Submitted by Wayne Root on Friday, September 15, 2017 at 4:00 PM
I was looking through the games involving teams I usually write about here in my web articles…the New York NFL teams because I was born as a true S.O.B. in Mt. Vernon NY (son of a butcher!)…USC and UCLA because I was known as “handicapper to the stars” in Hollywood for many years because of my high profile clientele (which is still true, but they’re much more subtle about their betting now!). I finally decided I should just write about ALL of them.
Not only will this be a bi-coastal web article. But, bi-coastal will be a theme inside because one West Coast team plays early Saturday in the Eastern time zone, and one Eastern team plays late Sunday out in California.
Let’s take them in the order they’ll be played…
UCLA AT MEMPHIS: This is a very interesting test for the Bruins. And, the betting markets sure expect them to be tested because they’re only a three-point favorite over an opponent that isn’t from a power conference. UCLA is coming off a slaughter of Hawaii, and that big come-from-behind win over Texas A&M. I’m a fan of Josh Rosen. Normally, I’d be thrilled to get him at such a cheap price. But, I’m aware that this is a “bad body clock” game for UCLA, getting started at 9 a.m. “body” time in the early TV window. The team went East early to acclimate. I’ll be talking with my sources before making a final decision either way.
TEXAS AT USC: On paper, if you don’t think about the names of the programs involved, USC should kill Texas. The Trojans are a lot better than Maryland, and Maryland just bullied the Horns down in Austin two weeks ago. That was a 51-41 final score…and Texas had THREE non-offensive touchdowns! But, USC is in a huge letdown spot off the blowout of conference foe Stanford. And, this group has a tendency to get overconfident as big favorites, which you saw in the season opener against Western Michigan. This final score could miss the point spread by 10 points either way. I think it will!
NY JETS AT OAKLAND: I know the Jets hung close with Buffalo last Sunday. But, that just might be tricking people into thinking they can compete. Did you look at the stats? They were outgained 408-214, while only gaining 3.9 yards-per-play and rushing for 38 yards. Frankly, they were as bad as everyone was expecting, and it was only a 9-point decision (21-12 loss) because Buffalo is pretty bad too. The market pegged Oakland as a 14-point favorite…and some early money is actually coming in on the Jets. I’ve developed some very good sources with the Raiders, even before it was announced they’d be moving to Las Vegas. I just might step in here.
DETROIT AT THE NY GIANTS: This is the Monday night game this week. The Giants looked awful this past Sunday night against the Cowboys without Odell Beckham Jr. Actually, the Giants had very similar numbers to the Jets! But, doing that against Dallas earns more respect than doing that vs. Buffalo. Normally a wide receiver isn’t the difference between making the playoffs or finishing 5-11. That might be the case here…because other important Giants are aging and they need Beckham to bail them out. Detroit didn’t play as well vs. Arizona as the final score made it seem. But, they’re good enough to win this game outright if the G-men aren’t at 100%.
In terms of the 2017 season, this is how I see the four teams discussed today:
UCLA: Possibly a disappointment in Pac 12 play based on the first half of the Texas A&M game. Talent isn’t as deep as advertised, and the skill positions are inconsistent. Rose will post big numbers and offer betting value against defenses who are soft against the pass.
USC: Still a decent pick to reach the Final Four. But, it only takes one off-week to talk the selection committee into another team from the Big 10! I’ll say it this way. USC controls its own destiny. I’ll be disappointed if they don’t play up to that potential.
NY Jets: They really are as bad as advertised, and may resort to tanking if that’s what it takes to earn the #1 draft pick. I’ll monitor their effort to determine if they ever deserve to be bet in value spots.
NY Giants: Many Wise Guys here in town picked them to win the division this past summer. They’re jumping off that bus fast after last week! It depends on Beckham, and possibly what happens with Philadelphia too. We know Dallas is still good, and that Washington is falling apart. Too early to say whether the Giants are second or third in the division if not at 100% health.
Obviously, I can’t post official selections here in my web article. Clients shouldn’t be surprised if any of those games show up in my weekend packages. I’m very excited about this particular weekend because there are many good value dogs in the colleges, and several NFL dogs with true upset potential. Of course, I don’t only play underdogs…if I see a favorite positioned to run up the score, we’ll be all over that too.
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