September 27, 2012

NCAA Football Betting: College Football Matchups for Week 5

Here at Bang the Book, we have all of the top matchups of the 2012 NCAA football betting campaign covered! Today, we’re taking a look at the best matchups for Week 5!

Ole Miss Rebels (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS) @ #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Spread: Alabama -31, Total: 54

Bryant Denny Stadium, Tuscaloosa, AL – Saturday, September 29th, 9:15 ET

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Head Coach Hugh Freeze is one of the up and coming coaches in college football, and he would love to put together a great effort here in Tuscaloosa to bring some notoriety to his Ole Miss program. That being said, this is still going to be a huge mountain to climb, knowing that Alabama hasn’t let its foot off of the gas pedal against either of the big time foes that it has faced this year. This is just the second SEC clash of the year for the Tide, who are expected to roll, knowing that they are the biggest favorites on the board for the second straight week. The Rebs haven’t won a game in this series since 2003, but since that point, they are a rock solid 6-3 ATS. Last year though, wasn’t one of the crowning moments in the rivalry, knowing that the Tide rolled to a 52-7 romp in Oxford.

#2 Oregon Ducks (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ Washington State Cougars (2-2 SU, 0-4 ATS)
Spread: Oregon -29.5, Total: 71.5

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Saturday, September 29th, 10:30 ET

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The Ducks are up to the No. 2 team in the country, and they are certainly going to hope to make the most of it here in Seattle. This is an unfortunate “home game” for the Cougars, knowing that Eugene is every bit as close to CenturyLink Field (282 miles) as the campus of Washington State is (286 miles). There might actually be more fans clad in white, green, and yellow than in Wazzu gear. The good news, if there is any for Washington State, is that QB Jeff Tuel might be available to play once again, though it is unknown whether Head Coach Mike Leach would let him start over QB Connor Halliday. Oregon has dropped 43 on Washington State in each of the last two seasons, but neither year, it was enough to cover the spread. Odds have it, the way that the Cougars play offense, it wouldn’t be enough this year either.

#4 Florida State Seminoles (4-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ South Florida Bulls (2-2 SU, 0-3-1 ATS)
Spread: Florida State -17, Total: 55.5

Raymond James Stadium, Tampa Bay, FL – Saturday, September 29th, 6:00 ET

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Three years ago, South Florida traveled three hours north to Tallahassee in a game that it was supposed to have no chance of winning against Florida State. Not only did the Bulls win the game, but they won it impressively, never trailing along the way. A ton has changed since then. Both head coaches are gone. Florida State now has one of the Top 10 programs in the nation. South Florida has really only gone downhill since that point. The top for FSU might have been last week’s win over Clemson. The bottom for South Florida might have been last week’s loss to Ball State. However, these two teams are fighting on the same recruiting grounds, and they’re fighting for the same kids to come to their school, making this game all the more important. If the Bulls can pull off the upset, it would amazingly flip the fortunes of both of these programs on their heads significantly quicker than they flipped back in the first place.

Tennessee Volunteers (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ #5 Georgia Bulldogs (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Spread: Georgia -13, Total: 59.5

Sanford Stadium, Athens, GA – Saturday, September 29th, 3:30 ET

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Georgia and Tennessee hate each other as much as any two teams in the SEC. That includes Florida and Georgia. That includes LSU and Alabama. And that includes Alabama and Auburn. The Volunteers are the down team in this series right now, but that doesn’t mean that it is going to stay that way for long. QB Tyler Bray and QB Aaron Murray are two of the best five quarterbacks for certain in the SEC, and they might be the top two. They’re certainly two of the top pro prospects for sure. It might be time to panic for both of these teams, as this is a bad spot for both. UT is obviously in a bad spot due to the fact that it isn’t the better team, and it is on the road in hostile territory. The Bulldogs might be looking ahead to that game with South Carolina next week. UGA has covered back to back games in this series after the Vols had covered the four previous outings. Last year’s 20-12 win in Rocky Top for the Bulldogs was the first win for a road team in this series since 2006.

#6 South Carolina Gamecocks (4-0 SU, 3-1 ATS) @ Kentucky Wildcats (1-3 SU, 1-3 ATS)
Spread: South Carolina -21, Total: 47.5

Commonwealth Stadium, Lexington, KY – Saturday, September 29th, 7:00 ET

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This is another one of these games in the SEC East that is dangerous for both of these teams. We’ve already talked about how South Carolina could be struggling in this one, knowing that the Bulldogs are waiting in the wings, and Kentucky just can’t figure out how to score on anyone at the moment. Still, the Wildcats have to rest easily knowing that they have never lost a game here in this series in their hometown by more than two touchdowns ever, and they have a 21-point head start on the Gamecocks thanks to the oddsmakers. South Carolina though, did post a massive 54-3 victory when these two teams faced off last year, dropping 639 yards on the board. Carolina is 5-1 SU and 4-2 ATS in the last six meetings, but the point spreads only got this high last year, as the previous five games were all lined with the Gamecocks as single digit favorites.

#24 Baylor Bears (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS) @ #7 West Virginia Mountaineers (3-0 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: West Virginia -13, Total: 80

Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium, Morgantown, WV – Saturday, September 29th, 12:00 ET

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Welcome to the Big XII, West Virginia! This is going to be the first game ever in the Big XII for the Mountaineers, and they intend to make the most of it and prove that they belong as the top rated team in the conference this year. Baylor isn’t going to be an easy opponent for sure, knowing that it is a team that is largely built the exactly same way. QB Nick Florence is going to throw the ball all over the place, just as QB Geno Smith is. Neither team plays tremendous defense, but both have some potential NFLers out there that could be difference makers if the offenses make some mistakes. There’s a reason that this is the highest ‘total’ on the board all season long, as it is the first ‘total’ that we have seen in the 80s in quite some time.

#9 Stanford Cardinal (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ Washington Huskies (2-1 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Stanford -6.5, Total: 47.5

CenturyLink Field, Seattle, WA – Thursday, September 27th, 9:00 ET

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This is the first game of the week played at CenturyLink Field, and it certainly won’t be the last. Remember that an NFL game will have been played just three days before, and two days later, the Cougars are playing here for Washington State. The line in this one has been dropping all week, and probably for good reason. Stanford has looked underwhelming this year, save for the defensive side of the ball against USC, when it looked like one of the best teams in the country. Few really believe that this is a legitimate Top 10 team, and Washington, save for getting shellacked by LSU (but who won’t this year?) has given no one a reason to doubt it. Stanford has covered four in a row in this series though, and you have to go back to 2001 to find the last time that the Huskies covered a game in this series in Seattle. Over the last two years, the Cardinal have run over U-Dub by a combined score of 106-21.

#10 Texas Longhorns (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys (2-1 SU, 1-1 ATS)
Spread: Texas -2.5, Total: 66

Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, OK – Saturday, September 29th, 7:50 ET

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Be sure to read the newspapers and see what’s going on at the quarterback position for Okie State before betting this game. Many figure that freshman starter QB Wes Lunt is out of the fold with a knee injury. He might be ready. He might not be ready. But even if he is, he might not be started thanks to how well QB J.W. Walsh has played. Texas is healthy and ready to go for this one, and that means that QB David Ash is going to get a chance to prove why he was picked over QB Case McCoy as the starting quarterback of this team at the outset of the year. Texas has been beaten twice in this series over the course of the last two years, and both games were played in Austin. You can bet that Head Coach Mack Brown is reminding his team of that this week, as the Longhorns get ready to hit the road to go to Stillwater for what should be one of the best games of the day. Remember that both of these teams rank in the Top 10 in total offense this year, and they are averaging 1,201 yards per game between them.

#14 TCU Horned Frogs (3-0 SU, 2-1 ATS) @ SMU Mustangs (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: TCU -16.5, Total: 54

Gerald J. Ford Stadium, University Park, TX – Saturday, September 29th, 7:00 ET

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About the only thing that kept the Horned Frogs out of the discussion for the BCS for most of last year was the fact that they were beaten, not just by Baylor, but by SMU as well. Even with just one loss, we think that TCU would have made it to the big time bowl games, especially with that win in Boise to hang on its mantle. There are no worries about being known as the little guy anymore though, as the Horned Frogs are now the big boys in the Big XII, and they are hoping to dismiss the little boys from right up the road at SMU this time by a healthy margin. It’s not just last year that the Mustangs have had success in this series. They were able to come up with an outright victory in 2005 in this stadium, and they have seven covers in nine games dating back to 2002.

#16 Clemson Tigers (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS) @ Boston College Eagles (1-2 SU, 1-2 ATS)
Spread: Clemson -9.5, Total: 60

Alumni Stadium, Chestnut Hill, MA – Saturday, September 29th, 3:30 ET

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The Tigers are in a rough spot this week, as they are coming off of that emotional loss to Florida State in Tallahassee, and now they have to turn right back around and go on the road to Chestnut Hill, where they just haven’t had all that much luck through the years. Boston College knows that a bowl game is a long, long way away right now, and a win in a game like this would help the cause. The home team has won and covered three in a row in this series, and the Eagles are 4-3 ATS all-time since these two have been joined in the ACC. In that mix includes a 2-1 SU and ATS record for the Eagles here at Alumni Stadium, though this is the first time that they are going to be underdogs in this series at home by this substantial of a margin.

#17 Louisville Cardinals (4-0 SU, 2-2 ATS) @ Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles (0-3 SU, 0-3 ATS)
Spread: Louisville -10.5, Total: 49.5

M.M. Roberts Stadium, Hattiesburg, MS – Saturday, September 29th, 8:00 ET

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It wasn’t all that many years ago before the first merry-go-round of conference realignment occurred that Louisville and Southern Miss shared Conference USA together. There definitely is a history here between these teams, but all of that history is as bad news for the Golden Eagles as their current 0-3 SU and 0-3 ATS marks are. The Redbirds have won five straight in this series and have covered six straight. That doesn’t even include the fact that this year without Head Coach Larry Fedora, the Golden Eagles are going nowhere in the fastest way possible, while Louisville might actually be headed to the BCS when push comes to shove if it can get through this game and get through the Big East schedule without more than a blunder or two.

Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0 SU, 1-3 ATS) @ #18 Michigan State Spartans (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS)
Spread: Michigan State -2.5, Total: 42.5

Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI – Saturday, September 29th, 3:30 ET

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The Buckeyes and the Spartans both have awfully similar looking teams this year. Both teams are going to pass only when they have to, as they want to run the ball, punt it when necessary, play great defense, and force turnovers to try to win. The only differences? The Buckeyes have QB Braxton Miller, a huge upgrade over QB Andrew Maxwell for MSU, while the Spartans have RB Le’Veon Bell, who might be one of the best running backs in the entire country this year. These two defenses are both top notch as well. The road team has won and covered back to back games in this series, and you actually have to go back to 1999 to find the last time that Michigan State won or covered a game against the Buckeyes here at Spartan Stadium, a stretch of three straight OSU wins and covers. The Bucks are 5-2 ATS in the last seven against Sparty dating back to 2003.

#23 Wisconsin Badgers (3-1 SU, 0-4 ATS) @ #20 Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)
Spread: Nebraska -12, Total: 50.5

Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE – Saturday, September 29th, 8:00 ET

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ABC really had to think at the outset of the year that what it was getting with this game were two 4-0 teams that were both ranked in or near the Top 10. Instead what they got was one team (Wisconsin) that has looked absolutely atrocious in every single game that it has played and one team (Nebraska) that lost a game that it probably had no business losing. The loser of this game will be out of the Top 25, and the winner will probably still be fortunate to be in it. The only reason that the Badgers will contend for the Big Ten title this year is because almost half of their division is on bowl probation, and we really don’t see the Huskers challenging when push comes to shove the likes of Michigan and Michigan State. Nebraska has its eyes on revenge from last year’s bad beat down in Camp Randall, and if teams like Utah State and UTEP are challenging the Badgers, there is no reason to believe that the Cornhuskers can’t as well.

#21 Oregon State Beavers (2-0 SU, 2-0 ATS) @ Arizona Wildcats (3-1 SU, 2-2 ATS)
Spread: Arizona -2, Total: 56.5

Arizona Stadium, Tucson, AZ – Saturday, September 29th, 10:00 ET

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It happens several times every single season, and it usually is about now that we see the first example of it every year. A ranked team is going on the road and is an underdog to an unranked team. Translation: Arizona is probably winning this game, and it shouldn’t be classified as an “upset” when it happens. We have seen Oregon State play two games thus far this year. Both came against teams that were ranked in the Top 25 once upon a time, but if Wisconsin loses this week as it is expected to, neither will be in the next version of the Top 25 when it comes out on Sunday. The Beavers have won two straight, five out of six, and seven out of nine in this series both from an SU and an ATS standpoint, but you know that Head Coach Rich Rodriguez is going to be coming out of the blocks with sound and fury in this one after getting shut out on the road last week in Autzen. It could very well be payback time.

Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0 SU, 1-1 ATS) @ #25 Virginia Tech Hokies (3-1 SU, 1-3 ATS)
Spread: Virginia Tech -6.5, Total: 44.5

FedEx Field, Washington DC – Saturday, September 29th, 3:30 ET

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Virginia Tech is playing a de facto home game here at FedEx Field, where a ton of its followers figure to be in attendance in our nation’s capital. All seems to be lost after an early season loss on the road to Pittsburgh, but the Hokies have fired back with an important 37-0 momentum snaring win over Bowling Green last week, and now, they hope to get a little bit of payback on a conference that they used to be members of. Cincinnati is a 2-0 team that is hoping to get in the Top 25, something that it will probably accomplish if it can pull off the upset in this one. History definitely says that there is a chance, knowing that dating back to the Big East days, UC has covered five of the last seven played in the regular season between these two. However, we have to note that that history dates back to 1985.

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Andrew Ryan

Andrew Ryan has been in the sportswriting biz since the late-90s, and he has worked side by side with some of the best and brightest in sports gambling. Always searching for the best trends in sports, Andrew uses his brilliant math mind to his advantage to beat the books.

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