Expect heavy action this weekend

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Can you believe we are already at the conference championships?

Obviously, college football has been affected by the peculiarities of 2020. Will this carry over into the postseason? I wanted some answers so I went to the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook.

“It’s been a very good college football season for us, especially considering what we had to go through,” said the SuperBook’s Randy Blum. “We had less games each Saturday, but the volume was good all year.”

Blum, the executive manager, went on to say that as usual, the book expects a lot of action on the conference championship games this week.

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“The lines are certainly sharper now than the beginning of the season, but we do anticipate the general public betting more this weekend than they did any this season,” he said. “Two reasons why. First, they know the college campaign is coming to an end and it’s their last few chances to bet NCAA football. Second, they need to get even. This is something you won’t see the sharp bettors doing, just the general public. The sharps play smarter.”

Blum went on to say that the book can foresee one game on the board this weekend getting more of handle than the others.

“Oh, for sure the Notre Dame/Clemson matchup is where we feel we will see a larger volume wagered,” he said. “This is where we see if the Fighting Irish are really that good or that Trevor Lawrence means as much. The bettors will be divided on that and we will see money coming in on both sides.”

One thing the book had some talk about was what if some of these conference championship’s get canceled? What happens to the CFP?

“The rules on our futures pools are all set in place,” Blum said. “But if it happens, it will affect the CFP.”

Saturday

Minnesota +12 at Wisconsin: To say Wisconsin has had a disappointing season is truly an understatement. Granted, the Badgers have been impacted by COVID-19 about as bad as any team in the country. But, their once- potent offense is no more.

After opening the campaign with decisive wins over Illinois and Michigan, Wisconsin has now dropped three in a row (both SU and ATS) to opponents that were all favored by. During their current slide, the offense has mustered a total of 20 points.

Minnesota has trudged through 2020 quite nicely, winning and covering three of their last four outings. Veteran quarterback Tanner Morgan has a stellar ballcarrier at his disposal in Mohamed Ibrahim (925 yards rushing, 15 TDs) to keep the Wisconsin defense honest and this game closer than the point spread.

The Golden Gophers are 4-1-1 ATS the last six at the Badgers, 8-2-1 ATS the last 11 on the road, and 11-5 ATS the last 16 overall. MINNESOTA

Oklahoma -5.5 vs. Iowa State: Both teams have had a week off to rest, heal, and prepare for the Big 12 championship game in Arlington, Texas. Iowa State deserves all their praise as the Cyclones have played solid football all season long. But Oklahoma is red-hot, winning six in a row SU and going 5-1 ATS. On both sides of the ball, I see the Sooners outclassing their counterpart here.

ISU’s weakness is stopping the pass. Spencer Rattler (2,512 yards passing, 68.5% completion rate, 24/7) will carve up the Cyclones’ secondary like a holiday dinner. Defensively, Oklahoma owns the best rush defense that Iowa State has faced in 2020. The Cyclones are a run-oriented offense. Well, the Sooners have stuffed every ground attack during their hot streak with the nation’s 4th ranked run defense.

ISU is 0-5 ATS the last five on neutral sites, 0-4 ATS the last four as a ‘dog, and 2-6 ATS the last eight in December. OKLAHOMA

Boise State vs. San Jose State +6.5: This is for the Mountain West title and will be played in Las Vegas.

San Jose State isn’t just undefeated (6-0), they are also one of college football’s best teams against the spread (5-0-1). With all respect to Boise State, I think we would all agree that the Broncos just aren’t the same team when not playing on their blue carpet. Point in fact, they did not cover either of their last two outings, both on the road at Hawaii and Wyoming, two lesser foes.

Boise State had problems with the BYU defense in their 51-17 drubbing at the hands of the Cougars. Don’t look now but San Jose State owns a very stingy “D” (13th) that yields a mere 17.5 PPG. The Spartans have held both good passing and good rushing units to some of their lowest performances this season. The Broncos are in for a long day.

San Jose State is 12-3-1 ATS the last 16 as a ‘dog, 18-7-3 ATS the last 28 in conference play, and 5-0 ATS the last five in December. SAN JOSE STATE

Last week: 0-4

Season: 25-22

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