College Football Betting – September 3, 2011

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Sep/02/2011
College Football Betting – September 3, 2011

Sportsbook.com has all your College Football betting for September 3, 2011 and don’t forget they also have the biggest NFL survivor pool on the planet.  Turn $25 into $100,000!

The following lines are subject to change. 

 

UTAH STATE AGGIES (0-0) at AUBURN TIGERS (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Auburn -23 & 57

Opening Line & Total: Auburn -22 & 56.5

 

Auburn begins the defense of its 2011 BCS National Championship when it hosts Utah State on Saturday afternoon. The Tigers have only three returning starters on offense and three on defense, with the biggest hole to fill being departed Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Cam Newton.

Junior QB Barrett Trotter will get first crack at replacing Newton, after attempting just nine passes in backup duty last year. The Aggies also have a new quarterback, which won’t be revealed by head coach Gary Andersen until the game begins. Either JUCO transfer Adam Kennedy or freshman Chuckie Keeton will trot out under center in the team’s first series, with neither player having any FBS experience. This is certainly a mismatch on paper. Auburn won 14 games last year and the Aggies have only 13 wins over the past four seasons. However, Utah State is 10-4 ATS in its past 14 road games, while Auburn is 1-4 ATS when favored by at least 20 points over the past two seasons.

Utah State will try to hang around in this game by controlling the clock and rushing the football. The team’s top rusher from last year, Derrvin Speight is gone, but TB Kerwynn Williams (451 rush yds, 5.6 YPC) has the ability to produce a monster season behind four returning starters on the offensive line. The Aggies rushed for 169 YPG last year, but ranked 93rd in the nation in passing (179 YPG). Utah State’s defense was even worse, ranking 101st in points (33.8 PPG) and 100th in yards (429 YPG), mostly because of a weak pass rush that tallied a mere 13 sacks. However, DE Levi Koskan (4.5 sacks) and LB Bobby Wagner (team-best 133 tackles) are back to help improve this unit.

Cam Newton’s 51 total touchdowns won’t be easy to replace, but the ground game is in good hands with Michael Dyer (1,093 rush yds, 5 TD, 6.0 YPC) and Onterio McCalebb (810 rush yds, 9 TD, 8.5 YPC). It will be key for Barrett Trotter to establish a passing game, or teams will load up the box and try to exploit Auburn’s young offensive line, which returns only one starter. Trotter has reliable receivers, led by Emory Blake (526 rec yds, team-high 8 TD). Auburn could certainly struggle defensively with eight starters leaving, but the three that remain are all solid -- DE Nosa Eguae (3.5 sacks, 7.5 TFL), OLB Daren Bates (48 tackles, 7 QB hurries) and CB Neiko Thorpe (64 tackles, 9 PD). The secondary continues to be the biggest weakness on the team, as the Tigers 108th in pass defense (259 YPG allowed).

 

 

SOUTH FLORIDA BULLS (0-0) at NOTRE DAME FIGHTING IRISH (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Notre Dame -11 & 47    

Opening Line & Total: Notre Dame -11 & 47

 

Notre Dame opens its BCS Bowl-hopeful season against Big East contender South Florida. This marks the first ever meeting between these two schools. South Florida is really an underrated program with 42 wins in the past five seasons, eight more than Notre Dame has.

USF’s rushing offense is going to be excellent this year with returning junior Demetris Murray (6 total TD, 4.4 YPC), and bulked-up transfers Darrell Scott (Colorado) and Dontae Aycock (Auburn). The key to USF hanging around in South Bend is for returning QB B.J. Daniels to make good decisions. The Bulls were 17th in the nation in total defense (318 YPG) and also have the depth in the secondary to contain Notre Dame star wideout Michael Floyd.

The Bulls are coming off an 8-5 season, but they were very fortunate with the final four wins coming by a total of 12 points. Daniels (11 TD, 13 INT) needs to improve in a big way for head coach Skip Holtz to opt to throw the football more. The defense returns six starters to a unit that finished among the top 25 in the nation in scoring defense (20.0 PPG), rushing defense (126 YPG) and passing defense (192 YPG).

A 7-2 finish to 2010 gives the Irish momentum for 2011. QB Dayne Crist (2,033 pass yds, 15 TD, 7 INT) is fully healed from his ruptured patella tendon and was named the starter late in the preseason. Star WR Michael Floyd (79 rec, 1,025 yds, 12 TD) was re-instated to the team in August after initially being suspended for driving under the influence. TB Cierre Wood (603 rush yds) should be able to gain some yards on the ground behind a solid offensive line. On defense, the Irish front four needs to do a better job pressuring the quarterback. However, the LBs are excellent, especially ILB Manti Te’o (133 tackles, 9.5 TFL) and OLB Darius Fleming (5.5 sacks).

 

 

BYU COUGARS (0-0) at OLE MISS REBELS (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: BYU -3 & 57

Opening Line & Total: BYU -2 & 55

 

The BYU Cougars begin life as an independent when they travel to Ole Miss to open the 2011 season. Both schools are trying to bounce back from subpar seasons. BYU had four straight years of double-digit wins from 2006 to 2009, but was a mediocre 7-6 in 2010. The Rebels followed up consecutive 9-4 seasons with a 4-8 dud last year.

BYU’s offense remains mostly intact, with just one starter gone. However, this offense didn’t do very much against good teams, failing to reach 20 points in six different games. The Cougars averaged a paltry 18.0 PPG in six road contests, or 11.8 PPG when you discount their 49-point performance at 3-9 Colorado State. Ole Miss has named West Virginia transfer Barry Brunetti as its starting signal caller. The dual-threat quarterback is explosive and is also operating behind a top-notch offensive line. But for the Rebels to be successful this year, Brunetti’s best option is to hand the ball to Brandon Bolden who rushed for 14 TD last year. The Rebels are 9-2 ATS in non-conference games over the past three seasons, and are a strong play at home, going 13-8 ATS (62%) in their past 21 games in Oxford.

Despite last year’s offensive struggles away from home, the Cougars will play five tough road games this year (Ole Miss, Texas, Oregon St., TCU, Hawaii). Their success will lie with their talented offensive trio of QB Jake Heaps (2,316 pass yds, 15, TD, 9 INT), RB JJ Di Luigi (1,397 total yds, 5.2 YPC, 9 TD) and WR Cody Hoffman (527 rec yds, 7 TD). The defense is adequate, but a pass-rushing threat needs to emerge to take pressure off a secondary with three new starters this year. LB Brandon Ogletree (76 tackles) leads a quality linebacker corps that is the strength of this unit.

RB Brandon Bolden (976 rush yds, 6.0 YPC, 14 TD) has had a tremendous preseason and is ready to carry this team on his back. He’s hoping Brunetti can play well enough to prevent defenses from stacking the box. Although Brunetti will start on Saturday, drop-back passer and JUCO transfer Zack Stoudt will also play against BYU. WR Melvin Harris (408 rec yds) is a quality receiver, but other targets need to emerge in this passing game. The defense gets a nice boost with the return of DE Kentrell Lockett (5 sacks, 10 TFL in ‘09) who missed 2010 with a knee injury. This will help offset the spring losses of LBs D.T. Shackelford (knee) and Clarence Jackson (dismissal after arrest). The pass defense (246 YPG, 103rd in nation) also needs serious work, as only one returnee had an interception last year (Charles Sawyer, 2 INT).

 

 

TULSA GOLDEN HURRICANE (0-0) at OKLAHOMA SOONERS (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: OU -25 & 65

Opening Line & Total: OU -21 & 64

 

Oklahoma begins what many expect to be an unbeaten season when the Sooners host Tulsa on Saturday night. The Sooners return two Heisman candidates in QB Landry Jones and WR Ryan Broyles to a team that finished 12-2 last year. Tulsa also tallied double-digit wins in 2010, including seven straight victories to close out the season.

The Sooners are too good to lose this game, but Tulsa is building a strong program. The Hurricane return eight starters on both sides of the ball from a team that racked up impressive road victories over Notre Dame, Houston and Hawaii during its late-season surge. Although Tulsa is more known for its no-huddle offense and dynamic duo of QB G.J. Kinne and WR Damaris Johnson, it is the opportunistic defense, coming off an FBS-best 24 interceptions that will keep this game close. Oklahoma is 1-4 ATS when favored by 10+ points in its past five non-conference tilts.

New head coach Bill Blankenship was promoted from quarterbacks coach and will not mess with an offense that averaged 45.9 PPG in winning its final seven games. He will lean most heavily on two seniors, QB G.J. Kinne (3,650 pass yds, 31 TD, 10 INT; 561 rush yds, 7 TD) and WR Damaris Johnson (872 rec yds, 560 rush yds, 13 total TD). The Golden Hurricane also return all five starting offensive linemen to a ground game that averaged 217 rushing YPG. On defense, Tulsa’s +17 turnover margin ranked second among FBS schools last year. But it was also the nation’s worst pass defense (319 YPG), which allowed 30.3 PPG (85th in nation). Many playmakers remain for new defensive coordinator Brent Guy, including OLB Shawn Jackson (8.5 sacks), DE Tyrunn Walker (12 TFL), LB Curnelius Arnick (5 sacks), FS Dexter McCoil (6 INT) and WS Marco Nelson (6 INT).

The Oklahoma offense is stacked with QB Landry Jones (4,718 pass yds, 38 TD, 12 INT), WR Ryan Broyles (FBS-best 131 catches; 1,622 yds, 14 TD) and WR Kenny Stills, who improved greatly his freshman season, finishing with 61 grabs for 786 yards and five scores. The ground game will certainly miss DeMarco Murray and his 15 rushing TD last year. Roy Finch (398 rush yds, 4.7 YPC), Brennan Clay (127 rush yds, 3.5 YPC) and incoming freshman Brandon Williams are all expected to carry the football this season under the tutelage of new offensive coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell.

There is no denying the Sooners are an explosive offensive football team, but the defense was weakened severely this offseason with the tragic death of MLB Austin Box and broken toe of leading tackler LB Travis Lewis that will keep him out of action for at least six more weeks. Including Box, the ball-hungry defense lost five starters from a unit whose 106 TFL was the third-most in the nation. OU also forced 32 turnovers (13 fumbles, 19 INT) and had 37 sacks last year. The pass rush has weakened a bit with DE Jeremy Beal and DT Pryce Macon leaving, but senior DE Frank Alexander (7 sacks, 13 TFL) remains. The Sooners secondary is excellent with four of five starters returning, including CBs Jamell Fleming (5 INT, 14 PD) and Demontre Hurst (3 FF, 11 PD), and nickel back Tony Jefferson (7 TFL, 7 PD).

 

BOISE STATE BRONCOS (0-0) vs. GEORGIA BULLDOGS (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Boise State -3 & 51

Opening Line & Total: Boise St -3 & 51

 

The conference may have changed from the WAC to Mountain West, but the same explosive Boise State offense remains. QB Kellen Moore will lead his fifth-ranked Broncos into a Week 1 marquee matchup with No. 19 Georgia at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta on Saturday night.

Despite being the favorites in what is basically a road game, Boise State has never beaten an SEC school in its program’s history. But the Broncos have never had a quarterback like Moore who is an unbelievable 28-2 as a starter. Not only has he dominated schools within his former conference, but Moore has also led his team to an 11-4 ATS (73%) mark in non-conference games.

Although Moore and six other offensive starters return, the Broncos did lose some key pieces to last year’s 12-1 team, most notably WRs Titus Young and Austin Pettis who combined for 2,166 receiving yards and 19 TD. Moore gets most of the publicity, and rightly so, with 3,845 passing yards, 35 TD and 6 INT last year, but the Boise State rushing attack is also potent, averaging 200 yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry in 2010. Leading ground gainer TB Doug Martin (1,260 rush yds, 12 TD) returns for new offensive coordinator Brent Pease, who is not expected to change much in this offense that was directed by Bryan Harsin before he took the job at Texas. The BSU defense is also primed for a big year, led by DEs Shea McClellin (9.5 sacks) and Tyrone Crawford (7 sacks, 13.5 TFL), MLB Byron Hout (4 TFL in 9 games) and FS George Iloka (5 PD).

Georgia also has an excellent quarterback in sophomore Aaron Murray (3,049 pass yds, 24 TD, 8 INT), who has the weapons for another strong season. WR Tavarres King (504 rec yds) replaces departed star wideout A.J. Green at flanker and Orson Charles (422 rec yds) is one of the better tight ends in the nation. The Bulldogs ground game ranked a mediocre 73rd in the nation last year (143 YPG), and no longer has their top two rushers in Washaun Ealey (transfer) and Caleb King (academics). Georgia will lean heavily on highly-touted freshman Isaiah Crowell to carry the load. Another blow to the rushing attack is the loss of LT Trinton Sturdivant who will miss the season with a knee injury. The defense was solid last year (329 YPG, 23rd in nation), but the Bulldogs only had 24 sacks. OLB Justin Houston had 10 of those sacks, but he’s gone. The remaining LBs are highly athletic with USC transfer Jarvis Jones on the strong side and converted safety Alec Ogletree (26 solo tackles) in the middle. The 17th-ranked pass defense (180 YPG) is expected to shine again with all four starters returning, including CB Brandon Boykin (3 INT) and S Bacarri Rambo (3 INT).

 

OREGON DUCKS (0-0) vs. LSU TIGERS (0-0)

 

Sportsbook.com Line & Total: Oregon -4 & 54.5

Opening Line & Total: Oregon -1.5 & 55

 

Two of the top-five teams in the land square off in Arlington, TX for an enormous opening-week showdown when No. 3 Oregon takes on No. 4 LSU. Both programs have had a tumultuous offseason with legal troubles dominating the headlines. The Tigers are forced to start second-string QB Jarrett Lee on Saturday night with starter Jordan Jefferson suspended indefinitely after being arrested for his role in an Aug. 19 bar brawl. LSU starting WR Russell Shepard is also suspended for an NCAA rules violation.

Oregon has also had its share of newsworthy events, with allegations of improper recruiting methods and star CB Cliff Harris pulled over for driving 118 mph with starting QB Darron Thomas riding as a passenger. Harris, who scored four punt-return TD last year, is suspended for this game, but Thomas will start. On the field, the Ducks bring back arguably the best running back in the land in LaMichael James who led the nation in both rushing yards (1,731) and total touchdowns (24). He is the biggest reason Oregon led all FBS schools in points (47.0 PPG) and yards (531 YPG) last season. Although LSU’s defense, which returns seven starters, is always strong, this team actually had a weaker rush defense (137 YPG) than the Ducks last year (128 YPG). The Tigers are just 5-8 ATS in non-SEC games since 2008.

Although Oregon lost a bunch of starters from last year’s 12-1 team, nobody in the country has a better QB-RB duo than Thomas (2,881 pass yds, 30 TD, 9 INT; 486 rush yds, 5 TD) and James. However, wide receiver is a trouble spot without Jeff Maehl and the offensive line could struggle after losing three starters. The defensive line is also a question mark with only one starter returning in Terrell Turner (5.5 TFL), and the front seven will certainly miss monster LB Casey Matthews who is now in the NFL. Although Harris won’t play Saturday, the Ducks remain stacked in the secondary, led by playmaking FS John Boyett (5 INT, 9 PD, 78 tackles).

In addition to running an offense without Jefferson and Shepard, LSU will also be playing its first game under new offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa, last year’s offensive line coach. Steve Kragthorpe, former head coach at Louisville and Tulsa, was originally hired in the OC role, but could only be the school’s QB coach after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Lee has a good deal of experience under center, with 18 TD and 18 INT in his LSU career. He’ll also have the services of ultra-talented WR Reuben Randle (544 rec yds). TB Spencer Ware is expected to get most of the carries with Stevan Ridley now playing in the NFL. Ware rushed 10 times for 102 yards in the season-ending Cotton Bowl win over Texas A&M. The Tigers defense will miss departed stars CB Patrick Peterson and MLB Kelvin Sheppard, but DE Sam Montgomery (6 TFL in five games) and WLB Ryan Baker (7 sacks), lead a formidable front seven. The Tigers also boast two elite cornerbacks in Morris Claiborne (5 INT) and Tyrann Mathieu (7 PD).

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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