Submitted by Jim Hurley on Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 12:00 AM
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL UPDATE:
WHAT TEAMS HAVE OFFERED UP GREAT VALUE THE FIRST HALF OF '18? ...
OUR JIM SEZ COLLEGE TOP 10 ...
NFL NEWS & NOTES: BREES GETS THE ALL-TIME PASSING RECORD BUT HOW ABOUT THREE CHEERS FOR THE SURGING SAINTS?
Believe it or not, we're pretty much at the midway point of this here-and-now 2018 College Football season and - in case you've missed it - there's been a slew of teams that have offered up great value along the way whether they be undersold as underdog sides or maybe the good folks in Las Vegas simply have not "believed" in some of these squads.
Here's some examples ...
ARMY - There's no doubt that everyone thinks of this Black Knights on the Hudson crew as a gritty triple-option attack but truth is Jeff Monken's club throws the ball a lot more than you realize and there's some real size / speed on this year's team. Note the 28-21 overtime loss at 29-point favorite Oklahoma back on Sept. 22nd! This weekend Army finds itself in the utterly rare situation of being double-digit road favorite (- 14.5) at San Jose State - no great value there - but the West Pointers are 3-1-1 ATS (against the spread) in 2018 and they could be a betting bargain in those down-the-road service academy games against Air Force and Navy.
COLORADO - Gotta admit that last week's game when the CU Buffaloes were merely a 1.5-point home favorite against Arizona State looked suspicious to us ... why wasn't Colorado more like a 4- or 4.5-point favorite? Ahh, Colorado proved it was underrated with that 28-21 win against the Sun Devils and we also believed Colorado should have been a bigger opening-day favorite against rival Colorado State (a 45-13 Colorado win/cover as 7-point betting favorite). This weekend the Vegas experts have installed USC as a full TD fav against Colorado ... another pro-Buffs value pick?
IOWA - Don't ask us why but for the last several seasons the Hawkeyes have finished right around the .500 mark spreadwise ... in fact this Big 10 team entered the 2018 campaign at 25-24-1 versus the vig including 6-6, 7-6, 6-6 and 6-6-1 ATS seasons from 2014 thru 2017. Call it pointspread mediocrity but one thing we noticed is that Kirk Ferentz's squad really blew a batch of games when in the chalk role: Not this year. Iowa's a perfect 4-oh spreadwise as favorites this season with covers against Northern Illinois, Iowa State, Northern Iowa and Minnesota and gut feeling is the numbers-crunchers out there have yet to "catch up" with this Iowa team. Now, the 'Eyes are just a 5-point fav at Indiana this Saturday and they may well be undersold as home favorites down the line against Maryland, Northwestern and Nebraska. Stay tuned
UTAH STATE - Okay, so our Jim Hurley Network pro-Utah State play over BYU last Friday night was a cruise job win, eh? The Aggies buried their in-state rivals 45-20 and hope you noticed that the price tag for that prime-time clash went from BYU minus 3 points to Utah State favored by a point-and-a-half. In other words, Utah State was severely under-valued for that TV bash and have been under-valued all throughout 2018 (see 5-0 ATS mark while heading into Saturday's Homecoming Game against 24.5-point pup UNLV). Maybe we all can catch Utah State getting road points at Hawaii and/or at Boise State later this season.
JIM SEZ COLLEGE FOOTBALL TOP 10
1 - Alabama
2 - Georgia
3 -- Ohio State
4 - Clemson
5 - Notre Dame
6 - West Virginia
7 - UCF
8 - Washington
9 - Penn State
10 - Colorado
NFL NEWS & NOTES
Wanna know something? Lost amidst all the hoopla surrounding New Orleans QB Drew Brees breaking the NFL's all-time passing yards record - his 363 aerial yards pushed 'em past the city's native son Peyton Manning's 71,940 yards and gave Brees 72,102 - was the fact this Saints team is on a major run:
Following those ugly back-to-back season-opening home spread setbacks against Tampa Bay and Cleveland - the latter was a 21-18 win, the former a 48-40 loss - the Saints have banged out three straight spread triumphs with Monday Night's 43-19 win against 6-point dog Washington the latest conquest. Sure, Brees was magnificent while completing 26-of-29 passes with 3 TD strikes - but note the defense has allowed 18, 18 and 19 points in three of the team's five games and the red-zone "D" is getting better and better with each passing week.
If the Saints want to get back to their first Super Bowl since 2009 then Brees - obviously - must be razor-sharp plus this club must prove it can win on the road (N'Orleans is just 12-15 straight-up away since the start of 2015) and that defense can hold its own. It's a bye week for the Saints this weekend and then back-to-back roadies in Baltimore and Minnesota. Tell us right now that New Orleans is gonna allow below 20 points in these games and you know where we are going!
NOTE: Plenty of NFL Week 6 goodies in the next Jim Sez.