NFL and College Football Report
Get the feeling that all of America just discovered on Monday Night Football that these San Francisco 49ers are indeed "for real"? The Niners walloped the up-and-down 5-point underdog Cleveland Browns 31-3 on the left coast - hey, the result was in the bag by the time you had touched your second adult beverage - and now we'll head into NFL Week 6 with the knowledge that only the 5-and-0 New England Patriots and the 4-and-oh San Fran 49ers are the last remaining undefeated teams in this league where they play for pay.
Now, wouldn't that make for a juicy Super Bowl 54 matchup come the first weekend in February (and one that we've never seen before despite the rich SB histories of both franchises)?
The fact of the matter is the Niners rushed for 275 yards against the beleaguered Browns' defense - RB Matt Breida's 83-yard touchdown run on SF's first play from scrimmage was video-game like - and San Fran sacked Cleveland's mouthy QB Baker Mayfield four times in all (see a 13.4 QB Rating for Mr. Mayfield) and so there were more than a few football geeks sittin' up and takin' notice that the Niners are "back". Count us among the crowd.
In other NFL News & Notes ...
The Washington Redskins - finally - fired sixth-year head coach Jay Gruden but did they have to ask 'em to come to work at 5 a.m. on Monday morning and then ambush the guy? No wonder the 'Skins remain a lost cause and could well finish 0-16 SU (straight-up) this year if they don't happen to beat equally hapless Miami this Sunday in South Florida. Can't wait to see the TV ratings for that one! ...
Lastly, we're five weeks through this here-and-now season and our top three surprise teams are as follows: Buffalo, Oakland and aforementioned San Francisco.
Best coaching job through the season's first 30-something percent of the season? We say it's Indianapolis' Frank Reich who has the Colts playing hard and playing well - guess the late-summer retirement of star QB Andrew Luck didn't exactly "kill" Indy's season, right?
THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL REPORT
Believe it or not, we're pretty much at the midway point of this here-and-now 2019 College Football season - we kid you not! - and there's been a batch of teams that have offered up great value. Here's three such examples ...
BOSTON COLLEGE - Okay, so we're not about ready to compare BC Eagles boss Steve Addazio to Knute Rockne anytime soon but gotta say this ACC squad has been giving everyone their best shot ever since that embarrassing 24-point loss to three-TD pup Kansas back on Sept. 13th. In fact, the Eagles have covered all three of their games since including a pair of underdog covers - a 27-24 loss-but-cover at home against 5-point fav Wake Forest followed by last weekend's 41-39 loss-but-cover at 4-point favorite Louisville. Overall, Boston College is 4-2 ATS this season and RB AJ Dillon (745 yards rushing, 5.2 yards per carry and 6 TDs) always offers BC plus points as good-to-very-good value at the wagering window.
Next Up: Bye this week, then home to N.C. State on Oct. 19th.
OREGON STATE - Say this for the '19 Beavers: They have been so bad for so long (no winning season since 2013) that many bettors 'round the land are all too quick to dismiss this Pac-12 club. Meanwhile, Oregon State's 3-1-1 ATS so far this year with the latest spread "W" coming last Saturday night with the 48-31 romp at 4.5-point fav UCLA. If you missed it, the Corvallis kids scored touchdowns the first three times they touched the ball en route to a commanding 21-zip lead as QB Jake Luton aired five scoring strikes with no picks. Don't look now but coach Jonathan Smith's squad is 2-3 SU (straight-up) and could be dreaming minor bowl at year's end.
Next Up: Home to Utah this Saturday.
PITTSBURGH - Here's something that most bettors seemingly don't take account that the Pitt Panthers sport the 21st-ranked defense in the country (19th against the run / 44th versus the pass) and yet Pat Narduzzi's team has been a point-grabber in four of his club's first six games with covers in that role versus Penn State, UCF (an outright win as 10-point pups) and Duke (see 33-30 win as 3.5-point underdogs last weekend).
Next Up: Bye this week and then a date at Syracuse on Oct.18th.