Chalk Talk College Football Betting Tips by Kevin Stott | Welcome to Chalk Talk folks, a weekly Wednesday jambalaya of sentences constructed creatively to entertain, inform and hopefully enlighten you readers – available exclusively on our GamingToday website – on the overwhelming favorites I’ll be backing at the betting windows in Sin City this coming opening weekend.
Whereas Lou Holtz’s halftime pep talk on ESPN’s Game Day dorkifies that beautiful thing that is college football, we will try to "just stick to the facts ma’am". It’s always important in sports betting to try and get off to a good start each new season, so with that being said, let’s pick some winners … No, not those "winners." You people…
Oregon State (-3) at Stanford (ESPN2): Opening night! The Pac-10’s season kicks off in Palo Alto with this gem. The Beavers (8-4 ATS LY, No. 18 Sports Illustrated) are 4-1 ATS and 4-1 ATS their last five at Stanford (No. 74 SI) and have held the Cardinal to just 13 points in their last two meetings (23-6, 30-7) winning by an average margin of 20 points. Chew on. OREGON STATE -3.Troy State at MTSU (Added game): Troy is 136-66-1 under coach and shooting for third straight Sun Belt title. Although the Trojans (8-3 ATS LY, 5-2 ATS conference) lost some talent at QB and RB, they trounced MTSU 45-7 in 2007 and are 3-1 ATS the last four in this series. Favorite also 5-1 L6 ATS. TROY -5.
Friday, August 29
SMU at Rice (-3) (ESPN): Rice is 6-2 ATS the last eight in this series and a perfect 6-0 ATS at Rice Stadium in Houston. Last year the Owls (Woodsy loves ya) edged SMU, 43-42 as 6½-point underdogs. 85 points? Sounds overy? RICE -3.
Saturday, Aug. 30
Washington at Oregon (-14) (FSN): More Pac-10 and this one has a pure, recent trend. Last four meetings: OREGON 55-14, 34-14, 45-21, 31-6 = 165-55 = average score of 41-13 (+28 PPG). The math favors Oregon (9-4 ATS) here, as did the last four meetings against the Las Vegas number (4-0 ATS). And also of note, the favorite in this
series has won eight straight! (Thanks Doc.) Quack quack. DUCKS -14.
Idaho at Arizona (-28): A lot of lumber to lay but these non-conference mis-matches come often early and are definitely worth a look. The Vandals (3-8 ATS) were 1-11 LY, but saw 67% of their covers coming versus Pac-10 foes (USC, Wash St). Idaho was outscored by an average of 37-21 (-16) so the Wildcats may hit the 50 mark in this opener in Tucson. Can you say blowout? ARIZONA -28.
Western Kentucky at Indiana (-21): I know the Hoosiers have a great QB (Kellen Lewis, 28 TDs) but I really like the Hiltoppers – now in their second year in the bowl subdivision – in this one. Is is the 21 points? A little. Is it the underdog factor (WKU 2-16 SU vs "lined" teams)? No. Is it the fact that my cousin Greg graduated from WKU? Absolutely not. For some strange reason I actually think the Hilltoppers can win this one in Bloomington. Remember Appalachain State? WKU +21 (Moneyline anywhere?)
Louisiana-Monroe at Auburn (-27): another added game, another conference mismatch (Sun Belt vs SEC). Auburn (7-5 ATS) has won the last three meetings (31-0, 73-7, 520-14) by an average of 45 points! That’s 18 points higher than the line Holmes. AUBURN -27.
Arkansas State at Texas A&M (-20½): Another perfect example of a conference mismatch (Sun Belt vs Big 12) and this is basically a good team – in its home opener – against a bad team. In a similar pair of mismatches in 2004 and 2005, Mizzou smashed the Red Wolves, 52-20 and 44-17. If A&M’s defense can hold Arkansas State to just 7 or
10 points, then a cover is likely in College Station. TEXAS A&M -20½.
North Texas at Kansas State (-24½): The Mean Green travel to Manhattan (The Little Apple) to dance with the Wildcats in another conference mismatch. NT were trounced 79-10 by Oklahoma in last season’s opener and in the last two meetings with
Kansas State, the boys from Denton were outscored by a total of 109-17! Playing in such a strong conference as the Big 12, expect KSU to beat up on its first two opponents (Montana State next week) before getting a dose of reality with Louisville, Oklahoma, Kansas and Mizzou on the horizon. KANSAS STATE -24½. (BEST BET)