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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: Ohio Bobcats (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)

This week: -17 vs. Central Michigan

Ohio opened its season with a blowout loss to Louisville, but the schedule has softened and the floodgates have opened. The Bobcats are averaging 35.5 points in their last four games, including a 43-3 road rout of Akron in their Mid-American Conference opener. On the other side of the ball, they have allowed a grand total of three points in their last two contests.

Saturday’s opponent, Central Michigan, is 2-4 with a quartet of double-digit losses. The Chippewas are 3-13 ATS in their last 16 against teams with winning records and 1-11 ATS in their last 13 road games against teams with winning home records. Ohio is 4-0 ATS in its last four overall and 4-1 ATS in its last five at home.

Team to beware: Air Force Falcons (1-5 SU, 2-4 ATS)


This week: +4 vs. San Diego State

The government shutdown didn’t stop last weekend’s game between Air Force and Navy, but the Falcons’ season can’t be shut down soon enough. They have lost five in a row to drop to 1-5, with four of their five setbacks coming by at least 18 points. Air Force is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 overall, 0-5 ATS in its last five home games, and 0-5 ATS in its last five against teams with losing records. They are 0-4 ATS in their last five against San Diego State.

As for the Aztecs, they handled Air Force 28-9 last season and have returned 16 starters. They average 145.5 yards per game on the ground in 2013 and are going up against a Falcons defense that gives up 222.5 rushing yards per outing. SDSU freshman Donnel Pumphrey is averaging 7.5 yards on 44 carries.

Total team: San Jose State Spartans (2-3 SU, 2-3 O/U)

This week: 58 at Colorado State

Since shutting out Sacramento State in its season opener, San Jose State has allowed at least 27 points in four straight contests, including 40 or more in two of its three losses. The Spartans are still without a slew of defensive players, including impact performers like safety Brandon Monroe, cornerback Bene Benwikere, and linebacker Derek Muaava. On the bright side, SJSU’s passing offense is churning out 306.8 yards per game behind senior quarterback David Fales.

The Over is 6-1 in the Spartans’ last seven road games, 5-1 in their last seven against Mountain West opposition, and 4-0 in their last four following a bye week. Colorado State also had an off week to prepare for this one. The Over is 7-2 in the Rams’ last nine following a bye week and 7-2 in their last nine against teams with losing records.

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