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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: Bowling Green Falcons (3-1 SU, 3-1 ATS)

This week: -14.5 vs. Akron

Bowling Green has won four in a row against Akron, including a 24-10 road victory last season. The Falcons are also 5-0 ATS in their last five against the Zips. Akron may be hard-pressed to contain Bowling Green’s offense and turn the tide of the head-to-head series.

The Falcons are averaging 510.2 total yards through four games and they went off for 576 in its first Mid-American Conference contest (a 41-22 thrashing of Kent State). Matt Johnson is throwing for 250 yards per game and Travis Greene is averaging 5.5 yards per carry.

The Falcons are 7-1 ATS in their last eight conference showdowns and 5-0 ATS in their last five against teams with losing records (Akron is 1-3). They are 10-3 ATS in their last 13 overall and 6-2 ATS in their last eight home games.

Team to beware: Central Michigan Chippewas (1-3 SU, 0-4 ATS)

This week: +23.5 at North Carolina State

Central Michigan travels to N.C. State Saturday and its first foray into BCS competition this season did not end well. The Chippewas paid a visit to the Big House and trailed Michigan 56-6 after three quarters before losing 59-9. They are allowing 193.5 rushing yards per game (Michigan went for 242), which is bad news because the N.C. State offense is racking up 196.7 ground yards per contest.

Recent trends also do not favor Central Michigan. The team is 3-12 ATS in its last 15 road games, 2-9 ATS in its last 11 out of conference, 0-4 ATS in its last four against the ACC, and 2-10 ATS in its last 12 against opponents with winning records (the Wolfpack are 2-1 following a 26-14 loss to Clemson).

Total team: Utah State Aggies (2-2 SU, 3-1 O/U)

This week: 61 at San Jose State

Utah State’s defense has been stingy this season, especially since an opening loss to Utah. The Aggies held Air Force to 20 points in a blowout win, crushed Weber State 70-6, and they just barely lost 17-14 on the road at Southern Cal last week.

Weber State passed for a mere 34 yards on 20 attempts and USC managed just 164 through the air. Friday opponent San Jose State may have to try its hand on the ground, but the team is averaging only 74.7 rushing yards per game.

The under is 4-0 in Utah State’s last four Friday dates and 6-0 in its last six against teams with losing records (San Jose State is 1-2). It is a solid 13-6 in the team’s last 19 overall.

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