Last week was a great start to the contest. We nailed a 6-1 ATS entry, but as we mentioned there are some very solid professionals in this contest. Four of these top dogs went 7-0 ATS in Week 1, so we have our work cut out for us.
This weekend might as well be called ‘Our Back to School Special’ because we’ll be using all of chalk. This always makes us nervous, especially in a contest like the Golden Nugget Showdown. In the past, we have tended to lean toward favorites this time of year. Teams are spreading their wings and positioning for the post season glory. Strong teams will want to dominate and underperformers will need to bounce back fast.
The week we have selected four college and three professional teams. All seven teams have solid programs and only one has a losing record. Why a team with a losing record? It’s because the Carolina Panthers could have easily been 1-0 instead of 0-1. Plus, they need a win desperately.
This week we’re going to start adding the dollar symbol ($) next to any selection where we have money on the line. We usually don’t bet so many games in a given Summer/Fall weekend. Typically, we are more selective when betting football. The Golden Nugget Showdown requires us to select seven games verses the Vegas line.
Almost forgot to apologize for the delay in posting this article, but we pressed The U and OK State bets this morning and didn’t want to move the line.
On to the selections:
Oklahoma State -5 ($)
We like this set up a lot. Pitt is coming off a tough win verses Penn State. It was a renewed rivalry game that was the main focus of the Panthers’ offseason. They had complete control during the game and it almost slipped away. Pitt has to be a little drained from such a great performance. Now they have to travel to Stillwater. We pressed this bet at OK State -3.5 this morning.
OK State lost on a play that should not have been allowed. They have been put in a precarious position by one bad referee call on the field (MAC) and in the booth (Big 12). Their promising season has been put in jeopardy. In an instant, the game against Pitt became a must win game. This turned into our favorite game of the week once we found out that Dontez Ford was confirmed out of the game. He is a much needed vertical weapon of the Panthers that will not be available against the Cowboys.
Expect Pistol Pete and the ‘Boys to start fast and score early. They need to press Pitt into mistakes and out of their terrific run game. Points will do that. If Rudolph can connect early, he will connect often.
Texas Tech -10.5 ($)
Yes, we are still upset about La Tech and Arkansas. This is where we get our money back. Texas Tech will be able to take advantage of the Bulldog back 7 unlike Arkansas. We were a week early on the Hogs.
Texas Tech is the superior team in a must win situation, similar to OK State. This is a make it or break it game for bowl season. The Big 12 is full of solid programs, especially with the Longhorn resurgence. The home team cannot lose this game with a full slate of tough games ahead.
Mahomes will be channeling his best Aaron Rodgers this Saturday in Lubbock. Expect 400 yards and at least 4 touchdowns from the Red Raiders quarterback. La Tech will score, but they won’t be able to keep pace with the home team.
Miami (FL) -3.5 ($)
This one hurts. Our founder is an Appalachian State grad. App State is catching The U at the wrong time. Miami has had this one circled, which is a true compliment to the outstanding football program from Boone, NC. Enough said.
Georgia Southern -25.5
Laying a big number. Expect the Eagles to run left, run right, run up the middle and keep running. Time of possession will lean heavily to the home team. The GSU running attack will control this game. ULM has a new front 7 which doesn’t bode well for the Warhawks. Oklahoma led by 42 at half and cruised the rest of the game. They were focused on Ohio State before, during and after this game.
Georgia Southern is 1-0 in the Sun Belt and looking to extend their lead to 2-0 in conference play. The backdoor cover (BDC) worries us, so we didn’t bet it. The more we think about this one, the more we like it. A bet might sneak in here, follow us on Twitter to find out.
Carolina Panthers -13.5 ($)
Carolina catches San Francisco at home and off a Monday night game. The 49ers dominated a Rams team that was still star stuck off of their Hard Knocks series. Austin was horrible. The D-Line misses Long. Donald melted down and Keenum was pedestrian at best. The scenario was ideal for San Francisco as a MNF Home Team Division Dog. It is so easy to see that scenario now. Hindsight is extremely clear in sports gambling. Now the 49ers must travel east to the Old North State with an early kickoff. Half the team will be waking up when the First Quarter starts.
It will be a hornet’s nest in Charlotte. The Panthers are rested and coming off of two straight losses to a dominating Denver team that matches up extremely well with them. The 49ers don’t. Carolina will be able to run and pass on the visiting team. The most important factor will be the ability of the Carolina defense to dominate the line of scrimmage. Blaine Gabbert will be Blaine Gilberrt, watch. This is such a tough spot for the 49ers.
This is bet where a little creative thinking against the Vegas line caused us to bet here. The point spread was Carolina -14 on Monday. After the 49ers throttled the Rams 28-0, the line only moved ½ point. This minor movement caught our attention. We think the bookmakers are telegraphing that last week was an anomaly and will not impact this game. If anything, it will drain the 49ers’ emotions.
Denver Broncos -6 ($)
Denver is fully rested and Kubiak’s running attack will shred the Colts Defensive Line. Luck is a talent, but the Broncos defense will limit him. The running attack of Denver will dominate. They pull away late in the 2nd half. It’s the altitude dude.
Kubiak knows that he has to protect Trevor Siemian and the Denver running game is ideally suited for this need. CJ Anderson gain 125+ on Sunday. Booker will shine to make up for his last game.
Add in the complete collapse of the Colts last week against the Lions. It was a greater meltdown that Builder Bar we left in the car the other day. Denver needs to execute early, but we think the extra rests benefits the gameplan.
Oakland Raiders -5 ($)
Our final pick seems to be going into a buzz saw. Some capable people in town like Atlanta. We tend to look at gamed differently than most and really like how the Raiders set up in this game. We used them last week verses the Saints in a tease with the Bucs and are rolling with them -5 this week. The trend is your friend, until it ends.
People like the Falcons plus the points and why not? Atlanta catching points is tempting. Matty Ice, Julio Jones have Pro Bowl talent. It’s an early must win for a team expected to complete for the NFC South title.
Well, here we go. First of all, the Falcons are on a 6 game losing streak. Next, they travel all the way to the Bay area after getting whipped by Jaboo and the Bucs. Mack and Irvin have speed and strength around the corners. Where is Atlanta vulnerable? Hint, on the edges. Where is Oakland strong? Hint, on the edges. What position did Del Rio play back in the day? Now you get it.
Now let’s talk about the Black & Silver offense. The deep ball, quick strike Raiders offense is back. This is when the Raiders are at their best, ie. Stabler, Plunkett, Gannon. Carr is an ideal Raider quarterback. Accurate and versatile. The Raiders have always been more fun to watch when they have an elite offense. Oh yeah… what about the ‘other’ super talented wide receiver that won a National Champion while at A-la-bama (please pronounce as Keith Jackson)? Cooper will be stepping up his game in front of his former mentor that will be on the other side of the field.
Key match-up: Jake Matthews verses Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin
Nothing is a sure thing. We have learned that expensive lesson before. Our favorite game of the weekend takes place in oil country, but this one might get pressed if Saturday starts strong. Good luck. -VS