by Kevin Stott | Not a bad start for Chalk Talk, as the 7-2 record from the opening week reveals.
But there is no week with more big non-conference mismatches than Opening Week. North Texas at Kansas State? Idaho at Arizona? UL-Monroe at Auburn? Even Minnie Mouse could pick the sides in those three games which resulted in an ugly 149-6 cumulative score for the home teams.
Let’s see if there are any other blowouts we can try and make money on before the season gets too ragged. The first three weeks have ideal scheduling for my philosophy when it comes to sports betting: Bet against the Bad Boys, baby.
Saturday, September 6
Eastern Michigan at Michigan State (-23): The Spartans have won 13 straight against MAC opponents (Thanks Phil Steele) to the tune of an average of 37-7 PPG. Last week, MSU faced Cal (L 31-37) while EM got non-BCS power Indiana St. (I kid). MSU had 402 total yards vs Cal despite having its rushing game stymied so expect MSU to get that facet of its game going here. EM has lost nine straight road openers (Avg loss 26 PPG) and is an embarrassing 0-23 lifetime against the Big Ten, being outscored 789-133 in the process. On the other cleat, the Spartans have won nine straight home openers (Avg 20 PPG) and nested the Eagles 52-20 in 2006 in East Lansing. MICHIGAN STATE -23.
Minnesota at Bowling Green (-7): Last year, BG edged Minny, 32-31 in OT as a 14-pt underdog and after last week’s upset at then-ranked Pitt, expect the Falcons to be flying high in their home opener, which they have won seven straight times. Also, BG is 8-0 in its last eight at Perry Stadium against non-conference opponents, winning by an average margin of 52-14. BG’s better than you think and Minny’s not as good as you think. You’ll understand a week from now… BOWLING GREEN -7.
Southern Miss at Auburn (-17½): The War Eagles, the Plainsmen, the Tigers … whatever you call ‘em, Auburn is a team to watch this season and despite the progress Southern Miss has made as a program, it’s still the SEC vs. C-USA. Auburn is 16-5 all-time vs. Southern Miss and hasn’t given up a point yet all season. AUBURN -17½.
Tulane at Alabama (-27): The Crimson Tide has beaten Tulane nine straight and by an average of 28 PPG meaning this spread is right on. Tulane is always a go-against in my book and Alabama is starting to find its groove under Saban in his second year. Alabama may near the 50 mark in this game and should not allow more than 14, so let’s Roll Tide, Roll. ALABAMA -27.
Utah State at Oregon (-36): We backed Oregon in CT last week and we’re going to do it again here against the team Sports Illustrated ranks 119th out of 119. It looks like the Ducks found that their running game will be just fine this year despite the loss of Dixon and this is one team that can score, score, score. Thirty-six is a lot of lumber but there’s a reason why. 56-14 possible final score in Eugene. OREGON -36.
Ohio at Ohio State (-35): GT handicapper Richard Saber, an Ohio State fan, is fading his Buckeyes in this spot thinking properly that they will be looking ahead to USC next weekend. Ohio almost beat Wyoming but the Bobcats are 0-5 vs. OSU getting outscored by an average 24 PPG by the Buckeyes. For some reason I think OSU gets the cover, just barely, as Beanie Wells status is in question but the defense (0 pts allowed) will be trying to pitch another shutout against this interstate foe. 37-0 sounds good. OHIO STATE -25.
Tulsa (+20) at North Texas: I absolutely love this game! The Golden Hurricane are aptly named for this time of year and have played like a hurricane against the Mean Green – who we went against last week with Kansas State as our BEST BET – outscoring them 82-5 the last two meetings. NT is 3-7 in its last 10 home openers in Denton and did not look very good versus the Wildcats last Saturday. Tulsa has killer RBs in Adams and Tennial and a great WR in JUCO transfer in Brennan Marion (NCAA record 31.9 YPC). This is also a good FIRST HALF (-13 and under) bet. TULSA -20. (BEST BET).
LAST WEEK: SEASON PCT.
7-2 7-2 77.7%
NFL BOUNS: EAGLES -7 over Rams
CFL BONUS: SASKATCHEWAN over Winnipeg