Betting Turf Week 1 Football (Saturday Edition)

Georgia College Football

Betting Turf, By Ts

Gambling sharps (the best gamblers around) are right roughly 57% of the time. That figure sounds low to most. But, in fact, it is a high enough figure to make a living off of. The key to being a sharp is not only picking more winners than losers, but also finding the best lines and odds for your bets. An extra half point here, an extra point there makes a huge difference over the course of a season. Unfortunately, we will not be shopping around for our lines here. And, probably more unfortunate is the fact that I'm no sharp.

With that in mind, and since we will be using SportsInteraction lines all year long on The Betting Turf, let's aim for 53%. If I am right more than I am wrong, I should stay in the black. This should hopefully factor in the vig as well. Oddsmakers take a percentage of all bets, meaning nailing exactly half your bets (assuming equal money is laid down) will not result in the gambler breaking even. They must also cover the juice taken away from each wager.

The first Saturday of the college football season is usually a time of blowouts and cupcakes. This season though, there are a number of intriguing matchups to keep an eye on.


Georgia -1.5

Clemson +1.5

There are a number of sirens and blinking lights going off when I see that Georgia is favored in this battle of top ten teams. First, the line opened at Clemson -2, meaning Vegas' gut said the Tigers were two points better than the Bulldogs. They have since adjusted based on bets coming in on Georgia's side. The second buzzer is that Clemson is at home here and happen to have one of the best home field advantages in the country. Their stadium is nicknamed Death Valley for heaven's sake! They've only lost one home game the last two years combined. The third, and most pressing red flag is courtesy of Georgia. The Bulldogs have simply lost too much on defense to repeat what they did last year. An easy opening game would have been nice to acclimate new players. Instead, they got handed Clemson.


Alabama -20.5

Virginia Tech +20.5

Virginia Tech is one of the main reasons no one gives the ACC credit as a bigtime football conference. The Hokies have lost nearly every out-of-conference big game they've played in recent memory. This includes bowl games, BCS games and these early season power matchups. It was the Sugar Bowl against Michigan in 2011; they lost to Boise State week one of 2010 and the BCS Orange Bowl to Stanford the same season; 2009 Alabama walloped them week one; 2007 was another BCS bowl loss and an early season loss to LSU. The trend continues the further back you go. There is no reason to think this VT team, this team with a quarterback who struggled so mightily a year ago and has no running offense to speak of, will be able to generate anything against the Crimson Tide. Alabama has questions along its offensive line and this line seems high for an upper echelon ACC team but it is not. A three score deficit sounds about right.


Nevada +21

UCLA -21

There is a great deal of buzz surrounding UCLA to start the year. This line is a perfect example of that. The Bruins were solid last season but struggled a bit against the run. This is bad news for UCLA and Coach Mora as the only thing Nevada does well is run the ball. Stefphon Jefferson is one of the best backs in the entire nati....he what? He left school early for the NFL and then went undrafted? Ugh. Okay, well the Bruins are ranked in the top 25 this preseason and it is well deserved. Four of their nine wins last season had margins of at least 21 points. Blowing weaker teams out is not a problem for this school. The buzz should grow after this game.


Bonehead Bet of the Week, AKA: the Stayaway

LSU -4.5

TCU +4.5

The line makes sense. LSU is a bigtime program. TCU is still a mid-major in most people's minds. LSU plays in the SEC and lines often skew towards the conference. But just because the line makes sense does not mean you should bet it. LSU will be away from home with a quarterback that no one is sure they believe in. Meanwhile, TCU looked rather studly last year when Casey Pachall was behind center. Of course those were early contests against weaker foes but do not judge the Horned Frogs on how the rest of their season went. This year's team will more closely resemble the one that started 4-0 over the one that finished 3-6.


2013 Record Against the Spread - 0-0

Sure Thing Locks - 0-0


Will people ignore me and bet on the Bonehead Bet of the Week this week?

Yes, heavy for LSU. TCU gets no respect.