by Chris, the Impaler - 10/07/2005
I knew I'd enjoy the Web site for the latest sports gambling movie as I watched the page load with the words Chicago +14/Green Bay -2 and the Over move up the screen, but I figure this is just Hollyweird's way of showing how much they know about sports investment; or as they call it, sports gambling.
The movie opens this weekend and it is a tough call between the gambling movie and the other one I want to see about pissed-off kitchen staff (if it is in English I am leaving) hawking loogies into returned food -- I mean in this day and age does anyone really ever send back their food?
The sports betting movie, or Action/Reverse-adventure as I like to call it, is about a former college football star whose uncanny ability to predict outcomes of a games nets him a lucrative career (I realize this sounds like the Impaler's story but believe me I'm not getting a royalty check) working for that loud blind guy from that Scent of a Nose movie years ago. Predictably, at some point in the middle of the movie, the wunderkind goes on a losing jag (two for twelve on our highest betting weekend of the year) and that brings in some tension the movie was missing by only showing scenes of whales betting on games morning noon and night and losing a stack by the hook (and most likely a ton of people yelling Boo-ya!). But in the end, there is another game and the guy who is known to the Texas law enforcement community as "Conga-Bare-Ass" drops some wisdom on square America and Boo-ya has a heart attack on screen and M-Squared moves uptown with his widow R-Squared and he becomes a stock-broker or something.
Meanwhile, as if you haven't had enough of these calls, the action is peppered with the wanna-be's greasing the phones touching part-time suckers and full-time losers with their inane banter. "How much is this game worth to you? What's your action? Give me 15 percent of it and I can give you the winner to the Notre Dame game. If you want to take the triple dip…." Click. There'll be enough yak footage to make you want to hang up on the scene no matter how smooth honey-tongue talks. Lastly, and don't take this the wrong way, I got hard watching the trailer when I saw it was a movie about investing in sports, but when the ad for the movies goes something like this, "The networks don't talk about it, the government can't tax it". Whoa! Why must you taunt and bring the government into it? The beltway boys have their hands full with CYA, picking a Supreme Court justice, levying taxes, and a bunch of reconstruction and you give them a juicy tidbit like gambling to look at. Revenue they can't tax? Whatever you do don't tell the government they can't tax it! Thanks.
"It's not about the game, it's not about the money," the trailer admonishes. "It is about how much you'll risk to feel alive." Below I've got the Impaler's version of Two for the Money as well as a few suggestions on how much it takes us non-syringe professionals to feel alive this weekend. Meanwhile, at some point during a Pac-10 game I'll be at the movie that features employees putting their genitals in the mashed potatoes.
Week 5: Value Bets Recrap (1-1)
Last week was characterized simply as win by the interception and lose by the interception. Both outcomes of our games were decided by interceptions in the waning seconds of each game.
Despite Idaho being penalized 11 times for 113 yards, the Vandals won their first game of the season at home against the Utah State Aggies 27-13. But the score is misleading because it only tells half the tale of woe that was our bet. Utah State managed to come close to tying the game in the third quarter, but missed the extra point attempt, as they pulled within a point, 13-14. Idaho had a difficult time moving the ball in the third quarter but scored two field goals in the fourth quarter to give the Vandals a 7-point lead. As we have grown accustomed to in this space, we were killed by turnovers as Aggie QB Leon Jackson was intercepted three times, the last killed any chance that Utah State had of sending the game into overtime. With 45 seconds on the game clock and the Aggies driving into Vandal territory, LB Mike Anderson intercepted Jackson and ran the ball back 71 yards for a TD and a Vandal victory. Although the turnovers were costly for the Aggies, the fact that their leading rusher was the quarterback spoke volumes for Utah State's inability to put together a consistent running game. Jackson averaged three yards per carry and leads the Aggies with 149 yards rushing this year. Aggies backers lost a nickel on this game.
You can thank Darran Mathews for preserving the cover for the Eastern Michigan Eagles, as this game's outcome should have never been in question. The Eagles led for the entire game, until they started to collapse in the fourth quarter leading the Golden Flashes 27-7. Allowing 13 unanswered points to Kent State, the Eagles were unable to run out the game clock and had to punt to Kent State with just under two minutes to play. The Golden Flashes were on the move behind freshman quarterback Jon Brown (29/45 for 243 and 2 TDs) when Mathews' intercepted the ball sealing the victory (and the cover) for the Eagles. Eagles backers took home four bills on this game. We see that after five weeks of sports investment we have barely enough money for our favorite early morning snack; a beignet, coffee and tip at Café Dumond in Jackson Square, but we still are ahead on the season. Gasp!
CENTRAL FLORIDA (46 o/u) vs Memphis (-2.5)
Central Florida will look to win its third game in a row as they host the Memphis Tigers at the Citrus Bowl this weekend. The game opened with Memphis as a four-point favorite but quickly dropped to 2.5 points as bettors are backing the home team in this Conference USA match-up. Central Florida really had no business beating the Ragin' Cajuns last weekend after blowing a 21-0 lead in the first half. It was only a very bad punt in the fourth quarter that put UCF on their 38-yard line with four minutes in the game. The Golden Knights moved the ball, effectively running the game clock down to under ten seconds before kicking the winning field goal with under five seconds left in the game for the 24-21 road win.
Memphis comes into the Citrus Bowl fresh off their upset win against previously undefeated UTEP Miners last weekend. While the home victory was considered an upset, any team that brings in the likes of stud RB DeAngelo Williams, who has averaged more than 200 yards per game in the past three games, and who rushed for 236 yards and two TDs against the Miners, is hardly considered a huge 'dawg - even if they do have an inferior third string quarterback leading the offense. The biggest problem for Memphis' offense last week (and this week) is that their first and second string QBs have broken legs and so they had to start inept third stringer Billy Barefield. In fact, the only TD pass that Memphis had was a 43-yard pass from Maurice Avery, a WR inserted as QB, in the first half. However, the Tigers really won this game by forcing UTEP into six turnovers.
This week look to Memphis to eschew the razzle-dazzle plays they tried against UTEP for solid downhill running on the back of Heisman candidate DeAngelo Williams. While Central Florida will keep an eye out for the direct snap to Williams, a play that garnered a nifty 74-yard TD run against UTEP, if South Florida's Andre Hall ran for 155 yards and two scores against this same Central Florida stop unit two weeks ago, Williams should have no problem racking up another 200 yard performance as Memphis avoids the post UTEP bounce this weekend.
Gamblers should be aware that Memphis is only 1-2 against the spread this year while Central Florida boasts a 3-1 mark against the number.
PICK: Memphis -2.5 for $330
BUFFALO (+11) vs Akron (44 o/u)
This game opened with the Akron Zips as a 13-point 'chalk' but bettors like the Bulls as the number has dropped to eleven with the total planted at 44 points. Going into the season most MAC observers predicted that the Buffalo Bulls offense and special teams were the worst in the league. Over four games this prediction has proven correct; the Bulls have been held scoreless in their first two games and to only a field goal against Rutgers. Their record stands at 0-4, but the Bulls offense seems to be gellin'. Indeed last week's 21 points in the fourth quarter was a veritable points explosion for the Bulls who have managed only 24 points the entire season, or for you math majors, this averages to six points per game.
On Defense, the Bulls aren't much better. They have allowed an average of 231.8 yards rushing and 29.3 points per game. The question is have things turned around for Buffalo behind back-up true-freshman Drew Willy? With Steve Sampsell out for the season, Drew rose to the occasion in the fourth quarter against the Broncos (where he was for the first three quarters is as good a question as any) as the Bulls put up 21 points. Despite the 31-0 score through three quarters, the Bulls held onto the ball for 37 minutes and rolled up 360 yards in total offense against the Broncos. Unfortunately for the Bulls their ground game averaged about 1.8 yards per carry totaling 72 yards on 41 carries!
Akron experienced similar struggles against Central Michigan at home last weekend. However, the Zips were most likely experiencing a Husky hangover from their impressive OT win at Northern Illinois the previous week so I am not going to read too much into the loss to the Chippewa's. The Zips allowed the offensively minded Chippewa's 461 yards of total offense of which 237 were gained on the ground.
The team that wins this game will be the team that runs effectively - but that might be asking for too much considering the run game is a weakness for both ball clubs. Last week, the running game hammered both defenses. However, looking at the offenses of both Akron and Buffalo the edge for the running game is hardly clear. Both teams are lousy running the ball and defending against the run, but I see RB Brett Biggs running the ball better than his counterpart Stephen King (who only got 23 yards last week against WMI). Combined with the aerial threat of QB Getsy (eleven TD passes this year) and WR Hixon, Akron should win this game by a TD or so bouncing back from a letdown game against Central Michigan.
Gamblers should note that it is homecoming weekend for the Bulls and over the last five homecoming games the Bulls are 4-1 against the spread. In the six times these teams have played, Buffalo has never beaten the Zips and lost last year at the Rubber Bowl 44-21.
PICK: Over 44 for $330
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