We knew it would happen eventually. The heat is here in Vegas and, yes, it is dry heat, and the dog days of summer are upon us.
But to me that signals football is right around the corner, and our sports books are already gearing up with lines out for tons of games in the NFL and college seasons.
CG Technology last week released an extensive set of lines for the upcoming 2014 college season and they also have really got into the football mood putting up one of my favorite bets – the OVER/UNDER Total Wins for more than 65 teams across the ACC, Big Ten (probably need to change that to the Big 14 with the new additions of Maryland and Rutgers). The larger look to 14 should attract some TV money from the D.C. area.
CG also focuses on Big 12, Pac 12 and SEC conferences and includes Boise State, BYU, Nevada, UNLV plus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, a term my good friend Jim Long loves.
If you are a fan of any of these divisions or teams this is a great bet – a wager you can root on the entire season. It is my favorite wager.
I have been researching the “Big 14” and there is one team for sure I will take a little plunge on and that is Iowa. “Captain” Kirk Ferentz heads into his 16th season as Iowa coach, just about unheard of in big time college football nowadays. The Hawkeyes return their top running back and starting QB, both having played all 13 games last season.
Iowa went 8-5, including losses to Michigan State, Ohio State and Wisconsin. This year’s schedule doesn’t include any of the three so we could be looking at an Iowa team that could win 11 games. We will be betting OVER on total wins for the Hawkeyes this season.
So I know my loyal readers are scratching their heads as they thought I would be giving out Ohio State, which was the last Big 10 team to win a National Championship back in 2002 with the beloved Jim Tressel, who is now heading back to Youngstown State to start his new career as president of the university where he coached before heading to the Buckeyes.
Lately the Big 10 has had to take a back seat to the SEC, beating teams from that conference just 6 times out of 19 games the last three years. HC Urban Meyer looks to change all of that as his recruits start to get action after the Buckeyes lost a lot of players from last year’s team.
No worries, mate, as Urban reloaded as usual. Remember, Meyer won 24 straight games after taking over as coach back in 2012. Ohio State will not sneak up on this bettor and don’t let them sneak up on you. Expect another big year and a possible playoff spot for the Buckeyes. Check out those OVER/UNDER win totals as both eyes could lead you to wins.
My friend and buddy Dino the Dog asked me last night as I was taking in the USA-Portugal soccer game with a huge cringe at the end as a last second score ended the game 2-2. Dino was hoping for 1-nil. He said “woof woof,” which means in dog talk, “When will this all end?”
I tried to explain the game a little to him but he just wants a treat and some Ohio State and Pittsburgh Steelers action. I am going to the store and get a piece of steak for him so he can take his mind off of soccer.
I myself am starting to get the hang of it. The books remain packed with plenty of soccer action and when a goal happens to be scored the crowd just goes nuts. There has been more scoring than in the past and maybe that is good. All I know is Copacabana Beach looks like a spot I could enjoy and I know Dino would love to run up and down that spot checking out those lovely Brazilian-tanned beach beauties. Maybe he would even play with one of those soccer balls.
Note: I will be doing a video interview with legendary oddsmaker and bettor Lem Banker. It will be online at www.gamingtoday this Thursday, a must watch.
Next week the World Series of Poker gets set for the Main Event, and I will be writing about poker legend and sports bettor Jack “Treetop” Straus.
Richard Saber, a former director of race and sports at the famed Stardust book, is GamingToday’s horse racing and sports handicapper. Follow Richard on Twitter @SabesBet. Contact Richard at [email protected].