Wednesday, September 30, 2009

College Football Notebook: Top 10 Teams Take Another Tumble

By Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

But Florida still reigning at Number 1

It seems the last place any of the top college football teams would want to be is in the top 10 of any of the polls because lately it’s been the death curse for a program. This season alone, after four weeks of games, ten teams haven fallen from the top 10 with heart-breaking losses.

Last season after four weeks, there were only five teams ousted from the top 10; two years ago there was only four teams knocked off.

Last week, Miami, Mississippi, Penn State, and Cal all took a tumble opening the way for one-loss teams to move up the charts. Virginia Tech lost early in the season to Alabama, but it hasn’t cost them much as of yet, because they’ve shot all the way to No. 6 after beating Miami soundly as a home underdog.

Taking their one loss really hard in the poll was Cal who dropped all the way to No. 24 in the AP Poll. Think there isn’t an East Coast bias with the writers? Penn State was ranked close to Cal prior to their game last week; Penn State was at home playing a decent Iowa team while Cal was at the frenzied atmosphere of Eugene playing a tough Oregon squad. Both teams lost, but Cal took a giant tumble, while Penn State only dropped to No. 15.

Boise State jumped in the polls to No. 5 and has taken on the lead role as the small conference voice campaigning for a BCS Championship bid, following BYU and Utah’s failures two weeks ago. Mountain West representative TCU jumped up to No. 11 and remains unbeaten.

The new small conference player with a big voice is the impressive offense of the Houston Cougars from Conference-USA; they’re now ranked No. 12 after their impressive 29-28 win over Texas Tech.

Through all the upsets, the top 3 still remain intact and undefeated with Florida, Texas, and Alabama. No. 4 ranked LSU has a huge date in Baton Rouge in two weeks against the Gators. Florida is hopeful that Tim Tebow will be ready to go after getting knocked out with a concussion at Kentucky last week. The week off should do him well.

Big Moves of the Week

(c/o LV Hilton)

Minnesota -1½ at Northwestern: This game was bet early and often throughout the week in which Northwestern opened as a -3 favorite Monday. By Thursday, the road team was pushed to a -1½ favorite where it closed Saturday. The Gophers won the game 35-24 proving the move valid.

Maryland -1 vs. Rutgers: Pushed from Rutgers a -3 point favorite Monday to pick, and then finally to Maryland being the favorite by game day. Rutgers won the game easily 34-13 showing that any wager on the Terps may be a bad bet from here on out.

Boston College -2½ vs. Wake Forest: Wake opened a -1 home dog but was systematically bet to make B.C. the favorite. B.C. won 27-24.

Wyoming +3 vs. UNLV: Rebels opened up -5½ and was bet down to -3 by Thursday morning where it stayed until kickoff. The Cowboys took it to the Rebels with a 30-27 win continuing UNLV’s awful road record within the Mountain West.

BYU -18½ vs. Colorado State: Opened -15 and bet up throughout the week. The Cougars ended up winning by 19 and covering all bets.

Big Games this Week

Dan O’Brien, who works with Las Vegas Sports Consultants, has the early suggested lines for the two big games this week. "We opened USC -4 at Cal, but we’ve seen off-shore lines move to -5½ since," he said.

Cal’s plummet in public opinion is demonstrated early on by the move, even with USC’s laydown against Washington State as a -46 point favorite when they couldn’t even break 30 points themselves.

"The other big game of the day is Oklahoma-Miami," said O’Brien. "We didn’t offer a line because of the status of Sam Bradford, who could play, but I have seen the Sooners -6½ off-shore."

The Rebels are hoping to take the cannon from Reno this week, but the problem is that UNLV is on the road which is bad news. Nevertheless, O’Brien says Nevada is only a two-point favorite with some off-shore books up to -4½ on Sunday night, following the trend of betting against the Rebels on the road.

Sports Good Day Saturday

With all the action on a college football Saturday being so hard to figure, an official statement has come out on how the first four weeks of the season has gone. "The season hasn’t gone the public’s way in any of the weeks," said South Point Director of Sports Books Bert Osborne.

Not much else is needed to figure out how well the Saturday’s have gone thus far. Let’s just say the books are doing well on Saturday’s.

NFL Notebook: Saints Are Now The Public Favorites

by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

Every year in pro football there is an "It" team in which the entire betting public attempts to ride week after week throughout the season, and usually get there more times than not. This year it is the New Orleans Saints who have wowed the audience with a seemingly unstoppable offense.

"The Saints are one of the favorites of the public thus far because of their high powered offense and the fact that they have covered easily in their games," said Art Manteris, vice-president of Station Casino’s Las Vegas Sports Books. "I had a few respected people tell me early on how high they were on the Saints, and wagers on season totals reflected so."

Station’s opened the Saints to win 9 games, under -135, and ended up closing 9 over -120. A huge variable in that total’s equation, the road games at Philadelphia and Buffalo, was answered when the Saints and Bills both destroyed the McNabb-less Eagles, making the early moves seem to have a huge edge at this juncture.

Last Sunday the Saints rolled into Buffalo and made it appear that it was a close game, and then reeled off a running attack that closed the game out like all top covering teams do. It wasn’t about Drew Brees throwing 300 yards plus, it was about total game control.

Next up for the Saints?

Could it be that we have a great match-up of two 3-0 teams this early in the season with the outspoken Jets traveling to New Orleans this week? Of all the defenses in the league, the Rex Ryan posse looks like the most vicious and angry among them. He’s brought on a persona and swagger that all the players are going along with.

Pro Football Moves of the Week

The Eagles opened Monday at -9½ as a circled game. By Sunday, Chiefs money came in enough to drop the line to -7. Kansas City was never in the game as Philly won easily 34-14.

The public drove the Saints up from a -4½ favorite Monday to a closing number of -6 after being at -6½ for some time. The Saints covered easily.

The Oakland Raiders opened as -1½ point favorite on Monday but Broncos money moved the line to Denver -2½ by kickoff. The move was correct as Denver smoked the hapless Raiders in front of their home crowd of creatures.

Dead Game: There was virtually no action one way or another on the side or total of the Browns/Ravens game last week.

Sports Books Tough Day on Sunday

"We had a lot of risk with some of the favorites early on with the parlay cards and off the board parlays," said South Point Director of Sports Bert Osborne. "If it weren’t for the Vikings not covering their -6½ point spread, it could have been a lot worse when dealing with all the favorite parlays played throughout the day.

"A lot of those big spreads came in on the early games," Osborne continued. "The Ravens, Patriots, Giants, and Packers covered and the public was also with the Jets."

Though support came from the public on a lot of the favorites, the sharp players didn’t have many plays this week. Two of the only sharp moves of the day were on the Titans getting +2 and +1½ at the Jets.

"The public did well against the books on Sunday," said Osborne. "When the Bears came in along with the Saints and Broncos in the late games, it didn’t set up a great position for the house going into the night game with the Colts and Monday’s game with the Cowboys."

Despite the line moving on the Cardinals at home, the public kept betting the Colts, who they had all just seen beat the Dolphins last week. The Cowboys were also an attractive team just because no one wants Jake Delhomme on their ticket, and also the fact that the Cowboys lost their opener in their new stadium. They couldn’t lose two in row at home, could they?

Two-pt conversion of the week

Pittsburgh opened as -4½ favorite and was bet down to -3½ EVEN by kickoff. In the late stages of the game, the Bengals scored making the game Steelers 20-15 and did the right thing in going for a 2-pt conversion, but when they failed, it gave the Steelers and their bettors a nice cover for the time being. And then the Bengals came back with a late drive and converted two fourth-down conversions, and scored the game winning touchdown.

Broncos Looking Good

Denver controlled the clock for 36 minutes and ran for 215 yards on offense while holding the Raiders to 137 yards total offense in their 23-3 win at Oakland. The win gave the Broncos the top rated defense in yardage and points allowed. Kyle Orton has yet to throw an interception, but the Bronco offense did have a turnover, their first of the season.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Roberts Pro Football Picks: 3 Favorites to Make a Things Go Right!

NY Jets -2 vs. Titans (37): Line has gone up and then down. Jets look like a nice play despite maybe the Jets coming on a down cycle after the big win against the Patriots last week. They should get the win. Pick: Jets 28-21

Patriots -4.5 vs. Falcons (45.5): Line is sure to rise. The addition of Wes Welker makes the Pats that much better. Look for a beat down chowder style. Pick: Pats 31-17

Broncos -2 @ Oakland (37): Despite Oakland’s issues, it’s still a tough spot to play in. Broncos should do well with their risk-limited offense. The Broncos have the top defense in the league on points scored against. They’ll be good this week as well. Pick: Broncos 24 Raiders 6

Friday, September 25, 2009

Roberts College Football Picks of Week: Cal and Canes Win as Road Favorites

California -5 @ Oregon: Cal has won and covered the last three meetings between the two teams. Even though the trend has been to go against the top 10 teams playing on the road, Cal should be able to buck it and get the win with their balanced attack under Head Coach Jeff Tedford. The last time Oregon was getting points at home was in 2005 was USC laid -21 and won 45-21.

Miami -2 @ Virginia Tech: Miami is still flying under the radar in the minds of experts, but after they beat their third straight ranked team, Miami will finally start to get their due. Blacksburg is a tough place to play, but Nebraska almost did it last week losing 15-16. Miami’s QB Jacory Harris has been able to spread the ball around and make big plays in their two wins against two pretty good teams already in Florida State and Georgia Tech.

Penn State -9.5 vs. Iowa: Joe Paterno hasn’t covered the spread in any game this season, but this is their first real test with a light spread. Penn State is looking to avenge their loss at Iowa last season which ruined their chance at playing for the National Championship. Looks for Penn State to take care of business in this game and not allow the Hawkeyes to get any momentum at any juncture of the game.

Wyoming +3.5 vs. UNLV: In the last five seasons after a non-conference game, UNLV is 1-10 straight up as a favorite on the road. In the last two years, UNLV has gone 0-8 straight up against a Mountain West team on the road. Laying an initial line of -5.5 after the power ranking had Wyoming getting only +7 against the struggling Big-12 team of Colorado seems a little out of whack. Until UNLV can win on the road in conference play, they have to be bet against.

Last Week: 0-2
Season: 6-8

MIke T's Week 3 Dogs: Bengals, Birds, & Bills Look Good

by Mike T.

After a 1-2 start in week 1 I came back last week with 3 money line dogs getting there. I'm now 4-2 on the season. I had the Chargers, Saints and Giants all winning outright. There were 9 dogs that covered last week. That is unusually high however, as I've said in previous posts that is what happens the first few weeks of the season. Whether it's odds makers putting to much emphasis on the past years performance or just simply hanging bad numbers, it happens every year. I don't expect to see 9 dogs cover again this week, in fact I'm having a tough time trying to find 3 of them.

There are a few small dogs that can get there like the Titans or the Seahawks (both +1) but I just don't like either of them enough to bet on them. Jeff Fischer should have his team fired up as the Jets ended their 10-0 run last year in blowout fashion. I just don't think the line is favorable for the dog here. If Tenn was getting 3-3 1/2 I'd be all over it.

Bengals +4 vs Steelers
Like last weeks Giants- Cowboys line this one just seems wrong to me. The 1-1 Steelers are 4 point road favorites against the division rival 1-1 Bengals. Really? This is a good example of the odds makers hanging a line based more on last year's performance than this year's. The Steelers are playing their second consecutive road game coming off a loss to the Bears, while the Bengals are coming back home after a huge win at Green Bay. If not for a miracle by Brandon Stokley the Bengals could very well be 2-0 while if not for 2 missed FGs by Rob Bironas the Steelers could be 0-2. Would the line still be Pitt-4 if that were the case? This line should be pick'em at best maybe even Cinn -1 or 2.
Bengals 24 Steelers 16

Falcons +4 at Patriots
Here is another situation where you have a team (NE) that could be 0-2 if Buffalo took a knee vs a solid 2-0 team. I don't have as much a problem with this line as the Pats are at home. Tom Brady does not look like to 50 TD quarterback he was 2 seasons ago. In fact, so far he's looked pretty bad. He doesn't look confident, he's not planting his foot when he throws and he looks a little nervous out there. Brady did show a bit of confidence in the 2nd half of week 1 but last week he looked like a rookie against the Jets. He didn't throw a TD for the first time in 3 years, was 23-47 and had an int.
Meanwhile the Falcons keep impressing me. I stayed away from them the first 2 weeks because I wasn't sure if they were a fluke last year. Well they're not, this is a team that is talented everywhere and should see the post season again. These may be two teams that are headed in different directions. I expect to see a heavy dose of Michael Turner against this very average Pats defense. Matt Ryan shouldn't have much of a problem finding his TE and WRs coming off of play-action. The Falcons defense should pressure Brady all day and keep him uncomfortable while containing there mediocre run game.
Falcons 28 Patriots 21

Bills +6 vs Saints
The high powered Saints offense roll into Buffalo for their second consecutive road game. This is an out of conference road game and could be a good spot for the Bills. As we know, the Bills could easily be 2-0 right now and are playing good ball like they did to open the season last year. Buffalo's offense went from scoring 24 in week 1 to 33 in week 2. Two of the three starting defensive linemen for the Saints are questionable starts with leg injuries which may mean even more time in the pocket for Trent Edwards and bigger holes for Fred Jackson to run through. The Saints may also be without WR Lance Moore (hamstring-questionable) and RB Pierre Thomas is still nursing a knee injury(although he's listed as probable) while Mike Bell is doubtful with an MCL sprain. I expect this game to be a shootout and one I'll be looking forward to watching.
Bills 31 Saints 30

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

NFL Notebook: Books and Sharps Do Well Week 2 in Las Vegas

NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

A week after experiencing a tough opening NFL weekend with several public teams covering, Las Vegas sports books bounced back, as they always do, in week two.

The books always like a mix of favorites and underdogs covering each week just to keep everyone guessing for the weeks to come, ultimately leading to a range of varied opinions by the public, which usually translates to a much more consistent house hold.

What happened in week two should keep the players guessing for at least the next month.

Of the nine early games Sunday, six of the underdogs won outright with another, the Rams, losing but still covering. The only favorites to cover early were the Vikings and Falcons, meaning there were several re-grouping sessions by the players for the late games.

As the late games neared, the bettors were perplexed because logic is telling them "There is no way more dogs can win straight up today," and wouldn’t you know it, a few more came in. The Ravens-Chargers and Steelers-Bears games, two of the most heavily bet games of the day by the public, ended as straight up dog winners. In the other three late games, which had far less action or appeal, all the favorites won and covered.

In the Sunday finale at the Cowboys brand new stadium, another underdog won while christening Jerry Jones’ star-studded gala. The Giants 33-31 victory capped a Sunday where 10 of the underdogs covered with nine of them winning straight up.

"The general public didn’t do very well," said Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook Executive Director of Race and Sports Jay Kornegay, "but the sharp players on the moves did well."

Generally, when the public doesn’t do well, most of the sharps will have a winning day. Games that went the sharps way were the Raiders, Jets, Bengals, Saints, Ravens, and Bears. In just about every one of those cases, the moves came on game day. Some of the late moves that didn’t get there for the sharps’ were the losers of the Bucs and Panthers.

"There’s a misconception sometimes about how the book did," Kornegay explained. "I had players coming to me saying how great a day the books must have had because a team like the Bengals and Texans upset a big favorite, but that’s not always the case."

While most of the public was on the Packers laying a big number, the sharps bet the Bengals from a 9 point opening line favorite that stayed stagnant all week until Sunday morning when it dropped to –7 by kickoff.

On a broad account of books from across Las Vegas, the majority had small wins or losses on straight bets fueled by the sharp action, while off the board parlays, teasers and parlay cards went very well for the house.

Move of the Week

The Eagles opened up a -2 point favorite at home against the Saints on Monday as a circle game due to Donovan McNabb’s doubtful status. The line moved to -1 and then Pick where it stayed until Sunday morning, and then the freight train came, filled with cash as the sharps bet the Saints all the way up to a -3 point favorite.

The wait strategy paid off for the sharps as the Saints pounded Philly 48-22. Since it was known for days prior to the game that McNabb would not play, why then, didn’t they bet earlier before someone else could jump on the line and ruin their preferred line?

"We were working hard through Saturday to get confirmation on the status of McNabb," said Kornegay, "and once the news was confirmed we moved accordingly."

Once the confirmed information came out early Sunday morning, the sharps came out with plays all over the city, off-shore and the world on the Saints simultaneously until the line was moved to three.

New Stadium Note To File

The next time a new stadium opens, it may be a good idea to take whoever the home team is playing against the spread. The Giants’ win Sunday night gave the road teams a 9-5 record ATS since 1997.

Mile High Drama?

It’s only two weeks into the season, but it sure is amazing what winning can do to erase the past. While it remains to be seen how the Jay Cutler deal and Brandon Marshall soap opera plays out, it’s safe to say that most will agree so far, so good with the Josh McDaniels era. The offense is still sputtering, but the immediate change on defense is obvious as they have allowed only 13 points in two games. Say what you will about Kyle Orton, but he hasn’t turned the ball over yet and his team is 2-0 and in first place alone in the AFC West.

Who Needs Rest?

The term "a well rested team" always seems to hold some weight when discussing plus and minuses for each team in their particular match. Last week, there were two teams, Pittsburgh and Tennessee, who had 10 days rest before their games this week and both lost by three as favorites.

Week 2 Game Balls

RB Frank Gore rushed for 207 yards and had two TD’s in the 49ers 23-10 win over Seattle. The tempo and style of ball Frisco head coach Mike Singletary wants to play begins with Gore and now they’re 2-0 leading the NFC West … QB Matt Schaub took a lot of heat for his inability to make plays last week in a loss, but came strong in the tough environment of Tennessee with 357 yards passing and four TD’s in the Texans 34-31 upset of the Titans … Defensive end Elvis Dumervil had four sacks and a forced fumble in the Broncos’ 27-6 win over the Browns … Titans RB Chris Johnson would have surely been given a game ball, but a prerequisite to getting one is winning.

End Of An Era?

The Patriots are one kneel on a kickoff away from being 0-2 and the resurgence we all anticipated once Tom Brady returned just isn’t there. Their once confident swagger, that had teams beat before even stepping on the field, got a fat lip and black eye by the upstart Jets. What’s worse is that the Jets told the whole world what they were going to do and proceeded to follow through with it in their 16-9 win.

College Notebook: BCS is Headed For Another Jumbled Mess with One Loss Teams

College Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

With all the spectacular losses to top ranked teams last week in college football, it gave back hope to a few major one-loss schools in the power conferences in their quest to make the BCS Championship game.

Three schools that cheered the most were Ohio State, Oklahoma and Virginia Tech, who hope that the theory of "If you have to lose in college football, lose early" holds true. All three took chances playing top non-conference teams early in the season, but after the losses, everything is starting to circle back to them, putting the ball back in their court.

In the Big-12, Oklahoma can right the ship with a win in two weeks at Miami, and then beat Texas on Oct. 17. In the SEC, Mississippi and Alabama will knock one or the other out with their game Oct. 10 and someone will also lose the LSU-Florida game that same weekend.

Out West in the PAC-10, Cal still has to take care of business against USC in two weeks to advance further, while in the BIG-10, the Buckeyes are pointing to their road dates late in the season against Penn State and Michigan.

The big game this week in college football comes from the ACC’s Coastal Division with Miami visiting Virginia Tech, which could have major implications in the BCS jumble down the road. Miami will be looking to beat their third straight ranked opponent, while the one-loss Hokies could strengthen their case with a win.

It’s sure to be a major log jam, again, at the end of the season with several top teams having one loss making legitimate claims to play for the title.

What does all this mean for you other than instilling more school pride? Well, odds to win the National Championship game should have a renewed interest with so many possibilities. The Gators are still the big favorite to get there, but one other team has to get there and there is bound to be some great future prices on several of these teams. Check out our future odds page and shop around!

Mountain West Creditability

Just as the conference was starting to gain some national attention in the continual cry for respect, the roof caved in over the course of a few hours. No. 18 ranked Utah saw the nation’s longest winning streak snapped in a 31-24 loss at Oregon. A few hours later, No. 7 ranked BYU saw their 18-game home winning streak come to a resounding end when Florida State thumped them, 54-28. TCU is still ranked and undefeated, but the best record in the conference goes to the mighty Rams of Colorado State at 3-0.

USC Played With Canadian Rules?

During USC’s epic loss to a team like Washington, who was 0-12 last season, the Trojans didn’t convert one third down. They had 10 chances with zero converts. In the process, USC also had three turnovers while the Huskies had none. You can’t win many games with those numbers. The loss was Pete Carroll’s first at Washington since his first year in Troy and also was only his 11th conference loss in nine seasons.

Locker Leave Early?

Scouts were already raving over Washington QB Jake Locker before the USC game, a performance like he had that says a lot about his toughness and mentality. He’s still got a year to go, but he may be the top QB drafted if he were to leave after this season. You’d love to see him elevate the Huskies to another level and stay through his senior year, but after seeing two instances in recent years weighing those decisions to stay or go, the wise decision would be to go if he‘s thought of that highly. Sam Bradford stayed an extra year and it may have cost him quite a bit, financially and physically. Matt Leinert’s stock plummeted by playing another year costing him millions.

Father Kiffin Shows Blueprint?

The Gators have the easiest of roads among all SEC teams of getting to the conference title game because they won’t face either Mississippi or Alabama until then. Last week’s mild 23-13 win over Tennessee against defensive genius Monte Kiffin’s "bend but don’t break" defense may have shown a few of the SEC coaches how to at least slow down the potent Gator attack. Next big date for Florida is Oct. 10 in Baton Rouge against the LSU Tigers, but first at Kentucky next week.

Moves From last Week

The Pittsburgh Panthers 27-14 win over Navy made them 3-0 for the first time since 2000. Pitt opened up a -7 favorite and was bet up to -8. It was one of the short list of moves that actually covered. Teams like Kentucky, Florida, BYU, USC and Texas all moved up as favorites last week, but didn’t get the money. How about Maryland losing to Middle Tennessee State? The Terps opened as -6½ favorites and were bet up to -7½ by game time.

Congrats go out to Syracuse for getting their first win with their new coach and new QB. Former Duke basketball player, turned ‘Cuse QB, Greg Paulus, threw for 346 yards and two TD’s in their 37-34 win over Northwestern. Congrats also go to the sharps who pounded the Orangemen early in the week, all the way until game time. Northwestern opened a -4½ favorite, pushed to -3 on Friday, and then chopped to -1 by kickoff.

MAC QB Late Scratch

Akron’s starting QB, Chris Jacquemain, was suspended for violating team rules the day before their home game against Indiana. The Zips opened up a -3½ favorite Monday and was bet up to -5, before re-opening at -3 after the news. The replacement QB playing had never started a game before and Indiana pounded them.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Roberts Week 2 NFL Thoughts: Bears Bounce Back Big with Cutler & Forte

Betting has been relatively quiet this week in the Las Vegas Sports Books. There has been lots of action, but as of 4 pm Saturday, not many of the lines have moved during the week with the exception of the Chargers and Eagles games due to star players being injured. The majority of the sharp bets are likely to come Saturday night and game time Sunday morning.

Lines used are courtesy of the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook as of 4pm Saturday.

Raiders +3 @ Kansas City (O/U 38.5) Line hasn’t changed since re-opening on Tuesday after the Raiders great showing Monday night. Look for a good tough fought battle with the Chiefs running game of Larry Johnson being the difference.
PICK: Chiefs 24-20

Texans +6.5 @ Tennessee (41) Game opened -7 and sharp money bet Houston right away on Monday. Titans are well rested and will get back to basics this week, the running game, which the Texans can’t stop as evident with Kubiak‘s 1-5 ATS record vs. TENN. PICK: Titans 27-13

Patriots -3.5 @ New York Jets (46) Lots of hype for this game. Original line before Monday night’s tough game was -6.5. Like what the Jet are trying to do in getting themselves pumped up with comments in the media, but I like the Pats to respond as they have the last 8 straight at the Meadowlands vs. the Jets and get the win. PICK: Patriots 28-16

Bengals +9 @ Green Bay (42.5) The Bengals may still be one of the worse teams in football even with Palmer back. Rodgers should get things started early and Grant’s running should seal the deal late. PICK: Packers 31-17

Vikings -9.5 @ Detroit (45) The total has dropped from 46.5, but no movement on the line. Vikings should get cylinders running this week, including Favre, and especially Peterson. Lions should get some scores as well making this a good total bet over, against the Vegas move. PICK: Vikings 34-24

Saints PK @ Philadelphia (45.5) The total has dropped from 47 based on the logic Philly’s defense will give Brees and the Saints offense a tough time and that the Kolb led offense will be conservative. Makes good sense to me, Kolb will struggle. PICK: Saints 23-13

Panthers +6 @ Atlanta (42.5) Can DelHomme be as bad as he has in his last two starts with 9 INT’s? As he goes, so will the team. Tough place to win, but I think Jake gets it going enough to make it a game. PICK: Falcons 28-24

Rams +9.5 @ Washington (37) Sharps took the Rams +10 on Monday and side or total hasn’t moved since then. Rams looked lost offensively last week despite having one of the best RB’s in the game and two good WR’s. Bulger doesn’t have it anymore. PICK: Redskins 23-10

Cardinals +3 @ Jacksonville (43) Sharps took the hook and +3.5 with Cards early in the week and has maintained where it is now. Jags should frustrate the Cards once again with their defense and a dose of MJD. PICK: Jaguars 23-19

Seahawks +1 @ San Francisco (39.5) Two teams going in the right direction. Should be one of the better games of the day. Slight move on the Seahawks taking +1.5 early in week. Singletary will try to control the clock and play low scoring game, but Hawks will dictate their own pace with their passing game. Good total play OVER. PICK: Seahawks 27-22

Buccaneers +4.5 @ Buffalo (41.5) Sharps took +5 early in week and it stayed where it’s at now. I liked what I saw out of both teams in their losses. Tampa got overwhelmed with perfect Romo bombs taking them out of the game. Their running game was very impressive. Should be a close game with the edge to the home team. PICK: Bills 24-21

Browns +3 EV @ Denver (39) A great defensive effort by Denver last week was overshadowed by Cincy’s late score and then Stokely’s play. Bettors are betting the OVER, which opened at 38. The Browns offense looked disorganized at home last week, as did Denver’s. The UNDER looks like a good play here. This line will be -3.5 by game time. PICK: Broncos 20-13

Ravens +3 -125 @ San Diego (40) Money came in on the Ravens +3 flat and will likely be 2.5 by game time. Last season the Ravens responded well on the road as a dog team last year going 6-3 ATS. Chargers will likely set the pace of the game with their pass attack making the total OVER look attractive. PICK: Ravens 27-24

Steelers -2.5 @ Chicago (37.5) Lovie Smith’s teams have always rebounded well after a loss. The Bears are 4-1 under Smith as a home dog after a loss. Expect to see a better Cutler and also a heavy dose of Forte on the ground and in passing game. PICK: Bears 24-17

Giants +3 -120 @ Dallas (45) The total has moved from the original line of 43.5. Romo has won four straight vs. the Giants and he’ll look to do the same as they open their new stadium. Both teams should be able to put some good yardage up creating scores. PICK: Cowboys 27-21

Monday Night Football
Colts -3 -120 @ Miami (42) Both teams had some offensive miscues last, but only the Dolphins lost. Miami’s running game should be the difference here in trying to duplicate what Jones-Drew did to the Indy defense last week. Good home dog, wait until game time bet and get maybe +4 or at least +3.5 if liking the Dolphins. PICK: Dolphins 20-17

Best Bets - Week Two: Clev/Den UNDER 39, Bears +2.5 ML, NYG/Dal OVER 45, Redskins -9.5, Balt/SD OVER 40, Titans -6.5

Roberts College Football Picks: Gators and Cougars

Not too many big games this week, but we still got to make some plays, right?

BYU -7.5 vs. Florida State: The Seminoles will be playing their third game in 12 days and could easily be 0-2 coming in after struggling against Jacksonville State a week after losing a heartbreaker to Miami. BYU has won their last 18 games at home and covered the spread, lots of them very large, in 12 of those games. Rise and Shout! The Cougars are Out!

Florida -30 vs. Tennessee: Florida was dusting off the Vols long before Lane Kiffin popped off. All this does is ensure that the Gators will go for blood late in the game if the spread is in question. Gators Head Coach Urban Meyer is not at all amused by Kiffin’s assertions of illegal recruiting and will do all he can to pound Kiffin and show other up and comers that Kiffin’s way was the wrong way to join the SEC as a new coach.

College Football Record
Last Week: 3-1
Season: 6-6

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jets Rhodes and Ryan Talking Loud About Patriots: Good Idea?

Japan’s great Admiral, Isoroku Yamamoto, is said to have made the statement, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve," immediately following their attack on Pearl Harbor.

This week the New York Jets have freely, and openly, sent a message to the Patriots through the media. Whether it turns out to be the same fate suffered by Yamamoto’s squad, has yet to be seen, but it sure is making the game seem much more interesting now.

“It’s to the point where enough is enough,” said New York Jets free-safety Kerry Rhodes.

“You go out from the first quarter on, from the first play on, and try to embarrass them,” Rhodes said. “Not just go out there and try to win, try to embarrass them. Try to make them feel bad when they leave here. We don’t want to just beat them. We want to send a message to them, ‘We’re not backing down from you and we expect to win this game, and it’s not going to be luck, it’s not going to be a mistake.’ ”

He also said that the Jets Defense would hit Tom Brady more than six times, the number of times that Brady was hit this past Monday night by the Buffalo Bills defense.

The Rhodes comments were made a day after new Head Coach Rex Ryan talked very positive in an emphatic manner that his Jets aren’t going to be bullied around anymore by the Patriots who have put a Beat-down on the Jets eight straight games at the Meadowlands.

“Talk is cheap,” Brady said Wednesday, referring to Ryan without even knowing what Rhodes said.

Patriots head coach Bill Belichik has shown Patriots the article and left it at that. None of the players had much to say regarding Rhodes comments.

You have to like the inspiration and motivation before games, but I don’t think it turns out too well for teams that call out the Patriots. It seems to make them stronger and more focused crusading with a common goal, yet not speaking about it and as a unit.

Remember Anthony Smith? He used to play the safety for Pittsburgh Steelers. In 2007 he guaranteed a victory against the Patriots in Foxboro. Brady responded with 399 yards and four Touchdowns in the Patriots 34-13 win.

The most memorable moment, or response to bold statements, was when Brady threw one of his bombs, or the final nail in the coffin.

He proceeded to run down field towards the end-zone, found Smith after he‘d been burned, and gave him some choice words not meant for reporters. Brady yelled the message out personally to Smith, as if to say, “this how I‘ll call you out, on the field!”

I haven‘t heard much from Smith of late, but I‘m sure he‘ll think twice before making a statement against anyone, let alone the Patriots.

Perhaps this is the best way to get a team riddled with losses to change their psyche, but no one wants to be that guy that gets punked in front of millions by Brady. I guess those are the sacrifices that must be made if you’re trying change an overall mind set. The other way sure wasn’t working.

NFL Picks: Mike T's Week 2 Dogs

by Mike T.

The first few weeks of the season I always look for some value underdogs. Although I went 1-2 last week there were still a few dogs that got there that I only wish I would have taken. Let's see what I can do this week.

Teams like the Jets, Bears, and Seahawks are all possible dogs to get there this week but I'm staying away from them for the most part. ( I may stick them in a parlay but that's about it)

Ravens +3 1/2 over Chargers
By now most of us know that LT is banged up already and will not play. That is not the only reason to go against SD. Offensive linemen Nick Hardwick(ankle) and Louis Vasquez (knee) have not practiced this week. The Raiders held this SD running attack to 87 yds on 23 carries. That was with 2 healthy starting linemen. Now SD has to play a much better Raven D and a Raven O that is also much better than Oakland.
Ravens 20 Chargers 10

Saints +1 over Eagles
Not only is McNabb doubtful with a broken rib but (T) Shaun Andrews is also out for the year. Andrews will be replaced with turn-style Winston justice. If the Saints sent multiple looks at Justice, Kevin Kolb could be in for a long day while trying to keep up with the high powered Saints offense. I think we'll see the Saints go up early and never look back.
Saints 24 Eagles 14

Giants +3 over Dallas
The first thing that stands out to me is the line. The home team -3 is the same as a pick'em on a neutral field. This line seems a little off to me, it should probably be Dallas +1. Odds makers can hang this number because they know they will get plenty of action on the Cowboys. This being a big division game and the fact that Dallas is opening their new stadium on Sunday night is enough to make this line a boring 3. The Cowboys offense put up 34 points on TB last week including 3 bombs while holding the Bucs to just 10. This week however, the Cowboys are not playing the Bucs. The Bucs rushed for 174 yds against the Boys but abandoned the run once they fell behind. The Giants have a better O Line and better backs and I doubt they give up on the run game even if they are down a score or two. The Giants D Line will also pressure Romo a lot more than the Bucs did and should bring their run game to a halt.

One more thing, teams playing their first game in a new stadium are 7-6 straight up and 5-8 against the spread since 1997.
Giants 27 Cowboys 16

Las Vegas Line Movements: Tennessee vs Florida

By Micah Roberts

Each week we’re going to chronicle some of the most bet games from Las Vegas sportsbooks at what is kind of like the halfway point. Generally at this point on the week, the lines that have been moved have been pushed that way by the sharps and are influenced very little by public.

95% of the wagers made by the public will be made Friday, Saturday, and especially Sunday, while the sharps come in all week with varying strategies around town.

Those strategies that some of the sharps use are very carefully thought out and calculated to ensure they get the amount their looking to bet at the preferred line. Not only do they have to have the games handicapped, but they also have to have each sportsbook’s bookmaking philosophy down also.

The last few seasons Thursday action has been one of the more festive betting days prior to the weekend, other than Monday’s, in particular with college football action. It wouldn’t be out of the ordinary to see up to 10 games run one after another two to three points a game during a short half-hour period. The Live Odds and competing screens would light up like New York Stock Exchange boards with both Las Vegas and Offshore books.

However, after two weeks of college football, it hasn’t been like the seasons past.

“Last week, we saw most of our big action on game day", said MGM/Mirage Director of Race and Sports Jay Rood. "We’ve had some action on a few games through the week, but the last two Thursday’s haven’t been like last year.”

South Point veteran Sport Book Director Bert Osborne is seeing the same thing, “It’s been quiet this week other than the normal action on Monday.“

Both directors agree their biggest college game they have on the board this week in the Tennessee-Florida game.

”This is definitely the most interesting game with a 30 point spread I’ve seen for some time, Rood said. Because of the action I’ve already seen across the counter, we’re even going to offer some special props for the game.”

The recommended send by Las Vegas Sports Consultants was Florida -25, but most books like the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook opened the game at -27.5 and it’s been pushed up to -30 at most books.

“The build up for this game has created a nice buzz around Las Vegas for this game, Osborne said. It’s not only the revenge factor with Kiffin’s comments back in February that make this game stand out, but it’s also the fact that there are only two games with ranked teams playing each other which magnifies this game even more.”

Osborne may be right on his assertion. If the Buckeyes were playing USC this weekend, or any of the great games from last week, the Lane Kiffin beat down party may be big only in Gator Country.

Instead, it’s caught on everywhere. People want to see either Florida hammer Kiffin, while others want to see if Kiffin’s strategy of getting into a teams’ head can diminish their style and make them play differently.

Here’s some other moves from the week through Thursday afternoon using the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook lines:

* Pittsburgh opened -7 vs. NAVY and is currently up to -8 while others are still 7 or 7.5.
* Akron opened -3.5 vs. Indiana and is currently up to -4.5 while other are around -5.
* Kansas opened -21 vs. Duke and is up to -22.5 and a high of -23 elsewhere.
* Washington opened +20.5 vs. USC and is down to +17.5 with a range of lines at 18 and 19.
* Florida opened -27.5 vs. Tennessee and is up to -29.5 with others as high as -30.
* Kentucky opened -12 vs. Louisville and is up a point to -13.5, with a high of -14 at Leroy’s.

Sunday’s pro football action has had the normal early runs on games on or around the key numbers of 3, 7, or 10.

* The Texans +7 was saw as attractive and bet down to 6.5 vs. the Titans.
* The Rams getting +10 vs. the Redskins was deemed attractive by some respected sharps and bet down to 9.5 at a few books.
* Cardinals bettors took the hook at +3.5 against Jacksonville to +3 flat.
* A few Broncos wagers have come in laying -3 flat pushing to -3 -120 vs. Cleveland.
* The Steelers have pushed the -2.5 flat to -3 even at the Bears.

The game getting the most action thus far at the South Point for Osborne has been the Cowboys-Giants game. “We usually don’t like to use money on moves around 3, so we have bounced back and forth a few times from -2.5 flat to -3 flat.”

Osborne is one of the only bookmakers in Vegas to not use money on moves and is very well respected for it, among other things. When considering all the games that have been on three over the last ten years, only one season has the move proved wrong. Between the volume accumulated by not asking bettors to lay an extra -10 cents on a valued line, the reward far outweighs the risk of when the book actually gets sided.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

NFL Week One: Bettors Get the Best Of It

NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

The players came out firing for week one of pro football – and they were more right than wrong.

After months of handicapping and waiting for the season to start, their patience and handicapping skills came to fruition as the majority of the public games came through for the players.

"In the morning games, it seemed like everyone had the combination of Dallas, Philly, Minnesota and Baltimore in their parlays," said Lucky’s Sports Book Director Jimmy Vaccaro. "We got some buy-back on Carolina when we went to +3, and the same with Cleveland at +5, but not enough to offset the overall risk in the morning."

At the end of the first wave of nine games Sunday, Vaccaro said his books were about even, but the real risk was yet to come.

"We got smart money on the Rams and 49ers late games pushing those lines down, but we had far more risk on the other side," he said.

During the late games, Vaccaro said he was put into the position of rooting with the sharp players, who moved the line because there was more upside for the house. The combination late of Seattle, New York, Arizona and Green Bay tied up in existing parlays were a worst-case scenario, despite all the large wagers taken on the other side.

That demonstrates how powerful the parlay can be. Sports books live and die with it. On a rare losing day for the house in pro football, seldom will it ever be the wise guy that’s doing the damage.

Instead, a rough day for the books is generally when a majority of the Sunday games cover for the parlay bettors – paying off at odds of 20-, 40-, and 80-to-1! Those are numbers a book just can’t catch up to.

Each week, usually there are about six to seven games that are just buried with one-sided action, often as part of parlay bets.

One of the games Vaccaro was fortunate didn’t come through for the bettors was the Bengals versus the Broncos.

"That was our best game of the day, not only because the Bengals were a public team, but also because of the smart money," Vaccaro said. "We opened that game at pick originally and the line just ran all the way up to Bengals -4 ½."

Denver won the game outright, making it a big score for the sports books.

Usually, it’s worse when the underdog wins outright because of the "plus" money paid out – odds greater than even money, rather than less than 1-to-1. But that didn’t happen in the Lucky’s sports books, Vaccaro said. "No one wanted the Broncos, not with the money line, points, or teasers," he said.

The "deadest" game of the day – the one with the least betting action – was also the longest. There didn’t seem to be much interest for the Lions-Saints marathon, in which the first overall draft choice, Matt Stafford, made his NFL debut with the Lions. But the Saints’ Drew Brees tossed six touchdown passes in a rout that still gave the few New Orleans bettors who laid the 14 points a scare, as the Saints only won by 18, 45-27.

Big Score of the Day
Chris Cooley’s score in the final minutes for the Redskins covered the +6.5 against the Giants, making the score 17-23 and pushing the game over the total of 37.

Week 1 Score Card: Sharps vs. Sports Books

The Eagles opened -1 at the Las Vegas Hilton and was bet to -2.5 by Saturday, where it closed. Jake Delhomme picked up right where he left off in the playoffs and tossed four more interceptions. Winner: Sharps

The Bengals opened a pick months ago and was bet systematically to -4.5, partly a result of all the Mile High drama in Denver. The Broncos played great defense, enough to cover, and caught a Hail-Mary to win straight up. Winner: Sports Books

Colts opened -7.5 and bet down to 6.5 and the Jaguars made a game of it covering, and nearly winning. Maurice Jones-Drew was stellar and the Jags Defense played very physical creating key turnovers. Winner: Sharps

The Cowboys opened at -6 and was bet down to -5 by Sunday morning. Tony Romo showed his two ex-teammates that he’s just fine without them. He launched long bombs throughout the day, with all connecting against a good secondary. Winner: Sports Books

Arizona opened -6.5 and was bet down to -4.5 close to game time. The poor pre-season by the Cardinals continued. Winner: Sharps

Seahawks opened -8.5 and was bet down to -7.5. The "logic" must have been that the Seahawks couldn’t be a TD better than the Rams. There’s no mystery left on this one; there’s nothing good to say about the Rams. Winner: Sports Books

College Football Notes: Florida is Ready For Volunteers

College Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

Kiffin comments could come back to bite him

"I’m really looking forward to embracing some of the great traditions at the University of Tennessee, for instance the Vol Walk, running through the T and singing Rocky Top all night long after we beat Florida next year. It will be a blast."

Those were the comments made by Lane Kiffin during the press conference to announce that he was the new head coach of the Tennessee Volunteers.

When Florida quarterback Tim Tebow read the comments, he blew it up poster-sized and placed it all over the team’s spring practice facility. When Kiffin found out what Tebow did, he was pretty tickled.

"Beautiful … awesome … wonderful – they even put our logo on it," Kiffin said. "Free advertising and we didn’t have to pay for it."

That was all playful fun at the time, but then Kiffin went "all-in" and made suggestions publicly to a crowd that Florida Gators Head Coach Urban Meyer "had to cheat and still didn’t get him," in reference to a player they both were recruiting.

Kiffin was subsequently reprimanded by the SEC and had to make a public apology to Florida for the comments.

Now, the time for talk has ended, as Florida will meet Tennessee this week in Gainesville.

Kiffin may have wanted to install pride and motivation into his fans and players, but he also put a big bulls-eye on his chest. A little swagger and brashness is nice, but not when you aggravate the national champions and coach Urban Meyer, probably motivating them to new heights of their own.

Following Florida’s 56-6 win over Troy last week, Urban said, "The season starts now," and that Tuesday’s practice "would be the hardest practice we’ll ever have."

The largest margin of victory the Gators have ever had against the Vols was 39 in 2007, and the most points they have ever scored against them was 62 in 1995. Look for both of those records to fall this weekend.

Big-10 Still Okay?

Despite a tough loss by the Buckeyes to USC, and the improbable loss by Michigan State to Central Michigan, the conference still has seven teams with 2-0 records. Michigan looks like they may be a player in the conference this year after the impressive win over Notre Dame, and Penn State is currently its highest ranked team. Even though they haven’t covered either of their games this season, PSU has shut out their opponents in the first half of both contests.

PAC-10 flexes its muscles in Eastern Time zone!

The PAC-10 sent three teams East and two came out victorious last week, an unusual feat for Western teams because of the time difference. Playing a noon (ET) game when losing three hours via travel has always been tough, even for the pros. USC and UCLA played in two of the most hostile environments and came away victorious, while Stanford came out firing early but lost late to Wake Forest.

UCLA was not a favorable decision for the bettors. The line opened Tennessee favored by 7 at the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook and closed at -11. The USC game saw steady action on both sides, but the line stayed solid all week at -7 and fell to what is a bookmaker’s dream in big games, in which the favorite doesn’t cover and the dog doesn’t win straight up.

Another Good College Day for the Books

The boss for Lucky’s Sports Books across the state, Jimmy Vaccaro, was very happy with how Saturday went. "It was a good day for the house, and we’re especially pleased with the overall handle. Last week was a great build-up for the books and players, and it just continued into the second week," Vaccaro said. "We had several key decisions on the day, but the key was the Ohio State-USC game, which ended well for the house because so many parlays were linked to USC laying -7."

How Many Did Georgia Score?

For the last eight seasons, the total has gone "under" in the South Carolina/Georgia rivalry. In the last two seasons, the dynamic duo of Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno could only muster 26 points for the Bulldog offense. In their openers two weeks ago, each team was able to score only seven points, with the Gamecocks winning and Georgia losing. The total surprisingly opened high at 38 for Saturday’s game and was bet up to 39.5? So of course, the game flies over easily with Georgia getting the game total themselves in a 41-37 win.

Hawkins Must Go!

It’s hard to hear who’s shouting the loudest for Colorado’s Head Coach Dan Hawkins’ job – the Boulder faithful, or the bettors in Nevada Sports Books. The Buffaloes have sunk beneath the depths from which they were brought back to life in the late 1980’s by Bill McCartney.

After being backed by the bettors for the last two games – the reasoning was that the Buffs were playing inferior opponents – bettors believed the trend would begin to go the other way. Up next for the Buffs, the Wyoming Cowboys – another Mountain West team they could lose to.

Big-12 Ratings Dropping?

For the second consecutive week, a Top-5 ranked Big-12 team fell to a non-conference opponent. Two weeks ago it was Oklahoma falling to BYU of the Mountain West, and then last Saturday it was Oklahoma State dropping to Houston from Conf-USA.

So the question is, why should these teams risk losing this early when their conference schedule is already considered strong enough play for the computers that sort out strength schedule. If a team does well in their conference, they’ll go to a nice bowl and if they win the conference, they should have a good shot at playing for the National Championship.

Texas has played a couple of cupcakes early on and is sitting nice for their home game against Texas Tech this week with a top ranking.

The biggest beneficiary of the Big-12’s drop this year is the Mountain West with wins against Oklahoma and Colorado. Conferences looking to feed off the Big-12 this week will be the Mountain West again, Conf-USA, Big East, WAC and the MAC.

Hopefully, when the polls kick in closer to BCS time, teams like BYU or Utah will be given a fair shake because of a strength of schedule boost against the power conferences. BYU can take down an ACC team this week and help the Mountain West cause with a win against Florida State. Bowden’s kids are going to love Provo!

Roberts Week One Results: Money Lines Good, Totals Awful!

by M Roberts

College Football kicked off a nice start to the weekend with a 3-1 outing, including a nice money line play of UCLA @ Tennessee. The only loss in College was the unbelievable total in the Georgia-South Carolina game where Geaorgia went over by themselves. How did that happen? The last 8 years it had gone under and both scored just 7 points last week.

Pro Football started out nice, but I knew I was a sucker Monday having the same sides as every rube in the world. After the Sports Books got hammered on Sunday, was there really a possibility that two of my best bets of San Diego and New England could get there laying all those points? No Shot!

The best part of the week was the plus-money Money Lines getting there this week going 3-1 with Jacksonville as the only loser. Denver, San Francisco, and The Jets seemed too easy.

The totals were awful this week also going a terrible 5-10 with best bets going 3-3. We'll get em' next week.

College Football Record
Last Week: 3-1
Season: 6-6

Pro Football
Sides vs Spread: 8-7
Season: 8-7

Totals: 5-10
Season 5-10

Plus $ Money Lines: 3-1

Straight Up: 13-2
Season: 13-2

Best Bets: 3-3
Season: 3-3

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Roberts Week One Pro Football Selections & Best Bets

by M Roberts

Each week I’ll give my opinions on the games with a few best bets. All lines listed are courtesy of The Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook updated from 12:30 pm Saturday.

Week 1, Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dolphins +4 @ Falcons (O/U 43.5): Atlanta will have a tough time duplicating last season’s fantastic season, but so will Miami who is in the same boat. Like Michael Turner too much at home to go against. Pick: Falcons 27-20

Chiefs +13 @ Ravens (36): Looks like a complete mismatch. Chiefs lost all pre-season games and don’t have a solid game plan in place for 2009 despite a new Head Coach in Todd Haley. I have question marks about the Ravens change in defensive scheme this year, but they still have the players. Pick: Ravens 28-6

Eagles -2.5 @ Panthers (43.5): Carolina was the favorite in this game a few months ago, and moved from Philly being favored Monday by -1 to -2.5 on Saturday. Likely not to reach 3, but Panthers should be able to get the home field win led by their running attack. Still questions about Westbrook’s ability to contribute for Philly. Pick: Panthers 28-21

Broncos +4.5 @ Bengals (43): The sharps and the public have bet this game from Denver a small favorite a few months ago to Cincy where it’s at now. No movement on the line this week, and it may be over-inflated. Denver has been through a lot, but still have one of the best offensive lines in football. Look for the Bronco running game to be too much to handle for a suspect Bengals defensive unit. Pick: Broncos 20-16

Vikings -3.5 @ Browns (40): This game will be closer than most think. The Browns will play an inspired game and key on stopping the run, harder said than done, but should they have success early and move the ball just a little, it‘ll come down to a field goal. Pick: Vikings 23-20

Jets +4.5 @ Texans (44): The Houston defense should be much better than it has shown the last two seasons, and because they‘re not, this might be the best game of the day if you like offense. Rookie QB Mark Sanchez would have liked to start his career at home, but playing a bad defense in front of a semi-rabid crowd is the next best thing. Pick: Jets 37-33

Jaguars +7 @ Colts (44): The big question with the Jags is how well Maurice Jones-Drew responds to getting all the carries with Fred Taylor gone. Will he be too tired to be the bolt of energy that got the Jags rolling in key moments? The answer is No! he’ll be just fine, especially this week without Bob Sanders patrolling the field. Pick: Jaguars 30-23

Lions +13.5 @ Saints (49): Lions were 7-1 vs. the spread last season on the road. No one better to cash with than Detroit. This line has moved up a half on the side and total from Monday. Look for the Saints to get theirs, but for Lions to be in striking distance to get the last cover which the Saints could care less about. Pick: Saints 34-24

Cowboys -5.5 @ Buccaneers (39): So many reasons to love the Cowboys and hate the Bucs this week, but it can’t be that easy can it? The Cowboys got a happy Tony Romo and all those backs and Bucs have 3 mediocre backs, and washed up QB, and a new Head Coach. The Bucs also have a proud talented defense who the home crowd will inspire to keep the game close. Maybe a good money line play. Pick: Cowboys 16-13

49ers +6 @ Cardinals (46.5): This game just keeps repeating year after year on opening day, but this will be the first opener with Samurai Mike at the helm. The 49ers have a young disciplined defense and a confident offense to be able to take it at the defending NFC Champs. The Cardinals awful pre-season will linger into week 1. Pick: 49ers 34-26

Redskins +6.5 @ Giants (37.5): This game will likely end up like last years battles with a bruising style that nets the Redskins very little points. Giants have the best defense in football and the Skins have no answer to negate that edge. Pick: Giants 23-6

Rams +7.5 @ Seahawks (41): This line has come down from Monday a whole point meaning some sharps have come in on the Rams. Seattle’s offense looked the most crisp of any in pre-season led by a healthy Matt Hasselbeck. Hawk-n-Roll! Pick: Seahawks 28-17

Bears +4 @ Packers (46.5): This game has a moved a half since Monday, and because it’s a Sunday Night game, you’ll likely see the favorite go to 5.5. Both should be able to score, but Chicago will get their first taste of ill-advised throws by Jay Cutler leading to losing games. Aaron Rodgers is ready to become a star. Pick: Packers 31-19

Monday Night Football
Bills +11 @ Patriots (47.5): The Bills have made some additions but their biggest weapon, Marshawn Lynch, is suspended for three games. The Patriots will look to flex their rehabilitated offensive weapons early and often. Once the air is out the bag and the Bills have accepted defeat, it‘ll be a very boring second half. Pick: Patriots 35-7

Chargers -9.5 @ Raiders (43): Not many teams looked worse than Oakland in pre-season in all facets. The only thing talented as a group there is the fans, which may help a little, but see Denver’s waxing of them in the same opener last year on Monday Night for how effective the crowd was. Chargers should do as they want. Pick: Chargers 38-17

Best Bets: 49ers +6.5, Seahawks -7.5, Giants -6.5, Packers -4, Chargers -9.5, Patriots -11

Friday, September 11, 2009

College Football Picks - Week 2: USC vs Ohio State

by M Roberts

South Carolina @ Georgia UNDER 39.5: This battle has gone under the total in their last 8 meetings where ever they have played. Steve Spurrier doesn’t want to throw, eliminate mistakes, and take his chances late in a close game. The last two season even with Matt Stafford and Knowshon Moreno leading a high powered offense, Georgia could only muster 26 points combined. Hard to figure out why the line has moved up, but it has from 38.

Michigan +3 vs. Notre Dame: The last few games have not really been close. The home team has won eight of the last 10 in this series. ND’s last win at Michigan came in 2005 with Brady Quinn. It looks like ND has another good one with Jimmy Clausen, but the home team should prevail in the Big House. Whether it’s good, or bad, the Vegas bettors agree too as the line has dropped from the opener of ND -4.

Ohio State +7 vs. USC: The Buckeyes got a nice wake up call last week with a scare against Navy. The Columbus faithful have had this game circled since getting buried 35-3 in Los Angeles last year. The Buckeye faithful feel that since USC lost most of it’s defense from last year as well as their starting QB, that they’ll be just fine at home with their own seasoned QB running a swanky new offense.

Apparently, Las Vegas doesn’t agree with Columbus. The game originally opened up as USC a -3 point favorite on an early line two months ago raising a few eye-brows that such a young team would be favored in Columbus. The combination of the occurrences from last week in each of their games made the opening line on Monday -7 where it has stayed all week.

USC reloads every year and they showed it last week with Freshman QB Matt Barkley leading the charge with 56 points against San Jose State. The greatest stat of the week involves USC and Pete Carroll in their last nine games against the Big 10 that has seen the Trojans win and cover all nine. In all nine instances, USC won by double digits.

On a positive note for Ohio State, their 12th man, the Fans - all 106,000 of them get to rattle a freshman QB. No matter what Barkley says to shrug off the daunting task of calling plays in front of what is arguably the most hostile crowd in College Football, he’ll still be affected. He may have all the tools and make up to make him great down the road, but not in his first road game a s a collegian, and not there.

This is only the third time the Buckeyes have been a home dog under Jim Tressel’s watch and overall, Tressel is 55-8 at home. With the spread being relevant, only two times has a Tressel team been beaten by double-digits (11 and 12).

There lots of reasons why USC should be favored, but I’ll base my choice of Ohio State winning the game on my faith in the crowd to do their job and create easy opportunities for Buckeye scores by letting the Freshman have it. This game is under the lights which means most of the older alumni and supporters stay home because night games bring out the freakiest of freaks in Columbus.

UCLA +10 @ Tennessee: The Vols opened up a -7 point favorite on Monday and has been bet up to -10 in Las Vegas. There is an opinion by many that new Head Coach Lane Kiffin is looking to instill a winning confidence in his team by running up scores at a rate beyond sportsmanship. They pummeled Western Kentucky last week scoring 63 points with QB Jonathan Crompton tossing five TD passes.

UCLA played a tougher opponent last week in their 19 point win against San Diego State. The two question marks coming into the season for the Bruins were answered quickly. The offensive line opened up holes and protected the QB. Freshman QB Kevin Prince showed he has the ability to lead the team comfortably by connecting accurately on tough out patterns and also nice touch on balls down field. He didn’t look like a Freshman.

However, Prince does come into a situation similar to Barkley of USC at the ‘Shoe this week. Neyland Stadium will be rocking this week with their desire to get back on top of the SEC and ride their maverick coach to a title. They believe it starts this Saturday. The big difference between the this game and the USC/OSU game is the start time which is 4 pm (ET), and Ohio State is a top notch program.

The Vols likely will get there soon, but UCLA will play them much tougher than anticipated by Las Vegas bettors and could pull off another upset like they did at the Rose Bowl last yea to kick off their seasons.

Last Week: 3-5
Season: 3-5

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Week 1 Upsets and Surprise Teams

by Mike T.

Every year starting week 1 we always see some surprises. Teams like Mia, Atl, and Balt come to mind when thinking about teams that most wouldn't expect much from in '08. This happens every year and will again this year. The Dolphins went 1-15 in the '07 season and turned it around in '08 finishing 11-5. The '07 Falcons(4-12) and the 5-11 Ravens both finished 11-5 in '08.

The first few weeks of the year is a great time to look for upsets, money lines, dogs that can cover or simply surprise teams. I do this every year and more often than not do pretty well.

Who will it be this year?

Two teams that seem to stick out to me are the Seahawks and the Bengals. The Seahawks underachieved in Holmgrens last season but I believe they as well as the 49ers will not let the Cards run away with the division this year. I expect Hasselbeck to bounce back after being injured much of last season. The addition of TJ Houshmandzadeh in FA and draft picks LB Aaron Curry and C Max Unger should all be key contributors immediately. They should have a solid run game behind a good OL and their is still a lot of talent on defense.

As for the Bengals, maybe I watched to much "Hard Knocks" but I believe that this team has a lot of talent. Sure they lost TJ but acquired L. Coles still have #85 (you can say that # in any language you like) and C. Henry tore it up in preseason. They have a stable of RBs and picked up FB B. Leonard. Rookie ILB Ray Maualuga will make an immediate impact on a pretty talented defense.

That said, I won't take either of these two teams in week one as they are both favorites. So let's get to the dogs that I like.

Jacksonville +7 at the Colts
We all know how good the Colts offense is but, the defense goes from slightly above average to poor when Bob Sanders is out. Well, he's out. The Jags like to run the ball and they do it well. The Colts did very little in the offseason and during the draft to beef up the defense. I can see the Jags having a big day on the ground while keeping Peyton on the sidelines. I'm also not ready to write off Tory Holt. I think he has a few more 80+ catch seasons left in him and it may be time for 5th year WR Troy Williamson to have a breakout year.
Jax 27 Ind 24

Tampa Bay +6 vs Dallas
The Cowboys did almost nothing in the offseason.They lost T.O. and picked up Jon Kitna in FA and that's about it. They didn't have a pick in the draft until the 3rd round and while they did have multiple picks in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th, I don't see any of them getting much playing time right away. That's not to say that some of them won't be stars in the near future, just not the first few weeks. Tampa lost a few players in FA but replaced them with better talent in the off season. The addition of Derrick Ward to go along with Cadillac and Graham makes this a great RB rotation. Antonio Bryant had a break out year and new arrival KWII may be enough O for the Bucs. They added two defensive linemen on day one of the draft to an already solid defense. I like the home dog in this one.
Tampa 23 Dallas 21

Miami +4 at Atlanta
I'm kind of torn between a few teams that may pull out a money line win for me. I think the 49ers may have a shot against the Cards. I really want to pull the trigger on Cleveland over the Vikes, but I think I'm going to go with the Dolphins over the Falcons in week 1. These are two teams headed in the right direction. They both had nice off seasons in FA and the draft. For some reason though I have to go with Miami. I think they will try to keep Matt Ryan off the field as much as they can with a strong running game. A lot of new faces on defense for the Falcons may still need a week or two to fully understand the system. I also think Pennington will make fewer mistakes than sophomore Ryan.
Miami 26 Atlanta 16

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Week 1 Pro Football Notes

NFL Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

Super Bowl winners on a 'cover' streak

The pro football games kickoff this Thursday with the Titans visiting Pittsburgh in the annual season opener in which the World Champions jump start the season.

In years past, the Super Bowl champs used to start the season off on Monday night where it was a great bet against for whoever they lined up against.

For some reason, waiting for all the action on Sunday to run its course and get to Monday’s game was too much to ask for the champs.

In recent years, the champs have been playing on Thursday nights to start the season and the cover has been there in just about every instance. Last season the Giants strangled the Redskins, the year prior it was the Colts dismantling the Saints and the year before that it was the Steelers taking care of business and covering against the Dolphins.

In 2005, the Patriots beat the Raiders by 10 and in the previous year, the Patriots took care of the Colts by 3. In all instances, the champs won the game and only in 2004 did they not cover.

In all, the Super Bowl champs have won nine straight games in their openers going 7-2 ATS. The last team to not win in their first game as defending champion was the Denver Broncos, who lost to the Dolphins the year after John Elway retired.

The Steelers are currently a 5½ point favorite against the Titans.

The largest line move from all the early lines had the Denver Broncos a slight favorite at Cincinnati for week one. The sharp bettors picked on that line early and moved it to where the line has now settled, with the Bengals being a 4½ point favorite. The betting and moves on that game took place well before all the Jay Cutler drama.

Chances are that the public will be all over the Bengals just because of Denver’s poor preseason and persona amid all the bad publicity surrounding their team. This could be a spot for going against an over-inflated line and taking the points.

Todd Haley’s Kansas City Chiefs get their regime started at Baltimore against one the league’s most physical defenses. What’s worse for Haley is that his prized QB acquisition, Matt Cassel, is doubtful to return until week 3. On that news alone, the Ravens went from an 8½ point favorite to crossing a major barrier of 10 points and settling at 13 at most books. Still, that’s a lot of points to give up for a team that isn’t known for their offensive scoring prowess.

The Cardinals’ first team offense had a tough time scoring throughout preseason and their first string defense couldn’t stop anyone, but that hasn’t changed the line at all for week one as they’re favored by 6½ points at home against the 49ers, a team they seem to open up against every year. This could be the upset of the week and a great money line play.

The Packers have shown one of the most crisp offenses during pre-season, but that has only made them move from a 3 point favorite to 3½ against the rival Bears. The new defensive alignment by defensive coach Dom Capers should produce immediate dividends for the Packers who got involved in too many shootouts last year. With this being a Sunday night game, if you like the Packers, get them early because the home favorite always rises in the late game. Don’t be surprised to see it go to at least the dead number of 5½ points.

The best offensive showing by a preseason first string offense was the Seattle Seahawks led by a healthy Matt Hasselbeck, who had four TD passes in limited action in his two games played. Seattle opened a 6 point favorite early but has crossed a major point spread barrier of 7 and has settled at 8 points against the St. Louis Rams. The public is really down on the Rams and by kick-off on Sunday, it’s likely to see the spread hit as high as 9½ points, so bet early if you like the Seahawks.

Nevada Sports Books Do Well In First Week of College Football

Football fans jam Las Vegas sports shops
by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

The first weekend of college football hit the sports books like a tidal wave. After going through the serene, day-to-day calm of the sports betting world since March Madness, the first day of football can somewhat be overwhelming, but yet at the same time, more exhilarating and validation to reasons why some chose to work in the profession.

"There was so much excitement in the room with every seat and booth filled," said South Point’s Director of Sports Book Operations Bert Osborne. "They had so many great finishes throughout all points of the day with so many different start times."

There is nothing like a football weekend in the sports book. While much of the rest of the casino is winding down from busy graveyard action, the book sprouts to life with an energy that is unmatched with cheers and yells in unison making the entire casino take notice to what’s going on.

The books did pretty well on Saturday based on how some of the games turned out that had heavy action. It was a nice flow of games that started early with good decisions that saw favored Penn State Ohio State, and Minnesota win but did not cover the spread.

Penn State was a 30-point favorite and was up 31-0 at half-time which had to make all the bettors think, "This is too easy!" But the Akron Zips scored a TD in the second half, while Paterno and the gang took it easy and chose not to run it up; in fact they didn‘t run it anywhere as they didn‘t score making the final score 31-7.

Those were heavy public games early on and when a book can get the day started in the right direction with a few early positive decisions eliminating those legs of parlays, it makes the risk much less going into the afternoon games, which is a whole new wave of games which bettors try to get back to even and maybe even chase a few for that purpose.

"One of our biggest decisions of the day that went our way was the Illinois-Missouri game," Osborne said. "We had a good mix on straight bets, but the parlay action was unbelievably one-sided for that game in laying Illinois. I know a lot of publications and pre-season magazines were all down on Missouri and touted Illinois as one the better plays of the day and the public followed suit with the same opinion."

Illinois opened up a 5½ point favorite and was bet up to 7. The slight movement in the line, Osborne explained, is the perfect example of standard bookmaking in which the book moves only on the straight bets and let the parlays fall as they may. You can only book a game for what is going to happen as a consequence of that particular decision. If it’s the final game of the day and the risk is huge, moving slightly to eliminate known risk is proper, but not for a 12:30 game with dozens of decisions remaining.

In the later games, it was a mix of player and book wins splitting which generally means the house wins when factoring in all the parlay action. The public was on Oklahoma, who lost straight up as a 22-point favorite to BYU. They also were on Alabama who cashed for them vs. Virginia Tech and closed as a 7-point favorite.

Finally to close out the day with the late games, which are always the biggest risk games because of all the parlays waiting to hit on either side, the books split again winning with Washington covering against favored LSU, but losing with Cal’s beat down of Maryland.

In many instances, those late games are four way losses for the books with the sides and totals because of all the day’s built up parlay risk culminating into that final game.


The battle for Los Angeles may have just gotten a little more interesting by the impressive debut of two freshman QB’s – Matt Barkley of USC and Kevin Prince of UCLA. Bruins Head Coach Rick Neuheisel had thrown down the gauntlet in regards to getting UCLA back to being the best team in Los Angeles.

USC Head Coach Pete Carroll hasn’t even acknowledged it or responded to it as if having the hammer vs. nail rivalry mentality. Does the nail think there’s a rivalry with the hammer?

UCLA won by 19 over San Diego State Saturday and two question marks coming into the season were answered. The offensive line is vastly improved and will be able to run the ball along with protecting the QB. Prince came in and controlled the game with confidence not seen by many freshmen, let alone a UCLA QB for the last few years.

USC’s Matt Barkley did the same in their pummeling of San Jose State and looked like a seasoned veteran rather than the first USC freshman to start an opener.

This may not be the year for UCLA to take down USC, but it looks like it’s going to be pretty fun watching these two freshmen for the next four years, if they stay that long.


The Big Game of the Week, and game of the year for Columbus, Ohio, takes place this week between USC and Ohio State. The two teams couldn’t come in from more opposite directions. USC looks sharp in all facets, at least after the first quarter, despite losing almost their entire team to the NFL last season and showcased RB Joe McKnight and freshman QB Matt Barkley.

Ohio State needed a last minute 2-pt conversion returned for TD by the defense to secure a win against Navy. More importantly, their new offense led by QB Terrell Pryor didn’t look that sharp against an undersized Navy defense. It’s possible they were looking ahead to the game this week.

The Las Vegas Hilton opened the game a few months ago with USC a 3½ point favorite and it was bet down to 3. The line for this week’s game is USC -6 points, based on what happened last week.

There appears to be good value on the Buckeyes this week with the over inflated line. As sharp as the freshman looked against San Jose St., the reality is that USC punted in their first five drives of the game. Ohio State struggled late, but it was still a game that was 31-14 before all the Navy trickery.

Had it been the other way around with USC struggling and Ohio State romping last week, the over confidence of the winning side may have been too much for the big game. The wake-up call by Navy may have the Buckeyes a little more alert this week based on last week’s events.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Early Line Movements from Las Vegas on Monday

A few Pro Football Line Changes today when the books re-opened their lines at higher limits as opposed to what they had listed for the last two months at low limits.

Baltimore is -13 vs Kansas City (Cassel is doubtful)
Seattle is 8.5 vs Rams

College Football
USC opened up a 6 point favorite at Ohio State two months ago in early big game lines set and was bet down to 3. When the line re-opened on Monday, the Buckeyes opened as a 7 point underdog. The USC mashing of San Jose State and NAVY playing the Buckeyes close last week has a lot to do with the line which is set in part in handicapping what the public will play.

That's a lot of points to give Ohio State in Ohio Stadium.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Week 1 Pro Football Lines

NFL Spreads 9/10 - 9/14, 2009
Date & Time Favorite Spread Underdog
9/10 8:30 ET At Pittsburgh -5.5 Tennessee O/U 35.5
9/13 1:00 ET At Atlanta -4 Miami O/U 42.5
9/13 1:00 ET At Baltimore -11 Kansas City O/U 37.5
9/13 1:00 ET Philadelphia -1 At Carolina O/U 44.5
9/13 1:00 ET At Cincinnati -4 Denver O/U 44.5
9/13 1:00 ET Minnesota -4 At Cleveland O/U 40
9/13 1:00 ET At Houston -4.5 NY Jets O/U 44
9/13 1:00 ET At Indianapolis -7 Jacksonville O/U 44.5
9/13 1:00 ET At New Orleans -13 Detroit O/U 49
9/13 1:00 ET Dallas -5.5 At Tampa Bay O/U 41.5
9/13 4:15 ET At Arizona -6.5 San Francisco O/U 47.5
9/13 4:15 ET At NY Giants -6.5 Washington O/U 39.5
9/13 4:15 ET At Seattle -7.5 St. Louis O/U 43.5
9/13 8:20 ET At Green Bay -3.5 Chicago O/U 44

Monday Night Football Point Spread
9/14 7:00 ET At New England -10.5 Buffalo O/U 46.5
9/14 10:15 ET San Diego -9.5 At Oakland O/U 44

M Roberts Football Record

College Football Selections by M Roberts for week of Sept. 5

week: 3-5
season: 3-5

Overall, very lucky to get that. Colorado didn't show up, San Diego St covered by a half, and Oklahoma would have had trouble even with a healthy Sam Bradford.

Friday, September 4, 2009

College Football Selections: Sept 5, 2009

I'll be posting my College and Pro picks each week with a record for each as we go. The preferred side in the listed match-up is the team listed first with the spread, laying or taking, or unless it's a total where both teams are listed. Good Luck!

Nevada @ Notre Dame OVER 61.5 - Should be a close game, ND can’t stop anyone let alone a high powered Pistol offense that Nevada runs.

Oklahoma State -5.5 vs. Georgia - Too many question marks with Georgia replacing QB & RB’s; 3 headed monster for OSU gets their Championship run started Saturday.

Oklahoma -22 vs. BYU - Cougars no good away from Provo; big number, but Oklahoma should prevail in quality win in their quest to win title. Run it up for the computers.

Louisiana Tech +14 @ Auburn - War Eagles 2-12 in last 14 games against spread when a double digit favorite. LA Tech has strong defense and enough offense under Derek Dooley to contend for win.

Alabama -6 vs. Virginia Tech - Va Tech missing their top RB and has been 0-2 in their last two home openers on neutral fields. Saban has the Bama D ready in their quest for National Title. This is like a Bowl game essentially if they want to win it all.

San Diego State +19.5 @ UCLA - Still lots of question marks regarding UCLA’s offensive line and new QB Kevin Prince. Aztecs are good enough to hang and give Bruins an early scare.

LSU -17.5 @ Washington - Huskies went 0-12 last season, but have new coaching staff and philosophy. However, they still have many of the same players. LSU to win big.

Colorado -10.5 vs. Colorado St. - Last game to be played on a home field for the next 10 years as the series will go back to Invesco Field in Denver. Two teams going in opposite direction with the Buffs having the upper hand the last few season.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

College Football Notes: Gators Huge Favorites to Win it ALL

College Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today

The college football season officially begins this Thursday, kicking off with an excellent ACC/SEC match-up between N.C. State and South Carolina. After that, there are games running Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday culminating with the always intense rivalry between Miami-Florida and Florida State.

The biggest story coming into the season is how highly thought of and respected the defending national champion Florida Gators are. Las Vegas Sports Consultants sent out opening odds to win the National Title this year at 2 to 1, which is the lowest figure in recent memory for any college championship in basketball or football.

LVSC odds maker Mike Seba helped set the line and recalls the only instance that came close to Florida’s 2 to 1 odds to start a season.

"USC in the 2005 season was close to 2 to 1, just because of winning the title in 2004 and bringing back most of their top players from that season, like Matt Leinart and Reggie Bush," Seba said. "That would be about it in recent history."

Florida finds itself in almost the same situation this year as they bring back 20 starters from the team that won last season, including all 11 starters on defense and all 11 of their back-ups.

But 2 to 1 odds? That seems a little extreme. Why would anyone bet into that number, or maybe, that’s exactly the intent of the number.

"We’re trying to draw action elsewhere for our books," Seba explains. "We anticipated the majority of the public wanting to play Florida, so in the process we raised some other teams to draw action and offset the overwhelming public perception."

Beyond all of the returning starters and momentum of winning the title last year, Florida also has a very favorable schedule that includes missing top-10 SEC teams like Alabama and Mississippi along with playing two non-conference cupcakes to start the year.

"They could lose at LSU on Oct. 10 and still make the championship game," Seba said. "When you look at the possibilities of their schedule and other top contenders, getting to the title game appears to be a much easier road than some. Oklahoma and Texas are top championship contenders, but one of them won’t even make their conference championship game."

Florida’s toughest opponent likely will be in the SEC championship game in which they’ll probably face one of the two teams they missed, Alabama or Mississippi, in the regular season.

Playing in a conference championship game does have its pitfalls, though, something the PAC-10 and Big-10 don’t have to deal with. Should Florida go on to lose that SEC title game, there goes a shot at winning a national championship.

Teams like Penn State and "The" Ohio State University will just kind of sit there and wait out the polls while the top two teams in the Big-12, SEC, and ACC slug it out.

Each of the them has the November 7 game circled on their calendar. Ohio State has a much tougher road prior to that contest just because of their date with USC on Sept. 12.

Should the Buckeyes get past the favored Trojans at Ohio Stadium, it sets up a nice meeting between expected undefeated teams when they meet in State College with the winner likely to get a shot in the BCS Title game.

LVSC’s odds for the Buckeyes are at 12 to 1 while Penn State is 30 to 1.

College Football Betting Notes:
The Las Vegas Hilton Superbook will be continuing to offer non-board games this season for just about every Division-1 team regardless of who they’re playing. The extra added lines are available Friday afternoons until kickoff each week.

The Hilton crew works hard in breaking down all the little schools to put a proper, fair line up.

What’s funny is that since not many others in the world do it, many of the so-called sharps that wait to look for a half point edge and follow major line moves will kind of be in no man’s land because they have nothing to base their opinion on.

It’s likely the Superbook does pretty well on these games just because of the unknown, not to mention their staff’s opinion on a number is sharper than most to begin with.
This week, number one ranked Florida welcomes Charleston Southern.

Another non-board game will be UNLV’s home opener against Sacramento State. The Rebels have been given a lot of recognition for their prospects this season by Mel Kiper and other experts on the Mountain West Conference.

Las VegasCollege Contest Notes:
This Friday is the deadline to get into Leroy’s College Football Challenge where you pick seven games against the spread each week. Entry fee is $250 with all fees returned as prize money. Leroy’s are everywhere, impossible to miss.

Station Casinos College Last Man Standing deadline to sign up is September 12 at 8 p.m., giving you one more week to handicap for the all important first week where nearly 40% of the contestants will be eliminated. Entry fee is $25 and if you buy four, you get one free.

All entry fees are returned as prize money to the last person standing. Pick a winner each week and stay alive for the next. I’ll make an over-under of 7 weeks until someone is crowned.