Tuesday, December 15, 2009

College Football Notes: Three Games Kick Off the Bowl Season This Week

College Notebook by Micah Roberts
Gaming Today Las Vegas

When the initial Bowl lines were opened last Sunday, the first spread to get some action was Alabama as a 4-point favorite. By Monday afternoon the line had been bumped to 5½, but then as quickly as it rose, it fell. By Monday evening the line was back to 4 after Texas money came in and it hasn’t moved since.

Here’s a look at some of the larger line movements of the week: Arizona opened at pick’em against Nebraska in the Holiday, always one of the best games of Bowl Season, and was bet up to 2½ which enticed a little Nebraska money. Arizona is currently a 1½-point favorite.

Nevada opened a 14-point favorite against SMU in the Hawaii Bowl and has been bet up 16½. The total opened a bowl season high of 74½ and has bounced around settling at 74.

Oregon State opened a 1-point favorite over BYU in next Tuesday’s Las Vegas Bowl and has been bet to 2½, the number Las Vegas Sports Consultants initially recommended. LVSC’s CEO, Kenny White, had made BYU the favorite on his sheet but settled on the Oregon State number due to all the other line-makers in the office having Oregon State favored by numbers of 3 and 4.

Fresno State opened an 11-point favorite to Wyoming kicking off the Bowl season Saturday in the fabled New Mexico Bowl, got some early Wyoming money dropping it to 10, but then Fresno State action kicked it up to 12½.

Games that have sat at the opening number with no movement include Utah-Cal (-3), UNC-Pitt (-3), OSU-Ore (-3.5), ECU-Ark (-7.5), and Troy-CMU (-3.5).

With the initial first wave of action completed, most of the line movements will occur closer to game day from here on out. The main exception will be when news filters in about suspended players due topoor grades and possible injuries occurring in practice.

College Football Playoffs

Interesting to see how College Football’s Division 1-AA has a successful playoff system in place with no issues whatsoever. Somehow they get the concept of crowning a winner by a bracket format. If you’re the best, you move on and on, until finally someone is crowned. There are no what-ifs and everyone is satisfied that ultimately there will be only one Champion with no teams left undefeated except possibly the winner.

The Las Vegas Books have put up Montana as a 4-point favorite over Villanova in Friday’s Championship game.

This week’s Bowl Lineup

Saturday, Dec.19, 2009

1:30 pm PT ESPN
New Mexico Bowl
Fresno State (8-4, 6-2 WAC) vs. Wyoming (6-6, 4-4 MWC)
Line: Fresno State -12.5,
Total: 54.5
Skinny: FSU RB Ryan Mathews is one of the nation’s top backs averaging 128 yards per game and gets to face a Wyoming defense that allows 170 per game. Wyoming has scored 203 points this season while allowing 327 points to its opponents.

5 pm PT ESPN
St. Petersberg Bowl
Central Florida (8-4, 6-2 C-USA) vs. Rutgers (8-4, 3-4 Big East)
Line: Rutgers -3
Total: 44.5
Skinny: Central Florida is basically playing a home game. CFU has a balanced offensive attack led by RB Brynn Harvey who has rushed for three straight 100 yard games accumulating 14 TD’s on the season…Rutgers feature WR Tim Brown who had 1,051 receiving yards and 8 TD’s this season. The entire team only threw for 2,200 yards and 13 TD’s all season. Rutgers has lost 2 of their last 3 games including a 31-13 pounding by lowly Syracuse.

Sunday, Dec.20, 2009

New Orleans Bowl
Southern Miss (7-5, 5-3 C-USA) vs. Mid Tennessee St (9-3, 7-1 Sun Belt)
Line: So Miss -3
Total: 58
Skinny: MTSU defensive front 7 leads the nation in tackles for losses and is third in sacks…So Miss played in this Bowl last season beating Troy 30-27 in one of the more exciting Bowls of the season. 1-5 on the road this season, but the short drive on the Bayou should bring plenty of support making it seem close to a home game for the Golden Eagles. Both teams have a very balanced offensive attack with each featuring a two-headed running attack.

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