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What is new exCuse for Syracuse?

Jul 1, 2008 7:06 PM

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second in a 10-week series running through Aug. 26 focusing on season openers, BCS odds, betting strengths and weaknesses among the premier conferences in college football. So clip and save.

by Mark Mayer | If you’re looking for cupcakes the first week of the season, the Big East is your spot.


Copyright 2008 GamingToday
Big East openers
THURSDAY, AUG. 28
Hofstra at UConn
E. Kentucky at Cincinnati
SATURDAY, AUG. 30
Syracuse at Northwestern
Villanova at W. Virginia
Tenn-Martin at S. Florida
Bowling Green at Pitt
SUNDAY, AUG. 31
Kentucky at Louisville
MONDAY, SEPT. 1
Fresno St at Rutgers

Here’s some of the dog bones for the Big East – Hofstra, Villanova, Eastern Kentucky, University of Tennessee-Martin. No, not Dean Martin, UT-Knoxville or Johnny Knoxville. Be prepared to spot three to four touchdowns. At least!

WVU (11-2 SU, 9-4 ATS): West Virginia (25-1 at LV Hilton, 15-1 Caesars) returns QB Pat White and is the one Big East team capable of making a national title run. The Mountaineers were 6-0 ATS in nonconference play, 4-0 ATS as road favorites and a stellar +16 in turnover ratio.

UConn (9-4, 9-3): Connecticut (100-1 Caesars) was a solid +9 in turnovers and a perfect 7-0 SU at home (6-0 ATS). For the Huskies to see 10 wins, they must improve on a 1-3 ATS mark as a road underdog.

Cincinnati (10-3, 9-3): The Bearcats missed the BCS odds board so last year’s +16 turnover ratio, 6-0 SU nonconference mark and 5-1 ATS in away games may be hard to duplicate. Game 2 against upstart Akron could be interesting.

Louisville (6-6, 4-7): The Cards (300-1 Hilton) left the Vegas radar screen when their season turned south. The over was 8-3 in Louisville’s games in part to a poor 1-4 ATS mark at home and 1-3 ATS in nonconference play. And QB Brian Brohm is now with Green Bay.

Pittsburgh (5-7, 6-5): Not even the miracle victory at West Virginia could land the Panthers on the BCS odds board. Still the Panthers were 4-1 ATS on the road. Now, if they can reverse that 1-5 SU mark as an underdog, we’ll have a very live team to bet on.

USF (9-4, 7-5): South Florida (100-1 Hilton, 85-1 Caesars) is a program on the rise. The Bulls were 3-1 ATS as a home favorite and a +9 in turnover ratio. The over was 8-3 and offers a nice parlay when USF plays at raucous Raymond James Stadium, where Bucs fans have taken to their roomie.

Rutgers (8-5, 5-6): The Scarlet Knights (100-1 LVH, 85-1 Caesars) seem to have finally turned the corner as a legitimate program. For another winning season, Rutgers must not repeat last year’s 2-5 ATS mark in Big East matchups and a -1 turnover ratio.

Syracuse (2-10, 3-9): And the Orange fired Paul Pasqualoni after 11 bowl appearances in 14 years for this! Pasqualoni was gone long before last year’s 2-10 record that included an embarrassing 1-6 ATS mark at the Carrier Dome. The Cuse was also 0-5 ATS as a home dog.

Next week: Big Ten.