TCU-Kansas State is a Highlight, But Other Games are Intriguing Too


This weekend the sportsbook betting public will be treated to a number of games that will most likely have national championship implications. But you know, there are other games that offer a rather intriguing handicapping challenge for America’s Bookie customers, and perhaps some of them are worth exploring.

One of them involves a team that pulled off an upset last week that probably made their season. The Florida Gators, who had been left for dead by everybody, defeated Georgia 38-20 last week as an 11.5-point underdog against the college football odds and all of a sudden put themselves in position to actually become bowl-eligible. All they have to do is defeat Vanderbilt this coming Saturday (7:30 PM ET) and then score a win over Eastern Kentucky, which is not even a Division I school, on November 22.

For last week’s game, part of an ongoing series that is billed as “The Worlds Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party,” the Gators inserted freshman quarterback Treon Harris, who is nimble with his feet but did not provide very much of an aerial component, completing only three of the six passes for 27 yards. However, he did seem to wake up the offense, and cut down on turnovers, which is what has killed this team this season. Of course, the biggest factor was that Florida ran for 418 yards, it’s biggest total since 1989.

Meanwhile, Vanderbilt had 524 offensive yards in their 42-28 victory over Old Dominion. Freshman quarterback Johnny McCray has thrown for seven touchdowns in the last two games, but of course we have to remember last week’s effort was against one of the weakest defenses in the country. Last year the Commodores won in Gainesville 34-17, breaking a 22-game losing streak in this series. This weekend at America’s Bookie, they are 14.5-point underdogs to Florida, who, even if it reaches a bowl game, may not be able to save coach Will Muschamp’s job. Can the Gators get over their “upset hangover”?

The UCLA Bruins, coming off a victory over Arizona that looked big on paper, will visit Seattle (7 PM ET) to play the Washington Huskies, who seem to have at their disposal the kind of qualities that could play into UCLA’s weaknesses.  The Bruins have been able to feed on their opponents’ turnovers from time to time in the process of amassing some very close wins. But Washington quarterback Cyler Miles, get back into the lineup last week after a concussion, has thrown just one interception. Also, Washington has high quality pass rushers in Hau’Oli Kilaha, and Danny Shelton, who have combined for 23 sacks. Those two names will unquestionably be called early in the NFL draft. And UCLA has had a lot of problems protecting quarterback Brett Hundley, although Hundley, a top NFL prospect himself, was able to run for 131 yards against Arizona last week. It should be noted that Washington coach Chris Petersen was never a home underdog when he was at Boise State. Now his team is getting 4.5 points in the college football odds at America’s Bookie.

And then there is a game that certainly has some significance in the national championship argument. The TCU Horned Frogs, who are ranked sixth in the latest college playoff rankings, take on #7 Kansas State in a 7:30 PM ET game that will go a long way toward determining the Big 12 champion, and, considering where both of these teams are placed, could provide a ticket into the final four and the subsequent playoff. Remember that Auburn and Alabama, who are ranked third and fifth, respectively, still have to play each other, and Mississippi State, ranked #1 at the moment, will have a tough challenge from #11 Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. So there is definitely a shot that this winner will be among the top four teams.

TCU went to a much more wide-open offense this season, and quarterback Tremane Boykin’s talents have been equal to the task. Boykin is coming off a rough outing, as he completed just 12 of his 30 passes, but the weather conditions were bad and TCU managed a one-point victory at West Virginia anyway. Kansas State has lost only at home to Auburn, so conceivably they could have a rematch with the Tigers. This game matches up a team that has turned it over only seven times (K-State) against the squad (TCU) that has the best turnover margin in college football. KSU quarterback Jake Waters has not been spectacular, but he is not turned the ball over in conference play as of yet. Kansas State is also the second-least penalized team in the country, so they do not do things to beat themselves, and thus, they are a very viable underdog. TCU, playing at home in Fort Worth, is a six-point favorite in the latest college football odds at America’s Bookie.

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