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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:45 AM




Anyone that's been a regular reader of this Jim Sez column for the past quarter-century or so knows that we've been saying the same thing year-after-year when it comes to handicapping the wonderful world of College Football ... and that is, by and large, when the proverbial dust settles, Betting Favorites and Underdogs each generally finish right around .500 spreadwise.

Obviously, the key for Jim Hurley's Network - and for anyone that likes to have "action" - is to snap up the correct Favs and Dogs ... of course! But just to get you up to snuff with how this here-and-now College Football Season has been going by the numbers, here's a week-by-week look from the Betting Favorites' point of view:


Week 118182.500
Week 224270.471
Week 318312.367
Week 426222.542
Week 526311.456
Week 630231.566
Week 728280.500

So as we hit the unofficial mid-point of this 2015 NCAA Football Season, here we are with Underdog sides a mere 10 games over .500 in the head-to-head battle versus the chalk-eaters. And look closely at the week-by-results spread results - most of the weeks are also pretty close in terms of Favs vs. Dogs.

So for a buddy or yours/ours to proclaim that "Underdogs are killing it this year" remind him/her that's really not the case and over the course of a full football season it's rarely the case.

Now, if you wish to wonder who is "killing it" this year versus the vig, then put a checkmark next to the following teams listed here with their up-to-date spread marks:

Central Michigan (6-0-1); Notre Dame (6-1); Southern Miss (6-1); Georgia Southern (5-1); Stanford (5-1); Toledo (5-1); Navy (4-1); South Florida (4-1-1); Bowling Green (5-2); BYU (5-2); Florida (5-2); Iowa (5-2); Marshall (5-2); Northern Illinois (5-2); Ohio (5-2);  

My handicappers and bloggers have everything all scoped out and you can get the NFL Week 7 Side & Totals winners beginning with tonight's game between the Seattle Seahawks at the San Francisco 49ers when you check with us here at Jim Hurley's Network and then keep rollin' in the green all week/weekend long with all the NCAA Football, the NFL and - of course - the Baseball too. There's College Football action on the tube tonight and tomorrow as #22 Tempe is at East Carolina (7 p.m. ET on espn2) and #20 California is at UCLA (9 p.m. on ESPN) this evening and tomorrow night it's #18 Memphis at Tulsa (8 p.m. ET on ESPN) and Utah State at San Diego State (10:30 p.m. ET on espn2). Plus the Saturday menu is absolutely loaded with monster games as #1 Ohio State is in action at Rutgers, #2 Baylor hosting Iowa State and #3 Utah an underdog at USC (see yesterday's Jim Sez for those game previews) - plus there's a slew of other key Top 25 games on the Saturday docket. Check with us on game days either here online or at our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 - and continue to make this an October to remember!



On Saturday, it's ...

#6 CLEMSON (6-0, 3-0) at MIAMI (4-2, 1-1) - 12 p.m. ET, ABC
There's always some criticism or complaint that Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney is answering to - either folks believe that the Tigers will lose to an inferior opponent or critics just don't think the ACC club is "for real" but consider this is the third time in the last five seasons that Clemson is 6-and-oh and consider QB Deshaun Watson generally is the best player on the field in his club's games. Okay, so Watson struggled mightily last week in a 34-17 non-cover win against 18-point pup Boston College but he still aired three scoring strikes - now has 14 for the year - and he's so dynamic when it tucks-and-runs that a Miami defense that ranks just 50th against the pass and 65th versus the rush has reason to worry.
Line move alert: Clemson opened as a 4.5-point road fav and it quickly shot up to minus 6.5 points.
Spread Notes - Clemson has been the betting favorite in each of its six games this year but note the Tigers are just 6-9 ATS (against the spread) as chalk since the start of last season. Meanwhile, Miami's covered four of its first six games this year and the Hurricanes are a collective 13-7 vig-wise as hosts since the start of 2012.

TENNESSEE (3-3, 1-2) at #8 ALABAMA (6-1, 3-1) - 3:30 p.m. ET, CBS
Once upon a time these long-time rivals played some real nilly-willy games but check this out: In the past five years, Alabama's won by a per-game margin of 28.4 points per game (including three wins by 31 points each from 2010-thru-2012) and if you wish to get a bit more contemporary than check out how the Crimson Tide's played following last month's loss to Ole Miss as Nick Saban's crew has won 34-0, 38-10, 27-14 and 41-23 while besting three teams that went to bowls a year ago (see Georgia, Arkansas and Texas A&M).
The 'Bama defense has been air-tight - and scoring points - in recent weeks and here we'll keep an especially close eye on LB Reggie Ragland who could have the assignment of "spying" dual-threat Tennessee QB Joshua Dobbs (1,101 yards passing with 8 TDs and another 368 rushing yards with 5 scores).
Spread Notes - Since 2006, Alabama is a tasty 7-2 ATS in its last nine showdowns against archrival Tennessee. Note the Vols enter this SEC showdown an ugly 11-22-1 ATS as dogs the past five-plus seasons.

#15 TEXAS A&M (5-1, 2-1) at #24 OLE MISS (5-2, 2-1) - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
The Southeastern Conference gets us monster games week-in and week-out but here's a case of two ranked teams from the mighty SEC coming off losses ... and one more loss for the A&M Aggies officially tosses 'em from any playoff discussion the rest of the way.
If Kevin Sumlin's team - fresh off last weekend's dispiriting 41-23 home loss against 5-point favorite Alabama - wants to snap back here as sizable road dogs (+ 5.5 points at press time) than QB Kyle Allen needs a wakeup call after he airmailed three "pick sixes" a week ago - expect more rushes here from the Aggies and not just 'cause Allen was "off" last week as Ole Miss superstar DT Robert Nkemdiche (concussion last week in painful 37-24 loss at 10-point dog Memphis) likely misses this test.
Spread Notes - Ole Miss is a spiffy 12-4 vig-wise as underdog sides since the start of the 2012 campaign and that includes the 43-37 win at 7.5-point favorite Alabama back on September 19th. On the flip side, Texas A&M is 4-2 odds-wise this year and a cumulative 6-13 ATS in SEC games the past two-plus seasons.



Three of the NFL's five unbeaten teams - that's Cincinnati, Denver and Green Bay - draw byes this Sunday and so the eyes of the pro football world will very much be fixed upon the other two squads ... that's New England and Carolina.

The Patriots and Panthers are a combined 7-2-1 against the Las Vegas prices this year - not bad at all - but take a second and check out the fact that the five NFL unbeaten teams SU (straight-up) are a cumulative 20-5-4 spreadwise (a scintillating .800 winning rate).

So, guess the $64,000 is which team(s) are gonna slide back and become a pointspread liability in the coming weeks - hey, maybe this quintet will keep up the torrid spread pace, who knows! - but if you're checking out the near future skeds than keep in mind the Broncos play Green Bay and New England in their own Mile High City backyard in coming weeks while the Patriots are just now starting a three-game home stand with this week's tilt against the hated Jets followed by tilts versus Miami and Washington.

In other NFL Week 7 Notes ...

Forget any "hot seat" talk regarding Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano and/or Kansas City's Andy Reid despite the venom being spewed by local media folks in their general direction but if you had to acknowledge an NFL head coach who could be "singing for his supper" these next couple of weeks than Houston's Bill O'Brien may be your man.

One of the stars of the HBO Hard Knocks series, O'Brien must be blamed for not settling on a real first-string quarterback - our opinion all along is that neither Brian Hoyer nor Ryan Mallett are real-life #1 signal-callers in this man's league - and we wonder about his leaky defense that doesn't always play hard.

Hey, we hate to forecast anyone losing their football jobs but if O'Brien loses this weekend at Miami and then the home game that follows versus Tennessee, the Texans would then be 2-6 heading into the Week 9 bye. Then it could be bye-bye for O'B.

NOTE: There's plenty of NFL Week 7 previews in the next Jim Sez including the New York Jets at New England, Dallas at the New York Giants and the Sunday Night game between Philadelphia at Carolina.

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