Submitted by Kelso Sturgeon on Saturday, October 12, 2013 at 12:01 PM
There are two major elements that will impact the outcome of college football games Saturday - the fact bookmakers have dramatically changed betting lines and the fact starting skill players in 14 games will be missing. I've not seen an injury list such as this (it runs 25 pages in the colleges and nine in the NFL) in years. It will impact winning and covering.
It also became obvious to me this week that bookmakers and linemakers have done a major overhaul of their numerical ratings of college football teams. There are 46 games on the college board today and 22 of them (48%) have double-digit favorites. Eight of favorites of 20 or more points, with Auburn (4-1) leading that list as a 43.5-point favorite over I-AA Western Carolina.
In reference to the Auburn-Western Carolina (1-4), a word of caution. This could be a look-ahead game for the Tigers who host Texas A&M next week in a very important Southeastern Conference game. Just needed to drop that in there.
In tracking the college betting world, there were 22 steam plays Thursday for Saturday's games and of those games, 16 of the moves were on underdogs - many of them double-digit 'dogs - and that is a signal the sharps think this week's new bookmaker numbers are a little too ambitious. For the record, the six favorites that earned steam status Thursday were Arizona State, UAB, Oregon, Baylor, Massachusetts and UCLA.
Early Friday, there were but two steam plays for Saturday - on favored Nebraska at Purdue and on underdog Utah State, which hosts Boise State.
It is of note last Thursday, the sharps stepped in on 24 football college football games and went 15-9 against the number. On Saturday, the latecomers made 37 wagers that qualified as "steam" and went 18-17. I guess the early bird gets the worm.
Bettors charting steam plays must remain ever aware that one team can become a steam play several times during a betting cycle. For instance, in last week's early moves two underdogs - Utah and Kansas - made the steam board twice. Utah went steam at +5.5 against UCLA and again at +5.0 later in the day - and lost by 7, 34-27. Kansas went steam at +16.5 against Texas Tech and hours later at +15.5 and - and lost by 38 points, 54-16.
As I have said many times, the smart money is right 50% of the time.
College Football Key Players Injury Report
The college injury list is, as stated, 25 pages long and it is a must to consult it before betting any game this week. The following list is just of starting skill players who presence, or lack thereof, will impact whether there teams win or lose and more importantly, whether they cover.
- Texas - QB David Ash (Concussion) expected to miss Saturday vs. Oklahoma.
- Texas - QB Case McCoy (None) expected to start Saturday vs. Oklahoma.
- Western Michigan - QB Tyler Van Tubbergen (Shoulder) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Buffalo U.
- Maryland - QB C.J. Brown (Head) doubtful Saturday vs. Virginia.
- South Florida - RB Marcus Shaw (Hamstring) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Connecticut.
- Duke - QB Anthony Boone (Collarbone) "?" Saturday vs. Navy.
- Texas Tech - QB Baker Mayfield (Knee) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Iowa State.
- Rice - RB Charles Ross (Knee) "?" Saturday vs. Tex San Antonio.
- Nebraska - QB Taylor Martinez (Toe) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Purdue.
- Georgia - RB Todd Gurley (Ankle) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Missouri.
- Kansas State - WR Tyler Lockett (Hamstring) "?" Saturday vs. Baylor.
- Oregon - RB De'Anthony Thomas (Ankle) "?" Saturday vs. Washington U
- UCLA - RB Jordon James (Ankle) doubtful Saturday vs. California.
- East Carolina - RB Vintavious Cooper (Concussion) is downgraded to doubtful Saturday vs. Tulane.
- Utah State - QB Chuckie Keeton (Knee) out for season.
100-Unit College Game Of Week Highlights Saturday Card...Going For 3rd Straight
I won my second straight 100-unit College Football Game of the Week last Saturday as Texas Tech (-16.5) crushed Kansas, 54-16, and I intend to come right back today and get the cash in another one. The team I am releasing as this week's 100-unit play that, as Texas Tech did, grades out on top in 42 of the 47 factors in the handicapping process, should win in the same dominating fashion as did the Red Raiders. Get this giant winner - a team that has better than a 90% chance to cover the number - for just $50, charged to your major credit card.
100-Unit 3-Team College Conference Showdown Games Tops Locktoberfest Saturday
This is the sixth week of college football and it is fast becoming the time to see just which teams are the true power teams in their conferences. We have three nationally televised power vs. power conference games today and I believe there are winning edges in each one. Thus I am releasing the winner of each team as a 25-unit play and then combining them in a 3-team parlay at odds of 6-1 - and I am confidence I will cash all four tickets. The games:
SEC Showdown: Florida (4-1) at LSU (5-1)
PAC-12 Showdown: Oregon (5-0) at Washington (4-1)
Mountain West Showdown: Boise State (3-2) at Utah State (3-3)
As noted, I do believe I have the edges to win all of these conference showdowns and you can get the cash with me for just $50, charged to your major credit card. Better yet, get them as part of my 13-day, 26-game Locktoberfest package ($199).
15-Unit 'Dog Tops 3-0 Saturday For Best Bets Club
My Best Bets Football Investment Club is going full-speed ahead with three more standout Saturday plays, highlighted by a 15-unit bet on an underdog that grades out as a 7-10-point winner, and it does not get much better than that. Win with this 15-unit underdog and two additional best bets - one at the 10-unit level, the other at 5 units. Get all the cash for just $15.
Kelso's College Football Top 25
1. Louisville (6-0) - College football's most complete team.
2. Georgia (4-1) - Has cut its teeth against the nuts, finds ways to win.
3. Oregon (5-0) - Scores 59.2 points per game while giving up 11.8.
4. LSU (5-1) - Tough has iron and has talent to go the distance.
5. Clemson (5-0) - Has made no mistakes and may be better than this.
6. Florida State (5-0) - Unstoppable offense averaging 53.6 points per game
7. Alabama (5-0) - Does what it has to do to win.
8. Stanford (5-0) - Loaded with blue-chip talent and has great offensive line.
9. Baylor (4-0) - Averaging 70.5 points, 779.5 yards per game.
10. Washington (4-1) - 3-point loss at Stanford takes nothing away from Huskies.
11. Missouri (5-0) - The real deal, gets acid test at Georgia Saturday.
12. Ohio State (5-0) - Riding 18-game win streak.
13. Miami (5-0) - Loaded with talent and just keeps winning.
14. Northwestern (4-1) - Home loss to Buckeyes no big negative.
15. Oklahoma (5-0) - Still has much to prove.
16. UCLA (4-0) - No knocks but need to see more.
17. Wisconsin (3-2) - Best 3-2 team in the country.
18. Texas A&M (4-1) - Only loss a 7-pointer to Alabama.
19. Virginia Tech (5-1) - Undefeated since losing opener to Alabama.
20. Texas Tech (5-0) - Looks better with each game it plays.
21. Michigan State (4-1) - Great defense gives up just 203.0 yards and 13.4 points per game.
22. Nebraska (4-1) - Has started to look like a usual Cornhuskers power-play team.
23. Florida - (4-1) - Don't really know what to make of Gators. Many questions.
24. South Carolina (4-1) - Good but compromised by injuries.
25. Notre Dame (4-2) - Only losses to Michigan (5-0) and Oklahoma (5-0)