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Michigan, Ohio State both risk a lot in The Game
2014-11-28

''She said we have to go run an errand or something. She looked like she was out of her mind,'' he said, grinning at the thought of his first Michigan-Ohio State game. ''We went to some outdoor area, like a mall. They were playing The Game' over the loudspeakers. And I'll never forget that as long as I live, listening to (former Buckeyes) Pete Johnson and Archie Griffin and the boys.''

From an early age, kids in Ohio and Michigan are tutored in what happens every year in late November in the cold of a massive stadium on either side of the state line. The tales of past games are legend: Bo Schembechler being carried off the field in '69, the Snow Bowl in '50, even Tyvis Powell's game-saving interception in a 42-41 Ohio State win a year ago.

The bitter rivals - if you doubt that, remember three players were tossed out last year for fighting - meet for the 111th time when the Wolverines (5-6, 3-4 Big Ten) try to salvage their season and coach Brady Hoke's job when they take on the Buckeyes (10-1, 7-0, No. 6 CFP).

No. 7 Ohio State is playing to remain in the national championship picture.

Hoke, like Meyer, also grew up in Ohio and was steeped in the traditions of the annual showdown.

''Winning that last game always means a lot,'' he said. ''I do not think there is ever a time where it has not meant something. You want to be able to go back and say, My senior year we beat Ohio.''
Here are some things to watch for at Ohio Stadium:

BARRETT MANIA: Back in August when QB Braxton Miller went down for the year with a shoulder injury, Buckeyes fans expected the worse. They've gotten the best.

J.T. Barrett, a freshman, has been a godsend, setting Ohio State records for TD passes (33) and total offense (3,507 yards).

But Barrett has never played in The Game, which makes some rookies' knees buckle.

''I know what rivalry games are like,'' he said. ''(But) you never know what to expect in a high-emotion game.''

DOMINANT DEFENSE: Lost in an otherwise mediocre season, Michigan's defense is ninth in the nation in total D and seventh in the country in fewest yards given up per rush.

The defenders are also on alert, knowing what's at stake.

''We try to do as much as possible to win the game,'' S Jarrod Wilson said. ''If they don't score, they don't win.''

FAVORITE'S ROLE: The Buckeyes are favored by 20 points but, then again, they were picked by oddsmakers to win by 14 1/2 a year ago. And we know how that turned out.

LOOKING AHEAD: Michigan loses and its season ends. Ohio State loses and it still will play for the Big Ten title a week later in Indianapolis against the Minnesota-Wisconsin winner.

Should the Wolverines win, they are at least eligible to go to a bowl although they might not accept a bid. Win, and the Buckeyes likely would remain a top contender for the initial CFP four-team tournament.

NOT A LOT OF UPSETS: This is the 111th meeting, but there haven't really been many major upsets. The last time a team with a losing record won was 1959 - when Michigan beat an Ohio State team that also had a sub-.500 record.
Not since 1951 has a team with more losses than wins beaten one with a winning record, when Bennie Oosterbaan's Wolverines stunned the Buckeyes 7-0 to finish 4-5. The Buckeyes went 4-3-2 under a driven first-year coach who was burned in effigy in Columbus. But that coach, Woody Hayes, would help turn just another big game into the grudge match it is today.

''I've grown up in Michigan. This game has been my favorite game to watch more so than any other sporting event,'' Wolverines DL Brennen Beyer said. ''So much history, so much tension.''




Florida State vs. NC State Betting Odds and Preview
2010-10-28

ACC football is under the Football Live Betting Lines Online Bingo Play Slots Online in US Bicimotos betting spotlight tonight as the Florida State Seminoles head north to visit the NC State Wolfpack. Sportsbook.com is expecting a high-scoring but close game as the Seminoles are 3.5 point favorites with the ‘total’ up to 59 after opening at 56.5.
Both teams should be well-rested as they both had their bye last week. FSU has won five straight games, but is coming off a close 24-19 win over Boston College despite being favored by 22.5. NC State lost 33-27 in overtime at East Carolina the last time it took the field, as QB Russell Wilson threw three interceptions.
Last year’s meeting was a back-and-forth shootout as FSU outlasted NC State 45-42 in a game that featured 1,093 total yards of offense. Wilson threw for 349 yards and 5 TD in that contest while Seminoles RB Jermaine Thomas rushed for a career-high 186 yards with two touchdowns in last year’s win over NC State.
Thomas has been bothered by a sprained toe that limited him to five carries last week, but he has been a beast in ACC play with a 7.1 YPC average and four scores in four conference games. FSU QB Christian Ponder, who has 531 passing yards in two career games against NC State, has a mere 8 TD and 6 INT in his past six games this season. He has been bothered by a swollen right elbow in the past two weeks, but he will start Thursday night.
In spite of Ponder’s sub-par play, the Seminoles have been winning due to their great defense. They lead the nation with 4.3 sacks per game and rank 13th in scoring defense (16.1 PPG), having allowed 20 points only once this year, (47-17 at Oklahoma) which stands as their only loss. FSU is also 20th in total defense (308 YPG) and 17th in stopping the run (105 YPG) among FBS schools.
Despite eight interceptions in his past three games, Wilson ranks fourth in the nation in total offense (332 YPG) with five straight 300-yard passing games. Senior WR Owen Spencer is a big reason Wilson and NC State has such a potent passing attack. Spencer has caught at least six passes in his past four games. The defense has been above-average this year, but was not good against ECU, allowing 496 yards. The total would have been much more had the Pirates not turned the ball over four times.
FSU vs. NC State point spread bettors should be aware of this extremely one-sided betting trend before submitting their bets tonight:
NC State is 8-0-1 ATS in the past nine meetings with Florida State, but only 4-5 SU including three straight losses.
Here are a few more trends that indicate that NC State plus the points is a wise wager:
Play On - Home underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NC STATE) - after 2 consecutive games where they forced 3 or more turnovers against opponent after a game with a turnover margin of -2 or worse. (24-4 since 1992.) (85.7%, +19.6 units. Rating = 3*).
Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (NC STATE) - after 1 or more consecutive straight up losses against opponent after 4 or more consecutive straight up wins. (84-35 over the last 10 seasons.) (70.6%, +45.5 units. Rating = 3*).
FLORIDA ST is 6-20 ATS (23.1%, -16.0 Units) in road games after playing 3 straight conference games since 1992.
The average score was FLORIDA ST 23.6, OPPONENT 24.7 - (Rating = 2*).
The early bettors at Sportsbook.com don’t seem to care as 74 percent of the point spread cash is on the Seminoles.
For more college football betting trends and to check out the betting odds for all of the games on this weekend’s college football betting board, head over to Sportsbook.com now.


Cincinnati Bearcats vs. NC State Wolfpack betting preview
2010-09-16

Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT

Sportsbook.com Line: NC State -2, Total: 54.5

Cincinnati’s top rusher returns to the field tonight as Isaiah Pead is expected to play when the Bearcats visit North Carolina State. Pead has been dealing with knee problems for a few months, and missed the last game against Indiana State. In the Bearcats season opener versus Fresno State Pead gained just 36 yards on 10 carries.

Pead will impact this game, but the outcome will be based more on the performances of the quarterbacks, which are two of the better signal callers in the nation. Cincinnati QB Zach Collaros has a career completion rate of 69 percent and has thrown 13 TD and just two interceptions as a collegiate.

NC State’s Russell Wilson is regarded as one of the nation’s top-10 quarterbacks, but he certainly didn’t play like it in last week’s win at UCF. Wilson completed just 10-of-30 passes for 105 yards. That’s a far cry from his 252 passing YPG from a year ago, when he racked up 31 passing touchdowns (4th-most in the nation).

NC State doesn’t usually play well as the favorite in an evenly-matched game:

NC STATE is 3-12 ATS (-10.2 Units) as a home favorite of 3 points or less since 1992.

The average score was NC STATE 18.6, OPPONENT 25.1 - (Rating = 1*).

NC State was very opportunistic against UCF in forcing five turnovers, but neither school has a great defense.

NC STATE is 9-1 OVER (+7.9 Units) in home games when playing with 6 or less days rest over the last 3 seasons. The average score was NC STATE 30.0, OPPONENT 30.5 - (Rating = 2*).

Now that you have the key numbers for tonight’s game, head over to Sportsbook.com to place your bets. While on the site, be sure and enter the $5,000 Week 2 NFL Survivor Pool – it is FREE to enter.


CFB: Outback Bowl NORTHWESTERN vs. AUBURN (11:00 AM ET, ESPN)
2010-01-04

Northwestern hasn’t won a bowl game since 1948. And in order to break that trend, it will need to beat an SEC team in one of the high-profile New Year’s Day games, the Outback Bowl. The Wildcats are an 8-point dog, and nearly 2/3 of bettors at Sportsbook.com don’t even give them a chance to stay that close, instead backing Auburn as the chalk.

The Wildcats haven’t played on Jan. 1 since 1997. They are a 8-point underdog to an Auburn team, which won just two of its L7 games in 2009. That could prove to be an important line position, as the underdog has covered the number each of the L5 times the pointspread exceeded four points in this bowl series. Auburn was a low-scoring bowl team under former coach Tommy Tuberville, going under in its L7, with the games producing just 32.4 points per game. The Tigers were 5-2 SU and 4-3 ATS in that span. Northwestern won its L3 games both SU and ATS to finish at 8-4.

When Auburn faced defensive teams that ranked 30th or higher at the end of the regular season, it averaged 34.5 points per game. Northwestern finished 43rd in total defense this year. The Tigers’ scoring was held down by fast SEC defenses, something the Wildcat defenders will not be accused of. Northwestern averaged 25.2 points per game and it should have no problem surpassing that figure since Auburn surrendered almost 27 points per contest (26.9). The cast of players change, however, it is not an accident the average score of Northwestern’s last six bowl games is over 70 points, with the Wildcats conceding 43.8 points per game against unfamiliar opponents in which they have been an underdog, just like this New Year’s Day opener. Play the Over!

Top FoxSheets.com ATS Trend
NORTHWESTERN is 32-14 ATS (+16.6 Units) as an underdog of 3.5 to 10 points since 1992. The average score was NORTHWESTERN 23.4, OPPONENT 26.6 - (Rating = 1*)

Top FoxSheets.com Total Super Situation
Play Under - All teams where the total is between 49.5 and 56 (AUBURN) - in a non-conference game between two teams from major division 1-A conferences, off a loss against a conference rival. (42-16 over the last 10 seasons.) (72.4%, +24.4 units. Rating = 2*)

OUTBACK BOWL Series Trend: The Big Ten-SEC Outback Bowl series has been a competitive one with the last eight games being split 4/4. The Big Ten leads the recent ATS ledger 5-2 however, including Iowa’s easy 31-10 win over South Carolina this past New Year’s Day. That game resulted in the third straight UNDER the total. The last time this game featured a team not Iowa, Wisconsin, or Tennessee was in ’03, and the last five times the line was set at 4-points or more, the underdog covered.