It Happened Again
Wayne Root: It Happened Again!
For the second straight week, only TWO of the top 10 teams in the championship committee's college football poll managed to cover their Las Vegas pointspreads. And, for the second straight week, a straight up winner on WAYNE ALLYN ROOT'S PINNACLE PLAY (this time Arizona over Utah) highlighted a winning Saturday.
Last week it was Nebraska over Michigan State for my PINNACLE. Arizona over Utah was another great home dog situation exploiting a ranked favorite that wasn't as good as the committee was thinking AND had poll-related distractions getting in the way their best football.
Just like we did last week...let's run through all the miscues from the national contenders. The two covers come fairly early in the process...then it's nothing but bad news for overhyped (and overbet) teams.
#1 CLEMSON had to sweat Syracuse all day even though they were 28-point favorites! This was an obvious letdown spot off the Florida State win. And, there's enough talent here that Clemson still has some margin of error. But...for one afternoon at least...we had a team that didn't seem ready to compete for the trophy.
#2 ALABAMA continues to be the only big-name team that seems like a legitimate champion. That's because they stubbed their toe early. Impressive win at Mississippi State. They would be neutral field favorites over Clemson were they to meet in the Final Four.
#3 OHIO STATE covered at Illinois, and still has a chance to peak at the right time. Given the recent fade of Michigan State, and the question marks about Iowa...the Buckeyes may not face a legitimately dangerous team until the Final Four (though Michigan will be dangerous on game day Thanksgiving Weekend!).
#4 NOTRE DAME barely scored the spread in a 28-7 victory over Wake Forest as 27-point favorites. The Irish only gained 282 yards! Still, they control their own destiny if they can win out. We're 2-2 ATS through four games...and all the covers have been taken care of.
#5 IOWA won but failed to cover in an evening thriller vs. Minnesota. The Iowa defense allowed 35 points and 434 yards to Minnesota's almost non-existent offense! If they keep winning, they're probably looking at Ohio State in the Big 12 championship game...with that winner likely having the resume to get in. Iowa shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the Final Four!
#6 BAYLOR played their first quality opponent of the season and lost by 10 points on their home field. It's a shame so many teams are hiding behind soft schedules. Baylor wasn't battle-tested...and the starters have virtually no experience playing fourth quarters in games that matter. Is their time for Oklahoma to crash the Final Four party? The Sooners will climb into the top 10 next week...which puts the targets on their backs.
#7 STANFORD had hoped to play their way back into the Final Four with games against Notre Dame and the Pac 12 South championship still ahead. Falling to Oregon at home gave them their second loss of the season. Right now, the Pac 12 is in big trouble in terms of launching a team into the brackets.
#8 OKLAHOMA STATE was lucky to survive Iowa State. They probably would have lost to a better class of opponent. The Cowboys wpn 35-31 as 13-point favorites...and will move up in the poll despite playing so poorly. Baylor and Oklahoma are still ahead.
#9 LSU had nothing left in the tank after the Alabama game. They were humbled by Arkansas in a 31-14 loss to Arkansas that missed the spread by 24 points. This will probably be a dangerous bowl team unless they've mentally thrown in the towel.
#10 UTAH continues to show what a joke it was that they were once #3 in the country. Arizona hadn't been particularly impressive in recent weeks...but was very much the right side as a home dog if you looked at the boxscore. Utah is much more of a "spoiler" than a real championship threat.
Note that those last five teams went 1-4 straight up as favorites, and missed the spread by 5, 11, 9, 24, and 13 points.
Of course...that's going to make it tricky if somebody in the top five loses later...there's nobody to climb the ladder if that second rung keeps getting upset. Could Clemson lose a game and still qualify for the Final Four? Could Alabama lose a second game and still qualify?
Plenty of what Brent Musburger used to call "BCS Chaos" still ahead. My clients and I will continue to take advantage of all the dynamics that annually befuddle oddsmakers and public bettors.
Between now and the weekend...let's make some money with nightly basketball (and Monday Night football if you're reading this before kickoff). You can always purchase MY daily BEST BETS right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions about which of my programs best suits your individual needs, please talk to one of my representatives in the office at 1-877-ROOT-WINS.
I'll be back midweek with that promised discussion about picking early season upsets in college basketball, Then I'll look at the Minnesota Vikings chances to play spoiler against the Green Bay Packers in the NFC North in advance of their big NFL game next Sunday.
So much on the sports schedule right now there's barely time to breathe! That means it's time for YOU to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!
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