College and NFL Notebook

Okay, so it's onto NFL Week 7 action - the New England Patriots (6-0) and the San Francisco 49ers (5-0) remain the lone unbeatens in the league where they play for pay -- but have you been paying extra-close attention to the truly hot-hot-hot spread sides? Let's run 'em down for you:

CAROLINA - Don't look but the Panthers (4-2) have rattled off four consecutive pointspread wins (vs. Arizona, Houston, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay) and all without the services of injured QB Cam Newton ... hmmm. One thing you can say about Ron Rivera's squad is backup-turned-starting QB Kyle Allen has been uber-careful with the football (no INTs in 122 pass attempts) and that defense already sports 27 quarterback sacks.
Over /Under Note: Carolina entered the season projected to win 8 games (- 145) but keep in mind this NFC South crew hasn't covered five (or more) in a row since 2013.

DETROIT - The Lions have reeled off four consecutive pointspread triumphs although this last one was more bitter than sweet (see Lions-Packers below) as Matt Patricia's team now has covered 13 of its 21 games since the start of last year. There's more weapons on hand for veteran QB Matthew Stafford than ever before plus this Motown defense often bends but doesn't break.
Over /Under Note: Detroit entered the year at 6.5 (- 145) wins and -- at 2-2-1 SU (straight-up) - it could still be a major slog.

NEW ORLEANS - Hey, didn't we just chat about an NFC South team that lost a star / starting quarterback and yet hasn't missed a beat: Same deal here for the Saints who lost QB Drew Brees for anywhere between six weeks and two months with a thumb injury and yet the Who Dats are both 4-0 SU and 4-0 ATS ever since Brees went down. Hey, QB Teddy Bridgewater is more than just a "caretaker" here as the Saints have scored 30+ points twice in the last month of play.
Over /Under: The Saints were listed at 10.5 (- 150) and may well hurdle the 10-win mark even with Brees sidelined for much of the time. Three cheers, Sean Payton.

Let's put a bow on the NFL Week 6 happenings.

The Monday Night Football fiasco - Packers 23, Lions 22 - may have been the single-worst officiated game in the league this year as a batch of "hands-to-the-face" penalties crushed Detroit while we're still wondering why the Lions didn't challenge a couple of more-than-likely pass interference penalties on Green Bay. Referee Clete Blakeman's crew was downright horrendous and - without a doubt - cost the Lions a shot in the end when they flagged the "D" for more one "hands-to-the-face" ruling.

Gotta admit it's getting tougher to take watching many of these NFL games that are being sabotaged by penalty flags and bogus calls and bogus non-calls. Clean it up. Commish, or you're gonna be losing a boatload of fans!

In college Football News & Notes ...
Okay, so we won't exactly say there's some "must-win games" out there on this Saturday's college football menu but these come close:

#9 Florida at South Carolina - The 6-and-1 Gators are still alive in the SEC East but there's no more wiggle room. If Dan Mullen's crew loses here as 5.5-point road favs, then you can pencil 'em in for a likely Citrus Bowl game.

#12 Oregon at #25 Washington - The Ducks (5-1) beat the UW Huskies in OT a year ago in Eugene but now Oregon needs to win here to keep any national title hopes alive. Otherwise, it's looking like the Pac-12 teams are gonna cannibalize one another again.

#14 Boise State at BYU - Now that the B-State Broncos (6-0) are starting to get some national "love", you don't think they'll cave in at Provo, do you? If Boisee State wins / covers (as 6.6-point favs) here and there's a couple of top 10 losers, the momentum will be real for this Group of Five club.