Pac-10

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The fourth week of college football brought with it the best week of the season for Nevada Sports Books as some of the most popular betting teams didn’t get there. For the first three weeks, the books have won but haven’t had that really big day of holding 15% to 20% of the overall handle.

Thanks to the likes of Alabama, Boise State and Oregon not covering the spread in the featured games of the day, links to parlays and other extended risk wagers were at a minimum.

Popular teams like Ohio State who cover every week were also looked at apprehensively because of their large 44-point spread. Stanford had been another popular play with bettors for the first three weeks but bettors were mixed last week, half siding with Notre Dame.

Wynn UNLV Line On The Money

UNLV blasted New Mexico 45-10 Saturday night and some of the bettors were wondering how the line moved so much from the Las Vegas opener of UNLV -8½ to 11½ by game time. But had they checked out Wynn Las Vegas, they would have seen that its line was UNLV -11½ to begin with.

Actually, it wasn’t such a drastic movement considering that the entire world of sports books followed a much lower consensus line as their opener, which actually forced the Wynn to lower theirs. Nevada sports books and paid consultants have gotten into a routine over the last 10 years of following and respecting off-shore lines much more than they should and the UNLV game is the perfect example.

Granted, it’s easy to second-guess after the fact, but the Las Vegas lines have been manipulated way before Saturday’s UNLV game. Off-shore does set the market, but which books should be trusted for creating solid openers intended for real bettors? It’s been long understood that several off-shore bookmakers use their lines as marketing schemes and others use it as way to set the market and dictate the Vegas line for their own posse of bettors.

So just where did the Wynn get their numbers from? Rather than put them in a dubious position to comment for others to scrutinize, we’ll just answer for them and say they did it the old fashion way, based solely on the true ratings and numbers.

Congrats to the Wynn on being ahead of the game and having the gumption to stand alone on the small island of Las Vegas sports books.

Fremont Cannon

Everyone in Las Vegas is excited about UNLV winning its first game of the season, but at the same time we also can’t help be proud of our neighbors to the north as the Nevada Wolf Pack are back in the AP Top-25 for the first time in 62 years.

Nevada’s convincing 27-13 win at BYU impressed a lot of people who believed the Pack’s gimmick offense — which the whole nation is now copying – was only effective against lesser competition and at home. Nevada is off to a 4-0 start for the first time since 1991, the year before they jumped from I-AA to I-A.

As fate would have it, Nevada visits UNLV this week as a 20-point favorite in a battle for the Fremont Cannon. Nevada is going for its sixth straight win over UNLV, which would be a record in the series. The two have faced off against each other 35 times with Nevada having a 20-15 edge.

In last year’s game, Nevada rolled to a 63-28 win in Reno with three players each rushing for over 175. At one point, if you can believe, the game was actually tied 28-28. At game’s end however, the Pack had gained 773 yards of total offense.

While it’s hard to conceive of anyone putting up those type of numbers again, the fact that Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick might even be better than last year, as he’s already accounted for 13 touchdowns in four games, makes it hard to make a case for UNLV staying close.

Weigh it out, the nation’s sixth best rushing team scoring the nation’s fifth most points against a UNLV team that is ranked 90th and above in just about every offensive and defensive category.

In all fairness to 1-3 UNLV, Nevada will be playing their third ranked opponent on the season, but it’s hard getting past their 30-7 loss at Idaho. It doesn’t get any easier for UNLV, either, as they’ll travel to West Virginia next week and then face No. 5 TCU Oct. 5.

PAC-10 Stands Strong

It may sound like a broken record here, but since most papers across the land outside of Pac-10 country don’t view the conference as a viable one, we have to keep giving some West Coast support among the East Coast bias. Why keep reading the same babble from the main steam media that tries to fill heads with why the Pac-10 isn’t worthy.

I’ll never come off as saying the conference should be competing for the national title until a candidate emerges, but currently, due respect is warranted. No. 7 Texas getting blasted 34-12 by unranked UCLA at Austin should have been a resounding cannon shot to the college football world that the Bruins and West Coast football can hang with anyone, but all we got from the media was that Texas is just in a down year.

It may seem as simple as that on paper, but on game film it reveals that UCLA blew one of the Big-12’s best recruiting teams off the line for 264 rushing yards while only gaining 27 yards passing. True, the Bruins lost their opener at Kansas State, another Big-12 team, but things appear to be much different now that Norm Chow’s ‘pistol’ offense is in full effect.

UCLA head coach Rick Neuhiesel can’t begin to thank Nevada’s Chris Ault enough for essentially bringing UCLA to the 21st century of college football with their successful offense which makes any team a contender with the right weapons running it. UCLA still doesn’t have a threat at running back – at least until Malcolm Jones starts – and they still don’t have a true ’pistol’ quarterback in Kevin Prince. But what they do have is a beastly offensive line of fifth year seniors that has grown together as a cohesive unit within the scheme over the last two games.

As if the Long Horns weren’t enough practice for the Bruins newly found offensive system, they get a break by playing the conference door mat in Washington State at the Rose Bowl Saturday.

No. 9 Stanford’s 37-14 win at Notre Dame was very impressive and set up a great game this week at No. 4 Oregon, where the Ducks are 7-point favorites. I like Stanford in this game because of how physical they are, not to mention one of the best quarterbacks in the nation in Andrew Luck. Their style of play goes well beyond anything we have seen in recent Pac-10 football. If anything, they remind me of a tough Big-10 team in the mold of a Woody Hayes or Bo Schembechler, influences that are obviously imprinted on Jim Harbaugh’s coaching philosophy. I hate to see the top ranked Pac-10 team go down, but Stanford looks like the better team.

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