Buckeyes’ Meyer has tough task ahead of him

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With the Hall of Fame game just three weeks away on Sunday, Aug. 7, we will start to take a little look at some football.

We will discuss three college teams this week as the season officially opens on Thursday, Sept. 1. The first game is actually Friday, Aug. 26, when California faces Hawaii in Sydney, Australia.

One question I have been asked is what about the Buckeyes? How can they possibly replace all the players lost to the NFL draft when an unprecedented 12 were selected, including nine in the first three rounds!

Is there any excitement in Columbus? Try “only” 100,000 fans at their spring game back in April. Ohio State football, as always, is at a fever pitch.

Urban Meyer will need to depend on the players he recruited. It won’t be easy this year as the Big Ten will go to a nine game conference schedule for the first time since 1984, plus play three non-conference games. Grueling to say the least, and the Buckeyes will face 10 teams that played in bowl games last year.

Hey, if anyone can pull this off it would be Urban “the legend” Meyer. The Buckeyes’ toughest test in their first five games will come on the road when they travel to Oklahoma in what should be a real barn burner.

Bob Stoops and his Sooners are very tough at Norman, and though losing a lot of top players, do return one of the best QB’s in college football in Baker Mayfield and two top running backs. If Ohio State gets by Oklahoma, look out. If not, look out for Bob Stoops and his Sooners as they could be back in the big game.

The arrival of Jim Harbaugh last year was a turning point for Michigan, which won twice as many games as in the previous year plus crushed Florida in their bowl game.

Last year it was the seniors who got the job done and now, like Ohio State, Harbaugh will need to do some magic. The schedule says they will be undefeated going into Game 8 when they travel to Michigan State. It’s a revenge game as the Spartans beat the Wolverines, 27-23, at Ann Arbor a year ago.

Harbaugh has this game and the last one against Ohio State in Columbus circled. Look for Michigan State to have another big season, especially if they can get the win in East Lansing and go into Columbus undefeated. What a game that would be. I would love to have a ticket to scalp!

Let’s take a look at the 0-12 Central Florida Knights from Orlando. One thing we know is they will not be 0-12 this year, especially with the arrival of new head coach Scott Frost who was in the NFL for seven years. Frost was previously the offensive coach at Oregon and had one of the top offenses in the country. He will use that same offense at UCF and just may have the QB to pull off some upsets this year.

Frost will have a solid core of players returning, especially that freshmen class that started 74 games last year. We say bet them early and often before the linemakers catch up.

We will take a look at a few more schools next week.

Del-Marvelous

In horse racing news Del Mar opened this past Friday to a resounding success with handle and a track attendance of 42,562 – the 10th largest crowd in track history and up 5.6 percent from last year. All source handle was $16,374,230, which was up 6.7 percent from last year.

This Friday in upstate New York, Saratoga will open and barring bad weather with the races taken off the grass we will see some great racing and betting opportunities.

I was recently asked by a reader who emailed me, “What is a great betting opportunity?” I thought that was a very good question, especially if you are a bettor just getting started.

Last week on Race Day Las Vegas, which is aired Wednesday thru Sunday on 1400 AM, I talked about shopping. If something you want is 20 bucks but across the street the same item is 14, well, which one would you buy? The $14 item would be a good shopping opportunity.

We have the same thing in betting the ponies. There are tracks we bet because they are our favorites like Southern California and New York, but we must look at the take on the various wagers.

The Pick Fives at both tracks offer the best betting opportunities with a 14% take out and that creates bigger pools and bigger payoffs. Tracks have started to take notice like Canterbury and Evangeline Downs, which will be lowering their pick 4 takeout from 25% to 12% this Wednesday.

This will be the lowest in the country. I know this bettor will be playing the night racing at Evangeline, which is in Opelousas, La., especially if I get a few ponies from my friends in the Big Easy, Kenny “Shag” Reagan and Syl “The Thrill” Friedman.

So there you have it, play those low takeouts for betting opportunities. You could be walking around lucky and not even know it.

Twitter: @SabesBet. Email: [email protected].

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