at the Pittsburgh Steelers of a year ago: They
were coming off a 15-1 regular season record and
were one of the favorites to win the 2005 Super
Bowl. But bettors received much better odds later
in the season when they were holding steady with
a 7-5 mark after losing to the Bengals in Week
Another perfect example came
last week when the Cardinals won the World Series.
They were getting 7-1 odds before the season began
and were also 7-1 at the All-Star Break. However,
based on their second half slide, the Cards were
13-1 to win it all when the playoffs began. Those
gamblers who put a future bet on St. Louis back
in March must have been killing themselves when
the season ended.
(On a side note, congrats
go out to Tony La Russa and the Cardinals for
sticking it to the American League.)
Lets take a look at college
football and the odds of the top teams to win
the BCS Championship from back on August 28. Notre
Dame was actually the favorite at 5-1. Despite
its 7-1 record, the Irish are currently ranked
9th in the BCS Poll thanks to an embarrassing
loss to Michigan.
They will need lots of help
as seven teams in front of them must lose and,
of course, Notre Dame must win out. One other
tidbit must be included and thats the actual BCS
Championship Game. The Irish have lost eight straight
bowls, so even if they were to reach the BCS title
game, they still must get the victory.
Ohio State was a close second
choice at 11-2 and is currently the heavy favorite
to win it all. Betting the Buckeyes at that price
could turn out to be the right play, despite my
pre-season insistence that Michigan would win
the Big Ten, and at 22-1 odds, was the better
The Wolverines were the 12th
choice prior to the season and it will all come
down to one game: the showdown with the Buckeyes
on November 18 in Columbus. Ohio State has to
be considered the favorite as head coach Jim Tress
el is 4-1 both SU and ATS against Michigan, 2-0
DISMISSALS AND INJURIES PLAY
Imagine the horror for those
who wagered a pretty penny on Oklahoma back in
July, only to find out quarterback Rhett Bomar
was axed from the team in early August. The Sooners
were 15-2 to win the BCS title, but had zero chance
with Paul Thompson under center.
Another team that had its
season ruined early on was California. The Golden
Bears suffered a crucial injury when cornerback
Tim Mixon tore his ACL during a practice at the
end of August. His replacement, SydQuan Thompson,
cost them the game against Tennessee, as he was
beat twice for Volunteers touchdowns.
California was 25-1 at the
time and is now ranked number 10 in the latest
BCS Poll. Unfortunately for the Bears, Southern
Cal lost to Oregon State. Even if they beat the
Trojans later in the year, they wont be able to
move up much higher. If they had defeated Tennessee
in their first game, they would be ranked third
in all the polls and have an excellent shot at
Speaking of USC, the Trojans
began the season at odds of 17-2 and barely squeaked
by almost every Pac 10 opponent prior to the OSU
game. That contest was their first loss of the
year, but the fifth straight game they failed
to cover. USCs season is virtually over with games
still left against Cal, Oregon and Notre Dame.
THE BEAST EAST
Thats what they should rename
the Big East these days. The only conference with
three undefeated teams has a chance at a big payday
come January 8. West Virginia, third choice in
the pre-season at 13-2 odds, will do battle with
Louisville (30-1) this coming Thursday night in
The Mountaineers have the
better chance of the two teams since they are
third in the BCS rankings, while the Cardinals
are fifth, with Florida stuck in between. However,
with a win over WVU, Louisville should jump to
third. Since the game will be played at Papa Johns
Cardinal Stadium, its very likely that a Cardinals
win could happen.
Last years game was a classic
triple-overtime contest with West Virginia coming
out on top, 46-44. Louisville led 24-7 in the
fourth quarter before the Mountaineers mounted
their comeback. Still, the Cardinals outgained
them 459 to 390, playing the game on the road.
Louisville has withstood
major injuries to key players but has survived
due to an easy schedule. Quarterback Brian Brohm
returned to face Cincinnati and now has two games
under his belt after missing two prior games.
Nonetheless, if the Cardinals were to win this
game, it will be up to their defense, one that
has given up just two rushing touchdowns the entire
season and are allowing only 2.5 yards per rush.
Those numbers will come in handy against the run-
based Mountaineer offense.
The bottom line is: betting
futures in college football is a necessity, since
almost every teams odds will go down as the season
progresses. Plus, its extremely difficult for
a club to come out of nowhere by mid-season and
actually have a chance to win the championship
contest without a playoff system.
COLLEGE FUTURES - TOP PLAYS
The top play of the week
comes from the SEC as Florida travels to Vanderbilt.
If there was ever a sandwich game, this is it
for the Gators. They had their annual clash with
Georgia last Saturday and host Steve Spurrier
and the Gamecocks the following week. In the meantime,
they must face Vandy in Nashville.
The Commodores are 4-5 and
last in the SEC East with a 1-4 mark, but have
won four of their last six, including a victory
over Georgia in Athens. They also held their own
with Arkansas and Alabama, losing by a combined
Florida, despite being ranked
fourth in the BCS, is averaging a shade less than
23 points per game in conference play. That will
not cut it, especially when giving two touchdowns
on the road.
These two teams met last
year in a similar scenario for the Gators as they
were coming off a 14-10 win over a DJ Shockley-less
Georgia club, and had their first match-up with
Spurrier and South Carolina the following week.
Guess what happened? Vanderbilt, as 19-point underdogs,
took Florida to double overtime before falling,
Go with Vandy plus the
Oklahoma State takes on Texas
after bringing down Nebraska, 41-29. The Cowboys
offense has been on fire the last few weeks scoring
75 points combined vs. Kansas and Texas A&M
in the two games prior to the Nebraska win. Their
lowest scoring output this year has been 25 against
Houston. They should be able to score often against
the Longhorns, who have allowed 82 points in their
last three games.
Okie State has actually outscored
Texas 63-26 in the first half the last two years
combined, but the Longhorns were able to shut
out the Cowboys 77-0 in the second half combined
to win both contests. Expect a much closer game
with Vince Young out of the picture.
Take Oklahoma State plus
There are many other big
plays this Saturday so be prepared to open the
wallets wide. LSU, Virginia, Indiana, Kentucky,
Maryland, Missouri, San Jose State and Arizona
State are all worthy of action.
THE TOP 10
Ohio State now OWNS the top
spot after its pounding of Minnesota. LSU holds
the two spot by itself and Oklahoma reaches the
top 10 for the first time this season.
1) Ohio State, 110; 2) LSU,
105; 3) Texas, 104; 3) Cal, 104; 5) Clemson, 102;
6) Louisville, 101; 7) West Virginia, 100; 8)
Michigan, 99.5; 8) Florida, 99.5; 8) Oklahoma,
Posted by MySportsbook October
31, 2006, at 01:12 PM ET
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