Beating Vegas: Bowl Season, Part Three

Here it is folks, the last installment of Beating Vegas, until next season.  We had one tremendous year here at Beating Vegas, and we hope you were entertained along the way as you were pocketing money from our College Football locks, week after week.  Here goes the rest of the College Bowl game picks against the spread. . .

Liberty Bowl: TCU vs Georgia

This game is set as a “pick” and for good reason.  Both of these squads show little to no separation in the their points scored to points allowed ratios and both have a tendency to not show up what-so-ever at times.  Both were projected to make strides and both disappointed thoroughly.

The Pick: The Under at 48.5

Sun Bowl: UNC +3 vs Stanford

Stanford’s star running back Christian McCaffrey is sitting this one out to prepare for the upcoming NFL draft, while UNC’s star QB Mitch Trubisky is playing this game to prove he can be a first round talent in the upcoming draft.  And while Trubisky would have to look ridiculously bad to not get drafted at-least in the second round (due to a generally weak QB class. . .) it’s wide-out Ryan Switzer who Stanford should be concerned with.  Switzer has notched over 1,000 receiving yards and is nine catches shy of 100 for the year.  Stanford’s pass defense has looked okay this year, but against the two best passing offenses they faced all year (Washington and Washington State), the Cardinal lost both in blow out fashion.   Stanford’s best weapon is gone, it’s been a season to forget and they are going up against a strong aerial attack in UNC, with players looking to prove they deserve high draft consideration in a few months.   Take the points and the motivation.

The Pick: UNC +3

Arizona Bowl: South Alabama +13 vs Air Force

Air Force is a favorite here at “Beating Vegas.”  Their running game is amazing and that’s all they usually need to keep teams in check or be great as double digit underdogs.  This year they go up against South Alabama, who brings a rush defense that allows 4.9 yards a carry, and a pass defense that allows only 15 completions a game.  Going against an Air Force team that rushes at 5 yards a carry and completes only 5 passes a game, this South Alabama team will be able to sell out and blitz most of the day and keep the wide outs of Air Force in single coverage.  It will be an uneventful game for the most part, but South Alabama will be playing hard and will keep it close.

The Pick: South Alabama +13

Orange Bowl: Florida State +6.5 vs Michigan

In what is usually hostile territory for Florida State, playing in Miami may be a home-field advantage for the Seminoles, who’s fans will certainly find their way within the state to get tickets to the Orange Bowl.  Florida State had a disappointing season and even then, they put up 35 points a game and won 9 games in the competitive ACC.  The Seminoles have won six of their last seven games and were able to put up 45 and 31 points against tough defenses like Boston College and Florida, respectively.  Michigan’s calling card all year has been their defense, which allowed 12.5 points per game and were well above average in rush and pass defenses.  Michigan’s offense has been actually better than advertised, but it could be a product of the defense putting the offense in great position. . . Michigan doesn’t have the fire-power on offense though to get passed the athleticism of the Florida State defense, and Florida State does not have the strength up front to go four quarters against Michigan. . .

The Pick: the Under at 52.5

Citrus Bowl: LSU -3 vs Louisville

This actually might be one of the better bowl match-ups and this one is all about the key word in bowl season: “motivation.”  NGSC’s own Kyle Nash will be in Orlando, Florida on New Year’s Eve covering the event (follow him on twitter @TheSOTG).  It’s there where Mr. Nash, will see first hand, Heisman trophy winner Lamar Jackson take on an LSU defense that holds opponents to 3.4 yards a carry and less than 55% completion percentage.  Louisville was able to handle Boston College and Wake Forest defenses with no problem, then lost in back to back games against Houston and rival Kentucky.  Pound for pound Bobby Petrino is a better coach than Ed Ogeron, but Petrino is the type that will look passed an opponent and not care much about this bowl game, considering where his team was position earlier this year.  LSU is a handful, and even with running back Leonard Fournette sitting this one out, Derrius Guice has been their guy – rushing for 8 yards a carry, rushing for over 1200 yards and totaling 14 touchdowns.  LSU’s attack is pretty one dimensional, but they come to play every week, where Louisville has proven this season to not – even in games that matter like the one against Houston. . .

The Pick: LSU -3

Taxslayer Bowl: Kentucky +3 vs Georgia Tech

Can’t understand why anyone would be motivated to play in the Taxslayer Bowl, but Kentucky’s win over Louisville to end the season may have them on an incredible high coming into this one.  Georgia Tech runs at 5.5 yards a carry and Kentucky’s defense allows 5.1 – this would tell the story that Georgia Tech should plod along all day against the Wildcats and they should. But the same could be said the other way around as well. . . There is just nothing for Georgia Tech in this game, they’d rather be preparing for next semester’s classes than play in this bowl game.

The Pick: Kentucky +3

Outback Bowl: Iowa +3 vs Florida

The over/under in this game is set at 40.5 which should tell you the kind of chances both of these offenses have at scoring against each other.  Florida has the better athletes and the speed to tear the corners off of Iowa.  All Florida needs is two big plays to win this, and Iowa won’t get any.

The Pick: Florida -3

Cotton Bowl: Western Michigan +7.5 vs Wisconsin

The thing to look for in this game is that if Wisconsin falls behind early, they DO NOT have the offense to keep up with Western Michigan.  Western Michigan went undefeated this year and went completely snubbed by the poll-voters.  Going undefeated and beating a team that many love for their tenacity in Wisconsin will go a long way for this program.  Wisconsin showed against Penn State in the Big 10 championship game how suspect they looked against the deep pass, and Western Michigan has a quarterback in Zach Terrell who is one of the best in the nation (70.8 completion percentage, 32 touchdowns, 3 interceptions and throws for 260 yards a game).

The Pick: Western Michigan +7.5

Rose Bowl: USC -6.5 vs Penn State

Interesting match up here as Penn State stands at #5 in the rankings, literally on the outside, looking in at the College Football Playoff and USC was arguably the second best team in college football once they made a change at the quarterback position.  Last time these two played each other in the Rose Bowl was in 2009 and Penn State lost 38-24.  That score doesn’t even put into perspective how USC really controlled the game from start to finish.  USC is a stout team from front to back, and with quarterback Sam Donald, the expectations for them next season should be the College Football Playoff.  For Penn State, it’s been a fun and inspiring season of a program pulling themselves out of the darkness and back into the college football world as a legit tradition again.  There is something stirring in Penn State’s future, but for now, lets not get ahead of ourselves.

The Pick: USC -6.5

Sugar Bowl: Auburn +3 vs Oklahoma

Nothing says “Sugar Bowl” like an Auburn verse Oklahoma match-up.  No, that is not sarcasm, that is the truth.  Because it is the “Sugar Bowl” the players from these two regions know the history and tradition behind it.  Oklahoma is where most of the money will go and the over/under at 63.5 tells you that Vegas expects this one to be close and high scoring.  This is the type of game to just stay away from at all costs.  Sometimes the smartest play is no play at all and here I’m waving the white flag.

The Pick: stay away

Playoff Semi-Final: Ohio State -3 vs Clemson

Both of these teams have been highly disappointing this season.  Which is weird to say because they are both in the college football playoff.  But for Urban Meyers Buckeyes, they can say all they want about what kind of leader J.T. Barrett is at quarterback, but the truth is, his decision making has been a hindrance at times.  The same can be said for Heisman candidate Deshaun Watson and his Clemson Tigers, who would’ve had a perfect season if not for a one point loss against Pitt. Whoever wins this game is going to get destroyed by Alabama when it’s all said and done so ultimately this game doesn’t matter – but for these two coaches, Urban Meyer of Ohio State and Dabo Sweeney of Clemson – one is looking to add to his already legendary status, while another is trying to get back into a Championship position which he let slip away last year.   This game is a legit flip-of-the-coin and for that reason, go with the Tigers.

The Pick: Clemson +3

Playoff Semi-Final: Alabama -14 vs Washington

Chris Peterson of Washington has been one of the most influential and consistent coaches of the last decade.  For all of those years at Boise State being snubbed by the BCS to get a shot in the Championship Game or by a loss that derailed the Boise State Broncos’ season – he has made it, with the Washington Huskies.  He has made it, that is, with a shot at the title.  Unfortunately for him, he is playing against one of Nick Saban’s best teams in Alabama.   14 points seems like a lot for a Washington team that puts up 44.5 points per game, but this Bama team allows 11 and puts up 40 of their own on average. . . I said for the last month the only team in college football that can go head to head with Alabama is USC, and the Trojans ended up beating Washington 26-13.  The Washington offensive line will be dominated.

The Pick: Alabama -14

Bonus: Alabama at the moment is -350 to win it all, while the field is +250.   You should know where I’m “rolling” with this one. . .


Good Luck and Wager Wisely — once again thank you for coming to Beating Vegas week after week.  See you guys next season!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Bowl Season, Part Two

The start to this Bowl Season has had the underdogs, not only covering, but winning – told you all from the start – Bowl Games are a totally different animal.  The motivation factor is huge for these teams.


Independence Bowl: Vanderbilt +4.5 vs N.C. State

N.C. State is a team that kind of meddles around the middle of the pack, will fight hard against good teams and look decent against the bad ones.  Vanderbilt is a defensive team, who seemed to hit their stride with impressive victories over Ole Miss and Tennessee to close out the season.   Both teams had to beat a rival in order to become bowl eligible so the “motivation” factor is there for the 6-6 teams.  Vandy became a very well balanced offense towards the end of the year.  N.C. State has shown they can stop the run (best in the A.C.C allowing only 3.2 yards a rush) but let opponents complete 60% of their passes against them.   N.C. State’s offensive front may have an issue with the talented Vandy defense though.

The Pick: Vanderbilt +4.5

Heart of Dallas Bowl: Army -10 vs North Texas

North Texas is a huge home dog for all things considered but it’s for good reason.  Army should have no problem running against the Mean Green, and they are in the bottom three of every offensive statistical category in Conference USA.  North Texas has 5 wins this season and for all things considered shouldn’t even have a bowl game appearance. The Army boys always play focused and should win this one by 20.

The Pick: Army -10

Military Bowl: Wake Forest +11.5 vs Temple

With the crazy story coming out about the Wake Forest commentator selling team secrets to teams within the conference, who knows what kind of mind-state this team will be in.  Wake has had a pretty impressive defense this year though allowing only 21.8 ppg in a very offensively diverse ACC Conference.  Temple has been impressive all year, and in their last five games allowed only 33 points in total (pitching two shut outs in the process).

The Pick: The under at 40.5

Cactus Bowl: Baylor +7.5 vs Boise State

This one should be fun to watch.  The over/under is set at 67 and this is the kind of game where we may get 50 by halftime.  The issue here is that Baylor just wants this season to be over and done with and Boise State may be deflated still from losing to Air Force (they just can’t seem to get over THAT hump year after year) and playing in the Cactus Bowl might be a let down – yes a team from the WAC can have a “let down.”  Boise is a proud place though so one would think they’d wanna out-duel another high octane offense.  Baylor runs the ball extremely well and Boise is average at best against the run.  Jeremy McNichols at Boise is an absolute beast who has rushed for over 1600 yards this year and Baylor’s rush defense which allows 5.1 yards a carry will have their hands full.

The Pick:  Baylor +7.5 OR just roll with that over of 67

Pinstripe Bowl:  Northwestern +5.5 vs Pittsburgh

Love this Bowl Game for one reason and one reason only: It’s played every year in my hometown – THE Bronx, New York.  My friend Rob asked if I wanted to go this year, I thought about it and said “I don’t care who wins this game.  I don’t care who loses this game.  So, no.” With that being said, Northwestern’s wins came all against bad competition – except for Duke, we’ll show the Blue Devils props for a second. . . Pitt running back James Conner has rushed for over a thousand yards this year and added 15 rushing touchdowns to his stat sheet this season.  Pitt is a team that got an early win over Rose Bowl invitee  and Big 10 Champ, Penn State and won in a shootout against Clemson who finds themselves in the College Football Playoff.  Pitt should win this one by a touchdown, but it’s Pitt, so you’ll definitely sweat it out for no reason.

The Pick: Pittsburgh -5.5

Russell Athletic Bowl: West Virginia  +2.5 vs Miami Florida

Talk about two teams that sound exciting on paper but never show up to big games.  Miami won four in a row.  Then lost four in a row. Then won four in a row again.  If we were to predict a pattern, that means Miami should lose this game.  But that’s just silly.  Right?  Eh. . . Both teams are pretty even on the defensive and offensive side of the ball, but we’re talking about Mark Richt, the coach of the Hurricanes here.  In his whole career Richt couldn’t win a game that meant anything.  In terms of recruiting, this game means a lot for Richt, so he’ll lose.

The Pick: West Virginia +2.5

Fosters Farm Bowl: Indiana +7 vs Utah

This is one of those games that Utah does NOT want to be in.  They are well coached and have a lot of talent but expect them to underestimate Indiana.  As they should.  Indiana hasn’t beaten anybody good all year and in order to stand a chance against Utah, they are going to have to get rid of the ball quickly.  Utah may sleep walk in this one because they SHOULD walk in here and dominate and because of that, Indiana should cover.

The Pick: Indiana +7

Texas Bowl: Kansas State +2 vs Texas A&M

Texas A&M was once ranked as a top team in College Football, then the pressure became too much for them.  They lost 3 of their last 4 as well, with their one win being a struggle of sorts to UTSA. . .  Kansas State is the same team every year, it doesn’t matter who they get or lose – better than average team that never has a chance to win the Pac-12. . .

The Pick: The Over at 56

Birmingham Bowl: South Florida -10 vs South Carolina

South Carolina is awful.

The Pick: South Florida -10

Belk Bowl: Arkansas +7 vs Virginia Tech

Quiet as kept, Virginia Tech has had a very good season and mostly because of their quarterback Jerod Evans.  Evans has thrown at a 63% completion rate and over 3300 yards, and has run for 759 yards.  His total touchdown number is at 37, and he faces an Arkansas defense that allows 30 points per game.  Arkansas puts up the same on offense pretty much, and that’s never really a recipe for success, but “success” is a winning season and it has them at 7-5.  This game means something to Evans, who knows scouts will be keeping an eye on the junior QB. . .

The pick: Virginia Tech -7

Alamo Bowl: Oklahoma State +3 vs Colorado

Watching Colorado and understanding that “a win is a win” — eh, they are just not impressive to watch.  OK State has been better than OK for most of the year, but the disappointing showing verse Oklahoma to finish off the year left a nasty taste in the Cowboys’ mouths.  Coach Mike Gundy is one of the better motivators in the country and he should have his guys psyched in this match up.  The Cowboys have too much talent on the offensive side of the ball, Colorado won’t be able to keep up.

The Pick: Oklahoma State +3


Those are some of the picks — we’ll return next week with the THIRD segment of the Bowl Games!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio


Bowl Season, Part One

It’s finally “Bowl Season” in college football.  Beating Vegas has had a tremendous year against the spread and we are hoping to continue the winning streak.  Bowl Season is a tricky animal though.  Some new head coaches/coordinators are thrown into the mix, some players who are looking to protect themselves for the draft play a little more cautiously, and some teams are just disappointed in the Bowl Game they are playing in.  Motivation means a lot in bowl season – sometimes even more than the match ups themselves.  Proceed with caution. . .


New Mexico Bowl:  Texas San Antonio +7 vs New Mexico

Texas San Antonio is here because of weak scheduling.  New Mexico is actually a pretty good team that gets overshadowed in a conference that has Boise State, San Diego State, Air Force and Wyoming.  New Mexico’s one dimensional offense will be enough to overtake a San Antonio defense that is average at best against less-than-average competition.

The Pick: New Mexico -7

Las Vegas Bowl: Houston -3.5 vs San Diego State


Houston’s dream season was shot down at the mid-way point and they looked like a team uninterested in football until they had to play against Louisville.  For Tom Herman, it’s a dream year as he lands the big job and big pay-day at Texas.  Major Applewhite has been promoted to head coach, so the style of play will remain the same.   San Diego has a great rushing attack, but this Houston defense is allowing less than three yards a carry on the year.  Because the change-of-the-guard isn’t a shock to the culture at Houston, they should play motivated and want to get a win for one of their own in Applewhite.

The Pick: Houston -3.5

Citrus Bowl: Arkansas State +5.5 vs Central Florida

Pretty good match-up here in a bowl game nobody cares about really.  Isn’t Citrus a bit too close to Orange – except without all the fan fare?

The Pick: Central Florida -5.5

Camellia Bowl: Appalachian State -1 vs Toledo

Appalachian State runs the ball at forty-four times a game and averages 5.6 yards a carry, while Toledo lets up 4.7 on the ground per carry.  Toledo has a ridiculous pass attack which completes passes at a nearly 70% completion rate.  Sit back and just watch both defenses struggle.

The Pick: the over at 57.5

New Orleans Bowl: Southern Mississippi -4 vs Louisiana Lafayette

Southern Mississippi was looking to have a decent season until they dropped three of their last four and their offensive attack seemed to play sluggish in the late going.  Southern Miss, on paper is the better tea, but this is basically a home bowl game for Lafayette and their defense should be up to the challenge in this one.

The Pick: Louisiana Lafayette +4

Miami Beach Bowl: Central Michigan +11.5 vs Tulsa

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This game is interesting and it has nothing to do with the teams involved.  With all the college football teams in the state of Florida you would think at least ONE of them would get selected to go to this bowl game but nah.  This game is also played at Marlins Park, so this will be yet another nearly-empty crowd in attendance.  Central Michigan’s biggest moment this year was a hail-mary-type play which should’ve never happened to beat Oklahoma State and Tulsa’s biggest moment is when they were picked by me to cover against Ohio State by about 30 points and decided to not show up.  Tell you what though, they only scored 3 against Ohio State, but scored at least 35 points in every other game this season.  Tulsa has had six wins this year by 20 or more points and although Central Michigan is a team that does not quit, they played another team with a powerful offense in Western Michigan and couldn’t stop anything.  Tulsa will give up points to Central Michigan, but winning by two touchdowns is definitely a possibility.

The Pick: Tulsa -11.5

Boca Raton Bowl: Memphis +5 vs Western Kentucky

The over/under in this game is 79. . . insane.  But if you’ve watched these two teams play, especially in their last games, it’s definitely a possibility.  Because of that, go against the majority who haven’t watched them all year.  Western Kentucky can make some stops – “some stops” will be “just enough” to keep this game under.

The Pick: the under at 79

Poinsettia Bowl: BYU -8.5 vs Wyoming

This is what we call a “disrespect-game.”  Wyoming hasn’t been on anybody’s radar this year and BYU, although for an independent, challenge themselves throughout the year – pretty much get the benefit of the doubt in this one, just because of the name.  BYU has a tough nosed defense, but the speed of Wyoming may be a problem.  Against better competition, BYU’s win margin was within a single digit – factor that with Wyoming being a “better competition” type of team, I’ll roll the dice and take the points.

The Pick: Wyoming +8.5

Idaho Potato Bowl: Colorado State -13.5 vs  Idaho

You look at it as a home game for Idaho as a 13.5 point dog and think to yourself “Gotta take the home team,” – right?  Eh, Colorado’s defense has been pretty average this season, but pretty average is pretty impressive considering some of the offenses in the Mountain West conference.  Colorado’s air-attack is their strength, 60% completion, 24 touchdown passes to 5 picks – it’ll be tough for Idaho’s weak secondary that allows a completion percentage of 63% and 270 yards a game to it’s opposition.

The Pick: Colorado State -13.5

Bahamas Bowl: Eastern Michigan +4 vs Old Dominion

Nothing screams “Bahamas” more than a football game between a bunch of kids from Michigan and the good boys of Old Dominion.  Eastern Michigan has an average rush defense going against an Old Dominion running game that gets 5 yards a clip.  Old Dominion’s passing game is a lot more controlled than Eastern Michigan – the more disciplined team will come out on top –

The Pick: Old Dominion -4

Armed Forces Bowl: Louisiana Tech -4.5 vs Navy


Navy has to be the most confusing team in college football.  One week, they look like world beaters and the next they play some really uninspired football.  Of course Navy’s run attack is a thing of beauty averaging 5.8 yards a carry, and they’ll go head to head against an athletic Louisiana Tech defense that only allows 3.7 yards per rush.  Quarterback Ryan Higgins leads the Bulldogs’ offense which is ranked 7th in passing yards, in the nation.  Navy expected more from this season and for Louisiana Tech, this is a game that should garner them the respect they deserve this year.

The Pick: Louisiana Tech -4.5

Dollar General Bowl: Ohio University +4  vs Troy

Very good match up of two teams that play both sides of the ball pretty well.   They’re defenses are good for where they play though – the Mac and the Sun Belt.

The Pick: the over at 49

St Petersburg Bowl: Miami (Ohio) +13 vs Mississippi State

If a team from the SEC plays a team from the MAC – they should be winning the game by AT LEAST 20 points.  That’s just what I think, so whatever.

The Pick: Mississippi State -13

Quick Lane Bowl: Maryland -1 vs Boston College

The ACC offers some of the best offenses in football, half of it’s teams average over 33 points a game.  Even with that, Boston College’s defense remained one of the most impressive.  They finished number one in the ACC in total yards allowed per game (310) and finished second in the ACC in yards allowed per rush (3.3).  Maryland is a team that lost 6 of its last 8 games and only beat up on teams they could run against.  This team can really go either way when it’s all said and done, which is why the spread is where it’s at.

The Pick: Boston College +1


We’ll be back soon, with Part 2.  This is enough for your minds to fester on for a while though.

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio



Beating Vegas: Army-Navy

Last week “Beating Vegas” went two out of three – still above 60% for the year.  This week, with only one college game, the classic “Army-Navy Game,” we’re going to have to try our hand with some NFL action as well.  The system has been working all year at “Beating Vegas” – keep winning with us!


Army +6.5 vs  Navy (game played in Baltimore)

At 60-49-7, Navy is the all time leader in this rivalry, which has them owning the Black Knights since 2002. Yikes.  Last season, Beating Vegas won this game by telling folks to take the under and this year the over/under is  set at 47.  In the last four years, the highest the point total has gone up to is 41 (we should note, that the two years prior total was at 48).   The reason for this is that these two programs run similar offenses and the playbook for these teams haven’t changed for, maybe, decades.  There is also “honor” in this rivalry, so “running up the score” won’t occur much either.  The rushing statistics for both of these squads are impressive and nearly identical, except in touchdowns where Navy has scored 54 on the ground, compared to Army’s 37.  Statistically, it would appear that Army’s defense is superior to Navy’s but let’s chill out for a second – Navy has a REAL college football schedule.  Navy is in an AAC Conference that was quite impressive this year.  The Midshipmen had  impressive back to back wins against two bowl eligible teams in Houston and Memphis.  Navy has had to rely on their offense to pull them through some tough competition, while Army beat up on Morgan State and Lafayette.  They both lost in similar fashion to Air Force, Army beat Temple, Temple beat Navy, Navy beat Notre Dame and Notre Dame beat Army — what does this tell you?  Nothing.  There are no stats to help gauge where to go with this one.  Smart money has Navy still winning this game and keeping the streak alive.  On a side note, both teams will be sporting some really sick jerseys for the game.  Seriously.


The Pick: the under at 47


Denver Broncos +1 at Tennessee Titans


What is this?  An NFL game?  How’d this happen?  This one has Marcus Mariota squaring off against one of the best defenses in the NFL, in the Denver Broncos.  If you’re expecting excitement – don’t.  Although, Marcus Mariota is having an impressive season so far, IF the Titans win this game, it will have very little to do with the former Oregon Duck.  The only way to beat tough defenses like this is to run the ball.  The Titans have the means to do it behind this offensive line and Demarco Murray. Murray has cracked the one-thousand yard rushing mark this year and is doing it at a rate of 4.6 yards per carry.  His back up Derrick Henry, hasn’t been used as much as many thought he’d be used this year, but when he comes in the yards per carry only drop by a tenth. . . For all the talk of Denver’s defense, they are giving up 4.2 yards a rush, pretty average by NFL standards; but they’ve allowed the fewest passing yards this year and they hold teams to a 55.3% completion rate which is best in the league.  Considering that the Titans don’t have the most elite wide outs in the world, as mentioned earlier, Mariota will have his struggles.   The Broncos offense has talent but is a struggle due to their quarterback position, regardless if it’s Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

The Pick: the under at 43.5

Atlanta Falcons -6 at L.A. Rams


The Falcons had a taste of one of the NFL’s best teams last week (yes, the Chiefs ARE legit) and it was two Matt Ryan interceptions that ultimately costed them the game.   Even with that, Ryan has the best QB Rating in the league (among those who played more than 8 games. . .) and is having an MVP caliber season so far.  The Los Angeles Rams. . . are pretty much awful.  They have the NFL’s worst offense and have a rookie starting at quarterback who looks like one of the worse rookies we’ve seen start at quarterback.  Jared Goff may get lucky this week though as he’s squaring off against the worst pass defense in the league.  Teams have figured out the Rams though.  Stack the box, force their rookie quarterback to make throws to his average receivers.  Atlanta has a lot to prove and this is a soft landing spot after a tough loss.  Take this spread now before it finds it’s way to -9 before kickoff.

The Pick: The Falcons -6

Seattle Seahawks -2.5 at Green Bay Packers


Admittedly, these are two teams and two quarterbacks I personally do-not-like – BUT – for the sake of making some coin, let’s take a look here.  Both team’s have no offense line and both defenses like to blitz.  Both quarterbacks like to throw on the run, and both offenses are plugging different guys at the running back position.  Seattle won’t get the calls they usually get in Green Bay, Green Bay gets calls everywhere they go – and surprisingly enough the defenses aren’t that much different except in one category – passing touchdowns.  The Seahawks have only allowed 11, where the Packers have allowed 24.  Things may change drastically for Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” now that All-World-Safety Earl Thomas is out for the season though. . . This is a tricky game, and Beating Vegas usually doesn’t like “tricky” but what we do love this week are overs/unders.  Aaron Rodgers will without a doubt test the middle of this secondary without the presence of Earl Thomas and Russell Wilson, who always finds pay-dirt (someway. . .somehow) will find holes against a secondary, who’s back end won’t keep up with the speedy wide-outs the Seahawks package out there.  Enjoy the fireworks.

The Pick: the over at 46.5

Four Game Teaser of the Week: Titans/Broncos under 55.5; Seahawks +9.5; Falcons +6 and Bucs/Saints over 39


Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Championship Weekend

The numbers have been checked for this year and Beating Vegas has a sixty-percent winning percentage for the college football regular season.  Those are pretty impressive numbers considering this is a free service for those who visit the NGSCSports.Com website. . .  Much like rivalry week (where we went 2-1), the weekend of conference championships can be tricky as well.  This week we gathered up the information to give you an edge in the conference championship games.  Oh, what is that Big 12, you still don’t have a conference championship game?  Yeah, we know. . . losers.

Florida +24 vs Alabama (at the Georgia Dome)


You gotta know where I’m going here, right?  Although we are all sure that if Bama somehow lost to the Gators in the SEC Championship game they’d still be in the College Football Playoff – we know this is a rivalry and Saban wants to enforce his will.  Statistically, one could make the argument that Florida’s defense is better than Alabama’s – but look at Florida’s losses this year:  Florida State and Arkansas forced some serious rush attacks against Florida who lost those games 31-13 and 31-10 respectively; and their loss against Tennessee saw them give up 35 points in the second half.  .  .Sure they won a 16-10 thriller against LSU, but the difference between LSU and those other teams is that there is absolutely zero threat of a pass play coming out of that offensive system. . . Auburn was able to cover the spread last week against Bama because they have the one thing Bama struggles to have an answer for : a mobile quarterback – that won’t be an issue this week.  In the SEC, Florida’s offense is fourth from last; they struggle to pass and although some think they run the ball exceptionally well, they are pretty much just “good” at it.  There is no need to get into specifics with Bama’s stats because they execute everything on both sides of the ball above average.   Bama is 8-3 against the spread this year and didn’t cover the number last week against Auburn when the line moved up to 20.5 so expect a cover here as the Crimson Tide continue their dominant 2016.

The Pick: Alabama -24

San Diego State -6  at Wyoming


Nobody is more surprised than Wyoming that they are in the WAC championship game, but the truth is their offense has been a force to be reckoned with all season long.  Their running back Brian Hill has totaled 1674 yards this season at a clip of 5.5 yards a carry.  Wyoming’s quarterback Josh Allen has found a favorite target in senior wide-out Tanner Gentry who has 11 touchdowns this year coupled with 1132 receiving yards.  With an offense that puts up 38 points a game, wins should be coming easy, but that’s not the case when your defense gives up 35.5 points per contest. . . San Diego State’s strength on offense is their rushing attack that racks up 6.1 yards a carry; it also happens to be their strength on defense which only allows 3.3 yards a carry.  Wyoming held another good rushing team, UNLV in check earlier this season.  Last time these two teams played, San Diego State gave up two 30 yard touchdown plays against Wyoming – this isn’t something that happens to a defense which usually only yields 200 passing yards against them a game.  Expect San Diego State to control this game at the line of scrimmage (especially after calculating what we, at Beating Vegas call the “clash average” which was overwhelming pointing the favor of the Aztecs at 7 yards per carry- Wyoming is just happy to be here.

The Pick: San Diego State -6


Penn State +3 vs Wisconsin (at Lucas Oil Field in Indiana)


There is an old rule that most intelligent gamblers go by: never bet on or against your favorite team.  I’ll be transparent here and let you all know : I am a Penn State fan and have been, for the better part of 20 years now, and as a fan – it’s great to see where this program is at (and heading) after the disgrace that became this university. . . With that being said, this year’s Big Ten title game is a “classic” black and blue styled game.  Both teams are playing this game for the sake of Big 10 champion and not much else afterwards as it seems the college playoff committee has decided that Ohio State is in the playoff regardless, and these two are on the outside looking in.  Both teams run the ball well, both teams stop the run well – but for Wisconsin who allow an amazing 3.3 yards a rush – they are going up against the Big 10 Conference offensive player of the year in Penn State’s running back Saquon Barkley.  Barkley has run for over 1200 yards and has come up with 17 total touchdowns on the season.  Barkley struggled early in the season against two good rushing defenses though in Minnesota  and Michigan (averaging 3.2 and 3.9 yards in those games, respectively).   Wisconsin has the edge on defense, but when your offense can only muster about 13 points a game anyway, the wins come ugly.  NOT saying Wisconsin will win this contest – but what Beating Vegas is telling you is to watch this be a low scoring affair.

The Pick: The Under at 47

Four Game Teaser of the Week:  Clemson -1;  Redskins +14.5;  Alabama -12;  San Diego State/Wyoming over at 51


Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio