Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, August 28, 2019 at 12:00 AM
HELLO, NCAA FOOTBALL!!!
THE COLLEGE KIDS ARE BACK AND WE GETCHA A 2019 OVERVIEW PLUS THE KEY TILTS ON THIS THURSDAY NITE CARD TOO ...
NFL PRESEASON '19 WRAPS UP
Hey, school's in session and that means the 2019 College Football Season finally is here:
Okay, so last week's two games played on Saturday night just managed to whet our proverbial appetite - the Jim Hurley Network clients cashed in big with "under" 46 points in Florida's hang-on-for-dear-life 24-20 non-cover win against Miami - but now it gets serious with this Labor Day Weekend menu that features a grand total of 43 on-the-board games ...
There's Six (6) games here on this final Thursday in August; Eight (8) games Friday; Twenty-Seven (27) games on Saturday; and then One (1) game apiece on Sunday (see Houston at #4 Oklahoma) and on Monday (that's #9 Notre Dame at Louisville).
Sounds like a great holiday weekend, eh?
Heck, the fact is it's gonna be a great year all around when it comes to the college kids - never mind that defending champion Clemson and 2018 runner-up Alabama are supposed to meet up for the gazillionith time to settle who's No. 1 this season - as there are a boatload of big games early on this campaign including Texas A&M at Clemson and LSU at Texas on Saturday, Sept. 7th plus Michigan-Wisconsin and Notre Dame at Georgia on Saturday, Sept. 21 and then it's USC at Washington on Saturday, Sept. 28th. And here's how we see it when it comes to some of the pressing questions regarding this here-and-now College Football Season:
Q - What four teams will make up the playoffs this year (the semifinals are on Dec. 28th and championship game on Jan. 13, 2020)?
A - Clemson's an absolute no-brainer (note the Tigers are 1-to-6 to cop the Atlantic Coast Conference), Alabama will wend its way back into the post-season (even if Nick Saban's crew drops a game), Georgia's gonna be there after it cops the SEC Championship Game and let's go with Texas to make its first-ever CFP appearance ... and we say Georgia beats Alabama in the semifinals and then tops Clemson to win it all!
Q - Who's gonna win the end-of-the-season major conference championship games?
A - Short and sweet, it's Clemson (ACC), Wisconsin (Big 10), Texas (Big 12), Utah (Pac-12) and Georgia (SEC).
Q - What will be the New Year's Day bowl lineup / matchups outside the playoffs?
A - Here's the Jan. 1, 2020 rundown the way we forecast things:
Rose Bowl - Wisconsin vs. Utah
Cotton Bowl - Nebraska vs. Notre Dame
Orange Bowl - Florida vs. Ohio State
Sugar Bowl - Oklahoma vs. LSU
Q - Finally, who wins the 2019 Heisman Trophy?
A - We've had some back-in-the-pack winners the past two years with a pair of Oklahoma Sooners' quarterbacks winning the shiny trophy (see Baker Mayfield in 2017 and Kyler Murray in '18) and we'll bypass the frontrunners here - that's Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence (+ 180) and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa (+ 225) and go with Wisconsin RB Jonathan Taylor (+ 1200) who right now is the sixth choice behind the aforementioned Lawrence, Tagovailoa, Oklahoma QB Jalen Hurts (+ 900), Nebraska QB Adrian Martinez (+ 1100) and Ohio State QB Justin Fields (+ 1100).
Jim Hurley and his Network of Handicappers and Bloggers will bash the books this College Football season as this week's card features a bunch of high-profile affairs ... and don't forget that Jim keeps piling up lots of profits with NFL Preseason Week 4 action with 16 games on this Thursday 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. In fact, sign up today and get the special discounted prices from America's #1 Handicapper ... you'll be glad that you did!
Now, here's some of what we'll be watching from the College Football world on this Thursday Nite ...
UCLA at CINCINNATI - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN
Last year the 14.5-point underdog Cincy Bearcats went out to Hollywood and shocked the western world with an easy 26-17 win against the Uclans (a Jim Hurley Network Best Bet to help kick-start a great year!). The outcome ruined the debut of UCLA boss Chip Kelly but now let's see if the Pac-12 guys can turn the tables here behind star RB Joshua Kelley (1,243 yards rushing / 12 TDs). Remember the Bruins - a 3-point pup here at Nippert Stadium -- finished last year 3-9 SU (straight-up) and just 6-6 ATS (against the spread) but they did end the season on a three-game spread winning streak.
Spread Note - Cincinnati is just 6-11 ATS as hosts since the start of the 2016 campaign.
GEORGIA TECH at #1 CLEMSON - 8 p.m. ET, ACC Network
The defending champion Tigers are a rollicking 37-point betting favorite for this under-the-lights tilt in Death Valley but that's nothing special when you consider that Dabo Swinney's squad was a betting favorite of 25-or-more points a half-dozen times last year (only went 2-4 versus the vig in those heavy-duty number games). If Clemson doesn't recognize the Techsters here, nobody will blame 'em because triple-option master Paul Johnson is gone as G-Tech's head coach and Geoff Collins (Temple) now calls the shots.
Spread Note - Clemson registered a tasty 7-2 ATS mark in ACC play last year.
#14 UTAH at BYU - 10:15 p.m. ET, ESPN
In case you had lost count, this marks the 100th anniversary of the so-called "Holy War" between the Utes and the Cougars and right now Utah's anywhere between a 6- and 7-point betting favorite for this clash in Provo ... and remember that Utah is 12-2 SU in openers under head coach Kyle Whittingham and his guys have covered six of their last nine games against BYU. Personnel update: Utah RB Zack Moss (hand) will play here after wearing a cast for much of the summer.
Spread Note - Utah's 19-12-1 against the odds since midway of the '16 season.
NFL PRESEASON REPORT
Let's put a capper on this 2019 NFL Preseason - the 16-game Thursday Nite card is a wee bit more important for some teams than it is for others as the Miami Dolphins wrestle with their starting quarterback spot (we say go with Josh Rosen over journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick) while we should see some coaches pop up their starters for a series or two as they attempt to sharpen their fangs for the start of the regular season.
Note that - for what it's worth - NFL Preseason Betting Favorites have compiled a 22-20-3 ATS mark so far with 3 Pick 'Em games and one "No Play" (see Baltimore vs. Philadelphia last Thursday night) while "Over" players are a sour 18-27-3 ATS.
Lots of major line moves here for this final Preseason week - Minnesota went from a 2.5-point underdog to a 3-point road favorite in Buffalo, Baltimore shot up from a 2.5-point road fav in Washington to Ravens (who never lose in the Preseason) minus 6 points and Dallas is now a 5-point home favorite against Tampa Bay after opening as a 3-point home dog.
NOTE: There's NCAA Game Previews all weekend long right here at Jim Sez.