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Barking Bets: Week 2

A forgettable card until I look at my bank statement. I put too much stock in Tom O'Brien and Russell Wilson. O'Brien's NC State offense made the wing T look innovative. Wilson looked like he was slower than Stephen Garcia. Perhaps a looming Major League contract would make us all a bit slower. So two nickels down there.

Ok State made about 4 plays from scrimmage on offense, had some big returns, and were the beneficiaries of a horrible personal foul call to lead to another touchdown. As for GA's QB, the descriptor I give you is a dyslexic "Cox sucked". He had swine flu, I understand. Another nickel gone.

I won some shekels on the Baylor game as I capped it to perfection. Wake couldn't do anything offensively until the 4th quarter, and Robert Griffin made just enough plays to win the game. So to recap, 1-2 down two units for the day. But there's always another week of betting as long as there's dough in the old 529 plan. These are, after all, college expenses right?

Texas -33.5 at Wyoming. 3 units.
I rarely bet the Horns, and I rarely make the three unit diamond bet, but this strikes me as a really good spot for the heavy favorite. Laying 5 TD's means there are obvious matchup advantages and I'll get to those later, but the spot here is solid if you were paying attention to last Saturday's 39 point blowout win. Unlike most blowouts, this one provided, how do I say, several coaching opportunities that will be directed at a few Longhorn players. And if you paid attention to the post game comments from various Texas coaches opportunities won't be pleasant for the recipients. Texas will come out on fire on the defensive side of the ball this Saturday. You can bank on it.

Offensively, you could tell the Horns knew they could drop 50 on Monroe by being plain vanilla. McCoy was instructed not to run. Mal Williams was an afterthought on offense. And the only deep ball of the night went for 75 yards and a touch. Everything else was short or intermediate. If you can drop 50 on a club without exposing your stud QB to a pass rush from a team that blitzes 70% of the time, why do anything else. Which gets to me to the matchup portion of the write up.

On offense, Texas will be facing a team that rarely blitzes. Something like 30% of the time. The Cowboys rely on getting pressure with their front 4 which allows their young secondary to rely on safety help and jump a lot of the shorter routes. Versus Texas this works against Wyoming in a couple ways. First, they won't be able to pressure McCoy with just 4. Despite all the woes Texas has running the ball, the Oline is a pass protection juggernaut and may be one of the top two or three units in the country in this respect.

Second, without the threat of the blitz, Texas can feel more comfortable playing DJ Monroe who struggles in pass pro, but happens to be the Longhorns' most explosive running back. He had 7 yards per carry last week and an 89 yard kickoff return for a touch. We know Texas will chunk it all over the field against the Cowboys, and that has to worry you as a Cowboy backer because Wyoming gave up 322 yards passing to lowly Weber State. Look for McCoy to carve up this young Cowboy secondary, but don't be surprised to see the Texas running game get untracked with chunks yards against a conservative Cowboy defense.

Defensively, the Horns will probably remain vanilla as they did against UL Monroe. The advantage here, though, is this Longhorn defense is very familiar with the offense former Mizzou OC Dave Christiansen will roll out this Saturday. You need to look no further than last year's first half shutout of Mizzou to figure that out. Texas should be able to pressure the Cowboys by rushing just 4 but don't be surprised if the Horns blitz a bit more in this game knowing the Cowboys pose more of a threat than ULA-Mon. Either way, the Cowboys will struggle to put up points without the benefit of big plays, as 3 of their 6 scoring drives started in Weber State territory last week. And you can bet Muschamp harped on big plays and busted assignments all week in practice. Simply put, the Cowboys will not be able to sustain drives against this defensive unit. They couldn't against Weber State.

In summary, here's the bet.

-Texas' subpar performance, even if it was a 39 point blowout, will have them playing on a razor's edge this week.

-Weber State was an onside kick away from beating Wyoming on their home turf.

-Weber State had nearly the same total yards as the Cowboys and threw for 322.

-Weber State threw 5 interceptions while the Cowboys played turnover free. I'd be shocked if McCoy threw more than one, and the Cowboys had less than three turnovers.

-Texas knows this Wyoming offense.

-Texas will be super excited to get out of the Texas heat. Temp for the game should be 60.

Give me Texas 52 to 10.

Pitt -10 at Buffalo. 2 units.
The fighting 'staches take on Buffalo in a game that amounts to a huge value play. This is the time to put on your Huckleberry cap. Last week, Buffalo was a 12 point dog on the road at UTEP. Let's say UTEP's homefield advantage is 3.5 and Buffalo's home-field advantage is 3.5 as well. A seven point swing that would make UTEP a 5 point favorite at Buffalo. Pitt's now -10 and UTEP would be -5. So the books are saying Pitt would be a 5 point favorite on a neutral vs. UTEP? Weird.

This is the kind of stuff that makes Huck drool on his keyboard. Pitt is most certainly a double digit favorite on a neutral against the Miners. You have to be getting at least 5 points the better of this number vs. Buffalo.

Matchup wise, Buffalo starts a QB making the second start of his career. And it'll be against a defense twice as good as the defense in El Paso minus the handjobs. Zach Maynard will have to make plays in the passing game because Buffalo certainly can't run on Pitt. If you run for less than 4 yards per against UTEP, the going won't be better against a great Pitt defense. Utep was ranked 105th against the run last year Pitt was 29th.

Without the benefit of a solid rushing attack, I expect some turnovers from the Buff's QB who'll be forced to play out of his comfort zone. Bet on a workman like cover for Pitt. Call it 31 to 14.

My one stars without write-ups.

Notre Dame -3 at Michigan. 1 unit.
Two programs on a different trend line. Small number. Give me the Irish 31 to 21.

Southern Miss-14.5 vs. UCF. 1 unit.
S. Miss has gobs of talent on offense. UCF doesn't have Kevin Smith.
45 to 17.

LA Tech +8 @ Navy.
Navy shot their wad last week. Tough for the sea men to get up for a directional Louisiana school. LA Tech has athletes on defense that can defend the option. 27 to 24 Navy.

Good luck on your wagers.

Also, check out the Phenomenal one over at Atomic Teeth or some lines he cares about.