Rested vs. Unrested
For the third consecutive week, our theory of taking rested vs. unrested teams produced the most mediocre of results with the teams off a bye covering four games and failing to cover four games. However, it needs to be noted that double-digit favorites on Saturday, playing with the week of rest and matched up against a foe that is not, are now 10-2 ATS over the last three weeks as South Florida (-24) breezed by lowly Syracuse, 45-13. Remember, the rested vs. unrested system produced a combined 14-7 ATS mark four and five weeks ago. Here, as always, are the Saturday games that qualify this week:
Florida (-23) vs. Kentucky
Minnesota (PICK) at Purdue
Cincinnati (-1) at UConn
Wyoming (+31.5) at TCU
Tulane (-1.5) vs. Rice
Fresno State (-16.5) at Utah State
Notre Dame (-11) at Washington
Ball State (-24) vs. Eastern Michigan
Kent State (+7) at Miami (OH)
Central Florida (+22.5) at Tulsa (Sun.)
As you can see, there are plenty off DD faves that qualify this week. Here's are a few quick situational notes on some of them. Florida is in an obvious lookahead with Georgia on deck in what we can no longer refer to as the "World's Largest Cocktail Party." The Notre Dame/Washington matchup will have plenty of emotion involved considering UW HC Ty Willingham used to man the sidelines in South Bend. His Huskies come in winless (North Texas only other winless FBS team). Ball State is one of just four teams in the country that is perfect against the pointspread.
One more note. We mentioned this last week, but one of the teams listed above - Rice - is simply an Over machine. Playing with rest last week against unrested Southern Miss, the Owls covered in a 45-40 win. The total was 69. They have now gone Over the total in 27 of their last 31 games. Undefeated Teams
This list shrank from 10 to 9 last week as BYU was humiliated on Thursday by TCU. The list is guaranteed to shrink by at least one again this week when unbeaten Texas hosts unbeaten Oklahoma State. Interesting to note that the Big 12's "other" unbeaten (Texas Tech) opened as an underdog at Kansas. We are guaranteed to have at least two unbeatens remaining with the winner of Texas/OSU and Utah on a bye.
Here is what the nine remaining unbeatens have on tap over the next several weeks: Alabama: (10/25) at Tennessee, (11/1) vs. Arkansas State, (11/8) at LSU
Texas: (10/25) vs. Oklahoma State, (11/1) at Texas Tech, (11/8) vs. Baylor
Texas Tech: (10/25) at Kansas, (11/1) vs. Texas, (11/8) vs. Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State: (10/25) at Texas, (11/1) vs. Iowa State, (11/8) at Texas Tech
Penn State: (10/25) at Ohio State, (11/1) BYE, (11/8) at Iowa
Utah: (10/25) BYE, (11/1) at New Mexico, (11/6) vs. TCU (Thurs)
Boise State: (10/24) at San Jose St (Fri), (11/1) at New Mexico St, (11/8) vs. Utah St
Ball State: (10/25) vs. Eastern Michigan, (11/1) BYE, (11/5) vs. Northern Illinois (Wed)
Tulsa: (10/26) Central Florida (Sun), (11/1) at Arkansas, (11/8) BYE A Little Big 10 History
For the first time in what seems like eons, it will not be either the SEC or the Big 12 providing this Saturday's marquee matchup. Rather, it will be the Big 10, which eons ago was the best conference in the land. It will be #9 Ohio State hosting #2 Penn State in primetime and what immediately grabs our attention is the series history.
Penn State has not won in Columbus since joining the Big Ten and their last win here period came in 1978. They are 0-7 at Ohio State since with the average loss coming by a whopping three touchdowns per game.
However, the PSU/OSU battle is not the only battle on the conference slate where history is working against the visitor. How about Michigan State at Michigan? The Spartans, who come off an awful loss to Ohio State, have lost six straight to the Wolverines and are 3-17 SU the last 20 meetings overall. Their last win in Ann Arbor came all the way back in 1990.
Both visitors are favored this week. CFB Thursday - A Dog Game?
In College Football, Thursday has become what Monday Nights are to the NFL (see below for more on MNF). Emotion is always a factor in handicapping these games and for those teams that aren't having the best of seasons, they get one night in the spotlight. Therefore, it should come as no suprise at all to find that in the ESPN weekly telecast, the underdog is on a 5-0 ATS run. Four of those dogs played at home. Four of those dogs won outright. NFL - Two Systems Continue To Produce!
Regular readers of this column are aware that we have been promoting two NFL systems/trends that have been churning major profits this betting season. One is playing against West Coast teams in 1:00 ET starts. The other is playing against double-digit favorites. Well, these two angles were at odds with one another this past Sunday when San Francisco was at the Giants (-10.5) for an early start. This one kept bettors on both sides nervous for the duration of the game as the Giants were able to cover via a 4th Quarter safety of all things (won 29-17). Tough beat for 49ers backers there, but our readers would have known not to take them anyway!
The same fortune was not shared by Tampa Bay (-10.5), who hosted Seattle in the Sunday Night Game. The Seahawks pulled off one of the most undeserved covers in recent memory scoring a late touchdown on 4th and goal to cash in a 20-10 loss.
So, let's recap from last week. West Coast teams playing in 1:00 ET starts are now 1-8 ATS on the year. Double-digit favorites are just as bad, going 2-10 against the number. For a complete listing of results, check our article from two weeks ago. Keep an eye on these situations throughout the season. Are You Ready For Some Overs?
Two trends have become apparent on ESPN's weekly MNF telecast. One is that every game goes Over - literally. Sure enough (and this is prior to the Den at NE matchup), the Over is on a 7-0 Run on MNF.
Also, and this one is less visible, the SU winner of MNF seems to be experiencing no hangover effect the following week. With Cleveland's cover on Sunday, the MNF Winner is 6-1 SU and 5-2 ATS the following week so far this season. Note Denver is on a bye next week, so if they were to beat the Pats, they would not qualify.