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Beyond the BCS: Capping college football's small conferences

Some of the best betting value in college football is hiding beyond the BCS, in the small conferences. Each week, Covers Experts’ Doc’s Sports will look at the little programs that could help you make big cash this college season.

Team to watch: Kent State Golden Flashes

This week: vs. Bowling Green (+7.5)

Kent State’s remarkable 2012 season put it on the brink of an Orange Bowl berth before a heartbreaking loss to Northern Illinois ended those hopes. The Golden Flashes weren’t particularly impressive last week against Liberty, but a 10-0 fourth-quarter run allowed them to survive 17-10. The fearsome running back duo of Dri Archer and Trayion Durham is back for an encore, so this program should remain in great shape.

Kent State is 7-2-1 ATS in its last 10 home games, and 9-3-1 ATS in its last 10 overall. The Golden Flashes are also 4-0 ATS in their last four against a Bowling Green squad that is just 4-12-1 ATS in its last 17 against opponents with winning records.

Team to beware: South Alabama Jaguars

This week:
at Tulane (+6.5)

South Alabama’s year got off to a dreadful start last weekend. Playing at home as a 15.5-point favorite, the team fell to Southern Utah 22-21 after blowing a 21-13 lead with fewer than seven minutes remaining. The Jaguars are once again using a two-quarterback system featuring Ross Metheny and Brandon Bridge, but it only seemed to prevent Metheny from getting into a rhythm against the Thunderbirds.

To say the recent trends do not favor South Alabama would be an understatement. The Jaguars are 0-6 ATS in their last six games overall and 0-6 ATS in their last six following a SU loss. On the other hand, Tulane is 7-2 ATS in its last nine overall, 5-0 ATS in its last five home dates, and 7-0 ATS in its last seven on turf.

Total team: Toledo Rockets

This week:
at Missouri (66.5)

Toledo is not messing around to begin the season, with opening games at Florida and Missouri. The Rockets lost to the Gators 24-6, a result that went well under the 55.5-point total. They mustered only two field goals and 205 total yards despite turning the ball over only once, so that doesn’t bode well for their prospects against another SEC defense.

Toledo’s defense returns eight starters from last year’s squad and it got off to a solid start by at least containing Florida. In the high-scoring MAC, the Rockets held opponents to an average of 26.2 yards in their last five regular season games last season. The under is 7-0 in Toledo’s last seven games dating back to last season, 4-0 in the team’s last four road games, and 4-1 in its last five non-conference games.

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