Fourth Down and Inches
by Doc - 11/19/2008
This is the traditional week of big rivals, as some teams close out the 2008 season with their in-state or border state rival. One of those matchups this week features Indiana at Purdue. This game features the two worst teams in the Big Ten but has special meaning for Purdue, as this will be Coach Tiller's final game. In his 12 years at Purdue, Tiller has created an offensive powerhouse and led the conference's advancement into the 21st Century by creating a spread offense. He won a lot of games with his offense that always featured top-notch receivers and smart and accurate quarterbacks that could stretch the field. He gave opposing defenses fits and many have copied his style of offense.
His most famous quarterback that he developed was Drew Brees, who now plays with the New Orleans Saints. For several years I watched him in person tear up the Wisconsin defense and he has not missed a beat in the NFL. Back to this Saturday's game, one never knows what to expect, as over the years this contest his produced some head shaking results. Numerous times the team with the worse record pulls the upset and one has to wonder if Indiana could do that this year. In my opinion, I would say NO! The Boilers offense has not been good this year, but they still have the talent to strike. Indiana is banged up with numerous injuries and cannot wait for this season to end.
This will also be the final game for QB Painter and I look for him to have a stellar game. He completed 24-of-30 passes against a much better Iowa defense last week. Despite featuring two bottom feeder teams, the oddsmakers believe that this is great disparity and have installed Purdue as a double-digit favorite. I like Purdue but so does everyone else and that sometimes can be a trap. The posted total is 50 points and if this game goes over, Purdue will cover. This may be worth a look for a small parlay.
One of the matchups that has great BSC implications is BYU at Utah. If Utah wins this game they will be playing in another BSC bowl game. QB Max Hall is having another outstanding year for the Cougars, but I do question how good his receiving corps is. They struggled against TCU with four interceptions and only 274 total yards. This was their only loss on the season and it came via a blowout, 32-7. Utah mounted a comeback to beat TCU, 13-10, despite being outgained but QB Johnson is the real deal and I look for this senior to have another outstanding game. I like the homer in this game but keep in mind that 10 of the last 11 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. I think the difference for Utah is playing at home against a suspect BYU defense.
Moving to the East Coast we find the annual North Carolina/North Carolina State rivalry. Both teams have played well at various times this season and both have made quarterback changes. North Carolina has not announced their starter yet but traditionally in these types of rivalry games the underdog is worth a serious look. When the line is double-digits it is very inviting considering that the Tar Heels have had trouble scoring points. Yes, I am still bitter about the Tar Heels losing to Virginia Tech, as that cost us our College Game of the Year.
In closing about rivalry games, often times the oddsmakers do not adjust to the emotions involved and in most the underdog is the side that will grab the money more times then not. Many of these kids know each other from nearby high schools and often times give a little extra since bragging rights will last for one year.
The NFL is now starting to take shape and it appears that the New York Giants will be heading back to the Super Bowl from the NFC. This team appears to have it all with a strong defense, a powerful running game, and a quarterback that can make plays through the air. They still have some work to do to clinch the No. 1 seed in the NFC, as Carolina and Arizona are hot on their tail. The Giants can put some distance between themselves and the Red Birds this week when the travel to Arizona. The Cardinals are 7-3 and many believe that this franchise has turned the corner after decades of losing. But you will not find that coming from this writer, as they are winning games merely by default, as the NFC West is terrible and Arizona could likely lose out and still win that division. This will be a big test for Arizona to see if they are pretenders or contenders. That being said, this team plays much better at home and will host a playoff game since they are a division winner.
As for our selection service, we have had one of the toughest years this season compared to the other 37. As in any year, when you are hit with turnovers, your winning percentage will certainly drop and we have had our share. The past is the past and there is still a lot of football left and our goal is to finish strong and I fully expect that we will. Our sports are now in full swing and NBA and NHL have gotten off to solid starts and our college basketball season will have our first top play this Saturday. Please check our daily med for currently updates and possible big plays that will surface.
I hope you have enjoyed reading this weekly article, as this will be the last one for 2008 with the Big Ten season coming to a close. Be sure to check back next August for our Big Ten preview and best of luck this holiday season.
Best of Luck,