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Dogs nipping at favorites

Sep 2, 2008 7:47 PM

by Mark Mayer | When we last held college football class involving favorites vs underdogs, the chalk held in six of the first eight games. Well, the favorites still hold a 24-17 edge against the spread but the dogs are starting to get the scent.

Kentucky, Fresno State and UCLA all won outright as underdogs in action last Sunday and Monday, highlighted by the "instant classic" 27-24 overtime win by the Bruins in Rick Neuheisel’s first game as UCLA head coach. UCLA quarterback Kevin Craft threw four interceptions in the first half, then hit 18 of 25 passes and a TD in the second half.

Week 2 of the college season starts Thursday with an SEC clash in Nashville between South Carolina and Vanderbilt. The visiting Gamecocks, who host Georgia (No. 1, AP) a week from Saturday, are a 10-point favorite. The line moved up slightly from an opening 9½. On Friday, Ball State of the MAC is a 7½-point favorite over Navy.

There is a full slate of action Saturday, highlighted by Florida (No. 1, GT) facing rival Miami of Florida. The host Gators are a 21½-point favorite in a series that was discontinued for two decades after the Hurricanes turned into a national power. Miami has won the last four meetings.

Locally, UNLV tangles with Utah in Mountain West Conference play. The Rebels opened as a 23½ point underdog, but drew early money to knock the line down to 21½. Utah is coming off a 25-23 upset of Michigan as a 3-point underdog.

Here is GamingToday analyst Noland Parry’s Power Guide:

(updated after Monday’s games)

BCS Top 25

1-5: USC 187.1, Ohio St. 180.5, W.Virginia 180.2,

Missouri 178.9, Arizona 178.7

6-10: Oregon 176.7, Texas 176.7, Florida 176.2,

Oklahoma 175.8, LSU 174.1

11-15: Kansas 173.8, Georgia 172.0, Tennessee 171.7,

Penn St. 171.6, Oregon St. 171.5

16-20: Texas Tech 171.4, UCLA 171.3, Virginia Tech 171.3,

Wisconsin 170.1, Oklahoma St. 170.0

21-25: Utah 169.7, Auburn 169.5, Alabama 169.3,

Wake Forest 169.3, Arizona St. 168.9


Regional Top 10

East

1-5: Ohio St. 180.5. West Virginia 180.2, 3. Penn St. 171.6

Michigan 168.8, Maryland, 166.3

6-10: Cincinnati 165.1, BC 164.4, Michigan St. 163.8

Connecticut 163.1, Rutgers 162.1

Midwest

1-5: Missouri 178.9, Texas 176.7, Oklahoma 175.8

Kansas 173.8, Texas Tech 171.4

6-10: Wisconsin 170.1, Oklahoma St. 170.0, Illinois 168.4

TCU 164.7, Nebraska 163.6


South

1-5: Florida 176.2, LSU 174.1, Georgia 172.0,

Tennessee 171.7, Virginia Tech 171.3

6-10: Auburn 169.5, Alabama 169.3, Wake Forest 169.3

Kentucky 166.9. South Carolina 166.9

West

1-5: USC 187.1, Arizona 178.7, Oregon 176.7,

Oregon St. 171.5, UCLA 171.3.

6-10: Utah 169.7, Arizona St. 168.9, BYU 168.7,

California 167.4, Washington 165.3

FCS

1-5: App St. 135.5, Delaware 128.9, No. Iowa 128.8

No. Arizona 128.5, Richmond 126.6