Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, October 12, 2017 at 10:23 AM
HOTLINE FOOTBALL ON AN 13-2 STREAK AFTER 3-0 SUNDAY & 2-0 MONDAY WITH BEARS & UNDER!
BLUE RIBBON 12-6 LAST TWO WEEKENDS
WON 5 OF LAST 6 IN MLB DIVISION PLAYOFFS
OUR COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE: HERE'S SOME OF THE "BEST" AND "WORST" TEAMS VERSUS THE ALMIGHTY VIG HERE IN 2017
NFL WEEK 6 GETS JUMP-STARTED TONIGHT WITH KEY EAGLES-PANTHERS BASH DOWN SOUTH
Believe it or not, we're pretty much at the midway point of this 2017 NCAA Football Season and thus it's time to take inventory of some of the "Best" and "Worst" teams from a wagering world standpoint. Here goes with a little reason (or two) why these teams have either banged out a healthy profit or else busted their backers big time:
GEORGIA - Pretty cool to see the Dawgs back in the upper crust of the college football world (another win or two and there'll be some Herschel Walker sightings, to be sure) and Kirby Smart's squad has been brilliant against the Las Vegas price tags with a 5-1 ATS (against the spread) log here as we head into the second Saturday in October. The Bulldogs have managed to overcome a change at quarterback - frosh Jake Fromm has been a treasure - and that always-stout ground game has been terrific while averaging 268.3 yards per game (that's 11th-best in the country). Still, the numero uno key has been a defense that's allowed just 60 points in all the first six games - yes, Georgia owns the country's third-best defense and now here it is laying 30 points to Mizzou this weekend.
NOTRE DAME - Gotta admit that heading into this here-and-now 2017 season it's unlikely we would have given you a proverbial plugged nickel that the ND Fighting Irish would rank as one of the "best bets" in the land ... after all, there was a major quarterback story with both of last year's starters gone (see DeShone Kizer to the NFL and now to the bench with the Cleveland Browns, lefty Malik Zaire to the University of Florida) but six weeks into the season boss-man Brian Kelly has his troops at 5-1 ATS and that includes covers against "name teams" Boston College, Michigan State and North Carolina - yes, the lone spread setback came against above-mentioned Georgia back on Sept. 9th in a 20-19 Bulldogs win. If you dig deeper into this Notre Dame crew, you'll note the Irish have gotten ahead in games and then let the ground game rule as the Irish sport the country's sixth-best rushing offense at 308 yards per game. But don't sleep on QB Brandon Wimbush (yes, he missed last weekend's win/cover at Carolina) who's thrown only two INTs in 132 passing attempts - steering clear of the almighty turnover's been a really big key.
TEXAS TECH - Surprise, surprise! The Red Raiders enter Saturday's game at 3.5-point underdog West Virginia with a spiffy 5-and-oh wagering record that features an outright win at TD favorite Houston and a near-upset win against 10.5-point fav Oklahoma State. Hey, we were impressed with Tech last week in a 65-19 triumph at 14.5-point pup Kansas 'cause there was no letdown following the 41-34 loss to Okie State - QB Nic Shimonek (1,811 yards passing with 14 TDs/3 INTs) has been brilliant but how about a hand for a defense that's held three-of-five foes to 24 points or less?
Jim Hurley's Network of Handicappers and Bloggers are gonna pound out another big winning week/weekend on the gridiron and don't forget there's lots of Major-League Baseball Playoff winners too all week long when you check in with us here online or at 1-800-323-4453.
ARKANSAS - The Razorbacks are a sinful 0-5 against the odds and now up steps a trip to four-TD fav Alabama ... geez! No question the Hogs have been unable to get consistent play from their ground game (they currently rank 48th nationally at 185.4 ypg) but it's been the defense's inability to stop the bleeding that's been an even bigger issue as Bret Bielema's squad has surrendered 50 and 48 points in two of its last three games (although there were some defensive TDs scored against 'em last week by South Carolina). Funny thing is Arkansas has a handful of players that "grade out" better than anyone else in the SEC at their respective positions and still it's been a betting bummer for the Fayetteville gang in '17.
BYU - What were the odds at season's start that these Cougars would be winless versus the vig halfway through the year? At 0-6 ATS (and 1-5 SU), this Coogs club has been one of the top three disappointments in the sport and when did you ever think a BYU team would rank 128th out of 130 FBS teams in total offense! Chuck into the mix the fact second-year head coach Kalani Sitake is in way over his head and it's difficult for us to see any time worth wagering on this BYU bunch ... and now the Cougars are a 23.5-point pup at wobbly Miss State this weekend.
UCONN - No real surprise here as the prior head coach Bob Diacco pretty much left the cupboard bare after he was axed following a third straight unsuccessful season with the Huskies. Still, UConn is a major mess with a putrid 0-5 ATS log that includes a 20-point loss at Virginia and a 39-point home loss last Friday night versus Memphis ...yikes! Overall, Connecticut ranks dead last (that's 130th) in pass defense while yielding 400 yards per game and this weekend it is a double-digit underdog at a below-par Temple team.
NFL WEEK 6
Tonight, it's ...PHILADELPHIA (4-1) at CAROLINA (4-1) - 8:25 p.m. ET, CBS
Two of this year's NFL elites go head-to-head in this prime-time affair from Charlotte - and note the Panthers have failed to win/cover their last three in a row at home while dating back to last year - and the $64,000 question here is will an Eagles defense that's holding foes to just shy of 20 ppg be able to put the vice-grips on Carolina QB Cam Newton (see 355 yards passing with three TDs in last Sunday's 27-24 hang-on win at 2-point favorite Detroit). Newton's had his off-the-field controversies this year but it's tough to criticize his play in recent weeks after apparently working through early-season shoulder issues.
On the flip side, it's sure looking as if Eagles' QB Carson Wentz (304 yards passing with 4 TDs and note the 11-of-12 passing stat line on third downs in last weekend's easy 34-7 win against Arizona) is blossoming ... Wentz has fixed some footwork issues, made better decisions when exactly to throw the ball and he's proving to be elusive when escaping the pocket. Does it all add up to a fourth straight "W" for Doug Pederson's squad here?
Spread Stats - Philadelphia has failed to cover seven of its last 11 away games dating back to the start of last season while Carolina has compiled a healthy 18-8-1 ATS log in non-NFC South games the past two-plus seasons.
Note: Catch our College Football Key Game Previews in the next edition of Jim Sez.