Fourth Down and Inches
by Doc - 09/20/2007
It is certainly hard to believe, but we are now entering our fourth week of college football. Several powerhouses are emerging across the nation and there are some teams that look like they have already given up. As I watched football this past Saturday, two of the college teams that impressed me were Southern Cal and Ohio State. As much as I hate to admit it, I was on the other sides of games involving both of these teams last week and lost them both.
I felt Washington, as a home dog, would have a good chance to pull the upset. The Buckeyes lost a lot through graduation and I felt it would take some time to tune the engine up. That was not the case, as the Buckeyes put up 14 points in less then a minute to take control of that game on Saturday. This team is loaded especially on defense and many think they could go undefeated once again. Their toughest game will be Oct. 27 at Penn State and Nov. 17 at Michigan. The Wolverines may be able to get their act together by then and they have a history of beating Ohio State when Michigan has nothing to play for.
Once again, USC deserves to be the No. 1 team in the land. In my opinion Coach Pete Carroll in the best college coach in the country. He is genius at putting offensive game plans together and they dominated the Husker's defense running for over 300 yards. Some off those holes were so big that even I could run through them. Will the Trojans get beat? They have two tough tests, Oct. 27 at Oregon and Nov. 10 at California. No question, these three teams are the elite of the Pac-10 Conference. Whatever the lines may be, you will not see this handicapper going against Ohio State or USC much this season.
Speaking of Michigan, I am still bucking myself for not taking them this past weekend. This Notre Dame outfit is in for a long season, which is no surprise to me, as I called this at the start of the season. I envy anyone who bet the under 7 ½ for the Irish season win total. I really look for Michigan to start playing well and they may have found a QB for the future in Ryan Mallet. Mallet is over 6'5" and has a rocket for an arm. QB Chad Henne stated that this youngster may be the best to ever come out of the Michigan program. They still have an excellent corps of receivers led by Mario Manningham. If they can win this week, look out! But that will be a tough task, as they host Penn State. If I was forced to take a side, it would be on the homer, as they already have two losses and should play loose and free.
I wasn't surprised by the Minnesota Golden Gophers getting beat this past Saturday. We had Florida Atlantic as our top play, realizing that Minnesota has little defense, especially in the secondary. The Gophers host Purdue this week and normally this is a tight game and a high scoring affair, but the Boilers have beaten the Gophers eight out of the last nine contests. Will this be the case yet again on Saturday? We will have a selection on this game.
I think most everyone was shocked at the final score of the Iowa-Iowa State game. The Hawks find themselves 2-1 on the season after losing to one of the worst Big 12 teams, Iowa State. What is quite interesting, though, is that Iowa has not given up a touchdown this season. The Hawks had problems scoring last year and looks to have the same problem this year. This Saturday, Iowa is back on the road at Wisconsin, playing a night game in Madison. Iowa gets a little break this year not playing Michigan and Ohio State; however, their toughest games come on the road in Wisconsin, Penn State and Purdue. Big game for both the Badgers and the Hawks and we will have either a side or total play on it.
As I look at the schedule each Monday morning, I try and find a real sleeper, one game that will be under the radar and does not involve public teams such as Florida or USC. One game that caught my eye is Buffalo hosting Baylor. Will definitely spend some time in stirring up what we can on this game. Very few people ever bet on Buffalo because of whom and where are they? The Bulls are coached by former Husker QB Turner Gill and this team in on the upswing. They have played their first three games on the road and actually had some success against Rutgers and Penn State. Two weeks ago they beat Temple. As for their opponent; Baylor, it looks as if they have already gone into hibernation. They hosted Texas State last week and barely pulled out a victory. I recommend that you all spend a little time reviewing this match-up.
Going off football for a moment, looks like the juice is no longer loose. It's hard to imagine that someone with so much talent and fame could screw up his life so bad. While attending the Kentucky Derby in May, I was at a restaurant and in walked O.J. The manager kicked him out, but O.J. handled the situation pretty well. Maybe this time, his luck has finally run out. The media is all over this story and it will be interesting to see how it plays out.
Back to the gridiron, is revenge a big factor in handicapping? Most of the time it is not, unless a team is much more talented and got beat last year by an overachieving squad. One of the games that fits this mold is Oregon State at Arizona State, as ASU lost 44-10 in 2006. The Sun Devils were coming off a 26-23 overtime victory against Washington the week before and came into Corvallis flat. ASU is playing their fourth straight home game and is installed as a 12-point favorite. The Beavers have plenty of talent from last year, but I question their skill position players.
The longest losing steak in the country came to an end when Duke went into Evanston and came away with the victory against Northwestern. Now the Cats open the Big Ten season with Ohio State. If Northwestern cannot beat Duke, how can they compete against the Buckeyes? This one will be over by half, count on it.
I probably will not be on this game, but the final tally will be interesting between LSU and South Carolina. The Gamecocks have been playing outstanding defense, but they are facing a very good Tiger team that many experts feel is the best in the land. I have total respect for Coach Steve Spurrier, who reminds me of former Gamecock Coach Lou Holtz, as he was a master of devising a game plan as a dog. This is the type of situation Coach Spurrier loves, since he comes in as a 16-point underdog.
The books may have had a small profit on Saturday, but there is no question they cleaned up on Sunday with 11 dogs covering 15 of the games. Only two favorites covered and the Vikings were a missed field off the upright away from making it 12 dogs. The public in general loves favorites, especially in the NFL, but if you would be $1000 a game on every underdog, only one time in the last 20 years would you have not shown a profit at the end of the season. Sometimes one wonders whey you spend so much time trying to find the perfect angle!
While our football service hit a snag last week that is certainly not the case with our free pick selections. We feature a couple of baseball plays during the week and usually our next highest rated game in college football on Saturday. We are currently on a 13-1 run with this play and be on the lookout for the next winner. Free picks are a way for new customers to view our write-up and get an idea about the angles we use in selecting games. Check out our homepage for the next freebie!
This is the first year in a couple of decades that we decided to put our record on our website. It is a common question many of our clients ask and this give you direct access to our plays with the hope that you like what you see. It also allows you to see the grading used by all of our cappers because, as we all know, going 1-1 with two four-unit plays means you broke even with units but in reality lost $40. You will find many cappers claim to be documented by numerous independent services. My biggest question has always been, "Who monitors the monitor?" One of the common sites is the Sports Monitor. I recently visited that site and could not understand how they graded each capper's plays. It looked like every capper on the site was up units and $$$, but we all know that is not true. One would think they would make it easier to understand for the average person but maybe they like it that way. Remember this site is in it to make money as well.
This week we will be going with our Big Three in college football. One of these three will be our top game of the week, as we nailed this play last week behind Florida Atlantic. Unfortunately that was our lone bright spot and we look to bounce back this week. Quite interesting, as I look back to last season as of this date we were also negative, -15 units, but when the regular season concluded in December, we were +78 units. Mark my words, we will get hot just like last season.
It also appears the offshores are operating as usual and if you are looking for one, call Bodog at (877) 960-8600. The Big Ten looks outstanding and we want you aboard.
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Best of Luck,