CFB Week Five “Seven Out”

Well, well, well, look who finally recorded a winning college football weekend last time out. That’s right yours truly posted a minor profit by going 4-3 in week four. A few more weeks like that I will be moving from the park bench to government assisted living.

This week is the beginning of conference play, where we should get a truer line comparison from week to week. This should provide more value “plays” as the odds-makers are forced to adjust lines for over-reactions to weekly results.

Washington State @ Oregon (-31.5, O/U 74) – Oregon is fast, really, really fast. So fast that the Ducks could easily be up 35-0 by the middle of the second quarter. Plus, Chip Kelly coaches like he is getting paid by the number of plays run. Adding all that up we get a lighting fast Ducks team running plays at light speed that will leave the Cougars defense heads spinning.

An obvious Ducks blowout, right? Not necessarily, this line is highly inflated by the results of last week – Oregon dismantling the Arizona Wildcats, while the Cougs were cleaning their pants after soiling them against a very, very poor Colorado team. Of course, a closer look would reveal that the Wildcats could have been up 28 points in the first quarter against the Ducks, yet somehow managed to botch four possessions inside the Ducks 30. If the Cats managed to be simply below average last week, that would have been a different game.

And Washington State’s coach Mike Leach has treated the first four games of the season like the NFL pre-season, not showing much and not really caring. Expect a completely different team this weekend.

Play: Washington State +31.5

Oregon State @ Arizona (-2.5, O/U 60.5) – Yup, I am biting the hand that has filled my belly over the first month of the season. I have been all over this Oregon State as a surprise contender in the Pac-12. Don’t get me wrong, they still are contender, but this is a tough spot for them – a. back-to-back travel weeks to the South; b. upset wins over two ranked opponents, generally that third game is where we find a letdown; and c. the Cats are coming off a brutal loss to Oregon.

My biggest concern is the Oregon hangover for the Cats, but that’s why Rich-Rod gets paid the big bucks to overcome those issues.

Play: Arizona -2.5

Colin’s 2012 CFB Record

Last Week: 4-3 (+0.7 units)

Season to date: 8-12-1 (-5.2 units)

 

Wisconsin @ Nebraska (-11.5, O/U 50) – Follow this logic with me: Nebraska was a three point favorite in the pre-season “games of the year”, meaning that with the standard four points for home field, the Badgers were, in the pre-season, considering to be slightly better than the Huskers; in week two the Badgers played Oregon State as a seven point road favorite, while the same day Nebraska played UCLA as a five point road favorite. Both BIG10 teams lost is a similar fashion, close but equally unimpressive. Oregon State beat UCLA last week in Pasadena as an eight point dog. So, we have a recent line comparison that should give us a very close number for this Badgers/Huskers game. Simple math tells us that Nebraska was graded nine over UCLA and UCLA graded as four points better than Oregon State, therefore, we should get Nebraska graded as 13 points higher than Oregon State. Right? Right. Now, Wisconsin was graded 11 points better than the Beavers, meaning Nebraska is two points over Wisconsin. Nebraska, with home field advantage, should be a six point favorite in this game. Hmmm.

Why is this line so inflated? Some of it is certainly due to the struggles of the Badgers against teams like Utah State and UTEP, while the Huskers have man-handled the traditional powers, Arkansas State and Idaho State. But that can only be worth a couple of line points at the most.

Could it be because Lincoln is one of the toughest places to play in college football? Not a chance. In fact, I would argue that Lincoln is one of the easier places to play, simply because the mantra “Best fans in the universe” is taken too literal by the old school, “blue hairs”. They won’t cheer loudly for fear that the mythically title mentioned above will be ripped off their paneled basement wall; they also won’t get out of their seat unless they filled their Depends and thus require a change; they also pressure other, younger fans into staying in their seats. Just one time I would like to see the opponent walk off the field at Memorial Stadium to a shower of half filled beer bottles and loud boos, as opposed to the golf clap they traditionally get after swift ass-kicking of the home team.

I feel very comfortable accepting the free points on this game and trusting the huge head coaching advantage for the Badgers. Yeah, Bielema leads Pelini in virtually every category expect for spitting when talking and ounces of snot running out of his nose.

Plus, I simply don’t trust Martinez in a big game against thoughtful, well prepared opponent. And the little known, dirty secret about this Husker team – their D-Line is horrible and will get pushed all over the place by the Badgers. Therefore, look for a close, low scoring game.

Play: Wisconsin +11.5 & Under 50.0

Louisiana Tech (-3.0, O/U 60.0) @ Virginia – Do you think Norte Dame was aware that one of their new pseudo conference mates would be a home underdog to Louisiana Tech. Louisiana Tech!!

Virginia can play a little bit of defense. That’s all I need.

Play: Under 60.0

Minnesota @ Iowa (-6.5, 45.0) – One of my biggest fears, as I watch the current irrelevancy in the middle of the country, is that Nebraska would become an Iowa. I just don’t know if I can stomach getting excited when the Huskers finish in the upper half of the “Legends” division and head to the “insert obscure lawn tools company name here” bowl before Christmas to play some up and coming team from the Sun Belt. That’s the life of a Hawkeye fan. I think I would rather be stung to death by Africanized killer bees than end up like that.

And what’s a bad season for the Hawkeyes? I think we’re finding out in 2012, as I witnessed a few weeks ago a gang of diehard Iowa fans hanging out at their pool in the middle of the thrilling victory over Northern Iowa. Yeah, right in the middle of the game, these four “fans” were out by the pool, meaning they were not watching the game. That’s what a 9-6 loss to Iowa State will do to you. But even a broken clock is correct twice a day. . .

Play: Iowa -6.5

Ohio State @ Michigan State (-2.0, O/U 41.5) – The BIG10 is about winning the BIG10! Let’s face none of these teams is going to sniff a BCS title game anytime soon. Nope, not even you, Ohio State! With that as the backdrop, I have to favor the team that actually has a chance to win the BIG10 this season and not the team that is being penalized for being cheating bastards.

Play: Michigan State -2.0

CFB Week 04 “Seven Out”

How bad is the following scenario – you’re staring 0-7 dead in the eyes, until a garbage touchdown turns a loss into a win and another team barely hangs on for the cover despite being the benefactor of three missed field goals and four turnovers. I actually felt good about going 2-5. That’s bad, really bad. But at least I am not mediocre. Mediocre would allow the “vig” to grind away at one’s bankroll. At least I am serious fade material at a health 9-4-1 on the young year. So, in a sense I am providing a valuable service by calling losers! It doesn’t come off the tongue quite like “calling winners”, however!

I admit that I am a bit clueless when it comes to college. I am looking for value, which doesn’t seem to apply to college football. It’s little like riding a bike where I might only have a few square inches of skin left, but I refuse to give up. I will learn to ride this bike!

Kentucky @ Florida (-24, O/U 52) – Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, just last week you gave us Wake Forest +27 over Florida State. And that game was over by halftime as Wake’s defense and special teams attempted to set an NCAA record for most 80+ yard touchdowns. That obviously turned out poorly. But here is the case for Kentucky: Florida is coming off back-to-back huge, emotionally charged, nationally televised games (A&M and Tennessee), with LSU up next. This is a classic trap game. And you know what? Trap games is college are still legit plays. At least I think that is the case.

Play: Kentucky +24

Utah @ Arizona State (-6, O/U50) – The Utes played poorly last week, yet got the several breaks to beat BYU. ASU played decent, yet everything went against them, including some brutal officiating. ASU’s defense is legit. Easiest call of the week, this game will not be close.

Play: Arizona State -6.0

Colin’s 2012 CFB Record

Last Week: 2-5 (-3.5 units)

Season to date: 4-9-1 (-5.9 units)

 

California @ USC (-16.5, O/U 58) – USC is pissed about losing to Stanford, so much so that they will exact revenge by the Cardinal Bay-area brothers. Isn’t that what we all think? I’m not sure I am jumping on that bandwagon, for a few reasons – 1. I believe SC will suffer a serious hangover after the Stanford game, meaning they might not be fully recovered from watching their BCS dreams go up in smoke; 2. This California team has play-makers. They went to Columbus and probably should have come away with a win; and 3. SC might be the Tiger Woods/Mike Tyson, with the probation being the fall and now, instead of trembling with fear prior to stepping on the field with USC, teams are confident and ready to smack the Trojans in the mouth.

Play: California +16.5

Temple @ Penn State (-7.5, O/U 43.5) – Temple is pissed that they are getting points from this joke of a team. Trust me, Penn State is not back because they whacked an inferior Navy team.

Play: Temple +7.5

Oregon State @ UCLA (-7.0, 51.5) – I’ve done a significant amount of research on NCAA football and generally a letdown game happens two weeks after a huge win. UCLA beat a stellar BIG10 team two weeks ago and destroyed an over-matched Houston team last week. This would be the spot for a letdown even though that BIG10 team is a complete joke.

Let’s expand on that BIG10 team the Bruins man-handled two weeks ago, those bad-ass Huskers from Lincoln, Nebraska with seemingly a zillion clueless fans across this country. How clueless are the members of the “Cornation”? I had a Husker fan tell me the following a couple days ago about the UCLA game and the program in general: 1. That the Huskers defense was on the field too much in that game against the Bruins and they got tired. Uh, ok, but they gave up 24 first half points, they couldn’t tackle on the opening drive; 2. In response to me telling him the Huskers are completely irrelevant on the national scene, “They will come back around, that’s how it works in college football.” Uh, yeah, tell that to Minnesota; and 3. “The BIG10 is really, really tough!” To which I responded, “Yeah, but I think we saw how tough when Bama handled Michigan.” “That was early.” Um, ok! You see why #BoMustGo will never happen, because these Huskers fans have their collective heads up their buried in the sand!

Look the Bruins are not going to cover every game. And I told you two weeks ago the Beaver team is legit, one of the few things I was right about.

Play: Oregon State +7.0

LSU (-20.5, 48.5) @ Auburn –Full disclosure – I am 0-5 in totals on the season. So, I am due.

Play: Under 48.5

UTEP @ Wisconsin (-18.0, O/U 51) –This seems simple to me – a change at quarterback will lead higher energy and more points. Does 38-20 seem out of line? Not at all, in fact book that score right there.

Play: Over 51.0

 

 

CFB Week 03 “Seven Out”

Oh ouch, Colin’s first foray into the college football ended the same way roughly 50% of incoming college freshmen – academic probation. But Colin has never claimed to call totals, just sides, so if you throw out totals Colin was a very respectable 2-1-1.

Plus, I am no longer a rook; the game is slowing down for me. Let’s get it on!

For a reminder on what “Seven Out” means, read this.

Wake Forest @ Florida State (-27.5, O/U 54) – Uh, well, I feel like FSU is always over-rated simply because the vast majority of America wants the Seminoles to be relevant. What that really means is sports investors can take advantage of the value on the opponents of Florida State.

And that juicy 27.5 spread is tantalizing to those public bettors who are proficient with their fours, as in “4*7 = 28 > 27.5.”

Play: Wake Forest +27.5

Houston @ UCLA (+17, O/U76)    – Flashback to last Saturday night, UCLA players were high fiving fans in the Rose Bowl like they just won the BCS championship. Certainly it was a big win for the Bruins, but let’s be realistic beating Nebraska these days isn’t as special as it once was, and that really emphasizes the point that the Bruins will suffer from a hangover this weekend. And rumor has it on Monday coach Mora ordered rings to celebrate the Bruins “September Champs” title. Look, the Bruins might beat the Cougars senseless but I will take the value on the Cougs as the line should be closer to -13.

Play: Houston +17

Colin’s 2012 CFB Record
Last Week: 2-4-1 (-2.4 units)
Season to date: 2-4-1 (-2.4 units)

Arkansas State @ Nebraska (-23.0, O/U 66.5) – I admit I am a sucker for a lousy defense and just about any total under 100. Given that, this game is a “GOTY” play as the Husker defense is despicable.

But word from Lincoln is the Huskers are going to start playing some of their super, ultra talented freshman. Hmm, yeah that should make the difference plugging in players with zero experience, who have had even less time to figure out Bo Pelini’s over-complicated defensive scheme. But I will play along, let’s assume that the new players are significantly better than what we have seen season to date from the Blackshirts (how tough it that? Eleven cardboard cutouts might be better), all that means is the Huskers roll up a big lead on an equally porous Red Wolves defense, which will lead to the Huskers resting pulling the starters. Which means those original, cardboard cutout-esque players will be on the field at the end of the game which will allow Arkansas State to march up and down the field late in the game. The reality is that I will give ASU at least 24 points, meaning the Huskers only need to score 43 for this game to go over. Consider it done! And yes, I venture back into the abyss of totals!

Play: Over 66.5

Utah State @ Wisconsin (-14.0, O/U 51.0) – Early in any football season a savvy investor can capitalize on what I call an “over-reaction” line. An over-reaction is based on the public over valuing a week result rather looking at a team’s body of work, as well their expectations. If one looks at the odds-makers, their numbers stay fairly consistent until a team has proved that the season expectations either not being met or being surpassed. In this one of the games, given Utah State’s nationally televised victory over Utah last week and Wisconsin’s relatively anonymous loss at Oregon State. This is really the perfect storm of opportunity – Wisky should be favored by over 20 points. We get 6 points of value, as we watched the Badgers roll to four touchdown win..

Play: Wisconsin -14.0

BYU (-3.5, O/U 46) @ Utah – Is this another over-reaction game? You bet it is! Utah looked like crap last week against Utah State and now they face a very formidable BYU team. If by formidable we mean over-rated, ridiculously independent and very beatable.

Play: Utah +3.5

Florida @ Tennessee (-3.0, O/U 48) – I am not exactly sure why Tennessee is favored in this game. I have this as a pick’em at best for Tennessee. Since this a high profile game that will likely be one of the heavier bet games of the day, I am going to trust the odds-makers number here. Even thought the Vols are at home, I feel they are an inferior team, therefore cannot play them especially having to lay points. Not. Going. To. Do. It. But the total looks very tasty at 48. Barring overtime, points should be at a premium in this game.

Play: Under 48.0

Rice @ Louisiana Tech (-21.0, O/U 66.5) –I don’t know much but I know when a border rival is catching three touchdowns you have to play them especially considering a seven-man sled has a better front seven than Louisiana Tech.

And does anyone else think Bulldogs is a strange nickname for a team from Louisiana? It seems like Bullfrogs is more appropriate.

Play: Rice +21.0