As I strapped in this morning for the 7:00 am return flight from Las Vegas to Austin, I was struck with the realization that my basic set of beliefs had been shaken to the core.
I can no longer thrive in Vegas on three hours sleep and day-old bagels.
Returning a day late – and more than a dollar short – I had encountered a myriad of setbacks, from missed flights to botched reservations to a 3-day run of horrific cards that defied imagination and even had pit bosses slack-jawed in wonder.
Actually, the run was so bad it was easy to stop throwing good money after bad and simply take care of the other items on the agenda.
I also made the mistake of mentioning my trip at the last BC Board Meeting, so I had a few items added to by itinerary. Sailor – ever the entrepreneur – insisted that I check in on the distribution centers throughout the strip to make sure our crew was updating the merchandise in a timely manner.
Vasherized’s request was at once pathetic and somewhat endearing. He begged for something – anything from his all-time favorite Vegas act. He was adamant to have something to get him through until his next pilgrimage to entertainment heaven.
Table troubles did allow me to spend more time at the Caesar’s Sports Book, where you can spend quality time studying College Futures. As our friends over at Fading Las Vegas will tell you, early season college football is an excellent chance to "Play The Futures Market" and dig for gold in undervalued and overvalued teams early in the season.
The team odds for Conference and BCS champions are out, and while I avoid putting any money on this futures item, (the risk-reward return does not appeal to me) it can be a nice gauge on whose fans are willing to put their money where their loyalty is, after you compare the opening line with where it stands now (August 20th).
2012 BCS National Champion
As expected SEC fans love their teams. Defending National Champion Auburn is picked as low as 4th or 5th in their own division in the SEC, but their fans have faith. The Tigers opened at 80-1 to defend their title, and currently it is 75-1. Alabama opened at 5-1 and is now 4-1. LSU started out at 12-1 and is down to 6-1 heading into the last part of August. South Carolina moved down to 20-1 to win the BCS after opening at 35-1.
Mark Richt and Georgia will again face a fan base with great expectations. The Bulldogs opened at 50-1 to win the BCS and are currently down to 25-1. The Will Muschamp Era at Florida hasn’t engendered much optimism from the fans on the national scene. The Gators moved from an opening line of 12-1 up to the current 35-1 odds to win it all.
Scandal-plagued Ohio State opened at 20-1 and is up to 40-1. Conversely Big 10 newcomer Nebraska has gone from an opening line of 20-1 down to 10-1.
Oklahoma heads up the list for shortest odds. The Sooners opened at 4-1 and currently sit at 3-1 to win the National Championship next January in New Orleans.
There has been little movement for the Texas line, going from an opening of 20-1 to 22-1. Texas A&M is currently a "hot" buy, dropping from an opening bid of 35-1 down to 22-1.
Meanwhile could somebody please slip a c-note on Baylor? Please?
Baylor opened at 100-1 odds to win the BCS title – right now you can get the Bears at 800-1.
College Football Regular Season Wins – Over/Under
This is where I look for value, and a couple of the team stocks are very appealing. Miami looks overvalued to me at 8. (The money line is -115 for both the over/under, which means you will have to bet $115 to win $100). Texas is currently listed at 8.5 wins for the season with the over at +110 (which means you win $110 with a $100 bet).
Others of interest: Texas A&M is listed at 9 wins, and the under is -150. Texas Tech is listed at 7 wins with the over in at +110. With a non-conference slate of Texas State, New Mexico and Nevada, the Red Raiders have a shot at 8. Oklahoma is set at 10 wins with a -135 on the over and a +105 on the under. Oklahoma State is at 8.5 wins at -115 either way. Baylor is set at 6.5 wins and you have to place a $150 wager to win $100 if you want the under. They are +120 on the over.
College Football – Week #1
There are a few games of interest Sept 1st through Sept. 5th.
Friday the 2nd TCU is a 6.5 favorite at Baylor.
On Saturday the 3rd, Houston is a 3.5 favorite hosting UCLA, Notre Dame is a 10.5 favorite hosting South Florida.
Oregon is -1 vs. LSU and Boise State is -3 at Georgia.
Sunday the 4th, Texas A&M hosts SMU as a 15.5 favorite, and Monday night, Miami is at 5.5 favorite at Maryland.
The two I felt a pull to take was Texas -22 against Rice – I believe in the Asset! And I like BYU -2.3 at Mississippi. Houston Nutt doesn’t have a quarterback, and probably doesn’t have a clue either.
Who you got?