Weekly CFB Mid-Major Betting Report: UNLV Rebels Week 3
by Aaron Smith - 9/12/2013
It’s time for the third installment of the mid-major betting report. For this year’s mid-major betting report I am following the UNLV Rebels. The Rebels have had an ugly start to the 2013 season. After three straight two-win seasons, this year’s UNLV team was expected to do more, but so far it’s been more of the same. I’ll be keeping a close eye on Twitter feeds, beat writers, press conferences from the program. By becoming an expert on the UNLV Rebels, I hope to show how specialization is one of the most profitable sports betting strategies.
At the end of each mid-major betting report, I’ll make a selection on that week’s game. Doc’s Sports Unit Betting System will be used for every pick. This should allow readers to follow along and track the results of these weekly college football picks. In the first two years of the mid-major report, $100 per-unit bettors were up $1,410.
Last Week’s Game
To say that UNLV was embarrassed last weekend is a massive understatement. Arizona came in and absolutely demolished the Rebels in their home opener. Arizona led 35-6 at halftime and went on to win 58-13. Needless to say, my UNLV +10.5 play for last week’s game was a loser. The Rebels were 10-3-1 ATS in their last 14 games as a home underdog going into last week’s contest, but that didn’t help a bit last week against the Wildcats.
Before the season, many questioned whether UNLV’s front seven could improve against the run. So far it looks like the answer is a resounding “no”. Arizona ran for 397 yards last week, and the Wildcats averaged 5.8 yards per carry. Arizona competed only eight passes all game long, but why throw the ball when you don’t have to?
How bad was quarterback Nick Sherry last week? The sophomore, who was named one of the team’s captains before the season, completed just 6-of-22 passes while throwing two interceptions. Even worse, both of those interceptions were returned for touchdowns.
UNLV got a 79-yard touchdown run from Shaquille Murray-Lawrence and a 69-yard touchdown from Sherry to Devante Davis. Outside of those two plays, UNLV ran 61 plays and had only 141 yards of total offense.
Notes of Interest
-Looking for a bright spot for UNLV through two weeks of the season? Look no further than the Rebels backup running back. Shaq Murray-Lawrence has only eight carries so far this year, but he has already amassed 190 yards on the ground and two touchdowns. His 190 yards is good enough for third best in the Mountain West and 45th best in the country.
-Bobby Hauck was asked what kind of positive aspects could be taken away from last week’s loss. How can anything positive come out of a 58-13 shellacking at home? Hauck said, “Well the positive is that it (this game) is over and we don’t play them again next week.” Fair enough.
-Taylor Bern, UNLV beat writer for the Las Vegas Sun, said in a column this week that despite the team opening up a quarterback competition it is unlikely that Sherry will lose his job. He said that it was evident in offseason practices that Sherry outplayed backup Caleb Herring. In addition, the Rebels understand that Sherry has a much higher upside than Herring.
-UNLV running back Tim Cornett moved up to fourth on UNLV’s all-time leading rushers list last week. He now has 2,591 yards in his career and is less than 100 yards behind moving into the third spot.
-Central Michigan is 3-11 ATS in their last 14 road games.
-The Chippewas are 7-21 ATS in their last 28 games overall.
-UNLV is 9-20-1 ATS in their last 30 games following a straight up loss.
-The Rebels are 5-19 ATS following a double-digit loss at home.
-The “over” is 35-15-1 in Central Michigan’s last 51 road games.
-The over is 5-1 in UNLV’s last six nonconference games.
Central Michigan vs. UNLV College Football Odds
Central Michigan hasn’t exactly been impressive in their first two games of the year, either. The Chippewas were beaten 59-9 by Michigan in the season opener before winning 24-21 against New Hampshire last week. The oddsmakers installed UNLV as an 11.5-point favorite in this one, but that line was quickly bet down. UNLV is now favored by seven points in this one. The posted total opened at 56.5 points but has slowly moved down to 54 points.
Central Michigan vs. UNLV College Football Picks
Central Michigan coming to town represents a great chance for UNLV to get their first win of the season. The Chippewas are without their starting quarterback as well as their starting running back, and their defense has struggled badly against the run so far this year. Still, I can’t justify laying points with a UNLV team that has looked so bad in 2013.
Regardless of who they are playing, I expect to see this UNLV defense to give up quite a few yards this year. On the other side, the Rebels offense should have a good chance to get on track against by far the weakest defense they’ve faced yet this year.
The pick for me in this matchup is one unit on the over.
Pick: #191- Take C. Michigan/UNLV OVER 54 for 1 Unit (Saturday September 14, 10:00 pm EST)
Season Results: 0 Wins 2 Losses (-2.2 Units)
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