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Boise State Kicker facing threats
Pitt Panthers vs. UConn Huskies Betting Odds and Preview
Pittsburgh goes for its fourth straight win when it travels to East Hartford, CT on Thursday night. The Panthers are unbeaten in Big East play and have won their five games this year by an average of 23.4 PPG. UConn forced four turnovers in a 16-13 upset win over West Virginia last Friday. The Huskies are a perfect 4-0 at home (SU and ATS) this year thanks to 15 takeaways and only six giveaways. That isn’t deterring the football betting crowd at Sportsbook.com from betting the visitors as 77 percent of the point spread bettors are on Pitt.
The Huskies still have revenge on their minds from last year’s meeting when they blew a 21-6 lead late in the third quarter and lost 24-21 on a last-second chip-shot field goal. Pittsburgh out-gained UConn 489 to 303 in that game, with RB Dion Lewis (158 rushing yards) and WR Jonathan Baldwin (8 rec., 104 yds, 1 TD) leading the way. But this season has been a different story for these two stars. Lewis was third in the nation with 138 rushing YPG last year, but that number has plummeted to 68 rushing YPG in 2010 with the emergence of Ray Graham (98 rushing YPG). Baldwin ranked 22nd in the nation in receiving yards in 2009 (86 receiving YPG), but that average has dipped to 68 receiving YPG this year. Some of the production drop has to do with sophomore Tino Sunseri starting in his first year at quarterback, but Sunseri has seven touchdowns and just one interception during the three-game win streak.
The key to this game will be whether Pitt’s eighth-ranked run defense (94 rushing YPG) can contain UConn stud RB Jordan Todman who ranks fourth in the nation with 136 rushing YPG. Last season Todman was shut down by the Panthers, gaining just 43 yards on 12 carries and catching three passes for minus-2 yards. If Todman can’t find room to run, it could be a long day for shaky senior QB Zach Frazer. Not only are Frazer’s career stats below average (54% completion rate, 14 TD, 16 INT), but he’s facing a Pittsburgh defense ranked sixth in the nation in sacks. The Panthers have also forced eight turnovers during their three-game win streak. Speaking of turnovers, UConn’s turnover-happy win over WVU marked the third time this season the Huskies have forced four turnovers in a game.
The last four times these Big East rivals squared off, the underdog covered the point spread three times and was 3-1 outright. Here are two more college football betting trends that indicate that the Huskies cover the point spread tonight:
Play On - Underdogs of 3.5 to 10 points (CONNECTICUT) - an average offensive team (21-28 PPG) against a good offensive team (28-34 PPG) after 7+ games, after scoring 3 points or less in the first half last game.
Play Against - A road team (PITTSBURGH) - after 3 or more consecutive wins against the spread, in weeks 10 through 13. (69-31 over the last 5 seasons.) (69%, +34.9 units. Rating = 3*).
If you are interested in betting on the ‘total’, consider this:
Play Under - All teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 (CONNECTICUT) - average offensive team (4.8 to 5.6 YPP) against a good defense (4.2 to 4.8 YPP) after 7+ games, after being outgained by opp by 125 or more total yards last game.
To see the rest of the Pitt vs. UConn betting odds, or to check out all of this week’s college football betting lines, head over to Sportsbook.com now.
Alabama Crimson Tide vs. LSU Tigers Betting Odds and Preview
Sportsbook.com Alabama vs. LSU Lines: Alabama -6.5, Total: 44
Two one-loss SEC teams coming off a bye, clash in Baton Rouge with the hope keeping national championship dreams alive. Alabama can boost its BCS resume if it beats LSU, then No. 21 Mississippi State and finally Auburn ranked second in the BCS.
LSU needs to beat Alabama, Ole Miss and No. 17 Arkansas (and hope Auburn loses) to have a shot at the SEC title. But all these wins won’t be easy; LSU has the worst November ATS record (3-12) among BCS schools over the past four seasons. Obviously the college football betting crowd is aware of this as 89 percent of Alabama vs. LSU point spread bettors are backing the Tide.
Alabama leads the all-time series 45-23-5 (66%), but the teams have split the past 18 meetings. Other than surrendering 35 points to South Carolina, the Crimson Tide defense has not allowed any of their other seven opponents to score more than 20 points.
Although they are known for their rushing attack, Alabama has just as many 300-yard passing games (four) as 200-yard rushing games (four) this season. QB Greg McElroy has not thrown an interception in his past four games, which is a span of 108 pass attempts. He threw for 276 yards and two touchdowns in Alabama’s 24-15 win over LSU last season.
RB Mark Ingram also had a big day against LSU in 2009 (144 rushing yards, 30 receiving yards), but he has struggled a bit this season. Ingram has not rushed for 100 yards in any of his past four games, averaging just 59 YPG on 4.5 YPC. He averaged 118 rush YPG and 6.1 YPC in last year’s Heisman-winning season.
LSU entered its last game against Auburn ranked as the sixth-best rushing defense in the nation (84 YPG), but was steamrolled for 440 rushing yards (8.5 YPC) in the 24-17 loss to Auburn. It won’t get much easier against an Alabama team with Ingram and Trent Richardson carrying the pigskin.
On offense, LSU has been pretty weak this year. The Tigers rank 113th in passing offense (139 YPG), 101st in total offense (318 YPG) and 73rd in scoring (25.5 PPG). Junior RB Stevan Ridley began the season averaging 111 rushing YPG in his first five games, but that number has been cut in half to 55 YPG over his past three contests. QB Jordan Jefferson has not thrown a touchdown pass in seven straight games, but has tossed seven interceptions during these 101 pass attempts.
After checking out some college football betting trends at Sportsbook.com, most of the numbers are pointing towards Alabama covering the point spread.
The road team is 13-3-2 ATS (12-6 SU) in the past 18 meetings, with Alabama posting an 8-1 ATS record in the past nine games at LSU
Les Miles is 1-11 ATS (-11.1 Units) in home games versus good rushing defenses - allowing <=120 rushing yards/game as the coach of LSU. The average score was LSU 27.3, OPPONENT 21.7 - (Rating = 4*).
As far as the ‘total’ is concerned, these two betting trends indicate the ‘under’ is the way to go and Sportsbook.com’s bettors agree as 74 percent of the cash is on the ‘under’.
LSU is 8-0 UNDER (+8.0 Units) in a home game where the total is between 42.5 and 49 over the last 2 seasons. The average score was LSU 23.5, OPPONENT 10.4 - (Rating = 3*).
Play Under - Road teams where the total is between 42.5 and 49 (ALABAMA) - dominant team - outgaining their opponents by 125 or more yards/game, after outgaining opp by 225 or more total yards in their previous game. (35-11 over the last 10 seasons.) (76.1%, +22.9 units. Rating = 3*).
To bet on this game or to check out all of this weekend’s college football betting lines, head over to Sportsbook.com now.
LSU vs. Auburn, Unbeaten SEC powers square off
Sportsbook.com’s LSU vs. Auburn Betting Odds: Auburn -6, Total: 51.5
The two remaining SEC unbeaten teams meet Saturday at Jordan-Hare Stadium. LSU has won four of its games by seven points or less this year. Auburn has also had some close calls, winning three games by exactly three points.
LSU’s unblemished record is puzzling, considering the Tigers have 2.4 turnovers per game and have yet to reach 225 passing yards in any of the seven contests. LSU has been lucky, but it has also been very good on defense, ranking third in the nation with just 242 YPG allowed. The Tigers are sixth against the run (84 YPG) and eighth in passing defense (159 YPG).
LSU has not yet faced a player that is the caliber of Auburn QB Cameron Newton. The Heisman front-runner is averaging 305 YPG of total offense with 13 TD and five INT. Newton’s 124 rushing YPG leads an Auburn team ranked sixth in the nation in rushing offense (284 YPG) and sixth in scoring (40.7 PPG). Newton has led Auburn to a whopping 47.3 PPG average in its last four games.
LSU is 6-3 ATS in its past nine games at Auburn, but these football betting trends found at Sportsbook.com show that the odds are not in Les Miles’ favor on Saturday. Two trends backing Auburn include:
Miles is 5-16 ATS (-12.6 Units) versus good rushing teams - averaging >=4.75 rushing yards/carry as the coach of LSU. The average score was LSU 27.3, OPPONENT 24.8 - (Rating = 2*).
Miles is 6-17 ATS (-12.7 Units) after 3 or more consecutive straight up wins as the coach of LSU. The average score was LSU 28.3, OPPONENT 20.2 - (Rating = 2*).
For ‘total’ bettors, this tend points towards the ‘under’:
Play Under - Any team against the total (AUBURN) - off a blowout win by 21 points or more over a conference rival, in October games. (145-80 over the last 5 seasons.) (64.4%, +57 units. Rating = 3*).
Head over to Sportsbook.com for all of your weekend college football betting. While you are there remember to place your selections for this weekend’s $100,000 Perfect Parlay contest.