Bowls offer up interesting matchups

As usualy, the BCS provided plenty of drama leading up to the final weekend of college football before the bowl season. Supporters of the BCS have always pointed to this weekly drama as the reason we should keep this ridiculously flawed system that only let the top two teams in the country play for the National Championship. In some years this has worked out great with epic matchups between Ohio State and Miami and then USC and Texas. Those games made the BCS system a significant improvement over the old system, where #1 rarely played #2 in the bowl games. But the imprved system made most of us want more, as it further exposed the arbitrary nature of college football and the silly notion that losing one game could disqualify you from playing for a championship. It also highlighted on a weekly basis the absurd notion that opinions and style points should somehow determine the fate of a football team, as opposed to winning a game on the field in a playoff.

Next year we will finally move to a more rational system. But for this year, with some lucky breaks at the end, including the resolution of the Jameis Winston drama, we got a game with Florida State and Auburn that most people can support. With that we also got some more games that football fans and betters can enjoy, and there will be plenty of people researching odds and free bets in order to enjoy an interesting slate of games.

The title game will get a ton of attention as usual, as the incredibly talented Florida State team seems poised to put an end to the SEC dominance of this game. Auburn is a 7.5 to 8.5 underdog with the various sports books, which is a pretty big spread considering Auburn won the SEC. Of cours ethe miracle finishes need to be considered as well. But this game is often ripe for upsets, as the break between the end of the season and the game can stretch out over a month. We’ll see if Florida State is really that good, or if they just ran up the score against mediocre competition.

One of the best bowl matchups has Ohio State roughly as a 2 or 2.5 point favorite over Clemson in the Orange Bowl. Ohio State opened as a 5 point favorite in some books and over a field goal in others, so money is definitely coming in on Clemson. Both teams have issues on defense, as it will be difficult for Clemson to stop Ohio State’s running game while the Ohio State defense often gets carved up by good quarterbacks like Tajh Boyd.

The worst game looks like Baylor vs Central Florida, where Baylor is favored by over two touchdowns. Of course the spread will make this interesting for betters, but it’s hardly the type of game fans look forward to. Perhaps UCF can spring the upset. Enjoy!

  

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Lines moving towards Ravens and 49ers

Plenty of fans are jumping on the Colin Kaepernick bandwagon, as we’re seeing the 49ers as a road favorite at Atlanta, and the spread is actually moving even more in San Francisco’s direction.

Meanwhile, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick and the Patriots opened as a big home favorite against the Ravens, but money has been coming in on Baltimore. The line is still more than a touchdown, but it’s definitely moving.

  

NFL Odds for Thanksgiving Day

It’s turkey day, and that of course means plenty of NFL football to go along with turkey and family gatherings. Check out our NFL Lines pages for all the odds for this weekend’s football action. In today’s games, the Detroit Lions try to break a long turkey day losing streak as the Houston Texans travel north. Houston is favored by three on the road.

RG3 is coming off a monster game and he leads the Washington Redskins into Dallas to face a Cowboys team that barely beat the Browns last week at home. Dallas is favored at home by three so this is basically a toss-up.

Finally, the New England Patriots travel to New Jersey tonight to take on the New York Jets. The Pats are favored by seven on the road even without Rob Gronkowski.

Enjoy the games!

  

Vegas Vic’s Free Pick: Pitt over Notre Dame

Notre Dame had a huge road win last weekend, and the Fighting Irish have certainly gotten everyone’s attention. After years of mediocrity, Notre Dame is certainly relevant again.

Take a look at the college football lines for this week and you’ll see Notre Dame is a 17 point favorite over Pitt? Can they cover? Here’s this week’s free pick from Vegas Vic:

3:30 Eastern (Saturday, November 3rd)
Pittsburgh +17 over Notre Dame

You have to figure the Irish are going to be somewhat flat in this situation if not totally flat in this situation as a double digit home favorite coming off of last weeks huge/satisfying national tv 30-13 upset road win at Oklahoma as a double digit road underdog crushing the Sooners. Lines do matter in perception. Who is the underdog and who is the favorite does matter in scheduling/situations/results. Pittsburgh is just good enough to give Notre Dame a fight and the Panthers are playing with double revenge having lost 17-23 and 12-15 the last 2 seasons vs Notre Dame. If the Irish show up flat in this situation off last weeks big win at Oklahoma they are going to be hard pressed to cover -17 points. If the Irish show up totally flat in this situation their 8-0 start ends with an outright Pittsburgh upset…

There you have it.

  

Can Trent Richardson carry the Browns in week 3?


Image source: Browns Facebook page

The first two weeks of the NFL season are always wild, as we really don’t know what many teams are made of. Keep that in mind when you’re looking at the NFL lines to make your picks. It’s easy to get caught up in the preseason hype or grand conclusions based on week one of the regular season.

Many of the fans in Cleveland and the experts around the country were convinced that Trent Richardson and Brandon Weeden would be “busts” after their tough debut in week one against a very touch Philly defense, but then both players bounced back with excellent games against Cincy in week two. If you ignored the hysteria and took the Browns last week, you would have either pushed if you had 7 points or you would have been a winner had you shopped around and gotten 7.5 points. You can always shop around for the best odds on our NFL live lines page powered by SBR which gives lines from seven different sources.

This week, the Browns are 3 point dogs at home against Buffalo. I like the Browns, but this one is far from a lock. Richardson and Weeden have a bright future if you look at last week’s game, but they’re still rookies, so they’ll have more tough games like the week one debacle. This game is tough to predict.

I like San Fran giving 6.5 points on the road against the Vikings. The 49ers look like the best team in the NFL right now, and while the Vikings look better, they’ll have a tough time against this monster defense.

  

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