Odds for the AFC South Division for 2014

Luck

 

Luck
Andrew Luck should have the Colts in the top spot in the AFC South in 2014.

The AFC South is on tap today!

Indianapolis -200 – Talk about having everything in place for a division title… The Colts have Andrew Luck in his third year and let’s be honest, he needs to produce another playoff win or two as he was one horrendous choke job by Kansas City from being 0-3. The biggest question I have regards Trent Richardson. If he can be  the running back he’s capable of being then the Colts will be tremendous. If not, they could struggle to remain balanced.

Last time we saw the defense, the Colts were getting run over by LeGarrette Blount and the Patriots in the divisional round of the AFC Divisional Playoffs. The unit has to be better and has to create pressure on opposing quarterbacks as well. I don’t find the schedule that difficult other than the final four games three of which are on the road in Cleveland, Dallas and Tennessee.

Season Projection: 11-5

Clowney
The Texans hope Jadeveon Clowney plays a great 'Robin' to J.J. Watt's 'Batman.'

Houston +200 – Hard to believe a team that finished 2-14 last year is the second favorite to win the division. The Texans and new coach Bill O’Brien will enter 2014 with a clear plan in place. With Ryan Fitzpatrick the QB, the running game has to be good because Fitzpatrick can’t win games with his arm. The other clear plan is to attack on defense and the selection of Jadeveon Clowney with the first overall pick was a clear indication of that.

Clowney has already flashed his explosiveness and will create an incredibly scary tandem with J.J. Watt. If they can create enough pressure on opposing quarterbacks to the point where the secondary can just ‘ball-hawk’ then look out. The Texans schedule is not difficult but they do have five of their first eight games on the road and some of those stops include Dallas and Pittsburgh.

Season Projection: 8-8

Tennessee +700 – This is the make or break year for quarterback Jake Locker who has battled injury and sub-par play so far in his career. What’s going for him though is the fact that new head coach Ken Whisenhunt knows how to get the most out of quarterbacks. He did it with Ben Roethlisberger and he did it with Kurt Warner in Arizona. Can he now work his magic with Locker?

The defense wasn’t atrocious by any stretch finishing in the middle of the pack overall, in rushing and in passing. They have the ability to keep things close is the offense can be balanced and take care of the football. The schedule features a fairly ugly stretch in November when the Titans have three road games in four weeks. Those trips are to Baltimore, Houston and Philly with a home against the Steelers.

Season Projection: 7-9

Jacksonville +1400 – Head Coach Gus Bradley has a tough choice to make in terms of the quarterback position. Does he stay with veteran Chad Henne knowing what that he’ll get some big plays but also turnovers or will he go with rookie Blake Bortles? The original plan was to sit Bortles this season but he has been so impressive so far in the preseason that he’s making the choice difficult.

Regardless of who is at the helm, they need the running game to get going and take pressure off of the passing game. The defense is coming together nicely in Jacksonville but I think it’s a couple of studs away from really making a serious dent in the division. The Jags have a brutal opening schedule with three of four on the road in Philly, Washington and San Diego plus a visit from Pittsburgh.

Season Projection: 5-11

Overall: I just don’t know how the Colts lose this division outside of a significant injury to Luck. Take them and don’t look back.

Odds Makers Release New Super Bowl Futures, Rams Tumble Down List

Odds makers have released the latest odds for the Super Bowl. The ACL injury to Sam Bradford the St. Louis Rams starting quarterback proved how valuable he was to the Rams as their price nearly doubled when word was released he would miss the entire season.

Bradford was not even a year removed from an ACL tear he suffered October 20 of last year with the same knee, when he blew out the knee again on Saturday against the Cleveland Browns.

St. Louis had hoped to contend in the tough NFC West, but now likely will end up in fourth in the division.

In response to his injury, Bovada, topbet and other bookmakers adjusted the odds for St. Louis to win the Super Bowl from 40 to 1 to 75 to 1.

The Rams NFC title odds on betonline and sportsbook.com were also nearly doubled to 38 to 1 from 20 to 1 and their prices for the NFC West was moved up to 15 to 1 from 8 to 1

For their opener of the season versus Minnesota, St. Louis is only a 3.5-point favorite after the line was originally -6 in their favor.

Odd makers also adjusted the wins total for St. Louis by moving it down from 7.5 to 6.5.

Bradford’s significance cannot be overstated. Since 2012, the year Jeff Fisher took the reigns as head coach, Bradford has started 23 games, of which 8 were against NFC West opponents.

In this 8 games, the Rams were 5-2-1 SU and 6-2 ATS.

Eight games are not that many to compare by, but the strength of the opponents is enough to say the Rams were amongst a dark horse for the Super Bowl.

Shaun Hill will take over for Bradford. However, he has started just 26 games in the NFL in his career, which is not many to gain experience from.

The Rams likely will go back to the ground game to run time off the clock. With their strong defense, the games this season with St. Louis could be very low scoring.

The last time the Rams lost Bradford to an ACL tear, the team was 4-5 SU and 5-4 ATS with Kellen Clemens at quarterback. However, against the NFC West during that period the Rams were 0-4 SU as well as 1-3 ATS.

SUPER BOWL XLIX – Odds to win

 

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS 9 to 2

DENVER BRONCOS 5 to 1

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS 7 to 1

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS 8 to 1

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS 10 to 1

GREEN BAY PACKERS 10 to 1

CINCINNATI BENGALS 20 to 1

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS 20 to 1

CHICAGO BEARS 20 to 1

PITTSBURGH STEELERS 20 to 1

Richard Sherman Speaks the Truth and the MLB Races Have About a Month to Go

Sherman
Sherman
Even if you don't like Richard Sherman you have to appreciate his honesty.

Seattle Seahawks’ cornerback Richard Sherman is a lightning rod plain and simple. If you took  a survey of 100 football fans you’d probably get half that love him and half that hate him but I like Sherman for one reason; he speaks his mind.

Sherman did just that when he basically became the first active player to say what I’ve been saying for years now about the direction of the National Football League. In a Sunday Night Football interview with NBC’s Josh Elliott Sherman was asked about all the penalties on defensive backs this preseason. His response:

all the illegal contact calls this preseason were due to the NFL feeling the pressure from advertisers and sponsors. “When the fantasy football numbers need to be what they need to be, then the league needs to do what it needs to do to get it done,” Sherman said. “This is a money-driven league, so whatever sells the tickets is gonna sell the tickets.”

There it is. Finally a player has said what all of us have pretty much known for years. The whole ‘player safety’ issue was actually just an attempt to limit the defense so offenses could score more points. The NFL masked it with the whole concussion lawsuit. I’m all for making the game safer but let’s be real too.

More offense means more fantasy points which means more fantasy players which means more people watching the NFL. Fantasy football owners don’t want to see 10-7 games. The horror!!!!

I appreciate Sherman being himself and supporting what we all know to be true. Unfortunately it won’t do anything to slow down this machine that Roger Goodell has created. Get ready to see more scoring and more offensive numbers skyrocketing out of sight.

Showalter
Manager Buck Showalter has the Orioles firmly in first place in the AL East.

Baseball Has About a Month to Go

Most  Major League Baseball teams have about 30 games to go and some of the races are fulfilling the promise I have had all season long.

Starting in the American League, the East Division has seen Baltimore quietly take a six-game lead over the New York Yankees. Toronto is eight back and Tampa Bay is 10 games back.

In the Central, the incredibly hot Kansas City Royals lead the injury-riddled Detroit Tigers by two games. Hovering in the distance are the Cleveland Indians who are six games back. The Royals have won seven of ten and continue to be among the best teams in baseball since the All-Star Break.

In the AL West, the LA Angels have a one game lead over the Oakland A’s after beating the A’s last night. Seattle is lurking at six games back but their eyes on the wild-card. Currently, the wild-cards are Oakland and the Mariners with the Tigers just a game back. New York is three and a half back.

In the senior circuit, the NL East has seen a once close race fall apart. The Washington Nationals have won nine of ten and have a commanding eight game lead over the Atlanta Braves.

The NL Central has seen some separation with the Milwaukee Brewers hanging on to a 1.5 game lead over St. Louis. Pittsburgh has fallen off the pace however and is now five full games behind the Brewers following a streak where the Pirates have won just three of ten.

The NL West is a two-team race. The LA Dodgers have a 4.5 game lead of rival San Francisco. San Diego has dropped to 12.5 games back. The Giants and Dodgers have six games remaining against each other with three each at home.

The National League Wild-Card is much more exciting. The Cards and Giants hold the two spots right now but Atlanta (1GB), Pittsburgh (1.5GB) and the Marlins (4GB) are within shouting distance.

Minnesota Timberwolves Close the Book of Love

The NBA, players, coaches and fans alike knew that the Minnesota Timberwolves had to trade power forward Kevin Love.

The franchise’s face played in Minnesota for six seasons without reaching the postseason once. He did not see eye to eye with former team president David Kahn over an extension and spent most of last season putting up his best numbers individually as an NBA player, while occasionally having run-ins with his teammates in a locker room that was highly fractured.

Love wanted to leave Minnesota, the fans wanted him out and a seventh season for the two just seemed out of the question.

The Wolves did not have much leverage, but management had to convince teams that were ready to take advantage of the situation, that the Timberwolves really did not have to trade away Love.

On Saturday, a summer long saga came to its conclusion when the Wolves sent Love to Cleveland. Other players and other teams were involved in the trade, but Love was the featured star.

Minnesota however was lucky to land the two last No. 1 picks overall in the draft and a talented forward who is just 26 and averaged nearly 18 points a game last season, for a superstar who already had one of his feet out the door.

When Flip Saunders took Kahn’s place last summer, his priority was trying to persuade Love to stay with the club.

That did not pan out and as early as the day the season ended for Minnesota, they were taking bids from other teams, while trying to convince them they did not have to trade Love.

The Timberwolves were near a deal with Golden State at the time of the draft, but the Warriors decision not to include Klay Thompson in the deal broke it.

The Phoenix Suns, Chicago Bulls and Boston Celtics all made offers, but none was worthwhile to Saunders of the rest of the front office.

By waiting and holding out, the Wolves were able to get a deal they were comfortable with and one they felt was worth the wait.

Once LeBron James decided to play in Cleveland, the whole dynamics changed as the Cavaliers approached the Timberwolves with quite a bit to offer.

At first, Cleveland refused to offer Wiggins, who was the player most important to Minnesota. Minnesota waited for James to push the Cavs to make something happen.

Once the particulars were worked out and the three teams involved received whom they were hoping for, the deal was agreed to.

The Timberwolves quickly turned the page on the Love era as soon as the trade was completed last weekend and have already moved on, as has the man who wanted out, Kevin Love.

The pressure now starts to build for Cleveland to see if they can mesh LeBron and Love together to form a team that wins the NBA championship.

Odds to Win the AFC North for 2014

Dalton
Dalton
Andy Dalton has a lot to prove in 2014 following his new contract extension.

With the AFC East behind us, we’re heading North. Let’s go!

Cincinnati +200 – For a team that won the division and hosted a playoff game last year, there is a lot of doubt around these Bengals and much of that is about QB Andy Dalton. Fresh from signing a new contract, Dalton’s 0-3 record in the playoffs is a glaring stat. Enter new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson who I believe will make Dalton better.

The defense is good as Geno Atkins returns from his ACL tear, but they aren’t ‘great.’ Rookie DB Darqueze Dennard will help in coverage but the Bengals must adjust to a new defensive coordinator as Mike Zimmer now runs things in Minnesota. The schedule starts out well for the most part but Cincy plays five of their eight games on the road and that includes a three-game stretch on the road to end November.

Season Projection: 10-6

Shazier
Rookie Ryan Shazier has a lot of expectations upon him to help the defense in Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh +200 – The Steelers enter 2014 off of back-to-back 8-8 seasons. The youth movement is clearly on in the Steel City as the receiving corps is younger than ever as is the defense in quite some time. Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger is the key to this team’s chances. If he repeats the 16 games he played in last season then the Steelers have a great shot at the division.

Defensively, the Steelers are far from being the Steel Curtain of yore. So far through the preseason, they’ve given up more rushing yards than anyone. Rookies Ryan Shazier and Stephon Tuitt will help but they also have to get pressure as well as the secondary is average at best. The Steelers’ schedule features four road games in five weeks between September 11th and October 12th. They finish the season with the final two at home though.

Season Projection: 9-7

Baltimore +275 – The Ravens didn’t make the playoffs following their Super Bowl victory the year before and in comes Gary Kubiak to run the offense. He will look to establish the run in order to create play-action opportunities for Joe Flacco. Ray Rice had a very down year last season and needs to rebound in order to help the offense.

Defensively, the Ravens are far from what they were several years ago and they have aged especially with Terrel Suggs and Haloti Ngata. There has been an infusion of youth in some spots but will that youth perform? Baltimore opens with two home games against Cincinnati and Pittsburgh. A few weeks later, they start a stretch of four road games in five weeks and in that run are return trips to both Cincy and Pittsburgh.

Season Projection: 9-7

Cleveland +500 – Cleveland has settled on a quarterback and it isn’t Johnny Football. Head Coach Mike Pettine has decided to go with Brian Hoyer to start the season and it’s probably the safest way to go. The Browns play Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Baltimore in the first three weeks and then have a bye. If the Browns are 2-1 or 3-0 then I believe Hoyer keeps the job. 1-2 or 0-3 could usher in the Manziel era.

The defense is solid and probably underrated because of all the attention paid to the offense but they’re pretty good. They’ll be charged with keeping games close in order to help the offense and they’ll do that by creating pressure. I mentioned the opening three games but the end of the schedule isn’t great either with Indianapolis and Cincinnati at home and then finish with Carolina and Baltimore on the road.

Season Projection: 6-10

Overall: I can see scenarios where Cincy, Pittsburgh and Baltimore can all win the division but I think the Bengals are the surest bet.

AFC Stats, Numbers, Trends and More

The 2014 NFL season is just 11 days away from the opening kickoff on Thursday night September 4 between the Green Bay Packers and the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

Last season the NFL teams combined to produce 46.83 points per game.

That broke a record of 65 years for average combined scoring per game. The Denver Broncos behind Peyton Manning had a great deal to do with breaking that record.

The mark previous was set in 1948 when 46.48 points per game was the NFL average.

That year, there were just 10 teams in the NFL and 3 of them averaged over 30 points per game. Only one of the current 32 teams in the NFL averaged of 30 points per game in 2013 and that was the recording setting Broncos.

Despite the scoring mark by the Denver Broncos that shattered previous records for a team in 2013 averaging 37.88 points per game, it still trailed the all time record of 38.33 by the Los Angeles Rams of 1950.

Curious as to now kicking has changed and how it likely has affected the amount of points scored per game?

In 1948, NFL kickers converted 41% of their field goal attempts, in 2013 that percentage had increased to 86.5%.

AFC Facts

Case Keenum and Matt Schaub the two quarterbacks for the Houston Texas last season combined for a passer rating in 2013 of 74.0. That was 45 points lower than the 119 of Nick Foles for the Philadelphia Eagles.

The Broncos were the leaders of the NFL in point differential with +207 in 2013. Kansas City and Cincinnati were tied for second at +125 in the AFC.

The worst in the league was Jacksonville with a -202 point differential.

Wes Welker in Denver and Cecil Shorts with Jacksonville were the leaders in the AFC in 201 for dropped passes with 10 apiece.

The league leader in that not so good category was Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears who had 12.

Today’s NFL has become a passing league. The AFC had the three teams that were the worst in rushing in the NFL in 2013.

According to Bovada and sportsbook.com, Baltimore, Jacksonville and Pittsburgh had the three worst rushing offenses in the NFL and coincidently or not so coincidently, each of the three did not make the postseason.

According to betonline and topbet, the AFC is 87-108 SU while 91-97-7 ATS in games that are non-conference versus the NFC West during the last three seasons. In those same games, the OVER has been 115-78-2.

The AFC dominated many of the offensive statistics for last season thanks to the Denver Broncos. In two weeks, everyone will get to see if the 2014 season will be similar to that of 2013.

Three Week Three NFL Preseason Matchups

The third week of NFL preseason has a number of good games on tap for Saturday. Often times coaches like to use the third week as their week to highlight the players that will start on both sides of the ball.

The games tend to be more intense and similar to a regular season clash.

Having said that, remember it is still the preseason, just ask Bill Belichick the head coach for New England. He does not believe in using the third game to play his starters and his record over the years shows that, as it is dismal in game 3 of the preseason.

Here are three of the games on tap for Saturday

Cowboys vs. Dolphins

The Dolphins are favored by 3 ½ points on Bovada, while the total points on topbet is sitting on 46 ½.

Dallas is 0-2 SU and ATS this preseason, while Miami is 1-1 SU and ATS.

The Dolphins lost their opener of the preseason 16 to 10 at Atlanta, but won last week 20-14 on the road against Tampa Bay, as a 2 ½-point road dog.

The Cowboys defense surrendered 37 points last week losing by 7 points at home to Baltimore. Dallas is 1-5 in its past six games in preseason.

In 2012, in the preseason the Cowboys beat Miami 30-13, as a home favorite by 2 ½ points.

Redskins vs. Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens host the Washington Redskins in a matchup where the Ravens on betonline are 2 ½- point favorites and on sportsbook.com the point total is 43 ½.

This preseason Washington is 2-0 SU and 1-1 ATS. Baltimore is 2-0 SU and ATS.

Washington was able to win last Monday on a final play Hail Mary pass for a touchdown 24-23 versus the Cleveland Browns as a favorite at home by 2 points.

The OVER in that game cashed with the teams combining for 47 points on a 41 ½ line.

Baltimore easily defeated the 49ers in their opener of the preseason 23-3 and outscored Dallas 37-20 in its second game.

Baltimore defeated Washington as a home favorite of 4 points in the 2011 preseason 34-31.

Saints vs. Colts

The Indianapolis Colts host the New Orleans Saints Saturday night, with the Colts a 2 ½-point favorite and the point total on 47.

New Orleans is 2-0 SU and ATS this preseason, while Indianapolis is 0-2 SU and 1-1 ATS.

The Colts are 0-2 against New York this preseason, having lost to both the Giants and Jets.

Last week they lost to the Giants in a meltdown after leading by 26 points before giving up 27 points in the fourth quarter and losing 27-26 as a home favorite by 1 point.

New Orleans has played solid in its two wins over the St. Louis and Tennessee. Each of their two preseason games have cashed on the OVER.

The Saints are 8-0 ATS over their past 8 preseason games, and 5-1 SU over their past 6 preseason games.

Weekend Ramblings Are All About the NFL

Manziel Hoyer
Manziel Hoyer
Johnny Manziel will give up the helmet in favor of a clipboard as Brian Hoyer will be the starter.

It’s hard enough to believe that the National Football League season is upon us let alone the fact we are already deep into the preseason. There is already no shortage of story-lines throughout the NFL and they sound like a a good place to start for a Saturday.

The ‘Decision’ is over in Cleveland. For now…

Browns’ Head Coach Mike Pettine announced earlier this week that Brian Hoyer had won the quarterback job over Johnny Manziel despite the fact that both guys were pretty awful last Monday night in Washington. Browns’ beat writer Mary Kay Cabot was pretty straight-forward when she said Manziel’s partying and middle-finger gesture were the reason he lost the job.

I’ve said from day one that I thought that Manziel would be the starter in the opening week and while it looks like I’m wrong, if Hoyer stumbles at all I believe you’ll see Manziel in there. The Browns can’t afford to have their biggest draw standing on the sidelines holding a clipboard all season and Mike Pettine knows that as well as anyone. Short of a 3-0 start by Hoyer, I think Manziel sees the field in week five after their bye.

RGIII
RGIII needs to stop responding to critics and talk with his play instead.

RGIII Self-Counseling?

Washington Redskins’ quarterback Robert Griffin III felt it necessary to tweet out this week that he was essentially going to prove all the doubters wrong in 2014. I guess I have to wonder why RGIII felt the need to do this? Was this some form of self-help? Whatever it was, I have to question why he went public?

Many are questioning two things regarding the former Heisman Trophy winner; first, can he stay healthy? Second, can he adjust to a more pro-style offense? Both are fair questions but I’m concerned why he needed to pump himself up in such a public way. To say that I have my doubts about his overall mental well-being headed into the season would be an understatement. Keep your thoughts to your self RGIII. They can’t haunt you publicly that way.

Dumb and Dumber in Pittsburgh

The last thing the Pittsburgh Steelers needed was a distraction as they try to rebound from back-to-back 8-8 seasons but that’s exactly what they got when running backs Le’Veon Bell and LeGarrette Blount were charged with marijuana possession. Bell has also been charged with driving under the influence which apparently Bell didn’t know he could be charged.

The two players were just 90 minutes from boarding a team flight to Philadelphia for their preseason game against the Eagles on Thursday night. The Steelers were beaten 31-21 but the score doesn’t indicate how badly the Eagles beat them leading to speculation that the team was distracted by the incident.

Rather than suspend them for the game, Head Coach Mike Tomlin chose to play the two pot heads and I like the move. Both played well into the second half and Bell’s karma got the best of him as he was decked a couple of times on big hits by Eagles’ defenders.

The real issue here is not the legalization of marijuana or whether the NFL needs to relax penalties for it, but rather, it’s the sheer stupidity of the two “professionals.” They were in  a vehicle, at a stop light with smoke coming from the car and a police officer pulled up next to them. Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels aren’t dumb enough to pull this off.

Blount and Bell are far fro the only players in the NFL who use marijuana but at least others are smart enough to not do it in public.

Odds for the AFC East for 2014

Gronk
Gronk
If Rob Gronkowski can stay healthy then the sky could be the limit for New England.

It’s time to start the AFC and I’m wasting no time. Let’s go!

New England -300 – I’ve lost track of how many division titles the Pats have won under Bill Belichick but they get ready to add another if health stays on their side. Last season saw the start of a transition in my opinion where the offense became more dependent upon the run than at any time in recent memory. That trend should continue in 2014.

The defense will be better simply with the addition of Darrelle Revis who can shrink the field and make offenses struggle to find yards elsewhere. The Patriots open the season with three of their first four on the road. The daunting part of the schedule however is the month of November when they play Denver and Detroit at home and travel to Green Bay and San Diego.

Season Projection: 12-4

Tannehill
Ryan Tannehill looks to take the next step and get the Dolphins into the playoffs.

Miami +650 – Miami improved a lot in 2013 and probably should have made the playoffs but didn’t. Ryan Tannehill is a very nice quarterback but he has to get rid of the ball sooner and take less sacks. A solid running game could help that. Defensively, I think the Dolphins are going to be good. They are the type of team to me that if they can score 21 points per game they’re going to win most of them.

The schedule for the Fins isn’t too bad. They get three of their final four games at home but they do have a stretch of three away games in four weeks in November. Those opponents are Detroit, Denver and the Jets with a visit from Buffalo mixed in.

Season Projection: 9-7

NY Jets +650 – The Jets surprised some people by going 8-8 last season. Many thought they’d be worse. Geno Smith is the clear starter but Michael Vick waits in the shadows and if the team is playing well but Smith is struggling then look for Vick quickly. The defense looks pretty good in the front seven but the secondary is young, banged up and lacking experience.

Rex Ryan is flat-out coaching or his job in 2014 and when a coach is dealing with that, they can flip switches quicker than they might normally do so. I look for the Jets to rely on a pretty good running game because the receivers don’t scare me and Smith doesn’t either at this point in his career. The schdeule opens with Oakland in MetLife Stadium but then it gets brutal for the next six games. Following the opener, they play at Green Bay, host Detroit and Chicago, play at San Diego, host Denver and then play at New England.

Season Projection: 8-8

Buffalo +900 – The Bills are loaded with question marks first and foremost among those deals with where they’ll be playing in the future. Will the new ownership keep the team in Buffalo? Will they head to Toronto or will they go somewhere else? For the guys on the field, their success hangs on the arm of quarterback E.J. Manuel who needs to stay healthy this year.

He has plenty of weapons at his disposal with rookie Sammy Watkins, RB Fred Jackson and big tight end Scott Chandler. His consistency is an issue and it didn’t look much better last weekend against the Steelers. The defense will struggle without Kiko Alonso who so good last season. The Bills’ schedule isn’t horrendous but they will have a tough final four games as they play at Denver, home to Green Bay, at Oakland and at New England in the finale.

Season Projection: 5-11

Overall: The Pats have too much talent and will win the division. Should they stumble, Miami is the next best choice.

NCAA Football Injuries, Lines and Trends

The NCAA football season starts in just a week and things are changing by the minute.

This week Ohio State received the bad news that Braxton Miller was lost for the season. Prior to him being hurt, sports books including Bovada and sportsbook.com were taking a great deal of action on the Buckeyes.

Ohio State had more bets to be the national championship than any other school on most books.

On a few books, such as betonline and topbet, Alabama was the only team with more money being wagered on it to win the national title.

However, when Miller became hurt, Ohio State went from a favorite in the top 10 to win the title with odds in the single digits to as high as 50 to 1.

One book did not lower them as much since the schedule for Ohio State is generally very weak.

Other injuries that have transpired will also have an effect on how teams play during the season.

Zac Brooks, the starting tailback for Clemson, who was the leading rusher that returned from last season hurt his foot and will not play the entire season.

Kansas did not lose one but two of its running backs. Taylor Cox and Brandon Bourbon are gone for the season.

Alex Koza an Auburn starting lineman on offense was lost for the season, while Carl Lawson a defensive end has an ACL injury and his return is unknown.

Mississippi State lost Damien Robinson a starting offensive lineman with an ACL injury.

Florida lost defensive tackle Thomas Holley. The freshman who was highly touted will miss the season with a labrum tear in his hip.

Duke’s Braxton Deaver the team’s starting tight end went down with an injury to his ACL. The team also lost Kelby Brown a starter at middle linebacker to an injured ACL. Jela Duncan the starter at running back was ruled academically ineligible for the season.

There have also been a number of big moves on lines since the lines were first released.

Oklahoma opened as a favorite by 14 points over TCU for their October 4 game. However, the Sooners are now laying just 7.5 points.

The Florida State Seminoles opened as a 24-point favorite over Notre Dame for their October 18 game. However, now the line is just 18.5.

Oregon saw its line shortened from 34 points to 28.5 as the favorite over Cal in an October 24 matchup.

Going the opposite way, the Baylor Bears opened as a 6-point favorite over Kansas State for their December 6 game, but are now going off as a favorite by 13 points.