Saturday College 6-Pack and Top 5 Conferences (November 19, 2010)



By Jim Hurley:

Our Jim Sez headline is a strange-but-true one:

It's the weekend before Thanksgiving Day and yet none of the nation's top three teams in the current BCS Standings will be in action - so you won't be hearing anything about Oregon's offensive attack that sprung a leak in last week's 15-13 win at Cal and (hopefully) you won't be hearing any off-the-field nonsense regarding Auburn quarterback Cam Newton nor will be there any BCS-buster comments regarding the TCU Horned Frogs who might just be the best team in the land this year even if they might not get the opportunity to prove it!

No, this pre-Turkey Day menu is loaded with a batch of one-loss teams on the outside looking in as #5 LSU, #6 Stanford, #7 Wisconsin, #8 Nebraska and #9 Ohio State all have monster games on this third Saturday in November and there's still room in our "Saturday Six-Pack" for that ACC showdown between #16 Virginia Tech at #24 Miami.

Mmmmm good!

We'll get to our Six-Pack in a moment but first this important message:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the Winners in the NFL, and College Football, the NBA and College Basketball too when you call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you log online right here. Here's an important Note: The check-in times are after 1 p.m. ET Monday-thru-Friday for all the Football/Basketball weeknight games and then anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't forget that there will be plenty of College Basketball Monday-thru-Friday matinee games in the next couple of weeks with all the holidays approaching and so check your schedules and don't miss out on any of the day-time winners. Got it?

 November is the time college football hits the stretch drive and sharp handicappers with good information can make a killing by finding the right spot! Some teams are thinking too much about their bowl position and not enough about the next game. Some teams are coming off big wins while others are looking for revenge. The numbers don't tell the whole story and with a coaliton of on-scene sources like no other, no one cashes that in better than Jim Hurley's Network. We sure did last year when our November College Game of the Year was Stanford (+7) over Oregon and the Cardinal won outright 51-42! Oregon was coming off a big win over Southern Cal and was ripe to be plucked. We did the plucking, and we're set to do it again this year! We've got an extraordinary spot that has EVERYTHING GOING FOR IT! In addition to last year's big win, we're on a roll, having won 9 of our last 12 and we're set to win big on Saturday!

CLICK HERE to sign up for this winning play right now. Just $50

Extra, extra: Jim Hurley was smoking-hot on Sunday in the NFL as he cashed in with the Denver Broncos in their 49-29 win against Kansas City as that represented the top play of the day on the Closed Circuit. Meanwhile, Jim's Touchdown Club banged out an NFL Week 10 winner with Tampa Bay's 31-16 win against Carolina and don't forget the Blue Ribbon service rock-n-rolled with a winner on the Cowboys at the Jersey swamps.


OLE MISS (4-6, 1-5 SEC) at #5 LSU (9-1, 5-1 SEC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Memo to those aforementioned guys stationed at #1, #2 and #3 in the current BCS Standings ... you're all probably lucky there isn't a playoff system in place right now in the wacky world of College Football or else this LSU club might win it all!

Note the following: LSU's defense has held six foes to 14-or-fewer points this year and in four of these games the Tigers' opponents scored a combined two offensive touchdowns. Now, consider that Tigers' RB Steven Ridley (878 yards rushing and 9 TDs) is chomping at the bit to cut-and-slash his way against an Ole Miss defense that's surrendered 50-plus points in two of the team's last three games.

Ole Miss has muddled through a miserable season under third-year head coach Houston Nutt who - just so you know - wasn't among the guys rooting hard last Sunday for Dallas Cowboys interim head coach Jason Garrett as Nutt's name has been linked to the 'Boys job but this doesn't figure to be a springboard game.

Spread Notes - LSU has split its first 10 pointspread verdicts this year but did you realize the Bayou Bengals are just 15-27-6 ATS (against the spread) when battling fellow SEC foes the past five-plus seasons (that's a .357 winning rate)? Meanwhile, Ole Miss has failed to cover its last four consecutive spread results and the Rebels are 3-6 ATS in their last nine away games overall.

#6 STANFORD (9-1, 6-1 Pac-10) at CALIFORNIA (5-5, 3-4 Pac-10) - 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Network
It's been a big sports year in the Bay Area with the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series for the first time ever and with the NFL's Oakland Raiders in a true renaissance season but we pose the following question here: What would the folks in/around the Golden Gate Bridge be thinking if/when the Stanford Cardinal could finagle its way into a BCS Championship Game this January?

Stanford's success story has been a real "beaut" as QB Andrew Luck (2,511 yards passing with 22 TDs and 7 INTs) continues to sizzle but have you noticed this defense that's yielded 17 points-or-less in six games this year and that includes snazzy shutouts at both UCLA and at Washington!

Spread Notes - California has covered seven of its last nine head-to-head battles against archrival Stanford and note that the home-underdog Bears are a collective 15-13-1 versus the vig when grabbing points in the Jeff Tedford Era (2002-present). On the flip side, the Cardinal comes into this rivalry tilt having split its 10 pointspread verdicts this season and coach Jim Harbaugh's gang is just 11-12 ATS away since his tenure started in 2007.

#7 WISCONSIN (9-1, 5-1 Big 10) at MICHIGAN (7-3, 3-3 Big 10) - 12 p.m. ET, ESPN
Never mind last week's run-up-the-score 83-20 win by the Wisky Badgers and all the flak head coach Bret Bielema took for that - the here-and-now situation is that Wisconsin has its focus set on getting back to its first Rose Bowl since 2000 and here QB Scott Tolzien (181 yards passing and three scoring strikes last Saturday against the Indy Hoosiers) must be sharp and on target because the maize-and-blue will be stacking the box with eight/nine defenders to slow down the Badgers ground game.

Michigan, meanwhile, needs do-it-all QB Denard Robinson (1,990 yards passing and 1,417 yards rushing) to stay in one piece all game long after he's been dinged and forced to leave three different games this year.

Spread Notes - Michigan is a lowly 1-6-1 spreadwise in its last eight pointspread verdicts against the Badgers dating back to the 2000 campaign. The Wolverines also stagger badly into this clash with a current six-game spread losing streak. Ugh! Meanwhile, Wisconsin rides a four-game spread winning streak into this Big 10 road game and note the Badgers are just 8-10-1 ATS in conference road games in the Bielema Era (2006-present).

#8 NEBRASKA (9-1, 5-1 Big 12) at #19 TEXAS A&M (7-3, 4-2 Big 12) - 8 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN
Last week's 20-3 non-cover win against Kansas didn't earn the Nebraska Cornhuskers a whole lot of national headlines but did you know Big Red yielded a grand total of 87 yards in that tilt?

Nebraska's stop unit must be sharp here as a born-again Texas A&M team continues to ride QB Ryan Tannehill who has keyed the Aggies' current four-game winning streak. Tannehill's thrown for 10 TDs in the past four games but he figures to face lots of blitz packages here as head coach Bo Pelini and brother Carl (the defensive coordinator) are sure to have some tricks up their sleeves.

Spread Notes - Nebraska may be a top 10 team these days but the Cornhuskers are a disappointing 4-6 versus the vig this season but overall Big Red is a slick 12-4 ATS away since the start of the 2008 season. Texas A&M's sporting a current four-game spread winning streak and the Aggies are 9-4-1 ATS as hosts since the start of last season.
#9 OHIO STATE (9-1, 5-1 Big 10) at #20 IOWA (7-3, 4-2 Big 10) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN
In case you hadn't taken the pulse of these Big 10 teams than you should know this: The Ohio State Buckeyes are peaking at exactly the right time although it still could be a case of too-little, too-late in terms of getting into this year's BCS Championship Game chase while the flip side says the Iowa Hawkeyes are gasping for air while coming down the stretch as last weekend's 21-17 loss at 9 ½-point pup Northwestern really kayoed Kirk Ferentz's club from the upper echelon bowl games.

Ohio State QB Terrelle Pryor (2,136 yards passing with 22 TDs and another 512 yards rushing with 4 ground scores) is - surprise, surprise - the central character in this tilt in Iowa City but if Iowa's gonna win here than the Hawkeyes' WRs Marvin McNutt and Darrell Johnson-Koulianos (41 receptions each and a combined 15 TDs) must put the big-bang theory into use here and make some monster plays in the vertical passing game as something tells us Iowa will win this game only if they really outscore the Columbus kids in a serious shootout.

Spread Notes - Iowa is a dead-even but vig-losing 5-5 against the odds so far this 2010 season but the Hawkeyes are a glittery 12-4 ATS as underdogs since the start of the 2007 campaign and that includes last year's 27-24 loss-but-cover at 16 ½-point favorite Ohio State. On the other side of the coin, the Buckeyes are a brilliant 8-2 against the Las Vegas prices this season and go back to the start of 2005 and you'll see that the O-State is 48-23-1 vig-wise in all on-the-board games for a sizzling .676 winning percentage. Hip-hip-hooray!
#16 VIRGINIA TECH (8-2, 6-0 ACC) at #24 MIAMI (7-3, 5-2 ACC) - 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC or ESPN
No doubt the folks at Virginia Tech have been busy playing the "what if" game in recent weeks ... and why not?
Frank Beamer's club has been hotter than a Texas street in summertime after that shoddy start that included losses to Boise State and James Madison and here come the Gobblers into Miami with the most underrated quarterback in the land in Tyrod Taylor (1,988 yards passing with 18 TDs and 4 INTs) and with a defense that's ready/willing/able to shut down most enemy attacks.

Meanwhile, word is Miami once again will start frosh Stephen Morris in place of the still-injured Jacory Harris who was slammed into the ground early in the Hurricanes' end-of-October loss at Virginia and hasn't played since while the 'Canes have rolled on without 'em in 6- and 25-point wins against Maryland and Georgia Tech the past two weekends. If Morris can locate WR Leonard Hankerson (51 catches and 11 TDs) than Tech's eight-game history could go up in smoke.

Spread Notes - Miami has split its first 10 pointspread decisions in 2010 and the U of M Hurricanes enter this ACC clash a composite 17-30 against the odds in conference games dating back to the start of the 2005 season. Virginia Tech has covered seven of its last eight games since that horrendous 0-2 SU/ATS start and the Hokies overall are a nifty 8-1 odds-wise in their last nine meetings with "The U".



#1. SEC - Maybe there's the thinking out there that "down years" for both Alabama and Florida means this conference that's produced the last four BCS National Championship teams is no longer king of the hill but we don't concur. Check out the current BCS Standings and you'll see six SEC teams between #2 and #21 and you could wind up with as many as five teams from this league playing in January bowl games (see Auburn, LSU, Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina). Okay, so maybe the SEC is no longer head-and-shoulder pads above the rest of the power leagues but it's still holding firm at the top of the pack.

#2. BIG 12 - Maybe there won't be a team from this well-balanced league in the running for national title honors come January but Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas A&M are all inside the BCS Top 20 and any of the above-mentioned squads would give the likes of Oregon and Auburn a real tussle in a neutral field game ... trust us! The Big 12 always sports a slew of great offensive teams and it's entirely possible that we - the media - have been underrating the Okie State Cowboys' potent attack this year and ditto for the Mizzou Tigers. P.S., the fact that Texas has flopped facemask-first this year doesn't bring down the whole conference no matter what some silly outsiders might be saying these days.

#3. PAC-10 - If you've checked this week with USA Today numbers guru Jeff Sagarin than you already know he currently ranks the Pac-10 as the best league in the land (an 81.28 rating over the SEC's 79.75 and the Big 12's 78.94) but here's where we take issue with the MIT grad: The Pac-10 has the numero uno team in the country (see the Oregon Ducks) and #6 Stanford too but there's only one other team in the BCS Top 25 (that's #22 Arizona) and there's no denying that the likes of USC, UCLA and Oregon State are way down as compared to recent years past. 'Nuff said!

#4. BIG 10 - Must admit that we thought about putting this league below the oft-maligned ACC but just couldn't pull the trigger on that one and maybe it's because #7 Wisconsin is better than people think and #9 Ohio State is comin' on fast like a speeding bullet. Throw into the mix #12 Michigan State and #20 Iowa have enjoyed - for the most part - super seasons and there's just too much good stuff up top in the Big 10 to kick 'em to the curb here. Still, wish we knew a little more about the likes of Penn State and Northwestern - would they be better-than-.500 teams in these above-mentioned leagues?

#5. ACC - It's true that the best squad in this 12-team league is someone who started off the 2010 campaign at 0-2 but #16 Virginia Tech is finishing with a real flourish and both Miami and Florida State are part of the BCS Top 25 right (granted, they're the ones pulling up the rear). It's possible that three ACC teams could be playing in neat January bowl games and both Maryland and N.C. State are better than anyone expected in 2010.
NOTE: Catch all our NFL Week 11 Key Sunday Previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.




By Jim Hurley:

For three-or-so years you hardly ever heard the name when it came to his playing skills - now all this week it's been downright impossible to avoid all the media chatter regarding Philadelphia Eagles' QB Michael Vick.

No doubt Vick's super-human showing in Philly's resounding 59-28 win at Washington last Monday Night was all-universe stuff:

There were the 333 yards passing and four scoring strikes and there were the 80 yards rushing and two TD scores there too.

And let's not forget how that game started with Vick airing out an 87-yard touchdown bomb to WR DeSean Jackson - maybe the single-best pass play we've seen in the last five or six years (or longer) -- and that no doubt set the tone for what became an absolutely epic evening for a former top draft pick that just now may be hitting his stride.

Now, Vick looks for an encore performance of sorts against the NFC East-leading New York Giants - and the New York tabloids were busy spending plenty of time/space analyzing how the G-men can slow/stop Vick ... hey, good luck.

Lots more on this game and a few others on this NFL Week 11 card but first this key reminder:

Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers get you all the Winners in the NFL, and College Football, the NBA and College Basketball too when you call us at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or else when you log online right here. Here's an important Note: The check-in times are after 1 p.m. ET Monday-thru-Friday for all the Football/Basketball weeknight games and then anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays and Sundays. Don't forget that there will be plenty of College Basketball Monday-thru-Friday matinee games in the next couple of weeks with all the holidays approaching and so check your schedules and don't miss out on any of the day-time winners. Got it?


There's a terrific card of NFL games going Sunday, with grudge matches like Green Bay-Minnesota, Indianapolis-New England, Philly-NYG and even Oakland-Pittsburgh for fans and players with longer memories. You have some teams starting to fade and others finding their rhythm as we hit the 10th game of the schedule. What it all means for handicappers and the dogs are never going to be barking louder than RIGHT NOW! That's why the Jim Hurley Network is convinced the time is ripe for a Three Dog-Day! This is a special parlay that is released once a year and has swept 10 of the last 16! It's the plays that will bite your man. Bet them individually or in a parlay at 6-1. Bet them on the line or bet them on the moneyline. Just make sure you BET THEM BIG! CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP NOW


NEW YORK GIANTS (6-3) at PHILADELPHIA (6-3) - 8:20 p.m. ET, NBC
Okay, so Mr. Vick will be the front-and-center guy in this key under-the-lights NFC East clash but there are plenty of other storylines such as how does this Giants defense respond/react following last weekend's horrendous 33-20 loss to the 12 ½-point underdog Dallas Cowboys?

The Giants allowed 427 offensive yards and journeyman QB Jon Kitna aired three scoring strikes in that clash and so no doubt Vick is chomping at the bit here but he should expect some"spy" coverage plus look for NYG's three-safety unit to play some bump-and-run with the aforementioned Jackson and speedy WR Jeremy Maclin (they've combined for 66 receptions and 12 TDs this season).

On the other side of the proverbial coin, Giants QB Eli Manning (2,448 yards passing with 19 TDs and 13 INTs) must get a little more accurate with his throws and he needs an X factor here with Pro Bowl WR Steve Smith out again (torn pectoral muscle). Don't sleep on TE Kevin Boss who could be a very viable option with quick-hitter strikes here.

Spread Notes - The Giants are a solid 18-11 ATS (against the spread) whenever playing divisional foes the past four-plus seasons but that does include a current four-game spread losing when playing the Philly Eagles. Note that the Birds enter this prime-timer at 4-5 ATS overall this season and that includes three-of-four spread losses at home.

INDIANAPOLIS (6-3) at NEW ENGLAND (7-2) - 4:15 p.m. ET, CBS
In case you were wondering this is gonna be the eighth straight regular season that these annual AFC super-powers will meet and don't forget the three playoff battles between 2003 and 2006.

Okay, so it's become a rite of autumn passage for Colts-Patriots to spar but this collision has a different feel as Indianapolis is a shell of itself from an offensive personnel what with injuries to TE Dallas Clark, WR Austin Collie and WR Anthony Gonzalez (among others) really making it a major challenge for Indy QB Peyton Manning (2,663 yards passing with 16 TDs and 4 INTs) these days while the personnel keeps on changing for the Pats who are younger/quicker/more athletic than recent editions of the team.

The $64,000 question here is can Manning and his short-handed cast of characters make enough dents in this New England defense that is far from impenetrable (see four games of 26-or-more point yields) and will the Colts have to settle for some PK Adam Vinatieri"threes" here or will they get three-or-more TDs?

Note that the Pats - who've been hearing all week long about last year's 35-34 loss at Lucas Oil Filed and"The Decision" by head coach Bill Belichick to go for it on a fourth-and-two from their own 28-yard line - are amped up to stay on top of the AFC East and QB Tom Brady (2,176 yards passing with 17 TDs and 4 INTs) surely got his team's attention last week with that televised sideline screaming fit.

Gut feeling: It will take 30 points to win this affair in Foxboro and maybe a defensive TD or special teams runback will spell the"diff".

Spread Notes - Indianapolis is a collective 17-9-1 against the odds dating back to Week 2 play a year ago and note that includes the aforementioned 35-34 loss-but-cover against 2 ½-point pup New England. On the flip side, the Patriots are a solid 5-3-1 ATS overall this season but did you know that New England's just 27-25-1 against the Las Vegas prices as betting favorites dating back to the start of 2007 season?

OAKLAND (5-4) at PITTSBURGH (6-3) - 1 p.m. ET, CBS
It's been a long, long time since Raiders-Steelers meant a battle of winning teams but that's the case here as Oakland's back-to-back-to-back wins prior to last weekend's bye has catapulted the silver-and-black to a tie atop the AFC West with the KC Chiefs.

Look for the Raiders to continue their emphasis on the downfield passing game - both WRs Darius Heyward-Bey and rookie Jacoby Ford (a combined 306 all-purpose yards in the Week 9 win against the Chiefs) to get their hands on the ball plenty here but whether these speed-burners can make it into the end zone might be another question.

And while we're busy asking questions, what on earth is wrong with Steelers S Troy Polamalu who"guessed wrong" all night long in last Sunday's 39-26 loss to New England? Maybe Polamalu's already on the other side of the mountain with what's left in his career tank.

Spread Notes - Oakland rides a three-game spread winning streak into this clash at Heinz Field but overall the Raiders are a dead-even but vig-losing 18-18 against the odds when snapping up points while dating back to the start of the 2008 season. Pittsburgh's failed to cover its last three in a row against Oakland dating back to 2004 and the Steelers are a money-toasting 7-13-1 ATS as betting favorites since the start of last season.
GREEN BAY (6-3) at MINNESOTA (3-6) - 1 p.m. ET, Fox
Do the Minny Vikings need"last rites" or is this now just a case of kicking more dirt on a dead body? The Vikes sabotaged their own season with a whole lot of drama that wasn't necessary and now it's hard to tell if disrespected head coach Brad Childress has any clue in what his NFC North crew will give him in this divisional home duel. Let's just say we can't wait for the inevitable sad-sack quotes from QB Brett Favre (10 TDs and 16 INTs) who should at this time be texting folks his final thoughts any day now.

Spread Notes - Green Bay rides a three-game pointspread winning streak into this NFC North clash and note the Packers are a nifty 19-10 ATS away since the start of the 2007 campaign. Meanwhile, Minnesota staggers into this tilt on a four-game spread losing skid and the Vikes overall are 2-5-1 spreadwise this year after going 11-6-1 ATS a year ago.


Let's go 'round the league and get you our Jim Sez NFL Week #11 Pointspread Tidbits with all figures below against the spread:

  • The Arizona Cardinals are 11-4-1 as underdogs since late in their Super Bowl season of 2008
  • The Atlanta Falcons have failed to cover five of their last six showdowns against St. Louis
  • The Baltimore Ravens are 19-10-1 versus non-divisional foes the past two-plus seasons
  • The Cincinnati Bengals are 4-9 as hosts dating back to thee start of last year
  • The New Orleans Saints are 21-31-1 at home the past six-plus seasons
  • The New York Jets have covered 13 of their last 18 games overall
  • And the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are 9-3 in their last dozen away games including a 4-0 mark in 2010.


Go ahead and take a guess ... who are the NFL's"best bets" this year? Sorry, times up ... we've got the answers just for you:

DETROIT (7-1-1) - Go ahead and knock us over with a feather 'cause the here-and-now Lions have covered nearly 88 percent of their wagers so far in this 2010 season and did you realize that the Motowners are a slick 5-1-1 against the odds when placed in the underdog role? If you'd like a bit of history here than take note that the Lions entered the current campaign having sported .500-or-worse spread records in each of the last six years (including five consecutive losing spread campaigns) and so this season may not be a renaissance on the won/lost SU (straightup) tote board but anyone who's been going to the window with this NFC North club knows they've cashed a bunch of plays. Good for them - and, if the shoe fits, good for you too!

ST. LOUIS (7-2) - Surprise, surprise again! The once-upon-a-time woe-bee-gone Rams have cashed out at nearly 78 percent of the time this season but what really wows us is the fact St. Loo has taken its young team on the road and notched spread"W's" in three of its four away games including thee cover in last Sunday's painful 23-20 overtime loss-but-cover at 5-point fav San Francisco. Note that the Rams have been the underdog side in every one of their games this season except for one - the 20-10 home win/cover against 3-point pup Carolina back on Halloween Day and it's amazing how Steve Spagnuolo's team has been so darn consistent spreadwise when you look back and see the Rams owned a collective spread mark of 18-30 from thee start of 2007 through the end of last year. Three cheers for the new-look and born-again Rams.

NEW YORK JETS (6-3) - Here's the odd thing about this year's J-E-T-S and that's the Las Vegas oddsmakers continue to underrate a team that's been one of the favorites to get to Super Bowl XLV all year long ... don's ask why! The Jets' backers were ultra-fortunate to cash in last week in that 26-20 overtime win at 3-point pup Cleveland but can someone explain to us why this AFC East team was only a 1-point home fav against Baltimore (a game the Jets lost) and why NYJ was smallish 4 ½- and 3-point favorites in wins against Minnesota and Denver a few weeks back? The fact of the matter is the Jets have covered four of their five road games and they've notched spread wins in both of their games when taking points - a 28-14 win against 3-point fav New England in a Week 2 game at the New Meadowlands Stadium and a 31-23 donnybrook win/cover against 2-point fav Miami in Week 3.

NOTE: Get our Monday Night Football Preview - that's the Denver Broncos at the San Diego Chargers -- plus all the NFL Week 11 and College Football weekend roundups in the next edition of Jim Sez.



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