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Week 8 NCAA Football Handicapping

Looking Ahead in the Rearview Mirror – College Football Betting

Doug Upstone

It’s a brave new world order and it’s going to take some getting used to. Quarterbacks that are 6’6, have a cannon on their shoulder, can bust a move like Michael Jackson to elude defender and make a 6’3 240-pound linebacker cringe just before making contact, knowing he might be the worse for wear from taking the hit.


Much like the State Farm commercials, after seeing top-ranked Alabama and Ohio State lose on the road in consecutive weeks, “mayhem” is officially part of any BCS talk.

Go West young man, theirs gold out there– No matter what rankings you want to study, four of the five top teams are west of the Mississippi River, covering three time zones. Oklahoma has played eight really good quarters of football and is ranked No. 1 in the BCS standings after 52-0 win over Iowa State as 23.5-point favorites and was Impact Wagering Solutions choice to finish No.1.

OregonTCU and Boise State are the other teams in the country from the Western region and unless you keep your furniture covered with plastic and have VCR that has been blinking 12:00 for the last two decades, welcome to the Facebook world.

This is further brought out in the gambling world where six of the top eight teams that are the best bets of college football, also reside in the western part of the United States.

  1. Utah 5-0-1 ATS
  2. Hawaii 6-1 ATS
  3. Oklahoma State, Oregon State, San Diego State and Boise State are all 5-1 ATS

Michigan redo? A sign of a very flawed college football team is when its best defense has those players on the sidelines. Michigan started 5-0 this year, which is one game better than a season ago at 4-0, but after consecutive losses, Denard Robinson plays a whole lot different when the other team can actually bust thru the line of scrimmage and tackle. Robinson’s options in the running game have closed up like a bank lending money to a home buyer and his decision making is not as clear in the passing game. With defense ranked 105th (441 yards per game), the Rich Rod express is starting to leak oil like last year in finishing 1-7. Michigan will be underdogs in three of last five games and single digit favorite choices to Illinois and at Purdue. Seven wins and a bowl game might not save Coach Rodriguez.

M & M’s are tasty- Michigan State and Missouri showed their mettle this past week in different ways. The Spartans, after wins over Wisconsin and Michigan were home to pesky Illinois club, who played with them for 30 minutes. In the final two quarters you would have thought Tom Izzo was coaching the defense the way Sparty locked down the Illini with a 23-0 blitzkrieg and controls its own destiny at 7-0, with trips to Northwestern and Iowa up next. Heady times for old-school Spartans fans, who haven’t seen this record since Bubba Smith and George Webster way back in the day 44 years ago. The Wildcats are 6-0 ATS as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points hosting Michigan State this week.

Texas A&M was popular wagering choice over Missouri, who despite being unbeaten hadn’t left the Show Me State this campaign. Coach Gary Pinkel’s Tigers were ferocious on defense with aggressive schemes and moved the ball up and down the field at College Station. QB Blaine Gibbert was sensational for Mizzou, on target with pin-point passing and drilling the ball into deep Tigers receiving group that lacks the stars of the past, but catches the ball. The fun begins this week as Oklahoma comes to town, followed by trip to Nebraska.

Scratch and Dent Sale- The ACC’s pride took another right cross to the jaw with N.C. State losing in overtime at East Carolina 33-27. The Wolf Pack was completely unprepared to start and trailed 21-0 at the end of the first period. By halftime they were back to within three points and should have taken control from their since the Pirates has permitted 42 points per game coming into the contest. Instead, emotion-less East Carolina never threatened covering the eight-point favorite role hung on them and lowered the ACC’s record to 13-13 in non-conference games with 15-11 ATS mark. This league is humbling 1-11 SU as underdogs with four covers.

Which is which? –Before last Saturday if you were presented with Arkansas at Auburn and Nevada at Hawaii, what scores would you have put with each game, having to choose between 27-21 and 65-43? Though SEC fans will never admit it, the league is down, the Hogs and Tigers game is living proof. Arkansas could have used the Steelers defense to contain Cam Newton, who at this very moment IS the best player in college football. The Auburn pass defense is non-existent and Ryan Mallet did what he wanted and his replacement Tyler Wilson was mostly spectacular as the Razorbacks threw for 416 yards. Sometimes high scoring games just happen, but these are supposedly elite teams in the conference and South Carolina surrendered 21 points straight in the second half to lose at Kentucky. WAC games are not supposed to happen in league known for defense.

Holy s^&*, my alarm didn’t go off! – In college football, teams are often at the mercy of the TV networks for scheduled game times. The old traditional 1:00 start doesn’t happen anymore, as day games become night contests and vice versa. However, all teams are given ample warning of these alterations; yet it doesn’t always seem like it. 

Ohio State and Nebraska were not prepared from the opening whistle and needed almost an entire half to wipe the catatonic state they were playing in.

The Buckeyes and Cornhuskers were slobber-knocked early and never truly recovered in being beaten to the punch throughout their games. The lack of defense and urgency were the most obvious bad traits. Just last week an Ohio State vs. Nebraska seemed like a real possibility for national championship game, now if they lose any more league games, either team won’t even be in the hunt for conference crown, let alone other designs.

Be sure to look for Doug Upstone’s Top Plays at CapperPicks.com.

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