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.