It was a great winning week last week at the TSE. Hopefully the momentum carries over for us through November. Speaking of momentum, I start looking for teams this month that are finally starting to put things together. These are teams you have to be vigilant of because they are now playing better than their stats.
I believe that Texas could be one of these teams. And much of it has to do with freshman RB Jonathan Gray starting to gather steam with back to back 100 yard games behind an improving OL. One other team that could be bulding a little momentum is Nebraska. Don’t underestimate the positive vibrations a team gets after knocking off two of the bluebloods of the Big 10 in back to back games. Moving forward I think the Huskers can smell the Big 10 Championship. I could be wrong about this team. Afterall they still have Bo Pelini. But right now they look like their playing good football and winning despite their coach.
Even though Tulane has just a 2-7 record, since they got their starting QB back they’ve gone on an ATS tear of 4 games in a row. Utah/UW..Both of these teams appear to have gottren over their early season jitters and are starting to play much better. Utah has played two dogs in the last couple of weeks. But they have been very competetive in the last month. Much different than the team who was in disarray in the first 6 weeks. UW got their first road win in more than a year last week at Cal. The momentum should carry over. But this is going to be a tight game. Utah holds the defense and special teams edges.
November is usually the month where situational spot plays come into play more than any other month of the season. Looking back at last week, there were very few of the dogs who won outright. Only 6 upsets out of 50+ games. Something tells me this week the dogs are going to be barking a little louder. Especially since we have a good share of tight lines. I’m not saying that I’m betting against these teams, but the ones who better be on upset alert this week are USC, Ohio, Louisville, Ole Miss, Wyoming, North Carolina, Arkansas St, Stanford, Virginia, NCST, Fresno State, Tulsa, Tennessee and Kansas State (if Klein can’t go).
There are a few ugly looking games and lines out there that have me tempted to play. The first that comes to mind is Akron -17. This time of the season there are a handful of teams out there that simply don’t have the depth or the fight left in them to compete. UMASS falls into this category along with the two other former FCS teams Texas St and UTSA who are in their first seasons in Division One football. They aren’t holding up very well, and the week to week competetion against much better competeion has taken it’s toll. You can throw Idaho in with this bunch too. They not only are a borderline FCS team, they lost their coach and fight for the rest of the year. So I expect even an offensive handicapped team like BYU to clean up on them. Especially a rested BYU off a bye week. The Cougars have a good enough defense to where they can probably score in the 40′s and get the cover. So I am at least considering this one. It wouldn’t be a popular bet, but I kind of lean to CAL +28. I’m just laying back to see if this line goes higher.
I know Oregon needs some style points with the BCS, but this is a bigtime sandwich spot between USC and Stanford. And I have a feeling that they put much more into that USC game than people think. Plus we all know the Ducks are notorious for not playing a full 60 minutes of football. Last week withstanding. Nothing is really jumping off the page at me this week. But I’m still digging, and should have a clearer picture by Thursday.