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Thread: Cnotes 2018 College Football Thru The Bowl Games News- Trends-Stats-Best Bets !

  1. #16
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    Pac-12 - Best Bets
    August 23, 2018
    By Bookmaker


    There has been some nice parity in the Pac-12 in recent years, as four different teams have won the conference championship over the past four seasons. The USC Trojans are the defending champions but the departure of star quarterback Sam Darnold will make it tough to repeat.

    The Washington Huskies could be poised for a second conference title in three year, as they bring back a lot of talent on offense, led by quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. The pair was the engine of the Huskies’ offense last season and should be the go-to guys again this year.

    USC went 8-1 against Pac-12 competition last year but Darnold and running back Ronald Jones II are now in the NFL. The biggest question is who will take over at starting quarterback and the job is still up for grabs between true freshman JT Daniels, redshirt freshman Jack Sears and redshirt sophomore Matt Fink. The defense saw turnover too, but much of the Trojans’ success this season will rely on who lines up behind center.

    Oregon is on its third coach in three years, as Mario Cristobal moves in to replace Willie Taggart, who left for Florida State. The have an experienced quarterback in Justin Herbert who will return for his junior season with the Ducks. Herbert missed five games last season with a broken collarbone and his absence severely derailed Oregon’s season. If he can stay healthy, the Ducks could see a lot of improvement this season.

    Stanford returns the reigning Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year in Bryce Love. Love accumulated 2,118 yards on the ground last year and set a new school record when he ran for 301 yards against Arizona State in September. The Cardinal defense will need to improve for the team to have a shot at the conference title, but it’s hard to count this team out.

    Those are the four main teams expected to compete for the conference crown, but there are other longshots that could make their way into the mix in college football gambling.

    Odds To Win The Pac-12 - per BookMaker.eu

    Washington -116
    USC +408
    Oregon +564
    Stanford +600
    Arizona +1100
    Utah +1450
    UCLA +3300
    Arizona State +7500
    California +9000
    Colorado +9000
    Oregon State +55000
    Washington State +9500

    Odds Analysis

    Washington has the most well-rounded team and a star quarterback, so it’s easy to see why it is the favorite, but the Pac-12 can often be unpredictable and it doesn’t make sense choose the Huskies at those odds.

    The Arizona Wildcats are an interesting team. They don’t have near the depth and talent as the strongest programs but boast superstar quarterback Khalil Tate, who could be in the Heisman Trophy discussion. If Tate dominates the Wildcats could compete.

    The UCLA Bruins have brought in Chip Kelly, which is an intriguing hire. He had great success at Oregon in the past and will aim to find some magic this year with the Bruins, even though star quarterback Josh Rosen headed to the NFL. UCLA is definitely worth a wager at these underdog odds because of Kelly.

    This could be a topsy-turvy season in the Pac-12. Washington should be good but Stanford’s power running game will lead the way to another conference championship in college football gambling.

    Pac-12 Championship Odds Pick: Stanford Cardinal
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    SEC - Best Bets
    August 24, 2018
    By Bookmaker


    The Southeastern Conference boasts the most talented teams in the country once again in 2018, but the favorite at the top isn’t changing anytime soon. The Alabama Crimson Tide won another national championship a season ago despite missing out on the conference title and will be the team to beat in 2018.

    The Crimson Tide can often survive a loss and still make it to the college football playoff, but that doesn’t always result in the SEC title. That’s why Alabama is the favorite this year but not an overwhelming one. The Georgia Bulldogs were the team atop the conference in 2017 when they knocked off the Auburn Tigers in the SEC title game.

    Georgia and Alabama both made it to the college football playoff, and the Crimson Tide beat the Bulldogs for the national championship.

    The Bulldogs have a lot of talent back and figure to be the main contender to Alabama. Quarterback Jake Fromm is a budding star and should keep the offense afloat despite the loss of the star running back duo of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. Georgia’s defense lost Roquan Smith to the NFL but this is a team ready to compete for another championship.

    Auburn makes up the third team in the troika of expected contenders. The Tigers may not be quite as talented as Alabama or Georgia, but if a few bounces go their way, they have the ability to be in the hunt.

    Florida struggled a season ago but does have 19 starters returning. The offense needs to pick it up but this is the type of program that can jump back into contention quickly if things go right. Dan Mullen is in town as the new coach and would love to spark a massive turnaround right away.

    MIssissippi State and LSU have been contenders in past years but they are both underdogs to seriously compete with the best teams in the SEC. This is looking like a top-heavy conference, with Georgia and Alabama destined to duke it out for conference supremacy in college football betting.

    Odds To Win The SEC - per BookMaker.eu
    Alabama -137
    Georgia +247
    Auburn +842
    Florida +1290
    Mississippi State +1498
    LSU +2034
    South Carolina +3271
    Missouri +3539
    Texas A&M +3271
    Tennessee +10000
    Arkansas +27500
    Kentucky +30000
    Vanderbilt +50000

    Odds Analysis

    Alabama is currently deciding between two impressive quarterbacks to start the year. Jalen Hurts has been under center the past two seasons but he was benched at halftime of the national championship game for Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa responded by leading the Crimson Tide back for the victory over Georgia for the championship, which is why he is the favorite to win the job over Hurts. If so, Tagovailoa will be the favorite to win the Heisman Trophy, which says a lot about his natural ability.

    Alabama lost star wide receiver Calvin Ridley to the NFL as well as some other key pieces on both sides of the ball, but returns a boatload of talent.

    It’s an arms race as Georgia, too, is stocked with awesome athletes, as a bunch of players from these teams should make it to the NFL over the next few seasons. The Bulldogs have an impressive quarterback but Alabama is capable of shutting down anyone it faces.

    There is a longshot that is worth a small wager in case things are turned on their head and they come away with the conference crown. The Missouri Tigers don’t have nearly the complete team like the best programs in the SEC but boast star quarterback Drew Lock. He is going to be a high draft pick in the NFL next season and would love to shock some dominant defenses through the air.

    While the SEC has a handful of very good teams again this year, Alabama isn’t going to fall short in the conference for a second straight year. The Crimson Tide is the choice to win the SEC in college football betting.

    SEC Championship Odds Pick: Alabama Crimson Tide
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    Saturday's Best Bet
    August 23, 2018
    By YouWager.eu


    College Football Opening Weekend Best Bet

    Wyoming vs New Mexico State


    It may not be considered the first week of college football action with the rest of the country's programs kicking off their season next weekend, but Saturday does give us a taste of what's to come with two FBS games on the betting board. The Mountain West conference is featured prominently in these two contests with Hawaii and Colorado State kicking things off, followed by Wyoming against New Mexico State.

    It's the latter of those two games that I'll be breaking down here as Wyoming looks to move on somehow from the Josh Allen era, while New Mexico State is a program that wants to build off a 2017 season that saw them go to their first Bowl Game in 57 years (26-20 OT win in Arizona Bowl). So which one of these two programs gets 2018 started off right?

    Odds: Wyoming (-4); Total set at 45


    The Wyoming Cowboys come into this season opener as slight road favorites despite not having their NFL-caliber QB Josh Allen anymore. The Cowboys are going with freshman Tyler Vander Waal as their Week 1 starter to take over for Allen and it's probably the better choice (outside of him being a freshman) because Vander Waal has the size and skill set that are comparable to Allen and can hopefully see him duplicate many of Allen's results with the program. But having a freshman QB make his first career start on the road in college football is not an ideal spot to lay any kind of chalk to say the least.

    New Mexico St ended a 57-year Bowl-less drought a season ago and the program hopes to build upon that 7-6 SU season from a year go. Like Wyoming, the Aggies are replacing a guy at QB and they'll be going with JuCo transfer Matthew Romero who “just” put up 5,489 passing yards and 49 TD's during his two seasons at junior college. That type of arm should be a great fit for this Aggies aerial attack that finished 6th in the country a year ago in passing yards (340.2/game) as HC/OC Doug Martin is never shy about letting it loose and chucking the ball all over the yard. With basically their entire O-line returning this year and a receiving core that's returning plenty of experience weapons, bettors should expect big things from this Aggies aerial attack all year long when in the right matchups.

    Yet, New Mexico State's defense still is the weak link for this program and is going to get torched by many an opponent as well. The Aggies defense did show some significant improvement as the season wore on in 2017, but a lot of that was aided by a conference -high 27 forced turnovers that limited plenty of damage. A few of those key starters from a year ago are gone, but until this Aggies defense shows me that they can routinely hold down the opposition, it's tough trusting this team to get a complete 60 minutes from both sides of the ball.

    That leads me to the total for this opener which at 45 is really quite low. Wyoming has been a lower-scoring team the last few years in terms of O/U results, but with a freshman QB under center and their entire receiving corps returning from last year, I do expect this team to make scoreboard operators work a little harder this year. The freshman QB starting on the road should lead us to seeing at least a few mistakes from him and turnovers are typically a boom for higher scoring games like the one I expect to see here.

    Vander Waal will show of the physical attributes that earned him the starting nod against this Aggies defense that can be a sieve at times, but he'll likely also have a costly mistake or two that could lead to points the other way. With New Mexico State wanting to chuck the pigskin all over the yard, Vander Waal and that Cowboys offense are going to need to find ways to keep up and the Aggies defense are sure to help them out at times in that regard.

    Conversely, New Mexico State's attack should be able to threaten the 30+ point mark (a number they reached seven times in 2017, going 4-3 SU) in this spot as Romero wants to prove to his coaches that they made the right decision in giving him the keys to the offense. After all this was a team that had no closing total a year ago be lower than 54.5 points, and that came at the end of the year when the defense had found a bit of rhythm. The Aggies never saw a total lower than 60 until Week 4 a year ago, so it's not like there isn't plenty of value in going 'over' such a low number here.

    Finally, when you look at the betting percentages offered at VegasInsider.com currently you'll see an overwhelming amount of support 80%+ for the 'under'. All of those 'under' tickets have pushed this number down from it's opener of 47, as many still cling to last year's stats/numbers/trends for this Wyoming team and expect nothing to really change. In fact, without a NFL-caliber QB under center anymore, the masses are following the line of thought that an already lower-scoring Wyoming program can really only take a step back offensively.

    Well, I've said it before and I'll continue to say it this season, but being overly reactionary in this industry is only going to have you re-depositing at sportsbooks every month or so as results tend to not go your way. Staying ahead of the curve is how you add betting units to your bankroll each week and this game – with the QB changes on both sides – as the possibility of being a shootout where the first to 30 wins. With a 21-21 type score giving an 'over' play a push at worst (thanks to OT), I don't see how you can't go against the grain and take the high side of this total.

    Best Bet: Over 45
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    Hawaii at Colorado State
    August 24, 2018
    By Brian Edwards


    UPDATE: Shortly after filing this preview on Wednesday, news broke that Mike Bobo had been released from the hospital Tuesday night. In fact, he made it to the office by 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday and has been at practice since then. Due to his lack of mobility, however, he'll coach Saturday night from the press box. As of Friday afternoon, the Rams were favored by 14.5 points with the total at 56.5.

    Although it might be without its fourth-year head coach Mike Bobo for Saturday’s season opener on Sonny Lubick Field at Colorado St. Stadium, Colorao State will nonetheless be in a double-digit ‘chalk’ role when it welcomes Mountain West Conference rival Hawaii into Ft. Collins.

    As of Monday afternoon, most betting shops had Colorado State installed as a 14-point home favorite with a total of 57.5 or 58. The Warriors were +425 on the money line (risk $100 to win $425). As of Wednesday, the side hadn’t budged off the key number.

    By Tuesday afternoon, however, the number for ‘over/under’ wagers started to slide down. The total was 56 at most Vegas books by late Tuesday night, but a lot of offshores were at 55.5 and few had settled at 55. Then on Wednesday morning, the total had jumped back up to 57 or 57.5 at most spots. For first-half wagers, William Hill had the Rams as eight-point favorites with a total of 29.5. Hawai’i was +300 to lead outright at intermission.

    Bobo, the 44-year-old former quarterback and offensive coordinator at Georgia, has been hospitalized since Aug. 11 when he was admitted after experiencing numbness in his feet for weeks. He is undergoing tests and treatment for peripheral neuropathy, a condition described by the Mayo Clinic as the result of damage to your peripheral nerves, which send information to your brain and central nervous system, causing weakness, numbness and pain in the hands and feet.

    Bobo has been in contact with his staff and players daily, sending text messages after evaluating practice film. As of early this week, it was unclear if Bobo would be on the sidelines Saturday night. If not, the expectation is for quarterbacks coach Ronnie Letson to call the plays.

    Senior K.J. Carta-Samuels has been named CSU’s starting QB. Carta-Samuels is a grad transfer from Washington, where he played in a back-up role behind Jake Browning for three seasons. He completed 57 percent of his passes for 310 yards with a 3/1 touchdown-to-interception ratio for the Huskies.

    Colorado State returns only four starters on offense and five on defense from a squad that finished 7-6 straight up for the third consecutive campaign. The Rams, who went 4-9 against the spread last year, lost 30 lettermen.

    CSU will no longer have the services of QB Nick Stevens, who is second in school history in career passing yards (8,550) after throwing for 3,799 yards with a 29/10 TD-INT ratio in 2017. Star RB Dalyn Dawkins is also gone after finishing his career third in school history with 3,185 rushing yards.

    Bobo’s team will be fine in the backfield despite the loss of Dawkins, however. Senior RB Izzy Matthews has amassed 1,937 career rushing yards and 26 TDs in his first three years on campus. Matthews also has 24 receptions for 239 yards and one TD. As a freshman last season, RB Rashaad Boddie ran 44 times for 254 yards and four TDs with a 5.8 yards-per-carry average.

    However, Boddie and reserve RB Marvin Kinsey are listed as ‘questionable’ due to possible suspensions for undisclosed reasons. Kinsey (4.8 YPC) rushed for 124 yards and two TDs on 26 attempts as a sophomore last year.

    Colorado State lost its best WR and four of its top-five pass catchers. Michael Gallup hauled in 100 receptions for 1,413 yards and seven TDs as a senior last year. He had produced 1,272 receiving yards in 2016. Olabisi Johnson will become the No. 1 target for Carta-Samuels. Johnson has started 18 career games, finishing ’17 with 41 catches for 595 yards and two TDs. He is a preseason second-team All-MWC pick in Phil Steele’s magazine.

    Preston Williams was a 5-star recruit for Butch Jones at Tennessee in the 2015 class. He played in eight games as a true freshman, producing seven receptions for 158 yards and two TDs. Williams had nine catches for 80 yards while starting two of six games in 2016. As his playing time diminished, however, he elected to transfer and chose CSU in November of ’16. Williams sat out last season.

    Warren Jackson is expected to be the third starting WR, while fellow sophomore Cameron Butler will get the nod at tight end. Jackson had 15 receptions for 265 yards and two TDs in ’17, while Butler brought down 12 grabs for 171 yards and three TDs. Nikko Hall, a true freshman WR, was the prize of Bobo’s 2018 recruiting class.

    Steele’s preseason magazine ranked each MWC team’s units. The Rams are ranked seventh at the QB position, sixth at RB, fourth at WR and sixth on the offensive line. This year’s o-line had just 22 career starts until the addition of Louisville grad transfer Toriano Roundtree, a 6’7” 330-pound offensive tackle. The Rams lost a pair of first-team All-MWC performers in OT Zak Golditch and center Jake Bennett.

    Steele’s MWC Unit Rankings has CSU at No. 7 on the defensive line, ninth at LB and seventh in the secondary. The Rams bring back their top two tacklers in senior safety Jordan Fogal and senior middle LB Josh Watson, who had 109 tackles, seven passes broken up, three tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions and one QB hurry in ’17. Fogal recorded 71 tackles, four PBU, two interceptions, two QB hurries and one TFL last year.

    Junior DB Braylin Scott redshirted last year due to an injury. Although he’s ‘questionable’ vs. UH due to a potential suspension, his return should help the CSU secondary. As a sophomore in ’16, Scott started seven games and produced 39 tackles and three interceptions.

    During Bobo’s tenure, Colorado State has compiled a 6-6 spread record in 12 games as a home favorite. But the Rams went 1-4 ATS in five such spots last season. In addition, they failed to cover in all four games as double-digit ‘chalk’ with one outright defeat in a 45-28 loss to Air Force as 10-point home favorites.

    Hawai’i won just 11 games during the Norm Chow Era from 2012-15. Therefore, when first-year head coach Nick Rolovich finished 7-7 in ’16 and the Warriors beat Middle Tennessee by a 52-35 count in the Hawai’i Bowl, it was viewed as a remarkable accomplishment.

    Those positive vibes carried over to a 2-0 start last year with a 38-35 season-opening win at UMass and a 41-18 home win over Western Carolina. From there, however, things went South in a major way with nine losses in the next 10 games.

    Rolovich’s second season ended with a 3-9 SU record and a 3-8-1 ATS mark. Hawai’i returns just three starters on offense and five on defense. The biggest losses are QB Dru Brown and RB Diocemy Saint Juste, who finished second in school history in career rushing yards (3,102). Brown had a 37/15 TD-INT ratio the last two years, but he elected to leave for Oklahoma State as a grad transfer.

    With Saint Juste the last two seasons, Rolovich got away from the run-and-shoot offense he ran as the QB at Hawai’i in 2000 and ‘01 to get more touches for his workhorse RB. But in ’18, the offense will get back to its run-and-shoot ways that were its identity during the glory days of the June Jones Era during the 2000s.

    The offense averaged merely 22.8 points per game last season. This unit was hurt by the mid-season loss of star WR John Ursua, who had 47 catches for 667 yards and five TDs before tearing his ACL six games into the year. Ursua returns for his senior campaign, but WR Dylan Collie (56 receptions for 636 yards and four TDs in ’17) transferred to BYU.

    As of Wednesday, Rolovich was still playing coy on who will be his starting signal caller Saturday night. Cole McDonald, a third-year sophomore, has been considered the front runner for the job. He completed merely 5-of-9 throws for 22 yards and one TD without an interception last season. McDonald rushed for 138 yards and one TD on 16 attempts, which makes him the team’s leading returning rusher. True freshmen QBs Jeremy Moussa (was in for spring practice) and Chevan Cordeiro have been pushing McDonald for the gig.

    According to a Wednesday report from Rob DeMello, the Sports Director at KHONews in Honolulu, Cordeiro has moved ahead of Moussa in the pecking order. Rolovich told DeMello, “We got Chevan (Cordeiro) and Cole (McDonald) slashed right now on the depth chart. We’ll see from there. Moussa’s got probably the most talented arm. Cole and Chevan are better athletes. But I think there will be multiple QBs playing this year.”

    Cordeiro led local Saint Louis HS to a state title as a prep senior last season, garnering the Cover2 Marcus Mariota Award as the state’s Player of the Year.

    Steele’s MWC Unit Rankings don’t provide much optimism for the Hawai’i offense. The QBs are ranked 10th in the 12-team league, while the RBs are 12th, the WRs are eighth and the offensive line is 11th. The o-line will be without senior OT Asotui ‘Tui’ Eli, who has 34 career starts to his credit. Eli is out for the 2018 season with an injury.

    The Hawai’i defense gave up 33.9 PPG in ’17. This unit returns its two best players in LBs Soloman Matautia and Jahlani Tavia, who was a first-team All-MWC selection in ’16 and a second-teamer last year. Tavia recorded 124 tackles, 5.5 TFL’s, 5.5 sacks, five QB hurries, one interception and one PBU. Matautia had 85 tackles, 3.5 TFL’s, three interceptions, one sack and one QB hurry last season.

    Steele’s MWC Unit Rankings have the Warriors at 12th on the defensive line, fifth at the LB position and 12th in the secondary.

    During Rolovich’s tenure to date, Hawai’i has posted a 5-5 spread record in 10 games as a road underdog. When listed as double-digit road ‘dogs, the Warriors have gone 2-4 ATS with one outright win at Air Force by a 34-27 score in double overtime two years ago.

    CSU has won seven games in a row in this rivalry, including a 51-21 win as a 6.5-point road favorite last season. The Warriors, who are 2-9 in 11 visits to Ft. Collins, haven’t won at CSU since 1988 and haven’t beaten the Rams at any venue since 1995. They hold a 15-9 edge over Hawai’i in the rivalry that started back in 1925.

    With Hurricane Lane bearing down on the Hawai’ian islands and expected to wreak havoc from Thursday through Saturday, the football team was scheduled to make a direct flight to Denver on Wednesday evening.

    As for the weather in Ft. Collins on Saturday, the conditions should be perfect. During the first half before the sun sets, temperatures will probably be in the 70s. Weather.com’s forecast calls for a low of 58 on Saturday night, with mostly clear skies and winds blowing at 5-10 miles per hour.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Eastern on the CBS Sports Network.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- CSU’s Matthews is a fourth-team All-MWC RB in Steele’s preseason mag. The only other offensive player honored for the Rams is center Colby Meeks, a senior center. CSU’s defense has three players on Steele’s All-MWC teams, including Watson (second-teamer), junior DT Richard King (third-teamer) and Fogal (fourth-teamer).

    -- Steele ranks CSU fourth in the MWC on special teams and fourth in chemistry. The Rams are 30th on special teams in Steele’s National Unit Rankings. Punter Ryan Stonehouse is a preseason first-team pick after averaging 45.9 yards per punt last season as a freshman. Stonehouse had 24 punts that left foes inside the 20 and his punts prompted 12 fair catches. Johnson is a fourth-team selection as a punt returner and place kicker Wyatt Bryan is also a fourth-teamer. Steele’s mag ranks Bryan as the 20th-best kicker available for the 2019 NFL Draft.

    -- Sportsbook.ag has the Warriors’ win total at 3.5 shaded to the ‘over’ at a -125 price. Remember, season win totals are for regular-season games only, and Hawai’i get 13 of those instead of the 12 that most FBS teams play.

    -- I see two likely home wins for Hawai’i vs. Rice and vs. Duquesne. I’m confident that five of the Warriors’ six road assignments are going to end in defeat. The one road game that’s winnable comes in a horrible situational spot on Sept. 29 at San Jose State. For starters, the Spartans will get two weeks to prepare, while Hawai’i will be playing its sixth game in six weeks. Worst of all, the Warriors travel to the East coast to play Army at West Point on Sept. 15. After returning home to take on Duquesne, they fly back to the main land again to take on SJS. The best chance for MWC home win comes on Nov. 17 vs. UNLV when the Warriors have two weeks to prepare and will have been back on the island since returning from an Oct. 27 game at Fresno State. The Rebels will be playing their seventh game in as many weeks. In addition, they’ll be in a back-to-back road situation after going to San Diego State. the previous weekend and they’ll be on the road for the third time in a four-week stretch.

    -- CSU’s season win total is 5.5 (‘over’ -120, ‘under’ -110) at Sportsbook. The Rams play Colorado in Denver next Friday night before facing back-to-back SEC opponents. They host Arkansas on Sept. 8 and travel to Gainesville to take on Florida on Sept. 15. Bobo’s team gets two open dates ahead of road assignments at San Jose State. and at Nevada. However, the Wolf Pack also have two weeks to prep for the Rams.

    -- TCU will be without sophomore nose tackle Ross Blacklock after he suffered a season-ending knee injury at practice earlier this month. Blacklock started all 14 games as a true freshman and garnered Big 12 Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors.

    -- Georgia lost two of its top RBs in school history in Sony Michel and Nick Chubb. However, with D’Andre Swift and Elijah Holyfield coming back along with the addition of the nation’s No. 1 prep RB, Zamir White, the Bulldogs figured to be fine in the backfield. Now depth is an issue and injury to Swift could be catastrophic because White tore his ACL on a non-contact play covering a punt at practice last Saturday. White, who tore the ACL in his other knee back in November, will miss all of 2018.
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    Wyoming at New Mexico St.
    August 24, 2018
    By Brian Edwards

    Coming off its first trip to the postseason since 1960, New Mexico State is making the transition from the Sun Belt Conference to joining Notre Dame and four other school as Independents at the FBS level. Armed with a new contract, Doug Martin enters his sixth season at the helm with high hopes of recording a second straight winning season.

    NMS (let’s go with that from here on…) went 7-6 both straight up and against the spread last year, posting just its fifth winning season in the last 50 years. The Aggies won five of their past seven games, including a 26-20 overtime victory over Utah State as four-point underdogs in the Arizona Bowl.

    Martin’s team returns six starters on offense, nine on defense and lost only 13 lettermen. There were some key losses, however. QB Tyler Rogers, the school’s second all-time leader in career passing yards (10,364), has departed along with RB Larry Rose III, the program’s second all-time leading rusher with 4,567 career yards.

    Wide receiver Jaleel Scott became the first Aggie to be selected in the NFL Draft since 2013 when he was plucked by the Baltimore Ravens in the fourth round. Scott was a first-team All-Sun-Belt performer last season when he hauled in 76 receptions for 1,079 yards and nine touchdowns.

    Without this trio, there are clearly big holes to fill on offense. With that said, there are five players back who had 20 catches or more in 2017. One of those wideouts is junior O.J. Clark, who had 47 catches for 500 yards and three TDs. Anthony Muse brought down 40 grabs for 455 yards and two TDs, while senior Johnathan Boone had 31 receptions for 399 yards and one TD.

    Rogers completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 4,016 yards with a 27/18 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2017. Martin announced Rogers’ replacement on Tuesday when he chose juco transfer QB Matt Romero to get the starting nod in Saturday night’s opener vs. Wyoming at Aggie Memorial Stadium.

    As of Friday afternoon, the Cowboys were listed as 3.5-point road favorites with a total of 44.5 or 45. The Aggies were +150 to win outright (risk $100 to win $150).

    Romero was in for spring drills at NMS after starting for two seasons at Palomar Junior College in San Marcos, California. He threw for 5,489 yards and 49 TDs. According to a report from the Las Cruces Sun News, NMS was Romero’s only FBS scholarship offer. He beat out senior Nick Jeanty for the job. Jeanty, who has appeared in 17 games and started five for the Aggies, connected on 48-of-72 throws in ’17 for 389 yards with a ¼ TD-INT ratio.

    Junior RB Jason Huntley will take over the bulk of the load for Rose. Huntley has started five games in the past two years when Rose was injured. He ran for 420 yards and one TD last year, averaging 6.0 yards per carry. Huntley is excellent at catching the ball out of the backfield, producing 39 catches for 363 yards and two TDs in ’17.

    NMS’s defense gave up 29.7 points per game last year. Fourteen of the top 16 tacklers from this unit are back. However, two of the Aggies best defenders could be sidelined vs. Wyoming. Junior DE Cedric Wilcots, a first-team All-SBC selection in ’17, is suspended for at least one game due to academic reasons. Wilcots produced 29 tackles, 8.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, six QB hurries and three passes broken up last season.

    Senior safety Ron LaForce is listed as ‘questionable’ with a foot injury. LaForce was the SBC’s Newcomer of the Year after enjoying a banner season with NMS after arriving via the juco route. He recorded 104 tackles, five PBU, three interceptions and one TFL.

    Senior LB Terrill Hanks is ‘probable’ despite dealing with a wrist issue. Hanks had 111 tackles, eight TFL’s, seven sacks, six PBU, four QB hurries and two interceptions in ’17. The Aggies have another elite pass rusher in junior DE Malik Demby, who had 47 tackles, 6.5 sacks, six QB hurries, 4.5 TFL’s and one PBU last year.

    NMS is 4-2 ATS in its six games as a home underdog in the past two seasons. During Martin’s tenure, the Aggies are 9-10-2 versus the number in 21 games as home ‘dogs.

    Wyoming went 8-5 both SU and ATS last year, beating Central Michigan by a 37-14 count as a three-point ‘chalk’ on the blue carpet in Boise at the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl. The Cowboys won five games by double-digit margins, and two of their defeats came against Power Five foes at Iowa and vs. Oregon. They lost two other games to 11-win Boise State and 10-win Fresno State.

    Craig Bohl’s squad dropped a pair of one-possession games, and it took the cash in a 24-14 loss at BSU as a 14-point underdog. The Cowboys were -640 in overall totals yards vs. their opponents, but they made up for that deficit with an incredible +24 turnover margin.

    Wyoming brings back nine starters on offense, eight on defense and loses only nine lettermen. One of those losses was a big one, though. That would be No. 7 overall pick Josh Allen, the QB who went to the Buffalo Bills in the first round and was the highest pick in school history.

    We should also point out that Allen didn’t play in Wyoming’s last two regular-season games in ’17, resulting in L’s vs. Fresno State (13-7) and at San Jose State (20-17). Allen threw for 1,812 yards with a 16/6 TD-INT ratio.

    Nick Smith completed 40-of-74 passes (54.1%) for 471 yards with a 2/2 TD-INT ratio last season. Despite gaining valuable experience with two starts, Smith was beaten out for the starting QB job by redshirt freshman Tyler Vander Waal, who will throw to a group of wideouts that returns its top seven pass catchers.

    Even with Allen, the Wyoming offense averaged merely 23.5 PPG in ’17. Junior WR Austin Conway will be Vander Waal’s favorite target. Conway had 62 receptions for 553 yards and three TDs, while C.J. Johnson had 30 catches for 531 yards and seven TDs. However, Johnson tore his ACL in the Dec. 22 win over CMU and remains ‘out’ indefinitely.

    The offensive line will be without two players at NMS. OT Alonzo Velazquez is ‘out’ with a knee injury after starting 10 games as a true freshman. Junior OG Gavin Rush, who started 22 games the past two years, is out for the season with a biceps injury.

    Wyoming’s defense was nasty in ‘17, surrendering only 17.5 PPG after giving up 34.1 PPG the previous campaign. Give credit to defensive coordinator Scottie Hazelton, who was hired away from the Jacksonville Jaguars by Bohl. Hazelton had been with the Jags for three years as their assistant LB coach.

    The top six tacklers return, including star senior DE Carl Granderson, who was a first-team All-Mountain West selection. Granderson, who is listed as the No. 8 DE available for the 2019 NFL Draft in Phil Steele’s preseason magazine, produced 77 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 6.5 TFL’s, four QB hurries, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and one 58-yard fumble return for a TD.

    Junior LB Logan Wilson was a second-team All-MWC pick last season when he recorded 119 tackles, seven TFL’s, two forced fumbles, one sack, one interception, one PBU and one 18-yard fumble return for a TD. Senior safety Andrew Wingard is a three-time All-MWC selection, garnering first-team honors in back-to-back campaigns after being a second-team choice as a freshman in ’15.

    Wingard has 367 career tackles, including 114 stops last year. He also had seven TFL’s, five interceptions, three PBU, two forced fumbles and one sack. Wingard is a third-team preseason All-American in Steele’s mag and the No. 8 strong safety available for the 2019 NFL Draft.

    Two defensive players are ‘out’ at NMS, however, and another is listed as ‘questionable.’ Starting junior LB Cassh Maluia will be serving a one-game suspension following a solid sophomore season. Maluia produced 74 tackles, three PBU, 2.5 TFL’s, one interception, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one sack.

    Reserve DL Javaree Jackson is ‘out’ for the entire season with a back injury. Jackson had 24 tackles and 1.5 TFL’s last year. Reserve DE Josiah Hall is a question mark due to a blood clot. Hall registered 24 tackles, two TFL’s, one QB hurry and 0.5 sacks.

    Wyoming is an abysmal 1-4 both SU and ATS in five games as a road favorite during the first four years of Bohl’s tenure.

    Kickoff is scheduled for 10:00 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. It is the first time in more than a decade that NMS has played on ESPN or ESPN2.

    Coming from Laramie and its mild summer weather up in the mountains, the Cowboys must deal with the New Mexico heat in this spot. According to weather.com, the forecast in Las Cruces calls for temperatures to dip into the 70s as the night progresses. With the 8:00 p.m. kick local time, heat will be factor in the first half and temperature will be in the 80s for at least the first quarter.

    There’s a 40-percent chance of rain with mostly cloudy skies. Winds are expected to be at 5-10 miles per hour.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- NMS has won three consecutive games against MWC competition, topping in-state rival New Mexico in back-to-back years. As previously noted, the Aggies also knocked off Utah State last season.

    -- The ‘under’ cashed in each of Wyoming’s last six regular-season games of ’17 before the ‘over’ hit in its postseason triumph over CMU.

    -- The ‘under’ was a winner in NMS’s last three games of ’17.

    -- After hosting the Cowboys late Saturday night, NMS faces a terrible spot on a short week when it must turn around and play at Minnesota on Thursday.

    -- Sportsbook.ag has Wyoming’s season win total at 6.5 shaded to the ‘over’ at a -165 price (+135 for the ‘under’). The offshore shop has the Aggies’ win total at six (‘under’ -145).

    -- Blake Barnett, the former 5-star recruit who started his career at Alabama before transferring to Arizona State, has been named the starting QB by Charlie Strong at USF.

    -- Besides a pair of Thursday guest radio appearances on Sharp & Benning in the Morning on 1620 The Zone in Omaha and The Out of Bounds Show with Qualk & Kelly on The Roar in Clemson, I’ve yet to (at least on the keyboard) weigh in on that utterly despicable debacle of a press conference in Columbus on Wednesday night. Don’t worry, folks, I’ve got opinions galore and they’re forthcoming in a column at some point in the next day or two. As just a quick little teaser, I’ll point out that I think this story is far from over. Also, I don’t believe Urban Meyer will be at Ohio State much longer for a slew of reasons. Get your popcorn ready!

    -- Finally, if interested, you can check out my column on VI from nearly eight years ago when I called out Meyer for the d-bag that he’s always been. At the time, I had no idea that Jim Tressel was about to get caught up in a tattoo scandal that would have Meyer back on the sidelines even sooner than I expected.
    Last edited by StarDust Bum; 08-25-2018 at 03:04 AM.
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    Hawaii looks for Week 1 upset
    August 24, 2018
    By ASA


    Matchup: Hawaii at Colorado State (-14, Total 58)
    Saturday, Aug 25th
    CBSSN, 7:30PM ET


    The Hawaii Rainbows travel to the mainland to face Mountain West rivals Colorado State in an early season conference clash.

    This game features a pair of teams in rebuilding mode as both have significant turnover from a season ago. These two programs are picked to finish in the bottom half of the conference, but Colorado State has a much better shot to finish the year with a winning record under head coach Mike Bobo, who has led the Rams to three straight 7-6 seasons.

    Hawaii’s Nick Rolovich is in his third season as the head coach for the Rainbows and currently sits 10-16 in his first two years. Hawaii started 2-0 last year, albeit versus UMass and Western Carolina, then went 1-9 their last ten games. In those ten games the Rainbow’s defense allowed a ridiculous 7.15 Yards Per Play, while gaining just 5.5YPPL themselves. They allowed 35.5PPG over that ten game span but scored just 19.5PPG.

    The Rainbows have a ton of holes to fill from last year including: starting QB, top 2 running backs, 3 of their four top wideouts, 4 of their top eight O-line men, their top 3 D-line, top 3 safeties AND have they now have their 3rd defensive coordinator in three years. At QB this season will be Cole McDonald who threw just 9 passes last year, so inexperience is a concern. The Bows are looking to transition into a more of a run and shoot offense which is going to be difficult considering the lack of experience. On the other side of the football it can’t get much worse as Hawaii ranked 129th out of 130 schools in total defensive efficiency ratings.

    Colorado State also has to retool this season, but have enough talent on the roster to minimize the damage of losing 8 starters on offense and 6 starters on defense. The Rams must replace QB Nick Stevens who threw for over 8,500 yards while at CSU, along with their top running back and four wide receivers, but the cupboard isn’t bare. The Rams had a solid recruiting class and benefitted by landing QB Carta-Samuels, a grad transfer from Washington, who has been fantastic this spring.

    On the offensive line they return five players with starting experience so you shouldn’t see too much of a drop off upfront in the trenches. Colorado State ranked 30th in offensive efficiency last season and will certainly drop this season, but we don’t forecast them falling as far as you might think with a solid offensive coach like Bobo.

    Defensively the Rams are switching from a 3-4 to a 4-3 this season and also have a new D-coordinator in John Jancek. That’s not bad news for Rams fans though as CSU was 108th in DEFF last season. Jancek had back-to-back top 20 defensive units at Tennessee in 2014-15. The defensive backfield will be anchored by a pair of very good safeties and three of their top tacklers at linebacker.

    The Rams started 2-2 last year, then went on a 4-0 run in conference action with wins over: Hawaii, Utah State, Nevada and New Mexico. CSU was +12PPG and +1.2YPPL in those four wins. They then faded down the stretch with a 1-4 finish but still made a Bowl game.

    Last year when these same two teams squared off on the Big Island the Rams were favored by -6.5 points with a total of 66. Colorado State won that game 51-21. CSU put up 610 total yards of offense and had two TD’s on very short drives. One TD came on a 2 play, 80 yard scoring drive, while the other came on a 4 play drive of 77 yards.

    Both drives combined took less than 2 minutes. Hawaii racked up 512 total yards themselves but couldn’t dig themselves out of the 24-point deficit at halftime. Ironically, both teams averaged over 7.0 yards per carry which is a rarity.

    We’re not ready to back the Rams here who were 0-4 ATS as a double-digit chalk last year, but can’t side with this Rainbows team that is 2-4-1 ATS their last seven as a +14 or more dog.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    SATURDAY, AUGUST 25
    GAME TIME(ET) PICK UNITS


    HAW at CSU 07:30 PM
    HAW +17.0
    O 58.0


    WYO at NMSU 10:00 PM
    WYO -3.5
    U 46.5
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    McDonald leads Hawaii past Colorado State 43-34
    August 25, 2018


    FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) Cole McDonald led the Hawaii Warriors to their first win in Fort Collins since 1988, picking apart Colorado State's secondary in a 43-34 win over the Rams on Saturday night after nearly blowing a 30-point lead.

    McDonald threw for 418 yards and three TDs, including a 55-yarder to Cedric Byrd that made it 37-7.

    With his counterpart, University of Washington graduate transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels throwing for 537 yards and five touchdowns, McDonald and the Warriors had to fend off a furious Rams rally.

    It included a four-play, 99-yard scoring drive and a 9-yard TD toss to Izzy Matthews that pulled CSU to 40-34 with 4:42 remaining.

    The Rams didn't try an onside kick after that, and Tristin Kamaka's fair catch at the Hawaii 13 gave the Warriors the ball at their 25 thanks to a new NCAA kickoff rule.

    McDonald hit John Ursua for 10 yards on third-and-3 at midfield with a couple minutes left and Ryan Meskell's 35-yard field goal with 44 seconds left sealed it.

    Despite a delay of game call to start the game, the Warriors (1-0, 1-0 Mountain West) were nearly unstoppable, scoring on all but one of their first-half possessions in taking a 23-7 lead into the locker room on their way to their first win at CSU since Sept. 10, 1988.

    The Rams (0-1, 0-1), coming off a third straight bowl appearance, figured to be ahead of the Warriors, coming off a 3-9 season, but missing coach Mike Bobo for much of the two weeks leading into their opener apparently took its toll in the first half.

    Bobo spent 10 days in the hospital for peripheral neuropathy after experiencing numbness in his feet. He called offensive plays from the coaches' box.

    THE TAKEAWAY

    Hawaii: Snapping a five-game road losing skid is just what coach Nick Rolovich needed to jump-start his program.

    Colorado State: This was the last thing Bobo needed with the Rams heading into a brutal stretch that includes games against Colorado, Arkansas and Florida.

    UP NEXT

    Hawaii: The Warriors host Navy (0-0) on Saturday when former Hawaii QBs Rolovich and Ken Niumatalolo square off.

    Colorado State: The Rams have a short week before hosting the University of Colorado (0-0) in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at the Denver Broncos' stadium.


    ***********************


    WYOMING 29, NEW MEXICO ST. 7
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    WEEK 2

    Thursday, August 30, 2018
    Time (ET) Away Home
    7:00 PM Central Connecticut State Blue Devils Ball State Cardinals
    7:00 PM New Mexico State Aggies Minnesota Golden Gophers
    7:00 PM Kennesaw State Owls Georgia State Panthers
    7:00 PM Central Florida Knights Connecticut Huskies
    8:00 PM Northwestern Wildcats Purdue Boilermakers
    8:00 PM Wake Forest Demon Deacons Tulane Green Wave
    8:00 PM Weber State Wildcats Utah Utes
    8:00 PM Savannah State Tigers Alabama-Birmingham Blazers
    8:00 PM Southeastern Louisiana Lions Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks
    8:00 PM Missouri State Bears Oklahoma State Cowboys
    8:30 PM Northwestern State Demons Texas A&M Aggies
    10:00 PM California-Davis Aggies San Jose State Spartans



    **********************************


    COLLEGE FOOTBALL BEST BETS AUG-SEPT.

    DATE W-L-T % UNITS RECORD

    08/25/2018 4-0-0 100.00% +20.00



    BEST BETS ATS AND O/U


    08/25/2018..................2 - 0..............+10.00.................2 - 0..............+10.00..............4 - 0........+20.00
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Week Zero Rewind
    August 26, 2018
    By Brian Edwards


    College football fans were treated to a four-game appetizer of games on Saturday, whetting the appetite for this week’s main course. It’s being called Week Zero and here’s what we found out.

    Hawaii sophomore quarterback Cole McDonald had himself a game in his first career start at Colorado State, completing 26-of-37 passes for 418 yards and three touchdowns without an interception. McDonald also rushed for a team-high 96 yards and two TDs on merely 13 attempts.

    Cedric Byrd, a juco transfer making his FBS debut, hauled in 11 receptions for 181 yards and one TD. Senior WR John Ursua had seven catches for 123 yards and two TDs, including a fourth-and-goal grab on the opening drive that allowed the Rainbow Warriors to draw first blood.

    As a 17-point underdog, Nick Rolovich’s squad darted out to a 37-7 lead with less than four minutes remaining in the third quarter. CSU quickly launched a comeback with 20 unanswered points to trim the deficit to 37-27 with 8:15 left. However, Hawaii responded with a field goal to make it 40-27.

    Mike Bobo’s squad didn’t quit, though, scoring on a nine-yard TD pass from K.J. Carta-Samuels to Izzy Matthews with 4:42 remaining to pull to within six. But Ryan Meskell’s 35-yard field goal, his third make of the night, gave the Rainbow Warriors a 43-34 win.

    Hawaii hooked up money-line supporters with a gorgeous +700 return (paid $700 on $100 wagers). Rolovich’s team was also a sweet money-line winner for first-quarter bets (+260) and first-half plays (+330).

    Carta-Samuels connected on 34-of-50 throws for 537 yards and five TDs compared to just one interception in the losing effort. Preston Williams, a former 5-star recruit by Butch Jones to Tennessee who sat out last season as a transfer, had nine receptions for 188 yards and two TDs. Olabisi Johnson had six catches for 157 yards and two TDs.

    My first pick of the season (and only of the weekend) was on the CSU-Hawaii showdown to go ‘over’ 56 points. That was a winner before the third quarter ended. I posted my play on Wednesday, but 56 was still available late Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning, the total started moving North and closed at 58 or 58.5 at most spots.

    New Mexico State hosted Wyoming in the late game hoping to post a fourth straight win over a Mountain West Conference foe. The Cowboys weren’t willing to play along, though. They dominated the Aggies from start to finish in a 29-7 victory as 5.5-point road favorites. The 36 combined points dipped ‘under’ the 46-point total.

    Craig Bohl’s team enjoyed a 450-135 advantage in total offense. Nico Evans was the catalyst offensively, rushing 24 times for 190 yards and two TDs.

    Wyoming gave up its only score at garbage time when NMSU QB Matt Romero found Drew Dan for a 31-yard TD pass with only 1:16 left. The Cowboys host Washington State at War Memorial Stadium on Saturday. Meanwhile, the Aggies are in a horrible spot on super-short rest going to Minnesota to face the Gophers on Thursday night.

    UMass is an under-the-radar team I’ve spent a lot of time talking about this summer on my Games Galore podcast over at BrianEdwardsSports.com (feel free to subscribe on I-Tunes if you wish!). I took the Minutemen to go ‘over’ 5.5 wins at a -120 price.

    Mark Whipple’s club has a dynamic offense led by senior QB Andrew Ford, who has a 50/18 touchdown-to-interception ratio during 20 career starts. Ford, who had a 22/4 TD-INT ratio last year, led UMass to a 63-15 win over Duquesne as a 21.5-point home ‘chalk.’ The 78 combined points went ‘over’ the 69.5-point total.

    Ford completed 13-of-19 throws for 186 yards and two TDs without an interception. Andy Isabella had five catches for 131 yards and two TDs, and the senior WR also had a 14-yard rushing score. Bilal Ally rushed for 109 yards and one TD on nine attempts, while Marquis Young ran 15 times for 90 yards and one TD. Back-up QB Ross Comis threw for two TDs without an interception and rushed for 49 yards and one TD on just two carries.

    Senior safety Brice McAllister, a grad transfer from UConn, had two interceptions and a pick-six for 60 yards. The Minutemen, who are 9-2 against the spread in their past 11 games as road underdogs, are 18-point ‘dogs at Boston College in Week 1.

    Rice jumped out to a 16-0 lead midway through the second quarter against Prairie View A&M as a 23-point home favorite. The Panthers scored 21 second-quarter points, however, to take a 21-19 edge into halftime. They extended the lead to 28-19 going into the fourth quarter.

    Rice, playing its first game under new head coach and former Stanford offensive coordinator Mike Bloomgren, cut the deficit to 28-26 with 11:46 remaining on Austin Walter’s eight-yard TD run. Then the Owls forced a punt and a bad snap flew over the punter’s head and resulted in a game-tying safety with 10:15 left.

    Rice would get into field-goal range on its final drive to set up a game-winning attempt. Jack Fox was good from 23 yards out on the game’s final play to give the Owls a 31-28 non-covering victory.

    Rice RB Emmanuel Esukpa rushed for 173 yards and one TD on 32 carries. Walter added 83 rushing yards and two TDs on 11 attempts. The Owls will play host to Houston on Saturday.

    **B.E.’s Bonus Nuggets**

    -- Michigan confirmed reports of a foot injury to redshirt freshman WR Tarik Black on Sunday. He is being termed as out indefinitely pending further evaluation. The four-star recruit in the 2017 class started the Wolverines’ first three games last year before going down with a season-ending foot injury. Black had 11 receptions for 149 yards and one TD in those three games.

    -- Scott Frost has named true freshman Adrian Martinez as his starting QB. The Cornhuskers open at home Saturday vs. Akron. They were favored by 23.5 points over the Zips as of Sunday afternoon. We should note that Martinez did enroll early and participate in spring practice. Also, RB Tre Bryant announced his retirement due to lingering injuries to both knees. In Nebraska’s first two games last year, Bryant rushed for 299 yards and two TDs with a 5.9 yards-per-carry average.

    -- Kentucky starting offensive tackle Landon Young is out for the season after sustaining a knee injury at practice last week. Young, a junior, has started nine career games in his first two years with the Wildcats, who have one of the nation’s top RBs in Benny Snell.

    -- Rutgers has named true freshman Artur Sitkowski as its starting QB. Like Nebraska’s Martinez, he enrolled early and was at spring practice. The Scarlet Knights open at home vs. Texas State from out of the Sun Belt Conference.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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    Michigan WR Tarik Black out indefinitely
    August 26, 2018


    ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) Michigan wide receiver Tarik Black is out indefinitely with an injured right foot.

    Football program spokesman Dave Ablauf says Black was hurt during practice Saturday and is still being evaluated. A timeframe for his return has not been determined.

    The 14th-ranked Wolverines open the season Saturday night at No. 12 Notre Dame.

    Black had 11 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown in three games last season before needing surgery on his left foot.

    If Black is out for an extended period, it would be a setback because he has been one of Shea Patterson's top receivers in practice, along with Donovan Peoples-Jones and Grant Perry.


    ********************


    Petersen downplays UW as Pac-12 fave
    August 26, 2018


    SEATTLE (AP) Chris Petersen wanted to make clear that No. 6 Washington is not carrying the weight of the entire Pac-12 into its opening matchup against No. 9 Auburn.

    He also made certain to emphasize the Huskies aren't facing the entire Southeastern Conference when they travel to Atlanta.

    ''We're not playing their whole conference. It's our first game. It's one game against a really good team. It's going to be a team a lot of people are going to talk about through the whole season. We know that. That's what it is,'' Petersen said Sunday. ''The coaches have this in perspective. It's one game against a good team and win or lose we have a bunch after us and no matter what happens it doesn't make or break our season. It just doesn't. That's the mindset. We're on to the next thing. What did we learn? How can we improve, no matter what happens in that outcome?

    ''They understand we're playing a really good team going in from a really good conference ... but we can't make it bigger than it is.''

    As much as Petersen is trying to downplay the significance of the opener against the Tigers, it still does have massive importance in whether either team will find itself in the College Football Playoff conversation. It's also an opportunity for the Pac-12 to get an early marquee victory after a lackluster bowl season in which the conference went 1-8, including Washington's loss to Penn State in the Fiesta Bowl.

    ''To put all this on us, we have to see how the season plays out,'' Petersen said. ''Everybody is like, `Last year because of the bowl record' and all that kind of stuff. They're all putting this as, `This is a chance, this has to happen.' We don't see it like this. Nobody else is playing Auburn in our conference except for us.''

    This will be the 13th time Washington has opened the season against a ranked opponent, but only once have the Huskies faced a top-10 team: 1998, when they opened the season with a 42-38 win at No. 8 Arizona State. Washington has its highest preseason ranking since 1997, when the Huskies began the season No. 4, rose to No. 2 in September and finished ranked 18th after going 8-4.

    Clearly it's the biggest opener of Petersen's tenure at Washington - although his return to Boise State three years ago with the Huskies had major personal undertones because of his history as the coach of the Broncos. The matchup with Auburn has also quieted critics who took shots at Washington's weak non-conference schedules in recent years - schedules that were mostly created before Petersen ever set foot on Washington's campus. What were supposed to be important home-and-home games against Rutgers each of the past two years instead became fuel for poking holes in Washington's resume when making comparison with other teams that were vying for playoff consideration.

    There won't be the same criticisms this year, no matter what the outcome is on Saturday. But that also means there's little margin for error.

    ''I think the players and fans might like it better than the coaches. Because you just know there's going to be, it's those first-game things like, `Huh? How did that happen?' When you're playing a team as good as Auburn, that can be painful,'' Petersen said. ''That can hurt you bad. But it's very challenging. It makes you have your game right, right from the start. If not, you know you're going to pay the price. Our kids understand that.''


    *************************


    Freshman J.T. Daniels named starting QB for No. 15 USC
    August 26, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    LOS ANGELES (AP) Freshman J.T. Daniels has won the competition to start at quarterback for No. 15 Southern California.

    Coach Clay Helton announced his decision in a news release Sunday night, ending the 3 1/2-week audition for three strong contenders to be the successor to Sam Darnold.

    When he takes the Coliseum field against UNLV on Saturday, the 18-year-old Daniels will be the first true freshman to start at quarterback for USC since Matt Barkley in 2009. Only three true freshmen have ever started a game at quarterback for the Trojans: Barkley, Heisman Trophy winner Carson Palmer (1998) and Rob Johnson (1991).

    ''I am honored that Coach Helton picked me as the starter,'' Daniels said in a statement released by the school, which hasn't allowed freshmen to speak to the media during camp. ''I understand this it is a huge responsibility and I need to work hard to be prepared to handle it. It was a tight competition between all the quarterbacks throughout camp. We pushed each other every day. I felt that Coach's decision wouldn't be wrong whoever he picked.''

    Daniels is a passing prodigy who was named the 2017-18 Gatorade Male High School Athlete of the Year and the 2017 Gatorade National Football Player of the Year at Mater Dei High School in Orange County. He then graduated one full year early to enroll at USC this fall, likely sensing the chance to contend for the starting job immediately.

    He looked sharp from the start of his fall camp competition with redshirt freshman Jack Sears and sophomore Matt Fink, who both had marginally more experience in the Trojans' offense.

    ''At the completion of camp, it became clear to me and our staff that JT had taken a step ahead of Matt, Jack and (walk-on sophomore) Holden (Thomas),'' Helton said in a statement. I thought the quarterback competition was very competitive and fair and I am satisfied with how our staff handled the process. We look forward to each young man continuing to grow and progress at the position and we are very fortunate to have each one here at USC.''

    Helton didn't formally make his decision until watching a mock game Saturday in which all three quarterbacks got a chance to impress the coaches. Helton then said he planned to speak to the families of all three quarterbacks before announcing his decision.

    ''I reminded each (quarterback) that they need to keep pushing to be ready to play when called upon,'' Helton said. ''After this camp, we have no doubt that each one can lead our team when asked to do so. All are eager to keep working hard.''

    Fink is the only candidate with any collegiate playing experience, making three brief appearances last season. Sears was Darnold's successor at San Clemente High School, and he redshirted last season behind Darnold.

    Daniels won't get an easy path in his first September at the controls of USC's offense. After the Trojans open at home against the capable Rebels, they'll make consecutive road trips to No. 13 Stanford and No. 23 Texas.

    He also has big cleats to fill after the departure of Darnold, who won a Rose Bowl and a Pac-12 championship in his two seasons in charge. Darnold then was the third overall pick in the NFL draft by the New York Jets, and he has a strong chance to be their opening week starter after an excellent preseason.

    Helton also released his opening-week depth chart for the Trojans on Sunday night, with Fink listed as Daniels' backup. Sophomore Austin Jackson will start at left tackle, and Bubba Bolden was picked as a starting safety alongside veteran Marvell Tell.

    Helton's depth chart didn't identify a starting tailback, listing Aca'Cedric Ware, Vavae Malepeai and Stephen Carr as co-first stringers.
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    Wisconsin's defense work in progress
    August 26, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    MADISON, Wis. (AP) The bar is set high for the Wisconsin defense.

    The roster might turn over, but the fourth-ranked Badgers' D rarely crumbles. Since 2013, Wisconsin is second nationally in both scoring defense (16.1 points) and total defense (282.6 yards).

    But to return to that level this year, Wisconsin might need some young or inexperienced players to grow up quickly. So far, coach Paul Chryst likes what he has seen in the preseason.

    The first test for the team's unusual defensive blend of top-flight talent up the middle and untested replacements on the edges comes Friday night against Western Kentucky in the season opener.

    ''I like what the guys have done. There's a group that's played a lot of football on defense that we have an idea of what to expect,'' Chryst said after practice on Sunday. ''And then we'll have a number of players where this will be their first snaps.

    ''I feel like they're confident and ready for that next challenge, but it is a challenge,'' he added.

    Wisconsin will rely on a playmaking core up the middle for veteran stability, starting with preseason All-American inside linebacker T.J. Edwards. A key cog since his freshman year, Edwards has more starts (39) than anyone else on defense.

    Returning to top-10 status on defense might take a little time as guys get used to each other in game action, but Edwards said he is excited by the possibilities.

    ''We definitely set our goals high and we want to be around (being a top-flight defense). But I think it comes with chemistry,'' he said. ''With having a lot of new pieces, it's something that we're going to have to build during the games and kind of figure out how everyone plays.''

    Wisconsin is breaking in new starters at defensive end, outside linebacker and cornerback. At safety, promising redshirt freshman Scott Nelson takes over a starting job alongside four-year starter D'Cota Dixon. Even quarterback Alex Hornibrook has noticed how well Nelson has played in camp.

    ''Scott's a playmaker. He's an opportunist,'' Dixon said. ''He's much ahead of the game for his age.''

    He'll begin his college career as a starter, as will another redshirt freshman, cornerback Faion Hicks. Sophomore Caesar Williams, who played two games last season, was listed as the other starter on the season's first depth chart.

    ''If you don't have a huge natural separation, I think one thing that can separate is consistency, and I think that's what you see in them, the consistent approach,'' Chryst said.

    Outside linebacker might have the smoothest transition with Andrew Van Ginkel and Zack Baun taking over as the starters. Both players have seen snaps as backups, and Van Ginkel showed his playmaking prowess late last season with a combined two interceptions and a fumble recovery against Ohio State and Miami.

    Senior nose tackle Olive Sagapolu, who regularly draws double teams, will anchor a line that will have redshirt freshmen Matt Henningsen and Kayden Lyles starting at end because of injuries to presumed starters Garrett Rand and Isaiahh Loudermilk.

    Rand is out for the year, while Loudermilk could be back for Big Ten play. Lyles was moved over from offensive line when camp started to help with depth.

    It's a work in progress, though the Badgers do have the luxury of a manageable nonconference schedule before the conference opener on Sept. 22 at Iowa.

    They also have a rock at inside linebacker in Edwards, who can help raise the level of play of his young teammates.

    ''I think I can try to be a better leader vocally, but in terms of doing things outside my game, I'm not worried about it at all,'' Edwards said. ''I know those guys are going to make those plays when the time comes.''
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  13. #28
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    Monday’s six-pack

    Interesting point spreads for next weekend’s college football:

    — Northwestern @ Purdue (-3) Thursday night

    — Colorado State vs Colorado (-7.5) in Denver Friday night.

    — Washington vs Auburn (-2.5) in Atlanta

    — West Virginia (-9.5) vs Tennessee in Charlotte

    — Michigan (-1.5) @ Notre Dame

    — Miami (-3) vs LSU in Cowboys Stadium, Dallas

    Quote of the Day
    “I fell in love with my country when I was a prisoner in someone else’s. I loved it not just for the many comforts of life here. I loved it for its decency, for its faith in the wisdom, justice, and goodness of its people.”
    John McCain

    Monday’s quiz
    How many major league teams has Buck Showalter managed?

    Sunday’s quiz
    Milwaukee Brewers were the Seattle Pilots in 1969, their first year of existence; they moved to Milwaukee and became the Brewers the next season.

    Saturday’s quiz
    Vikings’ QB Kirk Cousins played his college football at Michigan State.


    Monday’s List of 13: Wrapping up a sports weekend…….

    13) There are two NFL handicapping contests at the Westgate in Las Vegas; in one you put up $1,500, pick five NFL games a week, and lot of people get prizes (30? 50?). First prize last year was right around $1M- they wound up with 2,748 entries, so $4,122,000 was in the pot.

    This year, 1,768 people have signed up so far, with 13 days to go for more people to enter.

    The second contest is winner-take-all, with a $5,000 entry fee. Last year, 94 people entered, so first prize was $470,000. This year, 64 people have entered, as of Saturday.

    12) Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas also a contest, one where you pick seven games a week, but they can be college games, too. Entry fee is $1,000, and top 20 finishers get paid.

    11) If you like to bet on sports, you should listen to SportsXradio, which is on 10-12 pm every weeknight here in the east. It is on radio station 720am in Las Vegas, or you can listen on sportsxradio.com. Shows are archived if you can’t listen to them live.

    Why do I say this? They have a guy named Joe Lisi on Friday nights who knows a ton about college football- he pegged 17-point underdog Hawai’i as a SU winner at Colorado State. Host Ken Thomson is as sharp about sports as anyone in the country.

    10) Nebraska will be starting a true freshman QB in Scott Frost’s first season coaching the Cornhuskers; Adrian Martinez was supposed to go to Tennessee, but when Butch Jones was told to take a hike, Martinez went elsewhere.

    Martinez had an operation on his throwing shoulder and missed his senior year of high school ball; will be interesting to see him play next week.

    9) Bad news for my A’s; Sean Manaea (shoulder) goes on the DL. All five members of the A’s starting rotation from the start of the season are now either hurt, or coming back from injury.

    Oakland is 45-16 since June 16, but the Manaea injury is a problem.

    8) Seattle Seahawks’ rookie punter Michael Dickson is getting rave reviews this summer; he has great hang time on his punts and stuck a couple of them inside the Minnesota 10-yard line in this weekend’s game. Dickson is an Australian who played college football at Texas.

    7) Pirates’ pitcher Chris Archer wore neon green baseball shoes when he pitched in Milwaukee Sunday; kind of like Baylor’s basketball uniforms- very bright. Wonder if it distracted hitters at all.

    6) They drew 3,000 fans in downtown Las Vegas for a Raiders watch party when the Silver and Black played in Green Bay last week; it’ll be fascinating to see how the Raiders’ move to the desert works out.

    5) Toronto 1B Kendrys Morales has homered in seven straight games; the record is eight, held by many, including Dale Long, who wound up doing weekend sports on Channel 10 here in Albany.

    4) Michigan Wolverines’ WR Tarik Black probably broke his foot Saturday at practice and is expected to miss an extended amount of time; he is an important part of their offense. Black also missed ten games last year with a foot injury.

    3) Albany Great Danes’ basketball team has six international students; they have players from four different countries. No players from New York City, only 148 miles down the road.

    2) Weird seeing Matt Holliday playing for Colorado again; when we started our fantasy baseball league (a keeper league) in 2005, the first three players I drafted were Holliday, Adam Dunn and Brandon Webb.

    Holliday was totally awesome in ’07, knocked in 150 runs; in ’09, Colorado traded him to the A’s, who held on to him for half the season before dealing him to St Louis, in a horrific pair of trades that set the A’s back at least a couple years. Wish he had stayed in Colorado.

    1) Odd thing: Holliday’s dad was at one time the baseball coach at Oklahoma State, but he got fired. When Holliday was on the A’s, Brett Anderson was his teammate; Anderson’s father was the guy who replaced Tom Holliday at OSU. Had to be at least a little awkward.

    Then in 2012, when Frank Anderson left Oklahoma State, Holliday’s brother Josh replaced him, and remains the Cowboys’ baseball coach to this day.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  14. #29
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    Thursday's Top Wager
    August 27, 2018


    By Kyle Markus

    College Football Preview - New Mexico State Aggies at Minnesota Gophers


    The New México State Aggies broke a 57-year bowl drought by advancing to the Arizona Bowl last season and emerged victorious over Utah State. They would love to make it back-to-back postseason berths with another appearance in 2018, and an upset victory over the Minnesota Gophers in the season opener would be a nice start.

    New México State has some momentum but lost star receiver Jaleel Scott as well as three-year starting quarterback Tyler Rogers. The offense must prove it can move the ball against a big-conference foe. Minnesota finished under .500 a year ago and is aiming to make a bowl game this year. The Big Ten is loaded, so winning games like this is essential in that pursuit.

    The Gophers are sizable favorites but don’t be surprised if the Aggies keep it much closer than advertised in NCAA football gambling.

    The New México State Aggies and Minnesota Gophers will face off on Thursday, August 30th, 2018 at 7 p.m. ET at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

    We'll have college football odds at BookMaker.eu available for every game of the 2018 NCAA football season.

    Odds Analysis

    The line currently favors the Gophers by 17.5 points, and they are getting the majority of the action to cover. Minnesota is the -825 moneyline favorite, so it would be quite the upset if New México State came in and sneaked away with the victory. The Aggies will pay off at +700 for a win. While it’s not super likely, these are very solid odds for the underdog in NCAA football gambling.

    Player to Watch

    Matt Romero -- The junior college transfer is taking over the reins on offense for New México State. The dual-threat quarterback has talent but this is a tough start to the season. Minnesota should have the physicality edge and returns plenty of talent from a group that was solid a season ago.

    The Aggies averaged nearly 30 points per game a season ago but that could be a tough task to duplicate against a significantly better team than they usually face. There are some good players returning, but the offensive expectations should be tempered considering the location, the strength of the foe, and Romero’s inexperience.

    Key Stat

    Five. that’s the number of bowl games in a row the Gophers qualified for before last year’s 5-7 campaign. The defense has what it takes to get the team back to that status as long as the offense also pitches in. Minnesota is in its second year with P.J. Fleck at the helm and believe they can start picking up the pace as the players better understand his schemes. The Gophers are not at the level of teams like Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan or Wisconsin in conference, which means out-of-conference wins are integral for bowl eligibility.

    Free College Football ATS Picks

    Minnesota should be able to win this game, but it’s going to be a little close for comfort. The Gophers’ offense could sputter early on which will allow New México State to remain competitive.

    Take Minnesota to win on the moneyline but the spread is too high. New México State will cover the spread in college football wagering.

    College Football ATS Pick: Minnesota Golden Gophers 31, New Mexico State Aggies 20
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

  15. #30
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    Francois named FSU starting QB
    August 27, 2018
    By The Associated Press


    TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) Deondre Francois has been named Florida State's starting quarterback, coach Willie Taggart announced on Monday.

    The junior beat out James Blackman and Bailey Hockman for the opportunity to start for the No. 19 Seminoles in the season opener against No. 20 Virginia Tech on Sept. 3.

    Francois threw for 3,350 yards, 20 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2016 when he was named the Atlantic Coast Conference's rookie of the year. He suffered a season-ending knee injury last year in the Seminoles' opener against Alabama.

    Blackman stepped in to start after Francois' surgery. As a true freshman, Blackman threw for 2,230 yards, 19 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

    Hockman took a redshirt in 2017, his first year on campus, and often ran the Seminoles' scout team.
    Remember the 3 G's Gambling, Golf, Girls not in any particular order.....

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