October 3, 2011

College Football Week 5 Betting Review

If you think the NFL has been full of high-scoring games this season, well, the pros didn’t have anything on the college game over the weekend. And OVER bettors cashed in.

Twelve college games were lined with over/unders in the 60s during week 5 action over the weekend, and nine of those games played OVER their numbers. Texas Tech and Kansas combined to score 79 points Saturday, going OVER the highest number on the board, 66.5. Houston and UTEP tallied 12 touchdowns in playing OVER 65; Baylor and Kansas State went OVER 64; Oklahoma and Ball State went OVER 63, as the Sooners almost went OVER by themselves; Rice and Southern Miss played OVER 63; Northern Illinois and Central Michigan rolled over 61.5; Arkansas and Texas A&M played little defense in going OVER 61; Georgia Tech and North Carolina State combined for 45 points in the fourth quarter alone in going OVER 61; and West Virginia and Bowling Green also went OVER 61.

For the weekend college O/Us went 29-22-2.

Of the four games over the weekend that matched two ranked teams, the higher-ranked squads split with their lower-ranked foes. No. 2 Alabama showed No. 12 Florida who’s boss, squashing the Gators down in the Swamp 38-10 and covering as four-point favorites. And No. 7 Wisconsin provided a rude welcoming to the Big 10 for No. 8 Nebraska, shucking the Huskers 48-17 and covering as 10-point chalk.

However, No. 15 Clemson pulled a minor upset, going up to Blacksburg and beating No. 10 Virginia Tech 23-3 as seven-point underdogs. And No. 18 Arkansas rallied from an 18-point halftime deficit to beat No. 13 Texas A&M 42-38 as 2.5-point dogs on a neutral field at Cowboys Stadium.

Still, on the season higher-ranked teams have proven to be moneymakers in meetings with lower-ranked opponents, going 10-6 straight-up and 10-5-1 vs. the pointspreads.

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This week we’ve got three matchups of ranked teams to play with. As of Monday morning BetOnline.com is listing No. 1 Oklahoma as a nine-point favorite over No. 10 Texas for Saturday’s Red River Shootout; No. 12 Arkansas is favored by 10 points over No. 23 Auburn; and the battle between No. 2 LSU and No. 18 Florida is off the board for the time being, because of the uncertain status surrounding the Gators QB situation.

In games matching teams ranked in the USA Today Top 25 vs. unranked squads, there were four upsets. No. 9 South Carolina allowed Auburn to rush for 246 yards and gave up a late touchdown in losing 16-13; No. 14 South Florida went up to Pittsburgh on Thursday night and got dominated, falling 44-17; No. 16 Baylor coughed up a late nine-point lead and lost at Kansas State 36-35; and No. 20 TCU, which had lost one game the previous two seasons combined, lost for the second time this season, falling 40-33 to SMU in overtime.

So on the season ranked teams are now 75-10 SU vs. unranked teams, and 43-39 ATS.

The biggest upset of the weekend was SMU’s victory over TCU as 13-point underdogs. The other big pointspread upsets included Marshall, at +11, beating Louisville 17-13; Washington, at +10, beating Utah 31-14; Auburn’s win over South Carolina getting 10.5 points, Toledo, getting eight points, trouncing Temple 36-13; and Central Michigan, also at +8, beating Northern Illinois 48-41.

The three teams that pulled the biggest upsets of week 4 went 1-2 ATS in week 5. Louisiana-Lafayette beat Florida International 37-34, but the Cajuns were favored by seven points; Colorado State, as 3.5-point favorites, lost to San Jose State 38-31. And Kansas State, a week after upsetting Miami (Fla.), rallied to beat Baylor outright as 3.5-point underdogs.

For this week BetOnline has football odds on Marshall at +14.5 at Central Florida; Auburn, as mentioned above, at +10 at Arkansas; and Toledo at -20.5 over Eastern Michigan.

And this week’s Surrender Monkey award goes to UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel, who, with his team getting 23 points and down by 26 near the end of the game at Stanford, with a fourth down and three yards to go, chose to punt rather trying to extend the game. Makes one wonder if the Bruins are worth betting on while Neuheisel is still in charge.

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