AN EARLY LOOK AT THURSDAY’S BIG 12 BLOCKBUSTER
This week’s schedule is so jam-packed with important games that we’ve tweaked our normal NOTEBOOK schedule so we can preview all the blockbusters. We’ll discuss Thursday’s Oklahoma/Baylor battle in this report. On Wednesday we’ll dive into Oregon/Stanford (a game that will be played simultaneously with OU/Baylor!). Then on Friday, special early coverage of LSU/Alabama.
Finally, some great college football games to talk about!
Let’s jump right in to the season summaries. You probably haven’t seen much of Baylor on TV this year because they’ve faced so little opposition. This is their first marquee game of the season even though it’s the first week of November. Oklahoma you’ve seen, and it hasn’t always been pretty.
Oklahoma (-22) beat Louisiana Monroe 34-0 (winning yardage 429-166)
Oklahoma (-21) beat West Virginia 16-7 (winning yardage 442-387)
Oklahoma (-24) beat Tulsa 51-20 (winning yardage 607-321)
Oklahoma (-3.5) won at Notre Dame 35-21(winning yardage 450-324)
Oklahoma (-10) beat TCU 20-17 (winning yardage 355-210)
Oklahoma (-12) lost to Texas 36-20 (losing yardage 263-445)
Oklahoma (-21) won at Kansas 34-19 (winning yardage 415-201)
Oklahoma (-6) beat Texas Tech 38-30 (winning yardage 526-460)
It’s hard to call a team overrated when they’re 4-4 against the Las Vegas line. But, if you dig a little deeper, you can certainly make that case. Tulsa turned out to be much worse than everyone expected. And, the most recent victory over Texas Tech could easily have been a straight up loss. In Big 12 action, Oklahoma is a poor 1-4 ATS, with that squeeker over Tech being the only cover. So, certainly by conference standards, Oklahoma has been overrated, missing spreads by 12, 7, 28, and 6 points before barely getting the money vs. the Red Raiders. That matters because Baylor is a conference game.
We also want to note the trouble OU has had finding the end zone offensively against legitimate opposition:
*16 vs. West Virginia is pathetic
*35 vs. Notre Dame featured two defensive touchdowns
*20 vs. TCU isn’t very good
*20 vs. Texas isn’t very good
*34 vs. Kansas isn’t very good because Kansas is horrible
The Sooners can’t get into a shootout with Baylor because they just don’t have the offensive consistency to keep up. They must focus on running clock to shorten the game, playing smart, and forcing turnovers with their lightning quick defensive athletes.
Baylor (-28) beat Wofford 69-3 (winning yardage 692-233)
Baylor (-29) beat Buffalo 70-13 (winning yardage 781-363)
Baylor (-28) beat Louisiana Monroe 70-7 (winning yardage 781-295)
Baylor (-29) beat West Virginia 73-42 (winning yardage 864-394)
Baylor (-17) won at Kansas State 35-25 (winning yardage 446-445)
Baylor (-33) beat Iowa State 71-7 (winning yardage 714-174)
Baylor (-35) won at Kansas 59-14 (winning yardage 743-308)
If you look at the pointspreads, that seems like one of the easiest schedules imaginable. If you look at the final scores and total yardage marks, Baylor looks like they’d beat the greatest teams in past history by three touchdowns a game. What a juggernaut vs. cupcakes! This is a very tricky to handicap moving forward because:
*They’ve only played one opponent who presented any sort of challenge
*They love running up the score and running up the stats
That could be the resume of your next national champion. Or, the whole thing could be a mirage. The closest thing to a real opponent on the list was Kansas State…and that was a yardage toss-up in a tighter than expected game. Baylor will mostly be playing opponents equal to or better than Kansas State from this point forward.
Is Baylor a pretender in terms of the BCS? You can only guess now. After a two-month pep rally, the REAL season for the Baylor Bears starts Thursday Night.
MAC Tuesday Double Play
These are two good spots for us because we're 7-2 in MAC games this season, a result that comes about because our handicapping team keeps sharp numbers on every board team while Las Vegas really only has to worry about games the average public bets up, so it's often easier to find our edges here. Look at my 2013 record in games involving MAC teams:
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Current Vegas Line: Baylor by 14
The first numbers offshore were around Baylor -10 or just below. Sharps hit the Bears hard, in anticipation of the public hitting them even harder. This line could go up by even more before kickoff because Oklahoma hasn’t really impressed the times they’ve been on TV.
What’s the right way to play this one? JIM HURLEY has two more days to work his sources, run his computer simulations, and make a final determination. You can build your bankrolls with Mid American Conference football Tuesday and Wednesday as we gear up for the big football weekend. Those plays, and then the final word for Oklahoma/Baylor and Oregon/Stanford can be purchased right here at the website with your credit card.
Don’t forget that seasonal packages are still available. That’s particularly important because college basketball joins the card this week! If you’d like to talk Turkey about the rest of November or the rest of the season, call our handicapping office during normal business hours at 1-888-777-4155.
Back with you tomorrow to preview Oregon/Stanford. Thursday brings Washington/Minnesota in the NFL, and then it’s back to college blockbusters Friday with LSU/Alabama.
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