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Texas Longhorns vs. Oklahoma Sooners: Betting Odds, Analysis and Prediction

The Texas Longhorns pulled off a big upset in last year’s Red River Rivalry game and will look to do the same thing Saturday when they meet the Oklahoma Sooners at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. The Longhorns beat the Sooners 36-20 as 13.5-point underdogs in 2013 and will face a similar spread this time around.

 

Point spread: The Sooners opened as 14.5-point favorites at the Cotton Bowl, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (Line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 40.2-25.9 Sooners

 

Why the Texas Longhorns can cover the spread

Texas did it last season and will face a similar challenge this year as a double-digit dog. The Longhorns will get an Oklahoma team in a potential letdown spot after the Sooners lost at TCU last week.

With the Sooners no longer unbeaten, they may not be as motivated to win big and impress the pollsters to stay in consideration for one of the four playoff berths at the end of the season.

Last year, Texas ran the ball all over Oklahoma with 255 rushing yards on 60 carries. The Longhorns also got interception and punt return touchdowns, so it will likely take that kind of effort on both defense and special teams to knock off the Sooners for the second season in a row.

 

Why the Oklahoma Sooners can cover the spread

While Oklahoma could possibly be suffering from a letdown following last week’s loss, that setback could also work to the team’s advantage here as the Sooners simply cannot afford to overlook Texas right now. Another upset loss would most likely end any chance Oklahoma has of making it into the four-team playoff field, and an impressive win can only help the team’s case.

The Sooners will have a different quarterback under center in Trevor Knight, as last year’s starter Blake Bell is now lining up at tight end. Bell was terrible in last year’s game, completing 12 of 26 passes for 133 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown.

 

Smart Pick

The Longhorns have been awful this season, much worse than last year’s edition. They could only muster one touchdown in a 28-7 home loss to Baylor last week and will be hard-pressed to score much more than that against an angry Oklahoma team.

The Sooners are 3-1 against the spread (ATS) in the last four meetings with Texas and 7-2 versus the line in their past nine overall, so they are in much better form regardless of last week’s loss.

The Longhorns are 1-4 ATS in their last five games as an underdog and have struggled to move the ball with sophomore quarterback Tyrone Swoopes. Look for those struggles to continue against Oklahoma here in a big win for the Sooners.

 

Trends

  • The total has gone under in four of Texas' last five games on the road.
  • Oklahoma is 5-0 straight up in its last five games at home.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

TCU Horned Frogs vs. Baylor Bears Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

The only two unbeaten teams left in the Big 12 will clash on Saturday when the TCU Horned Frogs visit the Baylor Bears. The Horned Frogs are an impressive 6-1 against the spread in their last seven meetings with the Bears, who have won and covered their past 13 home games, including the last eight against Big 12 opponents.

 

Point spread: Bears opened as 11-point favorites at McLane Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 50.6-35.7 Bears

 

Why the TCU Horned Frogs can cover the spread

TCU continues to get a lack respect from oddsmakers, who have made the Horned Frogs double-digit road underdogs at Baylor despite their recent success in the series. The Bears won last season’s meeting 41-38 but failed to cover the 13.5-point spread and lost the previous home matchup with TCU, 49-21, two years ago as a six-point favorite.

In fact, Baylor has not beaten the Horned Frogs by more than three points since earning a 42-18 victory back in 1994. TCU has covered its past six dating back to last season, including three as an underdog in games decided by four points or less.

 

Why the Baylor Bears can cover the spread

There’s a good reason the Bears continue to be favored by double digits in games this year, and that’s because they have not won a game by less than 21 points. Baylor’s two closest losses were each decided by 21 points, and both still covered the spread.

The Bears beat Texas 28-7 on the road last week as 14-point favorites, which is the only time this season they have been favored by less than 20 points. Baylor’s offense is just so explosive and capable of scoring in bunches, making it difficult to set numbers on the team’s games, especially at home where they have a 13-game winning streak.

 

Smart Pick

The last loss for the Horned Frogs came at home against Baylor to close out last year. While they suffered through a disappointing 4-8 campaign in 2013, they still finished the season strong by covering their last two, which has carried over to this year.

TCU’s Gary Patterson remains one of the best coaches in the country and seems to know how to keep up with the Bears on the scoreboard. Patterson may not always beat his Baylor counterpart Art Briles, but he has done a great job hanging tough throughout their history of coaching against each other. For that reason, watch for the Horned Frogs to stay within striking distance yet again and at least remain undefeated against the spread this season.

 

Trends

  • TCU is 2-5 straight up in its last seven games on the road.
  • The total has gone over in eight of Baylor's last 11 games at home.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds-tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Watch High Schooler Make Freakish J.J. Watt Pick-6

Charles Wade makes an incredibly athletic play in this high school football game that will make you have flashbacks of J.J. Watt in Week 4 of the NFL.

Charles Wade is listed as an athlete and is committed to Wake Forest, according to 247Sports. 

Is this better than the J.J. Watt interception?

Watch the video and let us know!

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

Two Pac-12 teams that are both coming off tough home losses last week as double-digit favorites will try to rebound at the Rose Bowl when the Oregon Ducks visit the UCLA Bruins. The Ducks have won the last five meetings with the Bruins, but the teams have split the past six head-to-head matchups against the spread.

 

Point Spread: The Ducks opened as three-point favorites at Rose Bowl, but the spread has increased to 3.5 points as of Tuesday morning.

Odds Shark Computer Prediction: Ducks 42.2, Bruins 31.4

 

Why the Oregon Ducks Can Cover the Spread

Oregon has dominated the series recently, winning the last five meetings by an average of nearly 23 points. The Ducks ran into a very good Arizona team last week that seems to have their number, beating them for the second year in a row as 21.5-point underdogs, 31-24.

UCLA does not have that same mental edge here, and Oregon should be able to take advantage of a Bruins squad that has underachieved most of this season outside of a rout of Arizona State two weeks ago.

This is also a Heisman Trophy showcase game between two players who could be picked early in next year’s NFL draft. Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota performed well in last year’s 42-14 victory against the Bruins while UCLA’s Brett Hundley did not.

Mariota should be extra motivated to outplay Hundley again.

 

Why the UCLA Bruins Can Cover the Spread

The Bruins had higher expectations going into this year and are a better team regardless of last week’s 30-28 home loss to Utah as 13-point favorites.

Maybe they were caught looking ahead to this game against Oregon, but UCLA still has an opportunity to bounce back in this spot as a home dog and can learn a lot from the Wildcats, who upset the Ducks last week.

Oregon is not invincible and also struggled on the road prior to its bye, needing a late touchdown to fend off Washington State in a 38-31 victory as a 21.5-point favorite.

Now that the Bruins have seen the Ducks have weaknesses like almost every other team, they should not be intimidated anymore.

 

Smart Pick

Oregon has failed to cover its last three road games and started showing signs of concern in the Pac-12 opener at Washington State. The Ducks are not the dominant team many thought they were heading into the season, and they have been exposed in their last two games.

Even though UCLA has covered the spread in just one game this season, the Bruins were playing on national TV when they routed Arizona State 62-27 and may have just fallen flat knowing Oregon was coming to town next after Utah.

Whatever the case may be, the Bruins have no excuses not to play their best game of the season against the Ducks and get revenge for losing the last five meetings.

 

Trends

  • Oregon is 13-2 straight up in its last 15 games on the road.
  • UCLA is 2-4 ATS in its last six games at home.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Oregon Ducks vs. UCLA Bruins Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

Two Pac -12 teams that are both coming off tough home losses last week as double-digit favorites will try to rebound at the Rose Bowl when the Oregon Ducks visit the UCLA Bruins...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Notre Dame Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

The North Carolina Tar Heels were supposed to contend for a division title in the ACC this season. Instead, they've been one of the bigger disappointments in college football so far and one of the worst bets, going 0-5 against the spread. Carolina now packs its bags for an ACC road trip to South Bend to take on the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Saturday afternoon.

 

Point spread: The Fighting Irish opened as 16-point favorites at Notre Dame Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 30.9-20.3 Fighting Irish

 

Why the North Carolina Tar Heels can cover the spread

The Heels started 2-0 this year, so it's not like they don't know how to win games. But after three straight losses, in which they gave up 154 points, it's become a tough task to come up with reasons to back them financially.

Carolina is averaging 36 points per game, led by dual-threat quarterback Marquise Williams, who has thrown for 1,000 yards and nine scores and has run for 240 yards and two more touchdowns. After falling behind big in their last two games, they've rallied and had chances to cover. They're also fairly healthy, which is good. Perhaps the Heels can live up to preseason expectations and give the Irish a battle Saturday.

 

Why the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can cover the spread

The Irish are 5-0 straight up and 4-1 ATS this season

They beat Stanford 17-14 last week, winning outright as two-point home dogs. Notre Dame outgained the Cardinal 370-205 and outrushed them 129-47. The Irish harassed Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan into an 18-for-36 passing performance with two interceptions, and they got a game-winning touchdown pass from Everett Golson on a 4th-and-11 with a minute to go.

The Irish are now 15-1 SU and 10-5-1 ATS in games Golson has started at quarterback.

 

Smart Pick

Until North Carolina demonstrates it can stop somebody on defense, it cannot be considered a viable betting option. The Heels gave up 29 points to Liberty in the season opener, 70 to East Carolina and 50 to Clemson. And you can't cover spreads if you can't get your defense off the field. So the pick here goes with the Golden Domers, minus the points.

 

Trends

  • North Carolina is 3-10 ATS in its last 13 games on the road.
  • Notre Dame is 5-0 SU in its last five games at home.

 

All point-spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Cop Protecting Nick Saban Shoves Field-Rushing Fan to the Ground with Stiff-Arm

Opposing players and coaches often find themselves in a dangerous spot when fans rush the field after a game. It's key for the visiting team to have security like this by its side.

Ole Miss fans stormed the field on Saturday after the Rebels upset the Alabama Crimson Tide, 23-17. One fan was running straight at Nick Saban as he worked his way off the field, but the kid was no match for the muscle protecting the Alabama coach.

Let this hand to the throat be a lesson to anyone who gets in the way of an opposing player or coach during postgame madness. Especially Saban. Don't mess with Saban.

[YouTube]

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Mississippi Rebels vs. Texas A&M Aggies Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

The Rebels of Ole Miss just picked up their biggest win in decades, an upset of hated Alabama in Oxford. On the other end of the spectrum, the Aggies of Texas A&M just got roasted at Mississippi State. So two teams coming off very different outcomes meet when A&M, now just 3-7 against the spread over its last 10 games, runs with the Rebs Saturday night in College Station.

 

Point spread: Aggies opened as one-point favorites at Kyle Field, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 28.4-20.6 Aggies

 

Why the Mississippi Rebels can cover the spread

The Rebels are on a 6-0 ATS run after beating the Tide last week, 23-17, as five-point home dogs. Ole Miss trailed at the half, 14-3, but held Alabama to just a field goal in the second half, while getting a Bo Wallace touchdown pass—his third of the game—with three minutes to go for the victory, snapping a 10-game losing streak against the Tide.

So Ole Miss is tied for the lead in the SEC West at 2-0. The Rebels won't scare anybody on offense—although Wallace has thrown 14 touchdown passes already—but their defense ranks sixth in the nation overall and second in scoring, allowing just 10 points per game. Also, while the Rebs have lost the last two seasons to Texas A&M, they've covered the spread both games, as dogs of 13 and seven points.

 

Why the Texas A&M Aggies can cover the spread

The Aggies ran into a buzzsaw last week, losing at Mississippi State, 48-31. The Bulldogs could do little wrong, jumping out to a 28-7 lead and holding off A&M from there. But before that, the Aggies had won five in a row, with victories over South Carolina and Arkansas that gave them a 2-0 SEC start.

A&M still ranks third in the nation in both total offense (583 yards per game) and scoring (48 points per game), as new quarterback Kenny Hill (21 touchdown passes) continues to put his stamp on this team. Since joining the SEC the Aggies have beaten the Rebels twice, last year winning in Oxford, 41-38.

 

Smart Pick

This is the perfect setup for the "reversal of fortune" factor; Ole Miss just upset Alabama, while Texas A&M got blitzed on the road against Mississippi State. But the Aggies are perfectly capable of bouncing back, and the Rebs have yet to prove they're good enough to avoid the predictable letdown. So the pick here is with Texas A&M, given the short spread.

 

Trends

  • The total has gone UNDER in five of Mississippi's last five games on the road
  • Texas A&M is 6-1 SU in its last seven games

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Georgia Bulldogs vs. Missouri Tigers Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

Two SEC teams battling for the conference’s East Division title meet Saturday when the Missouri Tigers host the Georgia Bulldogs. The Tigers won last year’s meeting 41-26 on the road as 6.5-point underdogs and will try to keep Georgia from returning the favor at Memorial Stadium, with the Bulldogs opening as small road favorites.

 

Point spread: Bulldogs opened as 1.5-point favorites at Memorial Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 30.0-29.8 Bulldogs

 

Why the Georgia Bulldogs can cover the spread

Georgia won the last road meeting with Missouri 41-20 two years ago as a one-point favorite, so the team knows what it takes to get a victory there. While the Bulldogs have underachieved a bit this season—failing to cover three of their past four games—they are still capable of running the table, winning the SEC and making it into the four-team playoff at the end of the year.

A lot of things obviously have to fall into place in order for that to happen, but Georgia has one of the best players in the country in running back Todd Gurley, who rushed 25 times for 163 yards and two touchdowns last week in a 44-17 rout of Vanderbilt and also completed a 50-yard pass.

 

Why the Missouri Tigers can cover the spread

The Tigers are 7-3 against the spread in their last 10 home games and have some confidence knowing they upset the Bulldogs last year. Mizzou is also 4-1 ATS in its past five home games against SEC opponents, showing that the team knows how to get up for conference foes. The Tigers are also coming off a bye week that gave them extra time to prepare for Georgia and senior quarterback Hutson Mason, who has totaled just 268 passing yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions in the last two games combined. Even though containing Gurley will be the top concern for Missouri, making Mason try to win the game should be the goal if the Tigers are going to pull off the win.

 

Smart pick

The Bulldogs have gotten erratic quarterback play from Mason this season, otherwise they may still be unbeaten with a better shot at the national title. Instead, they essentially face a must-win situation here on the road against a very good Mizzou team that knows it too can put itself in good position for the East Division title with a victory. Georgia is just 1-5 ATS in its last six road games and has gone 0-4 versus the line in its past four conference games away from home. Expect those trends to continue as the Tigers win again as dogs and cover the spread for the fourth time in five games overall.

 

Trends

  • The total has gone OVER in five of Georgia's last five games
  • Missouri is 15-4 ATS in its last 19 games

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Florida State Seminoles vs. Syracuse Orange Betting Odds: Analysis, Prediction

Playing through controversy and suspensions, Florida State is off to a 5-0 start in defense of its national championship. The Seminoles are also 3-1 against the spread in their last four road games, showing that good teams giving shorter spreads than usual are good bets. FSU finds itself in that spot again this week, when it visits Syracuse Saturday afternoon.

 

Point spread: Seminoles opened as 20-point favorites at Carrier Dome, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 42.5-21.1 Seminoles

 

Why the Florida State Seminoles can cover the spread

The Seminoles are 5-0 after brushing off Wake Forest last week 43-3, covering the spread as 37-point favorites. Florida State spotted the Demon Deacons the first three points of the game, then scored the last 43, picking up the cover on a meaningless field goal with five minutes left in the game.

The 'Noles outgained Wake Forest 475-126 and went 10-of-18 on third-down conversions. Two weeks ago, FSU spotted North Carolina State an early 24-7 lead, then rolled back for a 56-41 victory, coming up just short of the cover at -16. So in the four games this season Jameis Winston has started, the Seminoles have averaged 43 points.

 

Why the Syracuse Orange can cover the spread

The Orange started 2-0 this year but have struggled recently, as the schedule has gotten a little tougher. Three weeks ago, Syracuse outgained Maryland by over 200 yards but lost because it gave up a couple of big plays for scores.

Two weeks ago, the Orange gave Notre Dame a decent game at MetLife Stadium, although they couldn't quite cover as 10-point dogs.

Last week, Syracuse only trailed Louisville by six points late into the third quarter but gave up the last 16 points of the game. If the Orange can limit the big plays, perhaps pull off a couple of their own and give a full four-quarter effort, they could stay in this one.

 

Smart Pick

Florida State beat Syracuse last year 59-3, covering at -37, and while the 'Noles won't win this one by 56 points, they will win. And teams that win games usually—repeat, usually—cover the spread. So the pick here goes with FSU, at a line that's two touchdowns less than the one it covered in this spot last year.

 

Trends

  • The total has gone over in six of Florida State's last seven games on the road.
  • Syracuse is 2-4 straight up in its last six games at home.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark. All quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds-tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Forget the Red River Rivalry, Why TCU vs. Baylor Is the Game to Watch

The Red River Rivalry has long been established as the Big 12's biggest and most storied game. Perhaps it's time for a new game to usher the conference into the next phase.

The TCU Horned Frogs will travel to Waco, Texas, to square off with the Baylor Bears in a game that has major implications on their College Football Playoff hopes. 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Barrett Sallee and Adam Kramer preview one of the weekend's biggest games.

Is Baylor vs. TCU the must-watch game this weekend?

Watch the video and let us know! 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet the Heir to Marcus Mariota's Throne, 2015 QB Travis Waller

It's time to meet the 2015 recruit that is looking to fill the void that current Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will leave when he inevitably enters the NFL. Travis Waller took some time to talk with Bleacher Report about his official visit to Oregon. 

Is Waller the next Mariota?

Watch the video and let us know.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Meet the Heir to Marcus Mariota's Throne, 2015 QB Travis Waller

It's time to meet the 2015 recruit that is looking to fill the void that current Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will leave when he inevitably enters the NFL. Travis Waller took some time to talk with Bleacher Report about his official visit to Oregon...

Read the full article on Bleacher Report...

BYU Cougars vs. Central Florida Knights Betting Odds: Analysis and Prediction

The BYU Cougars saw their unbeaten season come to an end last week and will try to move on without star quarterback Taysom Hill when they visit the Central Florida Knights Thursday. Hill fractured his leg in the first half of a 35-20 home loss to Utah State last Friday, as the Cougars were stunned as 21-point favorites and failed to cover the spread in their third straight game.

 

Point spread: Knights opened as three-point favorites at Bright House Networks Stadium, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 27.6-26.7 Cougars

 

Why the BYU Cougars can cover the spread

Hill’s loss is likely the difference in making BYU a road dog in this spot rather than a favorite, and maybe his teammates can rally around his absence to pull off the road victory. The Cougars have been double-digit favorites in four of their first five games this season, and the other game resulted in a 41-7 rout of Texas on the road in Week 2 as one-point underdogs.

They have not been on the road since then and covered two in a row away from home to start the season, beginning with a 35-10 win at Connecticut as a 15-point favorite.

 

Why the Central Florida Knights can cover the spread

The Knights have won their last two both straight up and against the spread since losing 38-10 at Missouri in their second game of the season. They are coming off a 17-12 road victory at Houston as 2.5-point underdogs and played very well defensively in holding the Cougars to just four field goals.

Central Florida picked off Houston quarterback John O’Korn twice in the win and also recovered a fumble, and the defense could again be the key against inexperienced BYU quarterback Christian Stewart, who will be making his first career start on the road and had attempted only two passes before replacing Hill in the last game.

 

Smart Pick

Hill was a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate for the Cougars this season, and he will be sorely missed. Stewart completed just 10 of 29 passes for 172 yards with no touchdowns and three interceptions in relief of Hill last week, and that game was at home where he at least had the support of his own fans.

This will be a tough environment for Stewart to make his first start, and BYU will find it very hard to get past the loss of Hill here. The Knights have gone 7-2 ATS in their past nine home games, while the Cougars are 2-6 vs. the line in their last eight overall. Central Florida will make it eight of 10 covers at home with a double-digit win over BYU.

 

Trends

  • BYU is 2-4 ATS in its last six games on the road
  • Central Florida is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games at home

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks Betting Odds: Analysis, Prediction

Alabama owns a seven-game winning streak in its rivalry with Arkansas, going 5-2 ATS, winning the last two games by identical scores of 52-0. But the Crimson Tide are only 1-5 ATS in their last six SEC road contests. Alabama is on the SEC road again this week, visiting the Razorbacks Saturday night in Fayetteville.

 

Point spread: Crimson Tide opened as nine-point favorites for the Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium encounter, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark (line updates and matchup report).

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 40.5-22.2 Crimson Tide

 

Why the Alabama Crimson Tide can cover the spread

The Tide are coming off a 23-17 loss at Ole Miss last week, so they'll probably be angry coming into this one. Alabama led the Rebs 14-3 at the half but gave up a Dak Prescott touchdown pass with three minutes to go to lose. The Tide lost last week despite out-gaining Ole Miss 399-323 and out-rushing the Rebs 168-72.

Alabama has out-gained every opponent this season by at least 73 yards and out-rushed each foe by at least 89 yards. On the season the Tide ranks third in the nation in both total defense and run defense, and, somewhat surprisingly, 10th in total offense.

 

Why the Arkansas Razorbacks can cover the spread

The Hogs are 3-2 SU, 4-1 ATS after losing at Texas A&M two weeks ago 35-28 in overtime but covering as nine-point underdogs. Arkansas led that game 28-14 into the fourth quarter but couldn't quite hang on. In the end the Razorbacks had out-rushed the Aggies 285-137 and won the time-of-possession battle by a 37-23 margin. For the season Arkansas has out-rushed opponents by a 317-139 yards-per-game margin, while quarterback Brandon Allen has compiled a 9/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio. The only game the Hogs didn't cover this year came in the opener against Auburn, when, after a 21-21 first half, they lost the second half 24-0.

 

Smart Pick

This will be an important test for Arkansas, and whether Bielema Ball can work in the SEC. The Hogs are also working off their bye week. But after losing last week Alabama might be seeing red heading into this one. So the pick here is with the Tide, on the road, giving 20 points less than it was in this spot last year.

 

Trends

  • The total has gone OVER in five of Alabama's last seven games
  • Arkansas is 2-4 ATS in its last six games when playing at home against Alabama

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line movement updates and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Auburn Tigers vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs Betting Odds Analysis, Prediction

Auburn is 11-2 straight up and 8-5 against the spread in its last 13 games with Mississippi State, but the Bulldogs are coming off an impressive SEC victory over Texas A&M. Can the Tigers continue their recent domination of this series when the teams meet Saturday afternoon in Starkville? Or can Mississippi State knock off another SEC West foe?

 

Point spread: The Tigers opened as three-point favorites at Davis Wade Stadium at Scott Field, according to sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark. (Line updates and matchup report)

 

Odds Shark computer prediction: 38.8-27.4 Tigers

 

Why the Auburn Tigers can cover the spread

The defending SEC champion Tigers showed they're game for another run at another conference title with a 41-7 drubbing of LSU last week, easily covering the spread as seven-point favorites. Auburn outgained the other Tigers 566-280, racked up 298 yards on the ground and held LSU to an 0-for-13 effort on third downs.

The Auburn Tigers are averaging 268 yards rushing per game while holding foes to just 100 yards per game. Auburn also has no qualms about playing in hostile territory, going 4-0 ATS in its last four SEC conference road games.

 

Why the Mississippi State Bulldogs can cover the spread

The Bulldogs are 5-0 SU, 4-1 ATS and 2-0 in SEC play after bombing Texas A&M last week 48-31. MSU spotted the Aggies the first touchdown of the game, then scored the next 28 points to take an insurmountable lead.

The Bulldogs racked up 559 yards of offense, 289 yards on the ground and got five total touchdowns from quarterback Dak Prescott, a new leader in the Heisman Trophy race. Mississippi State ranks 12th in the country in total offense and has outrushed foes so far by a 274-98 yards-per-game margin. Last year the Bulldogs lost to the Tigers on a late score 24-20 but covered the spread as six-point road dogs.

 

Smart Pick

Both teams are coming off big wins, so emotionally this matchup is about a wash. But Auburn owns an edge on defense, and Nick Marshall still runs the show. So the pick here goes with the visiting Tigers, giving the short spread.

 

Trends

  • Auburn is 4-1 SU in its last five games on the road.
  • Mississippi State is 5-0 SU in its last five games.

 

All point spread and lines data courtesy of Odds Shark, all quotes gathered firsthand unless otherwise noted. Check out Twitter for injury and line-movement updates, and get the free odds tracker app.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

College Football Rankings 2014: Week 7 Standings and Top 25 Team Records

A number of upsets shook up the college football landscape, but entering Week 7, no team suffered a bigger blow than the Oregon Ducks.

Losing at home to Arizona knocked them out of the playoff picture at the moment, dropping the Marcus Mariota-led Ducks from second to 12th in the AP Top 25 poll. A previously No. 8 UCLA team quarterbacked by another premier prospect in Brett Hundley lost 30-28 to Utah, falling out of the top 10 in the process.

Ole Miss also catapulted into the thick of the postseason race thanks to a rousing victory over the mighty Alabama Crimson Tide.

But with some of the letdowns for several premier programs, there were a number of sensational performances that saw drastic changes take place in the rankings.

Here is a closer look at the three teams atop the AP poll, along with a listing of records for all the ranked teams and Bleacher Report's own Top 25.

 

 

Analyzing Best Top 25 Teams

No. 1 Florida State Seminoles

Falling behind 3-0 to Wake Forest in the first quarter was a bit of a scare for the reigning national champions, who'd had close calls in three previous games this season.

Then Seminoles quarterback Jameis Winston led the team on myriad scoring drives, as FSU scored 43 unanswered points for a statement win. ESPN's College GameDay noted how steady coach Jimbo Fisher's team has been:

Winston has kept the passing attack operating at a high level, as it's averaged 325.4 yards per game. The concerning thing is that big-bodied ball-carrier Karlos Williams has had a hard time getting it going on the ground.

But Williams has been banged up, and Jared Shanker of ESPN reports that the running back likely won't be in action at Syracuse:

That might be fine for now. When Florida State plays host to Notre Dame in the game thereafter, it will be a different story. The Seminoles need balance to complement Winston, especially with a defense ranked 54th in the nation versus the run, per NCAA.com.

If top receiver Rashad Greene can't recover from a concussion in time for the Fighting Irish game, it will be all the more up to Winston to carry the weight.

As long as Winston is under center operating Fisher's complex, pro-style offense, though, FSU has a great chance to remain atop the rankings.

 

No. 2 Auburn Tigers

Apparently there isn't much of a hangover from Auburn's national title game loss to Florida State last year. Tigers coach Gus Malzahn continues to make magic with his run-heavy offense.

Against vaunted LSU defensive coordinator John Chavis in Week 6, Malzahn drew up a game plan that saw Auburn crush its SEC adversary 41-7. Greg Ostendorf of ESPN.com highlighted how Auburn came flying out of the gates in that one:

Something similar will be necessary to seize the momentum on the road this next Saturday, when the Tigers take on the Mississippi State Bulldogs. That will mark the biggest game on the 2014 college football slate thus far.

ESPN Stats & Info's numbers suggest the Bulldogs are the first of several potential pitfalls that could hamper Auburn's bid to return to the championship game:

But what does help is that the defense is vastly improved from a season ago, conceding just 14.4 points per contest, which ranks ninth in the nation. As long as QB Nick Marshall can avoid critical throwing mistakes and the well-oiled ground game stays intact, Auburn will be a tough out.

With the ability to defend so well and chew up a ton of clock on offense, opponents will be hard-pressed to get into any rhythm against the Tigers for the rest of the season.

 

No. 3 Mississippi State Bulldogs

Given the massive implications of their tilt with Auburn on Saturday, the Bulldogs are the team worth delving a bit deeper into among the two tied at No. 3 in the AP—not to take anything away from Ole Miss.

Mississippi State QB Dak Prescott has been playing like a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate. Former Florida signal-caller Tim Tebow took home that hardware wearing No. 15, and NFL Network's Ian Rapoport offered some insight in that context:

Prescott had five total TDs in the Bulldogs' rout of Texas A&M last week, but the defense was most impressive in slowing down Kenny Hill and the Aggies' air-raid offense until the outcome was well decided.

Most of Texas A&M's scores came in garbage time after the Bulldogs had taken a 41-17 lead into the fourth. The numbers reflect MSU's dominance:

ESPN's Mike Greenberg believes Mississippi State is the best overall team in the country:

The Bulldogs will certainly get a chance to prove that versus Auburn. If the strong front seven, led by linebacker Benardrick McKinney, can stuff the Tigers' prolific run game, that will open up Prescott to take the game over. MSU is yielding just 2.91 yards per carry through five games.

As deep and competitive as the SEC is, Mississippi State has the chance to protect its home Davis Wade Stadium and secure a landmark triumph for the program. It will justify the retention of coach Dan Mullen following three seasons of hovering around .500.

Most important, the turnaround from a 7-6 campaign in 2013 to national-championship contention this year would be among the most amazing achievements in recent college football history.

We will find out what the Bulldogs are truly made of come Sunday against an Auburn team whose nucleus rose from even greater obscurity to be an elite team a year ago.

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Michigan Wolverines vs. Penn State Nittany Lions Complete Game Preview

Michigan (2-4) football is in total collapse following three straight losses on the gridiron and embroiled in the swirling controversy of quarterback Shane Morris’ delayed concussion diagnosis. Two games into its conference slate, Michigan is dead last in the Big Ten East Division and is desperate for a win.

The team’s struggles on and off the field have both coach Brady Hoke and athletic director David Brandon fighting for their jobs. But the team is not giving up, vowing to “win the week” for their embattled coach. The Wolverines rallied against Rutgers, falling short after a potential game-winning field goal was blocked in the closing minutes.

Next up is a game under the lights at venerable Michigan Stadium. The Wolverines have been able to muster some magical moments during previous home night games and will need some to beat Penn State.

The game has no impact on the national rankings—neither team is ranked—but Michigan will be under the microscope for its performance on the field and at the gate. Hoke is trying to spark his team back to life in an attempt to salvage the season while hoping for a boost from the home crowd. The crowd’s size will also be a factor—Michigan’s streak of consecutive 100,000 crowds is on the line, with rumors of protest against Michigan’s increasingly unpopular athletic director.

Date: Saturday, October 11, 2014

Time: 7:00 p.m. EDT

Place: Michigan Stadium (109,901), Ann Arbor, Mich.

Series vs. Penn State: Michigan leads 10-7

Television: ESPN2

Radio: Michigan Sports Network, Sirius (113), XM (195)

Spread: Penn State by 2 via Odds Shark

Live Stats: MGoBlue.com GameTracker

Last Meeting vs. Penn State

Last year’s 4OT 43-40 loss marked the beginning of a downward spiral for the Wolverines that has carried over to this season. Michigan is 4-9 since that loss at Happy Valley. The Wolverines lead the all-time series (10-7) but have lost the last four games versus the Nittany Lions.


*Information according to University of Michigan Wolverine Football game notes.

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Super 16 Poll Week 7: Complete Rankings Released for 2014 Season

The Super 16 poll is one of the truly great theoretical situations going. It's as fun as wondering who would win in a fight between Batman and Wolverine, or one bear versus 300 organized Yorkies (the organization is a very key caveat in such a fight).

It's just fun to imagine which 16 teams would deserve to be in a College Football Playoff if the sport ever undertook such a format. Thankfully, a group of voters does just that each week in the Super 16 poll.

Let's take a look at how they voted this week.

 

Rankings

 

Analysis

Well, anything you might have thought you knew about a theoretical 16-team playoff and how it might have shaped up by the end of the year changed this week. 

Just consider this, from SportsCenter on Twitter: 

Or this, from Ralph D. Russo of The Associated Press:

Wow. 

That's the AP poll, though, and of course, we're more concerned here with the Super 16 Poll and what a 16-team playoff might look like. The above tweets provided a nice context for the historical number of upsets we saw this weekend, sure, but in truth, the weekend that was wouldn't have completely altered the state of a larger playoff format.

Yes, there has been some moving and shaking around on the rankings. After this weekend, there was always bound to be. Oregon was always going to drop down the rankings after losing to Arizona. Alabama was going to take a hit losing to Ole Miss. Ditto for Texas A&M and UCLA.

Of course, the beauty of a 16-team playoff is that one loss wouldn't really hurt the top teams in the nation and would instead give them the chance to prove themselves on the field against the other top 15 teams at the end of the year. This might negate the impact of certain victories on the national level, but it would add a whole new level of drama to the final tournament.

Obviously, the story of the week is Ole Miss after its stunning victory over Alabama on a Saturday that saw the SEC West truly shaken and stirred and turned on its head.

“It’s one of the greatest victories in the history of our school," Hugh Freeze said on his postgame radio show, per Rusty Hampton of The New York Times.

It sure was. And it sure opened up things in the SEC West, where Auburn, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are all looking to earn the top billing, while Alabama and Texas A&M are left wondering if they can fight their way back into a place in the SEC Championship.

It's basically a given that at least one team from the SEC West is going to be represented in this year's College Football Playoff. And that's a shame, because in a 16-team playoff, it currently looks as though five teams from the toughest conference and division in college football would have the chance to prove on the field against other conferences that they were the best team in the country.

It's fun to dream. 

More than a few schools in the Big Ten and Pac-12 would be left dreaming in this format, as it appears each conference lacks a truly elite team, and quite a few squads would be left fighting it out for one of the last spots. That, of course, is where the Super 16 Poll would become truly intriguing—for the teams around 12-21 on the polls and rankings looking to prove they deserved a shot in the big dance. 

Alas, for now it's only a top four, and one that looks as though it will include Florida State, two SEC teams and either Notre Dame, the top Big 12 team or perhaps Michigan State.

It's a better format than we had before. It's just not as compelling as it could be.

 

Read more College Football news on BleacherReport.com

Pac-12 Football: Top 10 Single-Game Performances Through 6 Weeks

The Pac-12 took a lovely stroll through the park in the month of September before quickly strapping on a parachute and jumping out the nearest airplane on Saturday. All five home teams lost thanks to some memorable performances, several of which will be featured here.

But outstanding individual efforts have highlighted every week of the season thus far, and we're here to rank the Top 10. Keep in mind that two factors are considered in the creation of this list: quality of opponent and statistics put up. In other words, having a good game against a great team could mean more than having a great game against a bad opponent.

Then again, some players like, er, the one shown above, are putting up numbers so mind-boggling that it doesn't matter who they've come against.

Take a look at the Top 10 single-game performances in the Pac-12 thus far, and as always, be sure to point out the glaring omissions in the comments!

 

All stats via cfbstats.com

 

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