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September 23rd College Football news ... College football 24/7 gives you advice on all the weekly odds as well as who’s likely to win the national championship.
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March Madness Bracket
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UCLA Bruins vs. Oregon Ducks Betting Odds and Preview
The newly top ranked Oregon Ducks get to strut their stuff under the primetime Thursday night lights against the UCLA Bruins. Sportsbook.com doesn’t expect the high scoring Ducks to lose their first game of the season as the UCLA vs. Oregon point spread is the Ducks -25.5. It should be a high-scoring affair as the ‘total’ is a hefty 61.5 points.
The Ducks lead the nation with 54.3 PPG and have won five of their games by 20-plus points. The bye week was key for QB Darron Thomas (shoulder) to heal, but RB Kenjon Barner (concussion) is not expected to play on Thursday. UCLA is also coming off a bye after a 26-carry, 26-yard rushing performance in a 35-7 loss at Cal.
UCLA QB Kevin Prince is banged up with a knee injury, and his status is uncertain for Thursday. He was dreadful against Cal, completing just 42 percent of his passes (13-for-31) for 99 yards. His backup is Richard Brehaut who has zero touchdowns, two interceptions and 10 sacks in his two-year career (55 pass attempts).
The quarterback at UCLA is not vital to the Bruins success since they run the ball so effectively. Johnathan Franklin is averaging 113 rushing YPG in leading UCLA to the 13th-best rushing attack in the nation (223 rush YPG), which includes the woeful output against Cal.
Oregon leads the country in total offense, averaging 567 yards per game. RB LaMichael James tops the nation with 170 rushing YPG, and he ran for 152 yards in a 24-10 win at UCLA last year. By the way, Sportsbook.com’s Heisman Trophy betting odds indicate James is +1000 to win college football’s most prestigious personal award.
Thomas has had a great sophomore season, throwing at least two TD in his first five games before getting hurt in game number six against Washington State. Thomas is also second on the team in rushing, including a 117-yard performance against Stanford two games ago. If Thomas does have problems with his shoulder, backup QB Nate Costa is certainly capable of filling in. Costa threw just two incomplete passes against WSU, totaling 151 passing yards and 84 rushing yards. Barner is not only James’ backup, averaging 6.5 YPC, but he also returns kicks and is a quality receiver out of the backfield.
Favorites of 20-plus points on
a six-game in-season win streak are 33-15 ATS (69%) since 2005. Oregon knows how to win big considering it is 7-2 ATS as a favorite of 20-plus points since 2007. The Bruins are 2-11 SU (5-8 ATS) in their past 13 road games in Pac-10 play.
These football betting trends give three more reasons to like Oregon Thursday night:
Play On - Home favorites of 21.5 to 31 points (OREGON) - with a good offense - averaging 400 or more total yards/game, after gaining 450 or more total yards in 2 consecutive games. (40-14 over the last 10 seasons.) (74.1%, +24.6 units. Rating = 3*).
Play On - Any team (OREGON) - after outrushing opponent by 150 or more yards in 2 straight games against opponent after being outrushed by 150 or more yards last game. (32-9 over the last 10 seasons.) (78%, +22.1 units. Rating = 3*).
OREGON is 26-7 ATS (+18.3 Units) in home games after outgaining opp by 125 or more total yards in their previous game since 1992. The average score was OREGON 38.2, OPPONENT 20.5 - (Rating = 3*).
For bettors looking to make a play on the ‘total’ here is a trend that supports the ‘under’ as the play.
Play Under - Any team against the total (UCLA) - after gaining 150 or less total yards in their previous game against opponent after gaining 6.25 or more yards/play in their previous game. (29-5 over the last 10 seasons.) (85.3%, +23.5 units. Rating = 4*).
Now that you have the key numbers for tonight’s game, head over to Sportsbook.com for all of your college football betting action.
CFB: Armed Forces Bowl - Air Force vs. Houston (12:00E ESPN)
over the next three days. This is the "meat and potatoes" of the college bowl season and it all gets started early with a noon eastern kickoff from Forth Worth, as Houston and Air Force meet in the Armed Forces Bowl for the second straight year. The Cougars are 5-point favorites at last check, and getting support from 72% of bettors according to the Sportsbook.com BETTING TRENDS page.
It's déjà vu all over again for Air Force and Houston, opponents for a second straight year in this bowl. The Cougars won last year, 34-28, covering the number on a late field goal. At 10-3 SU and 8-4 ATS, the Cougars are looking to culminate its best season since winning 11 games in 1979. Houston is averaging 43.9 points per game and a nation's-best 581.1 yards per game on offense. Air Force was 7-5 and 6-4-1 ATS with just a 1-5 record vs. bowl teams. The Falcons rushed for 273.6 YPG this season, fourth nationally, and will look to take advantage of a Cougars defense that allowed 5.0 yards per rush.
Why watch and wager- Houston's a good play if one believes they can dictate tempo. The Cougars will want to play fast with Case Keenum hitting receivers all over the field, which presumably leads to touchdowns. Houston has covered their last five games off a loss and the defense will have to be disciplined (unlikely) to stop Air Force attack. The Cougs are only 1-8 ATS in road games after outgaining opponent by 125 or more total yards in their previous game. Air Force is a good play if you believe they impose their will on Houston. The Falcons like the other military schools play hard for 60 minutes, which is not always the case for Houston. If Air Force establishes running game, the undisciplined Houston defense can be gashed over and over and if they can keep continual pressure on Keenum to frustrate the Cougars, those points look inviting, considering they are 19-9 ATS after rushing for 200 or more yards.
The StatFox Power Line shows Houston by 5, providing evidence as to why Sportsbook oddsmakers have been reluctant to come off the 5 number despite heavy action on the Cougars.
CFB: Sun Bowl - Stanford vs. Oklahoma (2:00E CBS) The Sun Bowl has become a New Year's eve tradition and for 2009, the opponents in the game are Oklahoma & Stanford. The Cardinal are minus their starting quarterback for the contest, and hence come in as double-digit underdogs to a Sooners team that has become more accustomed to playing in BCS bowl games. Will they be motivated by lesser stakes in this one? Bettors don't seem to think so, as the Sportsbook.com Betting Trends page shows 71% of players on the side of Stanford.
El Paso natives are looking for a better showing than the 3-0 snore-fest a year ago. This bowl has typically been an exciting one, dominated by underdogs, 11-1-1 ATS prior to last year. The Pac-10 has won five straight games (3-2 ATS). All of this could bode well for Stanford, which comes in as a heavy underdog to Sooners without starting quarterback Andrew Luck. The Cardinal were 8-4 (7-5 ATS) this season to earn their first bowl bid since 2001. Oklahoma was 7-5 (4-7-1 ATS) and mostly inconsistent team. The Sooners have lost five of their last six bowl games both SU and ATS, with the one win coming in non-BCS '05 Holiday Bowl.
Why watch and wager- This matchup could be called the "Backup Bowl" as neither will have their original signal caller, which will dramatically impact the outcome. Tavita Pritchard is in charge of completing passes for Stanford so running back Toby Gerhart doesn't have face what would look like two dozen red helmets in the box. Under coach Jim Harbaugh the Cardinal is 7-0 ATS vs. teams outscoring opponents by 10 or more points per game over the last two seasons. Though the Sooners defense wasn't as strong as expected, they had their moments especially against teams that like to run the ball. In November encounters, they stuffed both Texas A&M (59 yards) and Oklahoma State (62 yards) and are wholly capable of doing the same against Stanford, without the threat of the pass. Boomer Sooner's bowl record under Bob Stoops has been lousy of late, however Oklahoma is 11-4 ATS after allowing 175 or less yards in previous game.
The StatFox Power Line shows Oklahoma by 13, perhaps indicating a bit of value on the Sooners against the actual line.