One crazy week in football in the fall in Las Vegas

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When living in Steubenville, Ohio you could tell it was fall when leaves on the trees were turning into their beautiful autumnal colors with the start of a winter chill in the air.

Things are a lot different in Las Vegas. I know when it is fall here when I walk into the books and there is “Teaser Tom” Noonan pounding his six-point teasers at the betting window and ready to pontificate to anyone who will listen to him.

Tom has a certain set of rules. Tease past key numbers like 3, 7, 14, 21. Never tease a favorite into a dog role. Tease favorites down and dogs up.

If you need anymore help with teasers just stop at Palace Station on any given Saturday or Sunday and you can bet your last dollar “Teaser Tom” will be there explaining to anyone who will listen. He might even buy you a beer. I’ve never seen Tom without his trusty bottle of beer in hand.

Another way I can tell it’s fall is hearing the sweet sound of “Dickie Two Dimes” Lloyd running up to the betting window pushing anyone in his way aside as he yells out “give me two dimes on number so-and-so.”

“Two Dimes” is one of the few remaining Damon Runyon characters from the 70’s who is still standing and making his bets here in Vegas. I asked “Two Dimes” why?

He walked me over to a keno machine, and with those sad eyes said, “I pay rent on those” and will quit when I hit that elusive 10-spot. It looks like we will be seeing Dickie for a long time to come.

This was one crazy week in football, especially with the wacky final in the Utah-USC game. There is still controversy over the payoff here in Vegas. The NFL was what it is, but there was one game that, if you paid attention and read my column, you would have had the winner.

The Jaguars opened -3 and then came the QB problems. By Sunday the bettors pushed the line to Titans -1. I have been saying all along that the high percentage play was betting on the original favorite – the Jags won 16-14.

I had a few winners last week and one very easy one in the NFL. So let’s move on to my picks.

Thursday

LSU -3½ at Miss St: Visiting Tigers have gone 8-1 ATS in their third game of the season the last nine years and 6-0 ATS as the road chalk when favored by 6 or less. LSU.

Friday

Boise St -17½ at Toledo: That tough loss at Ohio State could be stuck in the heads of the Rockets. It won’t be easy coming back in just six days after that gut wrenching performance in Columbus. Broncos had time off after big win in the Georgia Dome and are 6-0 ATS the past six times off rest week. BOISE ST.

Saturday

Penn St -9½ at Temple: The Nittany Lions have gone 0-2 ATS while the Owls are 2-0 SU and ATS and given up 10 points in first two games albeit vs lesser opponents. Owls 7-1 ATS in Game 3 the last eight years. TEMPLE.

Wisky -16½ at No. Illinois (Soldier Field): The Huskies gave up 26 to Army and 45 to Kansas. Badgers should run wild. WISCONSIN.

Tennessee +9 at Florida: The Gators have not give up spit in their first two games heading into SEC play under new HC Will Muschamp. They will look to make a statement. FLORIDA.

Mich St +5 at ND: I was ready to put a check mark on the Irish, but when I woke up the next morning and checked the scores I removed it. Now must take the Spartans after reading how the Irish self destructed. Their mental state will need a visit from the “Gipper” and I am not sure that will help. MICH ST.

Houston -8 at La Tech: Last week the Bulldogs gave up 42 to Central Arkansas. The Cougars scored 38 against UCLA and 48 at North Texas. I’ll be looking for a total, will side with the favorite. HOUSTON.

Okla -3½ at Florida St: Seminoles look to have a great defense and we will find out here. I will take the points bet the total when posted. FSU / UNDER.

UTEP +1 at N.Mexico St: The Aggies celebrating all week with big win at Minnesota as a huge underdog. Perfect spot for the Miners. UTEP.

NFL

Two of the big hype teams – Lions and Eagles – both got big road wins last week look like the real deal. The Eagles with Vick were unstoppable are the team I will be tagging along with in high profile Sunday night NBC game at Atlanta. EAGLES -2½.

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