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August 30, 2014

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Odds ‘n’ Ends:

In big college football games, how important is revenge factor?

COLLEGE GAMES OF THE YEAR

    Las Vegas Hilton odds, subject to change

THURSDAY, SEPT. 10

  • CLEMSON
  • GEORGIA TECH -3.5

SATURDAY, SEPT. 12

  • UCLA
  • TENNESSEE -5.5
  • SOUTH CAROLINA
  • GEORGIA -11.5
  • USC -3
  • OHIO ST
  • IOWA -10
  • IOWA ST
  • NOTRE DAME -2.5
  • MICHIGAN
  • OREGON ST -8.5
  • UNLV
  • TCU -5.5
  • VIRGINIA

THURSDAY, SEPT. 17

  • GEORGIA TECH
  • MIAMI FL -4

FRIDAY, SEPT. 18

  • BOISE ST -9.5
  • FRESNO ST

SATURDAY, SEPT. 19

  • TENNESSEE
  • FLORIDA -24
  • GEORGIA -3.5
  • ARKANSAS
  • MICHIGAN ST
  • NOTRE DAME -7
  • NEBRASKA
  • VIRGINIA TECH -7
  • KANSAS ST
  • UCLA -6.5
  • FLORIDA ST
  • BYU -3
  • USC -14
  • WASHINGTON

THURSDAY, SEPT. 24

  • OLE MISS -4.5
  • SOUTH CAROLINA

FRIDAY, SEPT. 25

  • MISSOURI
  • NEVADA -2

SATURDAY, SEPT. 26

  • ILLINOIS
  • OHIO ST -9
  • IOWA
  • PENN ST -7.5
  • TCU
  • CLEMSON -3

THURSDAY, OCT. 1

  • COLORADO
  • WEST VIRGINIA -5

FRIDAY, OCT. 2

  • PITTSBURGH -2.5
  • LOUISVILLE

SATURDAY, OCT. 3

  • LSU
  • GEORGIA -3.5
  • ARKANSAS -8
  • TEXAS A&M @ ARLINGTON, TX
  • PENN ST
  • ILLINOIS PK
  • MICHIGAN
  • MICHIGAN ST -4
  • WISCONSIN -3
  • MINNESOTA
  • OKLAHOMA -10.5
  • MIAMI FL
  • USC -5
  • CALIFORNIA
  • NLV
  • NEVADA -9
  • AIR FORCE
  • NAVY -1.5

THURSDAY, OCT. 8

  • NEBRASKA -3
  • MISSOURI

SATURDAY, OCT. 10

  • FLORIDA -8.5
  • LSU
  • GEORGIA -3
  • TENNESSEE
  • ALABAMA
  • OLE MISS -3.5
  • OKLAHOMA ST -13
  • TEXAS A&M
  • GEORGIA TECH
  • FLORIDA ST -3.5
  • OREGON
  • UCLA -1
  • BYU -10
  • UNLV

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14

  • BOISE ST -5.5
  • TULSA

THURSDAY, OCT. 15

  • CINCINNATI
  • SOUTH FLORIDA -9.5

FRIDAY, OCT. 16

  • PITTSBURGH
  • RUTGERS -3

SATURDAY, OCT. 17

  • TEXAS -1
  • OKLAHOMA @ DALLAS, TX
  • TEXAS TECH
  • NEBRASKA -7
  • VIRGINIA TECH
  • GEORGIA TECH -2
  • USC -6
  • NOTRE DAME
  • CALIFORNIA -5
  • UCLA
  • UTAH -7
  • UNLV

THURSDAY, OCT. 22

  • FLORIDA ST
  • NORTH CAROLINA -2.5

SATURDAY, OCT. 24

  • TENNESSEE
  • ALABAMA -11
  • PENN ST -5
  • MICHIGAN
  • OKLAHOMA -12
  • KANSAS
  • OKLAHOMA ST -8.5
  • BAYLOR
  • CLEMSON
  • MIAMI FL -4.5
  • BOSTON COLLEGE
  • NOTRE DAME -10
  • OREGON -5
  • WASHINGTON
  • TCU
  • BYU -3
  • BOISE ST -15
  • HAWAII

THURSDAY, OCT. 29

  • NORTH CAROLINA
  • VIRGINIA TECH -7

FRIDAY, OCT. 30

  • WEST VIRGINIA
  • SOUTH FLORIDA -6

SATURDAY, OCT. 31

  • FLORIDA -13.5
  • GEORGIA @ JACKSONVILLE, FL
  • MICHIGAN
  • ILLINOIS -7
  • TEXAS -3.5
  • OKLAHOMA ST
  • USC -7
  • OREGON

THURSDAY, NOV. 5

  • VIRGINIA TECH -6
  • EAST CAROLINA

SATURDAY, NOV. 7

  • OHIO ST
  • PENN ST -3
  • ILLINOIS -6
  • MINNESOTA
  • OKLAHOMA -9
  • NEBRASKA
  • KANSAS -2.5
  • KANSAS ST
  • FLORIDA ST
  • CLEMSON -3
  • USC -13.5
  • ARIZONA ST
  • LSU
  • ALABAMA -3.5

THURSDAY, NOV. 12

  • SOUTH FLORIDA
  • RUTGERS -3

FRIDAY, NOV. 13

  • WEST VIRGINIA
  • CINCINNATI -2

SATURDAY, NOV. 14

  • FLORIDA -16
  • SOUTH CAROLINA
  • TENNESSEE
  • OLE MISS -12
  • IOWA
  • OHIO ST -8
  • MICHIGAN
  • WISCONSIN -3.5
  • TEXAS -14
  • BAYLOR
  • NEBRASKA
  • KANSAS -1
  • MIAMI FL
  • NORTH CAROLINA -2.5
  • NOTRE DAME -1
  • PITTSBURGH

THURSDAY, NOV. 19

  • COLORADO
  • OKLAHOMA ST -17

SATURDAY, NOV. 21

  • LSU
  • OLE MISS -3.5
  • PENN ST -3
  • MICHIGAN ST
  • OHIO ST -6
  • MICHIGAN
  • OKLAHOMA -11
  • TEXAS TECH
  • CALIFORNIA -7
  • STANFORD

THURSDAY, NOV. 26

  • TEXAS -18.5
  • TEXAS A&M

FRIDAY, NOV. 27

  • ALABAMA -5
  • AUBURN
  • ILLINOIS -3
  • CINCINNATI
  • NEBRASKA -3
  • COLORADO
  • PITTSBURGH
  • WEST VIRGINIA -2
  • NEVADA
  • BOISE ST -18

SATURDAY, NOV. 28

  • FLORIDA ST
  • FLORIDA -22
  • GEORGIA -1
  • GEORGIA TECH
  • CLEMSON
  • SOUTH CAROLINA -1
  • OLE MISS -17.5
  • MISSISSIPPI ST
  • ARKANSAS
  • LSU -10.5
  • OKLAHOMA ST
  • OKLAHOMA -11.5
  • TEXAS TECH -4
  • BAYLOR @ ARLINGTON, TX
  • KANSAS -5
  • MISSOURI @ KANSAS CITY, MO
  • NORTH CAROLINA
  • NORTH CAROLINA ST -2
  • VIRGINIA TECH -8
  • VIRGINIA
  • UCLA
  • USC -19.5
  • ARIZONA
  • ARIZONA ST -2
  • NOTRE DAME -5.5
  • STANFORD
  • WASHINGTON ST
  • WASHINGTON -14
  • UTAH
  • BYU -7

THURSDAY, DEC. 3

  • OREGON ST
  • OREGON -5.5

SATURDAY, DEC. 5

  • WISCONSIN -11
  • HAWAII
  • CALIFORNIA -8
  • WASHINGTON
  • WEST VIRGINIA
  • RUTGERS -5
  • CINCINNATI
  • PITTSBURGH -7
  • SOUTH FLORIDA -6.5
  • U CONN

SATURDAY, DEC. 12

  • NAVY -12.5
  • ARMY @ PHILADELPHIA, PA

Even bettors who downplay or entirely discount the significance of “revenge” in handicapping a football game might be tempted to reexamine their philosophy come Sept. 26.

Last year Penn State had won its first nine games heading into a clash with Iowa at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City. The Nittany Lions were hoping to attain a perfect season and a national championship shot — or at least to generate an uproar if they were left out of the BCS title game.

Their plans changed when Iowa, trailing by nine points heading into the fourth quarter, rallied to beat Penn State 24-23 as an underdog of 7 1/2 points on Nov. 8. Penn State went on to win its final two regular-season games before losing to Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl.

Sports gamblers like to debate when or if the “revenge factor” carries any weight. But public sentiment figures to favor Penn State in its rematch against Iowa, scheduled for Sept. 26 in Happy Valley — especially among fans and bettors who believe the Lions will be out to “punish” Iowa for last season’s debacle.

In Las Vegas, bettors don’t have to wait until the week of the game to take a position on it. Penn State-Iowa is one of dozens of college football “games of the year” on which oddsmakers have posted early betting lines.

Coincidentally, Penn State opened as a 7 1/2-point favorite against Iowa according to odds at the Las Vegas Hilton sports book — the same closing point spread attached to last year’s game.

In another game backed by a vivid story line, Tennessee opened as a 5 1/2-point favorite against UCLA in their Sept. 12 game, a rematch of last season’s thriller. In their 2008 opener, UCLA scored a 27-24 upset in overtime against the Volunteers as a 7-point underdog.

The “games of the year” on the betting board range from early September through the Army-Navy game scheduled for Dec. 12. Navy opened as a 12 1/2-point favorite at the Hilton.

As always in this type of wagering, bettors “lock in” the point spread at the time they place their bet, regardless of any subsequent changes in the line. According to the Hilton’s house rules, the game must be played within eight days of its scheduled date for the bet to be valid, and the game must be played at its designated site.

In other noteworthy “games of the year”:

• Florida, the heavy preseason favorite to win the national championship, commands some of the largest point spreads on the board. The Gators opened as a 24-point favorite against Tennessee on Sept. 19 and are favored by 22 points against Florida State on Nov. 28. The Gators are a favorite of 2-1 — or less — to win the national title in Las Vegas sports books. Florida even inspired a “yes/no” proposition at all Lucky’s books that allows gamblers to lay minus 240 (risk $2.40 to net $1) that it will not win the national title.

• If Florida is like Tiger Woods on the Buick Open betting board, Texas and Oklahoma are Justin Leonard and Scott Verplank: contenders offering decent odds for bettors willing to try to “beat the favorite.” Texas opened as a 1-point favorite in their Oct. 17 showdown, a clash between Heisman Trophy hopefuls Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford.

• Ohio State, a narrow betting favorite to win the Big Ten title ahead of Penn State, opened as a 3-point underdog on the road against the Nittany Lions on Nov. 7.

• Southern Cal, projected as the class of the Pac-10 as well as a national championship contender, opened as a 19 1/2-point favorite in its traditional rivalry game against UCLA Nov. 28.

• Boise State, which enters the season with a lofty season-win over/under of 10 1/2, commands respect from oddsmakers in several “games of the year.” For example, the Broncos opened as a 15-point favorite against Hawaii on Oct. 24 and as an 18-point favorite against UNR on Nov. 27.

• UNLV, coming off a 49-27 loss to UNR a year ago, opened as a 9-point underdog against the Wolf Pack on Oct. 3 in Reno.

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