Not the best college football betting week for me or The Saturday Edge team. I went 7-7 (6-7 on site selections and 1-0 on newsletter selections) and the team went 18-17-4 overall.
The following are some college football betting notes and random observations from week # 3 and GoSooners and I will add any relevant info we run across while capping various games for the upcoming week. Please feel free to share your notes and observations in the comments section below. We would appreciate it.
The Good – Rutgers +9, Stanford +9 and Utah +4. What did all three of these teams have in common? They had better defenses than their opponents, they were the better running team (running dogs) and they were all receiving points. That sounds like a triple threat to me. I am still trying to figure out why I didn’t include Florida in my selections for last week.
Rutgers outrushed USF 157-95; Stanford outrushed USC massively 202-25 … and it took me an entire week to convince GS that Stanford was most certainly a PRD (potential running dog) in this game. Utah did not end up as the running dog, however, I had read on Friday that John White was 100% and was going to play. He ended up not playing and that definitely ended up affecting the Utah running game.
Luckily the Utes did just enough on special teams and defense to win this one, in spite of their home crowd trying to give the game away.
Florida, a game I didn’t select despite the better running team having won the last 9 games between Florida and Tennessee, outrushed the Vols 336-83. NUTS!
The Bad – Houston +17.5 at UCLA. I am still kicking myself over this stupid selection. For all the reasons I got off the Cal at Ohio State game, I should have been off this game too. When I look at road teams I have a certain set of criteria that I like to look at, which includes the ability to run the football and play good defense. Houston didn’t meet either.
I went 5-1 betting underdogs last week and in the case of the 5 winners I had several arguments as to why this was a good wager: Rutgers (better defense, better running team), Stanford (better defense, better running team), Utah (better defense & what I thought was the better running team), Pitt (home team getting DD against a team that struggled to score … very difficult to cover a TD+ on the road if you can’t score) and Marshall (two evenly matched teams in terms of talent and experience, good historical home field advantage in a rivalry game).
Houston ??? I tried to play psychologist and determined that it was a good spot for Houston because they were (are?) probably better than they have looked so far and UCLA was coming off a big non-conference win over Nebraska the previous week. I thought I was getting good line value.
I told you I sucked trying to determine these good situational spots. Auburn, Nebraska and Wisconsin were my other “good situational” spots. Two of those three didn’t work out to well either.
The Ugly – Totals. I went a miserable 1-4 and I wasn’t even close on the 4 losses. It took just about every official’s call and lucky bounce to go my way in the Alabama – Arkansas total just to get that one winner.
Rutgers – USF: Rutgers D looked good and QB Gary Nova did too. After watching BJ Daniels now for nearly four years I just don’t think this guy is a very good QB. He just heaves the ball into coverage and hopes his receiver can out “athlete” the defender.
WSU – UNLV: The Cougar offense is going to be pretty good …. Eventually. The defense still has a long ways to go.
BYU – Utah: Ute lines are solid. Hays can be a good manager type at QB and he is experienced. As I expected, Riley Nelson is not a good passer. He had an OK day, but missed several open receivers. Against a less talented defense he will have some big games this year.
USC – Stanford: If your OL has trouble keeping your QB upright against Syracuse, how well do you think they’ll do against the best front seven in the PAC 12? Just as I expected Barkley had very little time to throw the ball and the USC running game was non-existent. There was NO WAY this was or is a top 5 team. USC has 2 or 3 losses remaining on their schedule. Stanford RB Stepfan Taylor ….. STUD! No offense to Barkley, Lee and Woods, but Taylor was the best player on the field.
12 – The tackles for loss logged by Stanford in a 21-14 “upset” of USC. (“Upset” is in quotes because when you beat a team for a fourth straight times, it really isn’t much of an upset.) The Cardinal defense is the real deal. USC gained just 280 yards (4.1 per play), and preseason Heisman front-runner Matt Barkley completed 49 percent of his passes, threw two interceptions and fumbled once (further proving why “preseason Heisman front-runner” should not be a real thing).
ASU – Missouri: I didn’t like Todd Graham before the season started but I was willing to give him a chance. After 2 games I at least respected the way the Devils appeared to have turned the corner from a discipline perspective. But after watching this coaching-moron continue to use his two QB system throughout this game when it was obvious from the start that freshman Eubanks was over his head, I am once again in the skeptical corner.
With the game on the line and the ball sitting at the 2 yard line on second down, what would even possess you to take out your dual-threat starting QB who got you to this point (placed you in a position to win the game) to bring in your “running” QB? Me, Missouri and everyone else watching the game knew what was coming. Just stupid to lose a game you could have won in this manner.
Arkansas State – Nebraska: I cannot wait to see this weak Nebraska team get hammered a few times in the Big 10 this year. Both of their lines are soft and their defense is just not very good. Bo Pelini is a good coordinator, but he’s in way over his head as an HC.
BC – Northwestern: Trentmoney brought up a very good point in jimmyshivers ACC thread about not wagering on an OVER when there are no “playmakers” on the field. That theory certainly came to fruition in this offensive nightmare. However, an argument could still be made that this wasn’t really a bad wager. These teams entered the red zone 9 times and produced ZERO TD’s. That has to be some kind of statistical anomaly.
Utah State – Wisconsin: The Badgers may be in some trouble this season. They struggled big time to move the ball on Utah State’s defense (238 totals yards of offense in Madison against a non-BCS team). Danny O’Brien looks terrible at QB. Utah State should have won this game. It took a special team’s TD and a missed FG to pull this one out. I doubt Wisconsin will be that lucky against more competent teams …. Of course after having watched the Big 10 these past two weeks, does a competent team even exist in that conference?
O’Brien was benched at halftime of Wisconsin’s 16-14 win over Utah State on Saturday night after leading the Badgers to only three points and turning over the ball twice in the first 30 minutes. In his last 90 minutes as Wisconsin’s starting quarterback, O’Brien has thrown for 235 yards and one touchdown while turning the ball over three times. Wisconsin has scored only 10 points in that span.
Virginia Tech – Pitt: I had a good feeling that Tino Sunseri would rebound. This kid has played under 4 different OC’s in his 5 years at Pitt. He is not as bad as he looked against Cincinnati. What really surprised me was how bad Logan Thomas and the VT defense looked. The Hokies are a very mediocre team right now.
Hokie, Hokie Low. The sad-sack Pittsburgh Panthers featured prominently in this space after each of the first two weekends of the season following dreadful losses at the hands of Youngstown State and Cincinnati. So the team that subsequently loses to Pitt by 18 points in a game that wasn’t even that close? That’s right, Virginia Tech , your top-20 ranking has been replaced by a string of sad-face emoticons. Fueled by freshman running back Rushel Shell, the Panthers ran over the vaunted Hokie defense (sometimes literally) for 537 total yards – the most Virginia Tech has allowed in one game since September 2007 – and picked off Tech quarterback Logan Thomas three times en route to the most inexplicable upset of the week.
And speaking of mediocre, sans FSU, does the ACC suck or what? The Big Least owned them this past weekend.
Alabama – Arkansas: Yeah Bama looked good, but I’m still not anointing them for dominating an overrated Arkansas team missing their team leader and All-Conference QB. But I will give Bama this, they are a very physical football team and I like their style of play.
Texas – Ole Miss: Sometimes talent just takes over and you don’t even have to worry about your QB issues. I sure am glad I got Texas +2 in May for their match up in Stillwater on the 29th. Because with OSU QB Lunt out, Texas is going to be favored in that game.
So far the teams who are undefeated ATS in this young season are Boise State, Fresno State, Ga Tech, ULM, Northwestern, Oregon State, Purdue, SJST, Texas Tech, Texas SA, UCLA, Utah State and Western Kentucky.
The teams who have yet to win a game ATS are Arkansas, Auburn, Colorado, Eastern Michigan, Houston, Iowa, Mass., Miami, Ohio, Navy, NCST, Oregon, USC, Southern Miss, Virginia, Va Tech, Washington State, Wisconsin
Just a few thoughts about ATS teams: Every season since I’ve been keeping ATS records (since 2006), there has been at least 2 teams open the season with at least 5 or more ATS wins in a row. Five teams opened with undefeated ATS records of 5 or more games last year! The only season where this didn’t happen was 2009. But we did have one team that year, along with numerous teams that started on a 4 game ATS run. So it’s something we need to take note of with the undefeated teams I listed above. Going by history, the odds of at least one, if not two or more of these teams continuing their ATS run are very good.
I think it also should be noted that teams who won 10 or more games against the spread in the previous season, have ultimately fallen off the next season. I’ve never seen an AQ conference team win DD on the spread one season and come back the next year with better than a .500 record ATS. Southern Miss and Houston are on the list of winless teams ATS so far this season. And they are two of the AQ teams who won 10 games ATS last year. So they are definitely following the next year fade pattern. By the way, USC and Wisconsin are also on the winless list. And they both won 8 games ATS last year. On average only two teams can repeat an 8 wins or better ATS season two years in a row. And no team has done it 3 years in a row.