Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 1:33 PM
The universe of football handicapping is moving at the speed of light right now and here is a list of just a few of the major items worth noting.
--Denver Coach John Fox announced bright and early this morning Tim Tebow has become the Broncos' starting quarterback. Tebow replaced Kyle Orton for the second half last week in Denver's 29-24 loss to San Diego and he just fell short of bringing the Broncos back from a 23-10 half-time deficit to get the money. This is a bye week for Denver, giving Tebow an extra week to get ready for his first start of the season and the fourth of his career.
--The Detroit Lions confirmed with their 24-13 win over the Chicago Bears Monday night they are the real deal. I watched every minute of the game on TV and concluded (1) the Lions pass rush is fierce, (2) the Lions defense gets to the ball quicker than any team I have seen this season and (3) the intense focus of this defense is going to make life miserable for every opponent, including the Green Bay Packers. For the record, not only is Detroit off to a 5-0 start, dating back to last season, it is 9-0 straight up (SU) in its last nine games and 9-0-1 against the spread (ATS) in its last 10.
--Buffalo also confirmed with its 31-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles that its success (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS) is no mirage. The Bills play with an unexpected recklessness and zeal that is delightful in a league of cookie cutter offenses and defenses that offer up the same old same old week after week. Buffalo is a 3-point ‘dog at the New York Giants Sunday.
--From my point of view I must approach with caution games involving the extremely unpredictable Philadelphia Eagles (1-4 SU, 1-4 ATS) and the likewise Atlanta Falcons (2-3, 1-4). I know the talent is there to win against anyone but pieces of the puzzle are missing for both teams. The Falcons are personally quite offensive to me, since I picked them to get to the Super Bowl. Philadelphia is a 1-point underdog at Washington and Atlanta is a 4-point home favorite over Carolina Sunday.
--It is almost unthinkable that a single player could make a team rise far above its projected performance profile every week but Carolina's rookie quarterback Cam Newton does just that. This guy is the best rookie QB I have ever seen and he is keeping the Panthers in every game they play. Carolina has been an underdog in four of its five games this season and has opened 1-4. But for those who bet, the Panthers are 4-0 ATS in their last four games and just missed by 1 point of being (a 28-21 season opening loss as a 6 ½-point underdog at Arizona) of being a perfect 5-0.
Volunteers Crippled With LSU Up
Tennessee (3-2 SU, 3-1-1 ATS) is playing very respectable football this season for second-year coach Derek Dooley but appears to be in big trouble this Saturday when it faces undefeated LSU(6-0 SU, 4-2 ATS) in Knoxville. The Volunteers will probably be without starting quarterback Tyler Bray (broken finger) and starting running back Tauren Poole (hamstring). T heir absences will only add to the problems of working against an LSU defense that gives up just 254 yards per game.
Other college notes of interest to bettors:
--Florida State's starting quarterback E.J. Manuel returns Saturday at Duke. FSU, loser of three straight, is a 13 ½-point favorite, up 1 ½ points from the open of -12.
--Utah will be without starting quarterback Jordan Wynn for the rest of the season. He has a shoulder injury that will require surgery. The Utes are 7-point underdogs at Pittsburgh Saturday.
--Ohio State running back Dan Herron returns from a six-game suspension this Saturday at Illinois. The 6-0 Illini are 4-point favorites.
--I am personally declaring Kansas (2-3 SU, ATS) has non-competitive because of a defense that—yes the figures are correct—gives up an average of 49.4 points and 556.0 yards of offense per game. That 70-28 loss to Oklahoma State last week was not a mirage. Saturday, Oklahoma, which averages 45.0 points and 534.6 yards per game, will be in Lawrence. The Sooners are 34-point favorites. As I said last week, just do the math.
--Central Florida (3-2 SU, 2-3 ATS), a 3 ½-point underdog at SMU (4-1 SU, 3-2 ATS), gives up just 177.6 yards per game and has allowed but three touchdowns the entire season. This matchup is a repeat of last season's Conference-USA championship game, won by CFU, 17-7.
--Rice (2-3 SU, 2-3 ATS) stands 1-13 in its last 14 road games and is a 5-point underdog at Marshall (2-4 SU, 4-1 ATS)—a team with its own interesting number. Lost in the shuffle is the act the Thundering Herd has scored but seven offensive touchdowns the entire season.
The Week's Special Game Schedule
Thursday, Oct. 13: 100 Units
San Diego State (3-2) at Air Force (3-2). ESPN
A Mountain West Showdown, For Sure
Friday, Oct. 14: 10 Units
Hawaii (3-2) at San Jose State (2-4), ESPN
Two Teams With Prime Time Quarterbacks
Saturday, Oct. 15: 200 Units
Special College Blowout
100% Chance To Win SU, 95% Chance To Cover
50 Units: College Game Of The Week Plus TV Bonus Plays
Arizona State at Oregon
Michigan at Michigan State
Florida at Auburn
Sunday, Oct. 16: 50 Units
NFL Game Of The Week
4-1-1 With Last Six 50-Unit NFL Games
All these games, along with all regular service plays, will be available on this website and toll free at 1-800-755-2255. The price is right and all major credit cards accepted.