2013 Mid-Major Betting Report: UNLV Rebels Football Predictions
by Aaron Smith - 8/23/2013
The Mid-Major Betting Report has been a staple of the college football season the last couple years at Doc’s Sports, and we are back for another season of the report in 2013. This year I’ll be following the UNLV Rebels. All season long I’ll be following UNLV beat writers, twitter feeds, and press conferences from the program to become an expert on the UNLV football program.
How does the mid-major report work? In each weekly installment, I’ll have a recap of the previous week’s game; some notes of interest, betting trends, and college football odds for the upcoming game. At the end of each article, I will make a selection for that weekend’s game. Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick, which should help readers follow along and track the results of these weekly college football picks.
How have my picks in the mid-major report done in the first two seasons of this project? Two years ago, I went 7-2-1 and netted $100 per-unit bettors $1,280 while following the Rice Owls in 2011. Last year, I went 6-5 and $100 per-unit bettors won $130 for the season while I followed the Ohio Bobcats.
Now, it is time to turn our attention to the UNLV Rebels.
2012 UNLV Rebels Recap
The 2012 season was another disappointing one for the UNLV Rebels. It was the third straight season where the Rebels won just two games.
The 2012 season looked like it was going to get off to a great start until the Rebels fell apart late and lost in triple overtime to Minnesota. The 30-27 gut-wrenching loss to the Golden Gophers set the tone for the season as a whole. The Rebels would go on to lose three more games by less than a touchdown. All of the team’s competitive games were played at home. The Rebels have lost 22 straight games on the road, and they were dominated in all of their road contests in 2012.
Bobby Hauck came to the program in 2010 after compiling an impressive 80-17 record at Montana. Through his first three years at UNLV, the Rebels are just 6-32. UNLV has been outscored 1,421 points to 742 points during Hauck’s tenure at the school. There was so much hope for Hauck at UNLV, but to say he is on the hot seat now is a major understatement. The Rebels will have to put up several more wins this year or Hauck won’t be around as the team’s coach next season.
The UNLV offense looks quite a bit better on paper heading into the 2013 season. Tim Cornett is the guy that makes this offense tick from the running back position. Despite running behind a mediocre offensive line, Cornett ran for 1,232 yards and averaged better than five yards per carry. He is one of the best runners in the Mountain West Conference, and the Rebels need to get him the ball often. The offensive line is experienced this year, and they should be much better at opening up holes for Cornett on the ground.
Quarterback Nick Sherry had an up-and-down freshman season, and the team definitely needs him to become much more consistent in his sophomore year. Sherry threw 16 touchdown passes last year, but he also threw 17 interceptions. There is a lot of pressure on Sherry to perform this year. No single player is more important to this team’s success or lack of success in 2013.
The UNLV defense returns 10 starters in 2013. UNLV allowed 32.6 points per game in 2012, which certainly isn’t good, but it was actually quite a bit better than they had been in the past. In fact, 32.6 points per game allowed was nearly eight points better than the Rebels defense allowed in 2011. The unquestioned leader of the defense is linebacker Tim Hasson. He’s an undersized linebacker, but he fights mercilessly and sets the tone for the Rebels defense.
The biggest area where the defense needs to improve is against the run. The Rebels haven’t had that elite run-stuffer to clog up the running lanes, and they really need someone to fill that position this year. Alec Korman and Mark Garrick are the veteran defensive tackles who will need to step it up this season. UNLV allowed 207 yards per game on the ground last year. That number must be significantly lower this year if the team wants to be competitive.
2013 UNLV Football Schedule Analysis
UNLV is fortunate to miss Boise State inside the Mountain West, but overall the Rebels definitely have a difficult schedule. The first two games against Minnesota and Arizona likely aren’t winnable, but they’ll have a legitimate chance against both Central Michigan and Western Illinois in their third and fourth games. UNLV needs to take advantage of an easy start to their Mountain West schedule. They will be at New Mexico to start Mountain West action, where they do have a legitimate chance to stop their 22-game road losing streak. The following week they’ll be at home against a struggling Hawaii team. The schedule gets tougher the rest of the way, so the Rebels definitely need a fast start.
2013 UNLV Rebels Futures Odds and Predictions
BetOnline lists UNLV at +16,000 to win the Mountain West Conference. This team clearly isn’t going to win the Mountain West, so let’s take a look instead at the season win total. Bovada lists the season win total for UNLV at “over/under” 4.0 wins. The under is listed as a -130 favorite. Four wins is about right, but I have a slight lean to the over on UNLV this year. This team made quite a bit of progress in 2012, even though it wasn’t shown in the win/loss record. Look for a few more victories for this team in 2013.
Be sure to follow along every step of the way this year with the mid-major betting report focused on the UNLV Rebels. I’ll provide a free betting pick for each game and take an in-depth look at a program that is off the radar of most college football bettors.
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