 71% of the action on the spread (no moneyline).

The Irish will now await the winner of this Saturday's Alabama-Georgia SEC Championship Game; Alabama is an opening eight-point favorite. Notre Dame will attempt to become the first non-SEC school to beat an SEC opponent in the BCS Championship Game. Five schools have tried and failed (Oregon, Texas, Florida State, Oklahoma twice and Ohio State twice).

Notre Dame isn't the only team to finish the regular season unbeaten. Ohio State also concluded its season as 12-0 with a 26-21 win over that "school from up north" Michigan. The Buckeyes made what now looks like a terrible decision to play in last year's Gator Bowl at 6-6 rather than self-impose a bowl ban to appease the NCAA. Now OSU's season is over instead of it playing in the Big Ten Championship Game with a chance to play for the national title.

OSU's win was another big result for bettors as the Buckeyes closed as 4.5-point favorites and took more than 73% of the action. At -200, Ohio State got almost 84%. The top overall weekly prop for players was on Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller under 1.5 total touchdowns and interceptions versus the Wolverines. Other good prop results for bettors were Oklahoma quarterback Landry Jones over 345.5 passing yards in the Bedlam game and Notre Dame tight end Tyler Eifert under 5.5 receptions against USC.

Thursday's Live Betting Preview

The Thursday Live Betting game at the book this week has BCS bowl implications as Louisville visits Rutgers with the Big East title on the line. The Scarlet Knights are opening three-point favorites.

Rutgers (9-2, 5-1) leads Syracuse by a half-game in the Big East, and Louisville (9-2, 4-2) and Cincinnati by a game. Should Rutgers beat Louisville, it wins the Big East outright and gets the conference's BCS bowl berth. If Louisville wins, that sets up at least a three-way tie for the Big East title and potentially four-way should Cincinnati win on Saturday at Connecticut. In that scenario the final BCS standings would determine which team heads to the BCS bowl. It almost assuredly would be Louisville. Currently the Cards are No. 26 in the standings and Rutgers No. 27. Cincinnati is No. 36 and Syracuse No. 43.

The Big East's struggles could open the door for MAC school Kent State to earn a BCS bowl berth. The Golden Flashes are currently No. 17 in the standings and face ranked Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game on Friday. Should KSU win and get to No. 16 in the standings, it would automatically earn a BCS bowl berth. Why? Because the Big East champion would rank behind Kent State, and a non-AQ school that ranks in the Top 16 and ahead of a BCS champion automatically earns a BCS berth. It's essentially the Boise State rule (but only one non-AQ qualifies, so the highest-ranked one).

There is one key injury to be aware of for Thursday night. Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater, a Big East Player of the Year favorite, will play despite a broken left (non-throwing) wrist and sprained ankle. Bridgewater was hurt in Saturday's 23-20 triple-overtime loss to Connecticut but was able to return to the game despite the injuries. Bridgewater is the highest-rated QB in the Big East and second in yards (3,189) and TD passes (23).

Louisville has won two straight in the series versus Rutgers and the favorite has covered five in a row.

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