College and Pro Football on Tap Tonight

Ryan Tannehill and the Dolphins need to stop the bleeding but will it start with the Bengals tonight?

Pro Football on the Southeast corner of the US and college football on the Northwest corner of the country highlight two games I’m looking at for your wagering options.

Cincinnati (-3) at Miami – Last we left the Cincinnati Bengals; they were dropping a 49-9 butt-kicking on the New York Jets in Paul Brown Stadium. This is of course the same Jets’ team that a week prior beat the New England Patriots and the week before that lost at home to a down Pittsburgh Steelers’ team.

Therefore, what do we take from the Bengals? For starters, this is a team that is now 6-2 and already has a firm grasp on the AFC North which vying to be the NFL’s worst division in 2013. This is also a team that has won four straight including a really big road win in Detroit prior to their beat down of the Jets.

Quarterback Andy Dalton is playing as well as he has during his three-year career. He threw five touchdown passes against the Jets and made it look pretty easy at the same time.

What will be interesting with Cincinnati is to see how the defense reacts to having lost linebacker Ray Maualuga for the next three to four weeks with a knee sprain. He’s played very well in 2013. The team also learned this week that safety Taylor Mays was going on the Injured Reserve list with a bad shoulder.

The strength of the Bengals’ defense is undeniably their front seven which gets great pressure and stops the run, so more may be asked of them in Maualuga’s absence.

For Miami, a short week might be the best medicine to cure their “Patriots’ Hangover.” The Dolphins led 17-3 into the second half in Foxboro before succumbing to the Pats 24-17. That 3-0 start down in South Beach now seems like forever ago as the Fins have lost four-straight.

A big part of the problem has been a lack of consistency in running the ball. Miami ranks just 23rd in the NFL with about 89 yards rushing per game. Often thought to be the strength of the team, the defense is suddenly lacking in firepower as well. They are giving up almost 30 points a game in those four losses and are getting beaten both on the ground and through the air.

This game clearly has a lot more impact for the Dolphins than it does for the Bengals but Cincinnati is streaking in one direction while the Dolphins are headed in the complete opposite. Take the Bengals to cover even on the road.

Graham's Sun Devils are torching scoreboards in the Pac-12 right now.

Arizona State (-12) at Washington State – If you’ve been lulled to sleep by Pac-12 powers Oregon and Stanford in recent weeks who could blame you? In their shadow is lurking the Sun Devils who are quietly leading the weaker, yet respectable Pac-12 South Division. They are averaging over 45 points per game and are fresh off a win at home over Washington where they laid 53 on the Huskies.

Now ASU travels north to play Washington State. The Cougars sit at 4-4 and boast an offense under Mike Leach that has no problems passing the football. They rank 6th with over 383 yards passing per game while the rushing attack is the complete opposite. They rush for just 58 yards per good which is good for 123rd in the nation.

The Sun Devils need to be careful here. They are not going to have any problems scoring points against the Wazzau, but they should expect a shootout either way. The over/under is 71 and I’m all over the ‘over’ here. I do suggest however, you take the Cougars and the points. I expect a lot of points and I can see Washington State keeping it close.

Cincinnati Making Impressive run ATS

Cincinnati at the halfway point of the NFL season is the big favorite to win the AFC North. Putting it simply, they have played very well winning four straight, while the Baltimore Ravens, Cleveland Browns and Pittsburgh Steelers are not.

Baltimore’s offense has been inconsistent, the Browns’ lost Brian Hoyer their quarterback to season ending knee surgery and the Steelers are mediocre at best.

The Bengals however are playing well winning four straight and have a lead of 2.5 games on the Ravens, 3 over the Browns and 3.5 over the Steelers.

Tonight, the Bengals face the Miami Dolphins in south Florida. Cincinnati is 6-2 SU and 5-2-1 ATS this season. The Dolphins are 3-4 SU and ATS.

Miami started the season 3-0 but have lost four straight. Last week, the Dolphins held a 14-point lead at halftime against the Patriots, only to see it wilt away. New England won the game 27-17.

The Dolphins are 2.5-point dogs at home in this matchup.

The odds for the Dolphins to win the Super Bowl have skyrocketed. Five weeks ago the Dolphins had odds of 25 to 1, on Tuesday when new odds came out on sites like Bovada, topbet and betonline, the Dolphins had odds of 175 to 1.

At the same time, the Bengals have 15 to 1 odds for the Super Bowl at those same sites. Only seven other teams in the league have shorter odds than the Bengals do.

Since the 1990 season, Cincinnati has only had winnings seasons ATS in 6 of 22 seasons. Of late however, Cincinnati has been good ATS. In 2011 the Bengals were 8-7-2 ATS and in 2012 9-7-1.

This season they have covered 5 of 8 games and have an ATS record of 12-3-1 in their past 15 games during the regular season.

However, having said that, Cincinnati is 0-2 ATS when they are a favorite on the road this season, the role they will start the game with on Thursday.

The line opened at -2 for Cincinnati with the point total on 42. The spread has been bet up a point to -3 and the total as well to 43.

The line is a tough call on the spread as Miami is tough at home and will look to put the frustrating loss to New England behind them. The point total is a bit easier. This season the Bengals are 5-3 on the OVER and the Dolphins are 5-2. Three straight have cashed on the OVER for the Bengals and 5 of 6 for the Dolphins.

Pick: OVER

SEC East Race Tightens, Hesiman Watch Continues

The SEC East remains a wide-open race thanks to the amazing comeback last weekend by South Carolina over Missouri.

Early in the game’s fourth quarter, the Tigers led the Gamecocks 17-0 and appeared ready to all but clinch the East title in October. However, Connor Shaw the senior quarterback for South Carolina had other thoughts on his mind.

Shaw, who was expected to be sidelined for the game due to an injured knee, suffered all of weekend with the flu and could not even make the teams walk through prior to the game.

However, on just one leg, Shaw was able to orchestrate what could be defined as one of the greatest comebacks in the history of the football program at South Carolina.

Shaw ended up completing 20 of his 29 passes for 201 yards He threw three for touchdowns with no interceptions leading his team to a double overtime 27-24 win.

Missouri still is in control of its own destiny for the SEC East title, but has difficult games ahead. The Tigers take on Ole Miss on the road November 23 and host Texas A&M at home to end the regular season.

South Carolina only has two SEC games to play, facing Mississippi State and Florida both at home.

Currently for future games, sports books such as Bovada, betonline and topbet have South Carolina favored by 7.5 points over Florida and Missouri as a 3-point underdog against Texas A&M.

Heisman Watch

Marcus Mariota moved back up to first place in the Heisman watch at +150, with his 20 touchdowns passes with no interceptions and nine rushing touchdowns. He has also rushed for 511 yards on the season.

Jameis Winston moves down one spot to second at 2 to 1 odds. He had three touchdown passes last week and has 23 for the season with just 4 interceptions.

In third, this week is Bryce Petty the quarterback for Baylor, who on Bovada is 8 to 1 to win the Heisman. With a strong game against Oklahoma next Thursday, Petty will be in the race. Petty has thrown 18 touchdowns and just 1 interception while rushing for six touchdowns as well.

Slipping to fourth at 10 to 1 is A.J. McCarron the quarterback for Alabama. McCarron is 33-2 at Alabama and has 16 touchdown passes and 3 interceptions this season.

Fifth place is held by the defending Heisman trophy holder Johnny Manziel, the Texas A&M quarterback. He has incredible numbers but his team has lost twice and that lowers his hopes of winning the title for a second straight season.

Unbeateans Still With Much Work to Do

McCarron and the Tide still have a tough road in order to remain unbeaten.

I’m always amazed this time of year in the college football season. This is that point in the season where pundits and experts and fans around the country start to freak out over the potential of having three or more teams unbeaten at the end of the season. Yes, it has happened before but the odds are slim yet we can’t help but consider the possibilities.

What will happen if Alabama, Ohio State and Oregon all finish unbeaten? Uh-oh… What if we throw an unbeaten Florida State in there? No problem! We just start the four-team playoff a year early right?

I couldn’t even type that without laughing.

OK, so let’s examine the remaining unbeaten teams and their current odds of winning it all. I’ll tell you where the danger lies for each.

Alabama 8/5 – The Crimson Tide proved somewhat human when they actually gave up 10 points to Tennessee last weekend. Their average had been below 10 points per game prior.

The Tide is far from home free in terms of going unbeaten. Following an off day this week, they go to Death Valley for a traditional night affair on the bayou. LSU will pose problems Bama on both sides of the ball. They end the season at up and coming Auburn who would love to throttle the dream season of their arch-rivals.

The good news is that should Bama get their way through Auburn, they’ll face a fairly weak test in the SEC Title game.

Oregon 19/10 – Like Alabama, the Ducks also get a Saturday off before traveling to play a rival. In this case, the Ducks head to Palo Alto to play Stanford. The winner here captures the Pac-12 North for the most part. Oregon still has a trip to Arizona and a home finale against rival Oregon State.

Should the Ducks get through unscathed to the Pac-12 Title game, it looks like a date with Arizona, ASU or UCLA. Right now, I actually like the Ducks chances of getting through unbeaten better than Bama’s.

Florida State 2/1 – The Seminoles have one of the easier tracks to remaining unbeaten simply because of the ACC. They host their long-time rivals Miami this weekend who also happens to come in unbeaten. Now take into account the Canes could be as big as a three-touchdown underdog and that tells you where Vegas thinks these two teams are.

The Noles will still have to play in the Swamp in the season finale against a weakened Gators’ team but they’ll present some challenges either way. The ACC Title game will likely see a rematch against Miami or possibly against a bizarre Virginia Tech team. I fully expect the Seminoles to be unbeaten heading to Gainesville and that way when they leave.

Urban Meyer is clearly aware the style points matter for the Buckeyes.

Ohio State 8/1 – It’s obvious that Urban Meyer has figured out that he needs to score beauty points as much has does victories. Facing the very question I am posing, how do the Buckeyes earn a shot at the final BCS Title game if Bama and others are also unbeaten?

OSU has four games remaining; at Purdue, at Illinois home against Indiana and the finale at Michigan. I see only the Hoosiers posing any scares because of how they can score offensively. Michigan is Michigan. You always throw out the records when the two teams play but I just don’t see the Buckeyes losing any of their final four.

Baylor 10/1 – The Bears are a great story, no doubt about it. Perspective is needed however. Their final five opponents are a combined 28-10. Their previous seven opponents are so far under .500 you’ll need a miner’s light to see them.

Can the Bears do the impossible and run the table? Of course they can if they get teams into track meets with them. Oklahoma is the first challenge this weekend followed by Texas Tech and then Oklahoma State. I just don’t have the faith in the Baylor defense to see them going unbeaten.

Public has Strong Weekend vs Sportsbooks

This past weekend was not a good one for the sportsbooks. It has been eight Sundays of NFL that bettors have waited to finally get their act together where they could assert damage to the payout charts of the sportsbooks.

Bettors over close to the first half of the NFL season seemed to always miss the big one. Some would say that they had been screwed by the Patriots or that thanks to Denver they lost a huge parlay.

However, this past Sunday all that changed, as nearly everyone one of the public bettor’s teams covered which sent sports books such as Bovada, betonline and topbet to their worst NFL Sunday of this season.

The big blow was the 44-31 Packers win over Minnesota on Sunday night.

Public bettors had the Broncos, 49ers, Patriots, Saints and the Bengals. The public had them in parlays, parlay cards and even with teasers.

The parlays paid out from between 10 to 1 and 40 to 1, with some even higher. All the top sports books could do were feel fortunate they were able to take the sharp money as they took a hit.

The Packers game is what gave many public bettors their big parlays. In that game, the public was 7-1 against the books.

Nearly all of the division leaders were able to cover this past weekend. Even the Cowboys who lost were able to cover +3 against Detroit. That put Dallas 7-1 ATS this season, which is an interesting stat for the public to follow.

The biggest plays for sharp money this week were the Bills, Redskins and Vikings and all of them failed this week. The Packers were bet down to -7 by game time and easily defeated the Vikings.

What made things worse on Green Bay was many public bettors parlayed the total on the OVER, which was easily paid out on the 47.5 total as the teams combined for 75 points. That alone paid out 13 to 5 for the public bettor.

New Orleans started their game at -10.5 and easily defeated the Bills. At home, the Saints are now 4-0 ATS.

Denver prior to this past weekend had not covered in three straight weeks. They had just lost to Indianapolis and smart money had bet down the spread to -12.5. That did not bother the public, they took the Broncos with the OVER and took home 13 to 5 winnings.

A Sunday such as this was due as the odds say it eventually will. For the public it was a great day, but just one day of many and the books are now 7-1 after the first half of the 2013 NFL season.

Seattle Laying Double Digits on the Road

The Seattle Seahawks are on the road this week and are still double-digit favorites for Monday Night Football against the St. Louis Rams.

The 6-1 Seattle Seahawks will be taking on a 3-4 Rams team that will be without Sam Bradford its starting quarterback who tore his ACL in week 7.

Kellen Clemens the replacement for Bradford has not been a starter in a game in the NFL since 2011. Even with Bradford, the Rams were not the best of bets covering only twice in seven games to start the season.

By contrast, Seattle has a record of 5-2 against the spread after seven games. Dating back as far as the preseason of 2011, Seattle is covering at a rate of 75% in all its games, with a mark of 39-13-1 ATS.

Not since 2005, has Seattle been a favorite on the road by 10 points or more. That season, the Seahawks won the NFC title. San Francisco was the opponent back then with a 1-7 SU record. San Francisco gave them a game and nearly pulled off an upset but the Seahawks won SU but lost ATS.

The current line has Seattle favored by 11 points with the point total on 43 on most betting sites like Bovada, betonline, topbet and

The line opened last week at 10.5 and is up to its current 11, but there are sites where Seattle is laying 11.5 and even 12.5.

Seattle has won SU and ATS in three of the last five games head to head with St. Louis. Last season St. Louis split with Seattle in their two meetings including a 19-13 upset win in St. Louis. St. Louis was 1-1 SU and 2-0 ATS in the two games last season with Seattle.

Seattle should be able to take advantage of a weak St. Louis defense that has allowed the second most yards in the league per pass attempt at nearly 8. In addition, the Rams have allowed over 126 yards rushing per game, which is third most in the entire league.

The big question of the game is will St. Louis succeed in moving the ball against the defense of Seattle, which is allowing fewer yards each play than all other teams in the league.

It would have been a concern even if Bradford had been starting, let along Clemens. St. Louis is ranked No. 30 in the league in yards gained, with just the Jaguars and Buccaneers worse.

Prior to Bradford going down with his injury, the Rams had won two consecutive games SU and AT, including one over Houston on the road.

A poor running team with a new backup quarterback against the league’s toughest defense spells a possible shutout or at least a double digit difference.

Pick: Lay the point and take the Seahawks

Dallas as Profitable as Any Team Against the Spread

The NFL season does not slow down for any team as week 8 has arrived with key NFC matchups on tap. One of those key games is between the Dallas Cowboys and the host Detroit Lions.

Dallas is 4-3 straight up, but an impressive 6-1 against the spread. Detroit is 4-3 SU and ATS.

Dallas leads the NFC East and owns the best mark in the league ATS at 6-1. The Cowboys have covered in their past three games. Detroit is just a half game out of first in the NFC North behind the Green Bay Packers and tied with the Chicago Bears.

The Lions went down to defeat last week against Cincinnati 27-24 and will be looking to roar back to a win on Sunday.

Both the Lions and Cowboys can be described as having offenses that are above average and defenses that are below average. Dallas will have its hands full with Matthew Stafford the Lions quarterback who has thrown for eight touchdowns and one interception over the past three weeks.

Online betting sites such as Bovada and topbet have the Lions at -3 as the favorite. Other sites such as and betonline have the total points on 51 for the over/under.

On most books Detroit opened at -3 and even though on some sites like Bovada it at one time was up to -3.5, the spread has come down again to -3.

In the past four home games for Detroit, the OVER is 4-0, and is at 16-7-1 over the past 24 games for Detroit following a loss ATS.

The Cowboys are 5-1 ATS over their past six games in October and Dallas is 4-1 ATS over its past five games against teams with winning record.

The Lions are 8-18 ATS over their past 26 games versus NFC opponents, but are 11-4 ATS over their past 15 games played during October.

The last time the teams played head to head was in 2011 and the Lions won 34-30 in Dallas.

Even taking into consideration the home field advantage for Detroit, this game should be more of a pick ‘em than one with Detroit -3. Some would even make a strong case that the Cowboys should be the favorite.

Some situational trends favor Dallas, who even when opponents out gain them, find a way to win such as with two special teams returns for touchdowns. At 3 or 3.5, this is a must to play Dallas.

The 51 total seems low for two teams with little defense and high-powered offenses. The Cowboys scored 48 and allowed 51 against Denver. This game should be high powered. Smart money is taking the OVER along with the Cowboys.

NCAA Football Week 9 Spreads and Totals

The NCAA football lineup for week 9 has a number of interesting matchups. With conference schedules in full swing, teams are fighting for a possible trip to a conference championship game and a postseason bowl appearance.

Eight out of the top 10 teams in the rankings remain undefeated thus far after 8 weeks. Three of the teams – Oregon, Texas Tech and Missouri play opponents that are ranked this week.

Most of the lines and point totals listed below have come from online sites such as topbet, betonline, or Bovada. Always remember that the spreads and point totals are always changing right up to game time.

Penn State vs. Ohio State (-15.5, 56.5)

This game looks much closer than what the spread might indicate. Penn State has a solid passing offense, where Ohio State is most vulnerable on defense. Nevertheless, the Buckeyes will cover and the total will cash on the OVER.

Texas Tech (-6.5, 59) vs. Oklahoma

Texas Tech is 7-0, but many doubt their strength since their competition has been inferior. The Red Raiders will still win this but the game will be close. I like the Sooners and the points.

Tennessee vs. Alabama (-27.5, 52)

The way Alabama has played the past three or four weeks, it is tough to go against them at home even with such a large spread. At home, the Crimson Tides is winning by an average of 38-2. However, four touchdowns against an improving Tennessee team are too much. Take the Volunteers and the OVER.

Cal vs. Washington (-28.5, 66.5)

Cal has not covered one point spread the entire season. However, Washington has lost three straight and giving way too much chalk in this matchup. The Cal Bears will cover this nearly four touchdown spread and the OVER will cash.

UCLA vs. Oregon (-24, 73)

The Oregon Ducks are 4-0 SU over the past 4 games head to head with UCLA. However, this season the Bruins are not an easy pushover.

The line looks to be overly inflated partly due to the huge scoring average for Oregon at over 56 points per game and UCLA’s loss last week to Stanford. Take UCLA and the points, with the OVER.

Many other great matchups highlight week 9 of the NCAA football season with conference games across the docket. For all your updates to lines, spreads and point totals do not forget to check out Bovada,, betonline and topbet.

Oregon favored by Three Scores (-23.5) over UCLA on Saturday

Saturday night the UCLA Bruins head north to take on the Oregon Ducks in what is expected to be a high scoring affair. The Ducks have received a boost this week with the news, that all-purpose running back De’Anthony Thomas will return from injury. His presence in the backfield for Oregon will only add to the multiple threats the offense already has.

These two teams are two of the most profitable for bettors. Oregon enters the matchup No. 2 in the nation with a record of 7-0 SU and 6-1 ATS. UCLA is ranked No. 12 and is 5-1 SU as well as ATS.

Both teams lost against the spread for the first time last week. The Ducks beat Washington State by the score of 63-28 but did not cover a spread of 40 points, while UCLA lost straight up to Stanford 24-10 as a 4.5-point underdog.

The game will match two of the country’s best dual threat quarterbacks, Marcus Mariota for Oregon and Brett Hundley for UCLA. Mariota has taken part in 28 touchdowns this season 19 passing and 9 rushing. Hundley has 16 – 13 passing and 3 rushing, but has played on less game.

The line currently has Oregon favored by a 23-point margin, with the point total for the over/under on 71.5. The line opened with the Ducks at -21.5 on most sites like topbet, betonline and However, it was bet up to its current -23 on most sites including Bovada by Wednesday afternoon and by Thursday up to -23.5.

Oregon is 4-0 SU and 2-2 ATS in their past four games against UCLA. However, last season the two did not play and in 2011, the Ducks won at home 49-31, but did not cover a spread of 31.5 points. The final points were over the total of 66.5.

The Bruins are 7-1 ATS over their past eight games after losing ATS. The Ducks are 6-2 ATS over their past eight games at home. The OVER has cashed 28-9-1 in the past 38 games overall for Oregon. Over the past 10 head-to-head meetings between the two schools, the underdog has a record of 7-3 ATS.

The Bruins offensive line has nagging injuries and has true freshmen at right tackle and right guard. Hundley was sacked at Stanford four times.

The UCLA defense is the best Oregon has faced, but the Ducks are scoring 57.6 points a game, which is second only to Baylor. The team slipped to third behind Florida State in the BCS rankings so they will want to come out and make a huge statement at the expense of UCLA.

Pick: The Ducks big 52-24

Mississippi State hosts Kentucky in SEC Showdown

Thursday Night NCAA football starts week 9. Tonight the Kentucky Wildcats visit the Mississippi State Bulldogs. The SEC matchup will feature both teams looking to win their first SEC game of the season.

Both teams will be going after the first SEC wins with abandon. Both schools did not play last week and will be rested and ready when the opening kickoff takes place.

The current line has Mississippi State favored by 10.5 points with the over/under total sitting on 56. The opening line for betonline and topbet was with the Bulldogs favored by 10 points, but has moved up to 10.5 on those two sites as well as on Bovada and

Mississippi State is 4-0 SU and ATS over the past four head-to-head meetings with Kentucky. Only one has been played on Mississippi’s home field in Starkville and resulted in the Bulldogs winning 24-17 in 2010 as favorites by 6.5 points.

Mississippi State over its past eight games played on Thursday is 1-7 ATS.

Kentucky over its past six road games is 1-5 ATS, but this year is 1-0 ATS.

This year in the home games for Mississippi State, the OVER has cashed 3-1. The only UNDER was in their last home game versus Bowling Green 21-20, which had a point total of 52.

Kentucky is 1-5 SU and 2-4 ATS and has lost four straight, but they have played four opponents that were all ranked in the Top 20. They did have a good showing in early October on the road when they lost 35-28 against South Carolina. In that game, the Wildcats were 21.5-point underdogs.

Jalen Whitlow the starting quarterback for Kentucky was hurt in their loss to Alabama two weeks ago and has been listed all week as doubtful. Kentucky does not have a strong offense ranked No. 104 in scoring.

Mississippi State is 3-3 SU and ATS but is 0-2 in the SEC. The team also has quarterback issues as Tyler Russell their fifth year senior suffered a concussion in the season opener. He returned two games against versus LSU and has split reps since with Dak Prescott, who is the team’s leading rusher with 457 yards on the ground.

Prescott should see more time this week as the running defense for Kentucky is ranked No. 107 and he is the better runner of the two talented quarterbacks.

Kentucky is 4-12 ATS in its last 16 games overall.

Pick: Mississippi State 28-13.