NCAA football early lines released on Brian Blessing radio show

Jun 14, 2011 3:06 AM

The first college football lines in the world were released last week at poolside at the Golden Nugget on Brian Blessing’s 2-3 p.m. afternoon radio show on Fox.

Talk about making a splash!

"It’s our fifth year for the College Games of the Year and a labor of love," said the Nugget’s director of race and sports Tony Miller, who teamed with supervisor Aaron Kessler for the arduous project.

"We sat down about two months ago to do the schedule, taking into account spring practices, returning starters and key games," Miller said. "The first three or four teams from all the major conferences were chosen to come up with the top 40 teams."

The list begins with four games on Saturday, Sept. 3 with the marquee matchups Oregon -3 vs LSU at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington (TX) and Boise State -6 vs Georgia at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

Other key games during the season are defending national champion Auburn +1 at Clemson (Sept. 17), Alabama -6 at Florida (Oct. 1), Oklahoma -8 vs Texas in Dallas (Oct. 8), Auburn +9½ at LSU (Oct. 22), Florida +6 at South Carolina (Nov. 12), Notre Dame +6½ at Stanford (Nov. 26) and Oklahoma -2 at Oklahoma State (Dec. 3)

The entire 105-game list is updated daily and is available at the Golden Nugget race and sports book.

Steve Fezzik, a past champion of the prestigious Hilton football contest, was there to collect his sheet. So it’s appropriate to say the wiseguys are on Notre Dame and Georgia and down on Michigan.

"I don’t agree with their assessment of Michigan," Miller said. "I think Michigan will be an up and coming team with a new coach (Brady Hoke) in town."

Notable by their absence is Ohio State, the hated rival of Michigan. The Buckeyes left the Nugget’s list of 105 games once quarterback Terrelle Pryor said bye to Columbus.

"We look at guys who get hurt or things happening at the school," Miller said. "Ohio State is a great example. We thought Pryor would be back (from suspension) at the end of the season. Now we have to take them off."

Miller became my best buddy when he dared to rate my alma mater South Carolina a 3-point road favorite at Georgia, a 10½-point pick at Tennessee, a 6-point home chalk against Florida and -12 in Columbia to hated Clemson.

"I think the Gamecocks have a lot of good starters back," Miller said. "They will be up there in the SEC with LSU and Alabama. It’s a dogfight. Alabama has the defense, but South Carolina has the offense."

Miller conceded putting Games of the Year out there now for the public (much like the Hilton’s NFL Games of the Year) is risky business for the house.

"It definitely is being first in the world," he said. "We did lose on them last year, but won three years in a row prior to that. No totals though. It’s hard enough to do sides."

And when does the 2012 list come out?

"Probably as soon as the Super Bowl is over," Miller laughed.

Assuming, of course, there is a Super Bowl played this season.

ETC: Ken Thomson, host of Sports X Radio weeknights 7-9 p.m., on 720 KDWN-AM and friend to GamingToday, may be headed for a national show in the coming weeks. Thomson said he was something like 26-5-1 in his picks.

No wonder Ken may go national.