College Football Midweek Report



By Jim Hurley:

Here's a question we've pondered the last day or two while thinking ahead to Saturday night's mega-monster showdown between the #1 LSU Tigers and the #2 Alabama Crimson Tide: What happens if both teams play their "A game" this weekend in Tuscaloosa?

Well, most/all College Football "experts" out there believe that there is more athleticism on this Bayou Bengals team and so if the game loosens up a bit it probably will favor Les Miles' 8-and-oh squad while conventional wisdom says things will likely be played with a "close-to-the-vest" approach and that, you would think, would favor the more conservative Crimson Tide (8-0) and boss-man Nick Saban.

But what do some of the numbers say while heading into this titanic showdown?

For starters, Alabama scores 39.4 points per game this year - LSU weighs in averaging 39.3 points a game. Really.

Alabama's defense is tops among all 120 FBS teams while yielding just 6.9 points per outing while LSU ranks third nationally while giving up just 11.5 points per game.

No wonder the Las Vegas oddsmakers pretty much feel that 'Bama is a slight favorite and then when you add in the 3 1/2 or 4 points for home field and the current price tag of Alabama minus 5 points makes perfect sense ...but know this: In the Miles Era that began back in 2005 - the year after Saban left LSU for his ill-fated return trip to the NFL (and the Miami Dolphins) - the Tigers have been wagering underdogs only 16 times in all and they will enter this SEC affair at 8-7-1 ATS (against the spread) as pups under Miles. Not bad but probably not as good as one might think, right?

Meanwhile, Alabama has been a betting favorite a total of 51 times under Saban since he arrived on the job back in 2007 and note the Crimson Tide's a collective 31-20 against the odds as chalk sides for a nifty .608 winning rate.

Hey, lots more on LSU at Alabama all week long and don't forget to catch our Jim Sez Preview on this game come the Friday column ...must-read stuff, indeed!

Extra, extra: Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will continue to win big-time all week and weekend long as we bolt into November with out TNT Program with lots of great College Football action plus there's lots of winning straight ahead with NFL Week #9 action. Go ahead and make sure you're all aboard for all the action right through Super Bowl XLVI on February 5th. Just remember to call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 or go online right here for the NFL, NCAA Football and upcoming NCAA Basketball winners!


It's our weekly look at College Football Betting Favorites and here's the update:

#1 19-19-0 (2 no plays)
#2 24-21-0
#3 24-23-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#4 22-24-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#5 16-35-1 (1 Pick 'Em)
#6 32-20-0
#7 23-26-0 (1 Pick 'Em)
#8 24-26-0
#9 28-23-1
Season Total 212-217-1
(4 Pick 'Em Games and 2 No Plays)

Note: College Football Betting Favorites are winning at a .494 rate thus far this 2011 campaign and check out the fact that now we've had four weeks where Favorites sported a better-than-.500 record, four weeks where they had a sub-.500 mark and one dead-even but vig-losing week right at season's start.

Okay, so with pointspread numbers dancing in our heads, let's take a quick look at what teams are really "streaking" right now in FBS play:

  • Central Michigan has failed to cover its last four consecutive pointspread verdicts and the Chippewas now are 1-8 versus the vig in 2011

  • Colorado has lost its last six in a row to Mr. Vig and the here-and-now Buffaloes are a rotten 2-7 against the odds

  • Colorado State has dropped its last four in a row to the Las Vegas price tags and is 1-7 spreadwise overall this year

  • Florida has lost its last four in a row against the odds and - oddly enough - that comes on the heels of a season-opening four-game ATS winning streak

  • Florida International has dropped its last five consecutive spread decisions and that comes after a season-starting three-game spread winning streak

  • Louisville has covered its last four in a row and the Cardinals weigh in right now at 5-3 ATS this season

  • New Mexico's failed to cover its last four consecutive games and Los Lobos are 2-6 vig-wise on the year

  • New Mexico State has notched spread wins in its last five consecutive games

  • Oklahoma State has covered its last seven straight games en route to this amazing 7-1 ATS spread start and note that includes covering four different double-digit price tags

  • South Florida has failed to cover its last four spread verdicts following a nifty 3-and-oh spread start

  • Southern Miss followed up back-to-back season-opening spread losses with six consecutive spread wins

  • Tennessee has dropped its last four consecutive spread decisions

  • Western Kentucky has covered its last five in a row to the number and the Hilltoppers are 6-2 ATS overall this year


FLORIDA STATE (5-3, 3-2 ACC) at BOSTON COLLEGE (2-6, 1-4 ACC) - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Here's the best thing you can say about this year's Florida State Seminoles - a team that was ranked #6 in the Preseason Associated Press Top 25 -- they haven't give up on their season.

Sure, Jimbo Fisher's crew suffered through back-to-back-to-back losses earlier this year in games against Oklahoma, Clemson and Wake Forest but the 'Noles shook off their 2-3 SU (straight-up) start and have won/covered three in a row including back-to-back identical 41-16 wins at Duke and versus Maryland, respectively.

Note that Florida State sports the nation's 12th-best scoring defense (allowing 16.9 points per game) and quarterback EJ Manuel has returned from injury to post some solid numbers (see 1,776 yards passing, a 66 percent completion rate with 13 TDs and 8 INTs) and here the versatile slinger will try to dent a Boston College defense that's allowed 25.1 points per game and needs RB Rolandan Finch (averaging 5.2 yards a pop on 98 carries) to chew yards/clock here one week after he scooted free for 243 yards on 39 carries in last weekend's 28-17 upset win at 7-point fav Maryland.

Tell us right now that Finch gets 30-or-more touches here and the 15-point home underdogs could be hanging around at closing time.

Spread Notes - Florida State rolls into this prime-time game in Chestnut Hill on a three-game pointspread winning streak and the Seminoles have covered four-of-five games this year when laying twin-figure prices. On the flip side, Boston College has covered its last three consecutive showdowns against Florida State including last year's 24-10 loss-but-cover as 21 ½-point road dogs. The Eagles are 3-5 ATS overall this year and just 15-17-1 vig-wise in the Frank Spaziani Era.

NOTE: Lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez including the latest Heisman Trophy Watch.


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