Posted 10/04/2008 at 09:59 AM
Good morning, folks. Week 6 started with Middle Tennessee's Hail Mary victory over FAU on Tuesday. Next, Boise St. took care of business as it seemingly always does on the blue turf, spanking La. Tech in an easy spread cover Wednesay night. On Thursday, Pitt pulled an upset at South Florida and Mike Riley cost his team a win at Utah.
What's in store for today? Don't we all wish we knew.
I'll be chiming in off and on all day, recommending halftime wagers and discussing what's going on from a gambling angle in terms of line moves and all sorts of other stuff.
Let's throw out some top fives...
Five Teams in bad situations who better bring it:
1-Texas (-13 at Colorado)
2-Alabama (-15.5 vs. Kentucky)
3-Ole Miss (-2.5 vs. South Carolina)
4-Oklahoma (-25 at Baylor)
5-Michigan (-2.5 vs. Illinois)
Texas is in a look-ahead spot with the showdown against Oklahoma on deck. The Longhorns also have a long road trip into the altitude of Boulder, where they'll meet a Colorado squad in bounce-back after losing against Florida St. in Jacksonville last week.
Alabama is off a monster victory at Georgia that lifted the program into the top five for the first time in 15 years. The Tide is a double-digit favorite, while unbeaten Kentucky is a double-digit underdog for the first time this year. When Nick Saban's team last had a big win -- 34-10 over Clemson in Week 1 -- it came home the next week and never threatened to cover in a 20-6 win over Tulane in which the Green Wave had more first down and yards than the Tide, which needed a pair of TDs from its special-teams units just to win outright.
Ole Miss is off a stirring 31-30 win at Florida as a 23-point underdog. The Rebels return home as 2 1/2-point favorites to face a South Carolina team with a strong defense and a desperate approach to this contest.
Oklahoma is in the same look-ahead situation that Texas falls into, and the 12:30 p.m. Eastern kick might also lend credence to a suspicion that OU could be flat. Bob Stoops and Co. haven't been challenged yet, but Baylor QB Robert Griffin is the best player the Sooners have seen. Griffin, a true freshman, has rushed for five TDs and averages 6.1 yards per carry. When he throws, Griffin has connected for seven touchdown passes compared to zero interceptions. Tune in for Griffin if you haven't seen 'em play yet.
The guess here is that Michigan spilled a bunch of emotion at the Big House last week, rallying from a 19-0 deficit to beat Wisconsin 27-25 for the first significant victory of Rich Rodriguez's tenure. The Wolverines get an Illinois team whose only losses came to Missouri and Penn St. Ron Zook's squad needs a win bad and I say the Illini will get it.
Here's a little breaking news that's not good for me since I'm backing Fresno St. today. RB Ryan Mathews has been declared "out" according to an alert from Las Vegas Sports Consultants that just went out. That's big and I'll try to get some more info on whether or not this is a suspension or an injury. Mathews leads the Bulldogs in rushing with 82 carries for 470 yards and four TDs. He averages 5.7 yards per carry. We'll see if this impacts the number as Fresno has been bouncing around from a 21-22 point favorite all week.
10:40ish a.m.: More top fives...
Predictions for Players of the Week:
1-USC QB Mark Sanchez
2-Illinois WR Arrelious Benn
3-Colorado RB "Speedy" Stewart
4-Michigan St. RB Javon Ringer
5-RB LeSean McCoy (I'll slot 'em fifth after leading Pitt over USF.)
6-South Carolina LB Eric Norwood
7-Florida QB Tim Tebow
8-Illinois QB Juice Williams
9-Florida WR Percy Harvin
10-Ole Miss DE Greg Hardy
Next Five: Oklahoma St. QB Zac Robinson, Auburn DT Sen'Derrick Marks, Missouri QB Chase Daniel, Missouri WR Jeremy Maclin and Kansas QB Todd Reesing.
Sleepers: Vandy CB D.J. Moore, Baylor QB Robert Griffin, Kentucky CB Trevard Lindley, Auburn LB Tray Blackmon and Rice QB Chase Clement.
Five Burning Questions:
1-Can Vandy find a way to get it done against Auburn tonight?
2-Can Texas survive tonight's trip to Boulder unscathed?
3-Is Baylor's Robert Griffin special enough to spark the Bears to a monster upset?
4-How many empty seats will there be at Neyland Stadium (UT vs. No. Illinois) and Dolphin Stadium (FSU at Miami)?
5-Will Ball State stay undefeated at Toledo?
11:00 a.m.: Countdown to kick-off has reached the one-hour mark. If anyone is interested in my pick pack for today, don't be shy! I've hit three straight guaranteed plays in as many nights by going with Boise St., Oregon St. and the Cincy-Marshall 'under' last night. Here's my pay-if-it-wins-only selection as well.
1:00 p.m. ET.: I had to knock out a quick MLB Tip Sheet for Sunday, but now I'm back and we need to get caught up. Florida has a 7-0 lead at Arkansas, but the Razorbacks are in UF territory on a nice drive. Boston College leads 21-14 at N.C. St. The Eagles closed as 7 1/2-point favorites at most books. For anyone that took the 'over' for BC-N.C. St., you are loving life with 35 of the 42 points are alraedy on the board in the second quarter. Iowa St. is out to a surprising 14-0 lead over Kansas in Ames.
1:05 p.m.: West Va. has a 10-0 lead over a Rutgers team that closed as a 14-point road 'dog. Ga. Tech has a 3-0 lead over Duke as a 13 1/2-point home favorite. Michigan State, which closed as a 6 1/2-point home 'chalk' at most books, has a 7-0 lead over Iowa in the second quarter. The Razorbacks' drive ended when they failed to convert a fourth-down attempt for the second time today.
1:10ish: There are zero signs of Oklahoma being flat or looking ahead. The Sooners have raced out to a 14-0 lead and Baylor's punter just shanked an attempt that'll have OU starting this next drive in Baylor territory midway through the first quarter.
And now Sam Bradford has plunged into the end zone from one yard out on a QB sneak. Bradford has sick numbers this year and is certainly one of the Heisman favorites at this early juncture. OU leads 21-0 after closing as a 24-point favorite at most spots. I took Baylor earlier in the week at plus 27.
1:25ish: The following games have gone to halftime: Penn St. has a 10-0 lead at Purdue. Ga. Tech has just a 3-0 advantage over Duke. That line is GT -7 for the second half, equating to the Yellow Jackets minus 10. I won't nothing to do with it although the value from the original line goes Ga. Tech's way. But I pass. Michigan State is sporting a 1 1/2-point tag as a favorite in the second half of its game against Iowa, which trails 13-3. The value is with Iowa catching 11 1/2 (1 1/2 points for 2H line, 10-point defecit) after the line was originally the Spartans -6 1/2. I won't nothing to do with any of these 2H options. (2H equals second half)
1:30: Iowa St. is up 17-0 and knocking on the door again. If this continues, Kansas might be worth a look in the 2H. Oklahoma is on the board again with a 28-0 lead, but Baylor is in the red zone and threatening to get back ahead of the number. The Cyclones settle for a FG (field goal) to go ahead 20-zip. Baylor converts on fourth down and now has a first and goal. For our purposes, this is a monster possession.
1:35: Griffin scores a TD to cut the deficit to 28-7 in Waco. In Fayetteville, Brandon James just made another play on special teams. Not a punt return this time, but rather a fumble recovery on punt coverage, giving UF the ball at Arkansas' 21 with 7:57 left in the second quarter. The Gators maintain a 7-0 lead. After several penalties pushed UF back into a first-and-30 situation, Jeff Demps was untouched when he busted loose for a 36-yard TD run to give the Gators a 14-0 lead.
2:10ish: Kansas trails 20-0 at halftime. The Jayhawks are listed as seven-point favorites in the second half and I think KU is the play. The 2H number equates to getting Kansas plus 13, which is 26-27 points of value from the original line.
3:00ish: Michigan St. has just beaten Iowa 16-13, but the Hawkeyes produced a backdoor cover with a late touchdown. I don't know how or why things went south for Kirk Ferenz's Iowa program, but they certaily have. He elected to go for it on fourth and 2 early in the fourth quarter when Iowa was in field-goal range. I'm not in the know with Iowa enough to know if its kicker is terrible and perhaps that played into it, but you would think Hawk fans are getting a little impatient. Ferentz is one of the nation's highest-paid coaches. We'll be keeping an eye on this situation in the coming weeks.
The Gators do not look good at all. Early in the fourth quarter, they have the ball and a 17-7 lead at Arkansas. Bettors who took the Hogs are looking good at this point. Ga. Tech pulled away from Duke and took the cash in a 27-0 win. Penn St. pushed past Purdue, 20-6.
Oklahoma leads Baylor 42-14, but the backdoor is open late in the third quarter with the Bears near midfield. And look at Kansas, which has scored 21 unanswered points to take a 21-20 lead. Gamblers that took KU in the 2H are looking good.
3:10ish: Baylor just settled for a field goal to pull within 42-17. Minnesota and Indiana have gone final with the Gophers winning both SU and ATS in a 16-6 triumph as 6 1/2-point home 'chalk.' Notre Dame has taken a 7-0 lead over Stanford. Florida and Kansas are both threatening to score. Tebow just connected with Percy Harvin for a TD. Tebow threw his first interception of the seasn late in the third quarter. UF leads 24-7.
South Carolina has a 17-14 lead at Ole Miss.
3:45ish: Oh wow, I guess I jinxed Arkansas backers. Jeff Demps just busted loose on a long run with just over a minute left to put the Gators ahead of the number for the first time all day. They lead 38-7. Alabama and Kentucky are underway at Bryant-Denny Stadium. West Virginia beat Rutgers 24-17, but the Scarlet Knights took the money as double-digit underdogs. Ole Miss leads the Gamecocks 21-17 at intermission. South Carolina missed a short field goal late in the first half. If you're a Ole Miss or South Carolina fan, you can follow your untelevised game in Scott Hood's blog.
4:00: Florida wins and covers in a 38-7 win at Arkansas. Oklahoma remains perfect both SU and ATS with a 49-17 win over Baylor. (That's a big 'L' for me.) Kansas holds on to win outright at Iowa St. (35-33). (Hope you cashed on a KU 2H play) FSU is down in the red zone at Miami in the early going, but on the previous play FSU coughed up the ball and Miami recovered a fumble. The play was ruled no-fumble but is now under interview. BC pushed past N.C. St. 38-31 (w/ line closing at 7 or 7 1/2 at most spots). 'Noles score after previously mentioned play wasn't reversed. Antone Smith took the honors with his fourth TD in the last five quarters. FSU leads 7-0.
4:25ish: 'Bama leads UK 14-0. The Irish lead the Cardinal 21-7 at intermission. The 2H number is ND -2.5, so the value is with Stanford catching what equates to 16.5 for the game. Michigan has taken a 14-3 lead over Illinois -- ouch!
4:35ish: The semmies have taken a 14-0 lead at Miami. Illinois has scored to cut its deficit to 14-10 at Michigan. South Carolina has taken back the lead, 24-21, at Ole Miss. The Rebels are driving as the fourth quarter in Oxford begins.
5:05: South Carolina has the ball and a 31-24 lead with 3:48 left in the final stanza. Alabama is nursing a 14-0 lead late in the second quarter. FSU is all over cry-ami 24-3 at the half. 'Canes might be worth a look if you're wanting/needing a 2H wager.
Illinois is up 17-14 at Michigan shorty before half. Notre Dame leads Stanford 28-7 late third. I see Miami is a pick 'em in the 2H and I think that's worth heavy consideration. That equates to plus 21 at home!
5:25: You've still got a few minutes to get on the 'Canes in the 2H, as I highly recommend it. I also like Kentucky catching seven in the 2H trailing 14-0 at intermission. That amounts to the Wildcats +21, which is six extra points from the original line. The Tide appears to be going through motions, at least in the second quarter they were. We shall see...
South Carolina held on to win 31-24 at Ole Miss, as Chris Smelley had a big day. Don't sleep on the Gamecocks, who still have plenty of quality teams left on their schedule to make some noise.
Biggest Disappointments in 2008:
I may check out and go grab some food here shortly, but I'll be back at some point in a bit.
I'm back at around the 9:20 p.m. ET. mark. And oh boy have a few things transpired since I checked out for a bit. Vandy has beaten Auburn 14-13 to improve to 5-0. WOW! WOW!!! Auburn is done in the SEC West. The semmies held on to win a wild one in South Florida. Texas is all over CU 21-0.
Click here for more in my Week 6 Rewind.