Posted 11/06/2012 at 12:17 PM
Chalk struck back last week as favorites went 32-22-2 ATS in the college schedule and 9-4 ATS in the NFL schedules heading into Monday night. It was a good week to lay big numbers as college favorites of 20 or more went 7-2 and double-digit favorites in the NFL went 2-0. College favorites still have a slight losing record for the season and NFL underdogs are still hitting over 58 percent on the season despite the big shift last week.
There were no changes in the college top 4 last week but all four teams received very tough games. Alabama and Kansas State were both out-gained despite wins, Oregon allowed 51 points despite talk of being an elite defensive team this season, and Notre Dame held off defeat in several instances to win in three overtimes.
The polls never make much sense but it seems silly to penalize LSU with a big bump down in the rankings despite out-playing and nearly beating the clear #1 team in the nation. Teams 5 through 8 are in the SEC and it seems apparent that Georgia will likely win the SEC East though most would rate Florida or South Carolina as the better team. While Notre Dame is rightfully taking some heat for some good fortune last week they did post huge yardage numbers and they will be big favorites the next two weeks leading up to the USC game. Oregon’s schedule will be getting a boost in the coming weeks and Alabama will get Texas A&M and the SEC East champion to boost the numbers so the top two should be set if they win out. Kansas State has three decent teams left on the schedule but the Wildcats will likely get passed by Oregon and Kansas State could have even bigger issues if Collin Klein misses time. If Klein does miss time his Heisman candidacy will be an interesting case, his numbers are staggering enough that he can probably survive missing one game, but maybe not two.
If the playoffs ended today we would be lined up for a heck of a wild card weekend. Seattle would head to San Francisco and Green Bay would head to New York. In the AFC the Steelers would head to New England and the Colts would head to Denver, for some very intriguing storylines involving Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck. It would be an interesting year as it does not seem clear that the top teams are warranting full support yet as there are some legitimate doubts around the Falcons and Bears, as well as the Texans and Ravens but those teams would hold the four protected seeds right now. Kansas City and Jacksonville appear to be ready to fight for the #1 pick in the draft though Matt Barkley and Geno Smith don’t look as promising as Luck and Robert Griffin did last season.
The success of rookie quarterbacks this season makes picking one high an easy call however. The five teams with a rookie QB are a combined 19-24, and that would be an even .500 mark if you took out a Cleveland team with a lot of other issues. There has been a big regression for the once promising crop of 2nd year starting QBs however as the five teams opening the year with sophomore starters sit a combined 14-28 with only Christian Ponder leading a winning team, and his results have been very poor in recent weeks. Despite all the attention on Luck and Griffin, and to a lesser extent Russell Wilson, the offensive rookie of the year might not be a quarterback as Tampa running back Doug Martin is 3rd in the NFL in rushing and has seven touchdowns. Best of Luck, on to this week’s slate…