Tag Archives: Georgia

Beating Vegas: Beginning of the End

It’s that time of the year where the college football season ends and the NFL season is coming close to it’s own end.  For some who’s teams had a horrible season, or for those who chose to ignore the advice from “Beating Vegas” you’re glad the season has come to and end.  For those on the other side of the spectrum though . . .

Buffalo Bills +9 at Jacksonville Jaguars; Points Total: 39

I found myself cheering for the Buffalo Bills to get into the playoffs last weekend.  I remember when I was a kid, how amazing those teams were with Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Jim Kelly – albeit they never won a Super Bowl together. . .and the last time the Bill were in the playoffs – Doug Flutie was their starting quarterback (easy to see why they came up empty with a Super Bowl championship in that effort).   Now the Bills, after a quarterback controversy and fans of the NFL not knowing what to quite make of them – are in the NFL playoffs.  They find themselves up against a team that is foreign to the playoffs as well – the Jacksonville Jaguars.  It’s been a 10 year drought for the Jaguars and this year they have the NFL’s number one ranked defense.  If it’s true that defense wins championships, the Jaguars should have it made – but we all know it’s never that easy.  The Jaguars have been steadily forcing a rushing attack on offense, led by rookie running back  Leonard Fournette.  Fournette has seen most defenses stack the box against him this year, so his rushing average of 3.9 yards a carry and his total rushing yards of 1040 may not blow people away, but if he’s anything – he’s reliable.  The pressure is all on Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles.  His 21 touchdown passes are easily forgotten by the fact he’s had 13 interceptions and 3 lost fumbles on the year.  Bortles just never has amounted to the hype he had when he came out of college in 2014.  He should have some decent looks when going against a secondary that has allowed quarterbacks to complete 65% of their passes.  Buffalo as an offense though only has more total yardage than three other teams in the league (Bears, Colts and Bengals).  This is another team who’s offensive focus is the run, and their leading rusher LeSean McCoy averages just at 4 yards a carry – and is a game time decision as of now (January 2nd).  The Bills do not have the receiving talent to challenge the best secondary in the league, so this one should be a tough go for Tyrod Taylor and the Bills.  Expect the Jags to win this game, but don’t expect a lot of fireworks.

The Pick: The Under at 39

Tennessee Titans +9 at Kansas City Chiefs; Points Total: 45

It happens every year.  One team does it, every year.  One team slips into the playoffs and nobody has a clue as to “why.”  This year, that team is the Tennessee Titans.  The Kansas City Chiefs on the other hand started the season looking like the best team in football. . .and then they looked like a totally different squad who could miss the playoffs.  As fate would have it though, the Chiefs finished off the season with four wins in a row, and seem to resemble more of what we saw earlier in the season.  Kansas City’s pass defense should have a walk in the park, considering they hold the opposition to a 57% completion percentage (second best in the league) and are going up against Marcus Mariota who is one of the worst road-quarterbacks in the NFL.  Forget about “the road” though, Mariota has been flat out bad for the better part of the 2017 season. The Titans are relying on a rushing attack led by Derrick Henry, and his success will be determined by how much of a threat Mariota is – the problem is – he won’t be.  There is no reason to believe Mariota will revive any of his Oregon Duck majestics to come away with a win here.  The only thing about laying down this many points with the Chiefs is that Andy Reid forgets how to coach once he gets to the playoffs.  Kansas City is 6-2 at home and they are going up against a quarterback who has a rating of 69.1 on the road with five touchdowns and eleven interceptions.

The Pick:  The Under at 45 points and the Chiefs -9

The College Football National Championship:

Alabama Crimson Tide -4 versus Georgia Bulldogs; Points Total: 45

We had another successful year in college football here at Beating Vegas, and this game is being spoken of here, just because it must be.  This is in no way a “lock” but just a “lean” at the moment.  For all the talk of the Big 10 or ACC being the best division in College Football – the SEC seems to stand above all conferences again.   Offensively they both want to run it down the opposition’s throats and defensively, they are just suffocating offenses.  This time around it’s Nick Saban going up against Kirby Smart, a former Saban assistant.  Both know each other well and one can expect this one to be an old school grudge match.  The issue here in this grudge match is that, although both programs perform and are run similarly – Bama is just a little better as a run defense and a little less prone to turning over the ball.  It’s those slight differences that can prove to do Georgia’s undoing.   The world may be in love with Georgia freshman quarterback Jake Fromm but typically the non-mobile quarterbacks with average arm strength don’t fare well against Saban’s defensive schemes.  Expect Saban to stack the box and challenge Fromm, who will have to see his wideouts matched up against some of the toughest secondary players in the nation.  Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts isn’t the most prolific passer in the nation, but he knows all he has to do is NOT turn the ball over as his 15 touchdowns and 1 interception on the season prove.  Hurts is part of a three headed monster that runs the ball, along with running backs Bo Scarborough and Damien Harris.  This Bama defense holds opponents to less than three yards a carry but Georgia’s running backs Nick Chubb and Sony Michel average 6.2 and 7.2 yards per carry, respectively.  Much like the Jaguars / Bills game we mentioned earlier, expect this one to be a smash mouth low scoring game but in the end, the student does NOT surpass the teacher.

The Pick: Alabama -4

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

 

Beating Vegas: Familiar Faces

NC State -3 at Boston College

N.C. State has become the most talked about team here at Beating Vegas.  This is the FOURTH time they’ve been mentioned by me this year.  It’d be great to say we’ve hit each time with N.C. State but the truth is, they are 1-2 when they’ve been picked to cover the spread by Beating Vegas.  With that said:  Here we go again.  N.C. State was riding a six-game win streak until fate hit them with really tough back-to-back competition, losing to Notre Dame by twenty-one points and losing to Clemson by six points.  It doesn’t get much easier as their next two games are on the road against two pretty good defenses. The Boston College defense is allowing 25 points per game and are tied in the ACC with 13 interceptions.  Teams complete only 51% of their passes against them.  If there is a weakness it’s the rush attack which allows five-yards per rush.  It’s not good, but not terrible considering the attacks they have to face in the ACC. The Eagles ground attack is there only attack and will be one dimensional throughout this game.  N.C. State is averaging 32 points per game (8 more than B.C.) and has done it with a consistent balance that doesn’t turn over the ball often.  This spread is too low and that is because Vegas is banking on the public falling in love with an Eagles team that clobbered a Florida State team that is “all name and no game.”  N.C. State is a well coached team who does not over-look their opponents.

The Pick: N.C. State -3

 

Georgia -2.5 at Auburn

This is a game I had circled after week four of the college football season.  Auburn has been a favorite of mine to surprise folks this year.  Before we get into the numbers and the pick, a little Google-search shows that Georgia leads this series 57-55-8 in what is called “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry” (okay I knew the last part but still. . .).  This match-up has been going on since 1892 and I wouldn’t say these are the biggest stakes to be had in the history of this rivalry – but, the stakes are definitely big enough.  Georgia is the current #1 team in the nation with Auburn being ranked 10th.   These teams run the ball well, defend the run well.  They both throw the ball “efficiently enough” to give their teams a good balance and they both hold opponents to a 55% completion percentage.  Publicly the early money-lean is going by way of the Georgia Bulldogs at 71% and this isn’t a surprise.  What to look at here is the balance these two teams have against each other AND the fact that Auburn is playing at home for the first time in THREE weeks.  Meanwhile, Georgia has to hit the road after beating a South Carolina team that was not an “easy-out.”  This game is going to have some moments, the final moment though will be the “War-Eagle” chant with the students of Auburn filling the field.

The Pick: Auburn +2.5

 

Oregon State +23.5 at Arizona

Yes, we blew it with Arizona last week as they decided to play one half of football when it was too late but – this is still a good team and Khalil Tate is still one of the more exciting players in football to watch this year.   Honestly,  this game has nothing to do with Arizona and everything to do with Oregon State.   Teams have had no problems running against the Beavers as this defense has allowed 4.7 yards a carry against them (by the way, when Bowl Season comes around, keep in mind that every team in the Pac-12 gives up more than 4 yards a carry outside of Oregon and Washington).  They are pretty good against the pass but let’s not be silly, Arizona is going to run the ball, run it again and run some mo’. Arizona’s rush attack has proven to be just as dangerous as Notre Dame’s, averaging seven yards a carry and closing in on 3000 total rushing yards for the season. Outside of UTEP and Northern Arizona though, the Wildcats haven’t blown out anybody by a margin this big.  This is one where you might want to take the Arizona Wildcats for some first half action, but watch out for Oregon State get some back door scores during mop-up-duty.

The Pick: Oregon State +23.5

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

 

Beating Vegas: “ACC On Fleek”

Welcome back to Beating Vegas!  This is the weekly column on NGSCSports.com that helps you gives you the edge over Vegas during the football season!  Last season we went just below sixty percent against the spread and this season we’re only looking to help you out even more!

Tulane +17 at Wake Forest

Tyler+Bell+Wake+Forest+v+Notre+Dame+vPLPP-_--hYl

The Green Wave of Tulane are looking at a new head coach in Willie Fritz.  There are questions at quarterback and in their defensive secondary but this is a game that will be won and lost at the point of attack.  Fritz is a coach that loves smash mouth football and came out of practices raving about all four of his running backs.  On the other side of things the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest looked better than their record shows but when watching the tape it’s not as much their effort that kept them in some games, but their opponents lack of effort.  Wake Forest is a doormat in the ACC and it’s opponents treat them that way, usually day dreaming their way to a victory.  Wake had three wins last year: a three point win over Army, a three point win over Boston College and a 41-3 win over ELON (whoever they are) so seeing them beat a good coach by 17 points is a ridiculous notion.  — Last year Tulane covered against Navy, Memphis and Army as  road underdogs – this should be no problem.

 

The Pick: Tulane +17

 

Georgia Tech -3 at Boston College

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This match up features the Yellow Jackets against the Eagles in Dublin, Ireland.  Boston College was one of the three college sleepers I wrote about earlier this Summer on NGSCSports.com
and folks should expect to see A LOT of them in “Beating Vegas” this year. . .  Paul Johnson has been at Georgia Tech for 19 years now and his time may be coming to an end.  Last year they pulled off only three wins, although somehow managing a  win against Florida State in there but they could never shut the door on close games.  Boston College had the same issue but the reason was a lot more clear.  The Boston College defense is a top ten group, but the offense might’ve been the absolute worst.  This year they have Kentucky transfer Patrick Towles, who isn’t breaking any records, but should have the ability to stretch the field and add some other dimension to the Eagles’ attack.  The Eagles will win about 8 games this year and this will be one of the them.

The Pick: Boston College +3

 

North Carolina +2.5 at Georgia

Greyson+Lambert+Georgia+v+Georgia+Tech+Z4QTGK0o3hOl

Sure, Georgia is loaded with NFL talent and sure Georgia is expected to make some kind of noise.  And yes, we all understand this is a new regime, this isn’t the Mark Richt era where “choking” had become tradition.  BUT – We’ve heard this story before.  Things to expect?  Georgia will win.  Things not to expect? Georgia’s QB (Grayson Lambert) to all of a sudden look like a possible first-round draft pick.  Lambert is limited, the offensive line has been juggled around and this team’s offense is predicated on running back Nick Chubb being 100% at the start of the season.  Georgia’s strength is in it’s defense which will be going up against a Tar Heel squad that is no stranger in putting up points.  New quarterback Mitch Trubisky has been waiting for his turn and it’s now.   He’s got weapons at his disposal and the Tar Heels will not go quietly in this one.  This one will be a second half where the Tar Heels get some garbage time touchdowns and make the OVER happen.  It’s okay to feel confident in saying the Tar Heels will put up 28 points in a loss to Georgia.

The Pick: The Over at 56

 

Ole Miss +4.5 at Florida State

Chick+fil+Peach+Bowl+Florida+State+v+Houston+x0TbNNeL3etl

Why couldn’t this game be LAST season?  It would’ve had better match ups all down the line ups, but this year we get an Ole Miss team that is missing some first round talent and missing a lot of key talent from last year’s squad.  Quarterback Chad Kelly has some promise, but he’ll be going up against a Florida State defense that is quick and nasty.  The Seminoles are like Alabama in how they recruit now.  It doesn’t matter who they lose, they are able to reload quickly.  This game is on Monday Night which will be fun, but the Seminoles will be the ones having all the fun.  Expect Florida State to ROLL in the second half.

The Pick: Florida State -4.5

If You Must: Kansas State versus Stanford – the Under at 48.5 is the way to go here “if you must.”  Two good defenses, Stanford will keep it on the ground, especially with a new quarterback under center, while Kansas State might hang around with tough nose play for at least the first half.  Pretty uneventful to watch, so yeah – the under seems legit

4 Game Teaser: Louisville -26.5, Alabama +.5, Florida State +7.5 and UCLA +15

 

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

Twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Entry Eleven

Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread.  The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.

Judging Last Week: We went 50/50 last week and so far with college this year we’re doing above 60%.  Not too shabby, but the next couple of weeks pose a challenge.  This week there are a lot of rivalry games and if they are not “true” rivalries, they are schools within the same conference or recruiting battle grounds.  It’s tough to call these games (as well as Conference Championship games and Bowl Games) because this is one of the few times that emotion in a game, can favor in the balance of one team over another. . .

Kansas State (-20) at Kansas

Bill+Snyder+Kansas+State+v+Baylor+ZYfm1EDyNyul

This is the last time we can all pick on and laugh at the Kansas Jayhawks this season.  Yeah, that sounds mean.  They are just kids. . . but still, they are so awful it’s laughable.  The Jayhawks (on average) put up 15 points a game and give up 46.  There is nothing good to say about anything they do.  Kansas State has had a disappointing season and they only way to salvage any kind of pride would be by kicking their nemesis when they’re down. . . on their home field, none-the-less.  Kansas is giving up nearly 6 yards a rush and are completely, mentally done with the game of football this year (who could blame them).  Back to the Kansas State Wildcats though – aside from that blowout loss to Oklahoma, they have hung with the big dogs of the Big 12, but ultimately came up short (loss to Oklahoma State 36-34, Baylor 31-24 and TCU 52-45.)  Sure, this isn’t coach Bill Snyder’s most talented team but he coaches fundamentals well and that’s all he should need.  The first half might be a safer take if it’s at 10, but for now you know what you should be doing. . .

The Pick: Kansas State -20

Notre Dame (+3.5) at Stanford

DeShone+Kizer+Wake+Forest+v+Notre+Dame+AnN8B-0pycNl

Stanford does not only have the best record in the North Division of the Pac-12, but has the best record in the entire Pac-12 at 9-2.  Anything can happen, but a win here and a win at the Pac-12 Championship, could be enough to get the Cardinal into the College Football Playoff.  Before any of that can happen though, let’s focus on the start on a key part of that sentence being: “a win here.”  Notre Dame gets to pretty much decide their fate with a win at Stanford, so it’s a pretty interesting conundrum.  The Cardinal are averaging 36.8 points per game (second in the Pac-12) and it’s an offense led by senior quarterback Kevin Hogan and Heisman hopeful Christian McCaffrey at running back.  McCaffrey is averaging 140 yards a game and has helped Hogan in managing the game better.  Things will be a little easier for this offense as Notre Dame’s best corner KeiVarae Russell broke his leg against Boston College and is obviously, out for the remainder of the season.  It’s a credit to coach Brian Kelly, to have kept the Fighting Irish in the top four with as many injuries as they have had to endure this season and it doesn’t get easier as it seems their leading rusher C.J. Prosise will not be suiting up for this game either.  DeShone Kizer has done okay since taking over at starting quarterback but has been too inconsistent for a team with National Title hopes.  The Irish’s luck defense that allows 4.6 yards a carry will probably have to try their luck one on one with the Stanford wide outs and stack the box.

The Pick: Stanford  -3.5 (to be safe, buy the half point, even the full point)

Texas A&M (+5.5) at LSU

Les+Miles+Leonard+Fournette+Florida+v+LSU+kCszGSxNC5Jl

It’s a crazy time in college football, when their are rumors circulating that coach Les Miles and LSU might be parting ways after this season.  Les has been coaching at LSU since 2005 with a record of 110-32, and also has had that championship year in 2007.  If LSU thinks they can do better, that’s on them, but Les Miles won’t be unemployed for long, that’s for sure. . . Now, aside from that drama this becomes one of those emotional charged games for LSU.  Players love playing for coaches that think outside of the box and fight for them off the field as hard as they fight for him on it.  Superstar running back Leornard Fournette got back on track after failing to rush for 100 yards in back to back games, as he achieved it against a tough Ole Miss rush defense, albeit for a loss.  LSU doens’t pass the ball much as they feel they don’t need to with Fournette and this Tigers offensive line.  This will be bad news for a Texas A&M defense that allows 200 rushing yards a game at 4.8 yards a clip.  A&M’s pass defense goes in direct contrast to that, but it doesn’t matter against LSU – they don’t pass the ball.  When LSU quarterback Brandon Harris does throw the ball at least his touchdown to interception ratio is at a respectable 3:1.

The Pick: LSU -5.5

If You Must:  Take Clemson -17 at South Carolina.  Why?  Clemson knows they have a tough game next week against UNC, they want to end this one early and rest their guys.  This inner-state rivalry lost it’s appeal once Steve Spurrier decided retiring was better than sticking around with this group.  The Gamecocks just lost to Citadel. . . if that doesn’t deflate a team, I don’t know what will.

Teaser of the Week: Four Gamer – Notre Dame/Stanford Under 67; Alabama -1.5; Kansas State -8;  Boston College/Syracuse Under 53

Good Luck, Wager Wisely and Enjoy Your Turkey Day Folks!

 

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Entry Ten

Every week during the football season, “The Heartthrob” G.W. Gras will be giving out his college and professional football “best bets” against the spread.  The wise guys in Vegas live comfortably – it’s time we all get on their level.

Judging Last Week: If it wasn’t for a second half collapse by N.C. State to Florida State – it would’ve been a perfect week here at “Beating Vegas.”  None-the-less, we took Vegas to the woodshed last week.   We’re having a pretty good year, so let’s keep it going!

Georgia Southern (+14) at Georgia

Sony+Michel+Kentucky+v+Georgia+cCjbNQc27-Jl

Let’s start off by saying: “If you’re tired of Georgia and coach Mark Richt’s routine of letting down and not showing up when it matters during the season – raise your hand.”  Just as I thought, we’re unanimous in that.  There’s a reason why folks keep expecting things from Georgia every year though – they’re talented.  Richt has been able to set the table, but he can never get to the main course it seems. . . The loss of running back Nick Chubb was obviously huge, but in his absence, Sony Michel has ran for five yards a carry and has had to do it against some pretty tough defenses.   Georgia Southern is a team that is feeling pretty proud of themselves.  Carrying a 7-2 record and whipping on the hapless as they’ve been plowing through their schedule.  The competition for Georgia Southern has been abysmal, but look at their two toughest games against Appalachian State and West Virginia.  Appalachian held Georgia Southern to meaningless book-end touchdowns and won 31-13, while the Mountaineers at Georgia Southern for lunch 44-0.   Georgia Southern is the tough guy who should never leave his neighborhood and this is the time of year when Georgia beats on teams when it doesn’t really matter.

The Pick: Georgia -14

Duke (+2.5) at Virginia

Mike+London+Richmond+v+Virginia+h4e4AoH6R2Zl

Betting on either of these teams is like playing  Russian Roulette with your bank account but here we go. . . Virginia isn’t doing much on either side of the ball that is impressive: allowing 32 points per game, and scrapping just enough to put up 24 points a game on offense. Hank Kurz of the Associated Press wrote the Virgina’s head coach Mike London (who is 10-38 verse ACC opponents) is trying to rally his team to finish strong after another disappointing season.  The Duke Blue Devils  have been one of the harder teams to get a good read on, and they’ve lost three straight games.  One of those games should’ve been a win (ahem, Miami. . .) but against UNC and especially against Pitt – they look lost in themselves.  That Miami, game really did a number on them (good going ACC).  Duke’s offense should get back on track this week, they have twenty touchdowns on the heels of a ground game averaging 4.7 yards a carry.  Virginia has given up over 1700 rushing yards in 10 games this season and have allowed teams to throw at a 64% completion rate against them. Even in their losses against teams with a winning record, they’ve been able to move the ball, so the field should open up nicely for the Blue Devils come Saturday.

The Pick: Duke +2.5

LSU (+4) at Ole Miss

Robert+Nkemdiche+Mississippi+v+Georgia+Tech+-vB20XzSzpIl

This one should seem pretty cut and dry.  Ole Miss is putting up forty points a game to LSU’s 33.6 and we all know how LSU gets their points – running the ball.  More specifically, running the ball with Leornard Fournette. Fournette may be the best player in college football and is a wrecking ball who’s accumulated 1485 rushing yards at 6.9 yards a clip, but his Heisman hopes may have gotten crushed in back to back losses where he could not run for over 100 yards.  Teams have had enough and are daring / inviting LSU to throw the ball by stacking as many defenders in the box as they can to stop Fournette.  It doesn’t get much easier for LSU this week either.  The Ole Miss Runnin’ Rebels defense has only allowed five rushing touchdowns all year and are holding the opposition to 3.2 yards a carry.  This is a defense that is strong enough and athletic enough to cause headaches for this LSU offensive line.  Ole Miss is suspect against the pass, but not to worry when going against Brandon Harris who is netting about ten completed passes a game and very rarely ever has more than two wide outs in the huddle with him.  The only thing that would make one think twice about taking Ole Miss is that nobody likes four point spreads.  If you can take it down to three, then do so – if not – I’m sure you’ll be fine anyway.8

The Pick: Ole Miss -4

If You Must: Caution here:  Air Force getting eleven points just seems too hard to resist.  This game has a team that likes to throw it in Boise State and a team that does nothing but run in Air Force.  Boise’s red zone defense has been pretty dreadful their last few times out, and Air Force will move the ball.  The over might be ridiculous but fun to lay some wood down on as well – but in this high scoring affair, take Air Force +11.

Teaser of the Week: Four Gamer;  West Virginia -16, Michigan State +25, Navy PK and Ole Miss +8

Good Luck and Wager Wisely

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio