Tag Archives: purdue

Beating Vegas: Bowl Locks, Pt.3

Independence Bowl (played in Shreveport, Louisiana) on Dec. 27th

Southern Mississippi +15 versus Florida State

At the start of the season, Florida State was looked upon as a National Title contender.  Now at season’s end, they look like an average program, whose coach has abandoned them for Texas A&M.  .  . Most thought Jimbo Fisher would be a “lifer” at Florida State and the move to the Aggies shocked just about everyone, but now the Seminoles must gather the pieces and try to wrap up this forgettable season with a bowl win.  During the season, Florida State had a knack for losing to the good teams and beating / barely beating the below average squads.  They racked up three wins in a row to finish off the season, but those blowout wins came against competition like Delaware State, Louisiana-Monroe and Florida. . . The early injury to quarterback Deondre Francois pretty much de-railed their season early, but gave experience to James Blackman.  Blackman’s play this year has been pretty inconsistent throwing 15 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.  He should find some spots to do damage though in this match up against Southern Miss because the Eagles give up 13 yards a catch which is the second worse in Conference USA.  But defense is not the calling card for Southern Miss, it’s their offense, led by running back Ito Smith who is averaging 5.7 yards a carry and has rushed for over 1300 yards.  Although Ito is the focal point, quarterback Kwadra Griggs has done well in keeping his mistakes to a minimum (15 touchdowns and 2 interceptions).  Florida State will be without their best defensive players, most notably safety Derwin James – as they are preparing for the NFL draft, making things a little easier for this offense to work.  Florida State is waiting for this season to end, and with a lame-duck coach, the players are already thinking about what their fates will be next season.  As for Southern Miss, a win against Florida State does wonders for this program.  No matter the current state of the Seminoles.

The Pick: Southern Miss +15

Foster Farms Bowl (played in Santa Clara, California) on Dec. 27th

Purdue +3 versus Arizona

Jobs were saved and life had been reignited into the Arizona Wildcats football program all because of one young man: Khalil Tate.  As the team’s quarterback, he ran for over 1300 yards and averages 10 yards a carry.  His running back mate J.J. Taylor has added in over 800 rushing yards of his own (6 yards per carry).    Arizona finished behind only Army and Navy in total rushing yards this season, but were number one in the country in yards per rush with 6.8.  The points total in this game has an over/under at 65.5 – Arizona has only gone under that number twice this year while Purdue did not go over that total once all year.  Purdue is 6-6 but has been playing below-average all year long.  They had a three game skid in the middle of the season, where they played Wisconsin tough but lost, and then loss to Rutgers (14-12) and Nebraska (25-24) in back to back weeks.  They finished the season off strong with a road win in Iowa and the victory over their rival, Indiana.  Purdue is very balanced on offense – nothing crazy, but very modest and respectable (4.4 yards per carry; and completing 59% of their passes).  This bodes well for the Boilermakers who are playing a very high powered, yet one dimensional offense in Arizona – but the Arizona Wildcats are just pitiful on defense (hence most of their came totals going over 65.5 points).  The Boilermakers have a good run defense that only allows 3.6 yards a rush and because Tate isn’t half the threat throwing the ball as he is running with it – Purdue can bring more help in from their secondary to slow down this rush attack.

The Pick: Purdue +3

Sun Bowl (played in El Paso, Texas) on December 29th

N.C. State -6.5 versus Arizona State


Nobody knows why Arizona State fired head coach Todd Graham who finished the season with a 7-5 record.  Graham is a pretty good coach that recruits well and gets the most out of the players he gets, but he was fired and replaced by ESPN personality and former football coach, Herm Edwards.  Edwards hasn’t coached a football game in nearly 20 years, but here he is, head coach of a college football team.  Arizona State, stood in the middle of the Pac-12 this year with 31 points per game, completion percentage of over 61% and averaging more than four yards a carry.  The problem for the Sun Devils was on the defense end, where they couldn’t do much to stop the pass or the run and gave up 31 points per game. . . N.C. State has been a favorite for “Beating Vegas” the last two years.  The Wolfpack are just well coached and do everything on the field above-average, pretty consistently.  Quarterback Ryan Finley has thrown for over 3200 yards this year, but more impressive than  that, he has only six interceptions in 450 pass attempts this year. Running back Nyheim Hines rushing for over 1000 yards this year and has been a very well kept secret in college football this year.  After their bye-week, the Wolfpack lost a tough back to back at Notre Dame and then a loss at home to Clemson (which they had a chance to take the win).  They then had a another tough two games ahead of them against Boston College and Wake Forest, only beating Boston College in that run.  . .  The bottom line is, N.C. State isn’t a team that takes anything for granted and they play smart and well coached football for the entire four quarters.  Most of the players on Arizona State only know Herm Edwards as the crazy old guy on ESPN who has some pretty funny sound-bites.

The Pick: N.C. State -6.5

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio

Beating Vegas: Rivalry Week

We were two-backdoor-points away from being perfect last week, thanks to Washington letting up late in the game against Arizona State – BUT – two out of three ain’t too shabby as we continue to beat Vegas this year.   Thanksgiving week brings us the beginning of the holidays, good food, family, friends and more importantly an entire week of football games.  Monday through Sunday we got something going on – but here at Beating Vegas, we’ll steer you into the right direction of which games to pay attention to. . .

LSU -4 at Texas A&M


Thanksgiving Day ain’t just for the big boys.  While the NFL gets all the attention on Turkey Day, the SEC is not to be ignored.  Slating LSU against Texas A&M worked out to be a good game that should garner some attention on the holiday.  LSU is quite possibly the best four loss team in the country.  All four losses come to ranked teams and they loss those games by 2, 5, 10 and 6 points.  Their brand of football is an SEC standard – of dominating the line of scrimmage.  This is exemplified by their offensive line that pushes the ball at 6.2 yards a carry and a defensive front that limits the opposition to 3.4 yards a carry.  Usually a team that is so one dimensional on offense can get out-played by an athletic defense – but their one dimension is so good, it really doesn’t factor in.  Texas A&M looked like a “sleeper team” in the SEC (if their is such a thing) but the pressure got to them and they’ve been on a downward spiral.  Before last week’s lack-luster 23-10 win over UTSA, they lost three of their last four. Team’s that beat LSU usually have a good run defense – A&M’s is “decent” when at it’s best, allowing 4.1 yards a carry (working out a “clash-average” of 5.15 yards in the favor of LSU (yes, “Clash-Average” is something I made up, and it seems to help make sense of things).  LSU is coming off a tough loss to a good opponent and is playing with a lot of fire, A&M as of late,  plays as if they’re scared of their ow shadow.

The Pick: LSU -4

Auburn +17.5 at Alabama


Keeping it with the SEC, here is a rivalry that is downright ugly.   The “Iron Bowl” has seen these two teams slug it out 80 times. Alabama leads searies 44–35–1, and currently is on a two game winning streak against Auburn.   Bama is by far the team to beat in the country and it really is going to take some kind of effort to beat them. . . They are number one in the SEC in total defense allowing 11.4 points a game and number one in total offense, scoring 40.3 points a game.  They are annoyingly good at everything they do.  Auburn is kinda-sorta the lower case version of Bama this year – and although Auburn fans will find that extremely offensive – it’s not a bad thing.  Auburn is scoring 34 points a game and allowing 14 — Auburn’s rush defense is allowing 3.4 yards a rush – which is great to see (Bama’s defense allows 2.2) and when it comes to pass defense, they are pretty much neck and neck – and you’d be splitting hairs to give the advantage to Alabama.  This is a rivalry game and Auburn knows what’s at stake for Bama if they lose.  17.5 might be too much even if Auburn, wasn’t good this year – but the “Baby Bama Tigers” will give Saban and his Crimson Tide fits in this one.

The Pick: Auburn +17.5

Purdue +20 at Indiana


Oh Indiana, it’s pretty obvious what you are.  You’re a team that’s good enough to beat the bad teams and lose to the good ones.   It’s pretty black and white when you look at their wins and losses. . . BUT aside from all that, they need one more win to make it to some useless bowl game that will generate money for the university and will probably be played in front of a crowd of hundreds. . . BUT luckily for them, the last team on their schedule this season is an awful Purdue squad.  Isn’t it fitting that we talk about Purdue, and it’s Thanksgiving week?  . . . Okay. .  . Well the Purdue Boilermakers are dead last in total defense in the Big 10 allowing 39.4 points a game, that says a lot considering they are in a conference with such abominations as Rutgers, Illinois and Maryland. Purdue throws the ball a lot and leads the Big 10 in passing yards, mostly because they play from behind and only average 3.4 yards a carry.  They’re 23 touchdown passes are matched by their 23 interceptions on the year. . .Indiana’s offense is very similar and for the same reasons, except this is a team that has shown a lot of fight the last two weeks.  They were leading late against Penn State but let up, and had Michigan sweat out a 20-10 victory against them last week.  They are feeling confident, even in their losses and although 20 is a big number, Indiana is a team that can’t stop a nose bleed and when they do try to stop their nose from bleeding they end up poking out their eyes.


The Pick: Indiana -20

Four Game Teaser of the Week: (by the way, thanks UTAH for ruing it last week): Redskins +19; Air Force +21.5; Wisconsin -2.5 and USC -4.5

Good Luck and Wager Wisely!

G.W. Gras

twitter @GeeSteelio