This Week in College Football Betting by the Numbers
by Aaron Smith - 11/1/2012
As we turn the page from October and into November, only six college football teams remain unbeaten. In last week’s article, I wrote about the fact that there were likely to be several unbeaten teams fall right away. Last Saturday there were five unbeaten teams who tripped up. While the national media will spend most of the time worrying about who will be ranked ahead of who if they all end the season unbeaten, keep in mind that there will be plenty of opportunities for these teams to drop a game before the end of the regular season.
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Oregon has dropped to No. 4 in the BCS rankings, and the Ducks aren’t very happy about it. The Ducks have a great chance to make a statement this weekend against USC. It won’t be an easy task, however, since this is no doubt a game that the Trojans had circled from Day 1. Lane Kiffin’s team has been a disappointment so far this year, but they are more than capable of knocking off an unbeaten team.
This weekend’s slate of games is impressive, so college football fans should be prepared for a big weekend of very competitive contests. Before betting on college football this weekend, here are some interesting numbers to look over.
0- The amount of sense it makes when Steve Spurrier says Alabama would be favored against some NFL teams. Every year, this argument comes up in some way or another and the answer is always the same. Spurrier should know better, because he was a professional coach for a short time. Of course, Spurrier only went 12-20 in the NFL, so he might not have much of an idea of how things truly work in the league. There is no comparison between college football and the NFL. NFL players run faster and hit harder, and the professional teams have no real weaknesses. If Alabama was favored against an NFL team, sign me up for the NFL team every time!
1- One really bad decision was made by four former LSU players. Tyrann Mathieu (“Honey Badger”), Jordan Jefferson, Derrick Bryant, and Karnell Hatcher were all arrested for possession of marijuana. Most notable of these is Mathieu, who was dismissed from LSU just before the season. Les Miles said he expected there to be a happy ending for Mathieu, but decisions like this one are making that far less likely.
1.93- Alabama’s rushing defense is allowing only 1.93 yards per carry so far this year. The Crimson Tide are giving up only 57 yards per game on the ground. With such a dominating front seven, it should be no surprise that opponents can only muster 8.1 points per game against the Crimson Tide.
3- The amount of dollars you would win on a four-team, $100 moneyline parlay wager on Fresno State, Northern Illinois, Stanford, and Louisiana Tech at 5Dimes. Take my word on this one; it isn’t worth the risk involved. Big upsets happen in college football, and laying the wood in these big parlays is a losing strategy in the long run.
10- The number of points Alabama is favored by in their matchup in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers according to odds from Bovada. Who would have thought before the season that Alabama would be double-digit favorites in a night game at LSU? This line tells me two things: the oddsmakers have a ton of respect for Alabama right now, and the oddsmakers have very little respect for LSU at the moment.
35- Northern Illinois is favored by 35 points against UMass this weekend, according to odds from Bookmaker. This is the biggest pointspread on the board this week. Those who follow this article on a weekly basis will note that this is the second week UMass’ opponent has the biggest spread on the board. Needless to say, UMass football has a lot of room for improvement.
50- The Lock Haven Bald Eagles, a Division II school from Pennsylvania, lost their 50th straight game last Saturday. Lock Haven made a big comeback and took the lead with a minute left, only to lose on the final play of the game to Clarion. You have to feel bad for Lock Haven, and it’s hard to not root for the team to stop its losing streak soon!
103- Dustin Hopkins, kicker for Florida State, has already scored 103 points by himself this year. That is 10 points more than any other kicker in the nation. Somewhere Bobby Bowden is wondering why he couldn’t have a reliable placekicker when he was the head coach for the Seminoles!
250- BetOnline has posted BCS Championship matchup futures. The clear favorite is Alabama vs. Oregon at +250. Even though the Ducks are fourth in the current BCS rankings, bettors have a lot of faith in the Ducks. Not surprisingly, all the big favorites on these matchup futures include the Alabama Crimson Tide.