Archives for September 2010

Texas and Stanford lead Upset Alert Picks for Week 5 College Football

We had a 1-2 SU record in Week 4, but oh what could have been! We cashed a +155 winner on Northern Illinois over Minnesota, but we fell one point short with Ohio +210 vs. Marshall and we lost by six points with West Virginia +300 vs. LSU. If it is any consolation, our teams did go 3-0 ATS.

This week’s Upset 3-Pack includes a pair of high profile marquee matchups, although our first play is not one of them.

UPSET #1: Wyoming (+3½) +140 over Toledo

Toledo enters this game off of three consecutive road upsets, which is a very difficult position for any favorite. Things should be even tougher for the Rockets here though, as they took advantage of 13 turnovers during their three-game upset streak, and that kind of random luck cannot be counted on from week to week. Toledo is still averaging a meager 260.2 yards per game, 2.9 yards per rush, and 6.4 yards per pass attempt, so they need all the help they can get. Wyoming may have lost three straight games, but the streak started with a cover at Texas and ended with another cover at home vs. Air Force, with the only blowout loss coming at the hands of Boise State in between. The Broncos do that to a lot of people though. Look for battle tested Wyoming to get over the hump in this spot.

UPSET #2: Texas (+3½) +155 over Oklahoma

Texas may very well have been looking ahead to this annual war while they were busy committing five turnovers and getting shocked at home by UCLA last week. The Longhorns have the far superior defense between these teams, and we even look for the Texas offense to improve, provided they can hang on to the ball, vs. what has been a surprisingly awful Sooners defense. After always having a strong defense in the past, Oklahoma is allowing 421.2 yards per game on 4.3 yards per rush and 7.8 yards per pass attempt this year. Comparatively, Texas is allowing only 227.8 yards per contest on a miniscule 2.7 yards per rush and 5.5 yards per pass. Oklahoma has gotten away with their poor defense while going 4-0 vs. a weak schedule so far, but their luck ends in the Red River Rivalry!

UPSET #3: Stanford (+7) +245 over Oregon

People love scoring and thus have fallen in love with an Oregon team that is averaging 57.8 points per game, Well, Stanford is averaging 48 points per game, and if you factor in strength of schedule, Stanford has the better defense. Sure, Oregon is allowing 11.0 points per game while Stanford is allowing 13.8, but you must consider that the Ducks shut down the likes of Portland State, New Mexico and Tennessee, and when they finally faced a legitimate opponent in Arizona State, they allowed 31 points. Stanford meantime has knocked heads with UCLA, Wake Forest and Notre Dame. That is the same UCLA team that feasted on Houston and Texas the last two weeks, and the Cardinal shut them out 35-0. Look for Stanford to stop the potent Oregon offense enough to pull the shocker.


Week 4 NFL Upset Picks

Can you spell S-W-E-E-P? It was a glorious Week 3 for us in the NFL as all three of our upset calls cashed. We correctly tabbed Dallas +120 over Houston, Tennessee +140 over the Giants and in the big one, Seattle +205 over San Diego.

We have three more upset calls for Week 4, highlighted by Donovan McNabb’s return to Philadelphia with the Redskins.

UPSET #1: Chicago Bears (+4) +180 over New York Giants

The Bears look legitimate on defense, and their offense has done enough with Mike Martz’s intricate schemes to start the year 3-0. The good news is that the Giants’ pass rush was apparently a mirage in the season opener vs. what has turned out to be an awful Carolina team, as the G-Men have only two sacks in the last two games. That means Chicago QB Jay Cutler should have the time needed in a Martz offense for his plays to develop. Granted, conventional wisdom says they need to get Matt Forte more involved, but given who is calling the plays, that may be more through swing passes than hand-offs. On the other side of the ball, the Bears lead the NFL in rushing defense and Eli Manning has never done well without the support of the run.

UPSET #2: Washington Redskins (+6) +220 over Philadelphia Eagles

Donovan McNabb makes his return to Philadelphia, and his Redskins look like a huge overlay in this spot. We are still not sold on the Philadelphia pass defense, as killing Jacksonville like they did last week really doesn’t mean much this year. McNabb is obviously very familiar with the Philly defenders, and we look for him to have a big game like he did vs. Houston two weeks ago, forgiving the performance of the whole team vs. St. Louis last week in an obvious look-ahead situation. Add in the fact that running back Ryan Torain looked good when given the chance last week in place of Clinton Portis, who has lost a step, and McNabb’s return could easily be surprisingly triumphant.

UPSET #3: San Francisco 49ers (+6½) +230 over Atlanta Falcons

Unlike last week, when the 49ers were in a terrible spot after an emotional Monday night game vs. the Super Bowl Champion Saints, they are in a great spot this week. The shoe is now on the other foot as it is the Falcons that are coming off of an upset win over the champs, and it is Atlanta that should have the letdown here. On top of that, the Falcons also fit one of our favorite angles, which is to bet against home favorites coming off of a road win by three points or less, as this has gone 48-21, 68.7 percent against the spread since 2000. The Niners are much better than they looked last week and they are playing for their season here, as an 0-4 start would be disastrous. Look for San Francisco to win their first game with their new offensive coordinator.


3 Early NFL Surprise Teams: Who is Legit?

After three weeks of the 2010 NFL betting campaign, there have been a few teams that have stepped up in the early going to fare better than expected. Now, the question is whether or not these clubs will be able to hold up over 13 more contests. Here’s a look at some of the early surprise teams in the NFL:

Kansas City Chiefs (3-0 SU & 3-0 ATS)

After posting a woeful 10-38 record over the last three seasons, the Chiefs have jumped out to a two-game lead in the AFC West standings with a perfect 3-0 start. In all three of its games, Kansas City has won in the role of an underdog. Two of the victories have been against clubs that were division favorites at the beginning of the season.

It has truly been a team effort for the Chiefs. On offense, Kansas City leads the NFL in rushing at over 160 yards per game. On the other side of the ball, the Chiefs are tied for second in scoring defense by allowing under 13 points per contest. After a bye in week 4, Kansas City will face a couple of difficult road matchups at Indianapolis and Houston. However, the Chiefs will get to close the month of October with favorable home outings against Jacksonville and Buffalo. (See KC Chiefs Updated Futures Odds)

Seattle Seahawks (2-1 SU & 2-1 ATS)

In his first season with the club, head coach Pete Carroll has been able to engineer a couple of home upsets against the 49ers and Chargers. Moving forward, Seattle (9-23 in 2008-09) must prove that it can compete on the road. The Seahawks are winning despite some unimpressive statistics. Seattle is in the bottom 5 in the league in total offense and defense. However, the club has been able to force turnovers on defense and do some damage on special teams.

The Seahawks have created seven turnovers in its two victories this season. In week 3 against San Diego, Leon Washington returned two kickoffs for touchdowns to provide the difference in a 27-20 win. After struggling in its only prior road game this year, Seattle will be away from home for three of its next four outings. The Seahawks are a slight favorite in week 4 at St. Louis. (See SEA Seahawks Updated Futures Odds)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1 SU & 2-1 ATS)

Off of a 3-13 campaign in 2009, the Bucs are just a win away from matching last year’s victory total. While Tampa Bay was overmatched in week 3 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers, the team is clearly making some progress in 2010. On defense, the Buccaneers secondary has already come away with six interceptions this season to tie for the league lead in picks.

The offense (27th in NFL in total offense) is still a work in progress but young quarterback Josh Freeman is showing some poise. He has been intercepted just twice this season in 83 pass attempts. The Bucs will have a bye in week 4 to get past the setback against the Steelers. Tampa Bay will return to action with a pair of tough matchups against the Bengals and Saints after its off week. (See TB BUCS Updated Futures Odds)

Of the 3 teams mentioned, who is legit?

Please list your response in the comments section below.

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State ESPN Thursday Night Vegas Spread Picks Preview

A couple of Big 12 squads will be seeking some respect on Thursday night in Stillwater. While Texas A&M and Oklahoma State are both undefeated, neither club has faced a major challenge thus far.
The Aggies hold a 17-8 edge in the all-time series between the two schools but the Cowboys have won the last two meetings. Last year in College Station, Oklahoma State came away with a 36-31 victory.

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State Point Spread: Oklahoma State -3 points

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State Over-Under: 67 points

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma State Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

Texas A&M Aggies (3-0 SU, 1-1 ATS, 1-1 OV)

The Aggies have a solid offensive attack to work with. Texas A&M is in the top 15 nationally in total, scoring and passing offense. Senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson has thrown 51 touchdown passes over the last two seasons. This year, he has tossed seven touchdown strikes. Johnson is trying to rebound from one of the worst games of his career heading into Texas A&M’s conference opener. He completed just 11-of-31 passes with four interceptions in his team’s 27-20 come from behind win over Florida International on September 18th.

Wide receivers Jeff Fuller and Ryan Swope have combined to catch 39 passes already this season. The Aggies can also move the ball on the ground. Sophomore Christine Michael has gone over the 100-yard plateau in all three of his club’s games in 2010.

Texas A&M is in the top 10 in the country in total and rushing defense. However, a unit that has struggled in recent years has yet to be tested this season. Former Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Sherman could be in a make or break campaign at Texas A&M. He is just 13-15 for the Aggies and has yet to produce a winning season. In its next game on October 9th, Texas A&M will face another test in a matchup against the Arkansas Razorbacks in Dallas.


Oklahoma State Cowboys (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS, 3-0 OV)

Despite the departure of versatile quarterback Zac Robinson, the potent Oklahoma State offense hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down in 2010. Under the direction of junior signal-caller Brandon Weeden, the Cowboys are in the top 2 in the nation in total, scoring and passing offense. Oklahoma State has already put 65 points on the board in a game twice this season.

Weeden is second in the nation in passing efficiency with 11 touchdown strikes. Sophomore wideout Justin Blackmon leads the country with eight touchdown receptions. The passing attack is complimented by a healthy Kendall Hunter in the backfield. After rushing for over 1,500 yards in 2008 as a sophomore, he missed half of last season due to injuries. Hunter is off to a quick start this year with 457 yards and six touchdowns.

Like Texas A&M, the Cowboys are a team that lacks a capable defense. Oklahoma State is 78th in the country in total defense although the club has faced some better offenses than Texas A&M in the early going. Former Cowboys star quarterback Mike Gundy (39-27 record) is in his sixth season as the head coach of his alma mater. After Thursday’s game, Oklahoma State will hit the road for the first time in 2010 with a trip to Louisiana-Lafayette on October 8th.

NFL “Total” Talk: Top 3 Over-Under Plays for Week 4

Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers: Under 34.5

In the marquee matchup on the week 4 slate, the Ravens and Steelers will square off in an AFC North showdown in Pittsburgh. Two elite defenses will be on display at Heinz Field on Sunday. Baltimore leads the NFL in total defense while Pittsburgh is the top scoring defense in the league. In contrast, both offenses in this contest are in the bottom 10 in the NFL in total offense.

Without suspended quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers are last in the league in passing offense. While the Ravens were expected to have an improved offense this season, the club is still trying to build some consistency. In its first two road games of the year, Baltimore was held to a total of just 20 points. The rushing game has struggled in the early going. The Ravens are just averaging 3.1 yards per carry in 2010. In a game where each team is unlikely to score more than 17 points, the under should come through in this one. (see what the betting public thinks about this game)

Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns: Under 38

In another AFC North contest, the Browns will try to gain their first win of the season in Cleveland against the Bengals. While many expected Cincinnati’s offense to be a dangerous unit this season, the team hasn’t been able to build much consistency in the early going. The Bengals are just in the middle of the pack in the league’s main offensive categories after three weeks. Even with the receiving duo of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens, Cincinnati is pretty average on offense.

After a rough opener at New England, the Bengals defense has stepped up in the last two weeks to allow a total of just 17 points. Cleveland has also played some solid defense this year despite its record. The Browns are tied for 14th in the NFL in scoring defense. The club’s lack of offense has resulted in three defeats by a total of just 12 points. Cleveland is 27th in the NFL in scoring offense and has yet to score more than 17 points in a game. Look for another under in the AFC North on Sunday. (see what the betting public thinks about this game)

Arizona Cardinals at San Diego Chargers: Over 46

The Cardinals have managed a couple of ugly wins to gain a share of the NFC West lead after three weeks. With Arizona ranking in the bottom 10 in the NFL in total, scoring and passing offense, the retirement of quarterback Kurt Warner has had quite an impact on the club. Still, the presence of All-Pro wideout Larry Fitzgerald and a vastly improved running game should enable Arizona to have a good day against an average Chargers defense. However, the real fireworks will come when San Diego has the ball.

The Chargers lead the NFL in total offense heading into this matchup. The unit has been hurt by some turnovers in a 1-2 start. Quarterback Phillip Rivers should be able to put up some huge numbers against a suspect Cardinals defense that is in the bottom 10 in the NFL in total and scoring defense. This one flys over the total. (see what the betting public thinks about this game)

Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Vegas Spread Preview, Picks, Score Prediction

The Florida Gators and Alabama Crimson Tide have met in each of the last two seasons in the SEC Championship Game. Many feel as though these two are on a path to face each other once again at the Georgia Dome in December. The winner of this game has gone on to win the SEC and the National Championship, so needless to say, this is quite the important duel. Our NCAA football betting keys to the game will show whether the Gators or the Crimson Tide have the edge in the nine point spread on Saturday night.

Florida vs. Alabama Point Spread: Alabama -7.5 points (opened -9)

Florida vs. Alabama Over-Under: 48 points

Florida vs. Alabama Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

Florida vs. Alabama Key #1: Are the Gators holding anything back?

We haven’t seen a heck of a lot of razzle dazzle this year from the Gators like we did in the Tim Tebow era, but does that mean that the plays are in the playbook this year? John Brantley clearly doesn’t have the same skill set that Tebow did, and without real speed at the quarterback position, there is no telling whether there are any real tricks in Urban Meyer’s bag or not. If they’re there, Meyer will need to use each and every one of them to knock off the Tide.

Florida vs. Alabama Key #2: Can Mark Ingram find holes in this defense?

The Gators have a defense that certainly doesn’t mess around. They rank 13th in the country in rush defense at 94.0 yards per game, a number which Ingram is going to need to run for by himself for the Tide to beat this hefty spread. Last year, Trent Richardson rushed for 80 yards and Ingram rumbled for 113 yards and three TDs to defeat Florida in the SEC Championship Game. So far this year in just two starts, Ingram has 308 yards and four scores, while Richardson has 356 yards and four TDs as well. The winner of the battle between the UF defensive line and the Alabama offensive line very well could be the winner of this game.

Florida vs. Alabama Key #3: How will the Gators react to this stage under the lights?

The Gators proved that they can on go on the road and win big games when they marched into Neyland Stadium and hushed the Tennessee Volunteers fans on Rocky Top two weeks ago. Tuscaloosa probably won’t be quite as loud, but under the lights and on national television, this is a totally different situation. If you take out a 36 yard fake punt, Florida accounted for less than 280 yards of offense against the Vols that day, and if the stage proves to be too big on Saturday, the blue and orange will get run out of town.

Alabama got its wake up call last week in the first half against the Arkansas Razorbacks. The Tide rumbled from that point forward and looked like the best team in the country. Saturday should be no exception. Too much offense. Too much defense. Too much crowd noise. Expect to see the Tide take a chomp out of the Gators this weekend.

Florida Gators vs. Alabama Crimson Tide Score Prediction:

Alabama 34 – Florida 20


Patriots vs. Dolphins Monday Night Odds, Point Spread, Picks

Patriots vs. Dolphins MNF Week 4 TV & Odds:

Patriots vs. Dolphins Game Date: Monday, October 4th, 2010

Patriots vs. Dolphins Kickoff Time: 8:30pm EST

Patriots vs. Dolphins TV Network: ESPN

Patriots vs. Dolphins Announcers: Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden

Patriots vs. Dolphins Point Spread: Patriots -1 point

Patriots vs. Dolphins Over-Under Odds: 45.5 points

Patriots vs. Dolphins Spread Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

– The total has gone OVER in 5 of New England’s last 5 games
– The total has gone UNDER in 7 of New England’s last 10 games on the road
– New England is 16-8 SU in its last 24 games
– New England is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games when playing Miami
– Miami is 15-6 SU in its last 21 games when playing at home against New England
– Miami is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games
– Miami is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games at home
– Miami is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing New England

Next up:
– New England home to Baltimore, Sunday, October 17
– Miami at Green Bay, Sunday, October 17

Bears vs. Giants Sunday Night Spread Preview, TV Kick-Off Time, Vegas Odds

Chicago Bears vs. NY Giants SNF Week 4 TV & Odds:

Bears vs. Giants Date: Sunday, October 3rd, 2010

Bears vs. Giants Kickoff Time: 8:20pm EST

Bears vs. Giants TV Network: NBC

Bears vs. Giants Announcers: Al Michaels, Cris Colinsworth

Bears vs. Giants Point Spread:

Bears vs. Giants Over-Under Odds:

Bears vs. Giants Spread Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

A few Chicago Bears vs. NY Giants Betting Trends to consider:

– Chicago is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games
– The total has gone OVER in 8 of Chicago’s last 10 games when playing NY Giants
– The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Chicago’s last 11 games
– The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Chicago’s last 18 games on the road
– The total has gone OVER in 7 of the NY Giants last 8 games
– The total has gone OVER in 5 of the NY Giants last 6 games at home
– The total has gone OVER in 8 of the NY Giants last 10 games when playing Chicago
– NY Giants are 2-6 ATS in their last 8 games at home

Next up:
– Chicago at Carolina, Sunday, October 10
– NY Giants at Houston, Sunday, October 10

Penn State vs. Iowa Vegas Spread, Odds, Lines, TV Kick-Off Time

Penn State vs. Iowa TV & Odds:

Penn State-Iowa Date: Saturday October 2nd, 2010

Penn State-Iowa Kickoff Time: 8:00 pm (EST)

Penn State-Iowa TV Network: ABC

Penn State-Iowa Announcers: Mark Jones, Bob Davie, Jeannine Edwards

Penn State-Iowa Point Spread: Iowa -7 points

Penn State-Iowa Over-Under Odds: 41.5 points

Penn State-Iowa Spread Expert Picks: CLICK HERE

A few Penn State vs. Iowa Betting trends to consider:

– Penn State is 6-1 SU in its last 7 games
– Penn State is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
– Penn State is 1-5 ATS in its last 6 games when playing Iowa
– Penn State is 1-7 SU in its last 8 games when playing Iowa
– Iowa is 12-1 SU in its last 13 games at home
– Iowa is 7-1 SU in its last 8 games when playing Penn State
– Iowa is 18-3 SU in its last 21 games

Next up:
– Penn State home to Illinois, Saturday, October 9
– Iowa at Michigan, Saturday, October 16

Week 4 NFL Lines feature the Eagles as 6 point favorites over the Redskins

What a crazy first 3 weeks of the weeks of the 2010 NFL Betting season!! Imagine if I told you that the KC Chiefs, Chicago Bears and “Big Ben-less” Steelers were going to start the season 3-0…… no one would believe that!

Could anyone possibly predict the amazing resurgence of Michael Vick in Philly. It was supposed to be the Kevin Kolb era. The big betting matchup for week 4 features Donovan McNabb and the Washington Redskins will visiting the Philadelphia Eagles this Sunday at 4:15pm (est) as 6.5 point underdogs.

All Week 4 NFL Lines