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Week 0/1 ML Dogs

ProV1Colt

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#1
Welcome back Everyone!
Time to get this thread back up and going for the 18-19 Season.

It's been a long Summer hasn't it.
Who is ready for some ML Dogs!!!

ML's should be out soon so let's get a jump on them. We know who the Dogs are in most games. Time to help each other make some $$

God it's great to get back at it!

Let's discuss Week 0/1!
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#5
I think Wyoming has to be on the radar week 1 hosting Washington State.

Some could think that losing a top draft pick QB Josh Allen may make for a down WYO team or some drop in production, but those of us who know a little about Wyoming and Allen in 2017 know that this offense was not playing with a full deck even when Allen was healthy. The numbers were way down because all the experience around Allen was down.

I do not know who will be their QB yet, either last year's backup who got in a couple starts or some new kid. What I do know is that this year the pieces around whoever that QB is will be in much better shape. Using Phil Steele's stats, the OL returns 116 career starts, good enough for 7th in the country. The top 7 pass catchers are back and 9 of the top 10 overall receivers. The 6 top ball carriers also return to the offense.

Again, according to Phil's stats, the Defense returns 82% of their tackles, good enough for 11th in the country. They have two All Conference players on DL, an All Conference MLB and a 3x All Conference S. There could be some in experience and new faces at CB with those top 2 gone, which facing a Wash St O could be an issue, but to soften that potential concern, WYO does return 2016 starter at CB who missed 2017 (Hull 20 career starts). Really this should be one of the top MWC Ds in 2018 building off a very strong 2017.

Keeping with the theme, everyone also returns to an experienced ST unit.

This is their DC's second year, so all that experience on D back in year 2 should make them even better. Otherwise every other assistant coach except for two have been with Bohl from the beginning (or held over from the prior WYO staff).

Contrast all of that with Washington State. They went from their career leading passer in Halliday directly to the new career leading passer and recently departed Luke Falk, one school legend replaced by another to ? now. Unfortunately for Wazzou and everyone else in his life, would-be 2018 leading QB candidate Tyler Hilinski committed suicide in the offseason. They do have ECU trans Gardner Minshew who does like to throw it around and could be a good fit for Leach.

Then receivers, the top 2 left the team prior to the bowl, although in fairness this is still a deep position, however they may lack early season chemistry with the new QB and WR unit that could be important in a road game vs a solid D. Wazzou should still be fine at RB despite losing their top guy, but the OL loses 3 including one of the better OL they have ever had in O'Connell. Let's not forget that they allowed 44 sacks last year, partially on Falk, partially on the OL perhaps. Steele has them with just 41 career starts returning (111th nationally) and looking at who he projects in the magazine finds 3 new guys two of which have zero game experience and one has 2 games under his belt. So no chemestry to be expected in the passing game or the OL for this week 1 road game.

On ST, they will have a new K replacing last year's very solid and All Conf Erik Powell.

On D, Wazzou loses their best player in DL Hercules Mata'afa. The back 7 on D should still be pretty solid. However, respected DC Alex Grinch left and is replaced by Traecy Clays. That is one of 7 staff changes; new DC, OL, RB, OWR, OLB, ST and head strength coach. And remember that Leach was rumored to want and ready to accept the Tennessee job, so maybe there is some questionable commitment on his time in the Palouse (which also may've contributed to so many assistant coaches leaving after last season - like, get out now on your own terms instead of trying to find a spot when Leach leaves).

Here is some more, Washington State does have some history of early season struggles. Last year give Leach and crew credit, they had it clicking. But 2016, lost opener vs E Washington. 2015 lost opener to Portland St. 2014 lost opener to Rutgers (who wasn't bad back then).

And then one of the biggest angles of all, Wyoming will have a game under their belt having played in week 0 at New Mexico State. That game is important because it will be more than just a scrimmage affair vs a cupcake. NMSt will find it hard to duplicate their 2017 run, but they are still a decent team with a solid D. That will serve as a very good warm up for the home opener vs Wash St. To maximize the situation I hope that NMSt beats the Pokes giving more ML value for Wyoming the following week vs Wazzou.

I think Wazzou will struggle to reach 6 wins this year while WYO is a sleeper MWC contender.
 

CHSGTMD

Well-Known Member
#7
My approach is to look for home dogs, rivalry games, for a dog to make a "statement game", game of the year type win.
Also find look ahead/sandwich situations, teams rated high on last year performance vs this year ability, major changes in program etc.
First 3-4 weeks best as we all know the lines tighten after early games, adjustments made by books.
Quite a few instate type rivalry games the first week with high spreads and by history just need to identify those that have best shot at the win, usually 2 or 3 will.
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#11
Is Northern Illinois creeping on anyone's radar? Beat them in Kinnick in 2013, won in Lincoln obviously so they expect to win this game I'm sure. Iowa week 1 suspensions starting to mount, two OL starters out and two top DTs out.
 

B.A.R.

CTG Partner
Staff member
#12
Is Northern Illinois creeping on anyone's radar? Beat them in Kinnick in 2013, won in Lincoln obviously so they expect to win this game I'm sure. Iowa week 1 suspensions starting to mount, two OL starters out and two top DTs out.
It definitely has that feel.
 

JROCK1966

Well-Known Member
#16
Put in the FWIW column. Phil Steele has listed.....

1. UCF as his worst "bear market" team with a rating of -10 and they are -24 @UConn.
2. North Carolina as his 2nd best "bull market" team and they are +8.5 @Cal.
3. BYU 9th best "bull market" team and they are +11.5 @Arizona
4. Tennessee 10th best "bull market" team and they are +10 vs. WVU.

:toilet2:
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#18
Somewhat off subject but since this is where discussion seems to be happening ...

Is NMSU smart enough to shorten the game up against Wyoming and play VERY slowly with regard to the play clock? Saturday-Thursday turnaround including a long flight seems extremely problematic to me if they are involved in a lot of plays in the Wyoming game.
 

touchdowncapper

Well-Known Member
#19
Somewhat off subject but since this is where discussion seems to be happening ...

Is NMSU smart enough to shorten the game up against Wyoming and play VERY slowly with regard to the play clock? Saturday-Thursday turnaround including a long flight seems extremely problematic to me if they are involved in a lot of plays in the Wyoming game.
Why would you play a grinder against Wyoming? Tempo is the way to go against them. They can out athlete them. I actually don't think it would be smart to slow it down and play in fashion you never do vs an opponent you can beat at home to save yourself for an opponent on the road where you're an 18 point dog and likely going lose.
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#20
Why would you play a grinder against Wyoming? Tempo is the way to go against them. They can out athlete them. I actually don't think it would be smart to slow it down and play in fashion you never do vs an opponent you can beat at home to save yourself for an opponent on the road where you're an 18 point dog and likely going lose.

I think you make a valid argument on the winnable vs less winnable game and putting eggs into that basket vs the other.
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#22
I guess here is my take ... whether wrong or right ...

NMSU was extremely heavy pass vs rush last year, which contributed to their games being ones which had a lot more plays than average overall. And Wyoming ran more than they passed despite having a first round NFL QB, due to the lack of talent and experience at WR. The NMSU QB was one of their better ones in school history and Allen probably was the greatest in Wyoming history. Both guys are gone now. That leaves NMSU breaking in a new QB against what was one of the better pass defenses (weather aided no doubt) statistically in the nation last year who has the core of it back. NMSU has a decent offensive line though, so I think they might be willing to run more behind that line to get the QB better down and distance numbers to pass in. There is little reason to believe that Wyoming isn't going to be running more either. And I don't think either team can light the other one up running the football. In addition, I would be shocked that even if NMSU chose to play tempo, that they could run their offense at the same pace under the new QB as they did with Rogers who played in roughly 40 games for that team.

I think the Wyoming defense might be every bit as good as the Boise State defense in the MW and NMSU defense is bringing back a bunch and played decent at home last year.

Just lines up as an under to me.
 

touchdowncapper

Well-Known Member
#23
Don't disagree, but it's already gotten pounded under. Whos the best passing team Wyoming faced last year? They faced Colorado State in a cold, snowy, windy game, and got Boise when they were playing like shit with Cozart getting a ton of snaps. I think they were a pretty overrated defense. Oregon straight up dominated them in the 1h. Remember watching that game. In no way was this a top 10 defense, as they finished in S&P. They're a stingy run defense no doubt, but they faced a ton of heavy run offenses, had some bad weather games, and got teams when they were far from clicking offensively.

I also think NMSU is going to reload this year. Huntley is more explosive than Rose and coach says they have more talent at WR this year. Athletes everywhere. Jeanty is in his 5th year in the system and has came in some games and won them when Rogers was injured, but he's more of a game manager. It sounds like the Juco kid will get the start, which shows he's got some skills.

I like the dog.
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#27
Alot to like about Tulane O potential...WF D not especially stout.

Hinton out for WF so however they play at QB will be quite young, figure they will lean on the running game a bunch and not sure Tulane can stop it consistently.

7pt home dog that figures to move the ball and score vs a team with no experience at QB with a shaky D.

Is Dortch back at 100%
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#29
Horrible lookahead for Miami Ohio in my opinion. Their loss to the bearcats last year has to be in the top five stingers of 2017.

Underdogs worth a look imo

UNLV - They are getting 25.5 and are going to score on teams this year. Lots of So Cal connections and USC replacing, though reloading, a lot. I know it sounds crazy but I am not so sure they can't win if the USC offense isn't right in some capacity. They could get their doors slammed off too ... but ... as far as games with this kind of spread, I think it has value. The points are almost a must play, I think

NW - He won't announce until Thursday but it looks like Thorson is not just playing but in good shape to play. He hasn't been officially medically cleared I don't think. If he plays, you get the better team with a plus sign on the ML which is often tempting. On top of that, Purdue getting all kinds of love for that game. Purdue coach with time to prepare might be pretty good though. Should be low scoring too for the most part which means you probably have a shot in the 4th. spread is a FG which may a short line for this thread given it is a ml thread.

NMSU - Wyoming offense is probably woeful this year (they weren't great last year) and NMSU defense plays solid at home compared to the road.

Tulane - Good coach, good system, good fit at QB, and Wake without Hinton.

Maryland - I actually think Texas wins going away but hard to look at what happened last year and the two rosters relative to last year and think terps don't have a shot. Off the field stuff is just crazy bad though. Terps football the last bunch of years has just been brutal with bad luck between this years offseason and the incredible amount of injury issues they have had over the years. It's an odd one because I am probably betting Texas but I wouldn't and shouldn't be shocked if Terps somehow win. Plus terps oline should be pretty good this year and maybe that is the stability they need to keep things together.

Tennessee - I have a feeling I take Vols plus the pts week one. It looks like most think the Westbygodvirginia QB will go wild on the Vols and maybe so ... there was some quit last year from the vols which plays into some of their results. Few games that you know you will get the effort and this is one of them. Were so bad last year though. If you are looking for a big dog that might be a decent team but didn't show it last season .. I think this is one of those teams. Or they could suck again.

NIU - Based on my look, points will be at a premium, sharp money appears to be betting NIU relentlessly, Iowa traditionally susceptible to slow game ones. NIU is going to be a decent little team this year.

SMU - Both teams bring back a lot from last year. SMU outplayed them last year so they can compete. Venue is going to be tough for them though. Gonna be quite a few big plays in the game ... the midget QB for UNT does little for me the way he does for everyone else. He is a gamer but I think he is overrated. Hard to overrate Hicks cause he sucks.

MTSU - Better team getting points

BYU - first game for zona in new system, senior QB, more mature players, the more physical team. The coaching mismatch here is painful though, imo. I believe in Sumlin, particularly after what he accomplished after the start of last year with TAMU (though some of that start was him being an idiot, but I think that was a rare case). Zona makes a lot of stupid plays .. bonehead plays ... so they are capable of outplaying byu but finding a way to lose anyway

I think MTSU is the most likely to win from this group but I think UNLV holds the most value.
 

ProV1Colt

CTG Elite Moderator
Staff member
#30
Mtsu will beat Vandy.
Tennessee will sux. They will not be able to cover WDV WR group. Their only hope is if their DLine can get to Greer. I have no clue how good WDV O Line is.
 

pressitup

Well-Known Member
#31
If byu isn't significantly improved from last year AZ should roll them. They may be starting a true freshman at QB as well. I think Tate will give their defense troubles.
A different team, but Summy has shown that the first game of the season is usually his best(despite UCLA last yr)
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#34
I believe our friend Marski pointed out that Marshall - Mia, Oh is an old-time rivalry. And Mia did have a tough loss to Herd last year to open (Marshall 3 non-O TDs, Mia +162TY). Now, nothing is a kick in the nuts like the loss to Cincy ofcourse. Would suspect they want the game vs Cincy more, but Marshall means alot as well.

Regarding UNLV-USC, I would think Rebs can score some, worry about their D, although they likely face a kid playing his first college game ever, still USC running game can do plenty of damage alone. Potentially intriguing one, just not sure I can trust Rebels D to offer enough resistance.

Me liking Tulane and NIU.
 

Two Utes

Well-Known Member
#35
Yeah, I think USC can just line up and run it down their throats. I doubt they need to rely on stellar qb play. Make a few passes to keep them guessing and don't turn the ball over. I can't trust unlv.
 

carolinablue

College Football Guru
#36
Here are a few that I think offer some value...
  • FIU +335 at home vs Indiana, not sold on Indiana QB or Defense
  • CSU +270 at Colorado - rivalry game, anything can happen
  • Kent +550 at Illinois - ML always worth a look vs bad team when getting this much
  • Texas State +550 at Rutgers - same as above
  • NIU +315 at Iowa - NIU is going to be really solid this year and this one should be a slobberknocker as good ol JR would say
  • Troy +335 at home vs Boise - not as sold on Boise as many other seem to be, actually think Trojans +pts may make my card
 

M.O.T

Well-Known Member
#37
I’ll go a little off the radar and throw FCS Nicholls +280 over Kansas in the mix. The Colonels return a ton from a playoff team and have been in close games against Georgia and A&M recently. I haven’t spent a lot of time on Kansas but at face value it looks like they return a good bit also.
 

CHSGTMD

Well-Known Member
#38
My leans so far are
NMSU over Wyoming another home dog with momentum coming off best season
Tulane over WF again the home dog, program on the rise, crazy cajuns on Thurs night prime time
Troy over Boise will take the home dog in the hot humid south in basically summer for the dry, cool potato team
MTSU over Tennessee huge rivalry, statement game for MTSU, keep it close and Tenn tightens 2nd half
Playing points on Prairie View +21 and small ML, Rice on downward trend last few years and anything possible
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#39
MTSU over Vandy huge rivalry, statement game for MTSU, keep it close and Vandy tightens 2nd half
Fixed that for you. Tell me something to like here...Good MTSU teams lost to Vandy by 23 in '16 and 22 in '17. Now maybe Vandy doesn't play D like they did in 2016 anymore, but might seem like the O may be able to be a little better. Schurmer's 4th year starting coming up, decent OL, not sure how good their skill guys are. Maybe you say this is the year it all comes together for MTSU, health-productive O with improving D. I want to believe, give me something...Vandy can certainly be beaten. Just seems that similar MTSU teams have come up short. Third time a charm?
 

VirginiaCavs

CTG Expert on Chucky Dolls and Blake Bortles
#40
Even tho NMSU was never in it I don‘t think it‘d be right to count them out because they did show some positives in a game where nothing went right for them. I liked when their QB moved out of the pocket and I really liked Huntley becoming the focus of the offense. I haven’t looked into Minnesota this season but maybe big dog worth considering
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#41
Even tho NMSU was never in it I don‘t think it‘d be right to count them out because they did show some positives in a game where nothing went right for them. I liked when their QB moved out of the pocket and I really liked Huntley becoming the focus of the offense. I haven’t looked into Minnesota this season but maybe big dog worth considering
The defense was beat down and exhausted and now face another physical team. Just a horrible spot for them with the long flight and everything. When are they going to fix their offensive problems?. I suspect their offense plays better against a lesser defense but it is going to be tough for Minnesota to not put up points.
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#42
Also, Wyoming could hardly have been much worse on offense given the circumstances. NMSU had 42 total yards of offense prior to their last drive. They went 4 and out or worse, 11 of their first 12 drives. It's going to be hard for me to trust their offense against Washington State, to get too excited about backing them there.. though you would think NMSU is a good team to have played prior to Washington State.
 
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VirginiaCavs

CTG Expert on Chucky Dolls and Blake Bortles
#43
I liked the power and explosiveness of Wyoming‘s RB but he was also getting ridiculous holes against NMSU‘s cupcake d-line
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#44
I liked the power and explosiveness of Wyoming‘s RB but he was also getting ridiculous holes against NMSU‘s cupcake d-line
Thought NMSU defensive line played with good heart. Hard to say that when they gave up 312 on the ground but they were just exhausted 2h. I agree on Evans but that offense is going to struggle mightily this year. You could see a few plays in the game where the QB dropoff really hurt Wyoming too.
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#45
Low unders are hard in this sport. I mean, the offenses for Wyoming and NMSU were pretty pathetic and still hit mid thirties.
 

s--k

Well-Known Member
#46
Related to NMSt looking ahead, I don't know what you can find with their O that could give anyone optimism. I mean sure, they are going to learn from this game and can only improve, that has to be the floor one would assume. Only thing I could offer is some examples of how penalties hurt them and if they could get those cleaned up along with figuring out where and how to improve the O, maybe at some point they could be more competitive. The penalties really hurt them. 12 for just 57 yards, but they came at really bad times.

Early 1st qrt, NMSt punted and pinned WY inside the 5 or 10, but they false started and had to rekick. This time, WY starts at the 40 and go on for their first TD of the game. On WY's FG drive in the 1st H, they called NMSt DL for holding on a WY running play, automatic 1st for WY. On NMSt's only drive of the 1st H that actually saw them get a first down, they had two penalties. Then the back breaker, in the 3rd NMSt D gets off the field, but they run into the WY punter,, automatic 1st down for Pokes. Didn't immediately lead to pts, but allowed WY to move the ball across midfield, further wear down the NMSt D and then pin NMST inside the 10 with the WY eventual punt, 3-and-out for the Ags, next play WY 56y TD run and that was that. Just so many demoralizing and damaging penalties for NMSt.
 

RetroVK

New Avatar Please
#47
That punt was a horrible decision in my opinion too ^. I understand not wanting to give NMSU any momentum but how do you not run for that yard and a half there?
 

VirginiaCavs

CTG Expert on Chucky Dolls and Blake Bortles
#49
Related to NMSt looking ahead, I don't know what you can find with their O that could give anyone optimism. I mean sure, they are going to learn from this game and can only improve, that has to be the floor one would assume. Only thing I could offer is some examples of how penalties hurt them and if they could get those cleaned up along with figuring out where and how to improve the O, maybe at some point they could be more competitive. The penalties really hurt them. 12 for just 57 yards, but they came at really bad times.

Early 1st qrt, NMSt punted and pinned WY inside the 5 or 10, but they false started and had to rekick. This time, WY starts at the 40 and go on for their first TD of the game. On WY's FG drive in the 1st H, they called NMSt DL for holding on a WY running play, automatic 1st for WY. On NMSt's only drive of the 1st H that actually saw them get a first down, they had two penalties. Then the back breaker, in the 3rd NMSt D gets off the field, but they run into the WY punter,, automatic 1st down for Pokes. Didn't immediately lead to pts, but allowed WY to move the ball across midfield, further wear down the NMSt D and then pin NMST inside the 10 with the WY eventual punt, 3-and-out for the Ags, next play WY 56y TD run and that was that. Just so many demoralizing and damaging penalties for NMSt.
My point was that by the time they figured out that they could move their qb outside the pocket and fully take advantage of Huntley‘s speed and dynamicism in open space they had essentially already lost the game
 
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