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11/22/08

"THE BEST OF THE REST"

 

Below are games that were on our radar as potential Key Releases this week. For various reasons, we decided to play these games. They are always worth a look as all have some value, and often times these games do very well. Isn't that always the way? The games you end up eliminating from your card our often the easiest winners of the week!

 

Northwestern +3 over Illinois - Huge game for an Illinois team seeking to become bowl eligible. But also remember that there are plenty of teams that finish with 5 wins every year in college football. They don't all win when they have to. At some point you have to accept that there's a reason one team is 5-6 and the other is 8-3. Many will point to a soft schedule so here's Northwesterns chance to prove it belongs. We'll take the 8-3 team as a home dog in a big spot.

 

Pitt +6 over Cinci - Amazing that Cinci is 8-2 after having used 3 or 4 QB's this year along with a host of other injuries. These two teams can both move the ball but Cinci rates the edge defensively. All the same, we'll grab the +6 here in a game that figures to be close. Nothing strong here though.

 

Michigan +21 over Ohio State - Only because it's Michigan vs. Ohio State. As bad as Michigan has been and as good as Ohio State has been, would anyone who follows college football be shocked if this game were up for grabs in the 4th quarter. I for one, would not. Heck, Ohio U came within 12 of the Buckeyes.

 

Vanderbilt - 3 over Tennessee - This one came real close to being a play. Heading into last weeks Kentucky game Vandy coach Bobby Johnson, when asked about winning 6 games and becoming Bowl Eligible for the first time in 25 years, said, We're not thinking about winning 6 games, we're thinking of winning 7 or 8. You know what? We believe him. We also think this Vandy bunch is head over heels better than a Tennessee team that gave up on this season long ago and can't wait for it to be over.

 

Syracuse +20 over Notre Dame - We just don't like this Notre Dame team. Don't be surprised if this one is closer than many think despite the problems Syracuse has had.

 

Michigan State +15.5 over Penn State - This one came real close to being a play as well. Michigan State didn't lose a game by more than a touchdown all of last season. This year, they have one loss by more than TD and that was the game against Ohio State which we have no explanation for. Their only other loss this year was by a touchdown to Cal to open the year. What made us back off the play was when we took a closer look at both teams performances against common opponents. Penn States numbers are fantastic, particularly on the defensive side of the ball where they have a yards per point number against common opponents of 24. Michigan States number is 14. It's just too big of a difference for us to take the chance here but at the same time it's hard to pass up 15.5 points with a team that's 9-2 and played everyone to within a touchdown a year ago when they weren't as good as this years bunch. Check in Saturday morning. We may change our mind on this one.

 

Air Force +20 over TCU - This is alot of points to be giving a decent Air Force football team.

 

Stanford +9 over Cal - This is a winnable game for a scrappy Stanford team that needs this one to go to a bowl. They have played some good teams pretty close this year and are deserving of a bowl game. Hey, this is a rivalry game that at times has been close when the talent gap between the two was much wider than it is now. Taking the points here is very tempting. This is another one where we'd suggest checking the key release page on game day.

 

Oregon State +2.5 over Arizona - We wouldn't play this one at 2.5 when we could have had +3 earlier in the week. We'd love to see Oregon State win out and go to the Rose Bowl. But this games a toss up and could go either way. Arizona not too shabby so we'll stay away from this one and just root for the Beavers.

 

There you have it. The best of the rest for another week. Don't discard them. They often do well. If you do your own work on these games and see they match up with your opinion, go ahead and play. As we mentioned above, over the years we have left plenty of winners on the table in the games we decided not to play.

Good Luck this week and enjoy the games!

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