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BEHIND THE LINES

Cal takes its show on the road

September 08, 2007|Lonnie White | Times Staff Writer

California began the college football season with a bang last Saturday, defeating Tennessee at home by two touchdowns and covering the spread as a six-point favorite.

The Bears are favored again today by 14 points at Colorado State, which lost by a field goal in overtime last week to rival Colorado.

The good news for Cal supporters is that the Rams have lost eight games in a row and are 1-7 against the spread in their last eight games after playing Colorado.

The bad news for the Bears is that the game will be played on grass, where they have a 2-8 record against the spread in their last 10 games.

Also, in the only previous meeting between the teams, Colorado State won at Cal, 23-21, in 2003.

Another game to keep an eye on will be San Jose State at Kansas State. The Wildcats are 19-point favorites.

Both teams lost on the road last week, but Kansas State was impressive in a tough game at Auburn.

The Wildcats lost, 23-13.

The Spartans were crushed at Arizona State, 45-3.

But Kansas State is 2-11 against the spread versus nonconference opponents.

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Mixed martial arts

Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, the Ultimate Fighting Championship light-heavyweight champion, will take on the role as favorite when he faces Dan Henderson in UFC 75 at the O2 Arena in London.

At BetUs.com, if Jackson wins, a $14 bet would win $10 and return $24, and a $10 bet on Henderson would return $21. Henderson, who holds titles in two weight categories, has a 22-5-0 MMA record; Jackson is 27-6-0.

Note that since UFC purchased PRIDE Fighting Championships this year, underdog fighters have dominated UFC main events, including Jackson's upset victory over Chuck Liddell.

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Hockey

According to Covers.com, Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and San Jose's Joe Thornton are the favorites to win the NHL scoring title this season.

A $100 wager on Crosby, who signed a five-year contract extension worth $43.5 million in July, to take home the Art Ross Trophy -- given to the league's leading scorer -- will pay $200. The same bet on Thornton will pay $400.

Among local players, Ducks winger Teemu Selanne has the best odds of winning the scoring title, with a $2,000 payoff, if he even decides to play.

He's followed by teammate Andy McDonald at $5,000.

For the Kings, forward Michael Cammalleri is the only player to make the list with a $6,600 payoff.

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lonnie.white@latimes.com

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