Analysis. History. Perspective.

Sports Then and Now



Ohio State and Michigan State Are Beating Opponents, But Not The Spread 1

Posted on October 15, 2015 by Jim Hurley
After earning the starting quarterback job, Cardale Jones has been inconsistent so far this season.

After earning the starting quarterback job, Cardale Jones has been inconsistent so far this season.

Ohio State and Michigan State have stayed undefeated so far this season, but neither one has played to expectations. In fact, that might be the understatement of the year. If you bet both the Buckeyes and Spartans in every game this year, you would be 1-11 against the spread (ATS)! Michigan State hasn’t covered the number yet this year. Ohio State’s only cover came in the first game of the season against Virginia Tech, and had Tech’s quarterback not gotten hurt, they might be sporting an ATS goose egg of their own.

Now, each team will be in the national spotlight this week. Michigan State’s visit to Michigan (3:30 PM ET, ESPN) will be the platform for ESPN’s Gameday. And the ABC prime-time game will be Ohio State’s home game with Penn State, kicking off at 8 PM ET. Will the Buckeyes and Spartans see their ATS fortunes change?

We’ll begin with Michigan State, whose problems seem deeper and whom has already suffered in public esteem. The Spartans, after rising as high as #2 in the polls a couple weeks ago, has been dropped to #7 without actually losing a game. For handicappers, the more noteworthy development is that Michigan State has lost regard in the betting markets.

They opened as a six-point underdog to Michigan and that line was quickly bet up to (+8). It’s an astonishing reversal in perception of both teams that’s taken place in a very short period of time. Read the rest of this entry →

What Are The Odds? Looking at the Top Preseason Contenders for the College Football Playoffs 0

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Jim Hurley
Ohio State has been anointed as the favorite to again raise the College Football National Championship trophy.

Ohio State has been anointed as the favorite to again raise the College Football National Championship trophy.

The anointing of Ohio State for a repeat national championship has begun—the Buckeyes were the first unanimous preseason #1 in the history of the AP poll when that venerable organization released its voting results earlier this week. Las Vegas is no less bullish on the Bucks, slotting Ohio State is a decisive 2-1 favorite to win it all in Glendale on January 11. There’s no question Urban Meyer has a terrific team. But does that make them a terrific bet?

Ohio State is not a perfect team. They have youth on the offensive line, with two sophomores in starting roles. They have to replace a pair of defensive lineman, something that can’t be overlooked in the run-heavy Big Ten.

While Meyer has a well-documented embarrassment of riches at quarterback, even that comes with its own challenges—he can’t afford to have the locker room split between J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones, even if Braxton Miller made everyone’s life easier by agreeing to switch to wide receiver.

Then there’s the suspensions. Four players will miss the season opener on Labor Day Night at Virginia Tech, including All-American defensive end Joey Bosa. If Ohio State gets through this game, which they remain favored to do, then that issue is past them. But it’s one more fly in the ointment.

None of this is to suggest that the Buckeyes are uniquely vulnerable or that they shouldn’t be ranked #1. What I am suggesting is that 2-1 is a very short price when the season is just beginning. You can likely wait until the beginning of the Playoff and get close to the same price, but without any lingering questions.

Public handicappers have to look elsewhere for value. Here’s a brief rundown of how the challengers to Ohio State are viewed in Las Vegas, and some pertinent thoughts on each group of teams:

THE PRIME CHALLENGERS: TCU (6-1), Alabama (13-2): This is rarefied air for the Horned Frogs, with their #2 preseason ranking in the AP poll being the highest in their history. The Crimson Tide are more interesting. It’s a short price, but about as good as anyone will get with a Nick Saban-coached team. If early games, like the September 5 prime-time affair with Wisconsin at Cowboys Stadium show an improved ‘Bama defense, the Tide are worth a serious look. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Follow Us Online

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bill Freehan: Michigan Man
      May 12, 2018 | 6:21 pm

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was an 11-time American League All-Star at one of the most demanding positions in baseball, yet outside of Detroit his exploits have been largely forgotten.

      For more than a decade, Bill Freehan was the rock behind home plate for the Detroit Tigers. In addition to earning All-Star honors 10 straight years and 11 times overall, Freehan was a five-time Gold Glove winner and in 1968 finished second in the American League in the MVP voting.

      A true “Michigan Man”, Freehan played his entire sports career representing teams from Michigan.

      Read more »

    • RSSArchive for Vintage Athlete of the Month »
  • Sign up for Email Updates

    Sign-up to get daily updates of all the great articles and information on Sports Then and Now.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

  • Check out the best free bets at freebets4all. Learn how to convert online bookmakers free bets into guaranteed cash using the matched betting technique.

  • Affordable Satellite TV Great prices on Dish network packages.

  • Gear up for your next trip with new North Face Backpacks from SportsUnlimited.com. Shop great Field Hockey Sticks from Grays & Gryphon.

    Football Jerseys

    8mm film to digital
  • Current Poll

    Which New York Yankee will Hit the Most Home Runs in 2018?

    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...
  • Post Categories



↑ Top