Thursday, September 13, 2012

Vegas Rundown - Week 3

Well, chalk one up for the little guys, although nobody should be surprised that the University of Louisiana-Monroe (ULM) took down a major conference foe in Arkansas last Saturday. The Sun Belt Conference is actually a very respectable conference that is usually good for at least a close call against a big conference team each year. Troy University was a 23 point dog at Arkansas last year and only lost by 10, so this is not really unchartered territory and Arkansas bounced back last year.

The Sun Belt is made up of primarily southern schools that recruit the kids that cannot get into the LSUs, Alabamas, or Tennessees of the world, you get the picture right? They have a quite a few talented kids, that for whatever reason did not get a scholly to one of the BCS schools and they like to prove they belong whenever these games come up. The problem with teams from this conference is lack of talented depth, so it is hard to catch lightning in a bottle twice, so I am not sure the ULM bandwagon is the place to be when they roll into the “Loveliest Village on the Plains” this week to play Auburn.

Overall, last weekend provided a nice little profit to the gambling account. I hope that you are using this blog as just one more information filter in your process of picking games each week. If you have been using the information I provide in combination with the numerous other pieces of info out there and have been diligent in watching line movements you should have been able to profit a little from my infinite wisdom. Here’s to a profitable week 3 and as always you can take these picks are leave them, I really don’t care.

Navy Midshipmen v. Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions, Saturday, September 15, 12:30 PST (PSU -5.5, O/U 46.5) 

The public’s perception that Penn State is not going to rebound with the stigma around their program, may be in the gambler’s favor at this point. This line opened at Penn State being favored by 8 ½ points but has been bet down to 5 ½ since Sunday. The biggest advantage I think Penn State brings to this game is their defense, even though the story line the past few weeks has been the heartbreaking losses, the defense has shown up and taken care of business both games. The defense has only given up a total of 41 points this season and Navy’s offense looked quite anemic versus Notre Dame. Penn State does have the kicking quandary to deal with, but you have to think the coaching staff will make some adjustments and will game plan around the weakness, even though the public line out of Happy Valley is that they have confidence in the young man who missed multiple field goal attempts and the critical extra point at the end of the last week’s game against Virginia. I like Penn State in this spot being back at home and desperate for a win. If you cannot get yourself to put money on Penn State because of the scandal, another good play here is the under. The under has came in 9 of the last 12 times Navy has played on grass turf. The Pick: Penn State

Texas Longhorns v. Mississippi Rebels, Saturday, September, 15, 6:15 PST (Texas -9.5, O/U 47.5) 
I would like to throw some stats at you to back up my pick in this game, but this early in the season neither one of these teams has played anyone of consequence. Instead I am going to go with the Big 12 versus the SEC angle. Texas is projected to be one the elite teams from the Big 12 this season and I think we have all heard how the Big 12 is supposedly the second best conference in the country. If a top program cannot handily take care of the SEC’s bottom dweller (the Rebels were 2-10 last season), then perhaps we have overestimated the Big 12. Also in favor of Texas is stability, head man Mack Brown provides that stability, while Mississippi is under first year head coach Hugh Freeze from Juggernaut Arkansas State. Like last week, I am going to go with football guru Phil Steele on this one. He has Texas as his number one surprise team with an outside shot at the MNC, so they should be able to take care of business on the road this week. The Pick: Texas

Michigan St. Spartans v. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Saturday, September 15, 5:00 PST (Michigan St. -6, O/U 43.5) 
Personally I am still not over the sting of Michigan State’s offense handing the cover to Boise State the first week of the season. However, the Michigan State defense has only given up one touchdown this season, the touchdown during the Boise State game was an interception return. The Notre Dame offense will be the toughest test so far for the Spartans, Notre Dame is averaging 433 yards per game against decent competition the first two weeks. Six of the last eight meetings between these two programs has resulted in the Over paying off. I think that is the way to play it this year as well. Michigan State had last week to iron out some of the offense related woes shown against Boise State in Week 1 and I think Brian Kelly’s offense will find ways to score. The Pick: Over 43.5

The rest of this week’s schedule is relatively weak so I am going to just give you a few quick hitters of games I am looking at this weekend. Next week I will go back to writing a full five games.

UNLV v. Washington State – the UNLV players have spent the past six days listening to the outrage over last week’s loss to Northern Arizona and the calls for their coach to be terminated. Look for the players to be highly motivated this week at home and on national television, this is the classic college angle of “win one for coach.”

Ohio State v. California – C’mon Urban leave the stars in the game until you cover the spread!

Florida State v. Wake Forest – FSU favored by 28! How can you be favored by four touchdowns over a school that has beaten you 4 of the past 6 seasons?

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