Volume 27, Issue 8
Volume 27, Issue 8~ Tuesday October 26 thur Monday, November 1
Jim Hurley's NCAA PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time -- to get all the firmed-up Game-Day selections/ratings, just check with us anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Fridays or Saturdays and whenever there are weekday afternoon games and also after 1 p.m. ET for the weeknight games either online here at www.jimhurley.com or at toll-free at 1-800-323-4453.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28
FLORIDA STATE at N.C STATE: Let's start you off here with some cold, hard facts: Both Florida State and N.C. State enter this prime-time affair at 5-2 ATS (against the spread) and both will have had 12 days since their last game -- the difference is the Wolfpack come off a loss (see 33-27 in OT against East Carolina) and so HC O'Brien's club may have a little extra pep to its collective step here. QB Wilson (2,124 yards passing with 18 TDs and 9 INTs) has proven he can be do-it-all guy for N.C. State but odds are he'll have to stay turnover-free in this under-the-lights clash while home folks need FSU slinger Ponder (1,877 yards with 12 TDs and 7 INTs) to implode a time or two here. Click here to sign up online and get this winner for just $15.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 29
WEST VIRGINIA at CONNECTICUT: Let's put it on the record right here and right now -- the worst thing that ever happened to the West Virginia program was that shocking Fiesta Bowl triumph against Oklahoma at the end of the 2007 season. The win earned then fill-in HC Stewart a lucrative contract and he's got to rank as one of the sport's real stooges as evidenced again by last weekend's 19-14 home loss to 13 '-point dog Syracuse. Not only did the WVU Mountaineers not score a single point after the first quarter but QB Smith (three first-half INTs and sacked five times in all) didn't even have the sense to chuck that fourth-down play -- way to coach 'em up guys! Now, 'Neers take their folly act to UConn and things ain't great in the Nutmeg State either these days with 26-0 loss at Louisville last Saturday perhaps the worst defeat in the HC Edsall Era. Let's see who shows up for this Big East clash -- check with us here online or at 1-800-323-4453 on game-day for the Side & Totals Winners.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 30
MIAMI at VIRGINIA: Just when you thought the U of M Hurricanes were slip-sliding their way backwards, here comes a game like last Saturday night. Miami walloped North Carolina 33-10 behind three scoring strikes by QB Harris and a fourth consecutive 100-plus yard rushing game by RB Berry and so don't be so darn quick to think it's Cavs-plus-the-points here. Miami 38, Virginia 21.
MICHIGAN STATE at IOWA: Sure, the 8-and-oh M-State Spartans have been one of college football's great stories this season but you know what we like to say about trying to win/cover back-to-back road games ... it's murder! Here HC Dantonio's club -- fresh off that resounding come-from-behind (down 17-0) 35-27 win at Northwestern last weekend -- won't have all the magic working here even if slick QB Cousins (331 yards passing and 3 TDs last week) stays sharp as Iowa in ornery mood following 31-30 home loss against Wisconsin. The special teams really blew up in Iowa's faces there -- Wisky fake punt, a missed PAT and a botched short FG try -- but expect HC Ferentz's guys to have everything straightened out here. Sorry, Sparty! Iowa 32, Michigan State 18.
CLEMSON at BOSTON COLLEGE: One of our handicapping 'ten commandments' this year is that we shall not wager on the BC Eagles at any time or any place. Last week's 24-21 home loss versus 4 '-point pup Maryland -- a Jim Hurley 'Touchdown Club' winner! -- showed that this program is out of whack as HC Spaziani's club now has lost six of its seven spread verdicts this season. Clemson RB Ellington last week rambled 55 and 42 yards for scoring jaunts in rock-solid 27-13 win/cover against Georgia Tech and more 'bust-out' runs on tap here. Clemson 27, Boston College 16.
AUBURN at OLE MISS: Just waiting for Auburn QB Newton (1,077 yards rushing this year) to rip off his uniform jersey and reveal a 'Superman' logo! The Heisman Trophy frontrunner was merely magical in last weekend's 24-17 win/cover against 5-point dog LSU as he rushed it 28 times for career-best 217 yards and here you can expect some laser throws too against a sad-sack Ole Miss pass defense that has more warts than a Halloween witch! Auburn 32, Ole Miss 24.
BAYLOR at TEXAS: When it comes to this 2010 edition of the Texas Longhorns it's a case of 'go figure'! Last Saturday's humbling/bumbling 28-21 home loss versus three-TD dog Iowa State included four turnovers -- including three INTs by QB Gilbert -- and no defense when it matters but you wager at your own risk with HC Brown's bunch 'cause now here's a real challenge being posed by Baylor QB Griffin (404 yards passing and 4 TDs in last week's 47-42 win against Kansas State). Your move!
TULSA at NOTRE DAME: Maybe it's not so easy being the boss-man at Notre Dame, after all! Last week's 35-17 slam-bang win by Navy over the ND Fighting Irish in the Jersey swamps was a tough one to watch if you like the guys from South Bend -- we cashed in as Jim Hurley's Blue Ribbon Club released Navy plus the points and won in a real romp (and it was an 'Upset Special' here in our NETWORK BULLETIN) -- and now first-year HC Kelly must right the ship or this 4-4 club could be headed for a third non-bowl finish in four years. Two costly INTs by Irish QB Crist were killers last weekend and so be careful laying more than a TD here. Notre Dame 33, Tulsa 28.
STANFORD at WASHINGTON: If the UW Huskies stay on this lose-one, win-one pace than they're 'due' to snag this Pac-10 home game -- but not so fast, my friends! Last week QB Locker sported pedestrian stats again (see 17-of-29 passing for 183 yards and only one TD in lopsided loss at Arizona) and there's something about this one-time Heisman Trophy candidate that rubs us the wrong way and so it's Cardinal QB Luck (three TDs last week in 38-28 non-cover win against Washington State) or nothing at all here! Stanford 36, Washington 25.
ARIZONA at UCLA: This is tricky Pac-10 game because the home-town Bruins have triple-revenge here along with the extra prep time following 60-13 loss in Eugene last Thursday night -- but do you really want to bank on a club playing a second-string quarterback that can't stop a soul? Truth is Arizona last weekend beat up 6-point underdog Washington 44-14 behind its second-string QB Scott (18-of-22 for 233 yards and two TDs) who filled in neatly for injured QB Foles but there's lots more ammo on the 'Zona side, in case you hadn't noticed! Arizona 31, UCLA 21.
COLORADO at OKLAHOMA: Let's just say there is a 'bully' mentality about the 2010 OU Sooners ... In wins against Florida State and Iowa State the Sooners really pounded out one-sided wins and now here comes HC Stoops' crew into this Big 12 game with a major chip on its shoulder pads following that 36-27 loss at Missouri. We went against Oklahoma last week on our Touchdown Club. Something tells us the wrath of the 'Boomer Sooners' will be shown here as QB Jones (303 yards passing with 3 TDs last weekend in Columbia) pecks apart at the Colorado LBs/DBs and when the dust settles this one's a 'speed limit' game for the home folks. Oklahoma 55, Colorado 17.
TEXAS TECH at TEXAS A&M: There's revenge ... and then there's revenge-with-feeling! Last year the TT Red Raiders were a 22-point betting favorite for its annual game against the A&M Aggies and instead of laying down the law the Lubbock club got whacked 52-30. Now, the Aggies will pay for that result here with QB Potts-to-WR Torres combo hitting a few 'home runs' while PK Williams (game-winning 29-yard FG in 27-24 win at Colorado last Saturday) cleans up after any/all aborted Tech trips into the red zone. Texas Tech 33, Texas A&M 23.
CALIFORNIA at OREGON STATE: Four of the O-State Beavers' first six games this season have been decided by a TD-or-less and count us among the folks that will be shocked if this one doesn't find up a real wire job! It helps HC Riley's crew that last week was a bye following double-OT loss in Washington as RB Rodgers needed a breather but now here comes revenge-minded Cal club (lost 31-14 as 7-point home favorites last year against Oregon State) and Berkeley boys come off most complete game in awhile as 50-17 triumph over Arizona State featured QB Riley chuckin' it for 240 yards and no picks while defense didn't surrender a single offensive touchdown.
UTAH at AIR FORCE: Just how dominant have the 2010 Utah Utes been? Well, HC Whittingham's guys (7-0 SU) have covered their last six games in a row heading into this Mountain West Conference last with last week's 59-6 rollover win against Colorado State featuring 321-yard, 3-TD aerial assault by underrated QB Wynn. No doubt Utes are one efficient machine these days (see 11-of-15 on third-down plays against CSU) and not about to buck 'em here as AF Fly Boys are rotten 2-6 ATS and surrendering nearly 31 ppg in last three outings. Utah 29, Air Force 16.
OREGON at USC: The numbers don't lie and they say that this year's Oregon Ducks are averaging 55.1 ppg and -- get this -- they're winning by an average of 39.3 points a game ... wow! Okay, so we know the USC Trojans -- fresh off a bye and pointspread winners in three of their last four games -- won't be intimidated by the green gang here but the reality is nobody's slowed down the Ducks for even a second and now QB Thomas (coming off career-best 308 yards passing and three aerial scores in 60-13 win against UCLA) is getting into a neat little groove too. If USC wants to match the Ducks point-for-point here than savvy QB Barkley (five TDs in recent 48-14 win against Cal) must stay razor-sharp because just one ill-timed pick could be costly. This game is also part of our TV Triple Crown, which you can sign up for online for just $25.
Jim Hurley's NFL PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time. To get all the NFL Week 5 Side & Totals Winners, just log online here at www.jimhurley.com or call our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 anytime after 10 a.m. ET on Sunday and after 1 p.m. ET on game days for Monday Night Football.
The NFL Week 8 Byes: Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Cleveland, NY Giants and Philadelphia
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 31
DENVER vs. SAN FRANCISCO (at London): It's the NFL's now-annual trip to jolly ole England and won't the Brits be pleased as punch that a Broncos team fresh off a 59-14 to Oakland is one-half the matchup here -- while a brutally disappointing 1-6 SU (straightup) San Francisco team provides the opposition. Let's just hope that both clubs left last week's game plan behind 'in the states' as Niners' 23-20 loss in Carolina included yet another horrid outing by QB Smith (9-of-19 passing for 129 yards) before a shoulder injury kayoed 'em for the remainder of that clash. Maybe QB Carr (5-of-13 for 67 yards with one INT) can light a fire for HC Singletary's team ... or maybe not!
JACKSONVILLE at DALLAS: The drama kings of the NFL -- re: the 2010 Cowboys -- are now in position of having to lay significant price here while coming off MNF clash with archrival NY Giants and with a date at Green Bay on deck. And you have to ask us which way to go here? The visiting Jags never did get a handle on Kansas City's ground game last week in that 42-20 Chiefs win as KC rushed for 236 yards but 'Boys rarely stick to a set game plan and will find more than a few ways to self-destruct in the red zone here. Count on at least one silly celebration penalty and at least one ultra-costly QB Romo INT too -- so gobble up the available points! Dallas 28, Jacksonville 26.
WASHINGTON at DETROIT: Not often these days that the woe-be-gone Lions win back-to-back games against the same foe but we'll call for the Motowners -- fresh off a much-needed bye last week -- to squash the 'Skins for a second year in a row at Ford Field (see 19-14 victory as 6 '-point dog last year). The Lions will be going here with now-healthy QB Stafford and that figures to give HC Schwartz's squad a little jump-start plus you know what we always say about trying to win/cover back-to-back road games -- Washington CB Hall (four INTs) was all the rage last week in 17-14 triumph in Chicago but QB McNabb (just a 56.8 quarterback rating last Sunday at Soldier Field) will have his problems once again. It's Detroit 23, Washington 17.
GREEN BAY at NY JETS: Talk about coming into this game from different emotional spectrums as the Packers went to the mat to squeeze out their 28-24 win against 3-point underdog Minnesota last Sunday Night while the Jets had their feet up getting in some R&R. The J-E-T-S know their defense really has not played great this season and yet HC Ryan's gang has held foes to less than 17 ppg in sizzling 5-1 SU start. Last week's bye enabled CB Revis to rest 'hammy' plus and gave gang green staff an extra week to game-plan for banged-up Packers and so that's major advantage here. NY Jets 26, Green Bay 17.
MIAMI at CINCINNATI: Don't know about you but getting pretty tired of seeing Cincy WR Owens in those dopey sunglasses following every Bengals loss -- the latest was weird/wild 39-32 setback at Atlanta where Owens sported 9-catch, 88-yard, 1-TD performance but porous Cincinnati defense allowed a 200-yard receiver (WR White had 11 catches for 201 yards and two scores) and a 100-plus yard rusher (see Falcons RB Turner's 121-yard, 2-TD outing). Sure, Fish are still bummin' about how last week's 23-22 loss to Pittsburgh went down -- told you before that TV replay system isn't perfect! -- but can't ignore fact Miami is 3-0 SU and 3-0 ATS (against the spread) away this year. Miami 26, Cincinnati 21.
TENNESSEE at SAN DIEGO: It's high time the SD Chargers bagged this whole coaching staff and the team's lackluster attitude must get addressed too -- last week's 23-20 loss to New England included four first-half turnovers within an 11-minute span including a couple of real-live knuckleheads plays (leaving the ball on the ground when a receiver was not touched after a first down play!). Now, it's the road folks or bust here even if Titans QB Young isn't ready after recent knee/ankle sprains as Tennessee showed last week in 37-19 home win against Philly that WR Britt (7 catches for 225 yards and 3 scores) can shine even with dinosaur QB Collins getting him the ball. Tennessee 25, San Diego 21.
TAMPA BAY at ARIZONA: Even Fox analyst Billick said that he's 'see enough' regarding 'Zona QB Hall who was summarily benched after getting concussed but only after producing a 4-of-16, 36-yard (and one INT) stat line in last week's 22-10 loss in Seattle--we had the Seahawks as a Touchdown Club winner--and so HC Whisenhunt's guys are back to the proverbial drawing board one mo' time with journeyman QB Anderson (8-of-17 for 96 yards last week in relief) expected to start here ... but will it even matter? Visiting Bucs are full of vim-and-vigor after surging back to cop 18-17 win against St. Loo last Sunday and that underrated Tampa Bay defense (held Rams QB Bradford to just 126 yards passing) will have the answers here in the desert. Call it Tampa Bay 22, Arizona 17.
SEATTLE at OAKLAND: One thing that any novice NFL handicapper should know ... don't expect the Oakland Raiders to follow up a 59-14 win with another sound showing! Okay, so three cheers for the silver-and-black as they banged out an easy NETWORK BULLETIN 'Upset Special' in Denver last Sunday but now it's back to reality and the Seahawks should thrive here even if PK Mare doesn't give 'em five FGs. Seattle RB Lynch (24 carries for 89 yards last week) just starting to get his bearings with new team and he'll bust past 100-yard mark in TD-plus win here. Seattle 27, Oakland 18.
MINNESOTA at NEW ENGLAND: Here's hoping that Patriots HC Belichick doesn't have to make any fourth-down calls here! Last week's late-game choice to go for it at mid-field nearly blew up in his face but San Diego missed FG (following a critical five-yard penalty) and Pats held on in 23-20 win where offense produced all of 34 first-half yards ... ouch! Let's see if gimpy QB Favre (ankle) can play here after getting banged around at Lambeau Field last Sunday evening and -- if he can -- will he be able to avoid those silly INTs that cost us a win at (+3).
PITTSBURGH at NEW ORLEANS: Once upon a time we used to hear that betting against the defending Super Bowl champs was a sure way to riches ... well, anyone that's followed that handicapping theory this season has a pocket full of greenbacks 'cause the Saints are 1-5-1 ATS following last week's embarrassing 30-17 loss to 12 '-pup Cleveland. Yes, QB Brees did air four INTs (two returned for TDs) in that loss and now he must deal with the NFL's best defense and one that last week stifled a slew of 'short field' possession by Miami. If the Saints can't crank up the aerial game here, than Bourbon Street will be real 'bluesey' on this night. Click here to get our play for just $15 and we'll bonus you a pair of winners from the daytime card!
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 1
HOUSTON at INDIANAPOLIS: Both of these AFC South clubs off a bye last week but be sure the Indy Colts never allowed that season-opening 34-24 loss to the Texans to get too far from their minds -- Houston RB Foster was absolute madman in that clash with 231 yards rushing but expect this game to be decided by Houston's secondary. If the Texans D-backs can't stay with Colt WRs Garcon and Collie here (remember TE Clark is gone for the year with a wrist injury) and if Indy QB Manning can dictate that quicksilver pace than the home folks might get their revenge in spades. Click here to win for $25.
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