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Bet The Game: 3 Takeaways from the Betting Weekend

By Zack Schlegel

 

Every single home team won and covered on Sunday in the NFL. 

Not only did every single home team win in the NFL this Sunday, but every home team also covered the spread — something that I cannot remember happening, ever. Fortunately for the sportsbooks, the Browns, Packers, and Patriots (the most heavy publicly bet teams in Wk 9) were all on the road.

The Denver Broncos had just placed their starting QB Joe Flacco on the IR because of a herniated disk in his neck. That could also just be part of the reason, with the other being that the guy literally cannot move at all in the pocket which resulted in him being sacked 26 times in eight games.

In came Brandon Allen making his first NFL start, something Arkansas fans never thought they would witness after he left Fayetteville. Meanwhile the Browns were becoming a public embarrassment in the media with Baker Mayfield’s lack of leadership and maturity still very much lacking.

Allen provided a spark that the Broncos were desperately searching for, on their way to a 24-19 win over the Browns. If the Browns didn’t crush your Sunday parlay, the Packers or the Patriots most certainly did.

It’s almost like the two quarterback GOAT’s of the NFL came together before the weekend and said, “Let’s sit this one out and make things a little interesting.” The last two games Aaron Rodgers took the field, he threw for a casual 734 total yards, 8 TD’s, 0 INT’s, and completed 75% of his passes. In Sunday’s game against the Chargers, Rodgers was limited to just 161 yards, 1 TD, and completed just 65% of his passes.

As for Tom Brady, he was forced to attempt the most amount of passes in a game so far this season (46), while his team played from behind from start to finish. Lamar Jackson and that Ravens offense “were who we thought they were”, carving up what was considered to be a historic Patriots defense, to the tune of 372 total yards (210 rushing) and 37 points.

It’s safe to say that the Packers and the Patriots were equally served their helping of humble pie this past weekend. The Arizona Cardinals were the only home team that did not win outright in Wk 9, but they still managed to cover the 10-point spread against San Francisco.

If the the New York Giants can cover the 7-point spread against the Dallas Cowboys tonight on MNF, it would mean a perfect 14-0 against the spread for home teams in the NFL this week. As I already mentioned, I don’t think I have ever witnessed this before.

 

Oregon and Utah handle their business on the road, clearing the path for a top-10 showdown in the Pac-12 Championship. 

A couple of the “sexiest” college football plays this weekend was Washington +3.5 and USC +4.5. Just ask Colin Cowherd…

I get it, Colin. Washington and USC were at home, it was a big opportunity to grab a top-10 win, and how in the world could the Pac-12 have TWO top-10 teams, right? This year is very different for the conference. Utah and Oregon have separated themselves from the pack behind talented offensive lines, stingy defenses, and a physical approach to their game plans. They have taken on an SEC mentality in a conference known for speed and finesse.

Neither cover looked good for Utah or Oregon early in their games, but both ultimately found their rhythm and took control when they needed to most. The win for Utah placed them solely in first place of the Pac-12 South, with just three games remaining on their schedule. Oregon now holds a two-game lead in the North, with the Beavers behind them in second place boasting a surprising 3-2 conference record.

Both teams control their own destiny as far as a Pac-12 Championship is concerned. ESPN’s CFB Playoff Predictor now gives Oregon a 13% chance to make the Playoff, while Utah currently holds just a 3% chance. Although they each have suffered just one loss on the season, Oregon’s resume is stronger because of their non-conference opener against Auburn.

Regardless of which of these teams ends up being crowned Pac-12 Champions at Levi’s Stadium on December 6th, each will need a little bit of help in front of them in order to get the nod into the 4-team Playoff. Utah is looking for their first ever Pac-12 Championship since entering the conference in 2010. Oregon has their eyes set on their first conference championship since 2014.

 

The top -5 teams in the country were on bye (well, Clemson technically played Wofford), while a few teams on the CFB Playoff bubble made their case. — here’s my prediction for the top-10 of the CFB Playoff rankings debuting tomorrow. 

  1. LSU Tigers (8-0)
    • Quality Wins (w/ ranking at time of game): No. 9 Texas, No. 7 Florida, No. 9 Auburn
    • AP Rank: 1st
    • QB Joe Burrow is the Heisman front runner at +100
    • Odds to win Championship: +400
    • Offensive Rank: 4th
    • Defensive Rank: 23rd

2. Ohio State (8-0)

    • Quality Wins: No. 13 Wisconsin
    • AP Rank: 3rd
    • Two players in top-5 of the Heisman race: QB Justin Fields +850 and DE Chase Young +900
    • Odds to win Championship: +300
    • Offensive Rank: 6th
    • Defensive Rank: 2nd

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0)

    • Quality Wins: No. 24 Texas A&M (sorta)
    • AP Rank: 2nd
    • QB Tua Tagovailoa is third in the Heisman race at +325 (he is also healing from a high ankle sprain)
    • Odds to win Championship: +275
    • Offensive Rank: 9th
    • Defensive Rank: 16th

4. Clemson Tigers (9-0)

    • Quality Wins: No. 12 Texas A&M (again… eh)
    • AP Rank: 4th
    • QB Trevor Lawrence was the front runner to win the Heisman prior to the season, but has slipped all the way to 100-1 odds currently
    • They are the defending Champions and even though their schedule hasn’t been impressive, they deserve a top-4 spot until they lose
    • Odds to win Championship: +260 (the odds on favorite, still)
    • Offensive Rank: 3rd
    • Defensive Rank: 4th

5. Georgia Bulldogs (7-1)

    • Quality Wins: No. 7 Notre Dame, No. 6 Florida
    • AP Rank: 6th
    • Jake Fromm isn’t getting an Heisman buzz, but he is a junior who is no stranger to big games… he played in the National Championship as a freshman and nearly beat Alabama in the SEC Championship last season
    • RB DeAndre Swift is 100-1 odds to win the Heisman (tied with Trevor Lawrence)
    • Odds to win the Championship: I mentioned a couple weeks ago that Georgia was the best value bet to win the Championship at +1600… they are now +1000 after their win over No. 6 Florida
    • Georgia now controls their destiny to the SEC Championship game and the CFB Playoff
    • Offensive Rank: 26th
    • Defensive Rank: 8th

6. Penn State Nittany Lions (8-0)

    • Quality Wins: No. 17 Iowa, No. 16 Michigan
    • AP Rank: 5th
    • No one in the Heisman race, but freshman QB Sean Clifford has been poised and very impressive, throwing 20 TD’s to just 3 INT’s
    • Penn State’s defense is still allowing under 10 points per game and they are the 2nd best rushing defense in the country behind Utah (allowing 68.4 ypg)
    • Odds to win the Championship: +3500
    • Offensive Rank: 52nd
    • Defensive Rank: 9th

7. Oregon Ducks (8-1)

    • Quality Wins: No. 25 Washington, Washington St, USC
    • AP Rank: 7th
    • Oregon has now rattled off 8 wins in a row after dropping their opener to Auburn, a game in which they won for three of four quarters
    • WSU and USC are quality wins because it broke a four-game losing skid to the Cougars and it was the first time playing USC since 2016 (as well as it being on the road)
    • QB Justin Herbert is 80-1 odds to win the Heisman, behind one of the nation’s best offensive lines
    • Odds to win the Championship: +2200
    • Offensive Rank: 29th
    • Defensive Rank: 22nd

8. Utah Utes (8-1)

    • Quality Wins: Washington St, Washington
    • AP Rank: 8th
    • Utah’s stingy defense and very efficient offense is what has earned them a spot in the top-10 this season, with their only loss coming on one of those tricky Friday night games at USC
    • They have one more win than Oklahoma does, and unfortunately Oklahoma’s one loss looks worse because it is so fresh on the minds of the committee… we will really see how much respect the Pac-12 is getting based on who they rank ahead of the other
    • Odds to win the Championship: +8000
    • Offensive Rank: 32nd
    • Defensive Rank: 3rd

9. Oklahoma Sooners (7-1)

    • Quality Wins: No. 11 Texas
    • AP Rank: 9th
    • QB Jalen Hurts is 2nd in the Heisman race at +300
    • Oklahoma had a bye this past weekend after suffering their only loss of the season to Kansas St… they will need to win out impressively and hope some major shakeups occur in front of them
    • Their schedule does set up some quality games down the stretch with Iowa St, undefeated No. 11 Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma St
    • Odds to win the Championship: +2000 (6th best)
    • Offensive Rank: 1st
    • Defensive Rank: 30th

10. Florida Gators (7-2)

    • Quality Wins: No. 7 Auburn
    • AP Rank: 10th
    • I said it before, but I feel like Florida peaked during that Auburn game… however their only two losses are against solidified top-10 teams in the country (No. 1 LSU and No. 6 Georgia)
    • The committee usually has some SEC biased and we will see it here, with a two-loss team getting into the top-10 rankings ahead of two undefeated teams, many one-loss teams, and every other two-loss team currently… but their strength of schedule is definitely there and I would agree with the move
    • Odds to win the Championship: +20000 (the thing is, their Playoffs hopes are actually 0%… there is no way they make it in after losing to Georgia)
    • Offensive Rank: 72nd
    • Defensive Rank: 26th

 

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