BetOnline released college football point spreads and totals today for week # 1 of the 2012 college football season. So lets get the discussion started.
Week # 1 early selections
Without going into much detailed handicapping yet, three totals stood out to me and I made wagers on the following games:
Georgia Tech – Virginia Tech UNDER 51
This game was lined at 49.5 last year and with all the new faces on the Virginia Tech offense I was expecting an opening number around 45. Anything at or above key number 48 looks good to me. Both teams are run oriented, Va Tech D looks salty this year and will have a lot of extra time to prepare for the Yellow Jacket option.
Auburn – Clemson UNDER 63
Key number in this one is 62. The game was lined at 59 last year and ended 38-24. Clemson lost 4 OL and I expect Auburn’s defense to be much improved, especially along the defensive line.
Boise State – Michigan State UNDER 53
Key number is 52. I just don’t see Boise’s new QB & OL having much success against the Big Ten’s best defense. MSU also has a new QB and question marks at receiver, so I believe they will rely heavily on the running game.
Pez…I kind of like the under in that GT/VT game. But the play I’m looking at is on GT. I think they have a decent chance of beating VT straight up. From the things I’ve been reading about GT, they may not come out and play the game everybody thinks they will play. They’ve been working hard in the offseason with their passing game. And also working out of the shotgun formation, along with a couple other new formations. Washington is a very experienced QB with an experienced OL. VT is basically starting over on offense except for Logan Thomas. They have little back in the way of skill players. New RB’s, new WR’s, new OL. And expected to cover a TD or more? I think Paul Johnson will have some surprises for them.
I haven’t got to the Boise/MSU game. But with 2 new QB’s I would also be thinking under. Auburn is kind of a borderline team with me. I don’t like them or hate them. It’s more like meh. I like the amount of starters they have coming back. But I’m not crazy about having two new coordinators to break in. I still have my doubts that Auburn will have much more success on offense against the good SEC D’s than they had last year. They have the look to me of a team that is still a year away. But I do think they will have some serious revenge on their minds against Clemson, who broke their 14 game win streak last year. I think that will be a hell of a game between two evenly matched teams.
GS …. I already have a small play on GT +9, but need to look at the game in more detail before I add to it. However, I am in agreement that it appears tough to ask VT to cover more then a TD with essentially a new offense less QB Thomas. I really see both offenses struggling in this game.
What other sides look interesting to you? What do you think about SMU +14. I know Baylor will probably be fine on offense even with the loss of RGIII and Wright, though I would expect them to be less explosive, but this is still a pretty bad defense laying DD against an experienced SMU team.
SMU D should be improved and they have a stud RB. Isn’t ex-Texas QB Gilbert their QB? Heavy losses on the OL though.
Pez…Garret Gilbert will definitely play immediately. There isn’t anybody in camp that is remotely as good, even though his talents didn’t exactly show at Texas. But Gilbert is a dropback pocket passer that should fit much better in June Jones system instead of being asked to run all over the place like he did at Texas.. I know it may not look like it with just 3 returning starters on offense, but this unit is loaded with talent. They have the leagues top rusher and a very athletic group of wideouts. The biggest question mark is losing the entire OL. If there is a conference where this might not be a total disaster, it’s the defensless CUSA. For once, defense is the strength of this team. Despite all of the offense in the CUSA, defense still wins this conference. Southern Miss had a defense that gave up just 350 ypg (good by CUSA standards). That’s why they beat out the more popular favorites Houston last year. And it’s why UCF has won it a couple times under O’Leary. They are usually right near the top of the conference in total defense. Jones also landed a few very talented freshmen this year that could possibly play for them right away.. I’m going to be keeping a close eye on this team. The defense could very well pick them up while the offense comes together. The only real negative I can see is they have a bit tougher schedule this season. I can see six games where they’ll probably find themselves as the dogs. But with their defense, they could turn out to be a pretty good cover team. The Baylor game might be a good place to start betting them. These old Southwest Conference foes leave nothing on the field when they play each other. So you can bet that SMU will give Baylor their best shot.
The Boise State – Michigan State total is now at 50, down 3 points from where I made my wager (I believe it opened at 55). That means the game has crossed the key number 52. The next key number is 48 and this would be the absolute lowest number I would play it at. Trentmoney and I were having a discussion this past weekend on key numbers as they pertain to college football totals. We disagreed on which number was “stronger” 51 or 52, so I did an Excel sort on my database to see which total score had the most results. I was surprised to find that both numbers were more or less equal. However what I did find was that 48 was/is the strongest key number. So if you like the under in this game, make sure you get 48 or above.
Another total that I am leaning towards is the Colorado – Colorado State game, but it is currently sitting at 47 (opened at 49) and I doubt the number goes up to 48.
First things first. My annual college football trip to Boulder was finalized over the weekend. Unfortunately I won’t be going to see Arizona State kick Colorado’s ass this year, that game was on a Thursday and my friend/brother-in-law couldn’t get away. So instead we will going up there for the September 29th game against UCLA. Go Bruins!
Week # 1 added selections
SMU – Baylor UNDER 60
I wrote up a fairly detailed explanation about this total in GoSooners Big 12 discussion thread. Key numbers are 58/59, based on my database search results of the past three years, both numbers are identical in terms of being “strong” numbers, but obviously if we’re going under, 59 is preferred to 58.
One last note, the spreads have all moved downward on all three totals that I wagered a few weeks ago. Boise – MSU is currently sitting at 45.5 at Bookmaker, crossing the very strong number 48. The value in this game has been greatly diminished.
GT – VT is down to key number 48 and that is the absolute lowest number I would play it at. The Auburn – Clemson total has not been re-posted. I am assuming when it is, it will be below the 63 we got it at a few weeks ago, before they announced Sammy Watkins suspension (I always figured he’d miss a few games). 62 is the next key number, but I still like this total at 59 or better.
Colorado – Colorado State UNDER 48
I found this at Bookmaker at 47.5 and bought the extra half point to get to key number 48. Very difficult to see where the points are going to come from in this game. Both teams will be starting relatively inexperienced QBs (CU QB Jordan Webb had 16 career starts at KU, but he is learning a new offense here in Boulder). Neither team has any proven playmakers at the skill positions. The Buff OL has 3 starters returning, but they are young and lost their best player (RG Ryan Miller – NFL 5th round draft choice). Both defenses return 7 starters and should be improved.