Bookmakers Make Oregon Early 7-Point Chalk over Ohio State

The college football national championship game is just one week away. Within just minutes of Ohio State’s stunning upset of 42-35 over Alabama last Thursday in the Sugar Bowl, sportsbooks everywhere, including Bovada and posted the Oregon Ducks as 7-point chalk to win the national championship over the Buckeyes.

The first ever College Football Playoff National Championship game will be played on January 12, in Arlington, Texas at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys

The Ducks thrashed the Florida State Seminoles 59-20 on Thursday in the Rose Bowl. In doing so, Oregon made a big impression on the football world and on odds makers.

A big question that odds makers must ask is which team earned more favor of the public with its victory.

Remember, it is not about what team the books believe will win, rather it is all about which of the two will be getting the two-way action.

The Buckeyes finally beat a team from the SEC during a bowl game, as prior to the Alabama win, Ohio State was 0-9 SU. Their head coach, Urban Meyer has won two national championships.

However, the team still must rely on a third string quarterback in Cardale Jones. He has started just two games all season, but they were the two most important of the entire season.

Oregon ended Florida State’s winning streak at 29 and their reign as national champions. The offense for Oregon is something special, as they have speed in nearly every position. The Ducks are 9-0 SU and ATS in their past 9 games overall since their one loss of the season to Arizona.

Over that streak, the Ducks are winning by an average margin of 27 points.

Both underdogs, in the two games on New Year’s Day, were bet heavily by the public and sharp money. However, favorites in games that are high profile usually get more support.

The futures for Ohio State represent a huge risk for sportsbooks especially those that offered the Buckeyes with odds of 50 to 1 in the preseason after Braxton Miller was injured, according to topbet and betonline.

Bettors were all over that figure and eventually the number was pushed down to 12 to 1 before the Buckeyes loss to Virginia Tech on September 6.

Odds makers quickly bumped the Buckeyes back up as high as 40 to 1, but that slowly started to fall after every week.

Ohio State is now sitting at +240 on the money line as an outright winner, while Oregon is currently -280.

Oregon’s odds were as high as 20 to 1 after losing to Arizona.

It was not all that long ago when the talk was how many teams from the SEC West would play in the inaugural College Football Playoff, with the Big 10 and Pac-12 receiving little respect.

The last laugh this season goes to the Big 10 and Pac-12, as they are the only two left standing.

New Year’s Day Handle For College Football Equal to a Super Bowl

Props aside, the college football lineup for New Year’s Day will be on a par with the Super Bowl says bookmakers.

Both the Sugar and Rose Bowl are receiving two-way action, as the games are now just 24 hours away.

If the total betting handle is any indication and it certainly is, college football’s decision to put its two semifinal games for the national championship on New Year’s was the correct one.

A great deal of action has been written on the two games leading up to the kick offs and much more is expected over the next 24 hours, according to Bovada and betonline.

The two big games, along with three others on the day, will make the day the biggest New Year’s Day lineup ever for college football, according to topbet and

In fact, eliminating the props that are offered that are very popular with betting on the Super Bowl, the lineup for New Year’s Day will be one that is comparable to a Super Bowl.

One bookmaker said that when taking into consideration straight bets, totals, sides, teasers and parlays, January 1 will be as much as the Super Bowl.

However, almost 50% of the total money bet on a Super Bowl is for prop bets, and excitement around individual college players is not as high as it is for the NFL.

The betting action is split evenly thus far between favorites and underdogs in the two College Football Playoff semifinal games.

Both games are very popular with bettors and both teams in each game are getting their share of support by the public at the betting window.

Both playoff games on Thursday are sitting with a spread of 9 points. In the Alabama vs. Ohio State matchup, the Crimson Tide has gone up to 9.5 points but has pulled back to 9. Oregon in its matchup against Florida State started at -8 and was bet up to -9.5 but has since retreated to -9 as well.

A number of bookmakers said that the favorites would need to win for them to do well since a great deal of money has been placed on the two dogs in those two games. The money line is the popular bet since diehard supporters of their college team only believe their team will win outright and often do not take the points route, but just the money line.

One bookmaker said he would need Oregon to win both the points and money line and Ohio State to win the points and Alabama to cover the spread.

The betting frenzy will continue right up to kickoff on Thursday.

Five College Football Bowl Games Give Bettors Many Choices

Saturday has five college football bowl games on its lineup for bettors to take a shot at one day before the last week of the NFL regular season.

There have been a number of bowl games this past week to bet on but as the bowl season moves on towards the New Year, the games becoming more compelling.

On Saturday, the five games have some intriguing matchups including the Independence Bowl featuring Miami taking on South Carolina and the Holiday Bowl with USC playing Nebraska.

Here are a few words about each of the five games taking place on Saturday. The lineup of games should give bettors ample choices to choose from.

Military Bowl – Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech

Cincinnati is favored in this bowl by 3 points with the point total sitting on 51. Cincy has the better record. However, the Bearcats have faced weak competition this season. Virginia Tech beat Ohio State this season and the Buckeyes easily beat the Bearcats. The Hokies however have played inconsistently the entire season.

Sun Bowl – Arizona State vs. Duke

The Arizona Sun Devils are favored by 7 points, with the point total sitting on 65. Both teams should be highly motivated to reach win No. 10 for the season in this game. The Sun Devils have a strong offense with talent that likely will go on to play in the NFL. Look for high scoring in this one, with a lean toward Duke and the points.

Independence Bowl – South Carolina vs. Miami

The Miami Hurricanes are favored in this bowl by 3.5 points, with the point total sitting on 61.

Both motivation and defense favors the Hurricanes. Miami has a great deal to prove after Louisville blew them out last season in the Russell Athletic Bowl.

At the same time, South Carolina has been used to playing in bowl games that are more high profile and that could have a bearing on their overall play.

Pinstripe Bowl – Boston College vs. Penn State

Boston College is favored in this game by 2.5 points with the point total sitting on just 40.

Penn State will be highly motivated in this game as they return to play in the postseason since have their ban lifted. BC plays up to its level of competition or down depending up its opponent. The total is low and that could be the best way to go.

Holiday Bowl – USC vs. Nebraska

The Trojans are favored by 7 points with the point total sitting on 62. Nebraska will play under interim coach Barney Cotton. USC has one of the best quarterbacks in the country in Cody Kessler. The spread might by too much for USC to cover. Look for plenty of points to be scored in this one.

Bowl Season Starts Today and I’ve Got Your Winners

Western Michigan's P.J. Fleck leads the Broncos against Air Force on the "Smurf Turf" in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Nevada (-1) vs Louisiana-Lafayette (O/U 61) – These are two evenly matched teams that will open the 2014 bowl season. Both average about 31 points per game and surrender about 28 per game.

Trends: ULL is 7-1 straight up in their last eight and 5-1-1 against the spread in their seven games… Nevada is 4-2 SU in their last six games and their total has been UNDER in 14 of their last 18 games.

The Pick: ULL will have a decided home-field advantage but I like the Wolfpack to cover.

Sean Kugler has UTEP in the New Mexico Bowl against Utah State today.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl UTEP (+10.5) vs Utah State (O/U 46) – The Aggies had won five straight before being blown out by a hot Boise State team. UTEP was just 2-10 last season under Sean Kugler who has turned the program around with a 7-5 record this year.

The Miners have a solid running game but they will be facing one of the top defenses they’ve seen all season.

Trends: UTEP is 5-2 straight up in their last seven games and their total has gone UNDER in five of their last six games… USU is 5-1 SU in their last six games and their total has gone OVER in four of their last six.

The Pick: I like the Aggies to cover and I like the UNDER.

Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl Utah (-3.5) vs Colorado State (O/U 57.5) – The Utes enter having lost three of their last five games while the Rams have won four of five. The question in this one is about level of competition.

Did Utah’s Pac-12 schedule prove a better prep than did Colorado State’s MWC schedule? What worries me is that the Rams are very explosive offensively and Utah gives up over 26 points per game.

Trends: Utah is 9-4 straight up in their last 13 games and has beaten CSU in five straight meetings… The Rams have gone 9-1 SU in their last 10 and their total has gone OVER in four of their last five.

The Pick: I like the Rams getting the points and I like the OVER.

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Western Michigan (+1) vs Air Force (O/U 58) – The Falcons were 2-10 last while the Broncos were 1-11. It goes without saying these two teams had the biggest turnarounds in college football in 2014. Because of Air Force’s dynamic triple option, Western Michigan has had to revamp its’ entire defense over the last 11 days which can always create some anxiety.

The Broncos score over 34 points per game though and have a great running back as well as solid receivers. Will the step up in competition hurt WMU though?

Trends: WMU is 6-1 straight up in their last seven games… Air Force is 5-1 SU in their last six games and the total has gone UNDER in six of their  last nine games.

The Pick: I want to go with Air Force badly but I think the Broncos cover in a shootout. Take the OVER as well.

Raycom Media Camellia Bowl South Alabama (-3) vs Bowling Green (O/U 53.5) – The Falcons give up 34 points per game and they surrender over 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing per game as well. While that looks dire for Bowling Green they could take advantage of a Jaguars’ team that scores just 21 points per game.

I expect a lot of points in this game despite both teams hitting the UNDER a lot recently.

Trends: South Alabama is 1-6 against the spread in their last seven games and is 1-4 straight up in their last five… BGSU is 1-4-1 ATS in their last six games and is 2-4 SU in their last six games. Both teams have seen the total go UNDER for most of their recent games.

The Pick: Take South Alabama to cover and the OVER.

College Football Conference Championship Lines and Trends

This is championship week in college football with a number of conferences playing their conference championship games.

MAC – Northern Illinois vs. Bowling Green

Northern Illinois is 10-2 and 6-6 ATS, while Bowling Green is 7-5 SU and 4-7-1 ATS.

Friday night, the two will face off in Detroit, Michigan. NIU has opened as a 3-point favorite.

This is the fifth consecutive season Northern Illinois will be vying for the trophy. The Huskies are 2-2 in the previous four.

The two teams played in last year’s MAC Championship with Bowling Green winning 47-27.

The underdog is 5-1 ATS over the past 6 championship games.

Pac-12 – Arizona vs. Oregon

Arizona is 10-2 SU and 5-7 ATS, while Oregon is 11-1 SU and 8-4 ATS.

The two will meet on Friday at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

Oregon has opened as a favorite by 13.5 points.

This is the fourth championship game for the Pac-12. The favorite is 2-1 SU and 0-3 ATS in the first three Pac-12 championship games.

The Pac-12 North is 3-0 SU in the first three championships.

Arizona was a road dog by 21.5 points in October and defeated Oregon 31-21.

SEC – Alabama vs. Missouri

Alabama is 11-1 SU and 4-8 ATS, while Missouri is 10-2 SU and 8-4 ATS.

Alabama meets Missouri for the SEC championship at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, Georgia.

Alabama opened as the favorite by 10.5 points but that has increased already to 13 points.

In the SEC championship, the underdog is 11-10-1 ATS.

The SEC West is 5-0 SU in the past 5 SEC championship games. Missouri lost in last year’s championship to Auburn by 17 points as a favorite by 2.5 points.

The teams last met in 2012 with Alabama winning 42-10.

ACC – Florida State vs. Georgia Tech

Florida State is undefeated at 12-0 SU and 3-9 ATS, while Georgia Tech is 10-2 SU and 5-1 ATS.

Florida State will defend its ACC title against Georgia Tech at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Florida State was a 5.5-point favorite to open but it is now just 4 points.

FSU is 3-1 SU and 2-2 ATS in its four prior trips to the ACC Championship. Georgia Tech is 1-2 SU in its three trips.

The two played in the ACC Championship in 2012 with FSU winning 21-15.

Big 10 – Ohio State vs. Wisconsin

Ohio State is 11-1 SU and 7-5 ATS, while Wisconsin is 10-2 SU and 7-5 ATS.

Ohio State plays Wisconsin for the Big 10 title in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Wisconsin is favored by 4 points.

The underdog is 1-2 SU in the 3 prior Big 10 championship games.

Wisconsin is 2-0 SU in two Big 10 title games and Ohio State is 0-1 SU.

T.J. Barrett the OSU quarterback is out with broken ankle.

Ohio State is 4-1 SU in its past 5 games head to head with Wisconsin.

Getting You Ready for Some Good Thursday Night Action

Mike Pouncey's return has helped stabilize the Dolphins' offensive line.

Buffalo (O/U 50) at Miami (-6) – Back in week two of the 2014 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins headed to Western New York fresh off of a season-opening win over New England. Buffalo was returning home following an overtime win Chicago to open the season. Oddly enough, the two AFC East rivals meet for the final time this season and again have identical records.

At 5-4 the stakes couldn’t be any higher in an incredibly deep AFC Playoff race. New England controls the division at 7-2 and both the Dolphins and Bills still have road trips to Foxboro in their future plans. Miami is 1-1 in the division while Buffalo is 2-1 but the pressure is really on the Bills here.

Their conference record is just 2-4 while Miami’s is 4-2. With so many teams still alive in the AFC tie-breakers are crucially important. In order for the Bills to win, they must get something out of their 26th ranked offense. Miami boasts the fourth-best defense in the league right now so the task will not be easy.

Conversely, Miami has to deal with Buffalo’s fifth-ranked defense so I don’t expect a whole lot of scoring in this one.

Key Injuries: BUF RB Fred Jackson QUEST/Groin, WR Sammy Watkins QUEST/Groin… MIA TE Dion Sims OUT/toe, RB Lamar Miller QUEST/Shoulder

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in six of Buffalo’s last eight games when playing on the road in Miami… The Dolphins are 4-2 straight up in their last six games at home against Buffalo… The Bills are 2-4 against the spread in their last six trips to Miami… The Fins are 4-2 SU in their last six games

The Pick: I like Miami to win but I think that number is too much. Take Buffalo getting the points and take the UNDER.

Gunner Kiel has been impressive as the Bearcats' starting QB this season.

East Carolina (-2.5) at Cincinnati (O/U 68.5) – The Pirates are coming off a 20-10 loss to Temple where they committed seven turnovers. The Bearcats are just a game behind ECU and would jump ahead of them with a victory.

Cincinnati has won three-straight following a three-game losing streak that saw losses to Big Ten leader Ohio State, AAC leader Memphis and Miami, FL. Gunner Kiel has thrown 20 touchdown passes to just three interceptions.

Both teams have proven they can score but I think the Pirates defend better.

Trends: East Carolina is 1-4 against the spread in their last five games… The total has gone UNDER in six of Cincinnati’s last eight games when playing ECU… The Pirates are 5-1 straight up in their last 6 games… The total has gone UNDER in four of the Bearcats last six games at home.

The Pick: In a close one, take ECU to cover and the UNDER.

Cal (O/U 72) at USC (-14.5) – Sonny Dykes has the Bears a win away from being bowl-eligible which is a big step forward from last year’s 1-11 record but the Trojans have had their number of late. Cal doesn’t have any problem scoring as they rank fourth in the nation but their defense is almost dead-last.

That should open up things form Trojans’ QB Cody Kessler who I expect will have a big game.

Trends: Cal is 8-17 against the spread in their last 25 games… USC is 5-0 straight up in their last five games at home against Cal… The total has gone UNDER in four of the Bears’ last five games when playing on the road at USC… The total has gone UNDER in 14 of the Trojans’ last 20 games at home.

The Pick: Because Cal can score, I like them getting the points and take the OVER here.

Battle of Ohio Round One On Tap for Tonight

Can Brian Hoyer find some consistency tonight on the road in Cincinnati?

Two games for your Thursday night football experience.

Cleveland (+7) at Cincinnati (O/U 45) – At 5-2-1, the Cincinnati Bengals lead the AFC North. Their rivals to the North are 5-3. Thus for the first time in a long time these two teams are playing a very crucial game. Also in the division is 6-3 Pittsburgh and 5-4 Baltimore making the AFC North the only division in football with all four teams above .500.

Besides these four teams, there are six others in the AFC that are above .500 as well which means every game for these teams is even more crucial. Falling even a game behind can spell doom not just for the division title but for the wild-card as well.

Neither team is heading into to this game at 100%. The Bengals are without leading tackler Vontaze Burfict and will also be without top cornerback Leon Hall. Meanwhile the Browns are without their top tight end Jordan Cameron so both teams are without key parts of their teams.

The Bengals’ A.J. Green will give it a go with his bad toe and could finally make an impact for the Bengals’ offense after weeks on the sidelines. My gut feeling tells me he will see some action but I don’t know how much of a factor he’ll be.

Both teams are scoring just over 20 points per game and both teams are surrendering about 20 points per game as well. The seven-point spread therefore I find a little large but the Bengals are pretty good home. The major question for Cleveland is Brian Hoyer who has been inconsistent of late. If he gets off to a rough start tonight, could Johnny Manziel finally get his shot?

Key Injuries: CLE TE Jordan Cameron OUT/CONCUSSION, CIN LB Vontaze Burfict OUT/Knee, RB Giovanni Bernard DOUBT/HIP

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in four of Cleveland’s last five games… The Bengals are 12-2-1 against the spread in their last 15 games at home… The Browns are 5-14 straight up in their last 19 games against the Bengals… The total has gone OVER in eight of the Bengals last 11 games at home.

The Pick: I think this game is played in the 20’s and I’ll take the Browns getting those seven points. Take the OVER as well.

Dabo Swinney and the Tigers head to Wake Forest as heavy favorites.

Clemson (-21) at Wake Forest (O/U 42.5) – The Demon Deacons come into this one averaging barely over 14 points per game while they give up almost 25 points per game defensively. Despite having to replace Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant on offense, the Tigers have managed to piece together a 6-2 record to this point.

The Tigers have won five in a row in this series and they’ve beaten Wake in eight of their last 10 games. The Deacons have lost four straight games by an average margin of 19.7 points per game. In the meantime, Clemson has won their last five games by an average margin of 15.2 points per game.

Key Injuries: CLEM QB Deshaun Watson OUT/Hand

Trends: Clemson is 6-3 straight up in their last nine games at Wake Forest… The total has gone UNDER in four of the Demon Deacons last five games at home against Clemson… The total has gone UNDER in 17 of the Tigers’ last 25 games on the road… Wake Forest is 2-4 against the spread in their last six games at home.

The Pick: With QB Watson out, I think the Tigers’ offense struggles a bit so take Wake Forest getting the points and take the UNDER as well.

[UPDATE]: Clemson HC Dabo Swinney says that QB Desean Watson will start at QB. If this holds true than take the Tigers to cover.

Saints, Panthers in a Key NFC South Showdown While the Seminoles Visit Louisville in College Football

Cam Newton needs to engineer some points if the Panthers are going to beat the Saints tonight.

Thursday night brings two very big games to us with one fro the National Football League and one from College Football. Even though both teams are under .500, tonight’s game between New Orleans and Carolina is for the lead in the NFC South.

Meanwhile, the defending national champion Florida State Seminoles invade Papa John’s Stadium to play ACC newcomer Louisville. If anyone is expecting the ‘Noles to walk out with an easy win then they need to remember the Cardinals are not exactly new to the big game scene.

New Orleans (-3) at Carolina (O/U 48.5) – I take no pride in saying the NFC South is the worst, or at least the most disappointing, division in professional football. At 3-4-1, the Panthers currently lead while the under-achieving Saints are 3-4. New Orleans appears to have gotten back on track now with a big win over Green Bay but that was in the Superdome where the Saints always play well.

This game is on the road though and if the Panthers’ defense plays as well as they did against Seattle then they’ll have a fighting chance. The problem is the inconsistency on offense. New Orleans is going to score at some point but the Panthers must score some points of their own and not put all the pressure on their defense to keep in the game.

Look for Carolina to try and establish the running game early to give Cam Newton more time to find his receivers. Saints’ defensive coordinator Rob Ryan will of course be bringing the heat so the Panthers’ offensive line has to be up to the task.

Trends: New Orleans is 3-9 against the spread in their last 12 games against Carolina… The Panthers are 4-2 straight up in their last six games at home against the Saints… The total has gone UNDER in nine of New Orleans’ last 11 games on the road against Carolina… The total has gone UNDER in 10 of the Panthers’ last 14 games at home.

Key Injuries: NO – Jimmy Graham Shoulder QUEST, CAR – DeAngelo Williams Ankle QUEST

The Pick: As bad as the Saints have been defensively, I think they are starting to put some things together. Take them to cover and the UNDER.

College Football

I think Jimbo Fisher and his Seminoles are in for a battle tonight.

Florida State (-3.5) at Louisville (O/U 50.5) – When I initially started writing this piece, the ‘Noles were favored by as many as seven points. I’m not sure what is causing the rapid drop other than the issues with running back Karlos Williams but I’m not sure even that has the power to move the line like this.

Either way, I expect FSU to struggle with the Cards. Louisville is no stranger to big games and Bobby Petrino isn’t either. The Cards most recent of their two losses was 23-17 at Clemson. The Seminoles needed overtime at home to defeat Clemson by the same exact score albeit was without Jameis Winston.

Cards’ QB Will Gardner has a completion percentage under 55% but has thrown for 11 touchdowns versus just two interceptions. If takes care of the ball Louisville will be right there in the end.

Trends: The Seminoles are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games… The Cardinals are unbeaten in their last five games at home… The total has gone OVER in seven of FSU’s last eight games on the road… The total has gone UNDER in five of Louisville’s last seven games at home.

Key Injuries: FSU C Austin Barron, Out-Arm

The Pick: I suspect the Seminoles will have some “Notre Dame hangover” but I think they score late to cover. Take the UNDER as well.

Another Great Saturday Slate for You to Consider

Kiffin Saban
Kiffin Saban
The combination of Lane Kiffin and Nick Saban is an odd one and their next challenge is in Knoxville.

Alabama (-17.5) at Tennessee (O/U 46.5) – It’s pretty much a shame that the focus of tomorrow’s game is less about the players and more about Lane Kiffin’s return to Knoxville. Kiffin is now the offensive coordinator at Alabama and was the coach at Tennessee for just one year 2009. His tenure was marked by stupid comments and a quick split out of town for USC.

The Vols have improved under Butch Jones but this program is still a few years away from truly competing at a high level. I expect the team to have its’ moments tomorrow but these guys are significantly over-matched by an Alabama team fresh off a 59-0 destruction of Texas A&M.

Trends: Alabama is 2-7 against the spread in their last nine games… The Vols are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games at home against Bama… The Crimson Tide are 18-2 straight up in their last 20 road games… The total has gone UNDER in five of Tennessee’s last seven games against Alabama in Neyland Stadium.

The Pick: Take the Tide to cover and the OVER.

The Paul Bunyan Trophy is what Michigan and Michigan State will battle for tomorrow.

Michigan (+17.5) at Michigan State (O/U 49.5) – The Backyard Brawl in recent years has been more like the “Spartan Beat Down” as Michigan State has dominated the series winning five of the last six. Brady Hoke is no longer on the hot seat in Ann Arbor, he’s a dead man walking and sure to be replaced this winter.

Things couldn’t be better in East Lansing where Mark Dantonio has built the Spartans into a national powerhouse behind toughness, discipline and difference-making players. Last year, the Spartans sacked Devin Gardner eight times in pounding the Wolverines 29-6.

The only way Michigan keeps this close is with their defense which has been pretty decent but I don’t think they are good enough to completely stop the Spartans which they would need to do to win.

Trends: Michigan is 8-16-1 against the spread in their last 25 games on the road… The total has gone OVER is eight of MSU’s last nine games… The Wolverines are 1-6 straight up in their last seven road games… The Spartans have won five straight since losing to Oregon.

The Pick: This one is over early. Take Sparty to cover and take the OVER.

Ole Miss (-4) at LSU (O/U 44.5) – LSU is 35-2 at home since 2009 and despite this being one of Les Miles’ weaker teams, this can’t be overlooked. At stake for the Rebels is obviously their unbeaten season. The thought of both Ole Miss and Mississippi State (who already beat the Tigers in Baton Rouge) being unbeaten when they play their season finales against each other is enough to boil over the Magnolia State.

The problem that LSU is facing is that the Ole Miss defense is darn good and the Tigers’ offense is struggling to find a QB and consistency. In order for LSU to pull off the upset, the Tigers’ defense will need a colossal effort to limit Bo Wallace and the Rebels’ offense.

Trends: Ole Miss is 1-5 straight up in its’ last six games when playing LSU in Death Valley… The Tigers are 0-5 against the spread in their last five games at home against the Rebels… The total has gone OVER in four of Ole Miss’ last five games when playing the Tigers… The total has gone UNDER in four of LSU’s last six games at home.

The Pick: Every time I count out Les Miles, he burns me. Take the Tigers at home and getting the points and take the UNDER as well.

Other Games of Note:

South Carolina (17) at Auburn (O/U 64.5) – Auburn covers, take the OVER

Mississippi State (-14) at Kentucky (O/U 59) – Take UK and the points, UNDER

Oregon State (+13) at Stanford (O/U 42) – Take the Beavers and the points, UNDER

Broncos Host the Chargers Tomorrow Night in a Key AFC West Showdown

Peyton Manning looks to do this several times Thursday night against the Chargers.

Thursday night offers us just two games on the gridiron with one being in the college game while the other is serious AFC West showdown between the Broncos and Chargers.

San Diego (O/U 51) at Denver (-7.5) – It’s hard to say that the San Diego Chargers were looking ahead to this game when they lost to the Chiefs at home on a field goal. Kansas City is a division rival and arguably was just as important as the game tomorrow night in Denver. Still, the Chargers dropped a game they probably shouldn’t have and now find themselves needing a win in Denver a little more than they did a week ago.

Can Philip Rivers out-duel Peyton Manning Thursday night?

In the Rocky Mountain State, all eyes have been on Peyton Manning who broke Brett Favre’s record for passing touchdowns in a career. As good as Manning has been in recent weeks, the Broncos’ defense has been pretty darn good as well. They limited the San Francisco 49ers and QB Colin Kaepernick to just 17 points which is pretty impressive.

Since November of 2011, the Broncos have beaten San Diego five of the last six times they’ve met including last season in the playoffs. The Bolts always seem to play the Broncos tough home or away so I expect that trend to continue. Denver will look to make life miserable for Philip Rivers while the Chargers will need to limit the big plays from Manning and company as well.

Trends: The Chargers are 4-2 straight up in their last six games playing on the road in Denver… The total has gone UNDER in four of Denver’s last six games against the Chargers… The total has gone UNDER in six of San Diego’s last nine games… The Broncos are 1-7-3 against the spread in their last 11 games against the Chargers at home in the Mile High City.

The Pick: I think we are in for a good game tomorrow night and although I like Denver to win, take the Chargers getting the 7.5 and I like the UNDER too.

College Football Thursday Night

Arkansas State (-3.5) at Louisiana-Lafayette (O/U 58) – This is a very interesting match-up that could go a long way towards deciding the Sun Belt Conference champion. Right now, the Red Wolves are 4-2 overall and 2-0 in conference play.

The Rajun Cajuns are 3-3 overall but they are also 2-0 in the conference. Both teams trail leader Georgia Southern who currently stands at 4-0 in the Sun Belt Conference. Neither team has Georgia Southern on the schedule this year.

Trailing both of them in the standings however is South Alabama who stands at 3-1. They have to travel to Arkansas State and Louisiana-Lafayette in back-to-back weeks starting November first.

What this all means is that the Sun Belt should start shaking itself out in the next couple of week.

Lafayette is one of the rare hidden gems in college football tailgating and the home-field provides quite a spark for the Cajuns. In their last four games against each other, they’ve split the series 2-2 with each posting a win at the other’s field.

Trends: The total has gone UNDER in four of Arkansas State’s last six games at ULL… The Red Wolves are 1-5 against the spread in their last six games against the Rajun Cajuns… Louisiana-Lafayette is 7-1 straight up in their last eight games when playing ASU at home… The total has gone UNDER in six of Arkansas State’s last seven games.

The Pick: Almost everything favors the Red Wolves tomorrow night and I’m not going to pass on that. Take them to cover and take the UNDER.