This Football Season Is Far From Over - How Sharps Are Betting

Perfect 6-0 Wednesday Night - 2 Wins In College Football, 4 Wins In Basketball, Including 50-Unit NBA Game Of Week Sets Stage For Dynamite Weekend

This Football Season Is Far From Over And #1 Alabama And #2 Clemson Are In Danger Of Not Playing In The National Championship Game

By Kelso Sturgeon

If you are one of those who believe the four teams that will finally compete in the playoffs that lead to the national championship game - right now that would be #1 Alabama (10-0), #2 Clemson (9-1), #3 Miami (9-0) and #4 Oklahoma (9-1) - are already set in stone, for get about it. Many of the top 10 teams in the playoff rankings face major obstacles.

For instance, Alabama will most certainly bury I-AA Mercer (5-5) Saturday and have the honor of heading to Opelika to take on #6 Auburn (8-2) in one of the most hostile environments in college football. The fact this is a big-time rivalry game and the fact Auburn is playing better football than any team in the country with the possible exception of Miami just adds to the intrigue. But it does not stop there. The winner of this game then has to face #7 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championship game. Nothing for certain in this spot.

Things are just as complicated for #2 Clemson. The Tigers will bury I-AA The Citadel (5-5) Saturday and the following week travel to upstart South Carolina (7-3) in another heated rivalry game. Again, it does not end there. Win lose or draw Clemson, which has met Alabama in the last two national championship game, has to face Miami in the Atlantic Coast Conference title game.

Nothing for certain in this spot. The bottom line is simple - any team ranked in the top 10 by the playoff committee remains very much alive for make the Final Four.


(These Selections Were Made A Few Days In Advance I Reserve The Right To Change Them if Any Later Situation Occurs - Home Team In CAPS) 

WISCONSIN BADGERS (10-0) -7 by 13-14 over Michigan Wolverines (8-2) - Wisconsin has to be one of the most incentive-driven teams in college football today as it tries to remain unbeaten and alive to make it to the Final Four that sets the stage for the national championship game. The Badgers are outscoring their opponents an average of 36.3-13.4 per game this season and have the talent to again dominate on both sides of the ball.

OLD DOMINION MONARCHS (4-6) -8 by 17 over Rice Owls (1-9) - Old Dominion, a relative newcomer t NCAA I-A football comes into this game off and 37-30 upset win at Florida International, is playing its best right now and should dominate a Rice team that has fallen off the edge of the world. The only win on the Owls ledger is a 31-14 win over winless Texas-El Paso in the second game of the season. In their last three games the Owls have given up an average of 46.3 points.

LOUISVILLE CARDINALS (6-4) -13 by 6-7 over Syracuse Orange (4-6) - Yes I am on the 'dog in this one. It certainly catches one's attention that Syracuse handed #2-ranked Clemson its only loss of the season, beating the Tigers 27-24 in the dome as a 24-point underdog. Since then Syracuse has lost at Miami 27-19, at Florida State, 27-24, and at home to Wake Forest, 64-43. Syracuse is a much better team that its record indicates and should take Louisville right to the money in this one.


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How Sharps are Betting Titans/Steelers (plus some colleges)


Tennessee at Pittsburgh: The opener of Pittsburgh -7 is standing pat. That's a key number, and it takes a lot of money to move off a key number. Though, Tennessee is getting more interest than the host in early money. Some stores are charging larger juice on the Titans, smaller juice on the Steelers as a result. Sharps would fade any move off the seven in either direction. I don't expect to see such a move. The total has been bet up from 43 to 44, which tells you weather shouldn't be a factor. We've seen so many garbage time points in recent TV games that people are afraid to bet Unders.


Texas at West Virginia: This line opened at West Virginia -3, one of the few major conference games with a spread this tight. Texas needs to win one of its last two games to reach a bowl. Both of these teams will be handfuls for opponents in the postseason. We have seen some stores test West Virginia -3.5 because the Mountaineers usually get a lot of betting respect on this tough home field. We may not see a tug-of-war here because Texas didn't impress in its last road test at TCU.

TCU at Texas Tech: Another game near a key number. TCU opened at -6, and has been bet up to -7. It's been sitting there since. Though, I have seen some 6.5's out there. That tells me that we might see a tug-of-war on game day between TCU -6.5 from the public and Texas Tech as a home underdog at +7 from the sharps. This would have been a big letdown spot for TCU if they had played well vs. Oklahoma last week. They didn't. So, many "fundamentals" handicappers see it as a bounce back spot for the Horned Frogs.

Virginia at Miami: This is a killer letdown spot for Miami after beating Virginia Tech and Notre Dame the past two weeks. But, Virginia hasn't been as impressive lately as they were earlier this season. An opener of Miami -17 has been bet up to -19.5 as a correction from that Notre Dame result. Oddsmakers had significantly underrated Miami heading into those two huge contests. Have we gone too high now? I definitely expect to see sharps come in on Virginia if +20 comes into play. Dog lovers might settle for what they see now.

Utah at Washington: Utah is dealing with some injury issues, which is why we've seen Washington at -17.5 all week despite their loss last week to Stanford. This has been a strong home field under this head coach…so oddsmakers took a shot on a high line. Right now, not much interest from bettors. But, Utah's defense is capable of making this one interesting if they have any energy left from the Washington State loss last week. I think the public would hit the Huskies at -17, while dog lovers are waiting to see what they can get.

Navy at Notre Dame: The game opened at -18.5. I've seen stores testing adjustments in both directions. Passion for the Irish dried up after the big loss at Miami. But, they will own a big point of attack advantage over a less-impressive than usual Navy side. I'll be watching this one very closely on game day. It wouldn't be surprising if we either have a move toward 17 one way, or 20 the other once the most important forces in the market make up their mind about Notre Dame.

Michigan at Wisconsin: Here's the big one! The first number up was Wisconsin -10, which didn't make much sense given how they're a run-heavy offense and they're facing a strong run defense. The Over/Under 39 (bet down from 43) tells you that points will be at a premium. We're now seeing Michigan +7.5 almost everywhere…with some stores even going down to the key number of seven. Needless to say, sharps showed a lot of support for the Wolverines defense by pounding Michigan and the Under. Will the public take the Badgers at -7? Not a sure thing because Wisconsin soft schedule has kept them out of big TV games. Squares may not trust that offense either.

UCLA at USC: Too bad UCLA has been such a disappointment this season. Back during the summer, everyone was pointing to this as a big game matching future NFL quarterbacks. We still have some QB talent on the field…but even the stock of Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold isn't quite what it used to be. The opening line of USC -15 has been bet up to -16. That may be where it settles because sharp dog money will take +16 rather than waiting around to see if the longshot of +17 comes into play.