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This Week in College Football Betting By the Numbers
by Aaron Smith - 11/8/2012

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USC Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley

Last weekend was one of the best weekends a college football fan could ever hope for as far as highly-competitive games between top teams. The Alabama vs. LSU contest went right down to the wire, even though many expected the Crimson Tide to walk out of Baton Rouge with an easy win. There are quite a few fans who believe the Tigers should have won that game. No doubt both teams played at a very high level in that contest. Oregon ran through USC, 62-51, in a key win that kept their national title hopes alive.

There aren’t as many marquee matchups on this week’s schedule, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any dangerous games for highly-ranked teams. Alabama will need to stay wide awake after their big win at LSU, because they play a Texas A&M team that has looked great over the past few weeks. Collin Klein’s health is the big issue in Little Manhattan as the second-ranked Wildcats travel to take on TCU. Bill Snyder’s team definitely needs Klein to be at his best if they are going to stay in the national title hunt.

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With just three games remaining for most teams, the contests are getting more important by the week. Here are some important numbers to keep in mind when betting on college football this weekend.

0- The number of teams who are winless against the spread this year. Virginia had been the last team to beat the number, but the Cavaliers stunned North Carolina State last weekend. Virginia went into that game as a 10.5-point underdog, and they coasted to a 33-6 road victory.

1- Remember who the No. 1-ranked team was in the preseason? The USC Trojans were ranked first heading into the season, and they already have three losses this year. Matt Barkley is having another phenomenal year, but he didn’t return for his senior season to put up big statistics. Lane Kiffin is starting to get some heat, deservedly, for this team’s disappointing 2012 season.

1- After LSU’s offense put up a surprisingly impressive offensive performance against Alabama last weekend, the Florida State Seminoles now have the top-ranked defense in the nation. The Seminoles are giving up only 227 yards per game this year.

2- Joker Phillips was fired at Kentucky on Sunday effective at the end of the season. Phillips initially resisted the option to coach the team’s last two games, but after urging from players on the team he changed his mind. I’ve never understood firing a coach in the middle of the year and allowing him to stick around until the end of the year. Phillips said he regrets that he won’t get to see the major improvements coming next year for this Kentucky football team.

5- The Maryland Terrapins are now starting their fifth-string quarterback. Shawn Petty is a former scout team linebacker, and he practiced at quarterback just seven times this season. Petty was the team’s starter in last week’s 33-13 loss to Georgia Tech last weekend. It’s hard not to feel bad for the Terrapins, who have fought hard every game this year for new coach Randy Edsall. The oddsmakers are understandably downbeat on Maryland going into this weekend’s game. Clemson has been installed as a 31.5-point favorite against the Terrapins this week.

9- Southern Mississippi has lost its first nine games of the season after going 12-2 last year. Maybe Larry Fedora knew it was a good time to leave Hattiesburg? Fedora departed for Chapel Hill in the offseason, and this year’s team has been far worse than almost anyone could have imagined.

11- Auburn football players have a firm 11 p.m. daily curfew, and the coaching staff is getting really serious about enforcing that curfew. It was reported this week that the program has hired security guards to enforce the nightly curfew. Gene Chizik’s team is 2-7 and winless in the SEC. Looks like it’s going to take more than a well-enforced curfew to help this team pick up some victories!

14- The number of points that Florida State is favored by in their meeting with Virginia Tech at Blacksburg this weekend, according to odds from Bovada. Virginia Tech is 4-5 on the season, but they are 4-0 at home. It’s a major sign of how down this Hokies team is that they could be dogged to anyone by two touchdowns on their home field. Can Frank Beamer’s team pull off a big upset at home on Thursday night?

38.5- The biggest pointspread of the week. BYU is favored by 38.5 points against the Idaho Vandals on Saturday. Idaho is 1-8 on the year, and the Vandals have lost their last three games by a combined 102 points. BYU has lost four of its last seven games, but the Cougars are still huge favorites against the hapless Vandals.

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