Volume 27, Issue 11
Volume 27, Issue 11: THANKSGIVING WEEK EDITION
Jim Hurley’s NCAA PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time – to get firmed-up Game-Day selections/ratings, just check with us anytime after 10 a.m. ET Friday/ Saturday and after 1 p.m. ET for the weeknight games either online here at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453. Note: We’ll release the Thanksgiving Game between Texas A&M at Texas late Wednesday afternoon as part of Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
TEXAS A&M at TEXAS: This qualifies as a “shoe-on-the-other-foot” game because it’s the A&M Aggies who have something to play for (like a January bowl game) while season’s long ago gone up in smoke for the guys in burnt orange – or maybe you think the Texas Longhorns will be juiced up just to get bowl eligible. Still, it’s one of the great Thanksgiving Day traditions and so make sure you’re all aboard for this Big 12 TV clash as part of Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot. You can get this one day for $50 or the entire holiday weekend for $125 – call us at 1-800-323-4453 the day before Thanksgiving and we’ll clue you in. Hey, remember that Jim cashed in big last weekend with Texas A&M’s win over Nebraska along with Southern Miss’ win against Houston all on the exclusive Touchdown Club!
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26
WEST VIRGINIA at PITTSBURGH: This latest edition of the “Backyard Brawl” has plenty of meaning inside the jumbled Big East but the $64,000 question is can Mountaineers’ on-again/off-again QB Smith save the day or will he resort to some red-zone woes? West Virginia can drive you crazy but now here’s an opportunity to take ‘em plus points. Hmmm.
AUBURN at ALABAMA: Love the fact that everything’s on the line here for the #2 Auburn Tigers and archrival Alabama could snuff ‘em out in a single swing of the sword but can this Crimson Tide defense that’s held seven foes to 13 points or less this year put a muzzle on Heisman Trophy frontrunner QB Newton? Look for an under-the-radar key here to be Auburn PK Byrum who may have to nail 4 or 5 FGs to get War Eagle into the “W” column and stay alive for a national championship.
COLORADO at NEBRASKA: Now that the Cornhuskers have gotten all the angst out of their system – see only two penalties for 10 yards on Texas A&M last weekend and 16 penalties for 145 yards on Big Red in that stinging 6-3 loss – maybe HC Pelini can take a moment from screaming at kid QB Martinez and find an offense here! The ‘Huskers freshman slinger threw for only 106 yards last week in College Station and was sacked to end the game but why did star RB Helu get only 9 carries (for 52 yards) in that tilt?
ARIZONA at OREGON: Now that the “Quack Attack” believe they have fine-tuned this offense after that 15-point outing against Cal two weeks ago (both these teams had byes last weekend) you can look for 25-or-so “touches” for Heisman Trophy contender RB James and some well-timed aerials to underrated WR Maehl but if Oregon’s gonna cover this bloated price tag than turning a couple of passes by ‘Zona slinger Foles into “pick sixes” will be essential.
BOISE STATE at NEVADA: It’s true that the B-State Broncos have not always been picture-perfect in this 10-and-oh season but the flip side says HC Petersen’s club is peaking right now with wins by 35, 38 and 51 points the last three weeks while QB Moore keeps zingin’ it with 333-yard, four-TD outing in last week’s 51-0 win against Fresno State. Make sure you get this late-night TV clash as part of Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot when you check with us game-day after 1 p.m. ET. Got it?
MICHIGAN at OHIO STATE: Gotta get used to the fact this great rivalry game is being played after Thanksgiving Day this year but it likely won’t matter when they play this Big 10 tilt as Buckeyes keep finding ways to win as last week HC Tressel’s team overcame a pair of QB Pryor INTs to top Iowa 20-17 and now wounded Michigan comes into town with sieve-like defense that’s allowed 34-or-more points on seven different occasions this year. No, this is not your father’s maize-and-blue anymore! Ohio State 45, Michigan 21.
FLORIDA at FLORIDA STATE: It’s not every year that Gator Nation gets humbled but that’s surely the case this season as HC Meyer’s crew has four losses and could have to sweat some to snag this win in Sunshine State showdown. Note that Florida State really had to play right down to the nub in last weekend’s 30-16 win at Maryland as DB Moody iced things with a 96-yard INT-for-TD and maybe a defensive or special teams TD here could give HC Fisher’s guys the edge late here. Something tells us this one’s decided by 3-or-fewer points.
SOUTH CAROLINA at CLEMSON: The “Palmetto State” showdown is always tinged with great emotion but now here’s host Tigers in real revenge mode (lost 34-17 at SC last year) while Gamecocks know they’re headed to next weekend’s SEC Championship Game. Maybe that Clemson defense – one that’s yielded just 75 points in the team’s last six games – can put the hammer down on RB Lattimore here. Stay tuned!
BOSTON COLLEGE at SYRACUSE: Last week’s laid-an-egg loss by the ‘Cuse in 23-6 home tilt versus UConn was somewhat expected considering the Orange had clinched a bowl bid with the prior week’s win over Rutgers but now look for HC Marrone – not a happy camper last Saturday – to have read proverbial riot act here and that means RB Carter comes alive and the interior defense toughens up against hard-charging BC back Harris (114 yards and game-winning 4-yard TD run last week against Virginia).
NORTHWESTERN at WISCONSIN: Thank goodness that silly show at Wrigley Field is over … that’s not how college football is supposed to be played but gotta feeling Wisky Badgers will show the way here as RB Ball (29 carries for 173 yards and 4 TDs in last week’s 48-28 rollover win at 3 ½-point underdog Michigan) stays busy as ‘Cats must prove they can slow down nation’s most physical ground game.
N.C. STATE at MARYLAND: It’s this simple … N.C. State wins and the Wolf Pack snags the ACC Atlantic Division crown and should HC O’Brien’s club lose than Florida State gets to face Virginia Tech in that conference title tilt next weekend. The problem here for State is that all the pressure’s on them and so Terps can play it a bit free-and-easy with QB O’Brien (269 yards passing and one TD last week against Florida State) ready/willing/able to deliver the KO blow here. Maryland 30, N.C. State 24.
VIRGINIA at VIRGINIA TECH: Let’s take a moment to tip our cap to the V-Tech Hokies who never threw in the towel after awful 0-and-2 start and now ACC’s Coastal Division champs are looking to make it nine wins in a row here with hot-hot-hot QB Taylor really cookin’. Extra, extra: Jim Hurley snagged his November Game of the Year last week on the Closed Circuit line with Virginia Tech’s 31-17 victory at Miami while Ole Miss covered the price tag in its game at LSU for Jim’s Upset Winner on tat same Closed Circuit line.
MICHIGAN STATE at PENN STATE: Maybe “Sparty” has been overlooked at times this year as a real national story but don’t expect JoePa’s guys to dismiss the green gang here. After all, Michigan State QB Cousins (see game-winning TD run in last week’s 35-31 win against Purdue) did lead the comeback surge from down 15 points in the final quarter and Nittanies better be ready on special teams too (see key blocked punt last week by M-State).
OKLAHOMA at OKLAHOMA STATE: Not sure if Okie State boss-man Gundy is gonna get the National Coach of the Year award but he sure belongs at/near the top of the list and now his QB Weeden (389 yards passing and 3 TDs in 48-14 win at Kansas last weekend) gets a shot at making hay against Oklahoma team that hasn’t always played its best ball on the road … you can look it up!
OREGON STATE at STANFORD: Tip of the cap to the O-State Beavers for that resounding 36-7 win against USC last weekend – part of a clean sweep on Jim Hurley’s Blue Ribbon line along with winners on UConn over Syracuse and Rice over East Carolina -- as “Quizz” rushed for 128 yards and a score but now it’s a whole other animal as Stanford – trust us on this one – may be playing better than anyone in the country right now. The Cardinal smacked down archrival Cal 48-14 last weekend (and it wasn’t even that close!) as QB Luck enjoyed bruising highlight reel 52-yard run while chipping in 16-of-20, 235-yard, two-TD showing and maybe he can make late dash to the Heisman Trophy.
LSU at ARKANSAS (in Little Rock): The latest LSU close-call came last Saturday as foolish late-game Ole Miss celebration penalty really came back to bite the Rebels and aid HC Miles’ gang in 43-36 win and did you know that Bayou Bengals now have won six games this year by a touchdown-or-less? In this “Boot” game, RB Ridley (89 yards rushing and 3 TDs against Ole Miss) will get a workout for no other reason than to keep Hogs QB Mallett off the field. The Arkansas slinger threw for 306 yards and 3 TDs in last week’s spell-binding 38-31 double-OT win against Miss State but he can expect lots of blitzes off the edge here.
NOTRE DAME at USC: Lots of questions here like can USC slinger Barkley play following injury to his left ankle suffered in ugly 36-7 loss at Oregon State last Saturday night … and can Irish defense keep up its dukes after allowing a mere FG in each of the last two games against Utah and Army? Find out what gives here when you check in for Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot – check with us here online at www.jimhurley.com or call 1-800-323-4453 to get multiple College Football Winners on this final Saturday in November.
NCAA BETTING TRENDS
Florida is 5-1 vs. Florida State
Jim Hurley’s NFL PICKS & PREVIEWS are based on information obtained prior to press time. To get all the NFL Week 12 Winners, just log online 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 the Monday Night game. Note: Jim Hurley will be releasing the Thanksgiving Day games on Wednesday after 1 p.m. ET.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 25
NEW ENGLAND at DETROIT: As we just pointed out in an edition of Jim Sez last week, the Lions have been one of the NFL’s best bets as Motowners still 7-2-1 ATS (against the spread) following 35-19 loss at 5 ½-point fav Dallas last weekend and it would appear that HC Schwartz’s guys are “live” here plus the bundle of points as NE Patriots might have spent a couple of days celebrating that hang-on-for-dear-life 31-28 win against Indianapolis. Check with us Wednesday afternoon.
NEW ORLEANS at DALLAS: If you were wondering how the Cowboys will fare the rest of the way in this new-and-exciting “Garrett Era” than this could be a landmark game if Jerry’s kids can steal the win. However, the Saints ramble into town on season-high three-game SU (straightup) winning streak and last weekend’s 34-19 triumph over 11-point pup Seattle did feature four scoring strikes by QB Brees and a neat 113-yard receiving day for WR Colston. If this dynamic duo gets heated up here, than the ‘Boys will get gobbled up. Get it? Make sure you get all the NFL Winners today as part of Jim Hurley’s Annual Turkey Shoot.
CINCINNATI at NY JETS: Cap off your Thanksgiving Night with a serving of this AFC game at the New Meadowlands Stadium where there is surely some magic brewing for a J-E-T-S bunch that wins all the close games. If WR Holmes (7 grabs for 126 yards including game-winning TD with 10 ticks left in 30-27 non-cover win against Houston last week) gets loose against this rag-a-muffin Cincy secondary than it could be lights out early and you can finish the leftovers tomorrow.
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 28
PITTSBURGH at BUFFALO: No question that the Steelers could be peeking ahead at next weekend’s revenge showdown with Baltimore but fully expect HC Tomlin’s guys to do enough to “get by” here as deep threat WR Wallace (see 3 catches for 116 yards in last week’s 35-3 win against Oakland) will make presence felt here but we’re eyeballing better stuff on this Week 12 menu … if you know what we mean!
TENNESSEE at HOUSTON: It’s official … the Houston Texans are the single-biggest jinxed team in this year’s NFL as last Sunday’s last-minute defensive collapse against the Jets sealed the deal on that title. Now, HC Kubiak’s club – 4-6 SU and with next-to-no playoff hopes anymore – must deal with ornery Titans team that is going through QBs like water and last week managed one offensive TD in 19-16 OT loss to 7-point pup Washington. Your move!
TAMPA BAY at BALTIMORE: If the here-and-now Ravens are gonna win it all this year than that still-stout defense must chip in with some points just as they did in last week’s rollicking 37-13 win at 13-point pup Carolina. Note that Baltimore iced that road win thanks to a pair of defensive TDs including a 24-yard “pick six” by LB Lewis and here more of the same against greatly-improved-but-still-not-there-yet Bucs. P.S., did you notice that Baltimore QB Flacco (301 yards passing versus the Panthers) didn’t throw an INT again as Jim Hurley won big with his Top Play of the Day on the Closed Circuit line.
PHILADELPHIA at CHICAGO: See, the Eagles can win without QB Vick even throwing a single TD pass as last Sunday Night’s wild 27-17 victory against the Giants featured 50- and 40-yard fourth-quarter runs by RB McCoy that saved the day but will he get some creases here against Bears defense fresh off a shutout in Miami? Do stay tuned.
GREEN BAY at ATLANTA: Now that the Packers have slam-dunked old pal QB Favre and the Minny Vikings twice this year, there has to be a letdown … right? Look for the Pack to be a bit flat here as they play their second straight road game while hot-hot-hot Falcons (haven’t lost since Oct. 17th) rev it up behind ace QB Ryan (253 yards passing with two TDs in last week’s businesslike 34-17 win at St. Louis). Atlanta’s well-balanced offense gets lots of attention but did you realize that the Falcons’ defense has held seven foes to 21 points or less and that’s the key here as DE Abraham forces GB slinger Rodgers to chuck it prematurely at times here and it’s turnover city inside the Georgia Dome. Atlanta 27, Green Bay 14.
MIAMI at OAKLAND: It’s 10 days between games for the Dolphins who didn’t look too professional in their 16-0 home loss to Chicago last Thursday night and wonder if HC Sparano will allow third-stringer-turned-starter QB Thigpen another shot here … we’d have our doubts. On flip side, the Raiders last week put up the game’s first three points and then never scratched again in 35-3 loss in Pittsburgh as QBs Campbell and Gradkowski each aired an INT and hot-shot RB McFadden managed just 14 yards rushing on 10 carries. Say what!
SAN DIEGO at INDIANAPOLIS: Short week plus travel always bothers us and now here’s the SD Chargers fresh off MNF tilt against archrival Denver and having to jet to middle America for a prime-time game against Indy team that’s now dropped two of its last three games. Don’t know what Colts’ QB Manning was looking at with that late-game, first-down pick in New England last Sunday but better believe he’ll be all business here. Check on status of Indy WR Collie (dinged again last week and removed from the game) who’s a key component for the home folks here.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 29
SAN FRANCISCO at ARIZONA: Get the Side & Totals of this NFC West clash between a pair of 3-7 SU squads as we’ll be watching (and so will you) as this one could have some fireworks in store should SF wide-out Crabtree and ‘Zona WR Fitzgerald get their mitts on the ball a few times.
NFL BETTING TRENDS
Atlanta is 14-7 as hosts
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