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SPOOKY EXPRESS BOWLING FOR DOLLARS SELECTION AND ANALYSIS THREAD
ITS ALMOST THAT TIME!!!!!!
BOWLING FOR DOLLARS FOR 2012/2013!
SPOOKY EXPRESS AND BOWL SEASON
Many of you know I started posting my bowl game selections over 12 years ago and that is how it all began at the forums.
Never have had a losing bowl season since 1977 and not about to start now. Record speaks for itself.
Have had some unbelievable outstanding seasons and a few average years but always have showed a profit.
This is the only time I truly crunch numbers and play more with the numbers than my head.
Will start posting some opinions in the next few weeks but wanted to get started on all the threads since there is so much work involved. I am just going to make 1 thread for the analysis, write ups, thoughts for each of the games that go along with the rankings and another thread for my game time updates, selections and wagers.
These will once again be MY PLAYS and my opinion. I really dont care if you follow or not. Not looking to debate my selections.
The totals (Over/Unders) will be posted much closer to game time since weather and other developments effect the game.
I will post my power ratings, my dog plays and some money line plays if you care.
Happy Holidays and best of luck. --------------------------------------------------------------
BOWL SELECTIONS, EXPLANATIONS AND SUGGESTIONS
First off, as the odds change so can the selection. Obviously the Best bets will not change dramatically.
Also will play MONEY LINE Parlays with some teams that are favored to win but not cover by much.
You are not going to get a selection for every game, but using some consistency and going with what YOU believe in, will bring home the $$$.
I will post the early recap for some of you that have not followed in years past or like their annual reminder.
As the odds change so can the selection. Obviously the Best bets will not change dramatically.
There will be in the coming weeks more analysis and capping for each game along with some totals (Over/Unders) which will be posted much closer to game time since weather and other developments effect the game.
At the beginning is where I jump on some early lines which stand out and get the best value for the wager. I may completely reverse my thinking as time goes by, but for now I let the numbers do the talking and everyone that has seen or followed Spooky this millennium can corroborate how solid they usually are.
ANYTIME A TEAM IS PICKED TO WIN OUTRIGHT AND ALSO COVER WITH THE POINTS MAKES THEM A PLAY. NO LOOKING BACK, NO THINKING ABOUT IT.
There will also be some live underdogs. So be ready.
These teams are picked to win and they are getting points. Money Line Dogs. Get them while they are hot.
Don’t be afraid when the pointspread moves. It is done so emotionally. QB gets hurt, RB gets suspended, who cares. The points will be adjusted. These selections are not based on 1 or 2 games but an entire season. Remember since 1977 this has not lost.
Just use some judgement and as we get closer the plays will become clearer and Spooky will let you know.
If you like a Pro game, start making small parlays with them on the best bets. By the time game time comes around you should have tons of action on the later games and that creates tons of profit!!!!
Since many ask about the way I mess with the strengths of each play, this is a synopsis of what I do.
I will usually rank them 1 thru 5 smileys with the 4 and 5 smileys very infrequently.
If there is no smiley listed than you can consider that anywhere from an opinion to 1 smiley.
When playing on the totals I will almost always consider it an opinion. For the simple reason that I crunch numbers during bowl season and the side has a value outside of what is my opinion. The total is basically my opinion (which is what I do the remaining months of the year). The total is totally subjective. I usually will make the total play anywhere from 1/4 to 1/2 of the listed play. So if I am playing 300 on a game then the total would be anywhere from 75 to 150 if we were to put a numerical dollar value on it.
Please remember this is what I do, I am not getting paid to determine your money management or what you should be doing. Certainly you can play everything equal or you can follow the smileys. This is just my Bowl Express and sharing with everyone what I am dong for the most part.
Here will be all the team strengths indicating what teams are the strongest plays based solely on the system and based on the current pointspread.
As the odds change so can the selection. There will be more in the coming weeks more analysis and capping for each game along with some totals (Over/Unders) which will be posted much closer to game time since weather and other developments effect the game.
These teams listed here are picked to win and they are getting points. Money Line Dogs.
Here are some we are looking at early on.
Nevada, Ohio, Syracuse, Northwestern and Pittsburghall are dogs that are picked to win outright but not as strong to go balls to the wall at this point other than.....
There are only a few outstanding money line dogs this year but there are a couple more that stand out and will possibly be the play of the year. They will win outright and probably be double digits
These teams are picked to win outright with a significant advantage. Right now is where I jump on some early lines which stand out and get the best value for the wager. I may completely reverse my thinking as time goes by, but for now I let the numbers do the talking.
Utah State -10
Boise State -5
Fresno State -11
Western Kentucky -6
Arkansas State -1
The absolute BEST BETS of the entire Bowl Season are Cincinnati laying the points and Tulsa getting the points.
These 2 games should be parlayed with anything and everything you like in the bowl season and pound the crap out of em.
Also feel strongly about Fresno State and Utah State but hate laying double digits and making it a Bowl Season lock.
If you are looking for a six pack of Best bets then we just add Wisconsin plus the points and Nevada to kick off the bowl season.
These are entirely the best bets and regardless of how many smileys I put down these are the plays of the season. Games come up so quickly during bowl season I dont always have time to come back and update everything and focus on the thread as much as my own plays. :)
NEVADA vs. ARIZONA
Saturday, Dec. 15, 1:00 pm
The first bowl game of the year this year almost certainly won’t be the best one by the time they are all played, but it certainly is an intriguing one. And we can be certain of one thing — it won’t be boring. Nevada isn’t nearly as strong as they have been in recent years, but their offense is still potent and creative. Arizona is well ahead of where they are supposed to be in the first year of a bold and unrecognizable new era, and the Wildcats will be looking to end the year on a high note. Both teams averaged more than 500 yards of offense per game. And defense is a dirty word on both sides, so there is more than a chance that the scoreboard will get worn out in this one.
The Wildcats finished at 7-5. They looked great at times and miserable at others, and they were generally tough to predict — as their 6-6 ATS record suggests. They had great wins over Oklahoma State and USC and took Stanford to overtime, but then they lost 49-0 to Oregon, didn’t show up against UCLA in a 66-10 massacre, and were not at their best against weak Arizona State — their biggest rival. They changed absolutely everything about their program this year, and they were short on talent, so the struggles with consistency aren’t a real surprise or a major concern at this point. Coach Rich Rodriguez is in his first year with the Wildcats.
The Wolf Pack were also 7-5 this season, but they were an ugly 3-9 ATS. Their issue wasn’t with consistency but with stamina. They started very strong, with a 6-1 record through seven games, and the loss coming by just a single point. But then the schedule got tougher, the wheels fell off, and they lost four of their last five. Those losses came against San Diego State, Air Force, Fresno State and Boise State. Their biggest win was against Cal in the opener. Head coach Chris Ault is in his 25th year with the program and his 12th since the team moved to Division I. He’s a strong coach with an innovative system, but he is just plain lousy in bowl games. He is just 2-7 in his career, and he has dropped five of his last six.
Will there be a touchdown on every possession? - It’s quite possible that the last team to touch the ball in this one will win. Nevada is 11th in the country in total yards and seventh in rushing yards. Nevada’s defensive numbers are slightly better at first glance. However, their level of competition is worse, so they are probably generous. Perhaps the biggest lock in this game is that there will be more than 1,000 yards of total offense. If there wasn’t then that would count as a massive upset.
Will the break help Nevada? - The biggest problem Nevada had was that they just weren’t good enough against strong competition. They also got tired — more mentally than physically — as the season progressed, and their issues were exposed. Now they will have two weeks between their last game and their bowl game. It’s the shortest possible break in bowl season, but will it be enough for this team to regroup, refresh, and get focused on this opponent? Or will the mistakes and issues that have haunted them the last two months stick with them? If Nevada doesn’t find a way to tighten up and prepare for this one fully then they will be in trouble — even while facing a defense as bad as Arizona’s.
Nevada just hasn’t faced a very strong schedule this year, and they have struggled against the best of it. Arizona, meanwhile, has played a pretty respectable slate of Pac-12 opponents. They haven’t all gone well, but they will gain from that experience. Rich Rodriguez also has more to gain from a big game here because he’s building his foundation for the future. That all said after looking over this game I just dont see Arizona getting up for this game and giving more than a touchdown just is too many points. I never like coming out in the first game of Bowl Season with a really strong play anyway and the numbers point to Nevada, suprisingly. And I really feel the money will be coming in on Nevada and when everyone else zigs I always zag. I think Nevada has a shot at an upset win but more important I really see this game coming down to a touchdown game and worse case a backdoor cover is very much within reason if any of my logic is wrong. Lets go with an upset right out of the box and Nevada winning by a field goal. As we are almost at the start of bowl season, also going to get started with a play on the total for the game. Just going to be a lot of scoring in this game and wouldnt be surprised if this becomes a fun game to watch. Dont forget this is a MONEYLINE DOG. So big odds if you want to follow the express.
UTAH STATE vs. TOLEDO
Saturday, Dec. 15, 4:30 pm
The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl features the Toledo Rockets and Utah State Aggies squaring off. Toledo began the 2012 campaign blistering hot at 8-1 with a season opening loss to Arizona marring perfection. However, just when the Rockets were looking like the team to beat in the MAC West, back to back defeats to Northern Illinois and Ball State left Toledo in the third spot of the division. When this team is clicking the points flow with the offense with equally strong running and passing attacks. For the offense to be effective, quarterback Terrance Owens has to make throws and limit mistakes. Owens has a pair of quality receivers to lean on. The ground game is Doug Fluellen. The defense gave up over 27 points including 295 yards in the air but actually kept the scoreboard manageable despite giving up 463 yards per contest.
Utah State had showed positive signs the past few years but really burst on to the scene in 2012. The Aggies are literally a few plays from being unbeaten with a two point loss to Wisconsin and a three point defeat to Brigham Young. What makes this team so dangerous is they can score and defend with just about anyone. The success of this offense has been the emergence of Chuckie Keaton. Kerwynn Williams and Matt Austin were almost interchangable receivers but Keaton had a bunch of receivers with at least 23 receptions.
For me this game boils down to defense because both teams can score but Utah State has the ability to to more stops than Toledo. I still hate laying the big number but I like teams that can get it done on the defensive side of the football. I see Utah State winning easily in this game by more than 3 touchdowns. Once again I will update this matchup closer to kickoff with any changes, write up, thoughts and final determination.
BYU vs. SAN DIEGO STATE
Thursday, Dec. 20, 8:00 pm
The San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl is a game that doesn’t get a lot of attention since it is typically played on a weeknight before Christmas. This is the eighth year of the modern era of this bowl, though, and at least five of the previous seven games have been more than just a little interesting. In fact, last year’s TCU victory over Louisiana Tech was one of the more enjoyable games of the whole bowl season. This year’s matchup features former Mountain West rivals and two teams that have uncertain futures. BYU went independent, but it is flirting with again joining a conference — including perhaps the Mountain West again. San Diego State is slated to head to the Big East next year, but that move is less certain now that the Big East is falling apart. We don’t know what the future of this matchup holds, but for now it should offer a pretty compelling game.
San Diego State finished at 9-3 to wind up third in the Mountain West, and they were a strong 8-4 ATS. The three losses were all respectable — at Washington and Fresno State and to Washington. Their best wins were at Boise State and at Nevada. Coach Rocky Long is in his second year with the program.
The BYU Cougars came in with much higher hopes than the 7-5 record they wound up with. They were even worse ATS at 6-6. Their problem was consistency. They won their first two games, then lost two, then won two, then lost two, then won two before a loss and a win to cap the season. With the exception of Utah the losses were all quality — at Boise State, Notre Dame, and San Jose State, and at home to Oregon State. Utah State and at Georgia Tech were their best wins. Coach Bronco Mendenhall is in his eighth year at BYU.
Can San Diego State run? The Aztecs success depends more on their ability to run than anything else. They face a massive challenge here, though — BYU is second in the country in run defense in giving up a paltry 84.2 yards per game. The Broncos are stronger against the pass than the Aztecs are at passing as well, so the Aztecs really need to rely on their strength and try to establish their run early here. It’s going to be a very tough challenge. No other matchup will have a bigger impact on this game than this one.
BYU gets the nod from me for two big reasons — they are going to contain San Diego State on the ground, and Mendenhall is the better coach who will have more tricks to rely on. This will be a tight defensive battle, and a field goal could easily decide it, so I wouldn’t want to give up more than three points, but at this price I’m in. I see BYU winning this game by a little more than a touchdown. With game time later today I am liking BYU more and more and since we have been on them for 3 weeks now I will press it up a bit but will be taking the moneyline since I dont see that many points being scored. The total would probably be best used in a teaser but for anyone looking for a pick on the total I have an opinion on the Under.
BALL STATE vs. CENTRAL FLORIDA
Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 pm
While this bowl game has one of the strangest names of any of the contests, there's no doubt that we will see two really good football teams. Both Central Florida and Ball State won nine games this year and the winner will get the rare opportunity to finish the season with double digit victories. Pretty impressive for each team. On Central Florida's side of things, we see that the Knights finished with a 7-1 record overall in Conference USA and lost in the title game to Tulsa. The Golden Hurricanes clearly had UCF's number this season, giving the Knights two of their four losses overall on the season. Their other two losses were to Ohio State and Missouri. The Knight's defense was pretty solid on the season overall. A fairly balanced squad, the Knights did a great job of keeping opposing defenses from being able to shut them down as they were consistent all season.
Ball State finished with a 6-2 record overall in the MAC this season, dropping games to Northern Illinois and Kent State — the two best teams in the entire league. The Cardinals had a very productive season in non-conference as well, with the only loss on the schedule coming at Clemson early in the year. Ball State closed the year with six straight wins, four of which came on the road. The Cardinals can score points at 35 per game, but playing in the MAC tends to inflate defensive numbers as the squad gave up more than 31 points per game this season, which ranked 91st in the country.
UCF will want to stop Ball State's ability to run the football effectively. Sure, they can move it around the field via the pass, but Ball State has won nine games this season by being a team that pounds the rock. Ball State relies heavily on their rushing attack, and if the Cardinals can watch film on what Tulsa was able to do against Central Florida they may be in good shape here or get a back door cover. These two teams are even when it comes to quarterback play, but Central Florida has more weapons at wide receiver. The game is in Florida, so it may feel like a home game for Central Florida. This is just a small play right now, I’ll roll with Central Florida to win this game by about 10 points. Expect a good one here in St. Pete. Also adding the Over as a play in the game. Remember the side is worth 2-3 times as much as the total so each unit with the side is really a 3 unit play while the total is just a 1 or 2 unit play.
UL LAFAYETTE vs. EAST CAROLINA
Saturday, Dec. 22, 12:00 pm
Lafayette will be playing virtually a home game where they were 5-1 this year. The Cajuns strangled four of five visitors by 21 plus points. ECU was 3-3 on the road. Louisiana Lafayette has to be happy to be back here at the New Orleans Bowl for the second straight year. The team was able to win its first every bowl game last year in this venue, and now, it is going to be back with a chance to do it for the second straight year. The Cajuns won eight games, but perhaps their most notable game came when they were beaten by the Florida Gators in a game that could have been had over the SEC reps. Meanwhile, East Carolina made very few mistakes in Conference USA this year, but the one loss that the team had to UCF on the road took it out of the C-USA title game. It’s a nice consolation prize to be in a bowl game that is relatively close to home.
Im very familiar with the Sun Belt conference since my son went to one of the schools in the conference here in Florida. ULL will look to dominate physically when they can and they always keep the pressure on with some trick plays thrown in.ly sprinkled with trick plays. They have a big bad running back and I cant see East Carolina being able to dominate ULL physically. Their rush defense numbers are decent,but if they load the box then ULL will throw the ball downfield with a bunch of guys that have made big plays all year long. Louisiana-Lafayette should beat East Carolina playing in their backyard, and I have ULL winning this game by a touchdown. We played this game a couple weeks ago when the line was only 4 points. Will pop in tomorrow with anything on the total but leaning towards the over.
UL LAFAYETTE -4
UL LAFAYETTE/EAST CAROLINA OVER 68 POINTS
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WASHINGTON vs. BOISE STATE
Saturday, Dec. 22, 3:30 pm
It’s a preview of next year’s season opener (in Seattle) for Washington and Boise State. Washington played one of the nation’s toughest schedules this season, with five games against Top-11 teams. The Huskies won two of them, beating Pac-12 champ Stanford and Oregon State. But UW was routed at LSU and at Oregon and lost by 10 to Southern Cal. It looked like the team was hitting its stride at the end with four wins in a row, but the Huskies suffered a head-scratching season-ending 31-28 overtime loss to a very bad Washington State team, blowing a 28-10 fourth-quarter lead in the Apple Cup. Both starting quarterbacks have had their struggles this season.
Boise State and Washington have met once. They will play there again on Aug. 31, 2013, in the newly-renovated Husky Stadium. The two schools do have one common opponent for this year: San Diego State.
Joe Southwick of Boise was tasked with filling the huge shoes of Moore. The Broncos ranked 80th in the nation in passing. Sixth-year running back D.J. Harper did well.. He is the 12th player in school history to record a 1,000-yard season and it is the fourth straight year Boise State has had a 1,000-yard rusher. The Broncos have lost just 15 turnovers all season and rank fourth in the nation in turnover margin.
Keith Price is one of the better quarterbacks in Washington history but has been up-and-down in his junior season. He threw at least one pick in every loss and was intercepted on the first play of overtime against Wazzu. Price enters the bowl with 53 career touchdown passes. He needs three touchdown passes to break Cody Pickett's career record at Washington.
Price has one of the nation’s top tight ends in Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Sophomore running back Bishop Sankey capably replaced Chris Polk this season. Price and Co. face a Boise State defense that ranked sixth nationally in allowing 14.9 points per game, No. 7 in pass efficiency defense and No. 9 in total. And those numbers kind of make it hard to go against Boise.
I think it’s fair to say that Boise State has the defensive edge, especially against the pass. Opposing quarterbacks have two touchdown passes with 16 interceptions. But the Huskies have clearly superior talent on offense even though Washington scored more than 21 points just four times all season. The Huskies should be very dangerous next year, but I honestly have no clue which team shows up here: the one that gagged against the Cougars and was destroyed by Arizona or the one that outphysicaled a very physical Stanford team. At this point everyone is jumping on Washington and I look at the numbers and they show Boise winning by 2 touchdowns. So lets get Coach Peterson to bring his boys another bowl vicotry. Leaning towards the under as well but really only an opinion.
BOISE STATE -4
BOISE STATE/WASHINGTON UNDER 45 points (Opinion)
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