Thursday, October 28, 2010

College Football Moves of the Week in Las Vegas

By Micah Roberts

Not a lot of action this week even though we have a couple really big games with BCS implications. No. 1 Auburn travels to Mississippi and tries to avoid being the fourth straight No. 1 team to lose. Auburn is a 7-point favorite and it has held strong as the public appears fearful of betting against the upset after getting burned three weeks in a row.

The team that should be fearing being upset is No. 2 Oregon as they travel to USC and face the rapidly matured Matt Barkley, who looks every bit as good as Pete Carroll claimed he‘d be. This game is USC’s season. This is their bowl game and should play a very inspired game. Oregon opened as 7 ½-point favorites and is down to -7. The total of 70 is a thing of beauty to look at. As high as it seems, I couldn’t bet real money on the under for this one.

No. 14 Nebraska has to make up to their home fans after being exposed by Texas two weeks ago. It was an embarrassing loss at home, and became even worse a week later when they saw Iowa State win at Austin the following week. No. 6 Missouri may have given all they had in last weeks emotional win over Oklahoma. How can they possibly get up for this game? A small portion of bettors don’t think they can and have bet Nebraska up from the opener of -7 to 7 ½.

Nobody ever talks about No. 8 Utah and where they fit into the BCS shake down, but they could be major movers with an upset in two weeks when they welcome No. 4 TCU to Salt Lake City. But what about this week? That’s exactly what they’re going to have to keep focused on, because if they look ahead too much, Air Force will swipe away their season. Utah opened 7 ½-point favorites and are down to -7.

Las Vegas oddsmaker Kenny White thinks it’s a good idea for Utah to closely watch how TCU dismantled Air Force No. 1 rated rushing attack 38-7 last week. White also gave his thoughts on what next week’s line might be should both TCU and Utah win this week.

“I’m thinking TCU -5 or -6 based on the assumption that TCU beats UNLV by 35 and Utah beats Air Foce by 7 or more.”

However, White doesn’t see the winner of that game doing any type of leap-frogging in the BCS computer like we saw with Auburn last week after beating a highly rated LSU squad.

“The computers just don’t rate the Mountain West that high. For what they don’t like about TCU, they really don’t like or respect in Utah.”

I would have to believe that both TCU and Utah would gain a huge chunk of respect and ratings with a quality win. Should TCU win, they should pass Boise State and if Utah won, their move over No. 7 Alabama would be tough because a win over LSU that week would be impressive.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, Utah still has to beat Air Force and TCU, well, you can write your own score against UNLV.

The largest moves of the week:
Louisville +11 to +9 ½ at Pittsburgh
Temple -28 to -29 ½ at home against Akron
Kansas State +6 to +4 ½ at home against Oklahoma State (WR- Blackmon suspended)
Michigan -1 to -3 at Penn State
Western Kentucky -4 to -6 at home against North Texas
Troy -14 ½ to -16 at Louisiana-Monroe    
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