There is less than a month remaining in the college football regular season. This can be a hectic time of year, especially if you also handicap the NFL, NBA, and NCAAB on top of NCAA football. A lot of times bettors will try to overcompensate if they are in the red towards the end of the season. Hopefully none of you will have that problem this year, especially if you have been following TSE. Our handicappers posted a cumulative record of 26-13 (67%) last week.
First off, I would like to mention that if you follow The Saturday Edge on twitter, make sure to pay some compliments to the new profile picture. Pez and I had a bet on the Nebraska-Michigan State game, and whoever lost had to change their twitter picture to something of the other person’s alma mater.
Maybe I was a little harsh in making him switch it to a mugshot of Martinez, who is one of the goofiest looking QB’s in college football. I thought it was fitting though, given that Martinez rushed for over 200 yards on what Pez claimed was the “Big Ten’s best defense”.
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Last week, I ended up taking all four of my early leans, and they posted a healthy 3-1 record. This week, three games really stuck out from the rest as I looked at the initial lines. I won’t necessarily make a play on all of these games, but I will be considering them throughout the week and taking a closer look down the line.
Oregon State +5
In my opinion, Oregon State and Stanford are pretty much dead even. Sure, the game is played at Stanford, where the Cardinal have had pretty good success this season. However, the Beavers have proven to be a very capable road team this year. Their QB, Cody Vaz, has done very well after taking over for the starter Mannion. In Vaz’s first game as a starter, against a very good BYU defense on the road, he went for 332 yards 3 TD and 0 INT. He also came in late in the fourth quarter at Washington to almost lead his team to a comeback victory.
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I’m expecting a semi-low scoring game in this one. I could easily see this game coming down to a field goal by either team. In that case, I’ll take the team with the hot quarterback getting the 5 points.
Penn State +7.5
I was pretty heavy on Nebraska last week, but I was very surprised when they opened up 7.5 point favorites on a good Penn State team. The Nittany Lions have a very capable front seven that can slow down the Nebraska rushing attack. Also, PSU is first in the conference in turnover margin at +9. Nebraska is dead last in the conference in turnover margin at -9. I think that ball security has a good chance to come into play on Saturday, and if PSU can create turnovers they should keep it close. The Nittany Lions have been a buzzsaw on the road in Big Ten play, picking up three blowout wins (albeit against inferior competition), but you still have to like the way they show up and take care of business away from home. Matt McGloin has been on fire this season with 18 TD and 3 INT. I think PSU will keep it within a touchdown here.
North Carolina -9
North Carolina has played extremely well at home this season, even weathering out a rollar-coaster ride against rival NC State two weeks ago. The Tar Heels are coming off a bye week in which they have had extra time to prepare for Georgia Tech’s option attack. Jimmyshivers has some good thoughts and insight into this game here.
I went 9-2 last week, my best week of the season, and 1 of the 2 losses just had to be Sparty. Bottom line is that despite the phantom call (Blocking a player not involved in the play on a pick six? What league is this, Pop Warner?) and the bogus pass interference penalty in the end zone that ended up deciding the game, MSU is just one unlucky team this year. They have now lost 4 Big 10 games by a combined 10 points.
Utah – UW opened at 50 and I immediately attempted to wager a full unit on the under, but was denied. The new number they were offering me was 47.5, a terrible number considering it crossed the key number 48.
I got similar results with Oregon State – Stanford, though this one opened at 47, and despite knowing their was no chance it was going to go up to 48, I hesitated and it has since plunged down to the next key number (45).
A few games that I will be looking at this week include:
ASU – USC O 65
I’m not much for overs, but USC’s defense has given up 101 points and over 1,300 yards in the past 2 weeks. Granted that was against the top 2 PAC 12 offenses, but c’mon, that is a ridiculous amount of points and yards. The Sun Devil offense is ranked # 5 in the league (just behind USC’s) and despite ASU having the # 3 ranked defense in the PAC 12, I believe those numbers have been inflated by having had the benefit of playing the two worst offenses in the league (Colorado & Utah), along with a bad Cal team. In their last 3 games against Oregon, UCLA & Oregon State, ASU is allowing 455 yards and 41.33 ppg.
Utah is back on track and they are playing a lot better. Really? They just beat two of the worst teams in the PAC 12 at home with the benefit of 4 special teams TD’s. UW has 5 wins and since they have Colorado and WSU on deck, they know they’ll get to 6 wins and become bowl eligible so they won’t put much effort into this game. REALLY? That’s how all this works? So Sark is just telling his players to take it easy this week, don’t put too much effort into this game against Utah and we’ll become bowl eligible next week when we play the PAC 12 bottom feeder Colorado. I swear I have been reading stuff like this concerning this game. I really wish I had a Group Psychology degree like all these other handicappers so I’d also know when a handful of coaches were going to get 100+ players to take it easy.
Air Force +9.5
Number just looked a little high to me. SDSU coming back home after a monster upset of Boise State on the blue turf and now have to get ready for the triple option. Could be tough.
Oregon State +4.5
I’m in agreement with OpeningLine on this one. Really liked the under, but not at 44.5. Think it should be a very low scoring game between the two best defenses in the PAC 12. Oregon State definitely has the better offense. Looks like a FG type game either way.