by Doc - 09/28/2005
Our Big Three went into the books as a win as we hit on Ohio State -7 ½ over Iowa, and Under 47 in the Michigan-Wisconsin game. It could have been a clean sweep; however, Tampa Bay let us down by winning but not covering the 3-½ point spread. I thought the trifecta was home, but the Buccaneers threw a key interception with eight minutes to go leading to a Packer field goal. Winning two of the three selections was certainly gratifying; however, our overall performance was not as we dropped 12 units. Losing 12 units is certainly not the end of the world, but it is tough to give back this many units after picking up 20 the week before. Besides Tampa Bay, the two other games that were hard to swallow were Oregon and Penn State. The Nittany Lions allowed 29 points to a bad Northwestern team, as this was the most points they have allowed since November of 2003. QB Michael Robinson threw a key interception that started the first half collapse. State did recover nicely to win the game and keep the title hopes alive.
The Oregon Ducks led 13-0 into the second quarter over the No. 1 team in the land. However, the Trojans woke up and rattled off the next 45 points to win the game convincingly. This proves why they are the best team in the country. If they survive this week in Tempe, they could have a clear path to the Rose Bowl.
As I look at the schedule this week, I see some outstanding match-ups in both pro and college football. I did receive a phone call from an ex pro, who had some real insights on a pro game this week that I will comment of later in this column.
As a gambler who takes sports betting serious, how productive can betting half time lines be? In my opinion, one has a huge advantage if you pick your spots. In fact a lot of times one can put yourself in a position to hit a nice middle. The key to half time betting is to view the first half and recognize that the actual half time score is misleading. Last Saturday's game between Southern Cal and Oregon was a prime example. The oddsmakers made the Trojans a 13-point favorite for the second half despite trailing the game by a score of 13-10. If you viewed the game, one probably felt that S.C. would come back and eventually beat Oregon. If you bet Oregon before the game started, receiving 21 points plus a three-point lead, one had 24 points to work with. If one would have bet back part or the entire original wager, Southern Cal could have scored 23 points and you would have hit both sides. I am sure that most people did not expect S.C. to have such a successful half, but one should take a look when situations like this arise. In most cases, at least hedge parts of you're bet back and take the juice as the only real loss. Again the big factor is how the game was played in the first half, as often times you watch a game and felt the team leading had been lucky and the roof is about to cave in on them. Using your cell phone and a keen eye, you will be surprised how many times a situation arises each week.
The first week of conference play in the Big Ten is now history and already the conference was tipped upside down. The conference favorites, Michigan and Purdue both suffered road defeats. This puts Ohio State in the drivers seat, but they still have a rough road ahead. The Buckeyes defense is the best in the conference and this squad has the potential to take them a long ways.
The two surprising teams have been Michigan State and Wisconsin. The Spartans have been playing outstanding football, but have a tough schedule in the future. They play home this week against Michigan, a game I think the Spartans have enough talent to win. If QB Drew Stanton can stay healthy, I think this team can have a great season and they do not have any real weaknesses. After their in-state rival, the Spartans will face Ohio State next, but do have a week off before that encounter.
Wisconsin certainly has been a surprise as the handed Michigan their first conference opener loss in 24 years. No one expected the Badgers to be 4-0 at this point in the season including the writer of this column. The Badgers should have no problem this week with Indiana. Normally one would expect a letdown after such an emotional win, but that will not be the case as no one on this current squad has beaten Indiana. The coaching staff will remind them of that all week long. I think the real problem lies ahead for Wisconsin as after this encounter, they have back-to-back road games in Evanston and Minneapolis. I cannot see the Badgers covering both of those games.
How about the Minnesota Gophers! We have seen this from them in the past, where they start out 5-0 only to see their season collapse as the conference weeks wear down. I really think this Minnesota team is for real, but the next two games will be the determining factor as they are on the road against Penn State and Michigan. I really like a side and total in the Minnesota - Penn State game this week. I think this team will be ready for Michigan in two weeks as both teams play a similar style of offense. They will hit Michigan off of their big rivalry game with the Spartans. The Big Ten will set up nicely in the upcoming weeks and I fully believe all of our big plays will lie within the conference.
Looking at the NFL card this week, it catches my eye and it looks like we may be going with five selections this weekend, one of which will be a total. We have started the season well on Sunday and I look for that to continue because of some great contacts that I have made.
Speaking of the NFL, I received a call this week from a good friend, who is close to a former NFL quarterback. He stated that one NFL team is in trouble because of key injuries, QB lacking confidence, and in-house problems. This is a perfect situation to go against them on the road and I look for this to possibly be a six-unit selection. Any game can win or lose; however, the one has the mark of a big win. It is time to trust the information.
An interesting game this week takes place in Lincoln as the Iowa State Cyclones come a calling. Both coaches (Bill Callahan & Dan McCarney) have ties to Wisconsin and I know them both personally. Coach McCarney has big support from the Ames faithful but the same cannot be said for Coach Callahan. Nebraska still does not have the personnel to effectively run the west coast offense and most experts will be on the side of the visitor getting over a field goal. I am not so sure and my gut tells me that Nebraska will be ready to play this afternoon game. I am not sure if I will release a side in this game and may just sit back and enjoy the 100th meeting. Nebraska certainly has owned this series as they have won 81 of those meetings. In the last 13 meetings, the home team has won 11 of those tilts.
I recently read an article in the Las Vegas Sun by Jeff Havey concerning the Sports Advisory business. Two contestants (Don Boyles and Steve Fezzik) from the Stardust Invitational stated they have no time for sports services. Both felt that the business is littered with charlatans and snake-oil salesmen. Both also stated that very few sports services bet their own selections.
I for one certainly disagree with their views. I would be the first to admit that there are a few creeps in the business, but that is the case in any form of the business world. My feeling is that whether a service bets the games or not has no real outcome of how successful a sports service is. The record speaks for the quality of the service and no other information is required. As for Boyles, Fezzik and the other participant in the first think week of the Invitational, I would hope to hell they are not betting their selections. These six have combined for a 16 wins and 23 losses and 3 ties, which equates to about 40 percent winners. Maybe someone should clean up the backyard before they worry about the front.
A few games this week fall into the big revenge factor. Revenge can sometimes be overrated; however, most of the time when the team is full of upperclassman and is playing at home, it usually stands up. Obviously, it take more then just revenge, one must have the talent to back it up. We have found a game that fits into this category. Therefore the 6-unit revenge game of the year will go this Saturday. Need details, call our sports office at (800) 356-9182 on Friday.
College Football seems to be played every day of the week except Sunday. Next Wednesday night should be a dandy between Miami (OH) and Northern Illinois. I certainly like a side in this game.
Last game of the schedule this week pits Boise State traveling to the islands to take on the Warriors. Boise pounded UH last year by a score of 69-3. Will this be our Revenge Game of the Year? Not a chance, as Boise may not win by 66 points, but this game will be ugly.
We will have two six-unit games going this weekend (one college and one pro) so I would encourage you to jump aboard. The season has just begun and there are still plenty of opportunities left, as we are yet to release our two big plays (Big Ten Game of the Year & College Game of the Year).
That is it for this week,