Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: UNLV Rebels Week 1
by Aaron Smith - 8/28/2013
Welcome to the first installment of this year’s college football mid-major betting report. In the first two years, the mid-major betting report selections have gone 13-7-1 and $100 per-unit bettors are up $1,410. Two years ago I followed the Rice Owls. Last year I followed the Ohio Bobcats. This season it will be all about the UNLV Rebels. All season long I’ll be following UNLV beat writers, Twitter feeds, and press conferences from the UNLV athletic department. By becoming an expert on this program, I want to show the betting public how specialization is such a profitable sports betting strategy.
How does the mid-major betting report work? Each week I’ll have a recap of the previous game, some notes of interest, betting trends, and college football odds for the upcoming game. At the end of each weekly article, I’ll make a selection for that weekend’s game. Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick, which will help readers follow along and track the results of these picks.
2013 UNLV Rebels Storylines to Watch
UNLV has had one winning season in the last 18 years. Head Coach Bobby Hauck was brought in to turn the program around, but he hasn’t had any success yet. The Rebels have won exactly two games in each of Hauck’s first three seasons at the school. Hauck is definitely on the hot seat heading into the 2013 season, and this team probably needs a bowl berth to save his job.
UNLV returns nine starters on each side of the ball, and on paper this is definitely the best UNLV team in several years. Still, they are playing in a much-improved Mountain West Conference, and they are going to have to step up their game in a big way to get to a bowl in 2013. UNLV won’t be favored in six games this year, so they are going to have to pull off some upsets.
Notes of Interest
--Taylor Bern, who is the UNLV beat writer for the Las Vegas Sun, wrote an article this week about UNLV’s ridiculous 22-game road losing streak. Each player on this UNLV team has lost every single road game they have played in their time at the school. This isn’t a statistic that the players on this team aren’t aware of; many players even admitted the team talks about the losing streak quite frequently. How bad has this streak been? The Rebels closest loss during the streak was a 21-14 loss at New Mexico during 2011. That’s the only one of the 22 losses that the Rebels lost by single-digits. The average score during these 22 straight losses is 43-12.
-- Hauck announced on Tuesday that five players were named captains for the 2013 UNLV Rebels team. Tim Hasson, Tani Maka, and Alex Korman were selected from the defense. On the offensive side, Nick Sherry and Cameron Jefferson were chosen. Probably the biggest surprise here was Sherry’s inclusion as a captain in his sophomore season. The team knows he is important to their success, and they are giving him the chance to lead.
--UNLV heads into the season opener pretty healthy, but they will be without brothers Kenny and Kendal Keys against Minnesota. Kenny was slated as a starting cornerback for the team, so that is a significant loss.
--UNLV is 9-38-4 ATS in their last 51 road games.
--Minnesota is 4-0 ATS in their last four nonconference games.
--UNLV is 5-0-1 ATS in their last six games against the Big Ten Conference.
--The “under” is 5-1 in UNLV’s last six games overall.
UNLV vs. Minnesota College Football Odds
The Golden Gophers opened as 14.5-point favorites in this one. The line quickly edged back to Minnesota by 14, but there hasn’t been any more movement since then. The posted total opened at 52 at some books, but it was 51.5 at most shops. The total still sits at 51.5 points at most books today. The lack of line movement in this game has been quite remarkable.
UNLV vs. Minnesota College Football Picks
UNLV and Minnesota met last year in the season opener, and Minnesota won 30-27 in triple overtime. Keep in mind that this game is being played on Thursday night rather than Saturday. The Rebels are up against a Big Ten team here, but Minnesota doesn’t have a loaded roster by any means. Jerry Kill does a great job coaching the Golden Gophers, and they always play hard right up to the final whistle.
The UNLV defense still isn’t great, but I do expect them to be much-improved this season. Minnesota certainly isn’t an offensive juggernaut. This should be a game where both teams try to establish the run and control the line of scrimmage. The pick for me in this matchup is on under 51.5 points. Keep an eye out for the second edition of the mid-major betting report next week when we take a look at UNLV’s home opener against Arizona.
Pick: #135 Take UNLV/Minnesota Under 51.5 for 1 Unit (Thursday August 29, 7 pm EST)
Season Results: 0 Wins 0 Losses- 0 Units
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