Our contest entry in The Golden Nugget Friday Football Showdown is off to a solid start and right in the mix. We need to be in the Final 8 to entry the true Showdown to have a chance at glory. This is fun as long as we are competitive. As mentioned previously, there are experienced and seasoned professional sports gamblers that have entered the Showdown. Let’s hope that we can do better than last week. Our selections hit 5-2 ATS, which is terrific in most settings. The Golden Nugget or the Westgate’s SuperContest are all about getting off to a fast start, but also crushing the number. Remember CH Ballers in 2014? They ran away with the SuperContest nailing an incredible winning percentage of 76% ATS.
Unfortunately, we left Central Michigan and Toledo off the Golden Nugget card last week. We had them in the William Hill College Football contest (7-0 ATS by the way) and bet a nice amount on Toledo. Our first priority is to make money through dynamic sports betting, but a close second is to win the Golden Nugget Showdown, then the William Hill CFB contest. Plus, we can’t forget the new website and a much needed update to the mobile apps. The work never seems to stop and that is fine by us.
This tends to be a difficult week for us. Some teams are starting to find a groove, some are healing from injury while others are the posers that will soon collapse. Like we say, there is a lot of grinding in this business. Our colleague Mike B. has a better grind at the WSOP and the plethora of poker tournaments her enters around the world.
It seems that somehow our selections fall into a theme. Last week, we bet chalk. This week it is picking against teams with injuries in key positions. After much consideration and research, our staff has isolated seven games that we believe offer value on this week’s card at the Nugget.
Our hope is that we are not late to the Huskies party. This team has been dominant in its first few games. We like so much about this team. We like the coach, the players, the university, the home stadium, the colors and especially the beautiful city of Seattle.
There are a few reasons why we like the Huskies in this role even though they are double-digit conference road favorite. Normally we will avoid this spot, but Zona has key injuries with their quarterback and running back. Even if they play, Solomon and Wilson will not be at full strength.
This Washington team is strong in many areas. Solid recruiting by Sarkisian and Petersen is starting to pay dividends for a program that dominated the Pac10 a decade or two ago. The Pac 12 has been a different story for the Huskies football program, but the script is being rewritten right in front of our eyes.
We have never been comfortable lying 11 on the road and in the conference, but we will this Saturday night. Browning is off to a strong start. Add in the incredibly creative mind of Chris Petersen and the Huskies have become a dynamic offense. Sark brought in the pieces, but left too early. Petersen is the ideal candidate as the Huskies coach and will continue the positive direction of this program.
Minnesota is off a bye and at home. We might leave it at that. Colorado State gave them a fight last year in Hughes Stadium, but a lot of talent has left Ft. Collins since that game. The Golden Gophers should be able to dominate both sides of the line. We especially like the potential of a dominating rushing attack that will grind away at the stamina of the Rams defensive line. We are still not sure about this Minnesota program and look forward to see how they perform in today’s game.
Colorado State is a year or two away from being able to compete on this level. Give the program 2 years in their new, beautiful on campus stadium that will open in 2017. It could take the Colorado State Rams right to the Big 12 (if that window is still open). The Big 12 can squeeze it’s way right into Pac 12 Country. It has to be a tempting thought for the conference.
Here we are again selecting against our founder’s alma mater. It worked last week, so we are going to try it this week. The schedule makers have not done any favors for the Mountaineers. Sure Akron has been a weak program in the past, but that is no longer the case. Terry Bowden has this program on the rise. We selected against the Zips in week 1 when they visited Madison. They made some plays, but couldn’t take advantage of them. Last week, the Zips were clicking on all cylinders. They started slow, but unloaded on Marshall and walked away with a convincing win.
Now App State has to visit an Akron team with momentum. This is right after hosting the biggest sporting event in the High Country. The Mountaineers have to hit the road at a time where their bearings a still off. Once again, the Mountaineers have another reason to displeased with the schedule maker. Marcus Cox’s injury will hamper the ability for the Mountaineers to keep pace with the Zips.
App State has a good program and should be competitive this season, but not until they can stop focusing on the non-conference schedule.
Air Force -3.5
We love selecting the military academies whenever we can. Army might have surprised a lot of people this year, but not us. We cashed on the cadets of West Point in the first two weeks of the season and in week 1 of both contests. This time our selection is the side of the Falcons. Utah State showed the other night, against Arkansas State, that the football program is competitive under the guidance of Coach Wells. The recent edge that the Aggies have had over the Falcons has graduated. The playmaker quarterbacks are gone, as are the fast and powerful linebackers that play on Sundays.
The only concern we have with this selection is the Navy game next week in the Springs. The leadership in any branch would accept a 2-10 record, as long as the program wins the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy. We know that the Navy game plan is in place. The key to this selection is the focus of the Air Force team. We think the program has the capability of achieving the goal of recapturing the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, along with a Mountain West title. Since this is the opening game of the conference schedule, the focus should be in place.
Betting the largest spread on this Sunday’s NFL card with the Dolphins. Again, we find ourselves selecting against a team dealing with injuries. It would be asking a lot of Cody Kessler to start taking snaps with the 1’s for the first time this week and be competitive in Miami. The Dolphins are sitting at 0-2. They must have had the same schedule maker as App State with having to play the first two games on the road in Seattle and Foxborough, the toughest venues in the NFL to walk away the W.
Now they get to play a depleted Browns team on their 3rd quarterback in as many weeks. Hello Ndamukong Suh. The Miami defense has to be licking it chomps facing the Browns in this spot.
Wonder what the humidity will feel like? Let’s see, we like to gamble. Let’s just say it is going to be hot on the field at Hard Rock Stadium. Another injury to content with form the Browns is that of Corey Coleman. This dude is a playmaker. He cashed some big tickets for us while in college. His game in Norman comes to mind really fast. Josh Gordon is still suspended. Something tells us that the Browns organization is taking the Philadelphia 76ers path on building a team.
Adam Gase has proven to be a more than competent offensive coordinator. We think that he will take this opportunity as a head coach to expand his playbook. He has to teach and show his team how to be a dynamic offense (like in Chicago and Denver). Jay Cutler has shown the immediate effect of not having Gase design his offense. This is the man that invested Tebow Time. He will be successful in South Beach and it starts this Sunday verses the Browns.
If this line was -3.5, we might have passed on this game and selected one of the three college football games waiting in the mix. Cincinnati will be the toughest team that the Broncos have faced all year. They are a complete team and solid in every phase of the game. The Bengals biggest hurdle the past couple of years is that they create some of their own misery. Bengals fans know what we are talking about. If this team is focused and plays at their potential, very few could beat them at home or on the road.
This week they face the defending Super Bowl Champs lead by a quarterback that has two wins under his belt. Siemian has played well and we rode with the Broncos to a fun pointspread cover last week when Miller and Ray combined for the sack-strip-score covering the 6… fun stuff. Even for an experienced quarterback, it would be tough to win on the road in this situation. The Broncos have a good rushing attack and one of the league’s best defenses. That is a formula to win on the road, but not this week. Cincinnati is too complete of a team and can’t let an early must-win game slip away.
We expect a focused Bengals team to start this game fast and maintain pressure on the Broncos deep into the 4th quarter. The prima donna receivers in Denver are already bitching about not getting the ball, when they should be happy sitting at 2-0 in the AFC West. D-Ware, Green and Stephenson injuries hurt, but our selection is more based on the task facing Trevor Siemian. We have summoned the dynamic duo of Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap in the past (verses Seattle last year). We look for these two dogs putting pressure on the Denver signal caller and force an error or two or three or four.
Dallas rounds out our Golden Nugget Showdown card. Once again, as with Minnesota, Akron, Washington and Miami, we select a team facing an opponent dealing with key injuries. Chicago has taken some lumps early in the season. Carson Wentz and Brockstar picked apart a Chicago secondary that isn’t getting much help from the front four. This is a big edge for to the Cowboys. Expect Ezekiel Elliott to have his first 100 yard game as a pro this Sunday night. As of this writing, the news for Jeffery still shows him as questionable. We hope a talent like his will wait to heal, but he will be limited if he plays. This will put pressure on the Hoyer-to-White combination. Our works says that Chicago is in trouble against the Cowboys.
The home crowd should be very enthusiastic after the ‘boys came back against the Redskins. The team salvaged their season last week. It was the first win without Romo under center in about 100 games. The practices must be phenomenal at Valley Ranch. The Cowboys have an opportunity for a NFC Conference win and get back in the playoff hunt. The Cowboys will send every in Jerry’s World home happy (except for those catching a flight back to O’Hare).
This has been a challenging contest and we hope that our work will pay off with another winning weekend. Good luck – VS