Tuesday, October 19, 2010

College Football Betting Notes: Oregon Ducks New AP No. 1

By Micah Roberts

The Oregon Ducks are college football’s new number one team in the nation following Ohio State’s loss at Wisconsin last week. Oregon had the week off, but moved up the ladder to the top spot for the first time in school history. This is the second week in a row that the top ranked team has fallen, with pre-season No. 1 Alabama taking the fall two weeks ago. Next up for the Ducks -- as they try to avoid making three straight weeks of No. 1 losing -- is a home game against UCLA.

It’s kind of refreshing to see new blood atop the charts. Four of the top-five teams aren’t your typical college football giants like we normally see. While perennial power Oklahoma is ranked third, we have Boise State, TCU and Auburn joining Oregon. The last time we saw a fresh team ranked No. 1 for the first time ever was 20 years ago with Shawn Moore and Virginia.

The Ducks will have a tough road ahead them trying to avoid being upset in the tough Pac-10. Their six games stretch as No. 1 starts against unpredictable UCLA, a visit to USC, Washington, at Cal, Arizona and then close it out with a road contest against in-state rival Oregon State.

Second ranked Boise State is set up nice for Championship game appearance as their toughest game looks to be a road contest November 26 at Nevada, a team that was just knocked out of the top-25 with their loss to Hawaii. Even though the BCS rankings have the Broncos third behind Oklahoma and Oregon, there appears to be a much better chance of them running the gauntlet than the other two ahead of them.

Line Moves Of the Week
If following the line moves last week, you should have done well as moves of two points or more went 9-6. There were two games that accounted for 1-1 records each as the move went down and then back up again. Pittsburgh opened 2 ½-point favorites and action came in on Syracuse pushing the game to pick, but then a late run came back on Pitt pushing the game to it’s original line. The late move was the winning side as Pitt destroyed Syracuse 45-17.

Florida opened up 9 ½-point favorites and Mississippi State money came in dropping the line to -7 ½ and then the other move came late pushing the game back to it’s original line. This time the early move got there as Mississippi State beat Florida straight up in the swamp 10-7.

Two different betting groups had different opinions on the game and each went 1-1 in those instances.  

On of the largest moves of the week saw Washington being bet from the opener of +2 ½ all the way to making them the 1 ½-point favorite at home against Oregon State. Most everyone got there, but those who got there at the tail end of the move lost as Washington won by one points 35-34 in double overtime.

Ball State was bet up a point-and-a-half from the opener to a closing number of -15 and ended up losing in overtime to Eastern Michigan. Another game the Sharps were wrong with was betting against Louisiana Tech who opened 2 ½-point favorites and closed as 1-point dog. Tech beat Idaho 48-35.

Columbus Uproar
It was only hours before the Buckeyes lost to Wisconsin that callers into a Columbus sports talk radio show were mapping out their vacations for the BCS Championship game and celebrating a sure Heisman trophy for Terrelle Pryor. The callers reversed their opinions in raging lunacy on-air immediately after the loss with statements like, “Pryor should have went to Michigan instead” and the “conservative play calling of coach Jim Tressel should have him sent back to Youngstown State.“ One caller was a little more optimistic and had a scenario already in place that would still place the Buckeyes in the Title game. However, there weren’t any burning couches on the streets of Columbus as they save those special occasions for big wins.

Player of the Week
In a little over two quarters of play, USC’s Matt Barkley had the game of his career against Cal. At half-time, his five touchdowns led USC to a 42-0 lead en route to a 48-14 final. Barkley completed 25 of 37 passes for 357 yards.

Heisman Watch
I suppose this is about the time of the year where we can start looking seriously at legitimate candidates to win the Heisman. Auburn quarterback Cameron Newton helped himself in the running with a four touchdown game against Arkansas keeping his team undefeated. Not only is Newton fourth in the nation in rushing yards, he also has a QB rating of 180.5 -- good enough for second best in the country. Michigan’s Denard Robinson still leads college football in rushing and has a terrific passer rating of 159.09, but he’s being talked about less around the country due to two losses in a row. Robinson’s numbers should stand alone and make him the leading contender, but as is the case every year with the Heisman, it’s popularity contest. It’s about what school campaigns the best and the player that captures the voters fancy. Right now, the publicity machine is churning Newton’s name out above all others.  

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1 comment:

  1. Barkley has had a tremendous season, but overlooked because of probation and big losses already. He should become a solid qb in the pros with a little more seasoning.