The following are some college football betting notes and random observations form last week and some info I ran across while capping various games for this week. Please feel free to share your notes and observations in the comments section below. We would appreciate it.
The Good – My totals did well (5-2). Hopefully I am back on track this year after suffering through two mediocre season in 2010 and 2011. The 4 unders that won all covered with scores to give, and the Oregon total flew over.
The Bad – Despite beating the closing line on every single side, I still managed to only win two games, going 2-5. My average closing line value on sides was (Cal +1.5, Auburn +4, Kentucky +0.5, Georgia Tech +0.5, SMU +7, NCST +5, UCONN +0) / 7 = +2.64. My average closing line value on totals was even better (UCLA – Rice U -0.5, Boise – MSU +6, Arkansas State – Oregon +1.5, SMU – Baylor +3, Clemson – Auburn +8, GT – VT +5, Colorado – CSU +0.5) / 7 = 3.36. My overall closing line value was +3.00.
The Ugly – I guess I will go with Kentucky. Not only was I on the wrong side, as Louisville thoroughly dominated the Wildcats, whose defense had absolutely no answers for Teddy Bridgewater (19 of 21 for 232 yards), but to make matters worse, Louisville HC Charlie Strong calls off the dogs towards the end of the 3rd quarter. Unfortunately Kentucky bungles their way to 3 turnovers in the 4th quarter (two TOD and the killer, a fumble inside the Louisville 3 yard line on 2nd and goal). Despite it being a terrible pick, Kentucky still had three chances to cover that spread.
The obvious ones based on the games I saw were Boise State – Michigan State and Arkansas State – Oregon.
Boise State – Michigan State – The Spartans completely dominated this game, outgaining Boise 461-206, and it could have been worse had it not been for all the Michigan State turnovers. Sparty turned the ball over 4 times (3 ints and 1 fumble) which led to 10 of Boise State’s 13 points. The Michigan State passing game has a long ways to go this season to even achieve serviceable status.
Arkansas State – Oregon - I go into more detail about this game here, but in a nutshell the Ducks scored TDs on their first seven possessions and each drive lasted on average less than 2 minutes. At the 7:03 mark of the second quarter Chip Kelly starts substituting liberally and Arkansas State scores 31 garbage points from that point on.
Toledo – Arizona – I was watching this game late Saturday night while working on my computer, so I wasn’t totally concentrating on the game, which is why I was shocked to learn that Arizona had amassed over 600 yards of total offense and managed to score all of 24 points (17 in regulation).
If you’re counting, that’s 10 of 14 drives into Toledo territory … resulting in 17 points. That’s four drives inside the Toledo ten yard line … resulting in three combined points. That’s a lot of execution issues that need to be fixed to keep Arizona going forward. Hopefully it’s just an incredible extreme and the Wildcats will regress to more normal splits, because this offense can be very exciting to watch when it’s moving at the right tempo and with the right personnel.
I watched the entire Colorado – CSU game with my brother-in-law, the wannabe communist/socialist CU grad and it was, to say the least, UGLY. However, the Buffs actually dominated the first half and were leading 14-3 with less than 40 seconds to go in the 2nd quarter when disaster struck. And it struck in the form of Colorado head coach Jon Embree.
The Buffs had just stuffed CSU on 3rd down from midfield forcing a Ram punt. Instead of just letting the clock run down and taking it into halftime with a surprisingly dominant first half performance, Big Jon decides he’s going to call a timeout. WHY?
I turned to my brother-in-law and said that decision has disaster written all over it. First of all, what exactly do you hope to accomplish getting the ball, at best, at your own 20 yard line with about 30 seconds to play in the half? Secondly, whatever you do, DO NOT allow your punt returner, who has already put the ball on the ground, to field the punt inside his own 15 yard line.
If CSU shanks the punt or kicks it into the end zone, fine. If he buries you inside the 10 then just take a knee and call it a half. But whatever you do, DO NOT allow your punt returner to field the ball.
It just amazes me how some of these coaches don’t take into consideration the simple concept of risk/reward. Again I ask, what is the upside to fielding the ball inside your own 10 or 15 yard line with less than 40 seconds to play in the half versus the risk?
Well, for those of you who didn’t watch the game, Colorado went into halftime up 14-9 and in the blink of an eye they had handed momentum to their opponent. Final score, CSU 22 Colorado 17.