Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at 12:46 PM
IT'S TIME TO REALLY KICK OFF THE 2016 COLLEGE FOOTBALL SEASON!
WE HAVE ODDS TO WIN IT ALL PLUS A COUPLE OF KEY THURSDAY PREVIEWS TOO
And you thought the football-filled Labor Day weekend would never get here!
Well, the fact of the matter is the College Football kids kicked things off a gazillion miles away in Australia last weekend when California (- 21.5) failed to cover in its 51-31 SU (straight-up) win against Hawaii but the really action-packed gridiron card swings into high gear from Thursday-thru-Monday with 40 on-the-board games for your "entertainment" and viewing pleasure.
We'll have plenty to say all this week about some of the high-quality, marquee matchups set for Saturday-Sunday-Monday including #3 Oklahoma at #15 Houston, #5 LSU at Wisconsin (at historic Lambeau Field) and #1 Alabama vs. #20 USC (at Arlington) - all of them are on Saturday with #10 Notre Dame at Texas on Sunday and #4 Florida State vs. #11 Ole Miss (from Orlando) on Labor Day evening -- but let's now take a quickie peek at a couple of Thursday's games ...
On Thursday night, it's ...
APPALACHIAN STATE at #9 TENNESSEE 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network
Better believe that the here-and-now Tennessee Volunteers are the most hyped Knoxville edition in more than 25 years but can QB Joshua Dobbs (2,291 yards passing and 671 yards rushing last year) deliver 'em an SEC East crown ... and maybe more? Note the three-TD underdogs from Appy State won 11 games a year ago and Mountaineers' QB Taylor Lamb (2,387 yards passing with 31 TDs in 2015) can really zing it!
Spread Notes - Tennessee's just 9-15 ATS (against the spread) at home the past four years while Appalachian State has covered seven of its last 10 away games.
SOUTH CAROLINA at VANDERBILT - 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Hey, we know you've noticed the Las Vegas pointspread on this game has been climbing as Vandy opened a 2.5-point choice and now it's up to 4.5 points but may we remind y'all that the Commodores have been betting favorites only 35 times in all the past 10 years? If Vanderbilt wishes to dunk the South Carolina debut of head coach Will Muschamp, than TB Ralph Webb (1,152 yards rushing last season) must be a chain-mover for the 'Dores.
Spread Notes - South Carolina is just 10-17 vig-wise in SEC games while dating back to late in the 2012 campaign. Vanderbilt enters this tilt having covered four of its last five conference home games.
Jim Hurley is ready for yet another slam-bang Football Season straight ahead and we want you to come along for the ride! In fact, the College Football 2016 campaign truly swings into high gear with a full week/weekend card beginning Thursday night and going right through Labor Day evening next Monday.
Check in right here online or via our toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453 any time after 1 p.m. ET for the weeknight selections, after 11 a.m. ET for all the weekday games and after 10 a.m. ET for Saturday/Sunday/Holiday Winners. Or better yet, go ahead and sign up for the whole 2016 Football Season today at our discounted prices and bang home loads of winners!
COLLEGE FOOTBALL - THE ODDS TO WIN IT ALL
|Alabama||11-2||The Tide better not get too cute at QB|
|Clemson||15-2||QB Watson is best big-game guy in USA|
|Ohio St.||15-2||Must admit we think 'Eyes are overrated|
|Florida St.||8-1||Love to see RB Cook get 30 touches per|
|LSU||9-1||All comes down to Nov. 5th vs. 'Bama|
|Michigan||12-1||Put-up or shut-up time for Harbaugh|
|Oklahoma||12-1||The title in 2000 is a long time ago, eh?|
|Tennessee||15-1||Lost 4 games by combined 17 pts in '15|
|Notre Dame||22-1||Off-field junk could signal Kelly's end|
|Iowa||30-1||Sked could mean a Big 10 West win|
|USC||30-1||Maybe Pac-12's best raw talent is here|
|Georgia||35-1||New boss Smart challenged right away|
|Stanford||35-1||RB McCaffrey getting lots of face time|
|TCU||40-1||They already built a Patterson statue|
|Washington||40-1||Everyone says the Dawgs will bark big|
|Florida||45-1||Gator speed/defense something else|
|Ole Miss||45-1||Can NCAA bad boys beat 'Bama again?|
|Oregon||45-1||HC Helfrich may not be the answer|
|Houston||50-1||QB Ward country's most fun player|
|Texas||50-1||Is it Jan. bowl or bust for HC Strong?|
Okay, so in case you're wondering here are some other "notable" teams and their odds to win it all this season:
Michigan State and Nebraska are each 55-to-1; UCLA is 65-to-1, Baylor is 70-to-1 and Wisconsin is 100-to-1.
For you long-shot players in our Jim Sez audience, whatcha think about Boise State at 125-to-1 or maybe Utah at 150-to-1? Hmmm.
NFL PRESEASON NOTEBOOK
Yes, we all know this final week of NFL Preseason games are nothing more than glorified scrimmages with lots of second- and third-stringers seeing playing time but that doesn't mean you can't win a few bucks ... right?
And remember there's a rare Wednesday game tonight with Washington at Tampa Bay moved up a night because of incoming nasty weather on the Gulf Coast side of Florida.
In an earlier-week column, we told you that Baltimore, Green Bay, Houston, Minnesota and Philadelphia all have banged out perfect 3-and-oh pointspread records but what about the teams that have yet to cash a single bet so far this '16 preseason?
Well, the Arizona Cardinals, the Cleveland Browns and the New Orleans Saints all enter Preseason Week without a pointspread "W" but - interestingly enough - all of 'em are betting favorites for their summertime finales, just sayin'.
In other NFL Preseason Notes ...
As we all know, the stars sit out these Preseason Week 4 games but there could be some real-life angst for a few teams regarding name players:
The Atlanta Falcons are worried that WR Julio Jones (ankle) may not make a full recovery prior to the season-opener against Tampa Bay;
The Cincinnati Bengals say TD-maker TE Tyler Eifert (ankle) may not make it onto the field till Week 4 of the regular season;
And Miami Dolphins C Mike Pouncey (hip) could be more serious than the Fish are letting on as rookie head coach Adam Gase just described him as "week-to-week". Note that Miami is a 10.5-point (and growing) underdog for its Week 1 tilt at Seattle on Sept. 11th.
NOTE: Get more College Football Game Previews plus lots more in the next edition of Jim Sez.