Submitted by Jim Hurley on Thursday, August 30, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE:
FIRST FULL WEEK KICKS OFF TONIGHT
WITH A KEY BIG 10 GAME LEADING THE CHARGE …
THE NFL PRESEASON WEEK 4 REPORT
Okay, College Football fans, it’s time to hunker down for this here-and-now 2018 season.
Sure, they played a few games last Saturday night to whet the proverbial appetite but right now we’re looking at a grand total of 44 games between this evening through Labor Day Monday and gotta say we’re particularly intrigued by tonight’s Big 10 showdown between Northwestern at 1-point betting fav Purdue. The N’western Wildcats have been taking the loot – Purdue opened as a 3-point favorite – and remember that the ‘Cats covered their final seven regular-season games a year ago before failing to get the cover in a 24-23 win against 7.5-point underdog Kentucky in the Music City Bowl.
Now, here’s the pointspread breakdown on opening week:
There are 28 games that sport double-digit pointspreads (that’s nearly 64 percent of the on-the-board games) and of these twin-figure Las Vegas lines you’ll note that 13 of these games sport betting lines of 21-or-more points … egads!
Maybe there’s plenty of folks out there comfortable with these bloated-line games but we tend to discard/dismiss most of the games with better-than-three-TD spreads only because you never quite know what “hijinx” might happen as college football has been known to see coaches look to add to already lopsided scores late in games … paging Penn State’s James Franklin!
Still, there’s a slew of truly “bettable” games on this week’s college card and many of them are major marquee matchups – here’s some pointspread goodies to chew on regarding some of the games featuring nationally ranked squads both with and without double-digit prices.
Tonight, it’s …
#21 UCF at UCONN – 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU
The UCF Knights covered nine of their 12 games a year ago and overall this American Athletic Conference crew is a nifty 7-3 ATS (against the spread) when laying double-digit prices the last two seasons. UCF is a 23.5-point favorite in this prime-time road affair.
On Friday, it’s …
UTAH STATE at #11 MICHIGAN STATE – 7 p.m. ET
Say this for Sparty: They’ve been solid (5-2 ATS) as twin-figure favorites the past few years but outside Big 10 play this M-State squad is a mere 4-7 versus the vig since the start of 2015. Michigan State’s also a 23.5-point betting fav for this clash and – take note – the Spartans have failed to cover five of their last six season-opening tilts.
SAN DIEGO STATE at #13 STANFORD – 9 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
No question that the Stanford Cardinal have been a college gridiron powerhouse for years with bowl appearances in each of the past nine years but did you know this Pac-12 team is a putrid 3-6 against the odds while laying twin-figure prices the past two seasons? Here, Stanford is a 14.5-point favorite and the Cardinal is just 1-5 ATS in season-opening affairs the past six years.
On Saturday, it’s …
#6 WASHINGTON vs. #9 AUBURN (at Atlanta) – 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC
The Las Vegas folks have Auburn listed as a 2-point betting favorite right now (it opened with War Eagles favored by 2.5 points) and surely the SEC guys will have a major home-dome advantage but consider the fact the UW Huskies have covered six of their last nine non-league games but – truth be told – the only time Washington was a point-grabber last year it lost 35-28 versus 3-point fav Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl. Folks, Auburn failed to cover all four of its non-SEC games a year ago including the 34-27 loss to 10.5-point pup UCF in the Peach Bowl.
#14 MICHIGAN vs. #12 NOTRE DAME – 7:30 p.m. ET, NBC
Okay, so as you all know they took a little three-year sabbatical with this rivalry but keep in mind home teams covered six of the previous seven showdowns when maize-and-blue bucked heads with the golden domers – and Notre Dame is a rather disappointing 49-50-4 ATS under ninth-year head coach Brian Kelly while Michigan’s just 18-20-1 vig-wise under fourth-year boss-man Jim Harbaugh. So, why do they both get so much ink?
And now hear this …
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will bash the books this College Football season as this week’s card features Four (4) games on this Thursday night, Six (6) games on Friday, then it’s a veritable gridiron party on Saturday with 32 games and then it’s the Sunday night tilt between Miami at LSU followed by the Labor Day evening game in Tallahassee between Virginia Tech at Florida State … and don’t forget that Jim keeps piling up lots of profits with NFL Preseason action with 16 games on tonight’s card and there’s daily Major-League Baseball winners too. So, go ahead and get all the NFL Preseason / NCAA Football / MLB winners right here at www.jimhurley.com or at our exclusive toll-free telephone # of 1-800-323-4453.
NFL PRESEASON REPORT
The final week of NFL Preseason action is upon us – and we wonder aloud whether there’s anything to the notion that teams don’t want to go 0-4 SU (straight-up) in these summertime exhibitions. The fact is there are six NFL teams without a win this preseason – that’s Miami, Tennessee, Philadelphia, Dallas, Atlanta and Seattle – and part of handicapping these teams in the final preseason week is deciding if they deem it “important” to win at least once this summer.
Just note that the defending Super Bowl champion Philly Eagles have not cared about the preseason results as the NFC East crew has been outscored 73-34 in losses to Pittsburgh / New England / Cleveland but the Eagles have taken some late money (from + 4 earlier in the week to just + 1 now against the visiting New York Jets) mostly based on the fact the Jets just traded away backup QB Teddy Bridgewater.
On the flip side, Baltimore goes for a 5-and-oh SU preseason as the Ravens are laying almost a full TD at home against next-door neighbor Washington. John Harbaugh’s crew – however – is just 2-2 spreadwise in these games with one-point / non-cover victories against Chicago and Indianapolis.
For you totals folks, most of the numbers have been coming down, down, down after Unders went 10-6 against the odds last week /weekend.
NOTE: There’s NCAA Game Previews all weekend long right here at Jim Sez.