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: Toledo Rockets (5-3 SU, 5-2-1 ATS)
This week: -28.5 vs. Eastern Michigan
Toledo hosts Eastern Michigan Saturday and all trends point to a convincing win and cover for the Rockets. They have won six in a row in the head-to-head series between the two MAC rivals and they are 5-1 ATS in those six.
Eastern Michigan is 1-7 overall and 1-7 ATS so far this season. The Eagles have lost seven consecutive games (1-6 ATS) and they are 0-5 ATS in their last five conference games, 1-4 ATS in their last five road trips, and 0-7 ATS in their last seven against teams with winning records.
This should be a great matchup for Toledo, which averages 227 rushing yards per game and is going up against an Eastern Michigan defense that is allowing more than 256 yards per outing. Rockets senior running back David Fluellen is gaining a ridiculous seven yards per run on 152 carries this year and he has scored 10 rushing touchdowns.
Team to beware: UAB Blazers (2-5 SU, 2-5 ATS)
This week: +5.5 vs. Middle Tennessee
Alabama-Birmingham’s defense has been abysmal in 2013 and it may not find any joy facing a Middle Tennessee attack that heated up by exceeding the half-century mark in a 51-49 win over Marshall Thursday night.
The Blazers just gave up 52 in a 21-point loss at Texas-San Antonio. They have allowed at least 24 points in every contest this season and have surrendered at least 34 points in five of seven. Both members of MTU’s rushing duo, Jordan Parker and Reggie Whatley, have gained 100 yards in the same game twice this year - including against Marshall.
UAB is 0-4 ATS in its last four overall and 0-5 ATS in its last five against C-USA opposition. The trend may continue against an opponent that has the added benefit of coming off eight days of rest instead of the normal six.
Total team: UNLV Rebels (5-3 SU, 5-3 O/U)
This week: 67 vs. San Jose State
UNLV has scored at least 31 points four times this season and it has allowed at least 37 points four times, including more than 50 on two occasions. San Jose State, Saturday’s opponent and Mountain West foe, is averaging 40.7 points per game in its last three and it has given up at least 27 points in six consecutive contests.
UNLV’s offensive strength (185 rushing ypg) should match up nicely with SJSU’s weakness (206.4 rushing ypg allowed). The over is 7-3 in the Rebels’ last 10 home games. It is 6-1-1 in the Spartans’ last eight on the road and 6-1-1 ATS in their last eight in conference.