December 31, 2008
Atlanta Falcons vs. Arizona Cardinals 4:30 ET NBC
Not many forecasted this to be a Wild Card match-up at the beginning of the NFL betting season, nonetheless, the Atlanta Falcons (11-5, 9-7 ATS) will look to continue its unbelievable single season turnaround when it makes the trip to the desert to collide with the Arizona Cardinals (9-7, 9-7 ATS); kick-off is slated for 4:30 ET and the game can be seen nationally on NBC. The Falcons broke even for NFL bettors on the road this season by compiling a 4-4 ATS mark while Arizona produced a decent return posting a 5-3 home ATS record.
Atlanta clinched a playoff birth back in Week 16 with a win at Minnesota, and could have earned the #2 slot and a “Bye” if Carolina tripped up last week at New Orleans. The Panthers would have lost outright if not for K John Kasay’s late game heroics, so first year head coach Mike Smith and the Falcons must now head west for this wild card match-up.
Arizona tripped and stumbled its way to a 9-7 SU overall mark to get back to the post-season for the first time in 10 years. The Cardinals hope they can finally take their name off the list of teams that have never reached the Super Bowl this time around, but they’ll need to play a much better brand of football against stout competition in order to do so.
These clubs last met way back in Week 16 of the 2007 season in a game that saw the Cardinals escape with a three-point overtime win (30-27). That was just another cover for the Falcons in this series as they’ve been pointspread gold for football bettors against Arizona compiling a 4-1 ATS mark throughout the L/5 meetings. Atlanta’s also a perfect 4-0 ATS as road favorites of 0-3 points the L/4 times, and won in that role at Oakland 24-0 earlier this season. The Cardinals have been dreadful as an underdog of late going 2-7 ATS the L/9 times; they split in that role twice at home this season winning outright in overtime against the Cowboys and losing ATS to the Giants. This has also been a high scoring series with the over cashing for ‘total’ bettors in 6 of the L/7 meetings; it’s also a perfect 4-0 the L/4 times these teams have squared off in Arizona.
FINAL SCORE: ATLANTA 37 ARIZONA 30
This game simulation calls for an Atlanta cover and for the game to go over the posted ‘Total’. You can get Atlanta (-2) –110 and the over 51.5 –110 at BetOnline.com right now!!!
1 2 3 4 Final ATLANTA 10 6 7 14 37 ARIZONA 7 10 0 13 30
QB Matt Ryan: 23/38 244 yards 1 TD 1 INT
QB Kurt Warner: 26/42 359 yards 1 TD 0 INT
RB Michael Turner: 27 carries for 126 yards 1 TD Long of 37
RB Edgerrin James: 19 carries for 76 yards 2 TD Long of 8
WR Harry Douglas: 9 receptions for 109 yards 1 TD Long of 26
WR Anquan Boldin: 11 receptions for 174 yards 1 TD Long of 93
ATL AZ TOTAL OFFENSE 394 489 RUSHING YARDS 150 130 PASSING YARDS 244 359 1ST DOWNS 23 20 TOTAL YARDS 583 563 TURNOVERS 1 0 3RD DOWN CONV 12/27 44% 8/12 38% PENALTIES 7-80 5-53 TIME OF POSSESSION 32:07 26:58
The 2008-09 NFL Playoffs couldn’t have asked for a better start as both the Falcons and Cardinals looked as if they’d pull it out to advance to the next round. Both offenses flourished in the first half, but only Atlanta managed a score in the 3rd quarter that turned out to be the winning margin of victory. Newly elected offensive player of the year, Matt Ryan, put forth a solid showing in his first playoff start as the “feel good story of the year” propelled itself into the divisional round of the playoffs…
December 31, 2008
Atlanta Hawks (20-10) vs. Indiana Pacers (10-20)
Tuesday, December 30th — Conseco Fieldhouse, Indiana — 7:00pm EST
NBA Betting Line: Indiana -1 (206.5)
The Hawks have been chugging forward like a nuclear powered locomotive, going undefeated in their last 5 games and 5-1 ATS in their past 6 games. With dominating victories over Detroit and Denver in the past couple weeks, the Hawks are looking more like steady contenders and less like the flash-in-the-pan we presumed they might be.
Meanwhile, Indiana, despite holding a 113-96 win over Atlanta the last, has stumbled in the month of December. They’ve lost their last three games, and one of those games is against the Clippers. The Pacers looked dangerous after shocking the Lakers but fell off the grid very quickly after that. I’ve been singing the praises of T.J. Ford and Danny Granger, but the production of those two is offset by Josh and Joe in Atlanta. Somebody tell me who’s going to stop Al Horford? Jeff Foster? Please.
NBA Betting Free Pick: Atlanta +1 (OVER)
Cleveland Cavaliers (26-4) vs. Miami Heat (16-13)
Tuesday, December 30th — American Airlines Arena — 7:30pm EST
NBA Betting Line: Cleveland -5 (183.5)
The only reason I’m worried about this game is that Dwyane Wade and the Heat have gone 4-1 ATS and SU in their past 5 games. Against Cleveland, they’re also 4-2 ATS the last 6 times they met Cleveland on the hardwood. It’s probably due to a lot of factors, but none greater than Dwyane Wade taking his playing level to another planet when LeBron is on the court.
Wade blew up for 29 points and 8 helpers the last time they played Cleveland. Known as a one-man wrecking crew, Wade has the ability to take the responsibility of the win on his own shoulders. The problem is that he’s not getting any help from Marian or Beasley. Wade is averaging more points per game than Marion or Beasley…combined.
As good as Miami has been as of late, Cleveland is on a rampage. The Cavs have toppled every conceivable challenge and are only getting better while the Heat just stay stagnant. On a big stage, in a prime time matchup that everyone will be watching, expect LeBron to outshine his 2003 Draft classmate by thundering through a depleted Heat frontcourt that won’t be able to stop the size and swagger of the contending Cavaliers.
The long and the short of it is that the Cavs have not let down their betting faithful in a long time. They are 14-4 ATS in their last 18 games,
NBA Betting Free Pick: Cleveland -5 (UNDER)
December 31, 2008
The Philadelphia 76ers (12-18 SU, 12-18 ATS, 11-17-2 O/U) and Los Angeles Clippers (8-22 SU, 13-17 ATS, 14-16 O/U) are each riding four-game losing streaks coming into tonight’s matchup at the Staples Center in L.A. tonight.
The Sixers are coming off a disheartening 112-95 loss to the Utah Jazz on Monday, failing to cover the spread fro BetOnline NBA betting backers as 6.5-point underdogs just as I predicted in the BetOnline Locker Room that day.
"They’re a great team," Sixers interim head coach Tony DiLeo said of the Jazz, "but either we got tired or we lost focus and our defense let us down in the second half."
Second-year forward Thaddeus Young, along with shooting guard Andre Iguodala, each scored 17 points apiece in a losing effort.
The Clippers lost 92-90 to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, but managed to cover the spread for NBA sports betting enthusiasts as 2.5-point road underdogs in the BetOnline Sportsbook.
Veteran center Marcus Camby scored 15 points and pulled down a whopping 24 rebounds in a double-double for the Clippers while rookie shooting guard Eric Gordon scored a team-high 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting.
"We were the ones that kind of gave it away," said Clippers’ third-year center Paul Davis, who had a career-high 18 points. "Some things hurt us. We could have taken better shots when we had the chances. But we just have to move on."
Here is a look at tonight’s key trends, followed by my in-depth analysis and NBA Free Pick.
Philadelphia is 6-1 ATS in their last 7 games when playing on the road against LA Clippers
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 6 games when playing LA Clippers
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of the LA Clippers last 6 games when playing Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 5 games at home
LA Clippers are 4-1 SU in their last 5 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of the LA Clippers last 6 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
Philadelphia 76ers -3½ -110
Los Angeles Clippers +3½ -110
Over 188 -110
Under 188 -110
Analysis: As bad as the Sixers are playing right now, I believe they are going to march into the Staples Center tonight and walk out with a win over the offensively-challenged Clippers who have struggled to reach 90 points in each of their four losses.
NBA Free Picks: Sixers -3½ Points/Over 188½ Total Points
December 31, 2008
Baltimore Ravens vs. Miami Dolphins 1:00 ET CBS
Weather: Isolated showers with lows in the lower 60s and highs in the upper 70s.
The Baltimore Ravens (11-5, 12-3-1 ATS) will look to keep its Super Bowl dreams intact as it visits sunny Miami for the second time this season to do battle with fiery head coach Tony Sparano’s Dolphins (11-5, 8-8 ATS); kick-off is slated for 1:00 ET and the sports betting affair can be seen nationally on CBS. The Ravens were one of the best money-makers on the road this season after cashing ATS in 6 of their 8 games, while Miami struggled to cover the pointspread at home going a very poor 2-6 ATS.
With Pittsburgh clinching the AFC North division at Baltimore in Week 15, all the Ravens had to do last week was beat the Jacksonville Jaguars to go to the playoffs. They not only beat the Jags, but also covered the lofty 10-point spread to improve its mark to a phenomenal 6-1-1 ATS at home. This Ravens squad has been going at it for 15 consecutive weeks after they were forced to take their “Bye” in Week 2 after the game in Houston was postponed during the hurricane season. That hasn’t stopped Ray Lewis and company from destroying its opponents on a weekly basis. Though a large number of notable players are on IR, the Ravens made no excuses and went about their business every Sunday.
Miami is the story of the AFC for 2008. They went from being a 1-15 team a year ago to going 11-5 in ’08 and winning the AFC East. Bill Parcells made a huge impact in the front office, Tony Sparano turned out to be a heck of a hire as head coach, and Chad Pennington fell into their laps after he was exiled form NY after Favre came over from the Packers. Those three things helped the Dolphins franchise parlay what looked to be the doormat of the AFC East into a breath of fresh air that will allow the sunny shores of Miami to take in some post-season pigskin.
Like Indy & San Diego, these two teams hooked up during the regular season back in Week 7. Baltimore proved triumphant that day and escaped South Beach with a dominating 27-13 outright win as three-point underdogs. In fact, the underdog has cashed in each of these teams last four meetings. Miami is 6-1 ATS the L/7 times it was installed the decided underdog, but they’re a very poor 1-7-1 ATS the L/9 times they were installed a home underdog up to three points. Baltimore found itself in the road favorite position once this year, and passed the test with flying colors by pummeling Cincinnati 34-3 as seven-point choices. That said; that lone win was their first in eight tries in that role (1-8 ATS L/9).
FINAL SCORE: MIAMI 17 BALTIMORE 10
This game simulation calls for a Miami outright victory and for the game to go under the posted ‘Total’. You can get Miami (+3) +105 and the under 37.5 –110 at BetOnline.com right now!!!
1 2 3 4 FINAL BALTIMORE 0 7 3 0 10 MIAMI 0 7 0 10 17
QB Joe Flacco: 18/37 197 yards 0 TD 2 INT
QB Chad Pennington: 16/32 132 yards 1 TD 0 INT
RB Willis McGahee: 27 carries for 63 yards 1 TD Long of 13
RB Ricky Williams: 15 carries for 76 yards 1 TD Long of 8
WR Derrick Mason: 10 receptions for 90 yards 0 TD Long of 23
WR Davone Bess: 5 receptions for 51 yards 1 TD Long of 20
BAL MIA TOTAL OFFENSE 335 301 RUSHING YARDS 138 169 PASSING YARDS 197 132 1ST DOWNS 20 17 TOTAL YARDS 377 406 TURNOVERS 3 1 3RD DOWN CONV 7/26 26% 7/12 26% PENALTIES 5-50 2-30 TIME OF POSSESSION 28:08 31:52
The Ravens defense held its ground to make up for the offenses mistakes through three quarters, but Miami saw it all the way through with 10 unanswered points in the final stanza to pull off the outright upset. Rookie Joe Flacco threw for some decent yardage, but made a couple mental mistakes that squandered a couple Ravens’ scoring chances. QB Chad Pennington’s experience was all the Dolphins young offense needed to remain focused to pull off the comeback when it mattered most. It also helped that RBs Williams and Brown got the best of the Ravens “D” on the ground. This was a hard hitting game from the opening kick, and a game fans of both clubs won’t soon forget….
December 31, 2008
The Orlando Magic (24-7 SU, 20-10-1 ATS, 13-18 O/U) had their seven-game winning streak snapped in their 88-82 loss to the Detroit Pistons on Monday, failing to cover the spread as a 3.5-point road favorite. Dwight Howard netted a double-double with 18 points and 18 rebounds in the loss.
"We didn’t play well at all – we played their style of ball," said Rashard Lewis, who led Orlando with 23 points. "They slowed it down and made us play half-court basketball."
The Chicago Bulls scored 30 points in the fourth quarter to run away with a 100-87 victory over the New Jersey on Monday, covering the spread for BetOnline NBA Sports betting backers as 5-point road underdogs in the BetOnline Sportsbook. Ben Gordon led the Bulls with a team-high 24 points, and Derrick Rose tossed in 21 points with 13 assists.
"I was just taking what the defense was giving me, right when they would step up a teammate would be open so I was just making the open passes," Rose said after Monday’s victory.
The Bulls have won five straight at home to improve to 10-3 at the United Center this season.
"We’ve been struggling on the road all season and we really needed to get a win," guard Ben Gordon said.
Here is a look at tonight’s key betting trends, followed by my in-depth analysis and NBA Free Pick:
The Magic are 7-0 ATS in their last 7 when their opponent scores 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Magic are 4-0 ATS in their last 4 games as a favorite of 5.0-10.5.
The Bulls are 4-1 ATS in their last 5 after scoring 100 points or more in their previous game.
The Bulls are 17-35 ATS in their last 52 games following a ATS win.
The Under is 8-1 in Magic last 9 games as a favorite.
The Under is 8-1 in Bulls last 9 vs. a team with a winning S.U. record.
The Under is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings.
The Under is 9-2 in the last 11 meetings in Chicago.
The Underdog is 8-3 ATS in the last 11 meetings.
Orlando Magic -6 -110
Chicago Bulls +6 -110
Over 202 -110
Under 202 -110
Analysis: I know the Bulls have been nearly automatic at home this season, but I like the veteran Orlando Magic to bounce back from their road loss at Detroit with a solid effort against the young Bulls tonight.
Not only do I like Orlando to cover the spread, but get the outright road win as well.
NBA Free Picks: Orlando -6 Points/Over 202 Total Points
December 31, 2008
Philadelphia Eagles vs. Minnesota Vikings 4:30 ET FOX
The Philadelphia Eagles (9-6-1, 10-6 ATS) improbable run to the playoffs continues Sunday afternoon when it invades the HHH Metrodome to tangle with the Minnesota Vikings (10-6, 6-10 ATS) in the final playoff sports betting match-up of the weekend; kick-off is slated for 4:30 ET and the game can be seen nationally on FOX. The Eagles juiced out on the road for NFL bettors compiling a 4-4 ATS mark, while Minnesota struggled against the pointspread at home by going 3-5 ATS.
So many things had to go right in the morning session for the Philadelphia Eagles just to have a shot at going to the playoffs with a win against Dallas. Once everything shockingly went their way, the Eagles wasted no time in disposing of their lesser opponent and cruised to the decisive 44-6 home win and cover. After the dreadful tie at Cincinnati and pathetic effort at Baltimore, the Eagles won four of their last five both SU and ATS to close out their regular season campaign.
All Minnesota had to do last week was win against the Giants to secure themselves of a playoff seed. After finding themselves down 19-10 in the 3rd quarter, the Vikings offense rallied with 10 unanswered points to secure the SU win. It didn’t come without drama though as K Ryan Longwell’s last second FG attempt looked like a wounded duck, but it had just enough to sneak past the left upright too punch the Vikes tickets into the post-season.
These teams last met in October of last season where the Eagles went into Minnesota and upended the Vikings 23-16 as one-point road underdogs. Philly’s actually won four in a row both SU and ATS dating back to the 2001 season against the NFC North representatives. That said; the home team is 4-1 ATS the L/5 meetings, but Minnesota is a poor 0-4 ATS when installed a home underdog up to three points, and the Eagles are a solid 10-4 ATS their L/14 road games. Minnesota failed to cover the points against Indianapolis in the only game they were dogged at home this season, and the Eagles went 2-3 ATS as a road chalk.
FINAL SCORE: PHILADELPHIA 24 MINNESOTA 17
This game simulation calls for a Philadelphia cover and for the game to barely go under the posted ‘Total’. You can get Philadelphia (-3) –120 and the under 42 –110 at BetOnline.com right now!!!
1 2 3 4 FINAL PHILADELPHIA 7 7 7 3 24 MINNESOTA 0 3 7 7 17
QB Donovan McNabb: 16/26 151 yards 1 TD 1 INT
QB Tarvaris Jackson: 22/33 207 yards 1 TD 2 INT
RB Brian Westbrook: 29 carries for 144 yards 2 TD Long of 34
RB Adrian Peterson: 26 carries for 86 yards 1 TD Long of 27
WR DeSean Jackson: 5 receptions for 55 yards 1 TD Long of 17
WR Bernard Berrian: 7 receptions for 82 yards 1 TD Long of 22
3RD DOWN CONV
TIME OF POSSESSION
PHI MIN TOTAL OFFENSE 345 352 RUSHING YARDS 194 145 PASSING YARDS 151 207 1ST DOWNS 19 16 TOTAL YARDS 430 422 TURNOVERS 1 3 3RD DOWN CONV 6/19 32% 9-105 PENALTIES 2-20 9-105 TIME OF POSSESSION 27:45 32:15
The Vikings played as even a game as possible with the Eagles save for the plethora of costly penalties called against them on both sides of the ball. It also didn’t help that QB Tarvaris Jackson showed the gross inability to make sound decisions at the most crucial of times. Two of his three thrown INT’s couldn’t have come at a worse time. RB Brian Westbrook chewed up and spit the Vikings defense out much like he has too many other stout run defenses in the past. QB McNabb had a mediocre day at best, but the Eagles got the job done in a very hostile environment to keep their dream of hoisting the Lombardi Trophy alive for at least one more week….
December 31, 2008
New Year’s Day isn’t the only day for sports betting fans to dig in and make online bets on college football bowl games.
There are five bowl games slated for December 31st and every single one them will provide BetOnline online sportsbook football betting fans an opportunity to make some mullah!
So, let’s not waste any more time and get to the games!
Armed Forces Bowl
Air Force vs. Houston Cougars
Kick-off: 12:00 pm est.
Analysis: The Falcons are underdogs by 3 ½ points but they shouldn’t be because four of their five losses this season were against TCU, BYU, Navy and Utah. Even with those four losses, Air Force went 7 and 4 against the spread. The Houston Cougars might appear to be the better team but they were 4 and 7 against the spread. I’m going Air Force all the way.
Pick: Air Force Falcons at + 145 on the BetOnline online sportsbook money line.
Pittsburgh Panthers vs. Oregon State Beavers
Kick-off: 2:00 pm est.
Analysis: Oregon State was 8 and 4 straight-up this season but a game away from the Rose Bowl. They also beat USC on the square. Against the online betting spread they were a fantastic 8 and 3. The Pitt Panthers, 2 ½ point underdogs in this game, went 6 and 6. I don’t see much choice in this one. The Beavers should romp because Pitt’s offense isn’t close to Oregon State’s and Pitts’ defense hasn’t seen Pac-10 speed like this. The Beavers should cover.
Pick: Oregon State Beavers at – 2 ½ against the spread in the BetOnline online sportsbook.
Music City Bowl
Boston College Eagles vs. Vanderbilt Commodores
Kick-off: 3:30 pm est.
Analysis: Vanderbilt is a 3 ½ point underdog in this game because Boston College ended up making it to the ACC Championship. Vanderbilt, though, has one of the toughest defenses in college football. The Commodores were destroyed by Florida but that was Florida. That ridiculous SEC schedule, including a win against Ole Miss, should have set them up well to take on the Eagles in this bowl game. I see Vandy winning this straight-up.
Pick: Vanderbilt Commodores at + 145 on the BetOnline online sportsbook money line.
Minnesota Golden Gophers vs. Kansas Jayhawks
Kick-off: 5:30 pm est.
Analysis: As 8 ½ point against the spread online betting favorites in the BetOnline online sportsbook, the Kansas Jayhawks show exactly why the Big-12 is so respected while the Big-Ten is not. I do believe that Kansas has a shot to blow-out the Gophers, but Minnesota is better than most online football betting fans think. They went 7 and 4 against the spread. Those four losses to close out the season are worrisome, but Minnesota should have had plenty of time to regroup. I see them putting up a fight.
Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers to beat the + 8 ½ against the spread line in the BetOnline online sportsbook.
LSU Fighting Tigers vs. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
Kick-off: 7:30 pm est.
Analysis: Georgia Tech is favored by 4 ½ points to beat last year’s BCS Champion, the LSU Tigers. LSU started to lose a few games to end the season. They dropped a game against Troy, which was a huge upset, and then lost to both Ole Miss and Arkansas to end the regular season. That’s out of character for Les Miles’s bunch. Georgia Tech has a serious defense and went 7-2-1 against the BetOnline online betting spread including thumping Miami Florida and Georgia to finish out the regular season. But I have to believe that Miles and that LSU coaching staff has put something together during the break that should keep LSU close in this game. I’m taking the Fighting Tigers.
Pick: LSU to beat the 4 ½ against the spread online betting odds in the BetOnline online sportsbook.
December 31, 2008
The Eagles roll into Minnesota to take on a Vikings team that was all out to beat the New York Giants last Sunday even though the Giants rested quarterback Eli Manning in the second half. By contrast, Philadelphia needed the entire world to pretty much crash in order to make the playoffs. Luckily for them it did. Not only did the Chicago Bears lose to the Houston Texans but the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Oakland Raiders. That allowed the Eagles to control their own destiny by thumping the rival Dallas Cowboys in Philadelphia 44 to 6. The Eagles have been an up and down team in the straight-up department this season going 9-6-1 but in the sports betting against the spread department Philly has been very good going 10 and 6 overall. NFL betting fans will notice that the Eagles’ defense is playing better now than it has all season long.
The Minnesota Vikings have a lot to prove in these NFL Playoffs. They do have the best player in football, Adrian Peterson, running for them, but they haven’t figured out their quarterback situation. First, Tarvaris Jackson gets benched for Gus Frerrotte. Then, Gus Frerrotte gets benched for Tarvaris Jackson. Neither guy can play well enough to take the Vikings deep into the playoffs. Minnesota is 10 and 6 straight-up this season but against the BetOnline online betting spread they’ve gone 6 and 10.
Here are the BetOnline Sportsbook online NFL betting odds for this game:
Philadelphia Eagles – 3 – 120 – 170 O 42 – 110
Minnesota Vikings + 3 Ev + 150 U 42 – 110
Here are a few online betting trends that might help us find a good online bet in this game:
The Philadelphia Eagles are 7 and 3 against the spread versus a team with a winning record.
The Philadelphia Eagles are 3-7-1 against the spread in their last 11 games as a favorite on the road.
The Minnesota Vikings are 3 and 7 against the spread in their last 10 home games.
The Minnesota Vikings are 6 and 13 against the spread in their last 19 games overall.
The Vikings have to find a way to keep that Eagles’ rush away from whichever quarterback they start. They have a decent wide receiver in Bernard Berrian and Adrian Peterson is the best in the NFL, but without good quarterback, or at least mistake free, quarterback play Minnesota is doomed.
No defensive team in the NFL is better at pressuring the quarterback than the Philadelphia Eagles. Jimmie Johnson’s defensive schemes are always on point. That could be the reason that the Eagles are football betting favorites on the road in this playoff game.
But Philly isn’t just all about defense. Donovan McNabb is playing extremely well right now and his wide receivers are responding to his leadership. More importantly for the Eagles on the offensive end, Corell Buckhalter is starting to play well enough to spell Brian Westbrook. That’s a huge advantage for Philly because now they have two excellent running backs, both of which can catch out of the backfield, to go along with Donovan’s fantastic play-making ability.
The Eagles had to fight hard to get into the playoffs. They won’t let the chance slip away from them.
I see the Eagles covering the 3 point BetOnline online betting spread by beating the Vikings by at least 6 in this game.
December 31, 2008
BetOnline NCAA Football Betting Odds: IOWA -4, Total 43
Here are some of the NCAA college football betting trends as they relate to this matchup:
* IOWA has covered five of its last seven games
* IOWA has won five of its last six games SU
* IOWA has played four of its last six games OVER the total
* SC has won six of its last nine games SU
* SC has played five of its last seven games OVER the total
It’s interesting that both of these teams, which have recognizable names in college football, went 6-6 last season, yet did not go to a bowl game. With additional post-season contests this season, that hardly seems like something that is possible.
Iowa is generally known as one of those programs that never challenges seriously for a national title, and very rarely for a conference title, but gets to a lot of middle-of-the-road bowl games like the Capital One or the Alamo Bowl or the Outback Bowl. Well, here they are again. But this Iowa team probably has something a little different about it than other recent editions. This team has lost four times, and that was by a total of 12 points. Then they built some very serious momentum coming down the stretch, scoring a 22-point win over Wisconsin, an upset win over Penn State (dealing the Nittany Lions their only loss) and blasted Minnesota by a 55-0 score. All told, the Hawkeyes won five of their last six games.
They have the best player on the field in this one, without question. Running back Shonn Greene gained 1729 yards and scored 17 touchdowns, winning the Doak Walker Award and a spot on the first-team Associated Press All-America squad. He is the only player in all of Division I to top the 100-yard mark in every game this season. He helps this team get balance in its offense, averaging 185 yards on the ground and 182 through the air. No one would argue that Richard Stanzi is one of the nation’s finest quarterbacks, but the Iowa signal-caller, who completed 58% of his passes, did bring some stability to the position, with 13 TD passes against just seven interceptions.
All of Iowa’s offensive weapons will be tested by the South Carolina defense, which has allowed just 3.6 yards per rushing attempt and ranks 12th overall in the nation. Iowa was pretty stiff on the defensive side too, permitting only seven TD runs and eight TD passes. So the question becomes who has enough offense to penetrate the other’s stop unit enough. For us, that answer is Iowa, hands down.
South Carolina, even with coach Steve Spurrier, struggles for every yard. There is very little to brag about in the quarterback situation, and the starter for this game is going to be Tampa native Stephen Garcia, who threw six TD’s and five interceptions and generally has not yet lived up to the hype he got as a recruit, as might be expected from someone who has had as many off-the-field problems as he has. The Gamecocks are only 109th in the country running the football, so you can imagine that it is often a frustrating experience for Spurrier getting his team to move the ball.
As usual, Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz is the subject of a rumored departure to the NFL, so there’s no real distraction there. Fundamentally he has a better team here. South Carolina can bring it on defense, but the quarterbacks have given it away 24 times. Greene is the irresistible force that is going to have a slight advantage over the hard-to-move object that is the Gamecock defense. So we lay the points with the Hawkeyes, the four-point favorite in the BetOnline NCAA college football sports betting odds.
JAY’S PLAY: IOWA -4 ***
(Graded on a scale of 1-4 stars)
(Charles Jay scores a touchdown every time as a contributor to the BetOnline Locker Room)
December 31, 2008
Kansas Jayhawks vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers 6:00 ET
This year’s Insight Bowl features a sports betting showdown pitting one of the Cinderella stories from 2007 against one of the Cinderella stories from 2008 when the Kansas Jayhawks (7-5 SU, 6-5 ATS) square off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers (7-5 SU, 7-4 ATS). Kansas had a somewhat disappointing season after last year’s exhilarating 24-21 Orange Bowl win against Virginia Tech, struggling in Big 12 play and losing to South Florida out of conference. Meanwhile, Minnesota had a fantastic turnaround after a horrible 1-11 campaign last year, which included a home NCAA betting loss to FCS North Dakota State.
BetOnline college football wagering odds currently have the Jayhawks set as an 8.5 point favorite in this game with a ‘total’ of 59 points.
QB Todd Reesing is the conductor of Mark Mangino’s high octane offense that completed 65.7% of his passes for 3575 yards with 28 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. Jayhawks bettors watched as Reesing’s favorite target, WR Dezmon Briscoe, tore up defenses and finished with 78 catches for 1206 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Kansas’ offense has been a blessing to over bettors as it’s cashed in five of the Jayhawks last six games per the closing NCAA football betting odds.
In its last game of the regular season, Kansas enjoyed a measure of revenge. Last year, rival Missouri cost the Jayhawks a spot in the Big XII Championship Game and a chance to play in the BCS Title Game. This year however, despite the college football gambling line making Missouri a 16.5 point favorite, the Jayhawks earned a nail biting 40-37 win for their NCAA bettors. The victory was the Jayhawks first against a ranked opponent all season.
Minnesota doesn’t play the prettiest brand of football, but they have gotten it done for college football bettors this season with an opportunistic defense and an offense that limits its mistakes. QB Adam Weber has done everything second-year HC Tim Brewster has asked of him this season, completing 62.8% of his passes for 2585 yards with a TD/INT ratio of 14/8. On the ground, RB DeLeon Eskridge is the team’s leading rusher, carrying the ball 170 times for 652 yards and seven touchdowns overall.
Although gamblers that wager on college football games to go under the ‘total’ have been pleased with the Gophers’ 7-4 under tally this season, they’ve been disappointed with their last two defensive efforts. In Minnesota’s last two games, the Golden Gophers “D” surrendered 35 points at Wisconsin and than 55 points in a humiliating NCAA betting home loss to Iowa.
College football betting trends gamblers should know before betting this game are as follows: Minnesota is 6-1 ATS in its last seven games when installed the underdog, Kansas is 21-7 ATS in its last 28 games overall, and the ‘under’ is 5-2 in Kansas’ last seven games as the decided favorite.
No matter if you want to bet Kansas, Minnesota, or the ‘total’, the only place for your online sports betting this bowl season is BetOnline Sportsbook. With lines, totals, and props on all the bowl games, come give BetOnline a try today!