Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, November 2, 2011 at 10:14 AM
Let's just say they "ready for some football" in sweet home Alabama.The tug-of-war game between #1 LSU at #2 Alabama has the whole country in an absolute tizzy but don't we all need to be armed with the key spread stats before they kick off this thing on Saturday night (8 p.m. ET on CBS)? Of course we do! So, here's some worth-to-mention pointspread stats on both sides ...
LSU - The Bayou Bengals are 6-2 ATS (against the spread) overall this season and that includes a hearty 4-0 ATS away including covers against Oregon (in Arlington) and at Miss State, West Virginia and Tennessee. Not bad! Toss into the mix the fact LSU is 4-1 vig-wise this year against fellow SEC teams and the Tigers are 16-12-2 spreadwise as dogs since the start of the 2001 season. LSU is 4-4-2 spreadwise in its last 10 head-to-head showdowns with ‘Bama but that does include a recent shabby 1-3-2 spread slide.
ALABAMA - The 2011 Crimson Tide is 7-1 versus the vig overall this year and note that includes a rock-solid 4-1 ATS log when in the position of home betting favorite. The Tuscaloosa crew has covered all five of its SEC games this year and overall the Tide's a tasty 20-11 vig-wise in SEC play while dating back to the start of the 2008 campaign. Note that Alabama's covered 10 of its last 13 home games since late in the 2009 season - and that includes a 24-15 win/cover against 7 ½-point dog LSU two years ago.
Okay, guys, so let's get it on!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL NEWS/NOTES
Just what did Stanford's rollicking 56-48 triple-OT win at 8-point underdog USC this past Saturday night really mean?
Well, for starters, it kept 8-and-oh Stanford alive in its bid to be a part of this season's BCS Championship Game but it also galvanized the Cardinal who had won all their previous games this season by 25 points or more - David Shaw's club needed to prove it could win a "white knuckler" type affair and did so as Heisman Trophy front-runner Andrew Luck delivered after a somewhat uneven game (hey, he still threw for 325 yards and 3 TDs despite some ragged moments against a well-coached USC defense).
Note that Stanford registered 516 offensive yards on some 88 plays from scrimmage - and only turned the ball over once. Hope you caught it ‘cause it was one of the best College Games in years.
NOTE: Get our College Football Mid-Week Report in the next edition of Jim Sez as we get it stuffed with previews/notes and all kinds of goodies while getting in some additional comments on #1 LSU at #2 Alabama too!
NFL WEEK 8 NEWS & NOTES
What's with this slew of Sunday Night Football blowouts?
The Philadelphia Eagles' never-in-doubt 34-7 win/cover against the 3-point road underdog Dallas Cowboys marked the third straight Sunday Night runaway win for the home teams and it actually marked the fifth straight week that the Sunday prime-timer was decided by twin-figure margins (see our accompanying chart below).
Maybe play-by-play guy Al Michaels and color analyst Cris Collinsworth have not exactly been blessed with competitive games the past month-plus but it's Baltimore-Pittsburgh and New England at the New York Jets in this showcase game the next two weeks and so let's hope they're "due" for a couple of barnburners, right?
As it is, Philly's rollicking win added to the mystique of betting favorites piling up the cash come Sunday Night. Check it out and note all home teams below are in CAPS ...
|NY JETS (-6) over Dallas||NY JETS 27-24|
|Philadelphia (-2.5) over ATLANTA||ATLANTA 35-31|
|Pittsburgh(-11) over INDIANAPOLIS||Pittsburgh 23-20|
|BALTIMORE(-5) over New York Jets||BALTIMORE 34-17|
|Green Bay(-6.5) over ATLANTA||Green Bay 25-14|
|CHICAGO (-1.5) over Minnesota||CHICAGO 39-10|
|NEW ORLEANS(-13.5) over Indianapolis||NEW ORLEANS 62-7|
|PHILADELPHIA (-3) over Dallas||PHILADELPHIA 34-7|
Interestingly enough, the first three weeks of Sunday Night Football saw the underdogs get the cash - that's Dallas, Atlanta and than Indianapolis, respectively - while the next five weeks have been a betting bonanza for the chalk-eaters (that's Baltimore, Green Bay, Chicago, New Orleans and Philadelphia).
Meanwhile, note that Sunday Night Football home teams so far are a nifty 6-2 versus the vig and that's good for a .750 winning rate. Just thought you might want to know!
The Eagles improved their SU (straight-up) record in post-bye games under 13th-year head coach Andy Reid to 13-0 as they shredded a Cowboys defense right from the very start - Philly scored points in each of its first six offensive possessions as QB Michael Vick was razor-sharp (he finished with 279 passing yards with 2 TDs along with 50 yards rushing on 7 carries) but what made this so lopsided was the fact the Eagles registered 31 first downs - the NFL record is 39 - and possessed the football for an amazing 42:09.
One question for Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett: Why exactly was QB Tony Romo (203 yards passing with 1 TD and 1 INT) still in the game at the end to absorb even more hits ... let's get with it, coach!
Now, here's a couple of quick-hitter comments about two of Sunday's key NFL games
PITTSBURGH 25, NEW ENGLAND 17 - See, even Patriots QB Tom Brady can't beat the "old" and "slow" Steelers defense all the time, okay? After a week in which Pittsburgh heard all about the demise of its defense, the Steelers' stop unit answered the bell and sacked Brady three times while keeping WR Wes Welker under wraps (see 6 catches for 39 yards) and, boy, did S Troy Polamalu and friends deliver some real physical blows to the tiny Welker who was wobbly by game's end.
Brady had won six of his seven games played against the Steelers but here he never did get untracked here while Pittsburgh's game plan was superb with QB Ben Roethlisberger attacking the Pats with a hunt-and-peck style that produced 36 completions for 365 yards and two TDs and how about the fact Pittsburgh wide receivers nabbed 21 passes in all? Good stuff.
Folks, Steelers' head coach Mike Tomlin gets an "A+" for preparation - and he shouldn't have trouble getting his team "psyched" for next Sunday Night's game against Baltimore (see that Week One 35-7 beat-down by the Ravens).
SAN FRANCISCO 20, CLEVELAND 10 - Has anyone noticed that the SF 49ers may well have turned into the second-best team in the NFC this past weekend?
Okay, so it took New Orleans' rather stunning 31-21 loss at 13.5-point underdog St. Louis to proclaim someone else now fills the seat behind the best-in-the-land Green Bay Packers but here we are nearly halfway through the current NFL season and the Niners are 6-1 SU (and 6-0-1 against the spread) and don't look now but SF's next three games are eminently winnable - at Washington, than home to the New York Giants and Arizona.
Could first-year head coach Jim Harbaugh be commanding a 9-1 team while heading into a Thanksgiving Night game in Baltimore? Hmmm.
In this win/cover against 9-point underdog Cleveland, there was San Francisco going to its meal ticket - that's hard-charging RB Frank Gore - for 31 carries and 134 rushing yards en route to the Niners' fifth straight win (the first time that's happened since 2001).
Lest anyone forget that San Fran's defense collected four sacks against Browns QB Colt McCoy and check it out: The Niners now have allowed 19 points or less in five games this year and - in case you were wondering - it was another no-INT game for 49ers slinger Alex Smith.
Ain't life grand on this side of the Golden Gate Bridge?