Posts Tagged ‘Championship’

2009 College Football Conference Championship Odds and Predictions

October 1st, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   Comments Off on 2009 College Football Conference Championship Odds and Predictions

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Earlier this summer, we broke down all of the NCAA College Football Conferences and provided some betting tips of who to keep on your radar for the 2009 season. Well the season is upon us, meaning the speculations and predictions of how the teams should perform are out the window. We have had the luxury of watching college football teams take the gridiron on the main stage and perhaps have a better understanding of what to expect for the remainder of the season. One thing that is certain for the 2009 season is that everyone is vulnerable to the upset bug. There has been 5 different top 5 ranked teams fall to upsets and last week 4 top 10 teams were beaten on the same weekend. The shakeup among the rankings is an equal indicator of how wide open the conference races will be for the remainder of the season. The major conferences have a long road before crowning their next champions. Based on some early performances and expectations, we bring to you a more updated look at the 2009 Conference Championships.

ACC Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The ACC:
Boston College +2000
Clemson +1200
Duke +10000
Florida State +400
Georgia Tech +600
Maryland +7500
Miami +400
North Carolina +600
North Carolina State +1000
Virginia +10000
Virginia Tech +150
Wake Forest +2000

The Miami Hurricanes appeared to be the surprise contenders in the conference jumping up to an early 9th place national ranking while capturing big wins over Florida State and Georgia Tech. However as quick as dreams for an ACC Title appeared feasible, Virginia Tech crushed the Hurricanes 31-7. Miami still has chances, but they have been desperately dampened considering they reside in the coastal division with Virginia Tech. However, the entire conference still has many contenders. Florida State has just one conference loss even though they have played very inconsistent. North Carolina and Georgia Tech both have one loss. The Yellow Jackets are perhaps too one dimensional in the running game to truly contend and North Carolina dropped their first test of the year against Georgia Tech last weekend. The Atlantic division still has a wide open race for a team to get in the ACC Championship, but the talent level is pretty significant drop off from the Coastal division. We predicted Virginia Tech in our first conference predictions and we are sticking with that decision strongly. The Hokies suffered a small letdown losing to Alabama in their opening game, but with all respect Alabama is among the very best in the nation. The Hokies blew out their big test against Miami and also managed to pullout a close out of conference win against a solid Nebraska team. The Hokies defense gives them the advantage to beat any team in the ACC. Also, Tyrod Taylor is starting to make plays with his arm which would be a huge boost to the team that has relied on the premier running attack.

ACC Conference Champion Pick: Virginia Tech

Big East Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big East:
Cincinnati +175
Connecticut +1000
Louisville +2000
Pittsburgh +400
Rutgers +800
South Florida +200
Syracuse +2000
West Virginia +400

The Big East is still as wide open as any conference in America. Cincinnati exploded to capture the crown in 2008 and are well on their way to making claim for a repeat. Despite some key losses, the Bearcats senior quarterback Tony Pike is a passing machine with 11 touchdowns to just 2 interceptions already this season. Pike gives the Bearcats every chance to have a huge season and a big reason Cincinnati has reached the number 10 ranking in the nation. South Florida took a big hit losing QB Matt Grothe which has to play into factor for the rest of the season. Sure the Bulls beat Florida State without Grothe, but it did not require a great passing performance from B.J Daniels to accomplish the feat. Perhaps we will see just who takes the early lead in the conference when South Florida meets Cincinnati in two weeks. Pittsburgh is the surprise story of the conference with a 4-0 start. Freshman running back Dion Lewis is sensational. The Panthers may not have the firepower to take down the conference this season, but best believe they will decide who does. Of course you also have to keep West Virginia in the picture due to their great rushing attack. Noel Devine is still among the best backs in the conference, but it may be the West Virginia defense that prevents them from returning to glory. The Mountaineers have allowed 27 points per game against some very average teams and they will only face better teams throughout the year. The likely scenario here again is Cincinnati repeats. South Florida will most likely fade, but Pittsburgh has the team to be the big surprise as they also get their biggest games at home. However, the Bearcats should bring down the conference but it may be very close.

Big East Conference Champion Pick: Cincinnati +175

Big 10 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big 10:
Illinois +2500
Indiana +2500
Iowa +500
Michigan +800
Michigan State +2000
Minnesota +2000
Northwestern +5000
Ohio State +175
Penn State +250
Purdue +5000
Wisconsin +1000

The Iowa Hawkeyes have shaken up the Big Ten for the 2nd straight season in a row taking down Penn State. The Hawkeyes have the talent especially on offense to contend with any team in the league. However, in some of the brutal low scoring games controlled by the running game which is fairly accustom to the Big Ten may not favor the Hawkeyes. Rich Rodriguez has the Wolverines back in the spotlight as the conference’s number 1 rushing team averaging 240 yards per game on the ground. It will be interesting to see if the Wolverines emergence back to the top can continue as the schedule toughens. Ohio State is the leading candidate to take down the conference. The Buckeyes defense is still extremely talented and is only allowing 11 points per game. If the offense can pick up the pace, our preseason pick in Ohio State will still be extremely tough to beat. Penn State is still going to be a factor despite an early loss. The Nittany Lions are still perhaps the most talented team in the conference, but they too need the offense to pick up the pace.

Big Ten Conference Champion Pick: Ohio State +175

Big 12 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Big 12:
Baylor +10000
Colorado +5000
Iowa State +10000
Kansas +800
Kansas State +10000
Missouri +1500
Nebraska +800
Oklahoma +175
Oklahoma State +1200
Texas -140
Texas A&M +10000
Texas Tech +5000

The 2008 college football season was the year of the Big 12 as their explosive offenses took center stage and did not disappoint. However, the high scoring offenses of the Big 12 have not been very convincing so far this season. Oklahoma was upset in their opener to BYU, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech both lost to Houston, Iowa State was blown out by Iowa, and the emerging Nebraska Cornhuskers were put back in the place by Virginia Tech. However, the Cornhuskers are better than expected and they will be heard this season. Nebraska has a balanced offense and a defense that will put them in every game they enter. The Jayhawks are expected to come out of the North, but they will have their hands full with Nebraska. Of course the winner of the South division will likely be the winner of the Big 12. Oklahoma State received tons off attention this summer due to their offense before struggling out the gates. The offense has been mediocre for Big 12 standards and it is unlikely they are going to beat out Texas or Oklahoma. However, the Cowboys still have the firepower to upset either one of the two. Texas is the overwhelming favorites as Colt McCoy already has 1,145 yards and the Longhorns offense is averaging 49 points this season. The Oklahoma Sooners have seemingly been thrown out the picture ever since their loss to BYU and Sam Bradford went down due to a shoulder injury. However, the Sooners are yet to play their first conference game and could be firing on all cylinders by the time they meet Texas on October 17th. The Oklahoma defense is going to give the Longhorns all they can handle in that meeting and if they force McCoy to a few turnovers the Sooners will be back on top of the Big 12 once again. The schedule may be tougher for Oklahoma to manage, but their defense along with the sharp running backs makes up for any letdowns in the passing game.

Big 12 Conference Champion Pick: Oklahoma +175

Pac 10 Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The Pac 10:
Arizona +4000
Arizona State +
California +250
Oregon +600
Oregon State +2500
Stanford +1800
UCLA +800
Southern Cal -150
Washington +1200
Washington State +5000

The Oregon Ducks nationally televised loss to Boise State on opening night put their hopes at a Pac-10 title on the backburner even though it was not a conference loss. However, the performance was fairly terrible and the Ducks were simply written off making the conference likely a two horse race between California and USC. The Trojans of course have had a share in 7 straight Pac-10 titles and are big favorites to win again. However, they have a huge road test with California this weekend they could really make a difference in the conference race. California reached the number 6 ranking the country last week behind Heisman hopeful running back Jahvid Best. However, the forgotten Oregon Ducks completely blew out California in a 42-3 thrashing. The Ducks recorded their 2nd straight win against a top 25 team and catapulted themselves right back into the conference race. USC already has a conference loss to their record as they were upset by Washington who was winless in 2008. The Trojans are under control from a freshman quarterback Matt Barkeley. For that reason along with the losses on defense, we predicted this would be the year that the Trojans do not make their claim at an 8th straight title. California could possibly confirm that prediction with a win over the Trojans this weekend and give the Golden Bears and Oregon the upper hand in the conference race. The Trojans defense is sure to make things tough for their opponents, but their inconsistent offense production will take its toll. We predicted California, but listed Oregon as the dark horse in the preseason. However, Oregon’s opening night loss may have been the best thing the team experiences this season. They are playing like a completely different team and they already have one of their biggest victories out of the way to bring down the Pac-10. We going to reverse that earlier prediction and put Oregon ahead of California to win the Pac-10 Championship especially with the odds begging for attention.

Pac Ten Conference Champion Pick: Oregon +600

SEC Championship Odds

Current Odds To Win The SEC:
Alabama +250
Arkansas +10000
Auburn +1500
Florida -275
Georgia +700
Kentucky +10000
LSU +1000
Mississippi +1500
Mississippi State +10000
South Carolina +10000
Tennessee +10000
Vanderbilt +10000

If you are not a Florida Gators fan, you may be possibly tired of hearing about the Florida Gators. However, you have to respect what they are trying to accomplish which is a 3rd national championship in 4 years which is simply ridiculous. Still, the odds are favoring Florida so much it nearly makes it a lose-lose situation to bet on. Mississippi appears to have been over rated after getting shut down by South Carolina. LSU is in similar situation, but they have escaped the upsets. However, the Tigers may not be able to escape their meeting with Georgia this weekend. The Tigers have not been able to run the ball and that will not get them anywhere in a SEC Title race. Auburn should start getting some attention as they are truly developing nicely. Auburn will not win the conference by any means, but they have every possibility to upset someone that has hopes to win the SEC. The race really comes down to the two teams that meet in last year’s SEC Championship. Florida as stated before are huge favorites considering their elite defense returned every starter from last year’s championship team and are holding teams to just 7 points per game which is best in the conference. Also, is there any need to even mention the Gators are led by Tim Tebow? However, Alabama is still a team for worthy consideration. The Crimson Tide is ranked number 3 in the country with quality wins over Virginia Tech and Arkansas. The Crimson Tide offense appears to be more dangerous this season than they were in 2008 behind veteran players like John Parker Wilson and Glenn Coffee. However, QB Greg McElroy can make the throws and has just 1 pick this season compared to 7 touchdowns. Mark Ingram has been very effective on the ground and the offense is spreading the ball around well through the air. The Crimson Tide defense remains the team’s strength, but with more firepower developing on offense they are going to be very tough to beat. It may seem absolutely crazy to go against Florida, but Nick Saban knows how to win the big games and when these two teams meet again in Atlanta that could very well be the outcome. Sure 99% of everyone will go with Florida, but getting Alabama at +250 odds is something to take a gamble on.

SEC Conference Champion Pick: Alabama +250

2008 NFL Championship Weekend

January 12th, 2009 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in NFL Football   Comments Off on 2008 NFL Championship Weekend

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The Division Playoff Round is out of the picture along with yet another exciting and crazy weekend of football leaving us with NFL’s version of the final four. Championship weekend is among us as we have a pair of games to determine both the NFC and AFC Titles and more importantly decide who will be playing in this year’s Super Bowl. Amazingly the NFC will be hosted by the #5 and #6 seeded teams in the Title game for the first time in history when the Arizona Cardinals host the Philadelphia Eagles. The AFC match-up will be a colossal rematch between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens dominated the majority of the game earlier this year, but Ben Roethlisberger led the Steelers to a game winning drive late in the 4th quarter to steal the victory. Take a look at what to watch for during Championship weekend.

NFC Championship

Philadelphia Eagles (11-6-1) at Arizona Cardinals (11-7)

The Arizona Cardinals have been the biggest surprise this postseason. The Cardinals started off the year strong, but were nearly written off for dead losing their last 4 of 6 games of the regular season. However, the Cardinals would find the spark that would need to ignite their electrifying air assault. The Cardinals blew out the Carolina Panthers last week 33-13 a team that many people thought were the best in the NFC heading into the playoffs Arizona will host their first playoff game this weekend since 1947 and will become the final NFC team to host at least one home playoff game. Kurt Warner has looked solid finding targets Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin. Boldin missed last week’s game and his status for the NFC Championship game is unknown. Larry Fitzgerald has been spectacular to say the least. Averaging 130 yards per game in the playoffs receiving with a pair of touchdowns, Fitzgerald has been uncontrollable for opposing secondary. The Cardinals will match up well again this week when they lead a high power offense against a brutal Philadelphia defense. The Eagles defense has been superb especially in the trenches. The best way to attack the Philadelphia defense if there is any is to try and pick apart the secondary. Warner and company will attempt to shock the world once again and earn a bid to the Super Bowl when they host the Eagles on Sunday.

Philadelphia has looked scary good during the playoffs and knocked off the defending Super Bowl Champions last week 23-11. The Eagles are flying high since their 5-5-1 start this season equaling 6 victories in their last 7 games. Philadelphia is getting it done on the defensive side of the ball. The Eagles have not allowed over 14 points in 6 straight games and only allowing 10.8 points per contest during that stretch. The Eagles may have surprised many with their victory over the Giants, but I knew if New York did not make some plays through the air that they would be in for a long day. The Eagles have opened up as 3 point favorites over the Cardinals and they will have to withstand a strong passing game that was 2nd best in the NFL this season averaging 292 yards per game. The Eagles let some Giants receivers get open last week, but New York failed to make the big plays. The Eagles secondary will have to be solid this weekend to slow down the Arizona passing game. Philadelphia QB Donovan McNabb has been wonderful since being benched in week 12 for not performing up to par. Since that time, McNabb has averaged 240 passing yards per game with 11 touchdowns and only 4 picks. McNabb has the offense back to performing the way they should have been all year. Michael Westbrook is a big time playmaker that had a big 71 yard screen pass that lifted the Eagles over Minnesota in the first week of the playoffs. Westbrook was not very effective last week, but his presence alone is a big play threat for the Eagles offense. The Eagles made a Super Bowl appearance in 2005. McNabb and Westbrook will look to lead the Eagles back with a win over the Cardinals.

AFC Championship

Baltimore Ravens (13-5) at Pittsburgh Steelers (13-4)

The first meeting between these teams this season was a wonderful defensive football game and the re-match has all the makings to be very similar. In the first meeting, Santonio Holmes caught a 4-yard touchdown pass from Ben Roethlisberger with 43 seconds left to get the victory over the Ravens 13-9. The Steelers have been nearly untouchable in the latter part of the year winning 7 of their last 8 games against some of the best teams in the NFL. Pittsburgh had a convincing performance last week when they man-handled the San Diego Chargers 35-24. Pittsburgh has one of the best defenses to ever step on an NFL field. The Steelers rank 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 1st in all 4 major defensive categories. Pittsburgh’s success is based around the performance of the defense because before last week the offense had really not been that good. The Steelers offense only averages 21 points per game along with 312 yards of total offense that both rank in the bottom half of the NFL. However when you have defense as talented as this unit, like the 2000 Baltimore Ravens proved that alone can be enough to win a Super Bowl. The Steelers looked like more of an offensive team last week, but that could be due to a poor San Diego defense as well. Still Pittsburgh is playing very well. Willie Parker leads the way on the ground and had a big performance against the Chargers. When Parker is effective on the ground, the Steelers are nearly impossible to defeat. Parker racked up 146 yards and 2 touchdowns last week and will get a load of carries this weekend for certain. Pittsburgh has yet to lose a game this season when Parker rushes for at least 50 yards or more. The Steelers defense will certainly be stout, but will the Pittsburgh offense be strong enough to hold off the Ravens for a second time?

I said before the playoffs started the Baltimore Ravens looked like the best prepared team to really make a strong run at a Super Bowl. The Ravens have really matured on the offensive side of the ball and the defense is a very tough unit. Baltimore has played better than anyone in the 2nd half of the season winning 11 of their last 13 games. In the last 8 games, Baltimore is only allowing 10.2 points per game. If you throw out the Cowboys high scoring game, the Ravens are only allowing an amazing 8 points per contest. On top of that, the Baltimore offense has really come around late in the year. Rookie QB Joe Flacco is throwing more passes and controlling the ball well. The Ravens ground game has been solid this season as well behind the legs of Le’Ron McClain and Willis McGahee. Both running backs will share carries and they have both shown the can be effective backs. Baltimore was shut down by the Pittsburgh offense in their last meeting only putting up 202 total yards. The offense should have a bit more confidence this time around and it will be interesting to see if they can get the job done. The turnovers will be a key category in this game. Last meeting, both teams have two turnovers a piece and it will be very crucial for each team to hold onto the ball in a field position type ball game. Look for this ball game to possibly be another very low scored game controlled by defense.

Controversy in the Big 12

December 1st, 2008 by Travis Edwards (Bankroll Sports Contributor) | Posted in College Football   2 Comments »

The latest BCS Standings are out and they have left the Big 12 in turmoil. The Texas Longhorns have been ahead of the Oklahoma Sooners all season in respect to the BCS Standings for their 45-35 victory over the Sooners this season. However, this week Oklahoma jumped ahead of Texas in the BCS standings to the #2 position and it was a critical point in timing. The Sooners jump in the BCS places them as the team to represent the Big 12 South over Texas leading up to this week’s conference championship. Oklahoma’s jump over Texas in the BCS Standings has ultimately changed the entire Big 12 Championship match-up and perhaps has changed the entire National Championship game as well.

The Big 12 tie breaker rule for sending teams to the conference championship is determined by the higher ranked team in the BCS Standings. Showing how important a week of voting could be for the entire nation, the Sooners jumped Texas in the standings this week by a mere .0128. This change in the BCS Standings put the Oklahoma Sooners in Big 12 Championship game this weekend. This is where the controversy comes in. The Longhorns beat Oklahoma this season 45-35 in Lubbock, TX. Most conferences use the way teams play head-to-head during the season to decide a tie breaker at the end of a season if teams end with the same records.

Big 12 South teams Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech all ended the season with a record of 11-1, and 7-1 in the conference. Texas Tech was blown out by Oklahoma 65-21 and that ruined any hopes they had in playing for the Big 12 Championship despite they ended with the same record as Texas and Oklahoma. Texas on the other hand seemed in control of their own destiny considering they had beaten Oklahoma head to head. With that 45-35 victory over the Sooners, the Longhorn nation thought the BCS would favor them ahead of Oklahoma if the two teams did in fact end the season with the same record. The BCS did favor the Longhorns every week the new standings were released until the week that mattered most.

This has caused an uproar in across the nation for college football fans. The last week BCS voting has changed everything from here on out for the college football season. Texas or Oklahoma either one would be the favorites against Big 12 North Championship contender Missouri. Missouri has lost 3 games already this season and just benefits from being on the weaker side of the conference. Texas is now left out of their own conference championship game despite deserving to be playing more than the Oklahoma Sooners. Not only does it effect the Big 12 Champion, but if Oklahoma wins the Big 12 Championship they will go on to play for the National Championship where again perhaps Texas should be not Oklahoma.

The winner of the Big 12 title game will meet the winner from the SEC Championship between #1 Alabama and #4 Florida in the National Championship game. Texas still has a chance to make the National Title game if Oklahoma losses, but again the Sooners will be fairly reasonable favorites to pick up the victory. Whoever makes it to Miami, Florida to play in the National Title game from the Big 12 will finally have a chance to dethrone the SEC in it’s quest for a 3rd straight National Championship.

One thing this Big 12 incident is achieving is it has given the NCAA even more reason to finally put some type of playoff system into college football. College football fans have been desperately begging for a playoff system for years and this could be a turning point. A playoff system would prevent this exact situation from happening again where a team that perhaps has earned their right to play for a National Championship will be left out. In 2004, the Auburn Tigers went through the SEC undefeated and never got the chance to play for the National Championship despite going undefeated in the toughest conference in college football. Despite the much needed change for BCS and College Football, the season goes on. Still Texas is left on the outside looking in.

Despite not being in the Big 12 Championship, many think Texas still has a good shot to play in the National Championship. Find out what some of the experts are expecting in the Big 12 Championship and the chances Missouri has in upsetting the Oklahoma Sooners.