NCAA Football Week 3: Live Betting Lives at Bodog
by Richard Gardner | Bookmaker, Bodog Sportsbook - 9/15/2009
Week 2 was very exciting in college football, with Southern Cal proving yet again that Ohio State can't win the big games but Michigan proving that it might be back as a national player. So good news and bad for the Big Ten.
But, let's not focus on what has passed but what is upcoming this week here on Bodog Live - the best live betting system on the Web. Truly, if you've never bet on a college football game in real time, there's no experience like it. Of course we will only feature games that are available to a wide national audience - thus one of our favorite matchups this week won't be available on Bodog Live: Florida State at Brigham Young. That game is on Versus, which is unavailable to millions of U.S. subscribers to DirecTV. That provider recently cut Versus, known mostly for its NHL coverage, because of a squabble over (what else?) money. Bettors seem to be on the BYU bandwagon big-time already.
But there are plenty of good options for Bodog Live this week, and here's a quick look at each.
Thursday, 7:30 p.m., ESPN: Georgia Tech at Miami - This is a very important game in terms of the ACC Coastal Division. Both teams won their conference openers against very good foes - Georgia Tech against Clemson and Miami against Florida State in the early-season game of the year. Bettors seem to believe that the Hurricanes are back, because they drew a lot of action as road dogs against the Seminoles - we haven't posted a line on this week's game yet. In addition, UM had a few extra days to prepare with it playing last Monday and the Jackets beating Clemson last Thursday.
Miami also has revenge on its mind, as the Jackets ran all over the Hurricanes last year to the tune of 472 rushing yards. That was the start of a season-ending three-game losing streak for the Canes in 2008. And that defense looked vulnerable again in the opener against FSU. With Miami being home and generating a lot of buzz, I expect about a 60 percent public lean to Miami here; we will open the Canes as likely 4.5-point favorites at Bodog.
Friday, 9 p.m., ESPN: Boise State at Fresno State - The public is all over Boise State here, with nearly 75 percent favoring the Broncos (-8) in early action. However, this will be BSU's first game away from the home blue turf this season, and those first road games always can be tricky. Fresno State is never an easy place to win, either.
When ESPN started showing these Friday night games, usually from mid-major conferences, our handle wasn't great, but with the national success of teams like Boise State, Utah and, to a lesser extent, MAC schools like Central Michigan, interest in these games is growing each year, and we expect higher Friday action in 2009 than any previous year.
Saturday, noon, ESPN: East Carolina at North Carolina - I expect pretty solid action on the underdog Pirates here, especially after UNC's offense looked terrible last week at Connecticut; a 12-10 win for the Heels but not a cover. ECU is one of those teams that seems to pull an upset of a BCS conference school each year, as it did to Virginia Tech in 2008. However, the Pirates also might be making a change at quarterback, so that uncertainty could scare a lot of people away.
Saturday, 3:30 p.m., ABC, Nebraska at Virginia Tech - If Virginia Tech has any national title hopes left, slim as they are, it must win this game after already losing to another perennial power in Alabama. I don't get the feeling the public is sold yet on Nebraska, which has dominated lower-tier Division I schools Florida Atlantic and Arkansas State this year. This matchup is actually the only game between two ranked teams on Saturday, so that alone could make it our biggest handle. The last time the Hokies lost at home to a nonconference opponent was way back in 1998.
Saturday, 8 p.m., ABC, Texas Tech at Texas - This matchup was the game of the year in 2008, but this one doesn't figure to be that close. In my opinion, Texas got caught looking ahead to this one and underestimated Wyoming last week. UT converted only 5-of-17 third downs against the Cowboys. Colt McCoy played his worst half of football in probably two years, but UT still won 41-10 by pulling away in the second half.
Even without Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree, the Red Raiders can still score with anyone. QB Taylor Potts has thrown for more than 400 yards in both of his starts this season. But the Longhorns remember that TTU knocked them out of the national championship game, for all intents and purposes, last year, so I expect a huge public lean on the Horns at home.
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