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Vegas picks and preview of week 5
Showing any signs of fight is something that could have benefited college football's underdogs during last week's slate of games. Favorites clubbed their inferiors with uppercuts, going 55 2 straight up and 36 21 against the chi flat iron spread during Week 4.
Memphis' 31 7 win over Arkansas State as 3.5 point underdogs and Utah's 20 13 upset as 7 point underdogs at BYU were the only victories from teams taking points in Las Vegas.
For the sake of underdog bettors, and many of our picks below, let's hope for a bounce back in a week that features a far more intriguing slate of games. The blog is imitating the effect of a new offensive coordinator arriving in town by switching up the format.
For the rest of the college football season, we'll analyze 10 of the best games of the week from a Las Vegas perspective and offer a pick.
Click through below for the Week 5 edition of chi hair straightener college football by the odds.
Gerald Herbert / AP
No. 6 LSU plus 3 at No. 9 Georgia, 12:30, CBS The chances of this line moving before kickoff seem about as likely as the Bulldogs staff suddenly deciding to chop down the hedges at Sanford Stadium. Big money feasted on LSU plus 3.5 at the few books where it was available in town earlier in the week. A move to Georgia minus 2.5 would be met with the same reaction.
There's a convenient narrative here in LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger returning to where he grew up his mother works in the Georgia athletic department and started his college career. Mettenberger has been one of the most efficient passers in college football through four games. But make no mistake: Georgia has the better senior quarterback, Aaron Murray, and superior offense. LSU holds a comparable edge on defense.
Seven combined games for these two teams have all gone over the total to push this over/under to 62.5, the highest in series history by 13 points.
Pick: Under 62.5 We'll normally stick to sides as promised, but this line is just right while the total is a bit inflated.
Sue Ogrocki / AP
No. 14 Oklahoma minus 3.5 at No. 22 Notre Dame, 12:30, NBC More than a handful of gamblers are either going to back Notre Dame or shy from Oklahoma today based on what happened in this matchup last year. In one of the most shocking results of the season, Notre Dame eradicated Oklahoma 30 13 on the road as 10.5 point underdogs.
Is the effect of last year's game on the betting market justifiable? Not at all. For starters, a look back reveals the meeting was much closer than the score indicated. Oklahoma had more first downs than Notre Dame, and just 24 fewer yards. The Sooners appear liberated playing with fewer expectations this season, especially now that coach Bob Stoops has come to his senses and made Blake Bell their starting quarterback.
Aside from a season ending trip to Oklahoma State, this projects as the toughest game on Oklahoma's schedule. Its 30 to 1 odds to win the national championship, which have remained unchanged for months at the LVH Superbook, even look intriguing considering it's a number due to drop with a victory in South Bend, Ind.
Pick: Oklahoma minus 3.5 Laying the hook is always a cause for concern, but oddsmakers haven't caught up to this Sooners team yet.
Phil Sears / AP
No. 8 Florida State minus 23.5 at Boston College, 12:30, ABC The nation has yet to break out of its honeymoon phase with Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston. The freshman is now only an underdog to Texas A Johnny Manziel, Oregon's Marcus Mariota and Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater to win the Heisman Trophy at offshore sports books.
The love could get another boost with Winston making his national television debut against a hapless squad that chi hair straighteners couldn't even defeat lower level Villanova earlier this season. The line has moved as much as 1.5 points in Florida State's favor.
As dazzling as Winston's first game on the road was at Pittsburgh, the Panthers' defense is even more pitiful than the Eagles'. Often times the best moment to go against a team is when the public can't possibly fathom it.
Pick: Boston College plus 23.5 Take a deep breath and know you're getting the best of the number.
Mark Humphrey / AP
No. 21 Mississippi plus 14 at No. 1 Alabama, 3:30, ESPN For all bookmakers' groans about elite teams covering at exorbitant rates this season, they've gotten a reprieve of sorts with the best program in the country. The Crimson Tide are just 1 2 against the spread, not covering since a season chi hair tools opening 35 10 smash session over Virginia Tech as 21.5 point favorites.
They find themselves in another tough spot here. The Rebels travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., where they've covered in their last four trips, off of a bye week. They've been one of the best teams in the country to bet on at 12 4 against the spread since coach Hugh Freeze took over last season. Alabama might come out with extra focus, however, after coach Nick Saban expressed disappointment in his team's 31 6 victory over Colorado State as 40 point favorites last week.
Line shopping is paramount here. As recently as Friday morning, both Alabama minus 14 and Ole Miss plus 16 were available at different sports books around town.
talented NY Giants should bounce back
Eli Manning looks to rebound from some rough starts with a recharged arm after the Giants' bye week.
Related Stories NFL Week 3 roundup: Bears trounce Steelers in night game, Browns upset Vikings and Seahawks roll NFL Week 9 Bettor's Guide: Go with the Arizona Cardinals over Green Bay Packers despite spread, keep picking favored Greg Robinson 2XL Jersey NY Giants Final playoff spots and much more on the line as NFL wraps up regular season Sunday NFL Roundup: Packers' Rogers suffers concussion in loss
From the best NFL games to bet this weekend, to the ones you should steer clear of, check out Sean Brennan's guide to get you through the weekend a winner. Then check out how the rest of our crew of pigskin experts see this weekend's action as they pick against the spread. 4, Giants by 2, 49
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: The Packers have been doing it with mirrors the past few weeks as injuries to key players have mounted on both sides of the ball. Key among the injured are Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson on defense and Greg Jennings and RT Bryan Bulaga on offense. Somehow, however, the Packers have continued to post Ws, five in a row in fact. But four of those five victims (Rams, Jaguars, Cardinals and Lions) don't come close in the talent pool to what the Giants can trot out there Sunday night. Yes, the Giants were limping into their bye week with back to back losses and yes, Eli Manning has not been himself of late he has one TD pass in his last 99 attempts but the Packers' lack of star power on defense could go a long way toward rectifying the Giants' offensive ills. Despite Green Bay having won the last four times it has come east to play the Giants, I think their bend but don't break defense finally breaks here and Eli's three game drought without a TD pass comes to an end.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Giants and over
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: Just when you thought it couldn't possibly get any worse for the Chiefs after losing seven straight games and seeing a plane carry a sign over Arrowhead Stadium calling for the firing of GM Scott Pioli, well, here come Peyton Manning and the Broncos, winners of five straight and starting to run away in the AFC West. At least the Chiefs are at home, you say. is 0 5 at home and has been outscored 140 72. Then there's the fact that Manning has thrown for more touchdown passes in November (seven) than the Chiefs' QB duo of Matt Cassel and Brady Quinn has combined for all season (six). The Chiefs' seven game losing streak is two short of the franchise record set in 1987 and matched in 2007. After Sunday they will be one loss closer to matching it again.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Broncos and over www.ramsauthenticofficial.com/Greg_Robinson_Jersey_Rams
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: No Ben Roethlisberger? No Byron Leftwich? No problem. For the first time since last Christmas Eve, there will be a Charlie Batch sighting in an NFL game. Batch, who is 5 2 lifetime as a fill in for Big Ben, won Aaron Donald XL Jersey that game last December against the Rams, so facing the Browns won't be all that much of a stretch. Why do you disparage the Browns so, you say? There are many reasons, but the two that stick out the most are the fact that the Brownies have won three of their last 20 games that's a robust .150 winning percentage and they have a history of futility against the Steelers no matter who is playing quarterback. The Browns have beaten the Steelers just once since the 2003 season and are just 3 22 since 2000.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Steelers and the under
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: One thing not hot on Christmas shopping lists this season? The Darren McFadden action figure. It seems even with batteries the damn thing does nothing, just as he and the Raiders offense do on a regular basis. McFadden has only been an occasional contributor for the Raiders this season in between ankle injuries. He might be in this week, might not. Will it matter? Absolutely not. The Bengals seem to be peaking at the right time and go into Sunday just one game out of a wild card spot and with back to back wins over the Giants (impressive) and the Chiefs (a gimme), I can't see the bumbling Raiders getting in the way of Cincy's postseason chase. The Raiders' defense has allowed 37 TDs this season. None of the Raiders defensive action figures are selling well, either. Now that's some cruise ship quality entertainment. And as bad as these two offensive lines are, it's a small miracle that Sam Bradford is still able to eat solid food. Bradford has been sacked 26 times this season and harassed countless other times. On the other side of the ball, rookie Ryan Lindley will start at QB for the Cardinals, who have lost six straight. The Rams offense is bad, but the Cards have not scored more than 19 points since Week 4. Pass the Mylanta.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Rams and the under
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: Buffalo is coming off its first prime time win since 2001, breaking a streak of 10 straight such losses. So clearly the Bills are the Not Ready for Prime Time Players. Sadly for Buffalo fans, they probably won't be very good Sunday Afternoon Players in Indy, either. The Colts have something to play for, an improbable playoff spot as they come into the game 6 4. The Bills have no such postseason dreams again as their streak of not reaching the playoffs since 1999 will continue for another season. The Colts have hit a soft patch in their schedule and having won six of the last seven vs. Buffalo, they'll make it seven of eight Sunday.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Colts and the under
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: The Titans defense had a good thing going, notoriety was there for the making. Through the first nine weeks of the season the Titans defense was on pace to set a whole new record for futility and then screwed it up by limiting the Dolphins to just three points just before their bye. Now they have little to play for, but the Jags have even less. They took their shot at the season's most improbable upset last week but blew a 14 point fourth quarter lead and lost to Houston in OT. The Jags are 0 5 at home and have lost by an average of almost 22 points. Jaguars football: Catch the fever!
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Titans and the under
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: It's really hard to get excited about a Dolphins team that was embarrassed by the Titans and totally outplayed by the Bills in its last two games. But we also present the Seahawks, who are a far more formidable outfit at home, as is their rookie quarterback Russell Wilson, who has thrown all eight of his interceptions on the road. But so long as the Seahawks offensive line can keep Miami's Cameron Wake (9.5 sacks) from turning Wilson into his personal chew toy, Marshawn Lynch's pounding runs should be enough to give the Seahawks a rare road win. So it has that going for it. If it means anything to you, expect the Panthers' ground game with Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Cam Newton to emerge from this drek with a win.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Panthers and the under
BRENNAN'S BUZZ: In a quirk of the schedule, the Ravens find themselves playing the hated Steelers twice in three weeks with this Chargers game tucked in between. Now there is every reason to expect a Ravens letdown after their three point win in Pittsburgh last week and flying cross country to play a mediocre at best Chargers team could prove to be the ultimate trap game. Not sure if the Chargers, at 4 6, are desperate or desperately want their season over. They are not likely to rebound from here for a playoff spot (there are three teams currently ahead of them for the wild card) and with Philip Rivers throwing almost as many picks (14) as TDs (17), maybe the Bolts have just run out of juice.
IF I WERE A BETTING MAN: Ravens and the under
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Editors' Picks Mets edge Yanks in Subway Series opener Daniel Murphy added some flourish to the Subway Series Monday night, tomahawking his bat into www.ramsauthenticofficial.com/Aaron_Donald_Jersey_Rams the turf as he ran to first after delivering the winning hit in the Mets' 2 1 victory over the Yankees at Citi Field.
Harper: Captain Wright's the ship for Mets The catch seemed destined to be another moment that defined the baseball pecking order in New York. Certainly the way the season has gone, Brett Gardner's spectacular catch was proof this would be another night when the Yankees and Mets would go their separate ways.
Rotherham United News
Definite pen and really bad decision. Webb has had a couple of shockers recently, ie Eto should been sent off, close pen call no suarez. Problem is young has dived way too many www.brownsnflofficialonline.com/Terrance_West_Jersey_Browns times. All teams have divers, Man U have young.
ravalraj in Moyes: Scandalous decision
As a born and bred United fan, I agree that we were a bit hard done by on the penalty claim, but tough luck, as many have said, we have had our fair share of good luck in the past, Moyes just needs to get on with the job and stop.
gd1966 in Moyes: Scandalous decision
Another game, another win. Always difficult when a team sets out to frustrate you but we stuck to the task at hand and got the 3 points. Great credit to Nicklas Bendtner who looks hungry and full of confidence. Wishing him a speedy.
paul in Late double rescues Arsenal
Bendtner has been given a really hard Terrance West XXXL Jersey time by everyone in the footballing world (probably deservedly so). The only way he is going to change peoples perception of him is if he keeps playing the way he is and scoring goals. He has.
josh in Late www.brownsnflofficialonline.com/Christian_Kirksey_Jersey_Browns double rescues Arsenal
I a Liverpool fan and it a case of getting used to some truly shocking decisions against us but besides all that, what the hell is Sakho doing in a Liverpool kit? Apart from the awful way the man football,.
ste in Eto'o strike seals comeback
Chelsea outplayed liverpool for most of the match and should have had a penalty
anony in Eto'o strike seals comeback
how about that tackle on Hazard in the area then? Seems much like six of this and half a dozen of the other, in my opinion. And Eto is never going to get sent off Christian Kirksey XL Jersey in the 3rd minute for a tackle like that. A yellow card at best.