Gamblin Guru – Week 1
August 30th marks the beginning of another college football season and with that comes the return of College Football Corner with our Gamblin Guru, CloneRoach calling the shots. Last year was a little up and down, finishing around .500. The goal this year is to hit 55% of the games. Each week CloneRoach will provide insight into the top 11 games on my card. Feel free to follow or fade. I, Ralphnuts, will relay the information and provide some uneducated thoughts along the way. In full self-disclosure CloneRoach is an avid Iowa State Cyclone fan and hates almost everything that is associated with the Big 10. Ralphnuts could not give two shits about the Iowa State Cyclones, has moderate interest in the Badger program, and really likes money. Good luck, and let’s make some money.
Top 11 Wagers for the weekend listed in no particular order (Just so we’re clear, Cloneroach is picking the team with the number next to them)
1) South Carolina -6.5 at Vanderbilt (Thursday)—Too much defense for the Commodores to handle and Lattimore rushes for over 150 yards.
2) Eastern Michigan +3.0 at Ball State(Thursday)—A little MAC fun on the Thursday night plate. I’m a big believer in Ron English and how he is turning this Eastern Michigan program around. This defense improved from giving up 43.9 pts in 2010 to 24.3 points in 2011. The offense returns 9 starters and they actually outgained Ball State last year by 126 yards despite losing by two points. Revenge for the Eagles.
3) Towson at Kent State -3.5 (Thursday)—I will take a strong defense (best in the MAC) at home against a good I-AA program.
4) Northwestern -2.0 at Syracuse—Pat Fitzgerald should have the squad ready and Kain Colter is dual-threat QB that will cause the Orange trouble.
5) Northern Illinois +10.0 vs. Iowa (Chicago)—I’m just not sure how Iowa can lay double-digit to a solid team on a neutral field. The Hawkeyes were actually outgained last year in yardage for the season and now have Greg Davis (former Texas OC) calling plays. I think this spells a closer game especially with an experienced Northern Illinois defense.
6) Clemson -3.0 vs. Auburn (Atlanta)—Much win for Clemson and Auburn has a bunch of injuries and suspensions. Even without Sammy Watkins, Dabo Swinney and Tajh Boyd should win by double digits.
7) Alabama -13.5 vs. Michigan (Dallas)—As indicated above a one dimensional offense typically gets destroyed by Saban’s defenses. Michigan and “The Shoelace” are no different.
8) North Texas +43.0 at LSU—This game might be postponed due to Hurricane Issac. LSU is a very solid team but they aren’t going to show everything in the opener. North Texas returns 14 starters from a 5-7 squad and can score some points (24.8 ppg last year). If they 10 points that will be more than enough for the cover.
9) Rutgers at Tulane +20.0—I like home dogs especially in a quirky spot. Rutgers traveling into New Orleans during a tropical storm with a first-year head coach. Tulane has SR quarterback in Ryan Griffin and solid RB in Orleans Darkwa. Close game and the Green Wave get the cover.
10) Tennessee -3.5 vs. NC State at Atlanta (Friday)—The Vols return an obscene amount of starters and even with the loss of Da’Rick Rogers, Tyler Bray and Justin Hunter will score some points behind an offensive line that returns all five starters. The entire back 7 and nine of 11 starters return from a defense that only gave up 22.6 points per game a year ago. SEC speed wins this one.
11) Florida International +3.0 at Duke—Someone is going to hire Mario Cristobal away from FIU and get a great coach. Almost happened last year with Rutgers but Cristobal stayed. FIU is loaded with returning starters (17) and looks for revenge against the Blue Devils who beat them last year 31-27. However, FIU outgained Duke by 184 yds in that game. FIU gets the straight up win in this one.
Obligatory Handicapping on Local games:
Iowa State +2.0 vs. Tulsa
UNLV +8.5 vs. Minnesota
Northern Iowa +points vs. Wisconsin—No line yet for this one but I would expect 30+ and anything over 24 points is a steal for Panther fans.
Good luck to everyone this weekend.