Submitted by Jim Hurley on Friday, September 27, 2013 at 12:00 AM
OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND PREVIEWS/FORECASTS ARE COMIN’ RIGHT AT ‘YA!!! …
PLUS SOME NFL POINTSPREAD FIGURES
By Jim Hurley
Here’s some great news for College Football fans who have grown weary of these lopsided wins by the BCS or power conference teams against the little guys …
Half of this week/weekend’s 48 on-the-Las Vegas-board-games are conference matchups, so here’s hoping the likes of 76-0 and 77-7 scores such as a week ago are things of the past.
As a matter of fact, there are four NCAA Football Games that pit Associated Press Top 25 teams against one another this final Saturday in September and we’ll have something to say about all of ‘em shortly in today’s pigskin-filled Jim Sez column – and if you wish to grab a glance at the NFL then we ask the following:
Did you happen to notice that 10 of the 15 games on the pro docket have pointspreads of 3 ½ points or less? Maybe we’re in for a bunch of barb-burners in NFL Week 4 – and make sure you’re with us tomorrow here at Jim Sez for more NCAA games and a bunch of NFL Week 4 Previews/Forecasts.
Lots to tackle in today’s column space and so let’s get it started with the college kids taking center stage …
On Saturday, it’s …
#21 OLE MISS (3-0, 1-0 SEC) at #1 ALABAMA (3-0, 1-0 SEC) – 6:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
No doubt you get the feeling that “something’s missing” when it comes to this here-and-now ‘Bama bunch that actually ranks last in the SEC in rushing (only 132 ground yards a game) – but that hasn’t stopped the Las Vegas guys/gals from installing the Crimson Tide as 16 ½-point betting favorites here.
If Alabama WR Amari Cooper – held out of last week’s ho-hum 31-6 non-cover win against Colorado State – doesn’t reel in a couple of “chunk plays” here, then explosive Ole Miss will be hanging ‘round at game’s end. We could see the up-tempo Rebels offense give this Tide team a tussle and 16 ½ points does seem a bit too “tall” … doesn’t it?
Spread Note – Ole Miss has covered seven of the last 10 head-to-head matchups in this southern-flavored series.
#23 WISCONSIN (3-1, 1-0 Big 10) at #4 OHIO STATE (4-0, Big 10) – 8 p.m. ET, ABC
It’s tough to tell whether Ohio State’s rollicking wins over Buffalo, San Diego State, California and Florida A&M (by a combined 149 points, no less!) has really sharpened the skills of the country’s fourth-ranked team as they journey into Big 10 play, but what cannot be argued is the fact veteran backup-turned-starting QB Kenny Guiton (13 TD passes and just 2 INTs) has been a godsend.
Guiton figures to get the nod here over Braxton Miller – yes, we know that Buckeyes' boss Urban Meyer says he’ll probably start Miller but we ain’t buying it! – and keeping drives going with his arm or his legs is critical against a Wisconsin bunch that’s averaging 350 rushing yards per game (that’s third-best in the land).
Simply put, if the Badgers can’t crank up the heat here on Guiton and/or Miller, then the ‘Eyes will be headed for a twin-figure win at the ole “Horseshow”.
Hey, does 35-21 sound about right to you?
Spread Note – Since 2007, the O-State Buckeyes have covered five of the six showdowns against Wisconsin including last year’s 21-14 overtime win as one-point road pups.
#6 LSU (4-0, 1-0 SEC) at #9 GEORGIA (2-1, 1-0 SEC) – 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Here’s a piece of advice for the Georgia Dawgs when it comes to all this “tough schedule” chatter:
Stop talkin’ about it and do something constructive!
Mark Richt’s club is playing its third Top 10 team in the first four games of the schedule (lost 38-35 at Clemson and bested South Carolina 41-30), but a win here and that famed “control your own fate/destiny” national championship talk will emerge … you’ll see.
Hey, in a couple of columns earlier this week we discussed the great balance that this LSU team is showing these days under first-year offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, but keep in mind it’s Georgia that ranks 6th nationally in total yards (574 yards per game) and something tells us veteran QB Aaron Murray (1,040 yards passing with 7 TDs and 2 INTs) may be ready for his greatest moment on the gridiron scene.
Looks like that tougher sked has Richt’s gang ready to rock-n-roll – laying the 3-point price is inviting but make sure to get our game-day play at 1-800-323-4453.
Jim Hurley’s been red-hot when it comes to college football’s weekly marquee matchups … why should anything be different here this week?
Spread Note – The team laying points is 4-2 against the odds (with one pick ‘em game in 2008) in this SEC rivalry while dating back the past 10 years and note the Tigers and Dawgs have squared off in the SEC Championship Game three times since 2003.
#14 OKLAHOMA (3-0) at #22 NOTRE DAME (3-1) – 3:30 p.m. ET, NBC
You might recall last year’s 30-13 ND Fighting Irish win at Oklahoma – not only did it give Brian Kelly’s club an 8-0 mark at the time, but it truly catapulted ‘em towards the BCS Championship Game, and now the Sooners are hoping for a little payback and maybe a jump start towards a BCS bowl.
Gotta believe that Oklahoma – an 11-point betting favorite against the Irish last year and a 3 ½-point road choice here – will have a couple of gadget plays in the knapsack here as the Big 12 team was idle last week, but will QB Blake Bell (27-of-37 for 413 yards and 4 TDs in a 51-20 win against Tulsa two weekends ago) be a red-zone boon or bust in this one?
Spread Note – Notre Dame’s 3-8-1 vig-wise overall while dating back to last year.
Meanwhile, in keeping with our season-long pointspread stats, here’s what the NCAA Football Favorites vs. Underdogs categories look like the first four weeks of play:
$15 THE LEGENDARY SUPER-SATURDAY 6-PACK IS BACK! $15
NCAA FOOTBALL 2013 FAVORITES–
Week #1 25-19-0
Week #2 26-14-0
Week #3 16-28-0 (1 Pick ‘Em)
Week #4 25-18-1
TOTAL 92-79-1 (1 Pick ‘Em) … (.538)
Your attention, ladies and gentlemen …
My handicappers and bloggers will continue to torch Las Vegas and the off-shore books with loads of NFL and NCAA Football winners this week and that includes the Side & Totals winners on tonight’s San Francisco 49ers at St. Louis Rams game to kick off NFL Week 4 and it’s Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech in college ball plus there’s Friday Night college winners too (see Middle Tennessee State at BYU and Utah State at San Jose State for TV action), so don’t miss a beat!
Check with the Jim Hurley Network right here online at www.jimhurley.com or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 after 1 p.m. ET on week days and any time after 10 a.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday.
Plus get all our down-the-stretch Major-League Baseball winners too! The MLB Playoffs are just days away now!
NFL SPREAD STATS
We’ll detail a half-dozen NFL Week 4 games in tomorrow’s edition of Jim Sez, but how about some key spread stats from the league where they play for pay:
Atlanta’s covered nine of its last dozen showdowns against AFC teams and – yes – that does include last week’s painful 27-23 loss at 3-point favorite Miami;
Chicago has failed to cover its last three consecutive games played at Ford Field, and remember last year’s regular-season finale when the Bears (- 3) didn’t get the green in a 26-24 road win;
Denver is a healthy 12-4 against the odds as chalk sides since the start of last season;
Houston is just 3-8-1 ATS (against the spread) overall since last year;
Minnesota is just 10-16-2 ATS away the past three-plus seasons;
New York Jets are 3-0 ATS to start a season for the first time since 2009 (that was head coach Rex Ryan’s first year);
San Diego is 6-11 vig-wise at home the past two-plus seasons;
And Washington is a dreary 8-15 ATS in non-NFC East games since the start of 2011.
NOTE: Get NFL Week 4 Previews/Forecasts next!