Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 12:21 PM
JIM SEZ COLLEGE POINTSPREAD STUFF - SOME OF THE 0-AND-2 SPREAD SQUADS (AND WHERE THEY'RE HEADED THIS YEAR)
PLUS MORE NCAA FOOTBALL NOTES ...THE NFL WEEK 2 MENU
Maybe nobody is pushing the proverbial "panic button" just yet when it comes to the handful-plus major-college football teams that have staggered out of the starting gate with 0-and-2 ATS (against the spread) records but what's happened so far with these teams and where are they headed? Let's take a look in today's football-filled Jim Sez:
ARIZONA STATE - True, the Sun Devils basically "lost their way" in that season-opening 38-17 loss versus Texas A&M when the Pac-12 guys surrendered 21 fourth-quarter points and then last weekend A-State didn't have the oomph to cover the 5-touchdown pointspread in a 35-21 SU (straight-up) win against Cal Poly ... hey, that game actually was knotted at 21-apiece heading into the final quarter and the Arizona State defense has been wobbly so far (see 422 yards allowed against A&M and 284 rushing yards by Cal Poly). Suffice to say, if Todd Graham's defense does not get straightened out in a hurry, the once-upon-a-time darlings of the Top 25 could be a sinking ship.
Up Next: Host 28-point dog New Mexico on Friday night
AUBURN - No need to press the re-wind button and explain last week's 27-20 OT triumph over 41-point dog Jacksonville State but there are major concerns for head coach Gus Malzahn with QB Jeremy Johnson already having tossed five INTs and the War Eagle defense having allowed 28 first downs to Jax State last Saturday.
Hey, this is an Auburn club that began the year ranked #6 in the Associated Press Top 25 but letting up so that Louisville could "back-door" 'em two weeks ago and then the near-disaster versus J-State says there could be issues here. Remember that Auburn's sandwiched 3-8 and 4-8 spread seasons in 2012 and '14 around an 11-2 ATS mark in 2013 and so that suggests this is a feast-or-famine program spreadwise and right now things are headed the wrong way.
Up Next: Auburn's a current 6.5-point underdog at LSU this Saturday afternoon
OREGON STATE - The Gary Andersen Era hasn't started out so great for Beaver backers as this Pac-12 team has failed to cover season-starting games against Weber State and Michigan and note in last weekend's 35-7 loss at the 13.5-point favored Wolverines there was more herky-jerky play from OSU's two quarterbacks Seth Collins and Marcus McMaryion (a combined 9-of-19 for 79 yards) and some questionable strategy on Andersen's part - he punted on a fourth-and-three from Michigan's 39-yard line down 10-7 and it seemed to take major starch from his own team. Let's face it, this 2015 season is a major question mark for this Oregon State program that was rocked back when Mike Riley left to take over at Nebraska and a rough road sked that includes games in Arizona, Utah, Cal and Oregon could be hazardous to the Beavers' health.
Up Next: Oregon State is a 7.5-point home favorite against San Jose State this Saturday
PENN STATE - The natives in Nittany Lion Land are getting restless. Second-year head coach James Franklin returned Penn State to the bowl wars a year ago with an exciting overtime win against Boston College in the Pinstripe Bowl but so far he hasn't exactly sported the Midas touch with the Nittanies failing to cover season-opening games at Temple and then home to Buffalo. Of course, Penn State lost the former 27-10 - the first time the Nittanies lost to Temple since 1941 - as QB Christian Hackenberg was sacked 10 times and then last week Penn State dragged its way past 16.5-point pup Buffalo 27-14 as Hackenberg was kept clean but managed to throw for only 128 yards. The offensive line remains in a state of flux and RB Saquon Barkley (12 carries for 115 yards and one TD versus Buffalo) isn't being utilized enough in open-field situations.
Up Next: Penn State's listed as a 10-point favorite this Saturday against jailed-up Rutgers
Jim Hurley and his veteran Handicappers and Bloggers are all revved up for a monster showing in this 2015 NFL season - so make sure you're banging out lots of winners this week/weekend as we start off NFL Week 2 play with this AFC West showdown pitting the Denver Broncos at the Kansas City Chiefs. Remember the NFL Week 2 menu has a slew of great Sunday games including New England at Buffalo, San Diego at Cincinnati, Dallas at Philadelphia and the Sunday Night clash between the Seattle Seahawks at the Green Bay Packers.
The college kids are back on the gridiron come Thursday night too as #11 Clemson is at winless Louisville on ESPN. And note the Saturday card is full of big games listed below including a pair of double-ranked games from the still-mighty SEC. Plus there's lots to cash in too with Major-League Baseball as it heads down the final couple of weeks in this 2015 MLB Season with the AL Wild Card Game set for Tuesday, Oct. 6th and the NL Wild Card Game on tap for Wednesday, Oct. 7th.
Now, here's what you gotta do: Check with us right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. Eastern time for weeknight action and after 10 a.m. ET for the Saturday and Sunday NFL. NCAA and MLB winners!
In other NCAA Football News & Notes ...
Handicappers have heard all about "look-aheads" since the beginning of time, but check out what's on tap for a few teams this weekend that have monster games on deck:
Duke has a whopper-sized ACC Coastal Division game against Georgia Tech set for Sept. 26th and so you wonder if David Cutcliffe's club has only one eye out for visiting Northwestern this week ...
Missouri opens up SEC play on Sept. 26th at Kentucky and so the Tigers might not be "all in" this Saturday as 3-TD betting favorites against UConn. Keep in mind Mizzou is one of those 0-and-2 spread sides so far ...
And Oklahoma State's posted as a 25-point betting favorite for this Saturday's home game against a kiddie corps UT-San Antonio team with Okie State staring straight ahead at a Big 12-opening game at Texas on Sept. 26th. Remember the Cowboys will be seeking revenge against rival Texas as the 'Horns copped a 28-7 in in Stillwater last year.
Finally, in case you were wondering here's the best non-Top 25 matchups on this weekend's college card:
Illinois (2-0) at North Carolina (1-1) - Are the Illini ready to have a magical year under interim boss Bill Cubit?
Louisiana Tech (1-1) at Kansas State (2-0) - The K-State kids are trying to make a go of it with backup-turned-starting QB Joe Hubener who has been showing some major anxiety so far.
Florida (2-0) at Kentucky (2-0) - All this talk about the SEC West having all seven of its teams in last week's AP Top 25 but don't sleep on this SEC East matchup that the Gators have won for the past 28 years in a row. That's right, gotta go back to 1986 to find the last time the 'Cats won this game but note Florida's just a 3-point road fav this Saturday night.
NFL WEEK 2
Always fun to check out the NFL Week 2 matchups that pit teams that lost in Game 1 - it's a pure fact that everyone "overreacts" to Week 1 losses, don't they? - and so check out the three games where 0-and-1 teams are squaring off ...
Tampa Bay at New Orleans - The Saints' red-zone woes cost 'em dearly in last week's 31-19 loss in Arizona and sure seemed like the missing link in that one was no TE Jimmy Graham (hey, a lot of NFL teams immediately missed players they dealt away last offseason).
Baltimore at Oakland - There's major hand-wringing going on with the Ravens who really lack wide-out playmakers and word is rookie WR Breshad Perriman (knee) won't be back till October.
Detroit at Minnesota - The Vikings may want to re-introduce themselves with mega-star RB Adrian Peterson (see 10 carries for 31 yards in Monday's 20-3 loss in San Francisco) and now Minny's laying a FG on "short week" and so it may be now-or-never time for the Lions who've dropped eight of their last 10 games in the Twin Cities.
NOTE: Get more NCAA and NFL Week 2 previews all this week right here at Jim Sez.