Is This Finally the Year the SEC Doesn’t Get the Title?

Can anyone outside the SEC end their streak and that of A.J. McCarron as well?

The Southeastern Conference has dominated college football for sometime now. They’ve won the last seven BCS National Championships which has been spread over four teams. Alabama, Florida, LSU and Auburn have all claimed titles during that stretch and this year is set up to be the same scenario.

Alabama is the clear favorite to win a fourth national title in the last five years but the SEC around them is still very tough. The majority of SEC teams return their quarterbacks to the field and that list includes Heisman Trophy Winner Johnny Manziel, Florida’s Jeff Driskel and Georgia’s Aaron Murray.

Perhaps the more impressive thing about the SEC is the teams that used to always be considered ‘bottom-feeders’ have made themselves competitive and forces to be reckoned with in 2013. Ole Miss had an amazing recruiting class that many listed in the top ten in the nation while Vanderbilt comes off of a bowl appearance. Mississippi State and Kentucky will also pose difficult challenges for fellow-conference opponents.

It’s going to be hard to knock Alabama with returning quarterback A.J. McCarron and a host of other guys that includes T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper but there will be teams looking to take advantage of any slip-ups. LSU, South Carolina and Georgia could all represent the SEC in the final BCS National Championship Game.

Let’s assume for a minute and I know the SEC folks would scoff at the idea, but let’s talk about teams outside the SEC that could end the South’s dominance. Teams listed with current odds from Bovada.

Miller and the Buckeyes have the best shot at dethroning the SEC in 2013.

Ohio State 13-2 The Buckeyes have everything set up for them. They come off a 12-0 season in which they were banned from a bowl game but not anymore. Braxton Miller returns to QB and Urban Meyer has proven he wins titles pretty quickly. The schedule could not be better either with a weak non-confernce slate followed by home games with Wisconsin, Penn State and Iowa. The only tough road game is the finale at Michigan.

Oregon 13-2 The Ducks enter their first season without former Head Coach Chip Kelly who is now in Philadelphia. Former offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich takes over a talented Oregon team with Marcus Mariota and D’Anthony Thomas both back. The Ducks have to travel to Washington, Arizona and Stanford but the rest of the schedule sets up nicely.

Stanford 16-1 The Cardinal comes off a Rose Bowl win over Wisconsin and returns QB Kevin Hogan. They get the Ducks in Palo Alto as well as Notre Dame at home too but must go on the road to USC and Oregon State. If the Cardinal can find a replacement for running back Stepfan Taylor they could be a factor.

Florida State 20-1 The offensive line and secondary will be strengths this year but the ‘Noles must replace quarterback E.J. Manuel and defensive end Bjoern Werner. FSU opens the season with a conference game at ACC-newcomer Pitt and has road games at Clemson and in the Swamp against Florida.

Louisville 22-1 Let’s be real. The Cardinals must go undefeated to even have a shot but that isn’t unrealistic with QB Teddy Bridgewater returning from a team the whipped Florida in the Sugar Bowl. The ‘Ville goes on the road to Kentucky, South Florida, UConn and Cincinnati. If they can get through those, a BCS Title Game bid will be a possibility.

For any team outside the SEC to have a shot they will need to take care of their own business. With the imperfect system however, they’ll also have to have some help too and that means SEC teams knocking off each other. Even with that it still might not matter.

Urban Meyer Exposed?

The Aaron Hernandez situation isn't doing Urban Meyer any favors as his time at Florida is being dissected.

If you had money on current Ohio State Head Football Coach Urban Meyer speaking up before National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell would then you are the big winner! Collect your prize at the door on the way out and thanks for playing!

The former Univeristy of Florida head coach broke his silence regarding former Gator Aaron Hernandez’s arrest on murder and gun-related charges in the June death of Hernandez’s ‘friend’ Odin Lloyd. Why Meyer would be required to speak on the issue at all is only because of the attention to Hernandez’s time in Gainesville as a member of the football program that won two national titles under Meyer.

It’s been reported by numerous media outlets that Hernandez failed numerous drug tests at Florida but they were covered up. Meyer’s text message to the Columbus Dispatch is that, “Hernandez was held to the same drug testing policy as every other player.” Take from that what you will but a bigger picture has emerged about Meyer’s tenure at Florida.

The New York Times’ Greg Bishop reported that there were 31 arrests at Florida while Urban Meyer was the head coach from 2005 through 2010. One of the major incidents during Meyer’s coaching career in the blue and orange came in 2007. Aaron Hernandez was a 17-year old freshman who may have been involved in a shooting outside a nightclub that left two men wounded.

According to ESPN’s “Outside the Lines,” police in Boston are working with police in Gainseville in an attempt to find out just what Hernandez’s level of involvement was in the incident. Two other former Gators that were allegedly present were Tim Tebow and Maurkice Pouncey. Tebow in a bar with Hernandez? I can’t imagine it either…

Jenkins probably thought his comments were helping Urban Meyer but I don't think so.

Regardless of Hernandez’s involvement in that case, Meyer has now put himself out there in defense of his Florida years. Perhaps the biggest indictment of Meyer running a less than stand-up program came from often troubled Gators’ defensive back Janoris Jenkins. Jenkins, who is now with the St. Louis Rams in the NFL, played for Coach Meyer but was kicked off the team when new coach Bill Muschamp came to Gainesville.

In a 2011 article in the Orlando Sentinel, Jenkins basically outed Meyer after he was booted from the team. “No doubt, if Coach Meyer were still coaching, I’d still be playing for the Gators,” says Jenkins, a star cornerback and a potential first-round draft pick whom Muschamp booted from UF’s team after being arrested twice for possession of marijuana during the offseason. “Coach Meyer knows what it takes to win.”

That isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. It appears both Meyer and the University of Florida put winning and the almighty dollar ahead of anything having to do with the word ‘discipline.’

So where does this leave the Ohio State University? For right now, it leaves them unaffected. The problem is that OSU is already coming off a period of probation because a head coach known for ‘discipline’ did nothing to stop his players from getting tattoos in exchange for memorabilia. Expectations are extremely high for the Buckeyes who come off a 12-0 season. They are ranked in the top five of many preseason polls and are favored to play for the Big Ten Championship.

Should the Hernandez investigation open more ‘Pandora’s Boxes’ that further implicate Meyer as a guy who didn’t have control over his Gators, then it could get ugly again in Columbus. The passionate OSU fan base doesn’t deserve another major crisis in the football program but winning apparently is everything in college football today. Be careful on futures’ wagering with the Buckeyes as this story unfolds.




Is Something Amiss in College Station?

Sumlin is starting to find out that life in the spotlight isn't so wonderful.

When last we saw the Texas A&M football team the Aggies were coming off the field in Cowboys Stadium following a 41-13 thrashing of Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl. The victory was the ultimate ‘cherry-on-top’ of an 11-2 season highlighted by their inaugural season in the Southeastern Conference, a win at #1 Alabama and of course a only the school’s second Heisman trophy winner in Johnny Manziel.

The offseason started decently enough despite quarterbacks’ coach Kliff Kingsbury leaving to become the Head Coach at Texas Tech. He was replaced by a former colleague and excellent QB coach in his own right Jake Spavital who will be looked on to further the career of Manziel.

Then for some reason things have suddenly gone a bit wrong down in College Station.

A week ago in this space I discussed Manziel and his chances for a Heisman repeat. This came on the heels of an incident where Manziel tweeted “he couldn’t wait to get out of College Station. ” This immediately sent the college football world into whirlwind of activity and speculation. As we soon came to find out, Manziel was merely expressing his frustration over getting a parking ticket on campus. I’ve been there before so I get his feelings but I’m not sure Manziel really understands just yet how much of a microscope he is now under compared to this time last year.

Manziel is finding out just how much attention is paid a returning Heisman winner and it isn't all fun.

The news didn’t stop there though. Soon after, information was discovered that prior to his Heisman-winning campaign, he was very nearly suspended by the University for the season.

Earlier in the year, Manziel was part of a bar fight in which he was found to be in possession of a fake I.D. This isn’t taken lightly at many schools but Texas A&M isn’t one of them as they are known for firmer discipline. Manziel was ready to transfer as he confirmed in a story with Texas Monthly. Cooler heads eventually prevailed as Head Coach Kevin Sumlin was able to convince the University that the discipline Manziel was facing through the athletic department was more than enough punishment.

What his comeuppance was is anyone’s guess but it doesn’t look good especially in this day of the pampered college athlete. Manziel recently announced he was ‘taking a break from twitter’ in order to avoid distractions. While he may be avoiding them, his teammates are not.

Two projected starters on the defensive side of the ball turned themselves in this week and are facing charges of assault in Brazos County, Texas. According to reports, Floyd Raven, Sr. and Deshazor Everett were involved in a fight at a bar which later moved to an apartment complex where Everett lived.

The report states that two other men were upset about being sprayed with champagne by the two Aggies’ players and things then escalated outside. They are currently suspended from all team activities.

There’s a very good chance this all just ‘boys being boys’ but whatever it is, it doesn’t look good.

Texas A&M has a long tradition of football but over the last ten years or so, the team has been quite mediocre. With Sumlin coming over from a very successful stint at the University of Houston and orchestrating an 11-2 season, there is tremendous pressure and attention now.

A&M is pushing forward with a major renovation to Kyle Field. The construction will start after this season and by 2015 the stadium could hold as many 109,000 fans which would be second only to Michigan. It would easily be the largest stadium in the SEC.

With so much going on in College Station, I have to wonder if the Aggies can repeat their success or improve on last year’s record. Right now I’m inclined to say “no.”


Heisman Trophy Sleepers for 2013

The speedy Lache Seastrunk is one of my long-shot picks for the Heisman in 2013.

Because I cannot get past the fact that football is right around the corner I feel like I just have to comment on it these days. The National Basketball Association season is over and the National Hockey League season could very well come to an end tonight. That means we are left with baseball, Wimbledon and a few other fringe sport activities (don’t kill me for that soccer fans).

Earlier this week I broke down some reasons as to why or why not Johnny Manziel could repeat as the Heisman Trophy winner. There are of course other front-runners like Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron and T.J. Yeldon. I think now more than ever however we must take time to look at some guys who really aren’t on the radar right now and the reason I say that is because of last year.

Did any of you or any experts for that matter have a freshman quarterback by the name of Johnny Manziel among the top 10 potential Heisman winners last summer? If you are claiming “yes” then you are either a pathological liar or incredibly clairvoyant. But this is exactly why looking at some guys who are nowhere near the top of most oddsmakers lists is crucial and is a good reason for you to consider some wagering options on them. These are strictly guys I think could be in New York come December if things go right for them.

Lache Seastrunk, RB Baylor 20/1Why he’s there? Speed and dynamic ability are what this redshirt sophomore brings to the table in Baylor’s wide-open offense. He was the Big 12 newcomer of the year last season and if the Bears are in the conference title race, he’ll be a big reason why. Why he’s not? It took Robert Griffin III two seasons to truly generate the attention necessary to earn his Heisman and the Bears’ defense gave up almost 38 points per game last year.

Gardner will force defenses to play the pass as well as the run in 2013.

Devin Gardner, QB Michigan 33/1Why he’s there? He’s more of a dual-threat than Denard Robinson because he throws very well and could rack up good numbers both in the air and on the ground. Why he’s not? If Michigan cannot improve on their 8-5 record from last year then it’s a moot point. They must be in contention for a BCS game in December.

Jeff Driskel, QB Florida 40/1Why he’s there? If Driskel can throw the ball better than last season and he can navigate a couple of tough games in the first half of the season I believe he’ll be there. Why he’s not? The Gators have six road games including Miami, LSU and South Carolina plus they have many key players from last year’s Sugar Bowl team off to the pros.

Ka’Deem Carey, RB Arizona 40/1Why he’s there? Because Rich Rodriguez’s offense is often overlooked as being ‘RB friendly.’ Carey can run and catch the ball well which will give him a ton of touches. Why he isn’t? The Wildcats will be breaking in a new QB and that often spells trouble especially early in the season.

Blake Bell, QB Oklahoma 40/1Why he’s there? Bell is not your typical OU QB. At 6’6″ and 240lbs he was used primarily in big formations and ran for 11 TDs on 60 carries last season. His ability to balance the Sooners’ offense could be huge. Why he isn’t? Let’s face it, the Sooners and Bob Stoops have under-achieved recently and can he adapt to more of a dual-threat type guy? Big games will dictate his chances.


Irish National Title Hopes Take a Dive With Loss of Golson

Everett Golson
Everett Golson
With Golson suspended for the season, who can Notre Dame turn to at quarterback?

The chances that the University of Notre Dame was going to make a return trip to the BCS National Title Game were slim enough heading into the past week but now the chances have dwindled even further. It was reported and later confirmed by Everett Golson himself that the star quarterback for the Irish had indeed been suspended and will not play in 2013.

The official announcement from both Notre Dame and Golson is that he is no longer enrolled at the University. The official reason is “poor academic judgment.” Let’s be really honest here shall we? Do any of us really believe that’s what this is really about? Notre Dame and every other major college football program will do anything and everything to make sure their respective players are eligible with very few exceptions.

I’m not suggesting the Golson was involved in anything criminal, but I am hinting at the possibility that this is much larger than just failing a class or two. Starting QBs at the top schools in America are not “ineligible” everyday ya know and I smell something far greater than what is being offered. Believe me, I hope I’m wrong but something just isn’t right here.

The Las Vegas Hotel and Casino SportsBook almost immediately dropped the Irish from 30-1 all the way to 50-1 and we are still 100 days or so from the start of the 2013 college football season. Certainly sports books like this one will alter those odds as the season approaches and a lot of that will depend on who Head Coach Brian Kelly goes with as his signal-caller.

Brian Kelly
Kelly has few solid options as he looks to replace Golson.

Kelly has a couple of different options and is sure to play the decision as close to his vest as possible heading into the season. The options right now for Kelly aren’t all that enticing but do offer him some different skill sets and experience with each.

The odds-on-favorite right now would have to be senior Tommy Rees who has started 18 career games but has often been in and out of Kelly’s doghouse. Behind him would be fourth-year junior Andrew Hendrix and then Spring enrollee Malik Zaire. Hendrix has career numbers of 23 of 44 for 304 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions.

In Rees’ career, he has thrown for over 4,400 yards and has 34 touchdown passes to 24 interceptions. I have to believe he will be the starter for the August 31st opener against Temple in Notre Dame Stadium but stranger things have certainly happened. In terms of what Zaire brings to the table, he’s a much more athletic guy than Rees and is a true dual-threat QB although he is all that fast. His forty time is clocked at just under five flat.

The question with Zaire is does Kelly burn his redshirt that he had planned to use on the youngster this year? Notre Dame was the thirteenth most bet on team so far in terms of winning the national title this year which tells us a lot of people felt like they still had a lot of talent around them despite losing Tyler Eifert, Manti T’eo and company.

There is one long-term option in Wes Lunt, a QB looking to transfer from Oklahoma State. He listed Notre Dame as a potential landing spot, but would not be eligible until next season.

Regardless of the direction Brian Kelly chooses to go, Notre Dame will still be a good football team in 2013. Will they be in the hunt for the National Title? I say “no” and I really never felt they were anywhere due to the losses I mentioned as well as those on the offensive line. Not a good day to be an Irish fan that’s for sure.

Paying College Athletes Could Change the Way You Wager

Jadeveon Clowney
Jadeveon Clowney
South Carolina would benefit greatly from a guy like Clowney getting paid, or would they?

The discussion over whether or not to play college athletes has gone on for a decade or more now, but only in the last year has the seriousness of such a thing really become a hot button issue. The idea of the student-athlete really doesn’t apply the way it did 50 years ago in my opinion especially in the big money sports of college football and college basketball.

Those two departments account for nearly all of an athletic department’s budget with some exceptions. If you have ever wondered why FBS schools keep scheduling seven and even eight home games, your answer is money. Take for example Michigan and Tennessee. Both schools have football stadiums that hold well over 100,000 people on any given Saturday in the fall.

Both have also seen their share of ups and downs over the last 10 years. The fact that both schools have good football traditions is notwithstanding, because the issue is about success now, not then. If either of those schools fail to fill their stadiums then that is a significant loss not just for the university, but for the other athletic departments as well.

Back to the topic at hand… 50 years ago, student-athletes were paid for playing in the form of full scholarships which paid their tuition, room and board, books and anything else academically related. In their infinite wisdom, the NCAA decided to impose some of the most archaic and ridiculous rules known to collegiate existence. For example, your teammate’s parents come to town for a game and invite you out to dinner with them. Uh-oh! The NCAA says it would be a violation for you to have your dinner paid for by them. And since you aren’t allowed to have a job, you have little spending money.

Denard Robinson
How much money would these have generated for 'Shoelace' Robinson?

Of course the bigger issue is the money these athletes bring in on their own name, errrrrrr, number I should say. In 2011, the President of the NCAA put the hammer down on any thought of players making money on their own jersey selling. Can you imagine if Michigan’s Denard Robinson was getting even a percentage of those sales? Or Robert Griffin III for example? The issue is of course equality. A left guard at Eastern Washington probably isn’t going to sell too many jerseys but why can’t that money from one or two players be divided up amongst the whole team?

If players do ever end ujp getting paid or a ‘stipend’ as many like to call it, it will no doubt make you wager differently on Saturdays. You will need to pay closer attention to the injury reports because there is not doubt in my mind that any form of payment would be tied to games played or games dressed for if you follow NCAA logic.

I think it would also behoove you to pay close attention to top players around the country especially those on offense. Knowing that football players cannot leave until after three years removed from high school, will getting paid have an impact on their performance both early in their careers and late?

There was a lot of discussion about South Carolina’s Jadevon Clowney skipping his junior (and most likely final) season in order to avoid injury. He’s expected to be the top pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. If you think he is the only one thinking that then you’re crazy. While I fully expect Clowney to play this fall, will he be totally focused on the task at hand? Or will he throttle himself down in an effort not to get hurt?

Whether we like it or not, college football is changing and it will continue. You have to keep pace by monitoring these changes and how they could potentially affect your wagering decisions.

NCAA Moving in the Right Direction But Still Much to be Done for College Football Playoff

NCAA Football


NCAA Football
The NCAA is taking the right steps in getting a more appropriate championship, finally I might add.

Well college football fans, you are at long last finally getting your wish. Although we’ve known the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) was a lame duck for several months now, the commissioners of America’s major conferences along with Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick finally established a name and site for the new “playoff format.”

While the name, “College Football Playoff” might not exactly make you want to throw a party for its’ creativity, it probably is a solid choice as sometimes simplicity does the trick.

Six bowls, the Rose, Sugar, Orange, Fiesta, Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A will make up the rotation for the four-team playoff. Two of these sites each season will be on a rotating basis and will host the semi-final games on December 31st of each year starting in 2014. The inaugural title game will be held at Cowboys Stadium.

While this is certainly a step in the right direction (any step away from the BCS was a step in the right direction), I still believe this will ultimately move to an eight team playoff at some point in the next 10-15 years.

The biggest task the committee of conference commissioners and Mr. Swarbrick must address now is forming the selection committee that will ultimately decide what four teams are invited to the playoff.

In doing so, there are several things to keep in mind which first and foremost among them is the fact they need to keep this committee small. Any more than 12 members is overkill in my opinion.

Unlike the NCAA Basketball Tournament Committee which is made up of a bunch suits (athletic directors but is there a difference?) the football committee needs to be made up of ‘football people.’ The fact that the 64, errrr, 68 teams in March Madness are chosen by AD’s who haven’t paid a lick of attention to anyone outside their own school and conference is appalling and the opportunity to get it right for college football exists.

Let’s say we go with 11 members. This way you aren’t going to deal with any ties which would only further embarrass the NCAA. I would choose four coaches, four nationally-prominent college football writers/pundits and three former college football players. The pre-requisites would be pretty straight-forward. Any former coach or player must have been away from the game for four years or more. Writers/Pundits/Broadcasters would have to have a minimum of 10 years covering college football.


Tyrone Willingham
Willingham would be an excellent choice for the selection committee.

For example, here’s a committee I’ve put together for the inaugural season of the College Football Playoff.

Former Coaches: Lloyd Carr, Fisher DeBerry, Phillip Fulmer, Tyrone Willingham

Former Players: Barry Sanders, Herschel Walker, Bill Fralic

Media Members: Stewart Mandel, Gene Wojciechowski ESPN, Kirk Herbstreit ESPN, Pat Forde Yahoo Sports

I would recommend the NCAA have a facilitator in place but they are not to be a voting member on anything. Their job would simply be to organize and provide any information and/or criteria sought by the committee. While it isn’t realistic in any way to suggest that fans ever be a part of the selection process, this just might be the closest way for fans to get there.

Certainly rules would have to be in place to restrict coaches or players from participating should their former team be among the potential group of teams vying for the football final four. I don’t think it would be at all difficult to fin a substitute or two.

Keep in mind my suggestions for the committee are just examples. I’m not married to any of them, but they are though to give you a more concrete example. While the chances of this are slim and none, it would be a step in the right direction in terms of taking the game out of the hands of the suits and putting it back in the hands of the fans.

Baseball and College Football Kick Start Exciting Weekend


Ahead of the weekend’s busy NCAA and NFL football schedules, Friday night provides bettors with some captivating matchups. We start with the race for the American League Wild Card, a contest that continues to get closer by the day, before heading to Vegas for a college football teaser.

MLB: Tampa Bay Rays @ New York Yankees

Tampa Bay's trip to New York this weekend could have huge implications in the races for both the AL East title and the vacant Wild Card places.

Tampa Bay (77-66, 39-32 road) arrives in New York on the back of Thursday afternoon’s 14-inning epic against Baltimore. The Rays came out on the wrong end of a 3-2 scoreline, losing a third-straight against the Orioles. They now sit four games out of the second Wild Card place, behind Oakland, New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles Angels.

The Yankees (81-62, 40-34 home) arrive home from a 5-5 road trip that concluded with a 2-0 win in Boston last night. It was the first time in close to a month that the Yankees had recorded back-to-back wins. The win was enough to keep pace with the Orioles at the top of the AL East, after the Birds’ win earlier in the day.

Tampa has had New York’s number this season, winning 9 of 15. New York though has gone 4-2 against the Rays at the Stadium. Home advantage could well play a part not just tonight but throughout the weekend.

Both teams send their aces to the mound on Friday as David Price (17-5, 2.54 ERA) faces C.C. Sabathia (13-5, 3.56). Sabathia took the win when he faced Price in New York on May 10. Price beat Sabathia, again in New York, on June 7.

Sabathia and New York start as favorites with the moneyline reading -130 (New York) and +110 (Tampa Bay). The over/under is set at 8 runs. Take New York, both to beat the spread and win straight up, whilst going with the under.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles @ Oakland Athletics

Baltimore's epic win over Tampa on Thursday could hinder any chances of defeating Oakland on Friday night.

Baltimore (81-62, 39-30 road) makes the long trip to the West Coast after Thursday afternoon’s marathon victory over the Rays. Oakland (82-61, 45-26 home) fell to the Angels Thursday and will be looking to bounce back from the rare defeat.

Baltimore has held its own in the race for the AL East and a Wild Card berth but Oakland has been otherworldly. The team is 56-26 (.683) since June 10, and has only lost 15 games since the All-Star break.

Both teams send LHPs to the mound. For Baltimore, former-D’Back Joe Saunders (8-11, 4.22) will start. He’s 2-1 since joining the Orioles with a 4.24 ERA. Tom milone (12-10, 3.90) goes for the A’s. He’s limited opponents to two runs or less in three of his last four starts.

The A’s are -1.5 favorites with a +145 to beat the spread and +145 to win straight up. It’s hard to see a tired Baltimore team that has traveled 3,000 miles with a beat-up bullpen getting much out of this one. Put your money on Oakland. The 7.5-point over/under could really go either way. If it goes over, it’ll be because of Oakland’s bats, not Baltimore’s. Let’s say a tentative over.

NCAAF: Washington State @ UNLV

Washington State QB Jeff Tuel is unlikely to start, but the Cougars are still 8-point favorites as they visit UNLV.

Away from baseball, get ready for NCAA football on Saturday by taking a look at this Friday night (9 PM ET) fixture.

Washington State (1-1, 0-1 road) heads to Sam Boyd Stadium to take on UNLV (0-2, 0-2 home). UNLV has had a disappointing start to the season and will be looking for a home win at the third time of asking. For the record, the Rebels open the season with four straight at home.

After being dismissed by a Brigham Young side on its way to the AP rankings, the Cougars notched a victory over Eastern Washington last weekend. The Pac-12 side enters the game as 8-point favorites. Take the road team to beat the spread and win outright, while taking the under at 55.5 points.


That’s it. You’re all set. Friday’s night’s action should get you well and truly in the mood for Saturday’s full slate of college football and Sunday’s NFL action. Of course, Major League Baseball continues all weekend with some vital matchups.

If you’re looking for something interesting in each, go ahead and give these a try:

NCAAF:  (Saturday, 8 PM ET) #20 Notre Dame (2-0, 1-0 road) @ #10 Michigan State (2-0, 1-0 home)

NFL: (Sunday, 1 PM ET) Baltimore Ravens (1-0, 0-0 road) @ Philadelphia Eagles (1-0, 0-0 home)

MLB: (Friday – Sunday) St. Louis Cardinals (76-68, 33-39 road) @ Los Angeles Dodgers (74-70, 38-34 home)

Each of these fixtures is rife with importance and promises to be a close encounter worth testing oddsmakers’ lines over the weekend.